Web accessibility, photos, travel and random noise


This is the complete works. You can also browse my posts by photos, travel entries, web related content or general tidbits.

You can also find all the websites I helped produce whilst working for Minervation - still my favourite employers, although not where I currently work.

  • Plovdiv in May

    After almost a year away due to the ongoing pandemic, we finally returned to Plovdiv for a week in May. The city was as lovely as usual, especially in the central old town area. Here are some photos of the city from the trip.


    The word Kapana means "trap" in Bulgarian. This is a beautifully restored quarter of small winding streets in which it is easy to get lost - or trapped. Only a few years ago this area was dirty and run down. It has now been restored and largely pedestrianised, full of little shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs.

    Small lane with cafes and colourful umbrellas overhead providing shade.


    Having moved my site from Wordpress to Eleventy hosted on Netlify, I was looking for a better editing experience than the one provided by writing my posts in a text editor or even in GitHub itself. I've settled on Forestry for now.

  • Reframing Climate Change

    This comment on an article about climate change really resonated with me:

    It's wrong to frame radical pro climate changes as sacrifices which we have to bear with gritted teeth. Its good for your health to eat less meat, cycle or walk instead of hopping in the car. Its good for peoples health too because of reduced pollution.. Its satisfying to mend thongs instead of throwing them away. Its a pleasure to use beautiful things for a long time crafted by people who enjoyed making them, instead of throwing things away in an endless cycle of obsolescence of the ugly.

    Most actions related to stopping cimate change would also be good for our general health, mental as well as physical.

  • Franz Josef Glacier receeding over time

    Whilst reading an article about glaciers receeding in New Zealand, I thought this photo looked strangely familiar. Comparing the snout of the Franz Josef glacier in 1871, when the snout is at the bottom of the valley and in 2016 when the snout has receeded far up the slope

    The reason it was strangely familiar being that I didn't remember the snout of the glacier to be so far up the hillside as in the photo of 2016. So I dug around in my albums on Flickr and indeed, the snout had receeded a worrying amount in just under 20 years. So I did some amateur environmental change analysis and added some date lines to my photo: The Franz Josef glacier marked by date lines for 1871, 1998 and 2016 to show far up the hill the glacier has receeded in 1871

    This may or may not be due to human made climate change, but this does show the changing climate on a personal level to me. Nature is not always as you might remember it, but changing all the time, for better or worse.

  • The Jamstack, will it supplant Wordpress?

    The web being the web, there are always opinions on which tool is better, which language superior or which hosting model future proof. The main argument for hosting appears to be traditional CMS (eg Wordpress) vs static sites and headless CMS (eg Netlify). A gentleman's barter was made between Matt Mullenweg and Ohad Eder-Pressman, with Eder-Pressman asserting that the JAMStack will be the dominant architecture by Sept 2025, overtaking Wordpress who currently host over 35% of the top 10K sites.

  • Moving to Netlify

    I've now moved my site over to Netlify. Having hosted it, at least in part, on Nearlyfreespeech for the best part of 15 years, I have decided to go fully serverless. This is not a slight on Nearlyfreespeech, I have had only positive experiences on Nearlyfreespeech and they will continue to host some legacy files of mine. The main reason for this switch is because I started using Eleventy, a static site generator, to build my site. This is great, it lead to much faster load times. But it meant I had to be on my personal laptop to update the content. I couldn't use an online service to update the site, like I could previously with Wordpress. At least not without a lot of extra effort and technical skills I don't really have. Sure I could create my content in GitHub, but to build and publish the site I needed to run the scripts that were on my laptop.

  • Covid vaccination rollout in Europe

    With last month's arguments between the EU and UK, regarding vaccine contracts and deliveries I did some back of an envelope analysis. It seems the real issue is not so much contracts, but the general lack of vacciness, partially due to the inability of one specific manufacturer to deliver their promised amounts of vaccines. Here are the stats as of the 10th April 2021:

    Vaccination progress for the EU and UK
      EU UK Combined
    Doses given (millions) 93 39 132
    Population (millions) 445 68 513
    Ratio doses to population 0.21 0.57 0.26

    All data from Our World in Data.

    As can be seen from the table if all the vaccine doses administered by the 10th April had been spread evenly across the EU and the UK, the effect on the vaccination rate of the EU would have been minimal: an increase of 5 doses per 100 inhabitants. But in the UK the effect would have been drastic: a decrease of 31 doses per 100 in habitants. So whilst complaints about vaccine export controls and contracts mimicking such export controls might be valid, the real issue is the limited capacity to produce the vaccines. This is where the focus needs to be - not on blaming each other for hoarding vaccines.

    Let's get the job done. Stay home! Stay safe!

  • Red sky at night...

    ...sheppard's delight!

    Sun setting behind the wooded hills on the other side of the valley creating a bright red sky just at the horizon.


    Looking over the Alzette valley from Helmdange onto Keispelt.

  • Treasure hunt in Luxembourg

    A couple of photos of Luxembourg city at it's best in the lovely spring sun.

    Looking over the Abbeye Neumunster and Alzette river in the Grund in Luxembourg City Looking over the Abbeye Neumunster and Alzette river in the Grund in Luxembourg City

    Looking on to the Red Bridge (also known as Pont Grande-Duchesse Charlotte) over Pfaffenthal and linking the city centre with the European Quarter in Kirchberg Looking on to the Red Bridge (also known as Pont Grande-Duchesse Charlotte) over Pfaffenthal and linking the city centre with the European Quarter in Kirchberg

  • The value of accessibility

    Jeremy Keith recently blogged about the great usability of the UKs Covid vaccination online booking process. Having recently renewed my UK passport online I can only second this. The UKs test and trace system perhaps wasn't world beating. But their Government Digital Service most defintely is!

  • JavaScript for the ages

    Thanks to a post by Jeremy Keith, I came across this post by Remy Sharp on the changing web and framework fatigue.

  • NearlyFreeSpeech.Net

    This site is hosted on I've been using them since 2006 and I couldn't recommend their service highly enough. They are essentially a pay as you go service, where you pay for what you use. This makes them incredibly cheap for low use sites like mine. This site costs me less than $1 a month in hosting charges.

  • Privacy - how GDPR is meant to work

    Finally a company that has got rid of all non-essential cookies and therefore does not need to annoy it's users with annoying privacy popups, often purposefully designed to confuse you into choosing the least private option. Well done to GitHub for removing all non-essential cookies and getting rid of privacy popups.

  • Eleventy, webmentions and my new site

    It's finally done. I migrated my site from WordPress to a static site generated by eleventy. I've also managed to get webmentions working of a sort. Many thanks for all the great help available on the internet.

    I list here some sites I found especially helpful, but of course there are many others who gave me a nudge in the right direction.

  • Introducing the ROBIN Stack

    Following this idea I saw on Chris Ferdinandi's site, of defining our stacks using our name, I present you the ROBIN stack:

  • Welcome Back

  • Sites I have helped produce

    This is a quick overview of all the sites I have produced over time. (As you can see I no longer build sites!)

  • Angie

    A golden retriever happily running and jumping at the camera.

    Christmas Day, 2020

  • Five coping strategies

    Here's a nice post on coping strategies:

  • Power

    Those who want power do not deserve it.
    And those who deserve power do not want it.

    J.K.Rowling, ~2000 AD


    Only those who do not seek power are qualified to hold it.

    Plato, ~400 BC


    Nothing new under the sun...


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