Well, this post has been a long time coming. Back in November ’05 I really didn’t know whether I wanted to bother with this blog. A young family and work commitments meant that I had very little time to write the kind of longer posts that I tried after previous hiatus. Really, I found myself with little to say. So I posted a rather melancholic post entitled ‘Loser‘ and left the thing to go to seed.

One problem with this is that I kind of blocks your options for resuming posting – and the longer you leave it the harder it gets. Hence the year of silence.

Over Christmas I moved the content from Community Server to the suddenly fashionable WordPress. Writing the code to link the two systems Metaweblog API endpoints together was an interesting exercise, and I also got a passing familiarity with MySQL. It didn’t actually produce any posts, though.

Well, last week my partner, Debra, gave birth to our second child, Ben. I’ve been on paternity leave and we’ve been re-aquainting ourselves with deep fatigue and sleep deprivation. A wonderful time, though, and an opportunity to get some perspective on life. Since I return to work tomorrow (albeit telecommuting from home for most of the rest of the week), I thought that I might not get another chance to post here. So I have.

Maybe this will break the block I’d put on myself.

Mother and baby are doing well, btw. He has grey eyes, and we’re wating to see which colour they finally become.

Some other things I’ve done since the ‘Loser‘ post:

  • Spent a wonderful week with my family camping in a tipi in Cornwall.
  • At work, amongst other things, I transitioned our main smart client from a J2SE-based applet to a .NET 2.0 click-once application. This was a lot of fun, and I learned a few things about .NET that I didn’t know. Maybe a future post about this.
  • I read some awesome non-fiction books: Worldchanging, Hostile Habitats, the Pickaxe book, and a lot more that I can’t remember.
  • I read some good fiction books with disappointing endings: Quantico, The Execution Channel, Air (which just went on for too damn long), The Steep Approach to Garbadale and quite a few more. I don’t know why, but almost every fiction book I read seems to run out of steam just before the end. Maybe I’m reading the wrong authors.

I really can’t say how often this blog will be updated. I don’t feel much drive to do it, but I feel that for the writing practice alone its worth persevering with. We’ll see.



  1. Congratulations, and good luck on the sleep thing. (Pace yourself carefully.)

    As for books, thanks for warning me about those novels: they were all on the “maybe soon” list. And frankly, they all look like downers. (Did any of them end on an up-beat?)

  2. Thanks, Geoff.

    The sleep situation is getting better. Five hours last night!

    [[ No spoilers below ]]

    None of the books I mentioned were bad, or had down-beat endings… its just that after making good starts they all just kind of fizzled-out near to the end. As if the author had written them self into a corner. Quantico used the late introduction of a piece of technology to resolve the plot. The Execution Channel just went flat-out bizarre (effectively changing genre) at the very end, and I just didn’t believe it. TSATG was a poor imitation of The Crow Road (one of my favorite books) and I guessed the ending quite early. I’d read reviews saying that this was Iain Bank’s “return to form”, but it seemed more like he had run out of ideas. Air I didn’t finish: it was very well written but wasn’t going anywhere.

    Next on my fiction list is Ian McEwan’s Saturday.


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