Death of a tear

It was a quiet tear. Formed and full of pain as it silently glided down an already slick cheek. Blurry eyes and tightened throat the only acknowledgement of the source. There is no sound, no drama, but each one is noticed as it emerges, followed on its path, and grieved for when gone. There is no other sign, just tear after tear after unwiped tear. Elsewhere the laughter echoes, proudly proclaiming the joy and release of itself. A booming noise of resonant depth, infectious and heartfelt. Tear after tear after tear are removed with a rough sweep of the hand. Forgotten in an instant as the laughter continues. Other tears form unwanted, fought back through rage and determination. Caught in …

Continue reading »

Clock watching

I woke at… well… I think it was about 6.30am on Sunday. I went downstairs, fed the cat, put some coffee on and made some breakfast before settling down to watch the Australian Grand Prix coverage. I was recording it because it started at 6 am, not a time I usually see on a Sunday morning, and so I could skip through the adverts (go on, admit it, you spent the first hour waiting for them too, didn’t you). It was about 7 am when I sat down in front of the TV and pressed PLAY. As ever, the recording included a few minutes of the previous programme, BBC News 24. Viewers of that programme will know that part of …

Continue reading »

*tweak*

Just a quick note, for those in RSS land, and for those not, although less so for you as you (I hope) have already spotted what I’m about to mention. I did, finally, update the banner a little and add a splash of colour too. If you aren’t seeing any changes, please refresh your browser (press the F5 key on your keyboard or CTRL+F5 (PC), CMD+F5 (Mac)). I’ve also updated my other websites appropriately (here, here and here). That’s all. Told you it was a quick note.

Continue reading »

Designing websites

As well as my full-time job, in my spare time I also design and build websites. It’s something which fits well with my skillset as a technical communicator, and allows me an insight into the world of development as well and has mirrored my career every step of the way. The first company I worked for sent me on a training course to learn how to create web pages and, since then (13 years ago), I’ve continued to follow the trends and techniques involved. I’ve been through using tables for layout, to the introduction of frames, the launch of Internet Explorer and the first release of CSS. The parallels between the theories of technical communications and those of web design …

Continue reading »

Spring forward

A small reminder to everyone in the UK to remember to put your clocks forward by one hour tonight. Officially you should do this at 1am but making sure your alarm clock is done before you go to sleep is probably all you need worry about until tomorrow. It’s yet another sign, alongside the buds on the cherry blossom I can see from the window as I type this blog post, that spring is coming. And that means, once again, the war against our garden begins. Yes yes, we should’ve been out there already but in a trend similar to last year, every weekend we find ourselves at home and with free time, it’s been raining. We do keep saying …

Continue reading »

One Man Tales

“Once upon a time”, it says, in that time honoured tradition of old and so our story begins. The story tells the tale of a man making his way through life. The man meanders his way along the path of his choosing, though he is only occasionally aware that he chose it, and most of the time his travels are accompanied by a sense of carefree naivety which he happily acknowledges but secretly and quietly despises. In this tale we learn about the man, or at least the parts of his life that are featured. We learn about his troubles, his happiness, his moments of madness and fragments of beauty. We read odd glimpses that make no sense, and delve …

Continue reading »

The plane

The sky slowly darkens as the sun dips behind the clouds and the windows of the plane slide to grey. Whisps of air stream past, chasing droplets across the glass, helter skelter as the plane starts to descend. The light changes, melting from the dazzling brilliance of moments ago to the dull artificial glow that washes over the life within, and an irregular motion bumps and buffets the plane, pockets of turbulent air enjoy their brief moments of power. The rows of seats are almost full, the gentle chatter of a hundred strangers fight the mechanical hum, a war of attrition that neither will win. A sudden burst of laughter breaks through but is soon lost, impaled on battlements. Near …

Continue reading »

Ada Lovelace Day

Yesterday was Ada Lovelace day, a day when women in technology, particularly those who blog, take a moment to highlight some of the heroines (am I still allowed to use that word?). Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Whatever she does, whether she is a sysadmin or a tech entrepreneur, a programmer or a designer, developing software or hardware, a tech journalist or a tech consultant, we want to celebrate her achievements. An excellent idea and, whilst it was open to me as well I …

Continue reading »

Reflecting on Jade Goody

I don’t comment on current events all that often, as I’ve said before I rarely feel that I’ll be adding anything new or particularly insightful so I consider it best to avoid the topic altogether. That and I can usually see both sides of every story so can find it hard to find a position for myself. The recent death of Jade Goody is one of those examples. I’m not particularly interested in her as a person, but what does both intrigue and disgust me is the way mass media has treated the past few months of her life. Granted she’s allowed open access and welcomed them in but, from where I’m sitting, surely there was a point where someone, …

Continue reading »

Tinkering

In my usual style, just when I should be doing something else I find the spare minutes and hours (which aren’t actually spare) being whittled away by something completely different. And I don’t mean in the Monty Python sense. Speaking of which I missed a Python reference the other day, but thankfully re-gained some geek cred by asking if anyone else knew how C3-PO got his name (or R2-D2 for that matter). So, despite the fact I’ve got a website to build for a client (I HAVE started it, honest!) I find myself, once again, with Photoshop open, working through a variety of potential options for reworking the banner of this website. I’m a bit stalled on this and, as …

Continue reading »