breathless

I've been having an unutterably wonderful time the past few days... I'm struggling to put anything into words that even begins to express just how good I'm feeling, but the title is a start.

I want to mark this point in my life somehow and at the same time there are details that I'm not ready to share here yet. Since my blog is - in ways - a selfish exercise (written as much for my future self as for any present reader) I'm conscious that this means some people will find this (and possibly a few more) entries frustratingly cryptic. Some of you will know what I'm on about and perhaps read this and smile knowingly (or shake your heads wryly, depending on how much of my optimism you share) others will be totally mystified! To anyone in that second group, I'm sorry, bear with me. I'll explain myself in time... If you like guessing then conjectures can be drawn from certain changes to the links and about me pages that I made this morning... if you don't like guessing of course you can phone up and ask me what on earth I'm blethering about... or (if you don't have my number) you can just wait and see ;)

I'm supposed to be working (yes, on a Sunday, damnit! This is not the source of my joy...) I'll get back to it in a second but I needed to put something down about this even though I'm not really saying anything, otherwise I'll just spend all day staring into space with a mad grin on my face.

[laughs at self]

It's ridiculous, but I don't care. I'm very happy
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swingin' the world by the tail

Edinburgh is run through with a warm wind, this time of year it often fills the city. It sweeps through the city in waves and makes me restless... but in a good way!

I know it would be arrogant to assume a connection but every year around this time, the city does this - a kind of autumnal seasonal change that resonates really well with my mood after my birthday. It feels similar to the air moving past you at sea - oceanic transport has that enlivening sense of change and adventure and the autumn winds in Edinburgh create a similar mood... of course it's just coincidence that this happens after my birthday (which again this year has been a real source of joy) but it feels like the beginning of an adventure... and I like that
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25 baby!

Happy birthday to me!

Today I am 32, which is a fun number.

Feeling very loved this morning - I've already had lots of texts and emails from around the world, even a (brief) phone call from Australia, all wishing me a happy birthday. The sun is shining too and I have a big grin on my face. There's even a big stack of parcels and envelopes at home which have been arriving over the past few days and which I'm giddily looking forward to sitting down with and opening this evening.

Yep. Happy is the word.

edit just noticed that the RSS feed (and presumably the LJ feed too) doesn't see formatting in the title so it looks like 25 not 25 - serves me right for trying to be all clever
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Conflicted

At home I'm all environmentally responsible with my detergents, largely I'll admit because I like the smell of the ecover stuff most. There is also that warm fuzzy feeling you get from making a small change that might help slow the damage we're doing to the world around us though. Anyway on the side of the washing up liquid bottle is this little drawing:



...and it bothers me. At work we have standard Fairy for washing up and (because I'm still 5 on some levels) it pleases me when I put the bottle down, accidentally-on-purpose squeezing it and a little cloud of bubbles fill the tiny office kitchen. I restrain myself from giggling but I will stand and watch them for a moment and it makes me happy. So I have a hard time reconciling this simple joy with the evil little cartoons on the side of my washing up bottle at home. How can bubbles ever be bad?
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Japan 3

I know I said I wasn't going to announce each album, but I'm announcing this one. Partly that's because Dad mentioned he mostly only checks my blog and doesn't often look at the rest of the site (which is probably true for several people). Mostly though I'm announcing it because I took what I think were some of the best photos of the whole trip on the two days covered by this album, and because I took lots of multiple photo panorama shots which I've spent a sizeable chunk of today merging (easier than it used to be but still takes work)

...

In truth one particular merge (the front of the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima) took most of the time, for some reason the top right corner just wouldn't behave itself. Anyway it's done now and I'm really happy with it. Let me know what you think?
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That's what it was!

Saturday lunchtime I thought a plane was going to crash on my house. We're nowhere near the flight path for Edinburgh airport, but the sound of a jet engine roar filled the house at around half one and grew steadily until eventually I hopped up onto the sofa to peer out of the velux... right into the undercarriage of this!

At the time I thought it must be a smaller aircraft, just implausibly low (Edinburgh doesn't get many long haul landings) but asking at the office over my morning coffee (it turns out I wasn't the only one spooked by it) I find out it was an "approach and go" fly past of Edinburgh by one of the first of these behemoths to enter service. Knowing that, I was able to turn up all kinds of coverage, but none of it quite captures the mix of fascination and mild terror I felt watching it out of the window on Saturday afternoon.

Don't get me wrong: Big machines are cool! I like them. I'm not sure I want them unexpectedly visiting my house though...
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Japan pics

OK. It only took me a little under four months, but I've finally started posting photos from my visit to Japan earlier this year. I'm not going to announce every update I make to the [tiny fanfare] newly revamped pictures section, you can check in periodically yourselves and see when I upload albums. if they're related to current blog posts I might mention them but otherwise just occasionally looking at the grid will tell you if there's anything new to see. However since I've been being nagged (quite justifiably) to post these for months (and since it's the last noteworthy stage of the "grand version 4 overhaul") I figured a post was in order.

So. Japan Album 1. There you go. :)

*For anyone who's interested, I'm still troubleshooting a minor bug in the iPhoto plug-in that builds the smart bit of the albums, it's breaking on certain descriptions which took me ages to work out (it doesn't tell you that's what happening, it just fails to write the code) but new albums should be a relatively quick (and therefore more regular) process once I get that licked.
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splateagle.com v4.0.1

Right. Everything except the new photos section is now up. Yes I realise the photos section is the one you've all been patiently waiting for me to update since May, but it's not ready yet so there. The new links page is up though so when my attention drifts again* you'll all be able to find other things to go and look at - isn't that lovely?

There are still some jumpy page-width issues happening between the different sections which bothers me... but otherwise I'm happy with how smoothly things have gone considering I rebuilt every page using a totally different (and new to me) markup. Of course now one of you Windows users will email and tell me you can't see the site at all anymore or some such...

OK. Lunch. Then, lightbox album time! woo yeah!

*not before I've fixed the photos page, I promise!
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*takes deep breath, crosses fingers*

I just wiped my entire site and uploaded a shiny sleek new version... the easy bits at least, I'm still grappling with Javascript and CSS for a couple of the sections but I've (hopefully) managed to wrestle the blogger code into the new page template (still a few rough edges but I think it should work.

...

so here goes
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Someone else's wise words

Depending how clued in you are, you may have read this years ago when it was written, but I hadn't until today. The great information stream deposited me in that particular stored eddy of Adams' (sadly lost) consciousness just now while I was (uncharacteristically) lunching at my desk* and it swirled around me in that magical way that something obvious articulated clearly for the first time does.

So I thought I'd share it in case anyone else had missed out too.

*Because it's tipping down and I had stuff to do in town, but still it's an activity that makes me more-than-usually wilful about not doing any work for the hour I'm allocated as my own time each workday
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