Words, pixels and code

websites are words, pixels and code

This website has a foot in two camps. The first is software and website design, which the site has been steeped in since I started it in 1999 as my freelancer’s shop window.

Following behind is a broadening range of interests that time gifts me the ability to pursue. These latter include books, art, buildings and our precious and precarious natural world. Photographs lend support where appropriate. This second batch of writing is becoming the site’s principal preoccupation.

a continuing journey of diverging interests

The site has broadened and gained bulk as this journey has runs its course and I am surprised by and grateful to those who have encountered my various posts and made contact. Those who know me as a coder know also that I have done time as an English teacher, a passion that predated all the hurly-burly of arrays and variables. I make no excuse for the circularity of things in now investing more time in natural than in machine languages. I recommend this progression to anyone who, like me, has designed and developed software systems.

The menus dotted about this ad-free site should lead you into collections of posts arranged by type. A site map experimentally blurts everything out on a single page. A handful of choice posts appears below. If you get lost, I hope that it will be in thought not in orientation.

(Any factual errors or typos are mine; all photographs are copyrighted to me, unless otherwise stated.)

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Bridget Riley at the Hayward Gallery

Bridget Riley at the Hayward Gallery

November 15, 2019

London’s Tate Modern is home to some gorgeous Bridget Riley canvases, huge rectangles of rhombic mosaics, in shifting colour that one can stand in front of and lose oneself in. A fifteen minute stroll west...

The Lives of the Surrealists

The Lives of the Surrealists

November 14, 2019

Desmond Morris is better known for his book The Naked Ape, which he wrote in 1967 (and which ranks amongst the top 100 bestsellers of all time), than he is for his surrealist paintings. Both of these amply...

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

November 9, 2019

Lincoln’s majestic cathedral dominates the surrounding plain from its spectacular perch atop Lincoln Cliff. Its bulk — already planted 50 metres above the surrounding plain — soars...

Hardwick Hall

Hardwick Hall

November 9, 2019

Hardwick Hall exudes the ego of Bess of Hardwick — its builder — as much as it is today buffeted by the constant drone of traffic from the nearby M1 motorway, both equally transient and...

Stokesay Castle

Stokesay Castle

November 8, 2019

Climb to the top of Stokesay Castle’s south tower and you are rewarded with a 360 degree prospect that could be one of the loveliest in all England, the gently rolling hills of Shropshire, Houseman’s “...

Sezincote

Sezincote

November 5, 2019

Sezincote near Bourton-on-the-Hill, Gloucestershire, was an early 19th century attempt to replicate the architecture of the Mughal Emperor Akbar who ruled from 1556 to 1605 and was known for his conscious mingling of...

Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett

Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable

November 2, 2019

Samuel Beckett’s ‘Trilogy’ is preceded by its reputation for being bleak, difficult and perhaps nihilistic. My advice is to set that aside and, to use T.S. Eliot’s phrase, “suspend your disbelief”. The...

St Botolph's Church, Hardham

St Botolph's Church, Hardham

October 20, 2019

The white-washed St Botolph’s Church in Hardham, West Sussex, was almost certainly built before the Conquest. It is dedicated to a Saxon saint (the 7th century fenland St Botolph) and has a traditional square...

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

October 10, 2019

When the rain of Derbyshire falls on the Peak District, the stones of Haddon Hall are scoured by it and progressively rounded. The castle’s ancient sluice-ways run silver alongside the timeless...

St. Celynin‘s Church at Llangelynnin

St. Celynin‘s Church at Llangelynnin

September 14, 2019

Sloping down to the seashore and pointing towards distant Bardsey Island, which appears as a smudge of shadow shaped like a jockey’s cap on the far horizon, is the medieval St. Celynin‘s Church at Llangelynnin...

Farewell Drupal 8. Hello Backdrop CMS

Farewell Drupal 8. Hello Backdrop CMS

September 14, 2019

I have written before of my love affair with Drupal 7 and, separately, of my anxiety about Drupal 8. Drupal 7’s abandon-ship, event-horizon end-...

Samuel Beckett Watt

Watt

September 13, 2019

Having completed Joyce’s Ulysses last week, an experience that began with a lengthy uphill incline, I have followed on with a re-read of Samuel Beckett’s Watt which has been a gentle downhill glide of immense fun....