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Hello and welcome

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

The Blog of Life

Bike Maintenance Sucess: Delicious

What a relief - my bike maintenance worked a treat. After months exposed to the elements and without the exactly correct tools for the job, I managed to reassemble my spare rear axle, attach the new cassette and fit the new chain. My bike feels like new. It is so easy to forget how solid a drive-chain should feel on a road bike as the parts gradually become worn. I often think that the whole thing about chains being worn is just an excuse that bike shops use to add the cost of a new chain. But no, a new chain really is the business.


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.


The Blog of Photos - past 30 days

Praise Him With the Sound of Cymbals

Or in our case, bowls. This was the little chap playing fervently with the mixing bowls before church. The clatter was just lovely as was the way in which some of them fit inside others.

Bowls. © Nick Bailey
like father like son


A Pi Project

I have finally got around to using my Raspberry Pi which has up till now been languishing in the TV corner. I was inspired by Peter who had created a PiVR which he showed us at Easter. I was pretty impressed with this and felt that I should have a go myself. After acquiring a new SD card and a little experimentation I got the image flashed onto the disk and booted it up to reveal exactly that - an internet streaming PVR working on a Raspberry Pi. Awesome. Al it needed was a wifi dongle and this neat red coupe case and my work was complete. It works really well.

. © Nick Bailey
Raspberry Pi with case


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


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

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