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making websites  / 

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…


making websites  / 

Six comments apps for personal blogs

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


making websites  / 

Pushing the limits of Markdown

How to to create more powerful blog post layouts in Kirby CMS — using my ‘hidden hr trick’ and ‘lobotomized owl’ selectors


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 making websites  / 

My web development tools

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


making websites  / 

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…


making websites  / 

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. Read in 2 minutes…


personal making websites  / 

Why am I blogging?

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

In spite of all these 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. Read in 1 minute…