Starting the Year off Beautifully

This year I was lucky enough to begin 2014 with my closest friends in the most beautiful part of the world – The Scottish Highlands.

Having only recently returned from what feels like a life time in New Zealand, Tobi & Lynsay shared with Madeleine and I four fantastic days of relaxation, catching up, and celebration.

Shortly after ringing in the Hogmany at a house party, where we had the best spontaneous kitchen-celidh I have ever experienced, we loaded up the car and drove North to the Ardverikie Estate – home of the Monarch of the Glen (a TV show before my time, but my mum loved it!).

The estate is private and closed to the public, with 50,000 acres to explore when renting one of the holiday homes, like the cottage we rented. The drive up the A9 and into the estate was fantastic. Tobi and I both love driving, so this alone was a great start to the holiday for us.

The Estate

Rowan Brae is a beautiful six-room cottage in the heart of the estate, with all the home comforts we could have ever needed.

Rowan Brae


The Cairngorms have long been one of my favourite places in the world. The astonishing natural beauty, peace, and closeness to Edinburgh has made it a place I always find tough to leave. This break wasn’t about hitting any Munros, or bagging any tourist hot spots. It was just about getting away, catching up, and relaxing. And boy did we!

We spent our days driving around the Cairngorms, or wandering through gentle paths. There were some incredible views along the way, particularly Loch Laggan which the estate runs along.

Loch LagganAvimore is a place we all love, so visiting was a must too. We took the day to walk round Loch Morlich where we experienced some truly awesome weather. I do miss the Scottish elements in London. It’s just not the same.

Loch Morlich

Lynsay & Maddy at Loch MorlichI really couldn’t have asked for much more in a holiday. We were only away for three nights, but this long overdue holiday was absolutely perfect.

I can’t wait until our next adventure, Monopoly on the table, and Whiskey by the fire.

The QuopleF




Caller – Sharing What’s Happening Right Now

‘Caller. Share what’s happening right now, using just your voice’


Callre was inspired by research into Citizen Journalism, and how I could create a platform for sharing information in realtime that was simple, honest, accessible and cheap.

When a thought is worth sharing immediately, technology should gracefully do that, and nothing more. Caller is not an app, it’s a service. To share, you just dial the number, and Caller records what every your phone can hear. That’s it.

Trust can be fickle online. Through the internet we often loose our instinctual ability to tell trust from deception. Caller is about your voice, and every minute, fallible, human detail within it.

Whilst the growing prevalence of smartphones creates endless opportunities for innovation in mobile technology, the entry price point for a high-end device, where the best apps live, is still far too high. I designed and built Caller to be a great experience from a £10 phone right the way up to ultra-high resolution personal computers.

Right now, I pick up the bill. You only pay for the calls and texts you make to Caller. Caller has local numbers in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, so the cost is most likely covered by your service provider. A service like Caller would one day have to fund itself, through a means that wouldn’t degrade the service, and would still allow the accessible nature which Caller was created to serve.

So how are calls shared?

Users call up, record a message, and text in their location. Their message is pushed in realtime to every screen that is watching, and to all users who have setup location alerts, also performed over text message. Location alerts are simple to setup, and easy to delete, all via text message.

Caller is a Ruby on Rails Web App I built, running on a Heroku, using Twilio for telephony, Pusher for realtime push, and Google for Maps and Geo Services. This was definitely the most difficult coding challenge I’ve taken on to date, but also the most rewarding.

Feel free to try out Caller and leave a message.