01 January 2024

Dealing with my heart condition (obstructive hypotrophic cardiomyopathy) has been a big part of my year. I was invited to take part in a randomised controlled trial of a new medicine. This has involved frequent trips to Royal Brompton hospital in Chelsea where I’ve been looked after by a wonderful… »

17 April 2023

We had a good Easter weekend visiting my parents. Is it possible to eat too much chocolate? The answer is yes. Easter Monday was my birthday but as that largely involved driving back to London, A- and I took the day off on Tuesday and went for a mooch around… »

09 April 2023

I spent most of the day on Monday at Royal Brompton hospital receiving my first dose of a new medicine/placebo. I’m taking part in a stage three clinical trial of a new drug for treating obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It was an uneventful and slightly drawn out day that culminated in… »

31 March 2023

I started a new work project properly this week. We’re back at the Government Digital Service working on the publishing platform. It’s been really fun meeting the current developers and doing a little bit of pairing. Their docker based development environment made getting everything running locally fairly painless. I’m also… »

22 March 2023

A fairly quiet week at work as we wait for a large, new project to start. I’m still providing some support/mentoring/coaching to data people with sports governing bodies so spent some time preparing to talk to England Netball about sample sizes and survey data. N-‘s school was closed for two… »

20 November 2022

We needed a “quick” prototype to test with some research participants this week. I wasn’t sure what technology to use - I’ve been favouring static stites with a bit of JavaScript lately, but after staring at the wireframes for a bit and asking #roos for some reckons I decided I’d… »

13 November 2022

I travelled to Glasgow this week for a gathering of the Co-operative Technologists network. It was a restorative and fun couple of days. As well as hanging out with some old and new friends I also spent some time writing a couple of how to guides to get some things… »

27 March 2022

This week’s Song Exploder podcast about Different Trains by Steve Reich was wonderful. Hrishikesh Hirway interviews Reich about the 1st movement “America, before the war”. I enjoyed the fun technical details (early use of samplers and “more overdubs than The Beatles”) of course, but Reich’s recollections of his childhood travels… »

13 March 2022

The war in Ukraine continues to depress and morbidly grip me in equal measure. I feel as though everything else is pointless while at the same time I want to grab hold of any joy in daily normality and not let go. F-‘s nursery was closed on Thursday so I… »

22 February 2022

Things have been broadly uneventful for a bit, and to be honest, it can continue for a while. After living with the constant threat of a school closing, a kid getting COVID, us getting COVID or some plans being cancelled because of COVID, it’s been nice to have a bit… »

30 January 2022

A fairly quiet week work-wise, which was helpful given that N-‘s after-school club is still closed. We thought we had arranged work for the next 3 months, but unfortunately it’s been scaled back to 2 weeks. Still, it’ll be good to get stuck into something. I enjoyed revisiting old projects… »

23 January 2022

It’s fair to say that adjusting back to life in London this week has been pretty hard. N-‘s after school club closed on his first day back for two weeks (due to too many cases of Covid in his year), so we’ve had to adjust our working arrangements already. F-… »

16 January 2022

We arrived home. The trip to Barranquilla was relaxing, we had an impromptu extra night in the city itself because we missed our flight back to Bogotá (3am != 3pm, for reference). The last few days in Bogotá were fun, N- had a “sleep over” at his cousin’s house, and… »

02 January 2022

We’ve travelled to Barranquilla for a few days by the sea. It’s around an hour flight from Bogotá and F- fell asleep before we took off and woke up after we’d landed. We’re staying in a small resort that seems to specialise in watersports. I’ll know more when I’ve had… »

27 December 2021

We spent Christmas week in Villa de Leyva a beautiful old town about 3 hours drive from Bogotá. We rented a house on the edge of the town, and the boys loved playing on the provided trampoline with anyone who would join them. The Parque Gondava dinosaur park was a… »

19 December 2021

Altitude sickness hit me harder than it has done in the past this week. I started to feel more normal today, a week after we arrived in Bogotá (2,640m). The kids took a few days to adjust to the time zone change too, meaning some broken nights sleep and early… »

13 December 2021

We arrived in Colombia for a family visit. It took around 24 hours door-to-door yesterday (with a 4am start). To be honest, I’ve been dreading the journey, particularly because F- is at the age where being stuck anywhere for too long drives him a bit mad. I’m not going to… »

05 December 2021

We went on a suprisingly smooth Sunday train ride to Chertsey today to meet some friends for a “mini Christmas” before we (hopefully) travel to Colombia for Christmas next weekend. The pub we chose met the criteria of being roughly equidistant from the three families, having more than one choice… »

26 September 2021

N- finished his second full week at his new school. It’s been a really big change for him and us, but he’s settling in well and (as far as I can tell from his minimal dispatches) enjoying it. We’re still not into a routine because the drop off and pick… »

30 August 2021

I’ve been on holiday for the last two weeks. First a week in Norfolk and then a week with my parents in Berkshire. We arrived in Norwich too early to check in to our accomodation. Fortunately everyone’s favourite plaster cast dinosaur Dippy was visiting Norwich cathedral so we paid it… »

16 August 2021

We’re currently camping in Norfolk. This is our first time camping with the kids and we started panicking a bit in the week when some very unfair coverage appeared in the press. Turns out the internet is wrong and it’s fine. We’ve had a great time, there’s been enough to… »

09 August 2021

School’s out for summer. Unfortunately N- missed his last day at his nursery, because F- had a temperature the day before and they both got sent home pending a PCR test. Since then A- and I have been taking turns looking after them. A trip to the Zoo on Monday… »

02 July 2021

I’m fairly settled into a routine of three days in the office and two at home now. It’s working well, I really enjoy having a few more people around even if I’m not directly working with them. I caught up with some co-op friends on Thursday as Outlandish were having… »

13 June 2021

Took the kids to play in the fountains at Granary Square today. For me, it’s better than being on a beach - they get to splash around, but there’s also shade and a big supermarket. I remember taking N- when he was the age F- is now, and it took… »

01 June 2021

Another week of childcare disruptions. N- had a temperature on Wednesday lunchtime, so the nursery sent him and F- home pending a coronavirus PCR test. I was able to book a test at a “mobile test centre” in Kentish Town. This turned out to be a white van parked in… »

23 May 2021

N-‘s language skills are now at the bants level. “F- keeps pulling my hair, daddy! If he keeps doing that, I’ll have no hair. Like you!”. And (after watching me give some money to a rather dishevelled looking gentleman on the overground) “Is that your Dad?”. I appreciate the previous… »

03 May 2021

F- is teething. Which means he gets a fever quite often. Which means we get asked to collect him from nursery. Which means he needs to have a negative PCR test before he can go back. The nearest walk in test centre is now 3 miles away, and you’re asked… »

18 April 2021

My brother came to visit on Friday. We haven’t seen each other since August, which is also more than half of F-‘s life. We had a pint in the beer garden at The Southampton Arms then picked the boys up from nursery for a very excitable trip to the playground,… »

11 April 2021

I celebrated my birthday yesterday. I was able to do more than last year, but things are still quite restricted. Nevertheless, we had a round of crazy golf in Acton Park with my friend Dan and his family. We picked up a couple of pizzas from a local pizza place… »

05 April 2021

It was F-‘s 1st birthday on Friday. For obvious reasons his first year has been very different to how we’d planned and imagined while A- was pregnant. But the important things are he’s healthy, happy and makes everything better. Happy birthday little chap. We used our new-found freedom to celebrate… »

23 March 2021

I had the most enjoyable week at work I can remember for a long time. We can’t talk about what we’re working on just yet, but last week I got to build something that combines Web Audio, computer music, programming languages and education. And to do that with a brilliant… »

15 March 2021

It was F-‘s first day at nursery on Wednesday. He’ll be going to the same Spanish-speaking nursery as his older brother 3 days a week. The settling in routine is a bit different this time around given the covid restrictions but A- was able to spend some time with him… »

07 March 2021

We watched Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield on Thursday night. We really enjoyed it. Dev Patel is fantastic in the lead role, and other actors in the Iannucci-orbit such as Peter Capaldi, Hugh Laurie and Tilda Swinton play a host of wacky characters. Surreal, heart-warming, escapist fun…. »

28 February 2021

I had the coronavirus vaccine on Friday. I was invited by St. Thomas’s hospital (where I see the cardiology team) and attended the vaccine centre at Guy’s hospital. It was a pretty life-affirming experience to be honest, plenty of people there, well organised, cups of tea, blitz spirit etc. I… »

21 February 2021

Just when I was starting to feel a bit better, I managed to put my back out. It’s taken me several days to get over that. Spending the best part of 3 weeks in doors ill isn’t great for my strength, I’m looking forward to getting out and trying to… »

08 February 2021

We’re all just about recovered from our bout of Covid. I’m still very tired a lot of the time. A few friends have told me that it took them up to a month to feel 100% again so I’m prepared for a long haul. Still, we’re luck to be mostly… »

31 January 2021

All four of us came down with COVID this week. A-, N- and I have all tested positive. We sent off a test for F- at the same time, but we haven’t got his results yet. We haven’t been well. The boys have mostly had typical cough/cold symptoms. We’ve had… »

25 January 2021

My inlaws returned to Colombia on Wednesday. It was very sad to see them leave, made more difficult by not quite knowing when we’ll be able to see them again. They both had a negative COVID test within 2 days of flying and I was happy at least that we’d… »

18 January 2021

F- is almost starting to crawl. I really enjoy watching his physical problem solving as he works out what combination of roll, shuffle or kamikaze dive will let him grab something he shouldn’t. His favourite place to practice this is the bath, I think the added boyuncy helps a lot…. »

10 January 2021

We returned to London this week. We’d accidentally turned off the fridge/freezer before we left, so that was a messy welcome home. I’d planned to work with James on our project for Oxford University. We spent a bit of time remotely-together but I mostly ended up having business development calls,… »

04 January 2021

Happy New Year. We’ve spent another week holed up in our rental house in Oxford. It’s good to have the extra space but I think N- is getting ready for a change of scene. The local playground is flooded and that’s about the extent of accessible, safe outdoor activities. On… »

29 December 2020

These weeknotes are a bit late, but given I have no idea what day of the week it is, I think I can style it out. F- has started to say a couple of words including, gratifyingly, “dada”. He’s also finding the word “agua” (water) extremely useful when thirsty, but… »

21 December 2020

My in-laws arrived and after a period of self-isolation and a negative COVID test, they finally got to meet F- for the first time. 🥲 I finished up at work for the year. We managed to complete our piece of the project on time and along the way advocated for… »

06 December 2020

My in-laws arrived from Colombia on Friday. One of the hardest things about this year has been the intense feeling of separation from them. They haven’t met F- yet (who was born in April) and we’ve known that if we needed to get to them at that would have been… »

29 November 2020

Another quiet week. I’m busy with work at FutureLearn, it feels good to be writing and mostly shipping useful code. I’m really enjoying having a couple of days a week pairing with Chris and it’s also been great to work with Simon again. I found out this week that large… »

23 November 2020

I started working at FutureLearn again this week. They’ve asked us to help with a couple of projects and it’s good to be back. It goes without saying that the working environment is dramatically different to the last time I was there - everyone is now fully remote. Chris has… »

15 November 2020

No weeknotes last week. My 7-month old baby faced some stiff competition in the “keeping Chris awake at night game” from bitter rival “the absolute state of the world”. The former won. In your face world! I’ve been working on my own on two projects for Oxford University this week…. »

01 November 2020

The halloween celebrations lasted all week at N-‘s nursery. We usually do something for halloween, because it’s also A-‘s birthday, so growing up it was always a big deal for her. Now with kids it’s also an excuse to have some silly fun. N- had his face painted most days… »

26 October 2020

On Sunday morning both boys were up stupidly early (thanks daylight saving time), but last night was the first night F- has slept through without waking, so go figure. We went on the Gruffalo Adventure at Kew Gardens on Saturday. Kew has generously extended our membership for a couple of… »

18 October 2020

On reflection, opening a weeknotes with “several years ago” is a bit of a cop-out. I was out-and-about a bit this week. I met an old colleague on Tuesday afternoon, my GFR comrades on Wednesday and a friend on Friday night. The latter was the first time I’ve been out… »

11 October 2020

Several years ago I felt faint on the way to work, so decided to head to my GP instead. Shortly after I was admitted to St. Thomas’s cardiac ward. After a couple of days of investigation they discovered I had a thickening of the wall of my heart. Although this… »

03 October 2020

I’ve continued to work from the Outlandish office in Finsbury Park. It’s still very quiet with at most 4 other people on a busy day. Having a comfortable set up, fast internet connection and a quiet environment makes a huge difference. Paul offered to work with me on a project… »

21 September 2020

We have a new bathroom! Which means we’ve been able to move back home. I’ve really missed being able to find a sharp kitchen knife. On Tuesday I decided to stop procrastinating and write an application for a really interesting-sounding opportunity on a popular government open tender site. A lot… »

13 September 2020

Avid readers of my domestic enumeration will recall that we’ve temporarily moved out of our flat while some brilliant builders rebuild our bathroom. I find it even harder to work from the temporary accommodation than I did from home so this week I decided to take Outlandish up on the… »

06 September 2020

During lockdown our bath sprung a leak. The way the bath had been installed made it hard to get to and repair. And because our stopcock was seized we had to first turn off the water for the whole building and replace our stopcock. And because the stopcock for the… »

30 August 2020

We spent this week in Dorset on holiday. I rented a car from Sixt (who are great) at St. Pancras station. We don’t own a car, but the hassle of collecting it, fitting two car seats, and loading in all the luggage before leaving made me slightly reconsider this position…. »

23 August 2020

Back in London this week. I’d hoped to visit a museum or two, but as it’s the first week they’ve reopened and they all require pre-booking it’s been hard to get a slot. Realistically I wasn’t very comfortable with the idea of travelling to Kensington from where we live in… »

16 August 2020

We’ve spent the week with my parents. N- is really enjoying playing in their garden and having more people to play with. During lockdown he said to me “Daddy, I want more people”. I could relate to that. My parents’ garden is a joy. It’s not large but over the… »