Monday, November 30, 2009

A Most Apologetic Post ...

... for having absconded yet again from the blogosphere. I blame my grandchildren personally. Do I really have to visit them to keep up with their development and to be part of their lives? Yes, I do!

I spent a rather long and also busy weekend with my son's family in Stockholm. It was wonderful.

On the second day I picked up my grandchildren from nursery on my own, first the older one, and then we went to pick up the toddler brother from his group. It was a proud moment for a granddad who doesn't see them that often.

Then it was time for some physical work for me, pushing the pram with the attached roller board for the older child to stand on after a tiring day "at work". But we got back in good order, now all three of us tired!

The weekend was somewhat more relaxed and I had the privilege to attend the 4 1/2-year-old's "swim nursery", where they get used to the water through little games, rhymes and a lot of splashing.

Then I and my granddaughter had a day to ourselves. We had planned to have a fun and exciting day out in central Stockholm. We travelled by underground, ferry and bus, just for the fun of it.

With the help of mum and dad I had prepared some interesting visits; to Junibacken, a museum dedicated to Astrid Lindgren characters like Pippi Longstocking and many others, to Aquaria with sharks and all sorts, and lastly a big toy shop.

But it was Monday! The Astrid place was closed, the aquarium was closed and so were all nearby restaurants. Granddad went into overdrive, but kept cool and checked if it was possible to eat at the Vasa Museum and the Nordiska Museum, but in both places one would have to pay an entrance fee to access the food facilities! The situation was getting slightly desperate.

It was cold and windy, which did not do much for the little girl's growing hunger or bladder.

After an emergency hot dog she informed me that she desperately needed the toilet. Granddad, after having spotted a restaurant down a side street some distance away, told her she had to squeeze and hold tight, in the most calming and reassuring voice.

Hurry, hurry across a couple of streets, park the buggy, rush through the entrance, past a man who was allocating tables to lunch guests, straight into the gents', find a cubicle, and YES, she had managed, to granddad's great relief.

After having thanked the understanding man by the door, we got on a bus, where we did not have to pay thanks to the buggy. Then we enjoyed the day-old Christmas window display at NK, the famous department store, marvelled at all the lovely toys in a big toy shop, and finished it off with some Italian ice-cream before counting all the underground stations on the way home.

Wow, what a day out!

A w ice-cream

BTW I have now finished setting up my photo web site , and I have already planned some adjustments to make navigation even easier, especially for when the number of images will grow in the future.

So I have taken down the flashing neon sign saying "Under Construction". From now on it will only be maintenance and expansion.

(In my next post I will tell you why I dislike (I hate the word hate) Ryanair so much that I struggle to find words to describe it.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Dribs and Drabs Launch

AB snap cyanotype

My photo web site is coming along, if not nicely, at least little by little.

I struggled for days with uploading changes that I made before I eventually figured out how to do it. I was quite ecstatic after having launched the site initially, but any subsequent additions or changes caused me problems.

Uploading elements of various kinds was slightly more complicated than I first thought. I imagined it was just a matter of uploading the html page in question, and everything that belonged to it or was affected by it would follow suit. Oh no, it wasn't.

Some pages loaded very slowly on the site, others not at all, so I looked into the size issue. Were there too many pictures in the flash galleries? Comparing file sizes did not make much sense. Was the type of gallery of any importance? My conclusion was to turn off the auto play function so the viewer wouldn't have to wait for all pictures to load before the slide show got going. But that did not solve all the problems.

In the end I found scripts and xml pages that needed to be dealt with on an individual basis, as well as the images themselves. That's when the problem of the software renaming all the images as they were prepared for uploading, came into play. In the ftp client that I use for uploading you can only get the file name, not thumbnails, so it was very difficult to find the relevant files, with names like "x87tjkh.jpg" for instance, keeping in mind that there are many hundreds of files in the one folder!

Then the simple solution hit me on the head like a giant silver hammer. Sometimes you get so involved that you don't think of the simplest solution. I should have known better.

The obvious way of finding all files that had been changed was of course, here it comes..., to click at the top of the list to sort the files according to time & date. The most recently changed or created files sit on top and can be selected very easily for transfer. Dooohh!! I am almost ashamed to admit it.

But now I can get on with completing the folders and photo galleries with the pictures I have lined up, upload them skillfully without a hitch and then get on with the comments page, which I think still does not work properly. I have, by the way, put a permanent link to the photo site on the right of this blog.

And again, apologies to my regular readers for not visiting your sights as frequently. I promise to improve shortly.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Big Launch

AB snap cyanotype

Trial and error, there was a lot of that, and frustration, but also stubbornness, because I don’t give up easily when I try to solve a problem. I tried to be systematic and logical in my approach, since that is how I do things, but this time, at times, I felt I had taken on a Sisyphean task. I was learning as I went along, but trial and error eventually made me triumph.

I hope that opening paragraph didn’t sound too pompous or self-conceited, because I could simply have said that I had managed to launch my photo web site yesterday. It might develop into something more over time, but for now it will be where I display my photographs in a structured way. The design is straightforward, clean and simple, which wasn’t necessarily easy to achieve. Not using a template meant I had to manage every little detail myself, all from scratch. IT works in mysterious ways, which we all know, but in the end I got it right.

Now I can sit back and catch up on some blog reading, something I sadly have neglected lately. It is very easy to become a “fickle friend” in the blogosphere.

If you do visit my photo web site,, you’ll see that there are galleries which haven’t yet been linked to any page, but they will be. All the galleries are on auto play, but it is of course possible to override that. Hopefully they will not take too long to load (25 max in each flash gallery).

I tried the Comments page myself without great success. It is supposed to send the comment as an email to contact @ . Please feel free to comment here or directly to ‘contact…’ if it doesn’t work, because I am understandably very interested in your views, and I promise to reply. So if you don’t get any response from me, it didn’t work.

Apart from continuing work on the “empty” galleries, I will look into any problems on the Comments page. Then of course, I hope to take many more good photos and add them to the site, sometimes replacing old ones of lesser quality.

Happy viewing!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Week in France

On Sunday we returned from France after a 7 1/2 hr drive in torrential rain, very strong winds and reduced visibility. No wonder I was tired yesterday. We had superb weather all week long though.

When we arrived at our house we were greeted by this sight, our bedroom floor covered with lots of more or less dead flies. Don't know why.

Most of the week we used these tools.

Some stuff ended up as kindling ...

... and some was just left on the ground for now (on the left). What remains of the Mock Orange Blossom on the right!)

We also went for walks, for instance along this river where the authorities had regulated water levels in order to be able to inspect bridges and locks et cetera. Not many boats could more at this jetty.

Then, on the last day, our wood-delivering farmer turned up in a monster of a tractor, which he very skillfully managed to manaeuvre between hedges and concrete posts , and promptly left us with a mountain of logs to take care of. With a neighbour's help we managed to stack it all just before sunset.

So now I am back to using all my spare time to work on my photo web site so I can launch it (sounds a bit pretentious!) some time before my hair grows even whiter.