Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Set Controls To Manual

Friday, March 28th, 2014

I just did a long overdue update to my WordPress install, and I had to do it manually. This was slightly nerve-wracking – I did once manage to lose all my image uploads when attempting a backup (the shame!) – but it actually went really smoothly and only took a few minutes. So, as I followed the instructions to the letter, it only seems right to include Step 3: Do something nice for yourself, and post about it.
The new admin design is a really pleasant surprise. I also updated the stats plugin, which had stopped working at some point, so now I can see exactly how few viewers I have. Serves me right for not posting anything!

Content is King

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

I have ignored my blog for too long now. This is partly because I work with content management systems all day long, as well as helping with my daughter’s school website in my spare time. With family commitments and trying to learn the piano thrown in, my focus has been spread a bit thin, and the blog has suffered.
I decided to give the site a makeover, partly because it was long overdue, and partly to give me an incentive to post more. Content is king, and for the site to work, I need to create a bit more.The only obvious change right now is the homepage header, though if you dig around you’ll find the new menu and category pages, which I’m still working on. The homepage will get a new look soon as well.

My Career As A Political Blogger…

Monday, June 14th, 2010

…is over. One of the reasons for setting up this blog in the first place was to comment on politics, in the hope of being invited on to the radio to share my cutting insight into the world of Westminster (see here for more). I’ll happily admit now that I am a miserable failure as a political blogger. During arguably the most interesting general election campaign in living memory, I managed to say practically nothing. This is in no small part due to the fact that I underestimated the amount of work it takes – I couldn’t take the idea of people whose sole claim to fame was blogging seriously at first. To all of those bloggers: sorry!
The more perspicacious among you will have noticed that I haven’t actually posted on any topic for quite a while now. It’s fair to say I got a bit bored with the plastic bag thing, as I’m sure did you – it wasn’t really enough of a challenge. So I’m dropping that too. It filled a gap, but now I’m going to focus on something a lot closer to home: the fact that we’ve just moved to Germany, and what it’s like here for an Englishman. The good news is that so far, it’s pretty good. We’ve been here for two weeks now and we’re getting on pretty well. It hasn’t all been plain sailing, and we still have an awful lot of stuff in boxes, but our new flat is big enough to cope. Ironically I found quite a large number of uses for plastic bags during the move, but I digress…

Bye, bye, Miss American Pie…

Monday, November 16th, 2009

So my darling little sister and her dashing young man have made the leap across the pond to San Francisco. I’m now the last of the family remaining in London. Not sure for how long that will be the case, so keep watching this space.
In other news…well, I think I owe a few bloggers an apology. I thought it couldn’t be that hard, and scoffed at people described as ‘political bloggers’ when interviewed. I am now happy to admit that it’s actually a lot more demanding than I thought. Hence the dearth of blog posts recently. I just haven’t had the time. Now if I could find someone to pay me for writing this nonsense, that would be a different matter…
Still doing pretty well on the plastic bag front – I’ve decided that it’s OK to take one if you re-use it, as then it’s no longer a single-use bag. So the one I accidentally took at the chip shop last Tuesday doesn’t count, as I used it as a bin-bag.
Until the next time, dear readers.


Friday, October 23rd, 2009

So maybe it’s not so difficult to go without plastic bags after all. Since coming back from Sardinia I think I’ve only had to turn down a bag about three times. Not everyone thinks this way, though – in the chemist last week I was queuing behind a young woman who bought a packet of Nurofen. She asked for a bag for this. For one small item. She needed the bag to carry her Nurofen out to the her car which was parked just outside. I probably should have remonstrated with her but at the time I wasn’t feeling well (hence the visit to the chemist) so I let it go. I did though refuse the bag I was offered…
The downside about it not being so difficult is that it doesn’t give me much to write about…I was hoping I’d have enough material for a small book, as annualism seems to be in vogue at the moment (here’s an article about it), but clearly going without plastic bags isn’t as radical as doing without sex or living on a pound a day. Plus of course by the time the year is up and I’ve collated it all, it probably won’t be fashionable any more. Ho hum.
I must admit that blogging is harder work than I originally thought. My first thought behind starting this blog was to focus on politics, so that I could be invited to give my opinions on topical issues on the breakfast program on Radio 5. They often introduce people as ‘political bloggers’ and I thought “How hard can that be?” and “That’s not really a job, is it?”. While the collapse of the world’s economy and the current Labour administration have provided the odd interesting tidbit, I have to say that politics just doesn’t seem as interesting or exciting as it did was the 80s. So I haven’t really posted much about politics, and can’t see it coming up much until the general election campaigning starts in earnest. The plastic bag theme seemed like a good substitute – after all, most good blogs stick to one theme, while this one has had a more scattergun approach. In fact, the posts that have had the most hits have been ones that featured pictures of the kids. So maybe I should just stick to Twitter and Flikr and leave the blogging to people who don’t have to spend eight hours in the office every day. More than once while I was writing my offline blog on holiday (it will surface at some point, when I’ve got the time to edit it) I found myself writing “Hard work, this blogging business”. Even more depressing was reading (some) of Stephen Fry’s lastest blog entry. He often posts what he calls ‘miniblogs’ which are about as long as most of my posts. “If this is a miniblog,” I thought, “what on earth must his blogs be like?”. Well, his most recent post is six pages, which made me want to jack the whole thing in at once. I can’t compete with that. I don’t have the time to read six pages of blog, let alone write six pages.
Over to you, dear readers, if there are any of you left. I’m half tempted to stick a poll widget on here and ask you to vote for whether I should a) continue b) change topic or c) cease and desist, but I don’t think I’d like the answers…quite apart from the fact that it would be a busman’s holiday. Feel free to add a comment and let me know. Or not.

To Comment Or Not To Comment

Monday, August 10th, 2009

OK, so that’s the hat-trick of Hamlet-related blog titles out of the way. This one is pretty cut and dried: apart from my Russian spammer friends (of whom I seem to have quite a few), the overwhelming consensus is not to comment. I read a rather dense post on someone else’s blog recently which has a few things to say about how to encourage discussion; sadly they are all rather tongue-in-cheek. I’d love to know what you think – answers on a postcard, or you could always leave a comment…

To Blog Or Not To Blog…

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

…that is the question. I thought long and hard about my last post – some people think you shouldn’t write about your children (as Julie Myerson discovered) but given that:

  • a) I’m not a broadsheet journalist
  • b) there are only a handful of you reading this (I love you all)
  • c) it is so clearly tongue-in-cheek

it seemed OK. Of course, the fact that Carla is already more popular than I am – her Youtube video has had more views already than all my blog hits put together – had nothing to do with it…