Technology, Infrastructure and Cloud Focused.

Father of 3 lovely children, geek, infrastructure expert, technical architect and all round technologist.

My sons barn owl adventure – Part 1

During 2013 (and coming into 2015, but I do not want to spoil the future parts of these posts), my son started to show an interest in barn Owl boxes.  Mainly due to a book we got him that both my wife and myself would religious read it to him during bed time.

Illustrated by Michael Foreman. Published by Walker Books

Illustrated by Michael Foreman. Published by Walker Books

The book was called White Owl, Barn Owl by Nicola Davies and I am devoting these blog posts to my son’s huge efforts and interest in this from a very proud farther.  I would like to hope that we can use these series of posts, my son’s story and his ideas to inspire others of his generation to respect not only these lovely and beautiful creatures but also look at bringing nature home and to promote the RSBP.

After proceeding to make 6 boxes (now down to 5) from old scrap wood (see below), left over roofing and some good old fashion labour.  My son and his Grampa then set installing them into numerous trees within Suffolk (of course with permission from the owners!).  The principle was simple to see if any wildlife would inhabit these boxes, of course me being a techie got carried away and wanted to set about looking for 3G based wildlife camera with sensors – but this has not happened yet!!

So step 1 was to build the boxes, these can be made in any shape and size and if you look over the internet you will be able to find plans, so far to date we have made 6 with another 4 in the build stages….

A bit of wood and nails

A bit of wood and nails

Installation is next, at the time of building these boxes we had the luxury of my son’s Grandpa who at the time was working on a farm in Suffolk and with permission allowed us to install these is a number of paddocks…….

BirdBox InstallInstall bird box 2


We made sure the Owl boxes had a water proof roof, in ours we used some left over roof felt and then put a little handful of straw instead for them to shelter and us as bedding.

In the next series we will look into 2014 and see if we have managed to get some wildlife or hopefully Owl’s within the boxes.

The importance of down time or relaxing

So where I have been and why no posts (again), currently my time is very limited due to the IT transformation at my current position (2.5 years IT Strategy nearing compilation).  You can only image the workload and stress with a small team changing every element in our application, infrastructure and desktop estate – effectively everything with a plug on it!!  But it is extremely enjoyable and maybe one day I will write a series of posts on it, but for now……

So having some down time for every one is very important, as is the removal or distraction of work.  I am the worst for this as it is so tempting just to pickup the phone and check in with the office, or check those emails you know are piling up.  It will always take me two or three days to “wind down” from the professional side of work but it is truly worth it.

This also goes for thinking time within the office, making decisions either structured or unstructured (on the fly!) is good but after a few days or even weeks it takes its toll on everyone.  This is especially true if you are working on large designs or projects that require thought time!!

So do I have a secret – no!  Can I give you advise on how to achieve this – no!  So what’s the point of reading this post.  Firstly it is a reminder to myself, secondly it is down to you to find the best way of relaxing, taking down time or managing your work actives when you are on holiday – I would love to here some of your ideas in the mean time check out for some hits and tips.

Relax and downtime

Sage Nutri Juicer Plus Review

A great machine and worth every penny

A great machine and worth every penny

I have just purchased the Sage Juicer Plus from Amazon, in an effort to get my 5+ a day, now for those of you that know me fruit is not really my thing, only because my range of appetites is Apple, Orange and Banana.  So having tried this last night I thought I would do a mini review as I spent over 2 weeks researching whether to get this or the Philips HR1781 from

We had brought a Smoothie but unfortunately this got refunded due to being out of stock, which was a real shame for crushing up the ice – I did not want to put into this machine just in case.

Sage offer a great warranty on the machine 2 years + 3 additional for the motor, so this will last for long time and remember you may, like me think this is expensive but in comparison getting in effect lots of apples, ginger, celery, oranges (and the list can go on) all in a nice, refreshing simple drink cannot be beaten – it is your health after all….!

Although fairly expensive it is a great machine with a nice LED (geek in me!) read out, the parts are easy to change and thus very easy to clean, the variable speed  limits are designed for different types of fruit and I agree the various You Tube videos from Heston Blumenthal are spot on I am really pleased with this.


The pulp bin is a great fit but us in the UK with food recycle bags, just put this straight into the bin and recycle, job done..!  We have only tested hard fruit and vegetables at this time but I will write some follow up posts on the types of recipes myself and our family we test, are plan for this at the moment is:

  1. Out of the 3 books we have purchased short list to 10 juices first and test these.
  2. Get my test buds used to them.
  3. Look at a 3-5 day detox.
  4. Combine this with the 5:2 Diet.
  5. Add smoothies into the mix.
  6. Enjoy.

So next will be a Smoothie review if I can get the model I am looking for.  For more details check out Sages Facebook page –