And another thing…

I’ve blogged about books in the past, but these have usually been work related books that I’ve read. This is a work of fiction that, as yet I haven’t read.

I have been a fan of  Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy” since I was about 12. I remember lying in bed listening to the radio plays on a crappy old transistor radio and I’ve read the books more times than I should probably admit.  So when I heard that Eoin Colfer had been asked to write a sequel to Douglas’ books, I wasn’t sure if liked the idea or not. I certainly wasn’t going to rush out and buy it.

Yesterday I was in Waterstones in Brighton helping my eldest daughter spend a book token she got for her birthday & I remembered that I had a voucher to spend too. I wandered in to the science fiction section, saw the Douglas Adams books & tried to rememeber the name of the guy that had written the sequel. I couldn’t think of it, so I spoke to a member of staff who said “oh that’s Eoin Colfer”. They didn’t have any of the hardbacks in stock & the paperback isn’t due out until the end of may. What the did have however was a few copies of the a numbered limited edition version of the hardback.
This little beauty had previously been on sale for £100 but was now reduced to a mere £10! As soon as I saw it I new I was going to be buying it. It’s a heavy card box with fake faulty “neon” lights  built in to the front that spell out the title of the book. Inside there’s a hardback copy of the book covered in a duck egg blue towel with “Don’t Panic!” embroidered on it in large friendly letters.

This is a must have item for any Douglas Adams fan’s bookshelf & there’s only a few left, so if you’re near a waterstones I suggest you go and grab one now. I doubt they’ll hang around for long at that price.

When I get around to reading the book I’ll try to do a post & let you know what I think of it.

I think Ferris Buller said it best…

life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it

Ferris Buller

The last time I blogged about my life I had just left my Job as Lead Front End Developer with Tesco Property Market. I’d been there for 2 years and to be honest things weren’t going the way I’d hoped, so I took a role with Madgex in Brighton.

Madgex are well respected in the web development community, they sponsor a number of tech events in Brighton. It looked like exactly the sort of role I’d been looking for & I was excited to join the team there. Then the recession hit. And Madgex ended up having to make dramatic job cuts & I found myself out of a job. I have to admit, I wasn’t actually all that upset – I’d been tempted for a while to go contracting but I’d never had the balls to go & do it. This was my chance.

So that’s what I’m doing. It does mean a bit of uncertainty & less time with the kids, but I am quite enjoying the variety.

fiftytwo o-eight

I’ve started my little photo challenge.

For fiftytwo o-eight I’m planning to post a new photo each week to my flickr account. The hope is that this will encourage me to spend a bit more time on my photography this year and who knows maybe even improve my skills.

OneI’m not exactly thrilled with the first photo, and I had to bend my own rules a little to take it but I didn’t want the first week to pass without taking an posting something.

The plan for the rest of the year is that I’ll take a photo each week and post it by the Sunday evening.

This year…

I don’t tend to make New Year’s resolutions, I guess it’s because generally I’m happy with the status quo. That said, last year I promised myself that I would be happier and more fulfilled in my work and earn more money, I’d also lead a healthier lifestyle. I managed to achieve two out of the three aims.

This year (2008) is set to be a year of considerable change. If all goes to plan we should finally exchange contracts on our house move next week and move by the end of this month. Being in the new house will make life much easier as a good shops and the nursery will be within easy walking distance. It also means that Isla will (hopefully) get in to the school that we want her to attend when she starts in September.

Personally as well as spending time getting our new house up to scratch I’d like to try and get back to the gym. I also want to get back into my photography a bit more seriously. So for the next 52 weeks I am going to try and update my flickr account at least once a week with one or more good photos I’ve taken that week. We’ll see how I get on, I realise that this is not the most exciting challenge ever but I wanted to do something and felt that committing to one photo a day would frankly be unachievable.

I also plan to blog a bit more regularly and maybe even redesign this site, just don’t hold your breath.

It’s live! now I can talk about it

Back in February I changed jobs; at the time I couldn’t say much about the new job because the project I’ve been working on was being kept secret for commercial reasons.

Tesco Property Market screen shotNow that the website is live there is no reason that I can’t tell you about it. Tesco Property Market is a new site from Tesco selling homes in the UK. The site carries advertisements from Fish 4 which are added by Estate Agents, however the most important feature of the site is that it allows people to advertise their homes for sale without the need for an Estate Agent. For a flat fee of £199 users are able to upload all of their property’s particulars and up to 20 photographs to the website and have a signboard professionally installed outside their house. The website handles all communications between vendors and would be buyers from arranging viewings right through to accepting an offer.

I’ve been responsible for the front end development of the site over the last few months & I’m extremely proud to have been involved in this project – hopefully we’ll make a big impact on the way homes are sold in the UK.

A couple of videos

It’s been a while since I posted anything about the family – here are a couple of videos of the girls.

Erin is growing up fast, she thinks her big sister is hilarious, here you can see the little comedy double act in action.

Announcing markford.me.uk

My blog posts are like buses, you get none for ages then three come along at once.

I’ve just launched a new website all about me: markford.me.uk

The new site will not replace this one, I’ll still continue to blog here; markford.me.uk is more for people who want to know about my background and maybe take a look at my CV.

This is a very new site and as such it’s still a work in progress, but I felt it was finished enough to unveil.

Family update

Time has just flown by over the past few weeks; Erin is now over a month old and is doing really well. Generally she is only up for one feed during the night, however that can take anything up to two hours which has taken some getting used too. She still seems to be putting on plenty of weight and in the last week or two she has started to smile.

Isla really enjoyed Christmas, although she was a bit overwhelmed by all her presents and at one stage refused to open any more!

I’ve added some more photos of the girls to flickr for those that are interested.

Erin’s first full day

We took Erin back to hospital Today so that that the paediatrician could give her the once over and make sure that the faint heart murmur that they heard yesterday was nothing to worry about. She was checked over by two doctors; the junior doctor said she thought she could maybe hear something very feint, but on the other hand she could be imagining it. The registrar saaid he couldn’t hear anything, but said to get the GP to check at six weeks.

We where able to pop back to the delivery suite and introduce Erin to Dawn, one of the midwifes who helped Laura through most of her labour. So that was good.

Isla is loving being a big sister and is enjoying giving Erin kisses and cuddles, she was very proud to show her new baby sister off to all the helpers at nursery this evening.

Laura is just giving Erin a bath now (9.30pm) to try and wake her up a bit so that she has a bit of awake time before bed & will hopefully sleep.

Back home

Well we made it home. At about half three this afternoon the latest addition to the family arrived in the house.

Laura & Erin Very nearly had to stay an extra night in hospital, because Erin has a faint heart murmur. Fortunately we where able to talk the doctor into letting us go home, we’ve got to take her back tomorrow to be checked.

So here we all are, looking happy but tired at home:
DSC01356

I’ve added a few more pictures to flickr and I’ll continue to add them as I get time

Time for one more beer then it’s off to bed for me. I’ve had about 6 hours sleep since Thursday night (which is about 4 hours more than Laura’s managed).