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April 2024

It’s nearly two years since I last posted here…

  • A chronic illness has curtailed my ‘active’ hobbies
  • Also, I’ve lost my motivation for this blogging project
  • I spend too many days in front of a screen, doom-scrolling
  • To break this cycle, I want to focus on my writing — to write faster, more openly, more often

web development

How to set up local development for Kirby and Tailwind, Version 2

A step-by-step beginner’s guide, using the command line on macOS — now updated for Tailwind 3.0 and Kirby 3.6

To my surprise, this — my most difficult post to write — soon became the most popular post on my website.


Easy-to-make plywood shelves

An update to a classic Shaker design, with lots of uses throughout the home


January to July 2021

Re-starting these ‘now’ notes, and this blog, after six months’ absence


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

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.

web development

Six comments apps for personal blogs

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


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


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

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. 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.

My AM7’s head badge

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!


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?

web development lists

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

Updated 20 May 2022: For the new version click here — or you can still read the original post below

web development

How I made my blog posts more responsive (and why I think it matters)

Responsive web design is an almost universal feature of modern websites, in which page layouts are changed automatically for different devices and screen sizes.

This is not just to make them look better, but (hopefully) also to make them more effective at communicating.


Why am I blogging?

After months of false starts and roadblocks — learning, designing, coding, and writing, all at the same time — so far I’ve only built this basic blog

In spite of all its frustrations, I’ve really enjoyed the creative and craft aspects of building my own website.

It’s a lot like woodworking. A chance to make something that’s completely personal, but also well crafted and engineered. Making something out of pixels instead of wood.

web development

Why I left Craft CMS for Kirby

Matrix’s complicated UI was too distracting when writing and editing even simple blog posts