Hello! Yearnotes time again. To anyone unfamiliar, I write these at the end of every year for my own benefit mostly. They’re obviously very personal. I like reading about how other people’s years have gone, so if you’ve written some let me know!

There were a couple of big things that happened this year. I had a baby! We did some serious building work on our house! I changed roles at the Financial Times!

Let’s get the baby thing out of the way first

Edith was born in January at 3:57am weighing 8lb 11oz. She arrived after a six day long inpatient induction. In an almost dream like twist of events one of my best friends from sixth form college (with whom I had lost touch) turned up as my anaesthetist. After she was born we spent another five nights in hospital because of a suspected infection.

I treasure the memories I have of her birth. I replay them and as they get further away I feel them morphing and becoming fuzzier. Luckily because the induction was so long I had some time to write some really long emails to the few people who knew I’d gone in for it. One day I’ll re-read those and remember it all again fresh.

From the get-go, Edith was perfect. Full of life, furious, soft. So soft. She’s now nearly one and loves climbing, hiding behind things, being chased and eating blueberries.

Her arrival has turned Lachie and I into very emotional people. We have the internal consistency of cottage cheese. From the moment she was born we both just turned to mush.

This was a year of new experiences. At each stage (the birth, being off work, going back to work) I was bracing for it to be awful and it just… wasn’t? The birth was objectively quite bad but at each stage there were lots of nice and proficient people around, and of course Lachie, so I quite enjoyed it. Then being off work with Edith turned out to be a piece of cake and very much aligned with things I already enjoy (loafing around, cuddles). Then going back to work was extremely empowering (more on this later).

Lachie and I did shared parental leave, which I’ve written a whole other blog post about.

House! House! House!

During the summer we spent eight weeks living at my parents house while we had some building work done on ours. We now have a much bigger kitchen and a loft conversion. Getting that done was quite tough going (especially on Lachie who still had to go to work in London). Our house is mostly back together now, and having a kitchen that fits more than two people in is really excellent.

Great content

I started writing weaknotes. These are really for me to help me remember things. There is a small group of friends that I hope are interested in me personally enough to find anecdotes like “Edith did a poo as long as her whole arm” interesting. Though, on reflection, I doubt even my most loyal of friends is interested in that.

I also started doing Instagram videos while pushing Edith around in the pushchair. These came about because I was a bit bored on maternity leave and missed my grown-up friends.

I gave a talk about Tampon Club for International Women’s Day when Edith was about 2 months old. Tampon Club has slowed, largely because I’ve been busy with a baby. But I really should get back to it. Write some blog posts. Send out some stickers. Bulk buy some tampons on Ali Ba Ba.

Making things

This year I didn’t get much sewing done as for most of the year I didn’t have a room to sew in.

I did have a very rewarding foray into screen printing and made some nice, if a little wonky, tea towels. I did this largely while Edith was napping.

I did quite a bit of embroidery, probably because it takes up much less space than machine sewing and is far more portable. I made a mobile for Edith’s room (a lot of which was done in hospital), a picture of a toucan (a lot of which was done while we were away over the summer) and some hanging toys for Edith.

At the end of the year I bashed out two Jack Tar bags for Lachie’s brothers for Christmas. This is such a delightful pattern I’ll probably make it many more times.

There is a google photos album of things I made here

New job

In October I went back to work after about 10 months away for having and looking after Edith. When I went back to work I took on a new role as Principal Engineer in the Customer Products team (that’s the team that looks after FT.com and the apps). I had been leading the Origami team for a while and I was worried I’d be bored when I went back so I wanted a new challenge.

The new role has been very enjoyable so far. Having a baby has changed my approach to work as it has left me much more focussed. Because I have to leave on time I don’t faff around as much as I used to.

I have a new manager, Anna Shipman. Being managed by Anna is pretty amazing to be honest. She strives to be the best she can be at all times and it forces me to try my hardest too.


As usual I’ve made a photo album of the best things from 2018, but it doesn’t include any photos of Edith (except one of the back of her head) because we’re keeping her off the big old internet for now. Obviously she was a huge part of my year and also extremely cute, but unless we’re friends on Instagram you’ll just have to take my word for it. The album is here

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