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Oakbrook Creations

I have a new website: Oakbrook Creations. For a while now I’ve not been happy with using my own name and wanted something different. After much soul-searching, and debate, I decided to name the site after the fictional town of Oakbrook from my Portal novels. I hope you’ll visit.

Oakbrook Creations

The shop has moved over to Oakbrook, and there will be more content in time. But for now both sites will run side by side.

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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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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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Making time

Today is about making time to do things. Over the winter I’ve let things slip, rested back on habits and conveniences that aren’t ideal. We’ve eaten ready meals, far too much junk food, and fallen asleep on the sofa way too often.

Then on lottery, or euromillions, day, we sit and play the what if game. If we win, we’ll have this house, we’ll move and live there, if we have more time to do stuff we’d write, grow things, etc. But would we? really? If we’re not making time to do those thing now, why would a bigger house or more money make that much difference?

I fancy having a go at lino printing, so why wait? Recently I wanted to get back into writing but I find that despite having hours in which to write, I don’t.

I think it’s time for a change in attitude. So, yesterday I loaded up the slow cooker and make a batch of what I call mince mix. It’s a tomato base with onion, courgette, pepper, mushrooms, which is blitzed smooth using my hand blender when it’s cooked. Then I add in a large pack of beef mince and let is cook for a couple of hours. That gets made into pasta bolognese when it’s fresh. Once it’s cool, I make lasagne, or freeze portions.

But my freezer is over-full and needs defrosting. So, 2 of us had pasta bolognese last night, 2 of us are having cottage pie or pasta bake tonight. I like cottage pie, my daughter doesn’t, so I made individual dinners. And I made a 4 person lasagne for when my son and his girlfriend visit at the weekend, and a 2 person lasagne for my daughter and I another day.

My point is that I am making time to cook more healthy food from scratch, in advance. It makes meals easier.

It’s far too easy to fall into habits that don’t actually help us. So, I’m trying to change that, at least a little bit.

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WordPress 5, that’s different

When the website asks for updates, I tend to just do them. It asks all the time, usually plug ins and themes, but this time it was a whole wordpress update! I just installed it, and wow, WordPress 5, that’s different…

Instead of one big space to add all your post elements, I have to add blocks? So, there’s a block for paragraphs, and you can’t put images in that. Then a block for galleries, and another for single images, and you can’t write in those.

Wordpress 5, that's different

Then yet another for headings, and a different one for quotes…

I’m not sure I’m convinced… But it looks like it’ll be ok.

And my Yoast has vanished?

Oh hang on, it’s there, in a box to the side, that I can open and close as needed. That’ll be handy, better than having to scroll up and down to fill in all the different parts.

Oh, and I can move those blocks up and down, changing the order of content, paragraphs, images. I like that!

Change is constant, and it is our choice how we react. I tend to be a bit guarded, reserving my views until I get used to something. I like to think I can see the positive. It’s not always possible.

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and some of you won’t be coping well with the upheaval, the changes in routine.

I have no real sage advice, but it’s up to you. Try to work out what’s unsettling you, ask if you can change it? How long will it last?

This update will last until the next big one, and until then my choice is to live with it, decommission the website, or switch to a different platform.

I like wordpress, so I’ll be working with it, finding out how I can make these changes work for me. No, where are my blog categories, and post tags…


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