Doris Lunnon

We celebrated Georgina’s grandmother’s life yesterday. She reached 99 years.

It was a lovely, simple service at the crematorium that fitted well and I particularly liked the music chosen to finish on – it’s great when we can leave a funeral service with a smile when thinking about the life of the one we have said goodbye to.

We don’t see that side of the family often and I have to say that the next generation are lovely, articulate young people and it was a pleasure to see them. Gillian & Steve and Stuart & Cath must be very proud.


I wonder

I wonder if the UK will have fewer people in prison in 5 years time.
I wonder if the UK will have smaller class sizes in 5 years time.
I wonder if the UK will have fewer people sleeping on the streets in 5 years time.
I wonder if the UK will have fewer children growing up in poverty in 5 years time.
I wonder if the UK will be healing more people more quicklly in 5 years time.

2018 in pictures

As 2018 draws to a close, I take the time to look at the past year. As usual, I look at the photos that I’ve taken and frame my thoughts around them.


I started the year with ongoing efforts to reduce the pain in my joints and then visited America for CodeMash in Ohio. This was my second consecutive year speaking at CodeMash and I really enjoyed it. As I was in the US, I popped in to see my family in South Carolina which experienced really cold weather for the few days that I was there! I also spoke at LeedsPHP user group and got my first set of reading glasses as I’m no longer as young as I once was…

Steroid injection in my ankleUncle Harry & Cousin Jeff


February was a conference-heavy month. We had our annual trip to FOSDEM and then I spoke at Sunshine PHP where I also spent a day at Miami Beach with Michael. I also spoke at PHPUK in London.

Satnos: Open Source satellite ground stationsPodcasting at Sunshine PHP


It snowed in March, so I took photos of trains in the snow! I also attended Seiden Group’s CIO Summit in Dallas & GrumpyCon in Canada. While in Canada, I popped in and saw my family who live nearby in London, ON.

1501 is ready to departDinner


In April, I spoke at PHP Yorkshire and popped into the NRM while I was up in York. My youngest practiced for his Duke Of Edinburgh Bronze trip & in contrast to the snow in March, we ate ice cream in April. I also attended Tech Edge in Leeds where Kevin was speaking – not a common event!

Hallway trackKevin Bowman speaking about handling incidents


I started thinking about a product idea with Stuart Herbert in May. I also received a Lineside Photographic pass for the SVR and took my favourite railway photo of the year. It even won approval from my wife as it has horses in it!

Meeting with Stuart at DeskLodgeMare with her foal


In June, I spoke at Laravel Live UK and Romania PHP in Cluj. I particularly enjoyed the tour of Cluj the day after the conference . I also got out my old Minolta X-300 film camera and put a roll of black and white film in it. Didn’t get the pictures back until December though!

Worcester Beers & CamerasA conversation between Arne & Stefan


JeffConf was renamed Serverless Days and I spoke at the London event where I met a couple of the OpenWhisk contributors. I was also in London for Coed:Ethics: a conference on ethics for developers and technologists. On the last day of July, I was delighted to speak at the inaugural PHP South Wales. July was also the month of the family get-together which is always fun, though the younger generation spent more time watching the World Cup!

Carlos & MarkusCousins watching the football


This year, we went to Disney World, Florida and also visited Kennedy Space Centre! Fantastic holiday, although I needed another holiday to get over it… We also followed the Worcester Giraffe Trail, a temporary art installation in our home town which was lots of fun.

That holiday feeling!Cousins with Granddad at KSC


We visited the South Coast and saw the pebble beaches when visiting our family in September. I also took photos of big engines at the SVR Autumn Gala and tried my hand at action photography.

I can see the sea!Jumping


In the autumn, I visited various universities around the country with my eldest. The SVR held the Fiftis at Fifty event to celebrate 50 years of the introduction of the Class 50 diesel locomotive onto the UK railways, I took this opportunity to attend my first private railway photoshoot and intend to do more. The Hackference conference was up the road in Birmingham this month and my eldest passed his driving test, which drastically increased the cost of our car insurance!

50007 (as 50006) crosses Victoria BridgeHe passed!


My memories of Bonfire Night this year revolve around very sticky marshmallow covered hands! It was a busy month for travel as the following day, I flew to California to work with a client with Roave. Upon landing back in the UK, I spoke at Serverless Computing London and then a week later at TopConf in Tallinn. While in Tallinn, we took the opportunity to catch up with friends.

Roave collaborationChatting over lunch


December saw the PHPSW Christmas social where there were Lego robots. We also met up with our online gaming friends in Croydon as usual and Christmas was notable for some rather awesome jumpers. At the very end of the year, I borrowed a Fujifilm X-T10 camera from a friend to see how I get on with its ergonomics. Of course, I took some more railway pictures!

Building Lego robotsRight Away Driver!

It’s very easy for me to forget what happened during the year, which is why I take photos. Here’s to 2019!


This comment by Philip Hammond shows the problem the UK has:

All of the other options have disadvantages and we have to look not only at the economy but also the need to heal a fractured nation. We will not be successful if we remain fundamentally divided and fractured on this issue.

With a 52/48 split, we are going to factured for many decades to come.

2017 in pictures

Another year has passed which gives me an excuse to to reflect on what’s happened. As usual, I look at the photos that I’ve taken and frame my thoughts around them.


I started the year with one of my favourite pictures of the kids. I also spoke at CodeMash in Ohio. This was a new conference to me and I knew no-one there. Fortunately, I was introduced to Mo, so had at least one person to talk to! She also introduced me to more people :)

Brotherly loveGirl Develop It organisers


We had our annual trip to FOSDEM in February. It was also quite windy.

Community room at FOSDEMIt's a bit windy…


My Nintendo Switch arrived in March! Great console, I’m still loving it. I also visited the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to see Royal Scott.

Breath of the Wild on Switch46100 Royal Scot


In April, we celebrated my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary & my sister ran the London Marathon! Conference-wise, I spoke at the inaugural PHP Yorkshire conference and also spoke at Craft conference; both great events.

My mum & dad are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary today!She got the medal!


May is the month of birthdays in our household. I went to Turkey for PHPKonf and then to Serbia for PHPSerbia.

Discussion a potential PHP anomalyEnjoying ice cream


I was really happy to speak at the Lead Developer conference in June and then immediately afterwards spoke at PHP South Coast, filling in for a speaker that couldn’t make it.

Randall KoutnikStarting the conference with a cup of tea


July started with DPC and I also attended the inaugural JeffConf.

ChrisJames Governor moderated a panel on serverless adoption


We were on holiday in August and I also saw a Land Rover on wheels at the Severn Valley Railway.

ReflectionsLand Rover on rails


As is becoming a tradition, we started September with a family gathering where we discovered that my youngest cousins once removed have gained personalities! I reorganised my office so my desk was no longer in the afternoon sunshine. At the end of the month, conference season started up again when I spoke at APIDays in Zurich and then CodeTalks in Hamburg.

My youngest with his cousinStefan & Anna


We visited our friends in Tallinn, Estonia in October; it’s cold there, but a lovely city! I photographed steam trains twice in October, visting the KVWR in Yorkshire and taking my favourite railway photos of the year in Worcestershire: Royal Scot on the mainline.

Visiting TallinnRoyal Scott on The Cotswold Venturer excursion today


November is Fireworks Night in the UK which we celebrated with friends. Again, we contributed wood for the bonfire and also delivered wood from Kevin as I visited with my car a few weeks earlier. I spoke at muCon in London and attended CodeMotion in Milan.

Toasting marshmallowsKeynote space


December saw me geeking out about cameras at the local Beers & Cameras meetup. My friend Alex visited the UK from New Zealand, so I was especially happy to get to see her too. We also found time to get down to the annual get together with our online gaming friends in a pub in Croydon which is now into its 17th year.

Worcester Beer & Cameras meetupBL Christmas meetup

All in all, a great year and I’m looking forward to 2018.

Lack of preparation is shocking

Frankly, I’m shocked at how unprepared this government is towards exiting the EU.

I can’t quite believe that they haven’t assessed what happens when we leave for the three cases of in the customs union, in a negotiated situation and under WTO rules. I expected better.

The cabinet hasn’t even discussed and agreed what their end goal is!

The fundamental problem is that the Tory MPs & the cabinet are as divided as the country still is. Practically, they should only have started down this road when 70% or so of the country wanted it.

It’s a shambles that was entirely predictable by the closeness of the vote result which was reinforced when May lost her majority.

Article 50

I’m proud to be a part of the European Union, a group of countries creating something bigger than the sum of the individual nations.

Today, all I feel is a sense of loss.

What’s going to happen?

A friend on Facebook asked:

To my friends/family that think Trump is going to destroy America, drive us off a cliff, or set us back 300 years…what, specifically, is it that you think he is going to do to unleash said catastrophe?

This was my response:

As with all things related to government, we are unlikely to see a big catastrophe, unless the US really does go to war either economically or militarily with China which I think is unlikely.

I think in the US as in the UK, we’ll see a number of small things that mainly lead towards entrenching the current divisions in the country as these benefit the richest people who can buy the politicians.

So in the US, I wouldn’t be surprised if disabled children lose their current right to public education, the mortality rate in poorest 10% rises and that the number of people needing more than one job to get by increases.

Similarly, in the UK, we’ll see the same thing. There’ll be more zero contract hours employment which will give the impression that unemployment is going down, but more people in the country will be materially poorer and living with the risk of being fired with no notice. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see NHS funding reduced more as our national income goes down and of course our taxes will go up indirectly even though there’ll be a headline income tax cut.

Whether or not you care about these things depends on how much empathy you have I think. Personally, I want society as a whole to improve, which is measured by looking at the rise in education, health and treatment of the disenfranchised and the poverty stricken. I want to live in a country that is embarrassed that food banks exist and that people have to choose between food or heating. I don’t see this measurement of our society improving in the next 4 or 5 years.

For me personally, I’m facing a significant tax rise next year due to the changes announced in the budget and I’ve noticed that it’s a bit harder to get new work which is worrying. Other than that, I’ll be fine. I’m educated, mobile, reasonably rich, and white, so am not in a demographic that the government or the media will target for defunding, punitive taxation or blame.

2016 in pictures

It’s that time of year again where we look back at what happened over the past 12 months. Obviously this is mostly an excuse for me to look at the photos I’ve taken over the year and share some of them as I’ve done previously.


At the very end of January I visited Phoenix, Arizona to see Evan, Priscilla & other friends. I also attended FOSDEM again and spent a tourist day in Brussels.

The Europeans insisted on seeing the sun!Atomium


I was fortunate enough to speak at PHPUK again in February.

The conference is about to startStart of the second day


The highlight of March was visiting the NYMR to see Flying Scotsman.

Flying Scotsman from the linesideUp close


In April, my eldest drove a Lamborghini and now intends to buy one! It’s important to be able to dream when you’re 14. I also visited the NRM.

Eldest drove a Lamborghini!Mallard


May is the month of birthdays in our household. I also attended the StatusCode event in Nottingham

Happy Birthday!Andrew


Two conferences in June. I spoke at PHP South Coast and took my favourite photo of Andrew Smith ever! I also attended Lead Developer.

Best pose everMichael Lopp


July was the inaugural UK edition of REST Fest in Edinburgh. We also went on holiday where I attempted sunrise photos and ate lots of ice cream.

Mike talks about Conway's four lawsSunrise


Worcester Comic Con happened in August where we got to meet “our” Doctor! Unfortunately this was also the month when my dad was taken ill.

Georgina with her DoctorLearning table top gaming


September was about family and friends with an extended family gathering and a trip to Leeds to see friends. Dad was transferred to a closer hospital too and started to get better. September was also the start of conference madness that lastest to November, with a trip to Dublin for DrupalCon.

Dad & meA group of amazing people


October was the month of conferences when I spoke at PHPNW in Manchester, attended OSCON Europe and spoke at the Software Architecture conference, both in London! The other welcome news this month was that Dad came out of hospital.

Coffee breakAttendies to my talk!


November is Fireworks Night in the UK which we celebrated with friends. This year, we contributed wood for the bonfire as we’ve been tiding our garden. I also spoke at Velocity in Amsterdam as did my friend Kevin.

Bonfire nightKevin discussing how to survive the Grand National


As usual, the final month of the year found me in a pub with some of my oldest Internet friend from our MMORPG gaming group that I’ve been part of since 1999. I visited Northern Ireland for the first time. Family from America also visited; I haven’t seen my cousin Leigh in 28 years and so had not met her husband or children, so this was very much a highlight.

BL Cronxmas meetupFamilies

All in all a good year, though I will try and space out my conferences a little better in 2017!


I like being part of Europe. I don’t mean being part of the continent of Europe as that’s just geography. I mean being part of the European Union group of 28 countries working together on the big things.

I like being part of an economic and political power that can stand toe-to-toe with the big players on the world stage. I like that the EU is economically powerful enough to compete with China and the USA. The EU that is big enough that the US and China have to compromise with it in order to trade is my EU.

It’s great that I’m part of the only union of separate countries that wields so much diplomatic power that it could start negotiations with Iran over nuclear technology such that the Americans had to take note and join in. I like that EU is powerful enough that Russia has felt the economic sanctions we’ve imposed.

I’m glad that the EU looks out for its own people too, with anti-pollution and employment protection measures which help us all. Measures, that I’m ashamed to say, that the UK government tried to block.

I even like the EU governance model where representatives of each democratically elected government come together to create policies of common interest with each country then choosing how to enact that policy via their own locally applicable law. This model means that the UK is a member of a powerful union but can enact our own laws which means that we have most flexible labour market and the least regulated services market in the group because it suits our country best this way.

One thing I’ve never been totally sure about is the concept of a common currency without political and tax/banking union. The UK was never involved in that though, because the European Union is and always has been a union of sovereign countries and the UK government made the sovereign decision that the Euro was not for us.

I liked being part of Europe.