Archive: Admin

I have moved my blog over to DuncanStephen.co.uk.

Apologies for the confusion, and for moving my blog just a year after the last time I moved it. I promise this will be the last time I move.

Find out why I have decided to make the change.

I hope to see you there.

Visit Duncan Stephen.

Silverstone’s new ‘Wing’ pit complex has been getting a bit of press recently as the circuit has been showing off the progress so far to journalists.

Whenever I have seen designs of it, I have felt like it reminded me of something, but I could never quite put my finger on what.

Then I logged into the stats for my blog and found the answer.

Blog stats

Silverstone Wing complex

Hi everyone, and welcome back to my blog! This is it — it’s official. This is a proper relaunch. And to prove it I have about a dozen posts already prepared, ready to be whipped out whenever I hit a dry patch.

I was actually hoping to launch it a few weeks earlier. But the process of redesigning the blog took much longer than I had anticipated. I must have had the original ideas for this design way back in September, and I have been working on it on and off ever since. Obviously it went on the back burner when I moved into my new flat, which took up a huge amount of my time between December and February.

Nonetheless, I expected that I would be able to put together the design quite quickly. One of my original intentions was to do it properly, with good accessibility, a mobile stylesheet, and some HTML5 and CSS3. I saw it as a good learning experience, and an opportunity to learn about the sort of code I will have to start using at work.

In the end, I have ended up having to basically re-learn how to develop a WordPress theme, due to major changes in versions 2.7 and 3.0. That was much harder than I anticipated, and it was only after borrowing a book from my colleague Gareth Saunders that I finally cracked it (sort of)!

It got to the stage where I have just had to work as quickly as possible to get the theme finished and ready for public display. As such, most of the fancy stuff I wanted to implement has not been started on, never mind finished. And the theme lacks the final polish. You will probably notice a few inconsistencies in the way some elements of the design work. I will be hoping to iron this all out in the coming weeks.

Content-wise, I anticipate that the blog will be quite different to what has been here before. But I knew that all along. That was part of the reason for my hiatus over the winter. But you will see what’s in store later on.

In the next few weeks there will be a few posts that would normally have appeared in either November or December. The normal sort of end-of-year stuff. For instance, I never got round to writing about the end of last year’s Formula 1 season (!), nor did I write a music roundup, which I have done every year since I started blogging way back in 2002.

Please let me know what you think of the design. As I say, I’m still working on it and am open to any suggestions.

After a couple of misfires over the winter, I am now planning to relaunch this blog within the next few weeks.

I am currently laying down the groundwork for the new blog, with a new approach, a reinvigorated motivation and a different style.

In the meantime, while I work on the blog behind the scenes, please excuse any weirdness or test posts that you see.

Testcard D

Back already? Yes I am — sort of. It is typical of a “hiatus”. The actual hiatus (which officially began ten days ago) has been much shorted than the month-long awkward silence that preceded it.

But I came to the conclusion quite quickly that I do want to continue blogging. I just don’t know how, or what format it should take. I am still not sure what I want to achieve with it, and what sort of things I want to publish here.

So I have decided to use the month of December as an experiment. I am aiming for the lofty goal of one post a day. Just like an advent calendar! Or something.

Some of these posts will be ones that I meant to write before beginning the hiatus, but didn’t get round to. I will also piece together some unfinished posts to get them out there too. Then there are the traditional end-of-year posts (about music and Formula 1) that I can’t leave out.

I have also come up with a nice idea for a little series of posts, which I feel like I have the energy to write. This is quite an interesting period of my life, and it feels silly not to document it in some way when I have the perfect tool to do so!

Over the course of the month I will be experimenting with styles and subject matters. I want to try and work out what I feel comfortable with, and also what interests the readers.

I am conscious that part of this is down to the fact that I have found myself with a bit more time on my hands this week than I was expecting (I had booked the week off work to move into my new flat, but Snow Week has made progress on this very difficult!). So I may well abruptly disappear again. But for the time being I am in the mood to create and experiment. Feel free to join me.

You may have spotted that I haven’t blogged at all recently. A lot of stuff has happened in the world that you might have expected me to write about, and I haven’t. If you have been expecting something, sorry about that.

There are a mixture of reasons for the lack of blogging. I have been busy, as usual. I have way less time on my hands than I used to. But partly I have also totally lost the motivation to blog.

A lot of things have been happening in my life recently. This has sent blogging straight to the back burner.

Chief among the big things happening in my life right now is that in less than a week I will be moving out to Dundee. It will be the first time I have moved out from my parents’ house, so it is a pretty big change for me. There is lots to do, so I imagine that blogging will again be squeezed over the next few weeks.

I have also lost a lot of the motivation to blog. There are several reasons. Party it feels like a busman’s holiday. I spend all day working on a website — in a way, it is the last thing I want to do when I get home. I also recently realised that I began blogging eight years ago. I think that is too long. There are other reasons too, but I won’t bore you.

So I have decided to formally take two steps back from blogging. A hiatus, you might say. A proper holiday off the thing, without any feelings of guilt that I haven’t been updating.

It may not be completely quiet. There are still a couple of things I want to write. Whether I can actually be bothered writing them is another matter.

But apart from that, I am closing this blog for the time being to think things over, for a few months at least. I may come back — I don’t want to disappear entirely. But it will need to be a fresh start of some sort. I feel like I need to do something new and different.

Thanks for reading over the years. Please feel free to stick around. Keep in touch. Those links to the right are still there to show you that I am still around. I plan on being fully active on Twitter — follow me @doctorvee.

A couple of weeks ago I allowed my membership of the Liberal Democrats to lapse. It is not that I have ripped up my membership card in disgust. Quite the opposite — I have found surprisingly little to be upset with the coalition government about.

Nonetheless, I think governments are for opposing, not supporting. So I don’t think it is appropriate to continue being a member. I see little point.

Besides, I find it quite difficult to get very wound up about politics these days. I maintain a vague interest if I happen to hear something on the news, but I can no longer call myself an active follower of politics.

No doubt this is a disappointment to those people that started reading this blog for the politics articles. I no longer consider this to be a political blog and am currently in the process of working out what I should do with it in the future.

I have spent a chunk of this evening getting to the bottom of what was causing comments to go wonky. I have now tracked down the problem so now submitting a comment should not take you to a 404 page. Nice!

I have also now paginated the comments sections, for those posts that have an especially large number of comments. So now there is less scrolling, although there is more clicking!

I am planning on implementing a new strategy to re-ignite the blog, with plans on redesigning and getting into a position where I am happy to post more often here. This blog has been a shadow of its former self, and although I no longer have the time to dedicate to it that I used to have, I don’t want to see it wither away either.

But that will come later, when I get the time. Just now, working on my blog feels too much like a busman’s holiday for me to want to do it!

Apologies for the lack of updates recently. I have been mad busy.

To compound matters, when I had a spare bit of time I decided to upgrade to WordPress 3.0. This broke comments on the blog. (My fault I guess — I have been meaning to update the code for comments for at least a year, but never got round to doing it.)

So for the time being I have put up a quick fix so that comments just about work. It just doesn’t work quite as nicely as I’d like.

On the plus side, this is forcing me to have a look at recoding / redesigning the blog, which I have been thinking of doing for a while now. I have a bit of extra spare time next week, so I may get it done then.

In the meantime, please excuse the slight flakiness. I will try to continue posting so keep your eyes peeled.