Oct 202009
  * Description: Coffee cortado (An latte...

Image via Wikipedia

I drink too much coffee! There’s no getting around it… it’s true. I have a penchant for the black-stuff that is simply undeniable.

My wife has been campaigning to get me to reduce my caffeine intake for quite some time, and part of me knows that she’s right. And in fairness I have… I’m now having only two to three mugs of the stuff a day instead of the six or seven that I used to consume. But… and it’s a big but… the three mugs I do have are VERY strong neat espresso, made in one of those stove-top coffee pots. It’s great stuff… but apparently I’m still drinking too much of it.

Or am I…?

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Apr 202009
ssttt! little baby-mouse, sleeping on my hand
Image by e³°°° via Flickr

Do you ever have trouble getting to sleep at night?

Sometimes I do… if I have something preying on my mind: a pressing deadline, a heavy workload, or a particular problem I’m struggling with. Lying awake at night, unable to get to sleep, is a truly horrible experience. Most of the time, thankfully, I tend to fall asleep without too much trouble. Funnily enough, the more time I’ve spent with the girls that day, the faster the sleep arrives.

The girls are also pretty good at going to sleep… not going to bed, mind you… going to sleep. Bedtime can and does involve all sorts of shenanigans before they finally settle down. It’s amazing how seemingly exhausted children get a sudden rush of energy when a parent mentions bedtime. Yes, getting them settled can be a challenge but once they’re down — usually sometime between 8 and 8:30 on a school night — they go to sleep quickly and tend to stay in a deep sleep all night. That, according to researchers in Japan, is a great sign when it comes to establishing healthy sleep patterns for later life. Continue reading »

Dec 312008
Happy New Year from Sydney, Australia!

Image by Leorex via Flickr

That’s it then… by the time you read this 2008 will be coming to a close. In the wake of the Christmas festivities it’s only natural for us to reflect on the events of the bygone year. The ups and downs, the side-to-sides… the struggles and the joys, the challenges and the achievements… all done and dusted.

For us 2008 has been an interesting and productive year. We got a lot of work done around the house. Stuff we’d been meaning to get around to for years is now finally sorted. It’s an old house, so there will always be more to do, but you get a great feeling of satisfaction from finally accomplishing the niggling little and not-so-little jobs that you keep putting off.

One of those jobs was to finally insulate the attic. We finally got that done last month, and what a difference it’s made. In a house with 10 ft ceilings keeping warm had always been a bit of a challenge… now, with the solid fuel range installed and the attic swathed in insulation it’s veritably toasty… and we’re using less fuel. The question that immediately springs to mind is “why didn’t we do this years ago?”, the answer, of course: time, money, kids….

Somehow despite all the doom and gloom surrounding us I can’t shake the feeling that 2009 will be a very positive year. Folding banks, collapsing economies and a global climate in turmoil notwithstanding, I’m feeling very upbeat about the coming year. Which is unusual from a person who’s response to the “do you see the glass as half full, or half empty?” question is typically “What glass?”.

It’s hard to pinpoint why… but I’m sure 2009 is going to be a really wonderful year. Bizarre, I know, but there you go… you heard it here first!

One of the things I’m sure will endure into the new year… and for many year’s to come, is the tendency to conduct completely useless research that reveals absolutely nothing of any tangible value. Why do we keep pumping money we can ill afford to spend into studies that we really don’t need?

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