Sunday, March 11, 2007

It's been a while

I realised today that a whole month has passed since I last posted to this blog. It feels like now or never if I want to keep it going, so here I am, back for more. Not sure how much or how often I'll post, but I don't want to 'lose' what I've done to date and I do like to think of Dan reading this when he's older.

Talking of Dan, he's now able to sit upright - with a little help, he can roll over and he's started trying to grab things. These include a glass of water that went flying over me in the pub yesterday lunchtime.

We were in the Harbour Inn at Southwold on the Suffolk coast, as part of my friend Peter's 50th birthday celebrations. We stayed at the wonderful House in the Clouds in Thorpeness - as you might imagine from its name the views from the top are stunning. Yesterday morning we had a lovely walk along the coast at Aldeburgh and visited the lovely shops at Snape Maltings - without spending a penny. Whether that makes us disciplined, prudent or downright mean, I'm not entirely sure but it felt curiously virtuous.

What else have we been up to? We've signed up for having an extension built - not least to accoommodate Dan's growing mountain of books and toys. Preparations for Dan's christening at Easter are in full swing and best of all my sister Wicki is coming over from Denmark and will see Dan for the first time.

No photos this time, but will do soon.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Posing for the cameras...again

The art of getting things done

OK, I still haven't managed to post those photos I promised, but my latest excuse is that I've gone down with a cold and am feeling a bit lousy. This kept me at home today, but I was still working, finishing a board paper that needed to be in by the end of the day. How on earth did we cope with such things before email? The pace of life must have been slower. Twenty years ago I remember writing reports longhand for my secretary to type up and my boss resisting splashing out on a fax. Thankfully, the boffins have not been idle in the meantime.

Anyway back to those photos - yet another thing that I've failed to get done. Now if like me you tend to procrastinate and are not very systematic or organised, you eventually look around for something to help you. And suddenly you discover a whole new industry out there. Firstly there's a book called 'Getting Things Done' by David Allan, that has spawned countless variations on its basic theme. Look on Technorati and endless people are blogging about GTD, planning and organising systems. I've been particularly taken with some of the homespun, low-tech approaches that people take to personal orgnisation.

The tool of choice rejoices in the name hipster pda and there are multiple variants of it, from plain old index cards to trendy Moleskine notebooks as used by the likes of Chatwin and possibly Hemingway. People have devoted whole slidesets to sharing their personal variations on this theme. Best of all there's this japanese guy with his Pile of Index Cards - fascinating stuff!

So, being a sucker for new distractions I intend to get a Moleskine reporter's notebook and a Moleskine concertina notebook, plus a whole heap of index cards and clips, and I'll muck about with them until I have my new life enhancing organisational system.

Here I am after a few weeks of dedicated GTD...

If this stuff catches your imagination take a look at this ultimate GTD index of resources. Among them you'll find a great blog called Zen Habits, written by a guy who has six children and is in training for a marathon. He has some great no-nonsense advice on GTD, including ridding yourself of clutter, being a great parent, sorting your investments and getting a flat stomach. No wonder one of his success strategies involves a 4.30am start to every day!

Willpower must be a wonderful thing - what about those photos?

Monday, February 05, 2007

As long as the mood takes me

I've been neglecting this blog of late. All of a sudden ten days have flown by without a single post. So what's been getting in the way?

Well firstly the novelty value has worn thin. I catch myself thinking about doing my blog and then feeling it's a bit of a chore. That certainly isn't how I want it to be. And of course once you get into that mindset it's amazing how easy it is to lose any sense of creative spark.

What else? I've been tired. A combination of too much work and too little rest takes its toll. While Dan sleeps much better than he used to, there are still one or two interruptions most nights when he needs feeding.

Also we went away one weekend to my mum's and then I had to spend most of the following weekend working. So we've not had much of a break. Oh and yesterday we went to church as part of preparing ourselves for Dan's christening at Easter. For someone who barely sees the inside of a church from one year to the next, it was OK but hardly my preferred way of spending a Sunday morning.

So, there we go. I'll add a selection of recent photos later and I resolve to blog more often - as long as the mood takes me.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Will you be staring out of the window this weekend?

Around half a million people across the UK are expected to spend an hour staring out of the window this weekend. And far from idly daydreaming they will be doing something useful - taking part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch.

This annual survey is by far the biggest of its kind in the world. It has been running for 27 years and provides valuable data on trends in garden bird populations - useful stuff when it comes to monitoring the impacts of climate change and the like.

Already thousands of children have been participating in the Big Schools Birdwatch this week. I know Dan is going to enjoy this when he gets older - the headline message for this event is 'I must stare out of the window in class.'

It doesn't get much better than that for kids.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Deep and crisp and even

It snowed last night.

I'd almost forgotten what snow looks like, but here it was again - a couple of inches coating everything in a satisfyingly crunchy blanket of the white stuff. With all the evidence of rising temperatures, I sometimes fear we'll never have snow again, so despite the cold and a bit of minor hassle it's something to be welcomed.

Here's Dan tucked up in his snow suit and pictured at the front of our house. I promise he was only there very briefly - or so Liz assures me - so there's no need to report us to the NSPCC.

This was of course Dan's first experience of snow - and hopefully not his last. Whether he'll be able to enjoy the same amount of sledging, snowball fights and snowmen building as I did as a child is highly unlikely. But for now a night of snow feels like a positive reminder that the world's weather hasn't gone completely bonkers - at least not yet.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A parent's wishful thinking

"Thank you for screaming. Both your parents are busy right now. Your scream is important to us and will be dealt with as soon as a parent becomes free."