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month notes  / 

January to July 2021

Re-booting these notes, and this blog, after six months’ absence

  • Days and weeks lost to illness and depression
  • Despair at the continued decline in UK politics, and so many global crises
  • As a distraction, I buried myself in CSS and Markdown for my blog
  • I finally finished my crazy Covid screen project
  • But I had much to be thankful for: I made a few woodworking things, we are all jabbed and well, and we had several joyful visits from our family. Read in 1 minute…

politics  / 

How our political establishment and media have failed us in the UK

 Covid-19 proved a tragic case study in what happens when a national emergency collides with a dysfunctional democracy 

— Owen Jones, writing in The Guardian on 27 May 2021. Read in 1 minute…

web development  / 

Why I chose a self-hosted comments plugin for my personal blog

The Commentions plugin for Kirby CMS

After learning and using Kirby for the last year, I’ve come to see it as a ‘perfect’ blogging platform — but with one missing feature: readers’ comments. Read in 4 minutes…

web development  / 

Six comments apps for personal blogs

The new ‘ad-free’ comment hosting services that are challenging Disqus

woodworking  / 

My crazy ‘Covid screen’ project

How I made a transparent partition — to split our living room into two sealed spaces — in several weeks of anxious, painstaking work

web development  / 

Pushing the limits of Markdown

How to to create more powerful layouts in Kirby CMS — using my ‘hidden hr’ trick — and ‘margin-top’ for everything

month notes  / 

December 2020

A stressful build-up to Christmas, and a quiet family celebration

  • A long drive to collect Kitty, our new kitten
  • I worked super-hard to finish my Covid screen project, but still I missed my Christmas deadline
  • A lovely Christmas Day with our daughter and her partner. Read in 2 minutes…

lists bicycles  / 

Nine brilliant (and quirky) bikes

A list of all the bicycles I’ve owned, and a tricycle

An elderly gentleman approached me outside our local post office almost 20 years ago. Looking at my Moulton APB leaning against the post-box, he said: “I’ve got one of these”.

He told me that he still owned one of the original Moulton bikes from the 1980s, and we chatted about it for a few minutes.

Then, out-of-the-blue, he said that he wasn’t able to ride his bike any more, and he offered to give it to me. Read in 8 minutes…

month notes  / 

November 2020

Wintery and bleak, but still hopeful

  • I started a (big, scary) new woodworking project (a Covid screen!)
  • I’m still learning PHP, re-learning CSS, and re-re-coding my website
  • I only went outside for a few short walks, and just one bike ride
  • I’m still trying to avoid getting angry at UK politics
  • But I’m very relieved at the US election result — has democracy been saved by this terrible pandemic? Read in 2 minutes…

lists web development  / 

My web development tools

A list of the devices and software I’m using to build this website

web development  / 

How to set up local development for Kirby and Tailwind — using the command line on macOS

A Complete Beginner’s Guide, by a complete beginner

In my earlier Craft CMS experiments, I used CodeKit and MAMP Pro apps for local development on my iMac. But, I was never completely happy with them. They always felt like they were designed for ‘professional developers’ who already knew how to use the command-line — but who just wanted to save time and effort. Read in 15 minutes…