Nagaland visitors

We had four people from Nagaland (NE India) to lunch on Sunday. Two of the women had visited Glasgow in 1988 for the Baptist World Youth Conference, and had stayed with one of our friends, Marjorie (who celebrated her 89th birthday last Thursday).

They have kept in touch ever since, and this year they, along with their brother Nungsang and another friend, are visiting the Baptist World Alliance conference in Birmingham. So they spent a few days in Glasgow with Marjorie, and we hosted them for lunch, along with other people from housegroup.

Naga visitors

Nagaland is in the far NE of India, with China to the north, Burma to the southeast, Bangladesh to the southwest, and Assam to the northwest. It is a small state with only 1.2 million people, who are predominantly Baptist! Nungsang is a Baptist pastor, working as part of the Naga community in Calcutta/Kolkata, and the three women work for the Nagaland government and are active participants in their local church life.

The Nagas were very strongly evangelical, which I must admit I found uncomfortable (I did a recent online quiz to find that I was an “Emerging, post-modern” Christian), but it was good to be exposed to a different culture, there was certainly something to learn about enthusiasm and strong faith.

So, very rewarding to discover more about somewhere so different. Without Marjorie’s friends I certainly would never have heard of Nagaland.

Normal service

Normal service, as far as I can tell, has now been resumed…

My hosting service decided to migrate their clients to another server, without telling us. This resulted in a bit of confusion where:

  • My site had lost the last 2 posts and comments (about 1 week’s worth);
  • No access to the ftp site;
  • And no correspondence between the cPanel and the live site!

Anyway, all seems to be in order now. Brothers and sisters-in-law, you can start making entries on Mum’s blog again!

Makes me want to consider changing host (again). It’s just the thought of all that effort. And then they go and offer additional services such as Fantastico, an auto-installer for cPanel servers, which bundles up b2evolution, Nucleus, WordPress blogs; Mambo, PostNuke, Drupal CMS and a whole host of other components. And I have unlimited MySQL databases and unlimited subdomains.

Cycling home from work

I cycled home from work today, the warmest day of the year (29 deg C). My route took me through the countryside between East Kilbride and Clarkston, past Thorntonhall and Waterfoot, with superb and really clear views across Glasgow to the Campsie Fells and Argyll hills beyond. The route is only around 7.5 miles (approx 11 km) and is downhill all the way. The trip took about 35 minutes.

The back roads were very quiet (I only encountered three cars) and the main roads through Clarkston and Muirend on the way home were also quite. You can tell it’s the school holidays.

I had taken my bike into work using Scotrail (bikes go free, in special racks), so that I didn’t have to cycle uphill to work, and arrive all hot, sweaty and bothered.

Good weather is due to continue tomorrow. If I’m not suffering from saddle-soreness I think I’ll try this again!

TechEd 2005 Amsterdam

I’ve been in Amsterdam this week at Microsoft’s TechEd Europe conference.

The conference is aimed primarily at Developers and IT Professionals, and is highly technical. The main themes this year were Service Oriented Architecture; building composite applications from components, linked together to form business processes; the upcoming (Nov 2005) launch of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005; and virtualisation using Virtual Server 2005. Very interesting and a number of key lessons to learn, and new skills to acquire.

OK, there was some fun as well – for the UK Country Drinks Party on Wednesday, we went to the Heineken Experience, just along the road from the hotel. This is an e-postcard that my colleague Samson and I sent back to the office:

However, a very male-dominated conference, with strong Trekky influences. The sock:sandal ratio was around 0.8.

Charlotte

Mark (my little brother), Julie and Charlotte have been visiting us in Glasgow this weekend. It’s lovely to spend some time with them, especially following Charlotte’s complete range of expressions. Her best one is shaking her head at Scary Uncle John, and there’s always this one of her trying to escape back to her Mummy.
Charlotte with J&J

However she has softened her attitude towards me and she has even smiled at me on occasion. This one shows Rhino who goes with her everywhere.
Charlotte and Rhino

Charlotte

Some genetic traits are apparent – here is Charlotte running towards her Mum who is offering biscuits. Now where have I encountered this before?
running for biscuits