Arpia.be is the website of Peter Craddock, a British citizen who lives in Belgium and works for the law firm Liedekerke in Brussels.
During his spare time, Peter designs websites, composes music, writes novels and creates games.

9
Mar.

An untimely first Russian-sounding tune?

by Peter Craddock

 
 

It’s really an accident, but here I am publishing what I find to be the most Tchaikovsky-inspired composition I have written so far… right in the middle of the Ukraine crisis. Wind Whispers is a mishmash of sorts, a blend of classical and contemporary, waltz and modern.

30
Dec.

End of year, new sound

by Peter Craddock

 
 

2013 is about to end, and it feels like I’m really getting back into music. Nineteen Times is the first in a long time to combine piano, bass, guitar and drums. A new sound, of sorts. I look forward to 2014!

17
Jun.

Paint frenzy

by Peter Craddock

 
 
 

It's no secret that since I thought up the design for the Cat Hat e-reputation website, I have kind of fallen in love with paint splotches. [I'll soon have to start creating real-life ones, but that's another story entirely.]

Some two weeks ago, I felt it was time for me to come up with yet another arpia.be redesign idea. Unlike the N previous ideas, I ended up really liking the end-result.

What better way to start summer than with bright colours?

Read the rest of this entry »

10
Apr.

Winter & spring meet in song

by Peter Craddock

 
 

Dandelion is my latest addition to my repertoire, a blend of tunes that were composed in the winter and just now that spring has arrived. Still many more in the pipeline, at least if I can finalise and record them!

27
Dec.

Closing 2012 with new web tools

by Peter Craddock

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sorry to the Maya people, but 2012 is really the beginning, not the end. For me, that is, and particularly with respect to the web.

Together with Sandrine Kinart, I launched the website Janssens-Quidam.be (a.k.a. CatHat.be) to accompany the publication of an article on building and defending one's e-reputation. It tells the tale of a fictional company (Janssens-Quidam) and its very trendy product (the Cat Hat, "too cute to wear") and is meant as a practical guide, so we've tried to make legalese understandable and useful. Even if you're not part of a Belgian company, it's worth at least a good, long look. And it's available in English, French and Dutch. And for different devices.

In addition, De Boeck Professionals, a major publisher (certainly in the Belgian legal world), agreed to integrate an Interest Calculator I wrote into their legal database, StradaLex. I'm hoping that lawyers, in-house counsel and other legal practitioners across Belgium will find in the Interest Calculator a useful tool to take away the daunting aspect of computing interest. Now obviously, the world will come to an end if computing interest becomes "fun", so I've tried to stick to making it "easy".

I also cooked up a few other (more random) web tools, such as a law-related URL shortener that I used in the e-reputation article and on the e-reputation website. It's definitely not "production-grade", but I'm now in the mindset where if I think "Things would be easier with …", chances are my next thought will be "I wonder whether I can make a web app for that".

All in all, things are exciting. 2013 may turn out to be a very good year!

14
Oct.

Greenwood and Blue Dawn

by Peter Craddock

 
 

There are a number of ongoing projects I'm very excited about and that are set to be completed and unveiled soon (i.e. within a couple of months). In the meantime, I have found time to re-compose and re-record "Blue Dawn", and have finally recorded a new-ish song, "Greenwood". Enjoy!

17
Aug.

New keyboard, new recordings

by Peter Craddock

 
 
 

I recently acquired a new Roland keyboard, to fit with my new flat. I love the sound - much better than the ?10?-year old keyboard I previously used.

It's been the occasion for me to start composing again and to re-record some good "oldies" of mine.

Feel free to discover the new Seasons track, or to re-discover Nuit or Thumos. More re-recordings and recordings of new-ish compositions in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

14
Dec.

Luck in life

by Peter Craddock

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

100m2 is the latest figure in my life. It describes the amount of space I have just acquired in exchange for signing a contract saying I'll be paying a bank for the next 20 years. As of today, therefore, I am in debt. The logic is the following: Peter owns an apartment, and the bank owns Peter.

It marks yet another changing point in my life. Just 15 months ago, I was a student, and from one day to the next, I started working for a law firm. 10 months later, I was signing the first of several documents that would ultimately lead to this day, when I actually own real estate.

I think it's fair to say that I've been extremely lucky in life thus far:

  • I have a job (a few people I know have been looking for one for several months)
  • I really enjoy my job (several people I know don't enjoy theirs as much or actually dislike it)
  • My job pays well (some I know are paid close to minimum wage)
  • I was able to buy a flat (not all those with only one year of work behind them get bank funding)
  • I think said flat suits me, and I see real potential in it [i.e. for when I'll actually have furniture in it]

My great-uncle often says that it's all about being the right person in the right place and at the right time, but I've never been sure I'm the right person. What I do know is that I've been extremely fortunate, and have my family to thank for that in great part.

Of course, there's always the risk that the wind might change direction. If my luck turns for the worse, I could be left with a massive debt that would force me to sell the flat. The problem with that kind of thinking is that it would make me gloomy and fearful of tomorrow.

Instead, therefore, I'll keep on believing that, while possibly premature and potentially very brash, my move to buy was the right one. After all, it gives you a boost in self-confidence, and having the right dosage of that allows you to do pretty much anything.

25
Jun.

New composition: Ouest

by Peter Craddock

 
 

Having been busy with work and the like, I haven't been updating this website much. I have, however, been playing the piano a bit, and finally one of my many pending compositions has reached a stage that I consider "ready". This one is Ouest, a piano theme tune that has a steady pace to it.

11
Jun.

Timekeeping with one click

by Peter Craddock

 
 
 
 
 
 

At work, we (currently) use a piece of software that is very complex. The problem is that it isn't easy to switch from one item to the next, which is a problem if you have to work on ten different things per hour. Although I don't encounter such an acute problem every day, it has happened, and I found our tools to be somewhat lacking. Consequently, I figured I might as well deal with it. When you know a bit of code, it isn't too hard to patch together a PHP file to deal with this kind of a problem. I therefore present… the Timekeeper! The idea is simple: one giant button per timer. Click on "start" to, well, start, and "pause/continue" afterwards depending on what you require. If something new comes up, just hit "New timer", and the previously running timer will automatically pause while a new one starts. [There's plenty of good software for this (I know OfficeTime and Billings are very good at that), but my needs were such that I wanted a web app that I could use, without having to go through the hassle of installing paid-for software on my computer at work.] For those who want to take a look at the code behind it, you may download the PHP file (all zipped up). I'm sure it can be improved. And yes, it's released under a BY-NC-SA Creative Commons licence.