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.

2015’s 365

In 2015 I again managed to take at least one photo every day!

365 2015

All the photos are on Flickr and I’m quite happy with them. As with previous years there were a good number of days when I didn’t think about it until late in the day and the photo is almost a “throw away” as a result, just to keep the habit up.

I see no reason to stop the habit, so intend to take at least 366 photos this year too!

2015 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.

I attended a lot of conferences this year, though one thing that was different this year was that I attended more than I spoke at. I also spoke at a lot of user groups which was lots of fun.


At the very end of January I went to FOSDEM and for the first time ever, I was accompanied by my wife who is currently studying for a degree in computing.

Sebastian talking about the state of PHPUnitJeremy & Sara with the PostgreSQL elephant


I spoke at the PHPUK conference in February and have some good memories from this event.

The PHPWomen standRowan & Gary


I stepping into the unknown in March and attended a WordCamp! It was a good experience and I got a new scarf!

Q&A with the core developersWapuu Scarf!


In April, my friend Alex visited from the Antipodes so I went up to Leeds to meet up with her and other friends. I discovered Fluxx the board game last year when at OSCON, and this was the time that I first played Fluxx the card game. I also visited Glasgow to speak at the PHP user group which was a bit of trek, so I took a couple of days off and photographed railways in the North of England while I was up that way.

Alex is introduced to FluxxPlacing the lamps on 76079


May is the month of birthdays in our household. We visited the Happy Potter studios in Leavesden to celebrate! I also visited Belgrade, Serbia to speak at SOLIDday.

The Knight BusThe organisers


Seeing friends was the highlights of June.

BeerVisiting friends


July was the inaugural PHP South Coast conference and the first time that 19FT has sponsored a conference. Very well organised first event and I’m looking forward to the 2016 edition.

Hallway trackThe organisers


August is all about holiday! While in Spain this year, I tried to take a good sunrise picture.

Fishing at sunriseSunrise


In one trip, I spoke at PHP Hampshire in Portsmouth and then attended the Lead Developer conference in London. Lead Developer was different type of conference and I’m going to be attending again this year.

HMS WarriorMeri Williams


October was the month of two fantastic conferences when I spoke at PHPNW in Manchester and attended OSCON Europe in Amsterdam! The hackathon at PHPNW particularly notable for as we received many pull requests! I also met my cousin’s new twin daughters which was another highlight of a very enjoyable month.

HackathonThe twins with Adam, Oliver & Dave


November is Fireworks Night in the UK which we celebrated with friends. I also went to Washington for the php[world] conference. It’s always good see boundaries between different PHP communities being broken down.

Watching the bonfireAnthony presents the closing keynote


The final month of the year found me in a pub with some of my oldest Internet friends: We’ve been playing MMOPRGs since 1999 and are suitably irreverent around each other! I also spoke at the first meeting of the PHPMiNDS user group in Nottingham and we released Slim Framework 3!

Palace won!New Slim T-shirt courtesy of @codeguy!

Looking back, I have had a really good 2015 and have some very fond memories; Let’s see what 2016 brings!

2014 in pictures

2014 is coming to an end, so as usual, let’s look back at the year as highlighted by the photos that I’ve taken. This year, I took at least one photo every day, so there’s been plenty for me to choose from!


As usual, there was flooding in Worcester, but clearly the biggest personal event of the month was breaking my elbow while skateboarding with my son at the end of the month. This clearly impacted my business for February and March as I could barely type for a good six or so weeks.

Still flooded Elbow in a cast


My wife and I celebrated her birthday in Barcelona and we discovered Licor 43!

Coffee on La Rambla A glass of Licor 43


A quiet month where my cast was removed. I also attended the PHPNE 14 conference in Newcastle.

Removing the cast Staff in their hoodies


In April, we went to the Insomnia Gaming Festival where the kids got to test out new games. We also sold our caravan.

At Insomnia 51 2003 Avondale Dart 556-6


May is a month of birthdays as both kids and myself celebrate.

New scooter Birthday boy playing on his new 3DS XL


The highlights of June were watching Great Britain play Belgium at basketball (and win!) and attending DPC.

Collins "We are screwed"


I was very pleased to speak at OSCON in Portland! It’s an amazing conference and I would very much like to go to the European edition in Amsterdam next year.

Portland Saturday Market Discussing Atom


In August, I went on holiday with my family and, at the end of the month, we celebrated my cousin’s marriage.

Playing in the pool Lucy & Dave


I attended and presented at the inaugural Endpoint conference where I learned much from Ben Longden. I also attended the Hackference conference day which was filled with interesting content.

Ben Erika Heidi


By October, I was heavily into conference season and presented at both PHPNW and ZendCon. Sandwiched between them, I also attended the All Your Base conference. This month, we also bought our own squat rack and cancelled our gym membership.

Khayrattee (aka 7PHP) Completed squat rack! Did you *really* write those tests?


I was privileged to be be invited to speak at PHP Argentina! An very well organised conference with a number of well known community people that I was delighted to meet and spend time with. How can you not love a conference where there are deck chairs in the hallway track? I also attended PHPEM’s unconference; It turns out that I have opinions on how to give a good talk too! This was a good event and I hope they hold it again next year.

Phil, preparing for his talk The final schedule


My eldest son finished building his remote control car kit this month. This was a great project and very enjoyable. At the close of the year, I bought a new camera, so I expect that I’ll be taking lots of photos next year too!

The Hornet It's not as big as an Elephpant!

I’m looking forward to 2015!

2013 in pictures

As 2013 finishes, I continue my tradition of showing off some photos that recap my year. Last year I discovered that I didn’t take many photos at all, so this year I’ve published at least one photo every day! A lot of them were rubbish, but a good number are shots that I’m very pleased with.


It rained in January. I liked this picture of Worcester racecourse:

Will it be a photo finish?!

January also saw me visiting Belgium for the PHPBenelux conference, where I took a very good picture of Chris Hartjes:

Unit test or else


February was a quiet month, with the highlight of visiting our friend in Swansea. There was also a history event in Worcester which the kids enjoyed:

Learning about the Bren light machine gun


We had snow in March which seemed a little late in the year. Also, Tornado came to Worcester, so I got a photo!

Tornado at Worcester


I started Nineteen Feet in April. This was the month when creating paper models of Minecraft items became a thing in our household:

Minecraft paper models


in May, I returned to the excellent php[tek] conference where we celebrated Liam’s birthday:

Happy Birthday Liam


By June I realised that I really need a desk as I was now working full time at home!

New desk


The highlight of this month was a trip to the National Railway Museum in York to take photos of some A4s:

Mallard & Dominion of Canada


In August, we go on holiday and this year we went to Devon. It was surprisingly warm who was nice. The highlight was a trip to the aquarium, but I also got to go on a train!

Looking out of the window


September was the start of a busy traveling time for me. In September, I went to pfCongres followed by a trip to Colombia to consult for a client. I particularly liked Michelle’s talk on open source:

Michelle taking about how to join an open source project


In October, I spoke at the fantastic PHPNW conference. During the hackathon the new version of’s Android app was released by Rich. The talks were really good as usual and I was not the only one who paid attention in Ross’ talk on models:

Paying attention at PHPNW13


I went to two conferences in Novemeber: CodeConnexx and ZendCon Europe where I got my hands on a Red Elephpant!

Red elephpant


I visited Colombia for a followup visit with my client which was great fun. The team introduced me to Aguardiente:


My company also did well enough to allow me to purchase a new retina MacBook Pro and monitor which arrived in the last few days to round off a very good year!

New computer!

2012 in pictures

As another year draws to a close, I continue my tradition of showing off some photos that recap our year.


January 2012 was a quiet month. I released Daily Jotter 1.3 and started using Sublime Text as my editor of choice for programming. Photographically, the highlight of the month was the Worcester Flickr Group’s scavenger hunt.



It snowed in Feburary and I started publishing articles on ZF2. Again, a Worcester Flickr Group outing to the Panorama Tower, Croome D’abitot in Worcestershire provided the only interesting photographs that I took all month.

Panoramic Tower


I was very much into Instagram and didn’t take any photos with my DSLR this month!



In April, I went to the inaugural Whisky Web conference as an attendee, which was fun, especially as Josh used one of my photos in his keynote.Josh Holmes


Both sons have their birthdays in May and a big family get together were the highlights of my May.



Nick and Kerry were married this month.

Nick & Kerry's wedding


A quiet month. I visited the PHPNW user group to see Jenni’s first talk.

Jenny presenting at #phpnw


In August we went to the Isle of Wight on holiday and I managed to visit the steam railway.

Old and newer


Eldest’s first day at high school!

First day at high school


October saw me speak at both the PHPNW and ZendCon conferences. I gave a tutorial with Evan Coury at both events which seem to be appreciated by the attendees.

The bar was popular in the evening

Whilst in California, I managed to take a photo of the Golden Gate bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge


After the busyness of October’s travel, I had a quiet month in Worcester. I also got some Toyella business cards!

I have @toyella cards!


Last month of the year and the last month that my company’s offices were in Birmingham as we moved to Worcester for the start for 2013. There was also a lot of rain!


All in all, another pretty good year. Next year, I intend to take more photos with my DSLR though.