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Why do I have a website?

It’s a legitimate question. Why do I have a website? Or, rather, why do I still have a website? I’ve had one for years, and it’s part of my online identity. It’s the basis for my main email address, and for any selling or hobby-business I’ve run in the past.

New notebooks - or, reasons why do I have a website

So, I don’t really want to lose the domain name.

I enjoy tinkering with the site, messing about behind the scenes to make things work. Finding the right plug in combination, solving the technical side. It’s fascinating.

But, as I have definitely said before, I am hopeless at keeping up any kind of regular posting. When I do post, I ramble. There’s a stream of thoughts but it’s all over the place, unplanned and erratic. I write as I think, and that’s not always a good thing.

The trouble is, my paid job involves creating tailored, carefully thought out responses – and by the time I sit down at home, that part of my brain is done. Then, someone will say something. Or, someone will ask, do you have a website? And I’ll say yes, and point them to here, and realise that I’m not happy with the way it looks, or the way it works. A website is an evolving thing, changing, adapting.

I’m meant to be working on photos of new notebooks to add to the shop, but I’m not happy with the lighting, the sharpness of the images. As a result, I’m here rambling. I’ll work on them again over the weekend, and I hope to have the notebooks in the shop soon.

New notebooks - or, reasons why do I have a website

Allegedly, new content is the golden egg that drives traffic… We’ll see.

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Making books

Still absolutely the worst at blogging. But now and then I find there is something I would like to share. I’ve been making books, and it’s fun!

Over the past month or 2 I have been teaching myself book binding. I’ve been using whatever I have available, and it doesn’t take much in the way of specialist tools to have a go. It takes some practice, but with time and patience, I have made some nice books.

Making books

Isn’t it pretty? If I’m going to be critical, the front cover flap is slightly misaligned, and I’d like for it to line up with the front cover perfectly.

This one has multicoloured pages, and secures at the front with blue ribbon and a toggle button that slips through the ribbon if you want. I was quite pleased with it, and as a result, thought I’d test the waters on eBay with it.

Everything used to make this book was already in the house. The only things I had to buy new were a couple of tools (bone folders) and a pot of PVA glue.

This one has a cover made from wallpaper. I particularly like the way the embossed metallic squares catch the light. The leaf print enhances the design with a natural look.

My eBay items for sale.

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Changing the way we live

We’ve been watching the Sir David Attenborough Netflix series, Our Planet. The filming is stunning, as you would expect from an Attenborough series. While we laughed a little at the whole concept. Look at the lovely/pretty/magnificent/abundant life, which humans are destroying… It did make us think. So we’re going to be changing the way we live, a little at least.

In the Garden

I already grow stuff in my garden, but it is still mostly grass. The soil underneath is poor and full of rubbish. It would be a mammoth task to dig it all out, dispose of it, and deal with it that way. We’ve been here over 7 years now, and I know I won’t do that.

changing the way we live

But my chickens love the weeds, give me eggs, and produce plenty of fertiliser – so I’ve been using that and home made compost to create raised beds. That started last year and I had reasonable success in growing things.

We’ll be growing more of our own fruit and veg. I have leeks, onions, and garlic growing. There are strawberries, apples, and pears forming. The first few carrots are coming up. The windowsills in my house are filled with trays of compost and seedlings for peas, beans, courgette, pumpkin, tomato, pepper. We grow what we like to eat.

But, in changing the way we live and do things, I need to look at the balance of the garden. My garden is lacking in flowers, other than the fruit blossoms, and veg flowers. So, I’m planning to clear a patch for a small meadow type area filled with colour and variety. I have a small buddleia to put in the ground somewhere. There’s a sage to add to the herb garden, and another shrub to go in somewhere. I think it’s a japonica of some sort? Spirea, maybe? The label got lost…

Pink foxgloves

That’s the outside.

In the house

We are increasingly frustrated that we have to recycle such a large amount of waste. Don’t misunderstand, I’m all for reusing and recycling. But there is so much that comes from our regular shopping trips that is completely unnecessary.

I compost most of our food waste. Any garden waste goes to the chickens. Card gets used in the garden as weed suppressant.

So, it’s the plastic, glass, and tins. The plastic is my biggest issue. Why do you need to plastic wrap everything? Do you need to wrap carrots, broccoli, apples? Why not have all fruit and veg loose, and have paper bags for us to use?

I will do my bit, and more, because I care. But the greater responsibility lies with big business, with producers and suppliers. Come on, sort this out!

We’re also committing to eat less meat. Not going totally vegetarian, sorry, we like meat too much and don’t like the veggie alternatives. But we’ll be trying to have 3 or 4 meat free days every week. This will be day 3 in a row for me.

That’s where we are right now. Making small changes, and hoping it makes some difference.

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Rubbish at blogging

I think I can safely and confidently say, I am rubbish at blogging. I start out with great intentions. In between working, running errands with my Dad, and family life, I should be able to fit in 1 or 2 blog posts each week.

But I don’t. I run out of ideas for posts, and I get disheartened when there is no response to anything I write.

So, I’m feeling like there is little point in having this as the main first page for the site. Perhaps the shop should be at the front?

As always when I feel like this, I am debating a site update. Redecoration and redesign. It’s the part of maintaining a website that I love.

Instead of erratic rubbish blogging for the sake of posting something, I’ll move the blog part to a back burner somewhere, and post now and then when there is real news.

Well, there it is. I’ll start tinkering about tomorrow. In between gardening, cleaning out the hens, rearranging the car’s MOT….

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Sun is shining!

It’s Valentine’s Day today, the sun is shining, the sky is blue. The air is almost warm, garden is starting to think about coming to life after winter. I am still happily single, and will receive no flowers, no chocolates, and no I love yous.

And that is perfectly fine.

But Spring is coming, and it’s time to get outside again, camera in hand, and see if I can capture some of the things I see.

sun is shining

The moon always fascinates. At an average of 289,000 miles away, I find it incredible that my eye can see so much detail. Even more so that with a few tweaks to the settings, my camera can capture that detail so well.

For that shot, I used my Nikon D3300 with the Sigma 70-300mm lens – fully extended, and set to manual focus. Autofocus on the lens will never cope with that distance. The camera is in fully manual mode (M), with the settings as follows:

  • ISO 200
  • f11
  • Shutter 1/250

I didn’t change anything else. So there’s no exposure adjustment, white balance is set to Auto.

It helps if you have a tripod to steady the camera as the slightest bit of shake will cause problems. A tripod will remove that, if you have one. I’m lazy, and I lean on my washing line to steady my arm and hand. I’m pleased with the result.

While the sun is shining, and the moon is bright, I’ll be playing with the camera again, and that feels great!

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