It’s New Year’s Eve, 2017 and, as I sipped my morning coffee, I spent some time looking through my photo album and reflecting on the year. This year has definitely had its ups and downs for me, but the downs aren’t represented at all in my camera roll. I only seem to capture the highs, and frankly I don’t think that’s a problem.

Looking back over my captured memories, I realise that this has been a long and adventurous year. As a family we’ve had some great times and some amazing trips away from home (which is usually when I tend to take the most photographs). Personally, I’ve had fun and inspiring times with friends and colleagues at home and on my visits to Logikcull HQ in San Francisco. I love taking photos and a change of location always reignites this passion.

What follows is a photographic trip through the highlights of my year, captured either on my Olympus E-M10 MkII, or on my iPhone 7 Plus, which itself is a very capable camera.


San Francisco. Tram tracks rise up the hill into the distance as the morning sunlight shines on tall buildings.

The year began with a visit to San Francisco to spend a week working on-site at Logikcull and to attend the company Holiday Party. One of the great things about working for a US-based company is that whenever I visit, a combination of jet-lag and office hours means I do my sight-seeing in amazing light conditions.

A pro-life rally passes in the background. In the foreground, a sole female counter-protester holds a plaquard which reads 'Abortions Save Lives'

I flew home from SF on the day after President Trump’s inauguration. I’d hoped to be able to attend the Womens’ March, planned for that day, but my flight times meant that I was wandering the city as a quite disturbing anti-abortion rally took place. It really was an unpleasant experience, as more people than I’ve ever seen in one place marched for beliefs far contrary to my own, but I used it as an opportunity to get a bit photo-journalistic. One of my favourite shots of the day was of this counter-protester, who stood peacefully and purposefully on Market Street receiving verbal abuse.

On the BART train to the airport later, things got better as the stations and carriages were packed with groups of pink-hatted women of all ages, preparing for the Womens’ March.

A young girl dressed in white, around 18 months old, holds her hand up against her reflection in a window.

At the end of January, as at the end of every January for the last thirty years, we had our family trip to Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest. I started going with my parents, their friends and all of their kids when I was about seven years old. Now all of us kids have kids and there’s a whole crowd of us. This photograph is of my Neice, looking out of the glass door of the villa at some passing wildlife (I think it was a swan).


A selfie of me and my wife. In the background: bright blue skies, the sea, and across the bay, a distant mountain.

Away again! This time with my wife to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary. It was the first time we’d been abroad without our son and the first time we’d been away for more than a night or two without him since he was born (he’s 12 now!)

A long exposure photograph just after sunset. Light in the clouds silhouettes a mountain on the peninsula. The sea appears smooth and frothy. On the seafront, bars and restaurants are lit up.

We went to Tenerife, in the Canary Islands for a week and had one of the relaxed weeks we’ve ever had together.

A commercial-style photograph of a small glass of coffee against the backdrop of a blue sky and mountain.

Each morning we’d walk along the sea front and around to the next bay where we’d watch the kitesurfers and passers-by with a nice small coffee.


A monochrome photograph of an overweight old man walking on the promenade in a seaside town.

This photograph doesn’t mean much to me, other than that I just really like it. We were at Bridlington one Sunday and as my son went on a fairground ride with my wife, I had a little wander with my camera. I saw this old man walking along the promenade amongst the long shadows and I just thought he looked interesting.

Incidentally, the last time I took a candid photograph of a random, interesting-looking man in Bridlington, it turned out to be David Hockney .

Tarn How's, above Coniston in the Lake District

We took a weekend away in Coniston in the Lake District. This photograph was taken on a walk up to Tarn How’s.

Teenage cousins posing next in front of an ancient wall.

At the end of April we travelled to Northern France to visit my cousin and his family. This was one of my big highlights of the year. I pretty much grew up with my cousin, Paul, and have always loved spending time with him and his family (and animals).

A portrait of Butler the dog.

Butler is a handsome hound.

Kellady the hen, rollerskating on a windowsil

Kellady the hen is a talented bird.

Butler the dog looks on as Miles tends to an injured bird, feeding it from his hand

On one of our evening walks, Miles and I found an injured bird (there’d been a fantastic lightning storm and we think it had flown into a wall in the confusion). Miles carried it back to the house and made it a makeshift nest, out of the way of the village cats. He nursed it back to health, feeding it food from his hand and water from an acorn shell.

A gothic church in St Hilaire Du Harcouet, Brittany, is reflected in the lake below.

This photograph of the church in St Hillaire du Harcouet represents to me how differently one can think of a place depending on the circumstances in which it is experienced. This beautiful scene contrasts harshly to the first time I came here, as a thirteen year old on a student exchange, which I hated every second of. My opinion of this lovely town is now entirely positive.

Rooftops in the ancient city of Dinard

When my cousin took his family to Brittany a decade ago, it transformed their lives. I feel like we got a bit of that when we visited. I love that part of the world and would move their myself in a second. We might end up there at some point. At the very least I’m hoping to visit again in 2018.


A bright sun casts its rays on the San Francisco skyline.

In June I was back to San Francisco for another week working on site with my Logikcull colleagues. The development team at Logikcull is almost entirely remote, yet when we get together, it’s like meeting up with old friends. A few of us were put up in a fabulous AirBnB – a very comfortable penthouse apartment with amazing views of the city.

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, in silhouette.

The company arranged activities and entertainment for quite a few of the evenings that we were all together. One night we went down to some batting cages pretty much underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. It looked pretty spectacular in the golden Californian evening light.


A monochrome close-up shot of a fern leaf

In 2016 we went to Cornwall for our Summer holiday. This year we decided to repeat the trip, albeit staying in slightly different places. This time we spent our first week in a fisherman’s cottage in Looe (South coast) and our second week in a beach house in Mawgan Porth (North coast). The weather wasn’t fantastic but we made the most of it. We visited plenty of attractions including a cider farm, a brewery, The Lost Gardens of Helligan (where I took these floral close-ups) and I even managed to get a bit a bit of surfing done at Mawgan.

Lupines in various shades of pink blow in the wind

We ate at a couple of Rick Stein’s eateries and a host of other fantastic restaurants over the two week period – almost as though eating was the primary reason for the trip. On the way home we called in at Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre, home to some very smelly otters and some beautiful deer.

A young deer sticking its toungue out.

We’d visited the year before and Miles had fallen for Dasher, a three-legged deer. With our fingers crossed, we asked the park keeper if he was ‘still here’. Fortunately he was alive and well and Miles got to meet him again. Turns out, deer love to eat grapes. The park keeper gave us some from his stash to feed to Dasher.


Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Austria

Earlier in the year my good friend, Nigel, had moved to Vienna, Austria with his wife, Pauline, to take a job with the UN. We pretty much immediately booked flights to visit him once they were settled in in October. It was fantastic to see them, and also to see such a wonderful city as Vienna.

Volksgarten, Vienna, Austria

The architecture and history of the place is stunning. Around every corner is a palace or a cathederal, or an amazing church. Museums seem to be on every street. Every government building is its own work of art. Such an historic and preserved well preserved city which at all times felt safe and progressive.

Crossing lights illustrated not by green men, but by green same-sex couples. Vienna, Austria.

A day trip to Schonbrunn Palace and its famous zoo (which definitely seems like one of the ‘good zoos’ that values welfare of the animals above all else, not the horrible expoitative ones that are basically freakshow animal prisons) gave me an opportunity to play with nature photography again.

A very grumpy looking fish

I don’t know what was making this fish so grumpy.

A proud lioness

This lioness was a beautiful creature and the tiger, pictured below, prowled around its enclosure looking immensly powerful.

A tiger prowls

Vienna is definitely on the list of places we’re going to revisit, not least because my friend is there.

The year in summary

This is just a snapshot of my year. I’ve had numerous cycling adventures, including snow-bound hauls across the moors, a long ascent (and then a very fast descent) of Skiddaw in low visibility and gale force winds, a couple of broken helmets and even a visit to the second step of the podium in my first gravel enduro race. I’ve spent time with fantastic friends and my amazing family. I’ve seen some of my favourite bands perform live.

There have also been low-lights this year for me, my family and my friends. But that’s not what this is about. I’m going out of 2017 thinking about the good bits, and the amazing times and adventures that will come with 2018.

Happy New Year, everyone!

If you want to discuss, I'm @peterjlambert

Aggregate 100

I took part in the Aggregate100 last weekend. A 100km gravel enduro race comprising four timed stages of varying (but I’m assured atypically long) distances, each over the hilly and at times pretty technical off-road course on the bridleways, singletracks and forest roads of the North York Moors. I punctured on the first stage (on a climb!) and then again a further four times in the section between the 1st and 2nd stages (which, whilst incredibly annoying, wasn’t timed, so was actually a good chance to recover some legs). After that I actually had to go back to the HQ at Cropton for more tubes and patches (I’d run out of both, borrowed patches from passing riders and then run out of those).

After puncturing on the first stage I’d assumed my goal of a finish in mid table mediocrity was out of the window. I went as hard as I could on the remaining stages, because that’s what you do, isn’t it? I was completely spent at the end. Even after the 16km steady ride back to the finish from the end of the last stage, I couldn’t talk. I laid on the grass for a good while.

I punctured again between the HQ and my car. 10 metres across a grass camping field. That made it six for the day!

The organisers did a rough calculation of the aggregate stage times on the day so they could present trophies and I was pleased that my VC York club-mate and good friend, Pete Hook, who I’d ridden the non-timed sections with, had taken the win by a whopping 15 minutes to the next rider. He’s a class rider and consistently disappeared up the track in front of me when we hit the timed stages, so it wasn’t a surprise at all. He flew!

This morning I saw the overall results sheet. It appears that the second placed rider, 15 minutes behind Pete, was me!

Second! I’ve come second in a bike race before, but that was the tequila race at Rapha Supercross. That was still a race but you could take a shortcut on each lap if you took a shot and let them squirt tequila into your mouth from a bidon. I stood on the podium after that night-time race with my face burning from the cheap liquor. The Aggregate100 feels more like an actual race!

This was my first experience of a race in the enduro format and I have to say, there’s a lot I like about it. Pete H has had more experience, having done a lot of MTB enduro. He knew the score and made sure we took it very steady between the stages. There’s no point in blowing your efforts on parts of the course that don’t count. As a result of all the punctures and the steady riding, we actually finished the event near the back of the field. We were on the course for 7.5 hours, but only the timed sections counted. As a consequence, until the results are published I had no idea how well or how poorly anyone had done.

I’m under no illusions that I’m a top-three rider in events, or even top-ten, or that I will be in future events. There were a lot of people missing from that race who who might have finished between me and Pete, but you can only race those who turn up, eh? Go as hard as you can and hope for the best.

I’m beaming a bit this morning. Thanks to Matt and Emma and everyone else involved for organising a fantastic event. I’ll be back next year (with tubeless tyres).

If you want to discuss, I'm @peterjlambert

Loose Lego bricks on the floor

I’m currently somewhere near the middle of a huge project I’ve undertaken at work. A total refactor of the web app’s CSS. Over the 6 or so years we’ve been working on the product, the CSS codebase has grown bigger and messier as we’ve added features and redesigned certain aspects. When features have been built on a tight deadline, refactoring old CSS to fix specificity clashes has been pretty low on the list of priorities, and so the number and length of selectors has grown.

More recently, with feature production now stabilised, I figured it would be a good idea and a pretty good time to refactor EVERYTHING. Doing this by halves would just not get the job done. I needed to get everything fixed at once. Rid the source of specificity clashes and tidy up old code. Everything would be solid and modular again and much easier to deal with when new features are added in the future.

At this point in the process I’m starting to feel a little over-faced by the massive task still ahead of me.

My son has a lot of Lego. He’s always been into Lego. He started with Duplo, then the basic Lego sets, then City, Ninjago and later the Star Wars franchised Lego sets. He has a lot of them. I daren’t think how much it would all add up to. He’s an only-child. He may be a little spoiled.

In the last couple of years though, as he approaches his teenage years, he’s been getting more into the Xbox and his Lego collection has been ignored and neglected. Over that time the models he (and I) painstakingly put together have been dismantled; either partially or fully, deliberately or accidentally. Pieces have been borrowed from one to patch another. Eventually, the majority have ended up as a box full of loose bricks in various shades of battleship grey.

Lego instruction manuals

This Summer, during the school holidays, my son is also undertaking a mammoth project. Finally bored of the Xbox, he’s decided to revisit his Star Wars Lego. He started with his Clone Turbo Tank – one of the biggest of his models and one that when first built, he abandoned after a day and I spent the next two days completing it myself. Of course, originally we had neat little bags with all the correct pieces in. This time we have two huge plastic boxes containing all the dark grey remains of his various dismantled fighters, vehicles, and bases.

So far, he’s sticking with it. He’s finished the Turbo Tank and is onto the next model. Diligently sifting through the ever-shrinking pile of loose bricks to find the specific piece he needs for a certain instruction. He knows that it’s going to be a lot of work and at times it’s mind-numbing (as well as knee and fingertip numbing), but in the end he’ll have a room full of perfectly put-together Lego models and, I imagine, a bunch of loose bricks that he’ll decide he didn’t need anyway.

Whilst it’s a fun task to start, and a daunting task in the middle, at the end he’ll have created something that is as it should be. All his fighters and bases and vehicles will be whole and independent. One won’t rely on any pieces borrowed or shared with another.

Then he’ll promise himself that he’ll never have to go through that again.

If you want to discuss, I'm @peterjlambert

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