Friday 30 June 2017

Fancy dress week

This week I'm calling fancy dress week! For someone with a low tolerance for high temperatures, it has all been a bit much. I also had several people look mildly surprised that I do in fact own a suit.

On Tuesday I was in business dress as I went to a company in Edinburgh to talk about a possible partnership. All very interesting but I genuinely think they'd need to send someone to kill you if I told you what they do.

Wednesday was graduation day: as I knew several of the students who were graduating (a couple of the PhDs and my first honours project student) I joined the procession of all the academics. In return for doing a LOT of clapping, I got to wear the fancy gear again! Just like being in a magical story about wizards or something. I love my job - wear else could you get to look like this for the day?

Sorry for the serious face!
I don't do many selfies and it took a lot of concentration.
Yesterday I was in London at Queen Mary University being the "external assessor" for a first year PhD student. Very hard work as I needed to be critical about the students efforts in a few places. Hopefully it was of some help to him though. I also got a chance to catch up with a few people I work with there - it was a long day, leaving the house before 7am and returning after 11pm. Looking forward to the weekend now :)

Back to London City again...

Sunday 25 June 2017

End of P2

It's almost the summer holidays, so Naomi has made a present for her teacher. I think it's brilliant!

Saturday 24 June 2017


Our first strawberry has arrived - exciting!

You'd be surprised by how many people this can be shared  between.
 Plenty more yet to come. Definitely shaping up to be a more productive summer than the non-veg exploits of wet 2015.

Naomi also made a hedgehog at Rainbows. Pretty cool!

PS - sorry for the brief sentences, I'm typing while holding a tiny baby.

Sunday 18 June 2017

Shameless plug

Those of you who like to know what I get up to at work might be interested in this blogpost on some work I recently had published. This was about reduce the energy consumed by running software, which has obvious benefits in terms of extending battery life of mobile devices and reducing environmental impact.


Today we were concerned that we couldn't find Lydia. On closer inspection, I found her asleep in her bed, tucked in very nicely.

It turns out that Miriam realised her sister was a bit tired, and took her to bed for a nap. What a good big sister!

Tuesday 6 June 2017


A couple of weeks back Naomi asked if we could do some science experiments. Natually this strongly appealed to me, so we duly obliged. We had a go at learning how an airplane wing works with a piece of paper, seeing water surface tension in action, and making some bubbles by mixing acid and alkali. Here is the latter...

Fill balloon with bicarbonate of soda (alkali)

fill bottle with vinegar (acid)

seal balloon onto bottle, and pour alkali into acid 
the reaction makes carbon dioxide, which makes bubbles and blows up the balloon

Monday 5 June 2017


More work travel. A couple of weeks back I was in Swansea at the Digital Economy Crucible. More training and networking, and generally good stuff. These are particularly good because they bring together researchers from lots of different backgrounds and there's a chance for really original ideas to come out of it all. Last year's Scottish Crucible let to me being involved in the Crowd Sound project, so hopefully something else will come out of this one. I'm attending two more stints in Edinburgh and London over the next couple of months too.

In related news, I have a blog post on some recent work I did here that some of you might find interesting. It's about reducing the electrical power consumed by software.

Best hotel room view for some time!

The venue. We also had a meal at the top of the tower!

Swansea. Apparently Bonnie Tyler lives around here somewhere.

Sunday 4 June 2017


The past few weeks have been very sunny. This has helped our attention-deprived children no end!

Barbecue fun

Again, it's a hard life.

Saturday 3 June 2017

Miriam at school

Oh dear, I appear to have opened a door to the future! Miriam has started her "transition" period at nursery, and has now had her practice visit to school. She had a great time but is looking just a bit too grown up!

Settling In

Esther has been with us for over four weeks now - really! - and the time is flying by. Everyone is having a lot of fun getting to know her.

Ewan the Dream Sheep keeps Esther company. He really is The Business. 


Our long-serving Moses basket has finally bitten the dust. When I brought it down from the loft it literally* fell to pieces.

(*Yes, I literally mean "literally". You may look up the word in my metaphorical "grammatical gripes" list if you're unsure.)

As a replacement for the Moses basket, we got the SnuzPod. This would have been most welcome during Lydia's phase of sleeping in our bed - and has already proven its worth.

This caption intentionally superfluous.

The older girls have been receiving presents to celebrate Big Sisterdom. Lydia loves her bubbles!

It's a hard life.

But there is still plenty to smile about!


Additional unnecessary caption.

Lydia has learnt well how to be a big sister. She loves getting things for Esther, and providing her with entertainment.