: blogs : china : me : photos : work : life : things : links :

Hello and welcome

Some introductory text to go here. Probably. Maybe soon now that I have FTP access again.

On this day 10 years ago:

Bank Holiday in the Lakes

And what beautiful long weekend it was spent walking all over the lake district with the SUHC. Sadly I didn't get to do the walks that I'd planned (I can allways save them for my next trip) but I still lead three splendid walks. pictures available in the photoblog seciton of the website.

Saturday was spent on a hard hike up Hellvelyn with a grade 2 scramble over Eagle Crag and then back down Striding Edge.

Sunday was a longer hike around the Langdale Fell - up Stickle Ghyll to the Tarn then the scramble up the face of Pavey Ark before doing a spot of dead rechoning over Martcrag Moor to Angl Tarn before mounting Bow Fell and back down the White Stones.

Monday took us from Newlands south and up to Hindscarth Edge and Dale Head, with it's beautiful views all round just below cloud level, then back over High Spy and Maiden Moor to Catbells.

Camping with the Hillwalking group was really great fun and I met and got to know a load of new (and old) members which was brilliant. Definitly made me feel more involved with the club which will help with the day walks. Plus I totally rock at navigation - it makes me feel alive!


Hillwalking in the Lakes

As I've blogged, I spent the May Day bank holiday camping in the lake district with the SU Hillwalking Club. Here are the photos from Saturday's extreme walk up Hellvelyn via Eagle Crag.

Friday's sunset
Th sunset on Friday night

Booths Carpark Faff
Pre-walk faff

Eagle Crag and rock
The crag

Eagle Crag
Our assent route

Lizz and Rachel
The female contingent on the hard walk

German Martain 2nd
German Martin the second

A rest on the up
Resting half way up Eagle Crag

Eagle Crag Scramble
The scramble up Eagle Crag

A kilted walker
This chap was wearing a kilt ('free style')

Soaking up the rays
Perhaps too many rays were soaked this day

The Night Fever pose on Helvellyn's trig point
Night fever on the trig point

Tom viewing striding edge
Tom assessig the path off Helvellyn via Striding Edge



I'm back on the SCM comittee as the Prayer and Worship Secetary, though I'm still to work out how this needs fullfilling (I'm not sure how the worship comes into it as worship is really a way of life). My post is other wise refered to as the very ass of the SCM committee. I'm also on the very new Chaplaincy council which is a new initiative to get students running the Chaplincy. I'm quite excited at what oppertunities will come from this.


The Blog of Life

His First Step

Today our little chap took his very first step. Literally a single faltering step and then collapsed safely to the floor. On Monday I'd lifted him out of his high chair and when I popped him down he stayed standing rather than dropping to a crawl like normal. He had looked rather surprised and stood still long enough for me to grab the camera. Since then he's done an occasional stand, including a little bath practice and standing up from a position straddling my leg. But this morning, first thing, I popped him up, he stood then moved his leg forward. It was such a lovely moment and great that we were both there to see.

A recent developments have included a great desire to walk aided - grabbing my hands and walking really quite fast around then chasing direction and zooming back. He is very particular about the finger he grabs often stopping mid walk to adjust his grip and take hold of a different finger. At the weekend he was making good progress in holding me with just one hand. So while he gets how feet and legs work, there is one final missing link in the chain where he realises he can balance from one foot and then to another. It really won't be long now, and when he does he will no longer need to lean against an obstacle and balance on his elbows when he gives himself a round of applause.

It is funny how each of these developments are exciting yet tinged with sadness and, in this case especially, additional worry. Before he could roll over I could leave him on a table and know he'd still be there when I got back. Then he learnt to roll and that was out. The same with crawling: we were proud that he started so early, but then there was the worry of the stairs and the fact that he could get everywhere. Now with walking, his horizon will broaden again. Currently I can let him loose in the garden while I do some digging and he's happy to slowly chase Garden Cat around. There is very little worry that he might run off in to the road, so he potters back and forth and I get on with work (as you might expect, this is currently one of my absolute greatest pleasures, total joy). So when he's walking I'll need to keep a beady eye on him to make sure he's not heading off down the driveway.

The tinge of sadness in all this is that he won't look back. I love his crawling, it is so over exaggerated with these wild flailing hands whirling out in front and this two stage rear end which lifts up into 'power mode' when on hard surfaces. He makes such a cheery noise as he zooms about the floor and it is great fun to get myself down on all fours and chase him round. Discovering my inner child (Dr K is surprisingly good at this). When he joins the links to discover walking will he want to crawl any more? Why crawl when you can walk. Yes his walking will be a joy in itself, but as someone I read put it "children are not sentimental about their former selves". I know, enjoy it while I can (and I do), but this time is so fleeting and though in many different ways.


New Shimano Freehub for R500 Wheel

I disassembled my spare rear axel many months ago when I found that the free hub had cracked. I eventually got round to buying a new free hub (nearly as much as a whole wheel - damn this capitalism) and now, eventually eventually getting round to re-assembling the thing. Of course that meant I had forgotten how I disassembled it. Thankfully youtube to the rescue:

Ha! In writing this HTML I've had to teach Chrome to accept the misspelling: center. Damn doublethink.


The End of a Year

On his very last day being 0, I won't even begin to write a summary of the year that has been and gone. There is too much and I am so sad not to have captured even a smidgen here in words. So so many little things have been and passed and now slipped out of my grasp like sand. Little precious moments that flutter by of the air. A whole year of growth and development, stress and strain, madness and joy.

This time last year I had enjoyed a fabulous bank holiday Monday in the sun and then taken a packed bibimbap dinner which Dr K and I enjoyed on a dyke watching the sun go down (the only advantage of a flat landscape). I noted the sun setting today, equally low and orange. I then had a final night sleep before the labour day. By this time tomorrow our little man had arrived and our world changed.

In some ways things have remained remarkably similar, life and interested persist only with far less time to spend on them. I've still played some computer games and done gardening. We've done a few walks and been on holiday. We've hosted parties, dinners and an open garden day. Christmas and Easter were spent in Cheltenham and much much joy has been had and shared all round. The sleeplessness has been rough, mostly it's played havoc on my not wanting to go to bed by that time between his bed and mine now being the only time in which things can be done, yet really being too tired or cold to do any of them. But what joy (tinged with just a little sadness) at watching our son emerge from the tiny alien he started out as. He is a real gem and I am very proud of him. I think we've done mostly pretty well too.

Good night my sweet child. Keep giggling all this coming year and next. Point out everything you see (either with wrist or your finger) and babble freely to your little heart's content. I love you.


The Blog of Photos - past 30 days

Sungkyunkwan Univeristy Logo on the Earth

I was browsing the Earth as you do (or at least as I do) following this tweet from Tim Peake on board the ISS:

A Tweet by Tim Peake
Tim's tweet

While trying to locate those mountains I zoomed in on a rather intriguing formation which looked like a bit of human engineering - it was indeed a river delta which has been massively utilised for farming right in the far reaches of the east of Kazakhstan near the border with China. I then realised that the formation looked quite like a ginkgo leaf which is the logo for my Father-in-law's university in South Korea - Sungkyunkwan (also the oldest). Sadly when I checked the logo online I realised that the land formation is instead the mirror reflection of the logo. Here they are side by side. For your interest the geographic coordinates are: 46.040012N, 81.036736E near the town of Alaköl Audani

Sungkyunkwan University Logo. © Nick Bailey
Alaköl Audani bearing a very close resemblance to the Sungkyunkwan University Logo


Brimstone Moth

Using this rather nice simple website I was able to identify a moth I photographed 11 years ago as being a Brimstone. Go and check it out at animalphotos.me.

Brimstone moth. © Nick Bailey
brimstone moth in 2005



Not wanting to be neither too disgusting, nor too proud a dad, but today was my Son's first poo on the potty. Yesterday he accidentally did a wee when I sat him on it. But today we managed a number two! I was well chuffed. In fact I was a proud dad because I took this photo. Sorry.

Poo in the potty. © Nick Bailey
yes, there is poo on my website


Bubbles at Greenbelt

These images are both out of context and out of time - I took them in the summer of 2009 - but they have been languishing in my todo box waiting to be posted. I thought they were rather nice bubble photos.

Greenbelt 09. © Nick Bailey

Greenbelt 09. © Nick Bailey
more bubbles

Greenbelt 09. © Nick Bailey
my bubbles

Greenbelt 09. © Nick Bailey
big bubbles

Greenbelt 09. © Nick Bailey
crazy flow bubbles

Greenbelt 09. © Nick Bailey
small bubbles

Greenbelt 09. © Nick Bailey
all bubbles

Greenbelt 09. © Nick Bailey
light bubbles

Greenbelt 09. © Nick Bailey
dark bubbles

Greenbelt 09. © Nick Bailey
tree of life


Sunset A Decade Ago

I came across these two photos recently as part of my Great Photograph Sort Out. They are from a uni friends New Year trip to Wales, near Rhayader. I'm sadly no longer in contact with any of these folk other than via Facebook - I guess time and lives move on. But we had some lovely adventures and they were really good folk, mostly walkers which was nice. To old friends.

. © Nick Bailey
sunset 10 years ago

. © Nick Bailey
sunset with tree stump


Sunday Fellowship: Church without the church, but also mostly just church.

When we went down to Southampton a couple of weeks ago we joined our friends for the Monthly Quaker "youth" outing to the Southampton Sunday Assembly. For those of you who don't know, the Sunday Assembly was started in 2013 as an idea to take the best bits of church such as communal singing and gathering together, but without any of the crappy religious bits that obviously makes actual Church rubbish. Here are their four point summary (see, they even shirk the three point sermon):

  • We are a secular congregation that celebrates life.
  • We have an awesome motto: Live Better, Help Often and Wonder More.
  • A super mission: A Sunday Assembly in every town, city and village that wants one.
  • An awesome vision: To help everyone live life as fully as possible.

So we went along and it was just like church. Actually, it was closer to some of the funkier churches in Southampton such as New Life or Vineyard, perhaps even a little CU at a push. There were the funky folk, the quirky outsiders, the poets and the rebels. After an initial slightly awkward meet and greet time with coffee and tea the service got under way with some singing of traditional pop songs (Cold Play's "Fix You" was rather enjoyable) followed an excellent poem on apathy by an American member of the congregation. The main sermon was also good, by local poet come song writer Grant Sharkey about maintaining a line between love and anger (and included the term 'binge thinking' which I rather liked). This was followed by the short five minute talk (which went on for nearer 30) and tried to get us to share nice things that had happened in the past week. We then prayed together. No, I mean we thought together. There was even a collection!

It was good. Nice people and a friendly atmosphere, just like a good church should be and quite often are. It was markedly young, as seen by their twitter banner and I suspect most of my church would feed out of place and not as a result of the lack of God. Indeed I barely felt there was a lack of God, just that no one mentioned him or tried to avoid mentioning him (actually Grant accidentally did). This was simply church re-imagined by young people who failed to be taken along to a CU while at university. Or perhaps they were taken along to a CU, or similar funky modern church where they were prayed at or otherwise intimidated into being saved, resisted but secretly enjoyed the whole thing.

Perhaps I'm being a little facetious. I'm sure there are plenty of reasons why people were there, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if a number were ex-evangelicals, some of them had that look. Either way there is something other actual churches could learn: people like to sing together, and do pretty much everything else that Church does. It's not even the preaching that puts people off, though no doubt some of the older traditional stuff has. We just need to loosen up a little and funk it up. But at the same time I certainly don't want to loose all the lovely silver backs we have in my local Church - they bring such warmth, love, vision and stability that should be treasured. Also they are most certainly not all stuck-in-the-mud bores who don't want change. Lets all sit together and learn from each other. It is hard to be a cohesive living church of all ages, but God really can help, even if some have to pretend not to have heard about him.

PS. The idea of giving new people different coloured mugs so everyone knows who's new and who's not is a wizard idea.


Listening to: OK Go
Upside Down & Inside Out
From: Hungry Ghosts

23 knife wounds
Recently:Slipped while sharpening cleaver and sliced deep right across the proximal interphalangeal joint

£ 3.20
Change from our first outing with baby

I love ecover

Shop @ Cambridge Daily Bread