Category Archives: Blog

General thoughts on life, the universe and everything. Stuff that doesn’t fit in the other categories!

Lucky Number Two

I’ve been pretty quiet here for a couple of of weeks and that’s because… well, a picture speaks a thousand words.

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Junior took his sweet time popping out — we were in the hospital over a day before he made his grand appearance — but for Juniorette we weren’t sure we’d make it there in time! In the end we checked into the delivery suite just after ten in the evening and the birth was recorded just before eleven.

I’m not sure the midwives realised how close things were when we first arrived. They were fussing around and promising to check on progress and then… there’s a head!

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Less than an hour afterwards I was alone with the baby and mum was walking around, off getting a shower. The contrast with the birth of her brother couldn’t have been greater1.

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Since then things have been (relatively) straight-forward. She’s been remarkably quiet and neat so far. I’m sure she’s saving the worst for when we’re least expecting it!

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Her brother has been great. Very gentle and helpful. The day she arrived home he quickly realised that, as a tiny baby, she’d appreciate all his smallest toys. I could see the logic even as I was terrified at the choke hazard…

Soon I’ll be back at work and then the grandparents will leave. We’ll have two under threes to look after and, I guess, that’s when the real work begins.

  1. Okay, that’s a cliche. Certainly Junior’s birth was harder but it could have been a lot worse. []

Two Years

What a difference two years makes. Just a little over twenty-four months ago we were awaiting the arrival of our son. To commemorate the occasion we went to the park and took a few pictures. The bump, after all, would be short lived.

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Since then we’ve spent a lot of time in the playground where these pictures were taken.

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Last week we did the same thing, now that we’re expecting our daughter in a few weeks. Other than the obvious difference — we had a two year old in tow this time — we had a very different time of year and a change of location — Cannizaro House.

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With six weeks to go, the bump is quite possibly as big as it was at the end of the last pregnancy. This is unfortunate as last time there was no need to run after a very energetic toddler…

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Make that an energetic, wilful and opinionated toddler. This picture is after chasing him around a flower garden for five minutes!

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Still, he stays still for a while when something piques his interest. And, in this respect, you can’t get better than a really good stick.

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With him suitably distracted, we managed to take a few more pictures. It was a nice, bright February day. The light was great.

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And we had a lot of fun taking them. Hopefully it will be good to look back at them in a few years time.

That was 2013

It’s a cliche to ask where the year has gone but it’s no less true this year than any other. Life has got in the way of blogging more than usual — moving house, a toddler, work — with only 23 posts this year and only one of those making my “most read” list.

Talking of which, these are the most read blogs this year:

  1. iOS Developer Program: from individual to company
  2. iPhone Dev: Saving State
  3. Do Apple take 40% in the EU?
  4. AQGridView to UICollectionView
  5. Old Fashioned

Probably my favourite blog of the year was “What to do?” but I ┬áposted it a little too late to get the readership that I would have liked.

I’m surprised that it’s my more technical posts that have had the greatest readership as, in general, I don’t write very many of them. Maybe I should look to do more of that next year? But with a toddler running around and another baby on the way I largely suspect that 2014, on the blogging front, will look a lot like this year.

Digital Age

This post is a rant. I can offer no solutions, no help. Some sympathy perhaps but that’s not terribly useful.

The story: we’re moving house. So we need to deal with lawyers and mortgage companies. For sound reasons, they both need to prove that we’re not laundering money.

Frankly, until I had to do a number of anti-money laundering courses at work I would have had no idea how to launder money. I’d be stuck like the characters in Office Space looking up the definition in a dictionary. Or, more to the point, looking it up online.

We’re not laundering money in case there was any doubt. But these days it’s really tricky to prove otherwise.

They ask for a record of your funds that is less than three months old, official and with your name, account number and address shown. This doesn’t sound unreasonable until you actually look in your files.

My bank doesn’t send me statements. The online version does not include my address. I can change my address but I can see no record of my current one.

My investments statement shows all the required details but they only send them once a year, so for three-quarters of the year they are not suitable. The numbers are available online but include none of the details and no date.

Only one of the financial services companies that I use has monthly statements with all the details they ask for. Of course, that’s the account that I don’t really need for this transaction.

Much of what I do is online these days, much at the behest of the same banks that make this whole process so complicated. Can they not see that their own customers are unable to provide the details that they are legally required to obtain?