archive for the General category

Lockdown Communique

General,Me Monday 25th May 2020

First blog post in six years, that must be a new record right?

Putting aside the current global pandemic a lot has happened to me personally in the last six years:

  • Sold our flat and bought a sensible house, with a garden and everything
  • Had not one, but two children – both boys, now 4½ and 1
  • Became a bona-fide Director at Whitespace
  • Sold the company to Dentsu Aegis Network – fulfilling my cyberpunk dreams of working for a mysterious Japanese multi-national corporation
  • Un-became a Director at Whitespace (but I’m still on the board)

Moving back to the present – everyone at Whitespace has been working at home now for six weeks. UK-wide, we’re on “lockdown” with schools, nurseries, libraries, cafe, bars all closed. Exercise limited to once a day, and the government advice to just generally stay at home. It’s a strange and bizarre time.


Scout & Molly

General Monday 2nd June 2014

Does this thing still work? Guess I fell out of love a bit with blogging. I’ve done quite a bit of tweeting, a lot of DIY at home, bought a car, and did a lot of work at, er, work.

In other news, we got two lovely cats.


2012 in review

General Saturday 16th February 2013

Lovely wedding in Englandshire for friends Ruth & Craig.

Grant’s stag weekend – I’ve never seen a man smash so many eggs on his head.

Cracking weekend in Alnwick – castle, archery, treehouse for dinner. Lost our DSLR camera on the way back.

Had an extremely muddy time at T In the Park.

An epic amount of planning and organising all built up to Our wedding!

Our wedding!Our wedding!

Then off on our honeymoon! Berlin-Prague-Vienna-Salzburg-Munich. Photos to come later.


2011 In Review

General,Me Sunday 22nd January 2012


Visited Marrakech and proposed to my darling Ria. Thankfully, she said yes!

Looked at a lot of flats in an attempt to finally get on the property ladder.


Had a wee break on the West coast around Troon. Good ice cream.

Went on a mountain biking related stag, somehow survived despite my lack of fitness.


Found a beautiful flat and jumped through the many mortgage and solicitor hoops. RBS now own our soul.

Got hospitality tickets to T in the Park though work. Had an ace time with the boys. Shame we went on the Sunday, Monday was pretty painful.

Moved out of Gilmore Place and into our new place. Didn’t want to lose our deposit so we did an epic amount of cleaning.


Summer emerged in Scotland. My parents, sister and brother in-law all stayed at our new place. We took them out on the town during the festival. Great times.


Mike’s stag do. Fired shotguns (badly) and jumped off cliffs into a very cold river – surprisingly good fun!


Our holiday for the year: Venice, Florence, Sienna and Rome. That warrants a post of it’s own…


Grew a ‘tache for Movember. Lots of people laughed at my face.

Beth's Wedding
My little sister got married!


Christmas in Bathgate, post-xmas in Billingham. New Year in Bathgate.

Roll on 2012…


Festival Weekend

Edinburgh,General Monday 16th August 2010

My parents were visiting for the weekend to get a taste of the Festival experience.

Friday evening we had a very nice meal at L’Escargot Blanc, but chickened out of the £20 “surprise” menu. It really was a surprise, only the chef knew what we would get, the waitress wouldn’t give us any hints, and the whole table had to opt for it. Given the name of the establishment, there was a good chance it might be snails.

Saturday we wandered around Bristo square before picking a random matinee show to go and see – Kate Fox News. Mostly an auto-biographical show based around the major news events in her life, her slightly bizzare up-bringing and, sprinkled with some poetry. Browns on George Street for lunch, very busy, great burger! Then off to the Book Festival to browse the books and people watch the odd mix of grizzled book fanatics, families eating ice creams, gin soaked publishers and people hoarding spare chairs on the lawn. We had tickets to see Rhapsodies in Red, White and Blue at 7pm so we went home to smarten up before heading to the newly refurbished (in a frantic hurry just before the festival) Usher Hall. Great performance, I don’t think I’ve ever since something with a a full orchestra and choir before. I loved the Copland and Gershwin, but some of the Ives was quite challenging. Back home for an excellent (and promptly delivered) takeaway from Zen Kitchen.

Sunday we had a bit of a lie-in and then got a bus over the Foodies Festival in Holyrood Park. I wasn’t quite sure what the expect, they had seemingly been giving free tickets out left right and centre. I was pleasantly surprised though! It was a good size, lots of different exhibitors and we signed up for a free rum tasting class – which amazingly wasn’t a complete sales pitch. Scorching weather by this point which just brought even more people out to the festival! My only nitpick was that they needed more seats, people were sunning and drinking all over the place. We saw my parents off on their train back south and then I joined Ria and friends at Reel to Real. Which was pretty schmaltzy, camp musical goodness with some clever interactions between screen and stage.

Great weekend.


2009 : A Review

General,Me Tuesday 12th January 2010

January: My Dad turned 60 and retired, great weekend in a National Trust property.

February: Ria and I had a few days in Krakow including Valentines Day at Auschwitz.

March: Had a weekend near Helensburgh at Strone Cottage – outdoor hot tubs are one of mankind’s great inventions.

April: Saw Honda’s Asymo, destroyed my website, went to a huge 50s themed charity party.

May: Spent a long weekend in Arran, travelling there on the train and then the ferry. Did some nice but very, very wet walking. First round of redundancies at work.

June: Lovely wedding, lots of warm evenings drinking outdoors, saw numerous films at the film festival. “Our” birthday picnic.

July: Went to Whitby and visited my parents at home including a day trip to York. Began the great flat hunt.

August: fringe, fringe, fringe and found a nice flat! 2nd round of redundanices at work.

September: Moved in with Ria, had a weekend in London, rounded off the festival, re-designed my website.

October: Had two weeks in New York, Boston, Chicago and New York again. Amazing trip – wanted to return immediately. Numerous halloween parties.

November: Finally had our flat warming party, my cousin in Kansas got engaged.

December: The Jackson & Phillips families went for a weekend in St Andrews together.


Scottish Power’s Poor Copy

General Monday 14th December 2009

We’re on a paperless tarrif for our gas and electricity and so all correspondence arrives via email. All jolly good, less wasted paper etc. Except that their email subject lines are terrible:

It is time for your meter reading

What the heck? IT IS TIME – It’s like a summons to climb the sides of mount doom. Why so formal? Even just changing “it is” to “it’s” softens the tone.

Then I get a follow-up email, with the following:

You have not yet given us your meter reading

Not much better. Did I commit a crime? Not really a gentle reminder. Does anyone in marketing even read these before they are put into production?


Houston, we have a problem

General,Meta Sunday 19th April 2009

My Virtual Machine got hosed. Excitingly I wasn’t doing any regular backups so I’ve had to revert to a backup I had from my last-but-one hosting account. Which seems to be from June last year :/ I’m devising some cunning way of pulling all my lost blog posts out of the Google Reader cache. Normal service will be resumed at some point soon.


In the deepest recesses of Wikipedia

General Saturday 15th September 2007

There are so many gems:


Doing Things

General Tuesday 14th August 2007

The blog posts have been getting pretty thin on the ground recently. I have been working a lot in my swanky new job: doing lots of MVC PHP but mixing it up with some C# which is a lot like Java.

I’ve been on to a stag weekend with karting, curry and drinking and the associated wedding. Both were enjoyable and very well organised.