Archive for the ‘personal’ Category


Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

I got a phone call from my brother yesterday afternoon, letting me know that our granny, Muriel Hope, had passed away. It was expected, in that she was in her 90s and had been fading for the last few months, although she hung on a lot longer than medical people had expected – Edinburgh stubbornness maybe. When she passed away she was at home, and most of her children were with her – three of my uncles and my mother.

So needless to say I’m feeling a bit strange. She had a long and fruitful life, loved living in Edinburgh, specifically the New Town, had a long and happy marriage, six children, many grandchildren and a growing brood of great grandchildren. She got to visit her children in Canada and Kenya, and did a lot of historical research into the Hope family. I had a lot of wonderful memories of her being with us for holidays, and of visiting her and Grandpa at Moray Place in Edinburgh. I know I will miss very much being able to drop round to see her, and although she knew about Dara’s birth of course she never got to see her. She did get to have time with Toby a couple of years ago – there are photos of that visit here, and here’s a great picture of Toby with his granny and great granny (click for full size picture):

Toby with Granny and Great Granny

P.S. My cousin Tom also put up a post about her, with a lovely photo. You will notice he refers to her as Anne Hope – she never really liked being called Muriel and at some point in her 80s would always refer to herself as Anne, especially when she published historical articles. I remember she was very happy when my brother David was small and would call her Granny Annie.

work update

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

It’s an unwritten policy on this blog that I don’t write about work (perhaps it’s a written policy now that I just wrote it) but this week it seems worth saying something. Last Friday was my last day as a Software Quality Assurance Manager at a large software maker after almost 8 years of working there. I generally enjoyed working there, and certainly enjoyed almost all the people I worked with, especially my team, but I was offered a really cool-sounding new position in the technology department of a Minneapolis-based enormo-retailer. I wasn’t really looking for anything new but I got a call a couple of months ago from some people I know at the retailer, and after a number of chats over coffee and a day and a half of intensive interviewing, including a full psychological profile, I was offered this new job. It seems like a great step forward for me professionally, plus the chance to work for a very progressive and expanding company, and also a considerable boost financially.

So as I said, I finished last Friday, which was rather strange. Strange to be leaving an office where I have spent a lot of time and energy, strange to be saying goodbye to some good friends, and strange to be stepping into something of an unknown and away from something of a comfort zone. I’m off all this week, between jobs, which is great timing to get more time with Dara and Toby, plus my mom and little brother while they are in town. New job starts next week!

mogendorff news

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Oh, I suppose I should have posted this first, being the big brother and all – in a shock move my brother Richard finally asked the lovely Annia to marry him, and she fortunately said yes. They have been together for 12+ years so it’s about blimmin’ time. They seem very happy and we’re very happy that Annia’s going to be officially part of the family.


Thursday, September 20th, 2007

A girl! Please welcome little Dara Christiane Mogendorff to the world – she was born yesterday, September 19 2007 at 4:24pm weighing in at 7 pounds 1 ounce and 20 inches long.

The delivery was quite something. I got a call at work from Emma about 1pm saying that she thought something was going on but I shouldn’t get too excited. Then just after 3 she called again to let me know that the contractions were about 7 minutes apart and fairly intense. She said that I should pick up Toby and get the bus home, but no hurry – fortunately one of my friends at work said that she would drive us home (she has a daughter about Toby’s age, and Toby said it was OK to ride in a pink car seat because it was an exciting emergency).

When I got home Emma was right in the zone, really working with the contractions, focused and breathing really deeply. I got her down to the car but even in that time, less than five minutes, the contractions were starting to come faster and faster. Thank goodness it wasn’t yet rush hour and the traffic wasn’t too heavy – while I was driving I left Emma to it, she was really doing her thing and breathing so well, but the contractions were really coming in waves with not much of a break between.

At the hospital emergency door I was parking the car when we saw Toby’s pediatrician walk by as he was finishing his shift. He said hi and asked how we were – even though he’s a pretty mellow guy he immediately went to get a wheelchair for Emma and told me that he would take care of parking the car for us (someone said that valet parking from a pediatrician is quite a perk). A nurse from the birthing center came zooming along to get us, although it felt like a long time in the ER admitting room with Emma saying that she had to push and that the baby was coming.

The nurse ran us through the hospital – it was just like in a movie as we shouted “Hold that elevator! Out of our way!”, and pretty exciting, in a freaky kind of way. Once we got up to the birthing center we ran through to the triage room and the midwife and a couple of other nurses appeared. We immediately got Emma on to the bed, and took off her shoes, jeans and underwear. Right away she pushed and the water broke, then about 20 seconds later she pushed again (with a big yell) and the baby came out. It was really that quick.

Emma coped with it incredibly well. She didn’t seem in much pain at any point, mostly just very focused, and she said that the cramping afterwards was actually more painful. As soon as Dara came, Emma just wanted to know if she was a girl or boy.

Dara’s very sweet, everyone who meets her says she’s got beautiful long eyelashes, and she also has very elegant fingernails. We’re just very pleased to have a little baby girl in our family.

manbag slander

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

Of course you realize this means war, as Bugs Bunny said more than once.

My so-called friend Robin posted today about my manbag quest with a supposedly hilarious video. Very funny. He doesn’t have comments on his blog so I can’t respond except here.

By the way, I did eventually get the bag I was after, and it is a wonderful thing. Robin himself admitted it.

baby update: no baby yet

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

I think Emma’s ready for the baby to come – from an IM chat we were having today:


the best news

Friday, September 7th, 2007

No, not baby news, but I think this news about Guinness having health benefits is a close second. Mine’s a pint!

About the baby: nothing yet, but still a few days to go till due date. Pretty exciting. This morning my whole team held a surprise baby shower and very generously got a whole lot of baby things for us.

the day today

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Pretty good day today: firstly, had a dentist checkup and still no cavities, all looking good. Secondly Toby had a great soccer class. The pitch was good and muddy, it wasn’t too hot and he was really into the whole thing. He ran and ran, played really well and had a great time. Thirdly I found out that at least some of the upcoming Rugby World Cup is going to be on a channel we get through our cable provider.

criminal musings of a very pregnant person

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Last night on the way home from dinner with friends we were driving past the light rail depot, and saw a few trains parked in the shed. Here’s what Emma had to say: “Look, the trains are all going to sleep. Hey, I wonder how easy it would be to steal a train? That would be really cool.” I pointed out that you’d need the tracks and points to cooperate, plus the light rail line is just a single line from downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America and back, so you wouldn’t get very far. Plus with an electric train they’d just shut off the power and you’d be stuck. Sorry to be a killjoy, but really.

Unperturbed, Emma said “Yes, but it would just be really fun. I should do that some day. However, it would just be a short step from that to joyriding. Maybe I shouldn’t.”

early early

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

Got to the office at quarter to six this morning – I had a call with some of our folks in the Bangalore office. So this meant getting up at quarter to five, and walking in through a lot of humidity. We had big storms last night, which kept me awake till after midnight – very loud and exciting. Also I didn’t get much sleep because my body was doing that thing when you know you have an early start, so you keep waking up.