lnr: (Pen-y-ghent)

Goodness it's a while since I posted here! Apologies to those who follow me on Facebook (or my photos of Matthew on blipfoto) and have probably heard most of this already :)

Read more... )

NB: My two recent LJ posts were partly as a result of seeing this - so I'm reposting in case it inspires anyone else:

'When you see this, make a post in your journal or in a community. It can be anything: a crosspost something you've posted on Tumblr, a few words about the last thing you read/watched, or just a "Hi, how is everyone?" Then go read your f-list and leave at least one comment.'
lnr: (Default)

Just a quick post - while daddy is doing a nappy change. Life is pretty tiring at the moment but very rewarding. Matthew is growing like anything and still a handsome little chap. We're enjoying getting out an about a bit in the pram - walks with daddy at the weekend and into town during the week. Here he is showing off his latest present from my comrades Mary, David, Ann and Rachel in Cambridge UCU

lnr: (feminist)

So, baby Matthew is one week old today. Time has definitely flown by!

Labour )

We called Mike's parents from the hospital for a brief chat, and invited Mum and Dad to come in at some point during the morning to meet baby Matthew and to bring in the post-labour bag with clothes for me and baby. (Rather complicated by one mobile running out of credit and the other being unable to get any signal). It was lovely to see them, but when it became clear it would be a while before we were released we sent them home again to wait for us, and let us get a bit of rest. It was late afternoon before Matthew and I had our post-natal checks - and there was one thing they wanted to check with the paediatrician before they sent us home. Having a bit of a busy day it meant we spent a long afternoon and evening mostly waiting around - and after a shift change they decided they *didn't* need to come and see him in person after all, and we finally made it home around 10:30pm. Since then Matthew is doing really well according to the midwives, and although I've had to pop to the GP for some antibiotics for a touch of mastitis I'm doing pretty well too - and it's definitely clearing up!

Mum and dad stayed to look after us until the weekend, and we had a really nice relaxed few days. It's really strange getting used to trying not to overdo it though, and reminding myself to let other people do things instead of doing them myself! We all enjoyed getting to know our little boy though and there were lots of cuddles for everyone. It's definitely sad that we don't live closer, but having had Skype conversations using Dad's iPad with Em and with Steph/family we shall definitely have to make a point of setting ourselves up to be able to keep in touch that way so Matthew gets to know the rest of the family better. Mike and I had the house to ourselves on Monday which was novel, though perhaps appreciated less then it might otherwise have been if Matthew were a little more inclined to sleep during the night, rather than during the day. He has a tendency to feed non-stop overnight for a long while, which is a bit wearing, but we're pretty sure he'll start to adapt before long, and we'll just have to get better at taking naps during the day. Mike's parents have now come to visit for a few days, though they're staying in a B&B. Granny Gina in particular is utterly delighted with he new grandson - and so is Evan though in a rather calmer way. Joanna popped in today to drop off a card too, which was nice. We had a first little outing in the pram today - to the shops and back to buy a rather late lunch from the Deli. All bundled up in a rather-too-large sleep suit :) Tomorrow Mike and Evan are going to go and register the birth so he can be all official before Evan and Gina head home, and Emily's hoping to visit on Friday on her way North from Somerset (a bit of a detour!) - then I think we'll be ready for more local visitors to pop in during the day later in the weekend or next week.

In the meantime we just need to get a bit more sleep :)

Here's some photos )

lnr: (feminist)

Over 26 years ago mum and dad bought me my first ever grown-up bike for my 11th birthday. For years I rode her and loved her - not just as a toy but later for commuting, and on many long rides. Despite being not really quite big enough for me once I was fully grown she's done the London to Cambridge more than once, been on adventures along the Norfolk Coast, and even off-road round Grafham Water.

After London-Cambridge cycle ride, July 2002 Mike, with bikes, in the evening sunshine by the windmill

These days however she's just been living in the shed as a spare, and getting less and less use, and feeling less and less safe each time. So today was finally the time to say goodbye. I've taken her out of the shed, brushed off the cobwebs to get a last few photos, and let a nice man from OWL Bikes in Sawston come and pick her up, to refurbish and sell for charity. It feels like the end of an era!

Bike Bike Bike

lnr: (Icknield Way)

Asked Mike to take a bump pic for me. Took us a couple of attempts to find the right angle. This resulted in the following bright idea:

Silly photo )

lnr: (Icknield Way)

Last year Mike and I went away for the weekend nearest Valentine's Day, and had a lovely time in Stamford. Valentine's Day happens to mark the anniversary of when we got engaged, which makes it a little extra nice to celebrate it - but generally if you go out you end up with over-priced set meals which can often be disappointing - so we're happy to time shift it a bit. This year we also decided that while it would be nice to go away it wouldn't be too wise to go very *far* away this close to my due date. So instead Mike took Friday off work and we had an early weekend in the far off city of Cambridge :)

We actually had a nice quiet morning pottering round the house, and I did a bit of gardening too, then we headed into town on the bus and checked into our hotel - The Varsity Hotel and Spa on Thompson's Lane - which it turns out had upgraded our room, to a really rather enormous one with a lovely big bathroom and great views out on two sides across the roofs of Cambridge.

Bedroom Bathroom

We decided to make the most of the nice evening, and headed out for a touristy walk around the backs and through town, taking in bits of Trinity and Kings, and the Corpus Clock. Then we filled the big bath with *all* the bubbles (a foot deep in bubbles alone!) before heading out to dinner in the restaurant which is associated with the spa/hotel. It calls itself the River Bar Steakhouse and Grill, and definitely specialises in steak - which Mike enjoyed. I went for a pretty decent venison and ale pie instead, which at least had good pastry even if it was still technically stew in a bowl with a lid. We didn't have room for pudding - but did have a box of chocs back in the room which made up for it :)

Trinity in the evening sun Kings just after dusk

Saturday morning after a lie in we had a lovely big cooked breakfast, and then headed out for another nice walk. It was a really spring-like morning, and heading along the river was lovely - though crowded with other walkers, cyclists, rowing coaches and joggers - the river itself was busy too. All very photogenic. Then we had a bit of a potter round the shops before heading to the Fitzwilliam Museum to continue being tourists for a little longer. Despite having lived in/near Cambridge for just over 14 years it's the first time I've visited! We skipped through the Egypt/Rome/Greece exhibits fairly quickly as Mike had seen them before (with my dad, while mum and I shopped for wedding dresses), and were perhaps a bit underwhelmed by the room full of European/Japanese pottery and most of the galleries of paintings, but then there was a room full of pottery, sculpture and even some jewellry, including a couple of Barbara Hepworths and suddenly I was much more engaged. And the last room we visited with an exhibition of contemporary Chinese pottery just blew me away: China's White Gold.

Our last stop before heading home was Brown's - for a rather lovely afternoon tea. Finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream still warm from the oven, and a decent little selection of cakes too. Lovely. We've had a really nice time, and all well within 10 miles of home. Recommended!

More photos from the weekend can be found over on Facebook (public link).

lnr: (Icknield Way)

So on Sunday night afternoon last week it started to snow quite heavily, and Mike and I went out for a fab walk in the snow - which cunningly lasted just long enough that our roast lamb had 2 minutes left to cook when we got in :) Having gone out after dark we didn't take the camera, but were amazed at how much light there was. Walking around nine wells nature reserve we even turned the head torches off, and it was like wandering round in a black and white photo. Beautiful. Monday morning the roads were well covered in snow - a good couple or three inches probably - and it was obvious that even the main roads wouldn't be very clear yet, so rather than push the bike to the end of the road and then cycle I decided to walk and get public transport. At least some trains were cancelled and others late, and the buses were reporting severe delays, so rather than the nearly a mile into the village for a one-every-20-minutes bus which is unreliable at the best of times I decided to take the longer walk to Addenbrookes, where there are *loads* of buses into town to choose from. It's about 2.5 miles, and even with 5 minutes stopping to take photos it took about an hour, which isn't bad! Took Mike's hiking walking stick, which has a nice spike on the bottom, but still had a rather scary moment crossing the road on Macaulay Avenue, where the cars had started to polish the snow into ice already. The photos have all been added to my snow album on Facebook, but here's a quick preview:


Tuesday I decided it would be too icy to be safe, and worked from home. By Wednesday morning it was starting to look a bit clearer outside, and the bin men turned up having failed to come on Monday, so I thought I'd make an attempt to get the bike as far as Hinton Way on foot - and ended up giving up in under 100 yards - it was just *too* slippery to be safe. The road on Macaulay Avenue was like glass, and the pavements were only slightly better in being lumpier! So another day working from home was called for - once I'd got over my fright :) It thawed a bit during the day though, and with the help of my trusty stick I did manage to make it out on Thursday and Friday - with quite a bit of walking on the road where the pavements were icy - and only 20 yards of really difficult stretch on Thursday and 10 on Friday. And despite the forecast there was no more snow overnight, and now the sky is blue, the sun is shining, it's well above zero and hopefully by the time the weekend is over it will all be gone and we can get back to normal :). It has been very beautiful at times - but just a bit too treacherous.


Bump is now 34 weeks old - 2.2kg which is about the weight of a cantaloupe melon, and 45cm long. Next midwife appointment is on Monday - must remember to ask about the whooping cough jab, since they haven't mentioned it to me yet! Our NCT antenatal classes are 10 til 4 next Saturday and the one after - which actually now turns out to be a bit of a nuisance, since we were hoping Evan and Gina could come and visit, and mum and dad wanted to pop down too - and do us a huge favour and bring some baby things from Steph and Dave. I'll be on leave by then though - since this week will be my last week at work - so perhaps we can work something out.

Speaking of work it's been another pretty busy week - some useful scripts written, some more showing Julia of various bits of the postmaster job, some fixing of people's broken email programs (I've gone off Eudora even more than usual) and some success in finding good ways to make other ones work (getting Thunderbird to display more information from our LDAP email directory than previously thought possible). Lots of things ticked off my to-do list, and only a few items remaining - one of which is to have a go at some of the interview questions they're planning to ask my maternity cover! Could be fun, but mildly intimidating :) Apparently the advert should be out early next week. I've also been tidying out my desk and starting to fetch things home - bit of a panic as I thought I'd lost an important key but it turned up again in one of the things I'd brought home. I've been tidying my desktop computer too - and am now busy downloading all the odds and ends of personal stuff that has accumulated at work over the last nearly 11 years. Only about 40 minutes download time remaining :)

Mike and I are still ticking along nicely enjoying the easy life - Les Mis was great last weekend, and we had a nice dinner out too - though it ended up being somewhere else and with a long wait. It turns out all the chain restaurants on the leisure park are insanely busy at around 7pm on a Saturday - who would have guessed! Planning on taking it pretty easy this weekend - some bird watching in the garden for the RSPB, and someone coming to pick up the two bedside tables that have been lurking in the living room for the last couple of weeks :) I bought haggis for Burns Night, but we ended up having something else and it will be our tea tonight instead - yum. All in all life's pretty good.

lnr: (Icknield Way)

So what's new since last week? Well, there's been some rather wintry weather! We woke on Monday morning to a cm or two of snow. It snowed some more during the day but didn't really settle further, and melted quite a bit on Tuesday. On Wednesday we woke to freezing fog - and I cycled to work and back in -4°C! Thursday was even colder, but bright and sunny, and since I was working at home for the day I got the chance to take some pretty photos in the garden but otherwise stay indoors. And Friday we were promised yet more snow - which looked like it meant business when it arrived, but in the end settled less than a cm deep. A bit of an anti-climax really, but at least it meant it's still easy to get about here in Cambridge at least. I took lots of photos.

Frost at dawn

On Sunday BHF came for the furniture - and refused to take the bedside tables because they've been painted. Drat. If anyone wants a pair of large chests of drawers in a nice blue colour and can collect from Great Shelford I can send you photos :) They did take the DVD racks though. I've spent much of the week knitting, and have now pretty much finished my scarf for Mike - I just need to weave in all the loose ends of yarn. I hate that bit! Evan and Gina (who live very near the Welsh border) decided it would be better not to come and visit this weekend - which was probably the right decision given the weather en route, but is still a shame - we shall have to reschedule. This leaves us at a bit of a loose end this weekend - which today at least we shall fill with a walk into town to see Les Mis, have dinner at Nando's and the bus home.

Work has been busy, but productive. Couple of useful scripts written from scratch, though not quite in service yet. A bit of software tested and documented (though again the docs haven't gone live). And some rather intractable problems with Eudora bullied into submission. Only 10 more days left to work! Though in theory I could juggle the holiday around and spread them over more than 2 weeks I think I'm probably just going to get them out of the way ASAP and then enjoy my break!

As of today Bump is 33 weeks old, is up to 44cm long, and weighs 2kg - which is supposed to be the weight of a pineapple, but the one in our kitchen is just under 1.4kg. I clearly need a bigger pineapple. I got the tape measure out too - and I'm now about 43" around the bump! Heartburn continues better than previously, but I'm definitely starting to find the four flights of stairs at work leave me a bit more breathless than they did. And I had a random nosebleed last night - which are apparently more common in pregnancy - I don't think I've ever had a proper one before! Thankfully Mike is an expert :) Still both pretty chilled out about it all - probably need to think about buying a few more things for the baby before long, but there's no rush. 5 to 9 weeks to go!

Addendum: I finished Mike's scarf!

Mike's scarf - finished

lnr: (Icknield Way)

Had a lovely New Year's Eve with just the two of us - a proper sit down dinner with candles, which is pretty rare for us, and saw in midnight while reading in bed :) Not very exciting but pleasant - and it was a very tasty dinner. New Year's Day I did some leafleting for Slimming World round our street, and then went for a long walk with Mike - 10.5 miles was probably slightly overdoing it to be fair :)


Hobson's Brook and Grantchester

Back to work for just three days this week - which is probably just as well as we've been pretty tired. A fairly useful three days for the time of year though - and it looks like my new mail server will be going into full service early next week - right on schedule. Once that's done that's my last big project before I'm on holiday and then on maternity - but I've got another 4 weeks left to work, and no doubt plenty of odds and ends of stuff to do too, as well as a few more things to document or show Julia before I go.

Taking it pretty easy this weekend - enjoyed some of the CITV Old Skool re-runs of children's TV yesterday and today (Dangermouse has probably been the highlight). Took the Christmas decorations down last night, since that's 12th night. Today on reading of King Cake I got the urge to bake. We looked through the new baking book we got at Christmas, but it turned out we were a bit short of eggs for most things, and it turns out we don't even have enough oats for flapjacks. Back to the G&B book instead and another go at the chocolate brownie recipe, though scaled down to 2/5ths of the recipe. They look good!

Next midwife appointment is tomorrow afternoon - but all seems to be well at the moment. Bump is as wriggly as ever. Beginning to be a bit harder to sleep, but mostly because whichever hip is underneath is feeling a bit weighed-down by the rest of me, which doesn't seem to be something which the usual tips on pillows would address. Heartburn is much more under control though - cutting down fizzy drinks and cutting out coffee definitely seems to have helped. 7 to 11 weeks to go!

lnr: (Icknield Way)

A not very quick and somewhat random review of the year (so far :), in varying detail, with lots of links to photo albums on Facebook.

Read more... )

We're planning to finish the year off with a quiet day today, and by cooking ourselves a lovely dinner to celebrate New Year's Eve tomorrow. It's been a good one. I can't promise to write as much next year, but it's definitely going to be fun!

[Other years in review: 2011, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003.]

lnr: (Icknield Way)

I'm quite enjoying keeping LJ a bit more up-to-date, even if it's been a couple of weeks since my last proper post, and I'm mostly posting in bullet points. Since then I've:

  • Planted a David Austen rose in the garden - Malvern Hills
  • Started to get into posting pictures on Instagram - though I prefer not to play with the filters
  • Had my first free NHS dentist appointment (maternity perk)
  • Bought some nice new clothes from M&S, ebay and Isabella Oliver with my birthday money
  • Had my first UCU committee meeting, a meeting for Pensions Officers in London, and a union event on stress and workload in the department
  • Had a lovely day off work with Mike: a frosty walk taking lots of photos, Christmas shopping, cakes from Patisserie Valerie
  • Went out to the Crown and Thistle in Great Chesterford for Mike's work's Christmas party - excellent meal and lots of fun
  • Watched some Masterchef, some Time Team, some NCIS, and the rest of season 2 of The Walking Dead
  • Whinged quite a bit about the heartburn I've been suffering from - though it's improving a bit now
  • Posted Christmas cards, wrapped Christmas presents, put up Christmas decorations and iced the cake!

In the coming week I have a glucose tolerance test, a midwife appointment, a haircut, my work Christmas lunch, my Slimming World group's little Christmas party, and then we're off up North for a Christmas with the Blairs in Mirfield and Littleborough - which I'm looking forward to lots. In the meantime here's some photos, and a link to the album from our frosty walk

Christmas Tree Rosehips in frost Frosty Landscape

Life update

Dec. 2nd, 2012 09:12 pm
lnr: (Icknield Way)

So since Wednesday I have:

  • Ranted about people who don't know how to use Bcc appropriately
  • Taken some pretty pictures of a frosty morning (see Facebook for more)
  • Baked a Christmas cake and wrapped it up to mature for a couple of weeks
  • Had some bits of lazy weekend: watching telly, playing computer games, chilling out
  • Had some bits of non-lazy weekend: feeding the birds, tidying the garden, walking to the shops
  • Updated the Greengrocer post with this week's fruit/vegetable

My plans for the week include the Dentist on Tuesday, and my first UCU committee meeting on Wednesday. And maybe next weekend or the one after I'll bake mince pies. For me personally it's still rather too early for putting up decorations though - give it another fortnight.

Frosty morning


Apr. 9th, 2011 07:41 pm
lnr: (Default)

For [livejournal.com profile] ewx :)

Click through for more.

lnr: (Default)

Especially for Clare and David:

lnr: (Default)

Over on Facebook, click through for the rest (available even if you don't have an account):

lnr: (Default)

I begged a few of my favourites so far from friends and family and have put them on Flickr. I've tagged them "snapeblairwedding", since that's the tag Rachel already used for hers, if you're uploading any of your own I guess that's the tag to go for :)

The official photographer also has some of his favourites on his blog, which are brilliant, and you'll also find a link there to the full set, where you can order digital copies in low or high resolution and prints in a variety of sizes.

lnr: (Default)

"When you read this you're tagged. Take a picture of you in your current state, no changing your clothes or quickly putting on makeup. NO PHOTOSHOP. Show your F-List the real you!"

I look like I'm trying to hug the whole world, but especially [livejournal.com profile] j4 who I got this from :) I admit I did put the camera in self-portrait mode, but I didn't even have to get up to go find it, so this is me exactly as I was when I read Jan's post.

Over my shoulder on the day bed you can just see the top of the pile of books I've been writing up on librarything this afternoon. I spent the morning reading, and yesterday evening watching Back to the Future and playing silly games on my iPod in bed :) Hopefully Mike has had a good stag do in the meantime, but I'll be glad when he gets home.

lnr: (Default)

Day 1: Gargrave

rest of week )

In each case click through for the full gallery, public on Facebook.

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