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monthly 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 missed my Christmas deadline
  • A lovely Christmas Day with our daughter and her partner Read in 2 min…

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 7 min…


monthly 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 min…

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 14 min…


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 min…


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 min…


making websites  / 

Why I prefer creating content with Markdown in Kirby CMS

Although Kirby now has a powerful new Text Editor plugin, one of the main reasons I chose Kirby in the first place was because of the simplicity and flexibility of its Markdown editor. Read in 2 min…


making websites  / 

Why I left Craft CMS for Kirby

My only previous coding experience has been using the Twig template language to build two small websites in Craft CMS.

Craft’s fantastic Matrix field makes it easy to inject almost any kind of marked-up content into its entry panel. And Matrix blocks can be custom built from a huge choice of Matrix fields to create both simple and complex layouts.

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

My writing seemed to lose all its sense of continuity whenever blocks of text were interrupted by larger Matrix blocks. Read in 1 min…


cycle touring  / 

Picasso’s ceramics

A photo that evokes many happy memories of cycle touring on Mallorca