This page is an experiment — to lay out the majority of the content added to the site since it took this format — and to do so on one page. There are various missing items, thank goodness, with each section explaining what these might be. Did I mention anything about icebergs?
Main content pages
pages of this site, around half of which were culled in a radical pruning around 2013. Hard sell pages seem — over time — to be decreasingly convincing. Page titles, below, are displayed conditionally.
Various projects have come off this list over time. Businesses have moved on, new owners have come in with their existing web team, proprietors have taken employment or properties have been successfully sold because their website did its job as intended. This is just as it should be.
blog posts. These are on topics ranging from the technical (web design) to the commercial (being a freelancer) to the nifty (great software to use) as well as the annoying and delighting.
Website development and design reading list
volumes do indeed sit on my shelves and, yes, I have read them all — bar the odd chapter here or there. They have helped me to stay out of the classroom and have nourished me immeasurably. I’ve not used a star system to set one above another, but my comments alongside each may help perform that function. Some of these books I find — and still find — to be quite simply invaluable.
places, each of which have a story to be told. Some of them originate from our teaching website in France (with its less complicated language).
French archive posts
posts about living and teaching in rural France. From 2010 onwards until we returned to England in 2016, we enjoyed working with French adults and youngsters who came to stay with us at our house in the Gers to work on their English. With both of us being qualified teachers, we like to think that we made something of an impact.
This experience was immensely rewarding for Jane and I, not least because it gave us insight into the value various French people placed upon learning English. We also made many friends, some of whom we continue to see even though we no longer live in France.
We advertised the business through our own website, sejour-anglais.com, now no longer live. We also developed a collection of blog posts which we hoped would allow potential clients to get a feel for what it might be like staying with us.
In my capacity as a website designer, this part of the business had its own appeal as I could see how powerful an informal blog can be when attached to the more formal pages of a business website. Sometimes these English language blog pages would rank on page one of Google France’s search results, an unintended consequence of using HTML without tricks or paid-for advertising.
For sentimental reasons, some of these French-based blog posts have found a final resting place in this section of the site.
Software development archive
software projects. Prior to designing and building websites, I was a freelance software developer writing systems for clients for distribution on CD-ROM. This was when I learned to listen to clients and design systems that responded to the detailed requirements of their projects.
The following applications are software projects (not website projects) that demonstrate some of these qualities. Written in either VB.NET or ToolBook Asymetrix/Click2Learn ToolBook Developer (the first Windows-based multimedia software authoring system) they are — with one exception — front-ends to databases. The majority of them are eLearning or course-management applications.
These projects taught me the need for precision and thoroughness. Programs needed to work on a huge range of devices and in a variety of diverse situations. Robust error-reporting procedures were as important as perfecting the random seeding of a three-dimensional array or the bi-directional highlighting of a multi-colour product-to-property menu system!
Welcome to the pre-internet museum!
A short selection of books that have left their mark. (If I keep to my target, this list will keep expanding.)