▨ Jamie McHale

April 2022

Birthday, birds, cycling and running
Spring at the University of Edinburgh

April went by in the blink of an eye. I managed to pack a lot in - friends visiting from near and far, several events, running, a tonne of work and some birthday fun. The blossom is out on the trees, the sun in shining, and Edinburgh is coming alive.

Michael Hayes speaking about React Native projecs

I co-organised another EdinburghJS meetup for the local JavaScript community. Michael Hayes of AddJam spoke about his React Native project setup and Allan Lloyds of Product Forge spoke about a history of JS in Rails apps.

The meetup is slowly gaining strength with regular attendees. I think it will take a while to get back to pre-pandemic numbers, but we’re taking the steps to get there! In May we have two more technical talks coming up, the same in June, followed by a social event in July. Keep an eye on the EdinburghJS Twitter for announcements.

I’m putting into practice a lot of my JavaScript knowledge on my current contracts: building a few web apps for a new startup, and readying another startup for production (testing, de-risking, improving the code for fixing and feature development). There is a lot of work to do, but I think I’ve managed to find a busy-balance.


I attended my first gig in a long time - The War on Drugs at the Corn Exchange. It was great seeing live music again! I hadn’t realised that the Scottish masking laws had changed that day - there were more people on stage wearing masks than in the audience! I had packed an FFP3, as I think it’s still sensible to be cautious in crowded places.

It was my birthday at the end of the week, so I took the Friday off. I went to the Audubon’s Birds of America exhibition at the National Museum (worth a look!), had lunch in the sunshine, then went to the Cycling Track Nations Cup in Glasgow. Thanks to friends and family for the kind gifts of books on birds, Matisse and trail running!

Harriet with a birthday cupcake
A bird and illustration at the Audubon expo
Friends at the UCU cup
French cyclist on the tracks
Birds and Us book cover
Matisse books

My birthday weekend coincided with a get-together as Aaron was back in town for a US-UK trade conference. It was nice to hang out with folks again, and explore a little more of Glasgow’s south side. I was a little sleepy, as Gordon and I had run a half marathon during the day. I got the last train home, ready to work on my penultimate Open University assignment due in at the start of the next week.

I finished reading:

The marathon training is entering the final phase - just one long run left in May before the big day! I managed 28km over ~3 hours this weekend. I’m pleased with progress. A few weeks ago I felt like I was on the edge of injury after running 30km, but this time I felt I kept my form throughout.

My Garmin app informs me that I am currently “peaking” - so I hope I can sustain the balance for another few weeks!

View from Arthurs Seat