End of a decade

31 12 2009

I was going to write a post about what I have achieved this year, and to be honest there has been a heap. But, it occurred to me whilst I was writing the post that it was also the end of a decade, a pretty big one for me as it goes.

Now I was going to use interpretive dance to go over the major milestones of the past 10 years, but the video camera is broken, so here it is in a smart mosaic format (I won’t rule out doing the dance on special occasions though)  🙂

1. Australia

I came to Australia, just over ten years ago on holiday, but only really decided to stay in the year 2000 after being made an offer by my boss at Admiral (-> CMGAdmiral –> LogicaCMG –> Logica) to stay on as a consultant. It was a huge decision to make, to leave my friends and family and to start afresh. Luckily I had already made a stack of friends in Australia and caught up with a mate from the UK who also lived in Melbourne. On reflection it was the best decision I made 🙂

2. Rachel

In 2001 I met Rachel, since then we have never really been apart. We have been through a heap together, building a house, starting a family and bringing up two fantastic children. She is my best friend and I love every moment we are together.

3. Abbie

In March 2006, my daughter Abbie came into the world and changed everything. She is awesome. Perfect in every way. I am loving watching her grow up, explore the world around her and learn. I love her inquisitive mind, her pure logic and banter.

4. Jack

In March 2007, little Jack joined his sister in the world. Whilst Jack had a pretty full on couple of months when he first arrived, he has gone from strength to strength ever since. I sometimes forget he is only 2 and 3/4 years old, he has such a developed vocabulary and self awareness. Every week he totally flaws me with what he says, not the words, but also the context

5. Family

Even though I live in Australia, I am in full contact with my family in the UK thanks to Skype and cheap telephone calls. I have been really lucky that Rachel’s family have taken me under their wing and treat me like a son. Unfortunately since being out in Australia a few people have passed on and I was unable to attend their funerals, Grandad Bob, Nan and my cousin Janet.

6. Work

Work has been an interesting one. In the last ten years I have done a number of things including:

  • Sheep Rousing – Working on a sheep farm outside of Geelong
  • Road Crack Counter – Long long story
  • Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager

At the moment I have switched back into a consultancy role, specialising in Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solutions. It may sound strange, but it’s the ideal mix between my love of all things techy and Project Management (which I am actually quite good if I do say so myself).

7. Nerdy

There have been a number of nerdy milestones in the past ten years. For what started out with me minus any gadgets whatsoever whilst backpacking, has seen me morph into a gadget collecting superfreak. Of course during this period I have had many different computers and run a stack of different software which I am not going to list as it would be way to sad.

8. Permanent Residency

For some damn fool reason, Australia decided that I could stay in the country. Glad they did really as it would have been awful to be paying off a house I couldn’t live in. Up until getting my PR there was a very real possibility that I could have been sent back to the UK, giving up everything I had made in Australia. This was very much the case until 2006, when it was finally granted 🙂

9. Geelong

When I first got to Australia I worked on a sheep farm outside of Geelong, hence when it came to picking a team, they were my first choice. When I was in the UK, sport never really bothered me, but it’s part of the Australian psyche, and if your in Melbourne, you might as well be a leper if you can’t hold your own in talking footy.  Since 2000, I have watched them lose and then win, finishing up with three grand final appearances in the past three years and two wins, the final being an epic battle against my wife’ family team of St Kilda. Way to go Cats!

So there you go, my reflection on the past decade. At the beginning of the decade, when I was seeing the new year in with some backpacking buddies at Wineglass Bay in Tasmania, I had no idea that I would still be in Australia ten years later and all the things mentioned above would have happened. It will be interesting to see in another ten years what transpires 🙂

And on that note, Happy New Year, 2010 is going to rock 🙂


Long time between drinks

28 04 2007

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted. I havn’t really appreciated just how hard it is to have two kids under 14 months, this coupled with a major project I am working on getting towards the business end (5 weeks of development left then testing). Unfortunatley this has lead to the blog suffereing. I will try and be more regular. I need some form of blogging ex-lax 🙂 

Home Server 

Last weekend I managed to wangle 30 minutes ‘nerd time’ to install the new CTP of Windows Home Server on a VM. I have to admit I am very impressed with it, to the extent of watching a number of items on ebay to roll my own hardware for one. What would be great now is if MS makes it available to Technet so I can get my hands on a copy. You would hope so, there is now a add in option allowing you to add functionality to it which may push it into the Technet realm.

The general install is way slicker than before, although it does seem to think it’s Windows Server for Small Business. The console app is more responsive and the ability to remote desktop is available.


My ISP are trying to up the price of my home phone which means my internet deal isn’t so good any more, so it’s time to look around. Anyone in Australia suggest a good ISP with heaps of quota for arounf the $70 a month mark?


As we speak I am setting up a development environment for SharePoint. It’s about time I got my head around the new version a bit better, plus I have an excellent idea for an addon that if I can get working should bring in some pocket money that I can spend on new gadgets.  Let’s just hope my development skills don’t still suck!!


Finally, the grumpywookie and all round workflow guru at SDM, Chris O’Connor has set up a K2 based blog that is starting to get noticed all over the world. If your into workflow, or want to know more about K2.net head over to devk2.net.

Abbie’s new teeth

7 09 2006

3 07 2006

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last blogged. I have lots and lots to talk about, including running Vista all the time (yes we are dogfooding baby!!), more gadgety goodness and lots and lots of Abbie news..

Here is a photo to be getting on with..

Abbie, the first month

2 04 2006

Abbie Smiling

I can't believe it's been just over a month since Abbie came along. It feels like she has been in our lives forever. In the last few days she has started to smile and seems to be more aware of her surroundings. She certainly recognises both Rach and Me by sight as well as our voices.

My parents visited from England during the week, albeit for a short time. Abbie managed to twist them around her little finger within the first nanosecond of them meeting at Melbourne Airport. During the week it was great to see them taking Abbie out for walks and Dad strangely managing to interpret her gurgles as meaning 'When are you going to take Grandad to the Fishing Tackle shop?'.

Another week of parenthood..

17 03 2006

It’s been another full on week, thank god I have been on holiday. Abbie has been consuming every waking moment of Rach and my time. She has put on heaps of weight since being born and the whole losing too much weight problems of the first few days. Earlier this week we had a check up with the Maternal Health nurse and all well.

Had enough of being photo'dThis past week we’ve had a few disjointed nights where we are all learning about sleeping and feeding. Rach and I let Abbie sleep a bit too much one day and paid for it that night when she would only sleep in 1.5 hour chunks. The next day both Rach and I were stuffed. We have learnt from that mistake.
Abbie has done her best to get me to be sick, twice this week there was a totally unatural substance in her nappy that nearly floored me. Why is it always when it’s my turn to change the nappy?

I have also realised that she is getting sick of having photo’s taken, as this photo shows (note the finger)..

Unfortunatley the week has gone way too fast, and I am back to work on Monday. It’s going to be really hard to leave at 6:00am on Monday morning..

Diary of Abbie.. Week One

11 03 2006

It’s been an interesting week, I have managed to fool my parents into thinking I need them to do everything. Basically I sleep for a couple of hours, wake up, cry and they bring me food. It rocks. On Thursday that pesky bit of umbillical cord fell off and the clamp was digging into my stomach, the buggers didn’t notice for a good 2 hours even though I cried.

Mum and Dad are being way too strange. Everytime I wake up, they are looking at me and smiling. Get over it. To try and teach them a lesson, I have been sick on Dad,left the vilest runniest mustard poo’s for them and keep having a scream in the middle of the night. This morning I poo’d so much I filled the nappy up and some. They have learnt I prefer the disposables to the cloth ones, less itchy you see.

Abbie sleeping

I have lured the suckers into letting me sleep in the master bedroom, of course, they are still in there, but I am working on getting rid of them by crying some more in the middle of the night. It’s not quite working yet, but give it a couple more weeks and the room will be mine. Just need a telly and foxtel and I will be sorted.
Dad keeps putting me on Skype so I can see my grandparents in the UK. He always does it when I have just got up and not had a chance to have a bath, or look my best. So I cry to get him to stop. Unfortunately it’s not working, and they just think I am cute. When they arrive in two weeks I shall charm them a bit more.. putty in my hands.

My aussie grandparents bought me a pressie today, a kite. I am one week old and will have to wait a fair while to use it. It’s also in the St Kilda colours, so I doubt I will use it at all 😉 I told dad to tell them I wanted a video ipod, but I don’t think they believe him.

Well I have to go now, milk to drink, nappies to fill, places to sleep. I thought you might like a photo of me chilling out on Mum’s shoulder.

Introducing Abbie Jean Burton….

2 03 2006

IMG_2201Originally uploaded by alexb.

At 6:02am this morning, the most wonderful thing ever entered Rach’s and my life. Weighing 7lb 1oz, and 50 cm in length, our daughter Abbie arrived and instantly melted our hearts.

Both mother and baby are doing fabulously.