About me


My name is pronounced 'Rafe', not 'Ralf'. My grandfather was called Ralph, and I was named after him. Back then, 'Rafe' was the more common pronunciation of that name, but now it's 'Ralf'. Apparently it's a posh name: I found that out reading "A Plum in Your Mouth: Why the Way We Talk Speaks Volumes About Us" by Andrew Taylor: "And as for the name Ralph, we would only pronounce it Rafe, without the l, if we were being very British and wanted to sound particularly posh." Jolly hockey sticks.

Anyway, I'm a web developer, working in Brisbane. Actually, I recently had a job working for Realex Payments, in the Docklands area of Dublin, in Ireland, which is where I'm from. My family and I were back for a year to see the ol' sod, and Europe in general. Read about our travels at KouklaHouse.com.

I've got two kids, Alexander and Eoin, and Tina's my wife. There's plenty of pictures of them (and me) on my Flickr. Tina's parents are from Zakynthos island, Greece, and they go back for a full 6 months biennially, so we've been going to Greece every two years since 2005, just for short, month-long holidays. I'm always learning Greek to some extent, but it's not an easy language. On our big trip to Europe last year, we spent nearly four months there at one stage. In fact I wrote a book about that magic time, called On a Greek Island: a Season in Zakynthos, which you can get on Amazon.

I find I'm reading more as I get older. I've usually got a fiction, a non-fiction, and a techie (often on Kindle) book on the go at any one time. Of course, like a lot of people, I've been reading hungrily since I was a kid, but I'm thrilled to see the ebook explosion happening at the moment, and I've got a Kindle app on all my devices. One thing that amazes me though is how little a lot of people read, even in the field in which I work, IT.

I used to mostly write about tech stuff on this blog, but I'm beginning to do more on reading, languages, and especially travel. My aim is to get the confidence - for I believe it is a matter of confidence - to write about just about anything. Like my recent trip to Bali, for instance. There's not much you can't write about, and I believe writing is an end in itself - you don't have to draw any profound, earth-shattering conclusions in your short-form writing: just get your ideas down.

I've recently become very interested in rekindling my love of languages which had fallen away over the years as I ran an art gallery and reinvented myself in Brisbane. And I've been working a lot on a language parsing project in Node.js and Angular, called JayJayWords.

You can get me on Twitter and Google+, and see my videos on YouTube.