Cameron Doyle

I've written 94 blog posts on this site, consisting of 87,541 words (an average of 931 words per article). The most recent post, A Mile An Hour, can be read below. The full archive is available at the bottom of this page.

Latest Post - A Mile An Hour

27 June | 15 mins
productivity & running

A while back now, I stumbled upon a video online of a guy in Australia who spent twenty-four hours running a mile an hour around his block, in between doing odd jobs and being generally productive. I remember watching it and thinking: “I could do that”. So last weekend, I did.

I’ve been running fairly consistently for a few years, and I’ve fortunately been injury-free for about six months or so now, probably the longest streak since I started running. I typically run about 40-45km a week, about the length of a marathon, so trying to do a full marathon in one day, outwith the normal training cycle for a marathon, was probably going to be a bit of a challenge. That said, after my first marathon in 2018 I had planned on doing at least one a year, and with the current pandemic it doesn’t look likely that any marathons will be running before the end of the year anyway. So, this will have to do.

The rationale for doing this last weekend was to coincide with the summer solstice, meaning I would have the most daylight to do my running. Originally, I had planned to run a parkrun as my first three miles, and then a mile every hour after that, but since parkrun is cancelled too just now, I figured I’d just head out at the top of the hour after I woke up, which happened to be about 0630 (I usually wake up around this time naturally anyway, especially in summer when the mornings are light). I mapped out a route around the neighbourhood of slightly over a mile (to allow for GPS inconsistencies), and headed out with Charlie at 7am to do the first three laps.

I assumed before I started that I would probably start to slow down after 10 miles or so, and that the final six miles through the night to the finish would probably involve a little walking. But I wasn’t really looking to set any records here; I decided from the very start to have no time goals for this, and to run entirely to feel. The day started out quite warm, and the first three laps with Charlie went by fairly quickly. The route isn’t particularly hilly, but it’s not pancake-flat either, and I knew I’d start to feel those miles as the day progressed.

The idea of the day was to keep moving and keep productive, something that I’m generally not good at on a day-to-day basis. I tend to struggle to map out time to get the little things done, even though I do have the time and just procrastinate it away. By splitting the day into chunks between runs, I hoped that I’d be able to get a bunch of things done that “are needing done at some point”.

Diary

0700 - 0800 - Miles 1-3 (with Charlie)

Having already told people I was going to do this, and being too proud to back out of a commitment or challenge like this, I assumed I would wake up with at least a little apprehension or dread for the 24 hours ahead, but I actually felt quite positive from the start. After I got back with Charlie, I took Sid out, and then brewed myself a pot of coffee and sat down to write out the list of productive things I planned to do. The biggest takeaway from this first hour was that there really wasn’t going to be much time between runs!

Mile times: 08:00 (1), 07:52 (2), 07:58 (3)

0800 - 0900 - Mile 4

I ran my 4th mile solo, so that when I got back I could feed the dogs after they’d had a little time to rest. I made myself breakfast (scrambled eggs with onion as usual), diced more onion for my breakfasts for the rest of the week, and then started sketching out this blog post. But 9am came around quickly - there really isn’t much time to stop and breathe.

Mile time: 07:41

0900 - 1000 - Mile 5

I hate running after eating, but today I don’t really have a choice - at least I ate as far away as possible from this run, but 45 minutes still isn’t enough for me. After I got back, I sat down to do some focused German practice (which I have really neglected the last six months or so), put in a first load of laundry, and then ordered some birthday presents that I’ve been meaning to do all week.

Mile time: 07:38

1000 - 1100 - Mile 6 (with Sid and Charlie)

I took both dogs with me for this run, because the sun is starting to heat up and I don’t know how many runs I’ll be able to take them out on later. Strava actually said it was already 16C and 81% humidity, which is above the limit that I will usually run with them (temp * humidity below 1000), but as it was only a mile I figured they’d be fine. As soon as we got back, we walked over to Craighouse with Danny to collect a steam cleaner from Gumtree, which took up pretty much the rest of the hour.

Mile time: 07:23

1100 - 1200 - Mile 7

I’m enjoying this faster-than-marathon-pace marathon so far, but I don’t think it’s going to last me the whole day, especially not in this heat. After I got back, I stayed indoors where it is cool, and sorted out our board games cupboard. There’s still no system, but at least they all fit now.

Mile time: 07:38

1200 - 1300 - Mile 8

I had lunch as soon as I got back after this run, a small bowl of soup which I’m hoping doesn’t sit too heavy. Only 8 miles in and I’ve had two meals and four cups of coffee already, pretty sure I don’t normally do that in a marathon. After lunch, I hung out the laundry from earlier and started a second load, then did a little D&D preparation for the coming week. These are actually things I would be doing normally anyway, so this hour is kind of an hour off. I will need more of those as the day goes on I suspect.

Mile time: 07:31

1300 - 1400 - Mile 9

My hammock in the garden is finally in the shade, so I took my book down (eventually getting around to reading To Kill A Mockingbird) and lazed in my hammock for this whole hour. I also filled up a big jug of iced water to take down with me - I haven’t been drinking enough fluids so far today and it’s already 20C, so I need to catch up.

Mile time: 07:31

1400 - 1500 - Mile 10

I bought a 2-man summer tent late last year with the idea of taking Charlie camping up north in Scotland as we collect our parkruns around the country, but with the pandemic we haven’t actually been able to use it yet. Since I’m going to be up every hour tonight, to spare Danny’s sleep I will be camping in the garden rather than going back to the flat - and I know I won’t want to try to do it at midnight, so I pitched the tent this hour so it’s ready for later. I also swept out the stairwell of our block of flats; it’s mainly filled with dust and Charlie fur.

Mile time: 08:47

1500 - 1600 - Mile 11

The route I’m doing on Strava has two segments contained in it. I ran the last mile slow so I’d have a little energy to be a Strava wanker and go for the crowns this mile. Which I failed to do, but I did manage to get to 4th place on Shandon Sprint - I’ll put it down to being 11 miles into a marathon when I tried. After this attempt, Danny and I took the dogs to the park to meet our friends for some summer lockdown beers (the park has been slowly filling with people all day; it’s been interesting to watch it develop).

Mile time: 07:00

1600 - 1700 - Mile 12 (with Beinn)

Who said that you can’t have a beer during a marathon? Well, whoever it was, they were probably right. Felt a little gassy on this run - I took Beinn (our friends’ collie) with me for this lap because he was bouncing around all full of beans. He’s hard to keep up with; he’s a lot fitter than Charlie and I that’s for sure.

Mile time: 07:16

1700 - 1800 - Mile 13 (with Sid and Beinn)

Halfway through the marathon! But not halfway through the time yet. We spent this hour in the park again, drinking more beers. The willpower it takes to get up and run a mile between lazily drinking beers in the sunny park with your friends is… well, about as much as you’d expect. I took both Sid and Beinn with me this time, because Sid was starting to get a little restless sitting in the park while Beinn and I kept getting up to run and play.

Mile time: 07:52

1800 - 1900 - Mile 14 (with Charlie and Beinn)

Charlie got back from a date with one of his BorrowMyDoggy borrowers last hour, so I took him and Beinn with me for this mile. It’s still pretty hot, but at least with the collies I always have them free running, so they can go at their own pace. These few beers are starting to hit now - I probably need to get some food in me soon.

Mile time: 07:23

1900 - 2000 - Mile 15 (with Beinn)

One last run with Beinn before we headed home from the park. Tried again for the other segment (I know, I know - Strava wanker) but still only managed 18th place - but 2 seconds quicker than my earlier attempt at least. And this one is uphill. I hate hills. After we got home, I tried to relax, but I’ve caught the sun and I have my usual post-sun-sleepiness. Tonight will be hard!

Mile time: 07:15

2000 - 2100 - Mile 16

Danny and I ordered pizza after we got home from the park, and I had really hoped it would arrive early this hour so I could eat before my 9pm mile, but no such luck. Danny somehow had the energy to clean the flat after the park (she puts me to shame even on days when I am explicitly trying to be productive), so as is our usual deal, I followed her round hoovering and cleaning the floors.

Mile time: 07:38

2100 - 2200 - Mile 17

Pizza finally arrived! I am definitely all out of productivity now, I just want to lie down and nap. Danny and I have been working our way through Lost recently - amazingly neither of us watched it 15 years ago when it first came out, and also neither of us knew anything about it or any spoilers. We watched another episode during pizza. Man, am I getting tired. Only nine miles to go…

Mile time: 07:47

2200 - 2300 - Mile 18

One of the last things on my list from the first hour was “play board games with Danny”, so after I got back we had a nice relaxed game of Odin’s Ravens (I won). We have a whole bunch of board games that we really like, but never seem to make the time to play. My mile this hour dropped below 8 minutes for the first time since my easy pre-Strava-wanker mile earlier in the day. My legs are feeling the fatigue now; times are probably just going to keep increasing until I’m done now.

Mile time: 08:13

2300 - 0000 - Mile 19

It is definitely taking longer for my legs to wake up and warm up for each lap now. Danny and I managed to just about squeeze in another episode of Lost before mile 20 this hour. I took my sleeping bag down with me after this run so Danny could go to bed. I had originally wanted to keep Charlie with me, but he’s already done five miles with me today, plus his BorrowMyDoggy walk; I think another five miles might be too much for his bad hips.

Mile time: 08:50

0000 - 0100 - Mile 20

No sleep this hour; I’m still too hot after my run to really relax for about 20 minutes. Also, there is a lot of solstice celebrations still going on; the park is still busy despite being gone midnight. I wonder if I’ll see an hour with an empty park at all in these 24 hours.

Mile time: 08:48

0100 - 0200 - Mile 21

It’s at the stage of just counting down the miles now. It’s also started to rain, which is really nice while I’m running, but when I get back I’m just soggy and cold and getting my muscles to relax seems to be impossible. The park still has not fully emptied, a couple dozen folk still hanging around partying. It’s kinda nice to not be alone for this.

Mile time: 08:42

0200 - 0300 - Mile 22

I think I might have drifted off to sleep here. I don’t know, it’s hard to tell; I was already awake when the alarm went off though. Still some stragglers in the park! Come on guys, I only have a few hours to go! The rain doesn’t seem to be letting up, but it’s quite calming hearing the pitter-patter on the roof of the tent.

Mile time: 08:52

0300 - 0400 - Mile 23

My legs are amazingly not that achey when I get up to run, but my neck, shoulders, and back are in agony. After a quarter-mile they settle down and stretch out, but it’s not making it easier to get up and run. Nobody left in the park - this last bit will be a solo effort.

Mile time: 08:50

0400 - 0500 - Mile 24

Definitely slept after this run; the alarm woke me up for sure for the 5am run. Major issue though; my anterior tibialis (the tendon on my shin) is inflamed and swollen. So close to the end though. I want to push on.

Mile time: 08:37

0500 - 0600 - Mile 25

Yeah, that is definitely the last mile I will “run” tonight. I don’t want to risk a serious injury; while shuffling along mile 25 was not too painful, flexing my calf or stretching my ankles is very sore. Rather than go back to the tent, I went back upstairs and had a long hot shower (which helped a lot), and iced my shins for a little bit. I don’t want to quit now though, so the last 1.2 miles will be a nice relaxing walk with the dogs.

Mile time: 09:38

0600 - 0700 - Mile 26 (with Sid and Charlie)

A gentle walk with the dogs to round off the marathon distance. I think the rain may have been the major cause here; I couldn’t switch off my muscles in the tent, they were still taut and engaged with the exaggerated temperature changes due to being soaked through after running. The walk was nice and calming, and I saw a few of the usual dog-walkers out that Charlie and I saw 24 hours ago. It’s been a long day, but I’m pleased I managed to make it all the way through. And I am very pleased that Danny changed the sheets yesterday, so I can go sleep the sleep of the dead.

Mile (plus .2) time: 24:01

Total time: 03:44:41

Reflections

If I was to run an actual marathon where I crossed the 25 mile mark in 3hr20m in the condition I’m in just now, I’d be pretty happy. I said from the start that I didn’t care about time (and I don’t), but this still ended up being quicker than I expected it to be, considering I haven’t ran more than 20km in one day since early April, and I’ve done zero targeted training for anything resembling this, or a marathon. I probably wouldn’t do it again, given how much effort it took to get myself out for some of these miles, but as an occasional 12-hour or half marathon day to reset some productivity? I think that would end up doing me a lot of good. I didn’t quite get through all the tasks I’d written out for myself during the first day, but I got through about as many as is reasonable considering the impromptu 4+ hours of park beers in the afternoon.

Tasks


Completed

  • Write a diary for the blog
  • D&D preparation
  • German practice
  • Pitch a tent in the garden
  • Laundry
  • Order birthday presents
  • Sweep stairwell
  • Read my book
  • Sort the board games cupboard
  • Play board games with Danny
  • Collect Danny’s Gumtree purchase
  • Hoover the flat
  • Change all the burned-out light bulbs
  • Not die

Not Completed

  • Practice yoga
  • Wash and clean the car
  • Collect thistles for the garden
  • Sort out banking paperwork

For reference, the original video that inspired this bout of idiocy is Beau Miles’ “A Mile an Hour” which I would highly recommend watching regardless of if you would ever even think about doing something like this yourself.

Blog Archive

A Mile An Hour 27 June 2020
productivity & running
15 min read
A while back now, I stumbled upon a video online of a guy in Australia who spent twenty-four hours running a mile an hour around his block, in between doing odd jobs and being generally productive. I remember watching it and thinking: “I could do that”. So last weekend, I did. Read more
Dysplasia 26 January 2020
charlie
4 min read
A few months ago, we took Charlie to the vets, and after x-rays and blood tests, received the news that he has hip dysplasia in both hips - a diagnosis that will, sadly, heavily curtail all of his favourite activities. Read more
Canicross 26 January 2020
charlie & running
5 min read
Charlie and I started running Canicross competitively about 18 months ago, and racing quickly became one of his favourite things to do. We did our 20th race last weekend, but I don’t know how many more we’ll have left together. Read more
Avaloq 01 October 2019
personal & goals
3 min read
Two and a half years ago, or thereabouts, I left my first professional job at CGI. Recently, a new opportunity presented itself, and last week I once again realigned my career trajectory towards pastures new. Read more
Injured 15 July 2019
running
4 min read
I briefly mentioned in my last post about breaking my running streak due to contracting sepsis. While that was frustrating for me, the last few months haven’t exactly gone smoothly in getting back into running. I have to admit though, most of that is due to my own impatience. Read more
Limits 06 June 2019
goals & productivity
4 min read
My first blog post in over half a year. Not the longest gap between posts, but I definitely feel like I’m moving further and further away from writing regularly, and I think this is because I’ve found my limit of plates I can spin at once. Read more
Streak 03 December 2018
running
3 min read
Slightly over a year ago today, I had my last rest day from running. A friend of mine challenged me to run every day in December up to Christmas, a sort of Advent Challenge if you will. And I sort of just didn’t stop… Read more
Introduction to Agility 07 March 2018
charlie
4 min read
Charlie completed his last training class, Advance Life Skills almost ten months ago, and I could tell he missed the routine of his classes. So, in January, I signed him up to another course that Karen’s Dogs runs - introduction to Agility. Read more
Clean Slate 02 January 2018
goals
5 min read
Over the course of the last year, it has felt like a lot has changed. A couple of big shifts in lifestyle, and also just my outlook and mentality. And if I’m honest, before I sat down to write this post, I could barely remember what I’d decided to focus on this time last year. Read more
Men's 10k 06 November 2017
running & events
6 min read
I had a short break after running three races on three consecutive weekends in September / October, and after starting to get a bit of routine back to my training, I ran my final race of the calendar year this past weekend. A home race for me, the Men’s 10k finish line is just a 10 minute walk from my flat here in Edinburgh, so I had no excuse to miss it. Read more
Great Scottish 10k 10 October 2017
running & events
6 min read
With just six days rest after the Scottish Half Marathon, I laced up my running shoes again and headed through to Glasgow for the Great Scottish 10k, the little brother of the Great Scottish Run half marathon taking place the same day. Read more
Scottish Half Marathon 26 September 2017
running & events
10 min read
Back in July, I wrote about the latest race I’d entered, the Great North 10k back in the North East. In the intervening three months, I’ve been training for the logical next step up from a 10k - the half marathon. Read more
Priorities 10 September 2017
personal & blog
3 min read
In my last post, I started out by mentioning how long it had been since I’d last posted, and blamed my absence on being out of the country for a month. That was three weeks ago, but this time the reason is different; my priorities have changed. Read more
Zurich 21 August 2017
travel
5 min read
Until the beginning of summer, I’d been keeping up with my target of one new blog post a week, but as of today it has been over a month since I last wrote anything new. The main reason for this? Living in Zurich. Read more
Great North 10k 16 July 2017
running & events
7 min read
After my first proper race six weeks ago at the EMF 10k, I signed up for a second 10k back in the North-East. The Great North 10k is supposed to be a warm-up race for those competing in the Great North Run half-marathon in the autumn, but I entered just looking to improve on my results in Edinburgh. Read more
Project 333 09 July 2017
minimalism
5 min read
The weekend that I left my job with CGI back at the beginning of April, I decided to take a closer look at my clothing situation. My new role doesn’t require me to wear a suit or shirts, so it felt like a good opportunity to take stock of what I had in my wardrobe. Read more
CGI Euros - Knock-Outs 05 July 2017
events
7 min read
After the celebration / commiseration beers down at the beach with Caledonia, we headed to a couple of pubs before retiring for a relatively early night in preparation for the knock-out tournament the following day, starting with last year’s runner-up Munich. Read more
CGI Euros - Group Stage 01 July 2017
events
8 min read
After a surprise victory in Lisbon last year, the Scotland team were asked to host the tournament in June 2017. We accepted, and late last year started searching for a venue; and recruiting new players. Read more
Routine 21 June 2017
productivity
4 min read
After returning from Vancouver last month, I struggled, like most people do, with severe jetlag. I’ve returned to normal now, but I hadn’t really appreciated my schedule until I couldn’t get back into it. Read more
EMF 10k 05 June 2017
running & events
7 min read
As part of my motivation to complete the Bridge to 10k training plan, I signed up to run in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 10km. Still jetlagged from my flight home from Vancouver three days earlier, it probably wasn’t my best idea. Read more
Vancouver, BC 28 May 2017
travel
5 min read
After the major delay to the Amtrak from Seattle, I eventually arrived in my final stop of the trip, Vancouver, at around 1:30am on Saturday morning. After passing through Canadian customs and a short taxi to my hostel, I went to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Read more
Pacific Northwest 22 May 2017
travel
6 min read
Leaving Portland was an interesting experience. I’d never driven an automatic car before. Never driven a left-hand-drive. Never driven on the right side of the road. Never navigated a four-way stop. Yet, here I was, doing all of those things. And did I mention the torrential rain? Read more
Portland, OR 17 May 2017
travel
4 min read
After my first stop in the US in Seattle, I took the Amtrak train down to Portland for a couple of days. Given my slight obsession with coffee, it would almost be rude not to make a call in one of the coffee capitals of the world. Read more
Seattle, WA 15 May 2017
travel
5 min read
Seattle has been on my bucket list for a long time. After San Francisco, it’s probably the US city I’ve wanted to visit the most. Last autumn when I started making plans to visit Vancouver, I knew I needed to fit a trip to Seattle in at the same time. Read more
Bridge to 10k 12 May 2017
running
10 min read
Following on from a reasonably successful completion of the Couch to 5k plan in March, I decided to continue building up my running distance, with the aim of running a 10km race at the end of May. Read more
Driver 07 May 2017
personal
9 min read
Since I passed my driving test as a fresh-faced 18-year-old way back in July 2010, I’ve not been without a car for more than the week or so when my various cars required repairs or maintenance. Until this week that is, when I finally sold my last car that has been sitting idle outside the flat since October last year. Read more
Dog Years 24 April 2017
charlie
6 min read
One year ago today, we brought home a little eight-week-old puppy, who we’d decided to name Charlie. He’s grown and changed so much since then, but it’s so hard to remember what life was like without him. Read more
Host 23 April 2017
personal
3 min read
We waved off this weekend’s guests a few hours ago - five friends from back home in North-East England who’ve spent the last couple of days with us - and we’re starting to get back into the rhythm of just the three of us (Sasha, Charlie, and me). Read more
French Press 15 April 2017
coffee
5 min read
Following the theme of my other coffee maker reviews, I figured I should write about probably the most well-known and ubiquitous coffee maker currently sat on my shelf; the cafetière, or French press. Read more
Advanced Life Skill 09 April 2017
charlie
4 min read
This morning, we drove with Charlie to Livingston for the last of his Level 3 training classes at Karen’s Dogs. Along with his puppy classes and progress classes, his training has turned him into a well-rounded and well-behaved young dog. For the most part. Read more
CGI 31 March 2017
personal & goals
3 min read
I’ve talked a lot in recent months about what path I’m taking, changes that have happened to me, where I am in my life and how I feel about how I got here. Well, today was a big change; my last day at my first professional job. Read more
Cold Shower Therapy 23 March 2017
productivity
4 min read
For a good six months or so, way back in 2013-ish just after I moved to Scotland for the first time, I was heavily into self-improvement. I went to the gym religiously, ate clean and kept track of my diet meticulously; and also embraced the challenge of cold shower therapy. Read more
Moka Pot 19 March 2017
coffee
4 min read
Back in January, Sasha and I spent a few days in Rome for her birthday, and being in Italy, we naturally spent a lot of our time drinking Italian-style coffee. When we got back, I asked Sasha for a specific gift for my birthday the following month; a Moka Pot. Read more
Pipette 09 March 2017
whisky
3 min read
A few months back, on one of our mystery date nights, Sasha and I visited a small French-inspired restaurant in Edinburgh’s New Town. One of those hipster, artisanal, fancy-but-informal places, where they take great pride in their boutique craft beers, gourmet burgers, and extensive whisky selection. Read more
Couch to 5k 05 March 2017
running
11 min read
When I first started this blog, back in November 2015, I was running fairly consistently about 20km a week. In fact the first couple of draft posts I started (and never posted) for the blog were centred around running, including my original 2016 New Years resolutions. Read more
Flirt Pole 26 February 2017
charlie
5 min read
Along with his scentwork that I wrote about last month, my favourite activity we learned at Charlie’s Progress Training classes was impulse control using a flirt pole. It might be Charlie’s favourite too. Read more
Quarter 17 February 2017
personal
3 min read
A few hours ago, I completed my twenty-fifth cycle of the Sun. A quarter of a century since I entered the world. Halfway to fifty. Pretty soon I’ll be ‘late twenties’. How does time go by so fast? Read more
Fitbit Charge 2 12 February 2017
review
6 min read
Late last year I’d been looking into getting myself a fitness tracker, mainly because I like data, but also as motivation to get myself back into fitness after a long time of not doing very much at all. So for Christmas, Sasha bought me a Fitbit Charge 2, and I’m only just now getting around to reviewing it properly. Read more
Labyrinth 03 February 2017
personal
5 min read
A few weeks ago, I went out for a few drinks with one of my best friends. We’ve known each other and been friends for over a decade, and though we don’t live near each other any more (and haven’t for several years), we’ve always made the effort to stay in touch and catch up whenever we can. Read more
One For Sorrow 26 January 2017
writing
6 min read
The late morning sun was shining high in the sky, scattering warmth across the old man’s back as he walked towards the foot of the mountain. This single-track road through the Scottish Highlands is beautifully picturesque, he thought, but far too quiet for hitchhiking. Read more
Rome 19 January 2017
travel
8 min read
Slightly less than four years ago, for my 21st birthday I visited Rome for the first time. It was one of my first European city visits, and helped sparked the wanderlust that has stayed with me ever since. Read more
Scentwork 14 January 2017
charlie
5 min read
One of the best things we learned at Charlie’s Progress Training classes last year was how to get him interested in scentwork. Nothing else short of a ten-mile hike tires him out quite like a good session of mental training. Read more
Chemex 08 January 2017
coffee
6 min read
Towards the end of last year, I did a couple of write-ups of my two weekday coffee makers - the AeroPress and the American Press. Now it’s time for what I call my “Sunday coffee maker” - the Chemex. Read more
Refresh 01 January 2017
goals
5 min read
This time last year, I sat down with the remnants of a Hogmanay hangover and went over my resolutions for the 2015 year, marked off what I had and hadn’t achieved, and wrote down my plans for 2016. Read more
Traditions 27 December 2016
personal
3 min read
Over the last two years, as expected, I’ve drifted apart from a lot of people I consider close friends. People I grew up with, people I expect to still be friends with for a long time to come. We no longer see each other passively; since moving to Edinburgh, it now takes effort and conscious thought to maintain relationships. Read more
Tag Cloud 15 December 2016
blog
4 min read
When I first started this blog a year or so ago, I wasn’t really clear on how I should be using tags and categories. Naturally, I did neither correctly. This week I went through and corrected my existing tag/categories to categories, and added a bunch of new tags to my posts. Read more
Red Hot Chili Peppers 11 December 2016
events
7 min read
Last Thursday, I spent the night in Glasgow at the SSE Hydro watching funk-rock legends the Red Hot Chili Peppers as they toured with their latest album The Getaway. As one of my three favourite rock acts of all time, I had naturally been looking forward to this for quite a while. Read more
Cash 06 December 2016
personal
4 min read
As of September 2016, I no longer track cash as a separate YNAB account. Aside from bus fare (Transport for Edinburgh really need to catch on to the Transport for London model), I have very little need to carry any cash at all anymore. Read more
Mystery Date Nights 01 December 2016
projects
7 min read
Recently, I realised that I hadn’t developed anything major outside of work for a while - since this blog or website a year or so ago. Wanting to change that, I dived into the extremely intimidating and fast-moving world of JavaScript frameworks, and started learning Angular 2. Read more
It's American Press 19 November 2016
coffee
6 min read
Around this time a year ago, I donated $80 to the It’s American Press’ Indiegogo campaign - and then largely forgot about it, until my reward of a shiny new American Press arrived at my door last week. Read more
AeroPress 14 November 2016
coffee
10 min read
For the last two years, my daily morning coffee routine hasn’t changed at all, at least during the working week. My routine is so ingrained I could probably do it in my sleep, and uses just three items; my coffee mug, my Hario Skerton hand grinder, and of course, my AeroPress. Read more
Everyday Carry 10 November 2016
minimalism
4 min read
When I was in middle school, like a lot of kids at the time, I had about a dozen keyrings on my keys. Or rather, key, singular. Maybe it’s just part of the ritual of being entrusted with the Front Door Key for the first time that makes you feel the need to carry half a kilo of plastic along with the single, lonely key, lest you forget and leave it somewhere. Read more
Bokeh 31 October 2016
personal
3 min read
For as long as I can remember, I’ve worn contact lenses on a daily basis, to the point I sometimes forget what my vision is actually like without assistance. In the wild, I’d have been killed off long ago by a predator I couldn’t see coming. Read more
Submodules and Subtrees 19 October 2016
development & projects
7 min read
You may have noticed a new addition to the blog recently; a slide-out menu on the left hand side, linking to the other subdomains. For the last few months, I’ve been thinking of ways to restructure my website, to integrate the blog back into my main homepage, as well as incorporate other subdomains as I develop them. This menu was the answer I came up with. Read more
Progress Life Skill 12 October 2016
charlie
4 min read
Tonight was Charlie’s final session of his six Level 2 training classes held out in Livingston. He’s learned a lot over the last month and a half, although as he’s reaching his adolescence it sure is hard to tell at times. Read more
Definitions 07 October 2016
personal
4 min read
Most social media platforms have a space for a short biography of some sorts. An ‘About Me’, maybe a paragraph or so. Couple hundred words at the most. ‘Tell us about yourself!’, they ask. ‘Distill everything you are, and everything you want to be, into a soundbite elevator pitch’. How do you do that? How do you choose your definitions? Read more
Subscriptions 28 September 2016
minimalism
4 min read
Today was the ninth payday of 2016. It’s the 21st payday since I started tracking my finances in YNAB, which means it’s the 21st time I’ve filled out my budget for next month, and the 21st time I’ve been thankful for being a minimalist, because I’m no longer wasting money on things I don’t need. Read more
Growing 26 September 2016
charlie
5 min read
Five months ago on Saturday, Charlie came home with us from his birthplace in East Lothian for the first time. Since he was vaccinated and able to go for walks outside, we’ve taken him to so many places we hadn’t been before, and might not have been without him. Read more
Local 11 September 2016
personal & charlie
5 min read
One year ago today, I collected the keys from the solicitors for our first flat. I’d already lived in Edinburgh for over a year at that point, but I didn’t really feel like a permanent resident of this great city while I was renting. Read more
Respecting Your Reader 07 September 2016
development
5 min read
There are two things that I consider to be disrespectful to the reader when browsing online; intrusive advertising, and excessive page-weight. Both tell me exactly what the author or page-owner thinks of their audience, and it isn’t positive. Read more
LastPass 30 August 2016
productivity & review
7 min read
Two years ago, if you’d wanted to access any of my online accounts, you probably wouldn’t have struggled. Rampant password reuse. Weak, low-entropy passwords. No two-factor authentication. I was an easy target. Read more
Paris 20 August 2016
travel
6 min read
A little over six years ago, aged eighteen, I took my girlfriend to Paris for our one-year anniversary. It was the first time I’d made my own travel plans, and since then I’ve visited over twenty countries and forty cities, before returning earlier this week. Read more
Patience 12 August 2016
productivity
4 min read
“Good things come to those who wait.” Not a phrase that I’ve really lived by thus far. I always tend to take the immediate gratification route, rather than investing heavily in my future self. Screw him, he can deal with it when it gets to him. Read more
Puppy Life Skill 06 August 2016
charlie
3 min read
Each Saturday morning for the past couple of months, Charlie and I have taken the tram and then the train to Livingston to attend his puppy training classes. The hours after we get home, when he curls up next to me and goes to sleep, is the only quiet time I get all week. Read more
Favourites 01 August 2016
minimalism
3 min read
One of the unexpected joys of minimalism is that I no longer own anything that isn’t my favourite. After getting rid of the excess, the duplicates, the lower value versions of all of my possessions, I was left with (in my opinion) the best of everything. It’s easier to enjoy things when they’re your favourite. Read more
Collecting 26 July 2016
minimalism
3 min read
When I was younger, I had a slightly unhealthy obsession with not letting go of old things. Material possessions, things I found at the back of a wardrobe that I didn’t even remember, I wouldn’t throw them out. I come from a family of borderline hoarders, so it’s not really a big surprise I grew up with this mentality. Read more
Stockholm 15 July 2016
travel
4 min read
We travelled to Stockholm by train from Copenhagen, with a few short hours in Malmö on the way. Four and a half hours is by no means the longest train I’ve ever gotten, but when the scenery outside literally doesn’t change for close to 400 miles, it tends to drag a little. Read more
Copenhagen 12 July 2016
travel
4 min read
After barely recovering from the crippling hangovers of Spain in 2015, our group started thinking of places to go next. We decided on the more expensive Scandinavian cities of Copenhagen and Stockholm, so we could visit friends who lived there. At least, that was the plan. Read more
Smoke 30 June 2016
personal
7 min read
Today marks one year since my last cigarette. A whole year smoke free, the first time I’ve gone more than a couple of months without since I was 18, and yet I’ve never considered myself a smoker. Read more
CGI Euros - The Final 23 June 2016
events
7 min read
Having seen off the arguably strongest side in the tournament, we looked forward to the final against Munich with a relatively relaxed attitude. The semi final had taken its toll on all of us; many players weren’t convinced they could play another game, let alone win. Read more
CGI Euros - Knock-Outs 21 June 2016
events
9 min read
Despite the drinking, we still made it back relatively early; our killjoy captain insisting on a good night’s sleep before the knock-out phase in the morning. We woke fresh, and made our way to the stadium to find we’d been drawn against the free-scoring Portuguese side AMS - they’d won their group games 5-0, 5-0, and 3-0. This did not bode well for our defence. Read more
CGI Euros - Group Stage 20 June 2016
events
10 min read
In late June 2015, the Scotland team finished the CGI Euros tournament in Frankfurt in dead last place. One win, one draw, four losses. Missing several key players, we went into the 2016 tournament in Lisbon with minimal expectations. Read more
Lisbon 15 June 2016
travel
4 min read
Last summer, I visited Frankfurt for the 2015 CGI Euros football tournament. The very last thing to happen in Frankfurt was the announcement that the 2016 competition was to be held in Lisbon. I took the opportunity to explore the city before the tournament; any excuse to travel, right? Read more
Socialisation 05 June 2016
charlie
3 min read
Over the last couple of weeks, Charlie and I have been attending “puppy parties” hosted by his vet to help with his socialisation. Up until recently, when I started seriously researching adopting a puppy, I had no idea just how important good socialisation was for young dogs. Read more
Minimalism 24 May 2016
minimalism
4 min read
I’m foregoing the obvious opportunity to leave this blog post blank as a statement about minimalism. It pains me to do so, but I don’t want to waste an entire blog post on a pun, however clever I might think I am. Read more
Usquebaugh 17 May 2016
whisky
4 min read
I feel like all of my writing could quite easily start off describing the view outside. It’s usually how I begin; staring off into the deep blue Scottish sky. I prefer to write with a clear head, disconnected from the outside world, where I can think and type in peace. Read more
Sass 06 May 2016
development
8 min read
I’ve spent over a year now designing, building, and tweaking this blog and accompanying portfolio site. When I first started, I was still relatively green when it came to front-end development, so I avoided CSS preprocessors in favour of the more familiar pure CSS. I wish I hadn’t. Read more
YNAB 03 May 2016
productivity
5 min read
If you met me in person sometime in the last year or so, engaged in conversation with me about personal finance, or even just made an off-hand comment about budgeting or not having enough money, chances are I’ll have mentioned (okay, let’s be honest, forced down your throat) the benefits of the budgeting software YNAB - You Need A Budget. Read more
Puppy 25 April 2016
charlie
5 min read
On Sunday, a new lodger moved into the flat in Edinburgh, rent-free. His name is Charlie, and he’s an eight-week-old Border Collie. I feel sorry for all of my social media contacts, as they’ve been inundated with pictures of his face since he arrived. This is unlikely to stop anytime soon. Read more
Redesign 22 April 2016
blog
3 min read
This past week, I’ve sat and read through most of the 14 posts I’ve written since I started this blog, and in doing so realised something fairly crucial. It is not easy to read. Time for a redesign (already)! Read more
Holly 11 April 2016
personal
5 min read
This time last week, I took the train home to Newcastle (can I call it home? Jury’s still out) to say goodbye to my dog and best friend of thirteen years, Holly. Read more
Third Wave 04 April 2016
coffee
4 min read
While I am in no way a connoisseur of fine coffee (not yet anyway), I can definitely discern the difference between a good and bad cup. This is both a blessing and a curse; while I can appreciate the art of a good coffee, the cumulative price of continuous quality coffee does my bank balance no good. Read more
Brussels 27 March 2016
travel
6 min read
We flew to Brussels direct from Gdańsk on literally the cheapest flight I’ve ever been on. £6.69. I paid more to get the tram to Edinburgh Airport than I did for this flight; at that price, I don’t even mind if I don’t get a seat. How Wizz Air can possibly make a profit I have no idea, but I’m not complaining. Read more
Gdańsk 26 March 2016
travel
5 min read
After a whole eight months without leaving the country (seriously, this must be the longest I’ve gone without travelling since I turned 18), I finally decided to go away for a few days in March of 2016. I spent a good few days looking for the cheapest possible flights I could find, and eventually settled on Gdańsk, in Northern Poland. It was definitely a good choice. Read more
Home 09 March 2016
personal
3 min read
Everybody knows where they come from. It may not be entirely truthful, it may be hard to choose an accurate answer, but everybody has a boilerplate response for the ineluctable small-talk query “so where are you from?”. Read more
Black Gold 19 February 2016
coffee
3 min read
I am a relative newcomer to the world of good quality coffee. Growing up, all that was available in our house were the cheap jars of instant, only ever used if we had guests who did not drink tea. I suspect this is a fairly common arrangement in most households in Britain, because what sort of primitive animal doesn’t drink tea? Read more
Hangover 15 February 2016
writing
4 min read
A sharp, piercing scream penetrates the air like an arrow whistling through the trees. You awake violently, the pain slamming into your head like a sledgehammer, instantly regretting any sort of movement as you slap blindly at the source of the noise. Who sets an alarm for a Sunday morning? Read more
Change 29 January 2016
personal
4 min read
When you’re a child, it’s hard to visualise the future. It’s hard to extract yourself from day-to-day life and genuinely picture what it will be like to be an adult. To have a job, to move out; to grow up, essentially. The future is an uncharted and remote destination, not quite mythical, but not exactly set in stone either. It’s hard to imagine what will be different between now and then. Read more
Unfocused 11 January 2016
productivity
6 min read
I am the worst person in the world when it comes to procrastination. Combined with a short attention span, it’s a wonder I ever get anything done. Even right now, I have Netflix playing in the background, and I’ve rewritten this sentence three times already because I can’t concentrate without looking up every five seconds. Damn. Read more
Prognostications 03 January 2016
goals
4 min read
I awoke in time to watch the day break this morning. Since then, there’s been a cold winter sun shining down over Edinburgh, releasing a beautiful backdrop for deep and insightful thoughts. I’m writing next to my window; the clouds are drifting lazily by, casting long, languid shadows across the hedgerow outside. There are better views, admittedly, but it’s calming to watch the skies from pretty much anywhere. Read more
Retrospection 26 December 2015
goals
4 min read
In a similar vein to birthdays, the worst part about a new year is the realisation that you’re getting old. Or maybe when you’re old enough to realise that, it’s already too late? Damn, I sure hope that’s not the case. Read more
Audience 18 December 2015
blog
2 min read
Writing has always been an odd subject for me. It’s an integral part of life, even if it’s just in the form of emails or texts, it’s something you do without even really stopping to consider just how much you actually do. Read more
Beginning 10 December 2015
blog
2 min read
It’s been a slow couple of weeks at work. I had originally anticipated the development of this blog to take one or two months, maybe an hour or so every couple of nights, given that I’ve never tried it before, and I’ve never used any of the languages involved. But here we are, about 90% done before Christmas! Read more
Test Post, Please Ignore 30 November 2015
blog
2 min read
So. Blogging. Historically, not something I’ve ever been very good at. I always enjoyed building the blog or writing the code more than filling the pages with beautiful prose. Hey, that was almost Seuss-like! Read more