Snapshot #2

On my birthday last year I wrote up a snapshot of what was happening in my life. A year has flown by and so here’s this years snapshot. Warning navel gazing commences…

Home

Our second child, Martha was born last October and has brought as much joy to our lives as Ethan has. Being a parent the second time around is a much calmer experience as you’ve already built up all the necessary skills for looking after small children. Having said that it’s also a lot more tiring! You’ve got two of them on the go at any one time.
We’ve virtually cracked the bedtime routine which means that we’re getting relatively uninterrupted sleep at the moment which is a blessing. Martha is set to start teething at any minute, so I’m enjoying it while I can…
With two kids the house is feeling a lot smaller than it was and we’ve been thinking about moving. Exorbitantly high house prices make this unlikely for the moment, so we’re thinking about a loft conversion.

Work

Amusingly I look back at last year and see that I was rushing towards an application release. Well this year I can trump that as I’m currently shepherding two two application releases towards delivery. In fact my summer is likely to consist of a series of iterative application launches on a rolling 3-4 week schedule. Fingers crossed.

Current Obsessions

I’ve caught the gardening bug big time. We’ve got quite a long (albeit thin) garden which needs a lot of looking after. I decided to meet it head on and have gotten stuck into all sorts of digging, weeding, pruning, mowing and planting. I’ve added to the raspberry plants that already in the garden when we moved in (bumper crop every year so far) so we now have a burgeoning fruit garden containing blackberries, tayberries and now blueberries. Strawberries are next on my list. In fact most of the stuff I planted last year has survived so I must be doing something right I suppose.
I think the main reason I’m enjoying being in the garden is because it’s a very welcome change from being chained to my desk. Some hard graft with fairly quick results. And there’s nothing like sitting down at the end of the day feeling pleasantly knackered a popping the cork on a bottle of red!
Because of this new hobby, and the surprisingly good run of weather we’ve been having I’ve been doing less hacking and general geekery lately. Again no doubt a good thing, but I’ve got several projects that are sorely in need of attention. And I never get round to releasing that Trackback implementation. All in good time though. And then there’s that SVG/RDF/Garden Design application I’ve been mulling over whilst digging through the flower bed…
Over the last year or so I’ve gotten more and more involved with RDF, as I’m increasingly convinced it’s an important, if misunderstood technology. I’m hoping to contribute towards demonstrating it’s strengths in my own small way.
XForms and XQuery are my current top XML technologies. I can see real benefits in both of these.

Miscellanea

Finally made it to Amsterdam. It’s been high on my list of places to go to for a while, I managed to spend the weekend before XML Europe wandering around the city doing a bit of sight-seeing. It’s a pretty unusual place, an eclectic mix of communities. Which is what probably made it a good venue for XML Europe.
Prague is next on my list. Wonder what I have to do to convince Edd to have the conference there next year?!
My only other travel plans at present are the, now annual, family jaunts to Weymouth and St. Ives. An extended weekend at the Big Chill is something else to look forward to.
I’ve not done a great deal of writing recently because of home and work commitments. But I did find time to write a few pieces including a FOAF tutorial for XML.com which I was quite pleased
with. I also managed to contribute some hacks to the forthcoming “XML Hacks” book from O’Reilly.
Unlike last year I don’t have to summarise what I’m reading or what I’ve read as the metadata is already available. Ditto on the music front, although I’ve only just begun to capture that data. Maybe next year I’ll have sorted out that photo album.
Oh, and I realised on my way home this evening that I’ve now reach the point where my age and my waist can start racing neck-and-neck to see which one is going to get the largest the quickest. My money is on the waist-line.
I think that’s enough rambling for now.

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