Meet my new son, Isaac Jacob Neilson Saunders

Baby Isaac wearing a white hat
Isaac Jacob Neilson Saunders

Isaac Jacob Neilson Saunders was born at 10:30 this morning by Caesarean section in Ninewells Hospital, Dundee; he weighed 3820g (8lbs 6½oz) and he is beautiful.

It was all very calm, the staff were a paradigm of lovely and little Isaac is a quiet wee sweetie.  Quiet all but for the way that he’s been ‘bleating’ all afternoon like a little lamb.  A soothing little “meh… meh… meh… meh”.

What has been most peculiar is that there is only one baby. For the last two years we’ve thought in twos. When the nurse handed me the paperwork for the registry office to confirm his birth I was ready to say, “Hang on! Where’s the other one?”

Reuben and Joshua got to meet him this afternoon, which we really wanted. Jane was still on the labour suite at the time so I wheeled the little cot out to the corridor.  They both stroked his tiny head and wanted to give him a cuddle, all with a running commentary from Reuben: “Cute… cuddle! Daddy baby… in cot. Gentle…”

It was really interesting to see their responses. Reuben, quite the extrovert, was hands-on, getting right in there; once Jane was up in the ward he even got to ‘hold’ Isaac, sitting on the bed and under Jane’s close supervision. Joshua, more of an introvert, sat back, observed and cuddled in to me.

I just can’t wait until they come home and we can just get on with it…


I’ve just corrected Isaac’s weight which was 8lbs 6½oz, my original calculation was a rough one done in my head because no-one at the time could give me an accurate grammes to pounds conversion.

Scoop and Bob the Builder

Joshua and Reuben with Scoop and Bob the Builder
Joshua and Reuben with Scoop and Bob the Builder

En route to Ninewells hospital yesterday for Jane’s pre-Caesarean section tests we stopped off at the riverside Tesco in Dundee so that Jane could grab something to eat.

We found a parent and child parking space, right in front of a Bob the Builder, Pilchard and Scoop kiddies’ ride. Of course, Reuben and Joshua wanted to get out and meet Bob and Scoop, up close and personal.

They loved it. Gave each other a go driving, and then got back into the car when mummy and daddy told them to.

What wonderful children!

And then they screamed for about 30 minutes while I drove around Dundee trying to encourage them to sleep in the car while Jane had her appointment at the hospital.

New SEC calendar and lectionary in Outlook website

Screenshot of SEC calendar and lectionary in Outlook website
Screenshot of SEC calendar and lectionary in Outlook website

Over the last few months I’ve been working on a new website to support the Scottish Episcopal Church calendar and lectionary files that I create every year. To support the files, today I launched:

I had intended to get this site launched over the Christmas and New Year break but… well, something about having toddler twin boys and a pregnant wife changed those plans.

What it’s all about

The CSV files allow you to import or subscribe to details of the Scottish Episcopal Church saints’ days, festivals and readings in your Outlook or Google calendar.

I also recently started adding an iCalendar feed, which enables you to subscribe to the calendar. The idea there is that if any of the details change then they get updated automatically.

I created the first file in 2005, for my own use both in Outlook and on my Psion PDA, I mentioned it to a few folks who were interested in it and have made it available on my blog ever since. But I felt that it deserved more than just a blog page, so I created this new website for it.


The homepage of the new website ( updates every day to show you what today is in the liturgical calendar. It changes colour too to reflect the current feast day: gold, green, red or violet.

View the calendar shows an embedded Google calendar. It’s available to view in Week, Month or Agenda layouts. Click on any feast day information to show the readings for that day. (I’ve found this useful already.)

There are three pages showing instructions on how to import or subscribe to the files:

The Outlook 2010 page also includes screencast videos, recorded using the excellent Camtasia Studio.

The archive has links to every file that I’ve created.  Well, not every file… just the files to do with this.

What if… Pharaoh

I had this book once, right, called “What if?: military historians imagine what might have been” in which… erm, military historians imagine what new twists and turns history might have taken had the circumstances of various events been different.

  • What if the seige of Jerusalem in 701BC had gone differently? Would Christianity and Islam be the way they are now?
  • What if Hitler had been killed in WWI? What if he’d won WWII?
  • What would the world be like today had the Cold War ended differently?

This video from Some Grey Bloke made me laugh. What if Pharaoh had just said to Moses, “Okay, off you go then!”?

Oddly, Pharaoh reminds me of Noel Fielding. Incidentally, Noel Fielding shares the same birthday as my granny and her twin sister.