The Haunted House

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Introducing Amy Olivia Haunts

At 11.43 this morning Amanda gave birth to our first daughter Amy Olivia Haunts. Her contractions started around 2am and I drove her to hospital around 6am. By 8am she was fully dilated and she arrived at 11.43.

Amy was 6lb 8oz in weight and is doing really well, sporting a nice head of hair :-) Amanda is also doing really well. I am so proud of Amanda. She wanted an epidural but because her dilation's happened so quickly it was too late so she had to proceed with no pain relief except gas and air (which was practically useless) and a tens machine.

Amanda had to have an operation after the birth as they had problems getting the placenta out, so she had to go under a general anaesthetic. The operation was a complete success and she has recovered well.

I am not going to write too much more as I am exhausted and want to get to bed so I can get back to the hospital in the morning. In this post are a few pics of Amy so family and friends can see her. There will be plenty more pics.

Amanda should be coming home either tomorrow or Saturaday.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


On Sunday the weather was really nice and sunny so we decided to pop down to Dovedales for a mini walk and some ice cream. We couldn't walk too far with Amanda being pregnant, but we walked down the river and sat down for a bit.

I am really glad the winter weather is out the way, about time too. Amanda has been taking advantage of the sunshine whilst she is on maternity leave and has been sunning her self in the garden, reading a book whilst I am at work. It's alright for some.

If the weather holds up til next weekend I think I might have to dig the BBQ out of the shed and set fire to some chicken.

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More Gardening.

I did some more tidying in the garden over the weekend then Me and Amanda went to Homebase to buy some flowers and plants, so the place looks litle more colorful now. We also started the mamoth task of washing baby clothes ready for her arrival. She has more clothes than Me and Amanda put together. lol. Anyway, few garden piccies below.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Babies New Set of Wheels

The other day our new pram for the baby turned up. The pram was great fully paid for by my parents. We opted the the Quinny Buzz 3 wheeler as it is a decent size when collapsed. We also got a car seat and the ISOFIX base for the car, but that hasn't turned up yet. In a few weeks hopefully.

We now have pretty much all we need for the babies arrival now. Amanda's Mum bought us a Natures Nest, which is a fancy crib essentially which is supposed to help the baby sleep better. We hope :-)

We are just playing the waiting game now awaiting for her arrival.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Tidying Up The Garden

Today I spent some time tidying up the garden. I cleared out all the weeds and crap that accumulated over the winter. I also dug out the space under the hedge and put bark chippings down. The garden is looking quite tidy now we just need to get flowers in the planters. This should be done next week.


Easter Weekend

This weekend Amanda's brother Steve and his girlfriend Rachel came down from up north to visit for a few days. Steve is off traveling soon so came down to see Amanda and Bump before he sets off.

They got to our house Saturday morning and we had quite a lazy day and just relaxed. In the evening I made a Thai curry and we watched some crap TV. On Sunday we took them to Matlock Bath and went on the cable car up to the top of the cliff and went on the cave tour.

Both Steve and Rachel aren't keen on heights, so the cable car was just what they were looking forward too :-) There were 2 caves at the top of the cliff which had organised tours. The first tour lasted around 30 minutes. The caves were quite good, although a bit cold.

Once we had finished at the cliff top we got the cable car back down to the town centre and went to get some lunch. We got some fish and chips. Amanda was glad to sit down as she was feeling quite tired lugging around a big bump.

After lunch we went to one of the games arcades at Matlock Bath and wasted a couple of quid on the 2p machines. We then headed back to the house. Once there we put on the Nintendo Wii and played some games. Mainly Mario Kart, which was quite good fun, although Rachel was a bit of an expert at the game and beat us all. I think we need to get some practice in.

After dinner we watched Beverly Hills Cop 2 which we had recorded on Sky+ from before Christmas. Forgot how much of a great film that is. Steve and Rachel drove back home this morning and I prepared for a day working in the garden. I am feeling knackered now....


Friday, April 10, 2009

Pregancy Update

I havn't posted on this blog in a while because we havn't really done much recently. Amanda is now heavily pregnant so gets knackered quickly. Recently we completed our ante natel classes with the NCT. The classes were great, we learnt a lot of stuff and made some great friends who we are going to keep in touch with.

The only other thing we have done, besides tidying up the house and doing lots of odd jobs, is to get some photos taken. We wanted to have some pics of Me and Amanda before the baby is born aswell as some afterwards and when the baby is a little older also. We had the first set done the other weekend and are really happy with them. We have larger prints of some of them turning up this week. I have included thumb nails of a few of the pictures below.

I'll try not to leave it so long before posting again :-)


Thursday, February 19, 2009

One Blog Becomes Two!!

For a long time now this blog has had a bit of an identity crisis. I have mixed posts about my audio endeavors and my personal life in one place and was, to be honest, a little too lazy to do anything about it. Now Amanda is pregnant and due in May this blog, as you can imagine, will start to fill up with baby pictures for our families to keep up to date on the babies progress.

Therefore I have created a new blog called The Creaturephonic Workshop where I will write about music production. This new blog will replace the old News page on the Haunted House Records site. I will write articles on music production, write gear and music reviews and also keep you up to date on Haunted House Records News.

So!, if you come to this blog to read about my music related stuff, please go to this address. If you like reading your blogs via an RSS feed then point your feed reader here.

If you are not interested in the music stuff and want to just see what Me and Amanda have been getting up too then you can stay on this blog.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Amy's New Bedroom

The past few weeks we have been busily decorating Amy's new bedroom and today we have pretty much finished it off. We assembled the cot yesterday and Amanda attached the mobile and cot bumpers etc.

This morning I put up the curtain rail, which for me is a major feat as I am certainly not Mr DIY, but I am getting a lot better at this stuff :-)

All that is left to do is to get some extra pictures for the walls. I really want to get 2 frames pictures of Princess Peaches from Super Mario. She is all pink and princess like, certainly will suit the room. I have the pictures already I just need to get them printed in A3 and put them in frames, so that should be done by next week.

The room looks really good. My favorite room in the house infact. It makes you want to be a kid again.

The picture above is a night light that Amanda's Aunt Sandra got us for Christmas. I couldn't resist doing a little arty photo. I am a geek after all.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

3D baby scan

Today we had a 3D baby scan at the Nuffield private hospital in Derby. This scan allows you to see the baby in more detail. I have included a few of the pictures below. Those who have me added as a friend on facebook can see more of

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Snow, Snow and More Snow.

In the past couple of weeks have had the most snow the country has had in years. I really like the snow my self even though most people moan about it. I find it quite exciting personally.

Getting to the train station through 6 inches of snow was good fun and the trains were surprisingly reliable for a change. The morning walk through the snow was made even more atmospheric by listening to Monolakes, Polygon Cities album. Makes you feel like your in siberia near an oil pipeline. I guess you need to listen to the album to hear what I am on about.

Unfortunately the snow has mostly melted now except for some at the top of the estate. It was nice whilst it lasted. Today is Friday the 13th and I mananged to get through the day without tripping over or slipping on ice.

Tomorrow we are going to have a 4D scan of the baby done. We dont need to do it for any particular medical reason, its just you can get a good look at the baby. This is a present for Amandas birthday. Hopefully we will get some good shots. They will go on the blog naturally :-)


Started Decorating

A couple of weeks ago I started decorating the spare room ready for the babies arrival. We first needed to strip off all the wallpaper which was a royal pain in the arse as it was all plastic coated, but we bought a steamer and got it all down in a couple of days.

The room has now been painted, but those pictures wont be taken until tomorrow when we assemble the cot etc.

We have gone for cream walls as we want to sell the house next year. I am getting some pictures made with the Super Mario character Princess Peaches made up. They should look great on the wall.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Started Tidying the Babies Room

Now that the arrival of the baby is getting a lot closer we have to get the spare room sorted out. Today we went out and bought a baby changing unit and set of drawers. Once we got it back I started sorting out the spare room. I have booked some time off in Feb to paint the room, but I started today by dismantling the spare bed. We are getting rid of this during the week, so guests have to use an airbed from now on :-)

Now that the room has been tidied, we assembled the baby changing unit. Amanda had loads of fun folding up all the baby clothes she has bought already and put then in the drawers.

The room will look very good once we have decorated it. We have decided to paint the walls in a plain neutral color as we want to move house in a years time, but I want to get some 'Princess Peaches' pictures for the wall. Princess Peaches is a super mario character in case you haven't come across the name before :-)

We already have the cot bed ready to assemble and we are getting the pram soon. We don't have a huge amount left to get now, but still a fair amount of money to spend. :-)


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Continuum now available

The new album, Continuum, is now available to stream and buy from my bandcamp page here. It will shortly follow on all the other download stores like iTunes, Amazon, Napster, Rhapsody, eMusic, Lala, Shock hound, Groupie tunes etc. Then it will be out on CD. Enjoy...


Sunday, January 11, 2009

New album very very soon.

The new creature album, continuum, is really really close to being released now. All the mastering is pretty much completed I just need to listen to the final tracks a few more times to make sure I am happy with it all. So hopefully over the next week or 2 I will get the album first up on to the creature bandcamp page.

The track listing is as follows:
  1. Music Machine
  2. Glide
  3. Robots
  4. Evil Genius
  5. Ronin
  6. Time Machine
  7. The Number
  8. Strange Days
  9. Continuum
  10. Penguin
  11. Codex
  12. Strange Ways
  13. Blue Sky Dub
The album is sounding great if I do say so myself and continues my usual dark sounding adventures, but beats wise this album is quite a lot more lively than my last album Distant Horizon. I hope you like it when I release it.

Remember the first single, Strange Days and Strange Ways, is available to download FREE of charge. I recommend getting it as it is a great introduction to the latest sound of creature. I have been told it sounds very Berlin, what ever that means :-) lol


There Was This One Time at BandCamp...

One of the things I really like about running a small record label and sound design business is the fact that I am not shackled to any larger companies telling me what to do. This leaves me free to try out emerging technologies for launching music projects.

One of these such projects is a Web 2.0 site called Bandcamp. Bandcamp is a site that helps you promote and sell your music to new audiences. They have a few features that I am really keen on trying out.

Firstly they allow a listener to stream an entire album for free. This means I can finally get rid of those dodgy 30 second snippets from the Haunted House Records site. For certain releases I can say whether a listener can download the album for free or pay for it. When downloading an album you have a choice of different formats to choose from like mp3 through to FLAC and Apple lossless formats. This in it self is a great thing as I have had loads of people ask when my albums will be available in FLAC format.

The interesting aspect of the site is that you can allow a listener to pay what they like for an album over a set limit. I have set the limit to $5 min. So you can say what to pay over that. This should be an interesting experiment.

Since I set up the creature bandcamp page I have had loads of people download music from there all of which I can track through bandcamps stats system. This is really good considering I havn't even promoted the site to anyone yet.

For the next album (which is pretty much ready except for final CD artwork) I am going to take a 3 stage approach to its release an an experiment. First I will release it on bandcamp. Then the following month it will go onto the main paid for digital download stores like iTunes and Amazon. Then following that I will release the pysical CD version.

Anyway, check out the creature bandcamp page here.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Amandas 20 Week Scan

Today Amanda had her 20 week scan at Derby City Hospital. The scan is to check for any abnormalities. Thankfully everything was OK and Amanda and the baby are both in great condition.

We also found out the sex of the baby and we are pleased to say that we are having a baby girl. We are still thinking about names. A boys name was always going to be easy for us to pick as we decided on that ages ago, but we keep on thinking of different girls names. Our current favorite is Aimee Olivia Haunts.

I have taken some photos of the scan pictures. I don't think these pictures are as good as they could have been. The woman doing the scan at the hospital had some much better positions on her screen, but she printed these ones. Not to matter though. There is still a lot of detail in these pictures.

A little while ago Amanda bought a gadget called an Ultrasound Doppler. This is a small gadget that lets you listen to the babies heart beat. Amanda, knowing how much of an audio and music geek I am, got a Doppler that also had a recording line output. So I present to you Aimee's (name subject to change) first piece of ambient music called, Heartbeat ;-) You can download and listen to the MP3 file from this link.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Well this is going to be the last post on this blog for 2008. So in the tradition of this site, here is a piccy of some scantily clad young ladies. It is been a really good year. Amanda is expecting our first child and we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. At work I got a good promotion, and musically I have done loads of releases and started building a little sound design business. Lets hope 2009 is just a feature packed.

Have a good new year. I hope the hangovers clear quickly. See you next year ;-)


Christmas 2008

The past few weeks have been quite hectic. The other week We visited my parents in London. Then I was in work up til Christmas Eve. Would have been nice to book some extra time off before hand but I had run out of holidays.

Me and Amanda spent Christmas day at home together. We had a really relaxed day. We got up fairly late for us :-) Opened pressies and I made a huge dinner. This year we treated ourselves to a Nintendo Wii and Wii fit. We spent most of the day playing on this. It was great fun.

On boxing day we drove up to Amanda's Mums house for dinner. In the evening we played the traditional Christmas bingo. This was good fun. Everyone contributes bingo prizes up the cost of a pound and they go into a big bag with numbers on. The winner of each bingo game picks a number out of a hat and they get a present.

The next day we didn't do much except relax, play more games, and watch TV. The next day we drove back home. Feeling like we had had too much fun we decided to do some menial jobs like clear out the loft. This took a good 3 hours and yesterday we filled up the car and took all the rubbish to the dump. We really know how to have fun ;-) But the house does look a lot tidier though. I am going to be doing some decorating in Feb for the babies bedroom so we wanted to start getting rid of any junk. The spare bed is being thrown out at the end of Jan ready for a cot bed to go in its place.

Now we are just getting ready for the new year. Amanda has had to work today, so I have just kept myself to myself for most of the day. Went to the shops and done some work on my website.

Tonight we are going to have a few drinks (non alcoholic for Amanda) and get stuck into several rounds of Tiger Woods PGA golf on the Wii. Which by the way is an excellent game once you have got used to the controls.

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