Archive for Family

Easter Holiday

Easter came early this year, more so in fact than in the 90 odd years easter that preceded it. Still it was the end of term and for that a short break was called for.

At the start of the vacation period I spent a few days in Middlesbrough with Heather where we spent time chilling out, going on day visits to local areas, practicing our cooking skills in the evening and solving a murder mystery puzzle (its amazing how engrossing they can be once you get started!). It was nice to really chill out for once and also properly enjoy days out and relaxed evenings which although we very much enjoy we hadn’t been able to do for quite a while due to work commitments.

Another thing that occupied some of our time while away was Heather’s Victorian dolls house that she is building from scratch. I spent a few hours with her helping to get the painting right, fix some of the hinges and ensure the house all fitted together. This is a really special project as it isn’t just a normal dolls house but one of considerable size. It has 10 rooms with an attic, basement and traditional frontage. It’s going to be fantastic when its finished. I don’t have a picture of it but I found one on the web to give you an idea of the kind of thing I’m talking about.

During the holiday I also got a chance to get my camera out and take a few shots of the places we visited. Most of these involved boats of some description but there were a few others, in particular some spectacular shots of stormy weather at Whitby. We climbed a lighthouse to get a better view and were nearly blown off. It was one of our best days out for a while.

After my break with Heather I spent some time with my family over the Easter weekend. I got to see my sister which, now she is at university, is a rare occurrence. We all went out for a meal together on Easter day which was a very nice affair. During the rest of my stay with my family I spent time fixing things around the house, relaxing, having the odd drink, and meeting up with James to catch up. When I wasn’t doing all that I chilled out on the computer throwing radiators at people.

Sadly all good things must come to an end and I had to return to Leeds to continue work on my project which is pretty much all I have been doing since. Still as I keep reassuring myself it will all be over soon and hopefully the standard will be good enough to clinch the mark I want.

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Family Christmas

So I’m back on the blog again, coinciding with my return to Leeds after spending Christmas with my family. It was a pleasant break which was very relaxing given how busy the tail end of last term had been. I did get some work covered but I kept it light so I could rest up for the exams and tumultuous term that lie ahead. It was fun to see everyone and I still can’t believe how much food I got through over the festive period. I still feel full from Christmas dinner!

For those looking for the photos I took of all the various family gatherings, you can view them in my gallery

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Bonfire Night

BonfireOn 5th November I headed out to the Hyde Park public bonfire and firework display with Heather. It was a really enjoyable evening and the heat from the fire made it almost feel like it was a summer day – I certainly didn’t need my full winter coat! It seems amazing that over a year has gone by since I was last at the display, but its still as good as I remember.

The smell of bonfires and the thick air that comes with firework smoke always remind me of growing up in St. Albans and the huge firework display laid on in Verulamium park every year. Its amazing how vivid a memory such smells can conjure up.

I decided to take my camera along and setting the ISO up high I tried to take some night time shots of the bonfire and the fireworks afterwards. I was rather impressed with the results considering I wasn’t taking all that much care with my photography (I was too busy watching things with the naked eye!) and have thusly shared them with the world in my gallery.

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Back on the blog

Well, this is a turn out for the books. I’m blogging again! I never thought I’d be away from the blog for this long since I first started it, but somehow I got side-tracked on so many other things that I just didn’t realise how long it was since I’d posted something, then when I did realise I wasn’t really in the blogging frame of mind. Still, I’m here now and I intend to get back to proper regular posting as that’s what goes down the best.

So what have I been doing to keep me from my blog? Quite a lot actually so I’ll give a quick run down.

  • X-Lab LogoLarge amounts of work at X-Lab

    My lack of blogging started with a lot of pressure at work to get the first version of the X-Lab lab to lab messaging system finished and presented to a group of people who could help us to take the project forward and get interfaces with existing lab systems written for it.

    To cut a long story short, 12 hour days, numerous late nights and a lot of coffee and pizza deliveries saw us through and we got the system completed on time and suitably impressed those at the demo to allow us to take the project forward and (hopefully) get it deployed in labs when we have finished version 2

    This, for me, feels like such a great achievement as I’ve never worked with Microsoft technologies quite so much as this before and to get a success like this felt really great. I hope that I will be able to see the project fully succeed in the future as its one of those things that has the potential to positively impact thousands of people.

    Watch this space!

  • Heather & Kieran in WalesHoliday with Heather

    At the end of July I went on a long weekend break with Heather. We stayed in North Wales and did a little sight-seeing and plenty of relaxing on the beach in the surprisingly abundant sunshine which bathed the region. It was our first chance to have a holiday away together and we both really enjoyed it, not to mention the fact that it was some good quality “together time” before Heather headed off to Middlesborough to stay with her family for the rest of the university vacation. Feel free to check out some of our holiday photos in my gallery.

  • Kieran in JerseyHoliday in Jersey

    Last year I went to stay with Michelle in Jersey and this year I went back to stay with her again. Its a great place to go away on holiday and its always nice to go and stay with friends.

    I was fortunate enough to be able to get out on Michelle’s Dad’s boat and take some pictures from off the coast of Jersey and my trip also coincided with the annual battle of flowers parade which was as spectacular as it had been the year before and with a whole new set of wonderfully decorated floats to enjoy.

    One of the highlights of the trip was going to Jersey Zoo, founded by Gerard Durrell and having read Durrell’s books on animal collecting it was fascinating to see what his trips and writings from around the world had created.

    The weather throughout the week was excellent and when I wasn’t socialising or on sight-seeing excursions I spent most of my time walking along beaches or lying in the sun reading books. It was a well needed rest and lots of fun to boot. Michelle has some great friends and it was really nice to see them again. Thanks to Michelle for letting me stay!

  • Catch up on work and student society planning

    Since return from my various holidays I have been playing catch-up trying to get a mountain of work done. There is not much to report here except that I hate paperwork and I never realised that agreeing to do so many student run websites was going to cause this much work to be thrust upon me in August. Ok, thats a bit of lie, I did know but took them on anyway as I know I can do a good job and it will be nice to have my name on a load more student sites and to see them used and enjoyed by new students and committee members alike. Getting these things done will also get more things on my portfolio which is always good for business.

    One of the really good things which has come out of this surge of work is the opportunity to work with Christina Fowler, a recent graduate and expect in graphic design, she is assisting me by completing the design work for the new Leeds RAG website. Its nice to be able to spread work in this way and also share ideas. If all goes well I look forward to working more with Christina in the future, her work is certainly very impressive.

  • Claire's Otley Run random pictureSocialising

    Seeing as its the summer holidays I have been taking every available opportunity to attend parties and go out for meals and drinks with friends. Drunken arrivals back home have been one of my main reasons for not keeping this site as up to date as it otherwise might be! There are some great pictures floating around facebook of some of these evenings and there are also some really good ones of Claire’s birthday Otley run in my gallery.

As you can see I’ve all round been pretty darn busy. Still I’m not going to avoid blogging for that length of time again, in fact I hope to go back to writing here on a regular basis along with other blogs and forums that I have been neglecting lately.

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Home with family

Starting this weekend I’m back home with my family. Its been three months since I was last back in St. Albans and its nice to take a break from the daily grind in Leeds and catch up with things back here. Just today alone I had a meal with my parents and chatted to a few friends on the phone who I hope to meet up with in the coming days. I had a tripod delivered to the house this morning (bargain on amazon) so I hope to be able to take some time out and work on my photography as well. As ever contacting me will be a little more sketchy than usual so please bear with me if I take a little while to get back to your e-mail or return your call. I hope everyone else has a good Easter break wherever you might be.

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Family Photos

Christmas TreeOn Christmas day I went a little mad with the camera so there are a fair few photos from this years family Christmas knocking about on my computer. I’ve picked a few of them and popped them into the Family Christmas 2006 gallery for you all to look at. It was a very enjoyable day and nice to be with the nearest and dearest. There is another family gathering tomorrow so there will probably be some shots of the wider family going up into the gallery when I get home afterwards.

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Congratulations Hannah

Huge congratulations go out to Hannah who recently got elected onto the Goodricke College JCRC at York University. It’s a fulfilling experience to sit on a college committee and I hope she enjoys working for Goodricke as much as I did for Halifax.

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Up the minster

Yesterday I took another jaunt into York with Hannah, this time to meet up with James Flinders and a few other friends and we climbed up the Minster cathedral central tower. Amazingly it was the first time I had ever done this despite having been in York for over two years as a student. It was amazing what views you could see and how much of the city and surrounding areas I could recognise from the height. Hannah found it quite useful in seeing where all the streets were and I, as usual, got some fairly good photos.

After treking it up the minster we went to Betty’s tea rooms. This is another “must do” for all who visit York, but an added bonus for me was that I got to meet up with Alannah who I hadn’t seen in ages, over a year in fact! The great thing was it was like I had never left and we enjoyed chatting about everything and anything as we used to do in on a regular basis. We promised to keep in touch better which should be really good if we manage what with the busy lives we both lead.

The great thing about the day really though was the benefit it gave to Hannah. It seemed that meeting people still studying at York with different views, opinions and favorite things to me really cemented her wish and keen-ness to study at York and her confidence she would meet loads of great people and have an awesome time. This is brilliant and is certainly the best way to be approaching going to uni.

To finish the day off with icing on the cake as it were I caught a glimpse of an absolutely wonderful sunset over the river Ouse on our way back to the station. It was so beautiful that I’ve had to post it here rather than just leaving it in the gallery of the outing. A great and to a great day 🙂

Sunset over the River Ouse in York

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Off to Farnham

I’m just about to hop in the car and head down to Farnham. Dan and Rie’s wedding is tomorrow, but I’m going to stay with Grandpam for tonight and have a meal out this evening and catch up. I chatted with her a little at a recent family gathering, but what with me being all over the place a lot of the time it will be nice to have the chance to catch up properly.

The wedding tomorrow is a very special occasion for Dan and Rie and their families and it will be a pleasure to join others in wishing them both all the best. As usual I will have my camera with me and will be taking a fair few photos of the occasion. Blog and a link to the photos to follow on Sunday when I return to Leeds.

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Meal with family

I went out this evening for a meal with my family. I say a meal – it was only pizza express – but it was an evening out none the less. I bother to mention it in my blog because it marked the beginning to quite an interesting situation. This being Hannah and myself both being away at university and my parents having the house completely to themselves for most of the time.

This hasn’t happened in over 21 years (yeah, yeah, my fault I hear you all cry but Hannah has caused it to continue for the last 3 years rather than me ;)) so I guess it is quite a unique occasion. Not only that but it means that the norm will no longer be an evening family meal with at least Hannah (and sometimes me when I’m down South) present, but in fact just my parents. It was for this reason we went out because with me going to Leeds soon and Hannah to York a simple family meal with all four of us will become a rarity rather than normality. I can’t say I’ve really given it much thought until tonight, but I guess for my parents this really is the end of an era.

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