▨ Jamie McHale

January 2023

A difficult month

January was a difficult month. Sadly, early in the month Harriet’s Grampa passed away. He was fortunate to be surrounded by his loving family and Harriet made it down in time to say goodbye. I wrote at the end of last year on “generations”, when Jack met his Great-Grampa. I’m so glad that Jack and Ron got to meet. I can’t help but feel that Ron was hanging on for Jack’s arrival. We have precious memories, and Jack can carry that connection with him. It’s strange that life can work in this way.

As for Jack, this month has been great. He’s really developing well. His feeding is now going smoothly, and he is chubbing up nicely. He’s smiling and burbling, and noticing that he has hands. He seems very social, aware and curious about the world around him. Changes are happening fast, every week brings something new. I both want to enjoy every moment, but am also keen to see what the future holds for him.

Jack being carried by Harriet

Harriet and I have been able to establish more of a routine. We’ve been getting out for walks, Harriet has been able to attend some social events, and we even made it out for a glass of wine at Indaba Cafe together (Jack in the sling!).

At the wine bar

Frustratingly, after managing to avoid it thus far, I caught Covid in January. I isolated away from Harriet and Jack for the best part of a week, and then stayed away from other people for a further few days until I tested negative. I felt bad for a couple of those days, and tired for most of the rest of the month. It’s difficult to know whether or not to attribute that to the virus, or having Jack. Covid made my fail my “no zero weeks” of running resolution, for both the week of the virus and the couple weeks I took off after. February I’ll be back on track.

The EdinburghJS meetup grew again this month, with around ~40 people attending. I gave a talk on “the things that aren’t code”, for what junior developers should focus on aside from language skills, and how senior developers can support them. Chris Godber gave a talk on WebXR. We’ll be back on 23rd Jan at CodeClan for “Testing services with Pact”.


I watched: All Quiet on the Western Front, Jungle, and The Imitation Game. I also started The Last of Us and House of the Dragon.

I started my journey through Tanner Greer’s Rise and Fall reading list with The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy. I also read Ideology: a very short introduction by Michael Freeden for the Open University course I’m taking.

I started Terry Pratchett’s Thud, but haven’t got far yet. I’m aiming to read more fiction this year.

New dish for the month was Ras el Hanout chicken from Persiana Everyday by Sabrina Ghayour.