2006: The Best of the Year

This last list of best-ofs is a hybrid of the best of this site and the best of my year, which have so often overlapped that it didn’t seem worth keeping them separate. In other words, this the Blatant Self-Promotion list, a.k.a. “2006: The Best of Me” or “2006: I Am the Best”. The fact is, this has been a good year for me—a really good year—which isn’t something I’d have said of the last couple (even though they weren’t all bad). And looking back over my posts here at Speedysnail, it’s been reflected in what I’ve written and photographed. The hard part was choosing ten specific posts... so I’ve made it ten general categories instead, with links to the best posts in bold.

Read More · 31 December 2006 ·

Christmas Cheer

Christmas time is here once more,
With frosty, freshly-fallen snow,
And figgy pud, and chocolate log...

Except upon our British shore,
Where Father Christmas might not show
Because his flight’s delayed in fog.

Read More · 23 December 2006

Public Service Announcement

If you’ve been trying to email me over the past month and haven’t had a reply, it might be because there’s some weird stuff going on between my domain name, my ISP and SpamCop, which has meant that I’ve been missing out on quite a few emails since mid-September. Paul and the good folks at toastyhosty have been helping me out, and I’m going to spend some more time trying to get it sorted right now.

Read More · 22 October 2006

Thank You Falettinme Be MySpace

I’m still not entirely sure why I’m doing this, but I’ve joined the yoof at last by setting up a MySpace page [original mirrored here]. It’s early days yet; I actually registered a month ago but only put some stuff in place yesterday. That was waiting for me to convert some mp3s into full-blown videos, because I hadn’t realised that you have to have a musician account to post mp3s. (The recordings are from a collection of fourteen made at the end of April at my friends’ home studio. The plan is to put together a whole album’s worth, but that needs at least another recording session, probably two.)

Read More · 21 August 2006 ·

Minor housekeeping: I’ve been adding a few things behind the scenes to Found and Rory Central, including an edited version of perhaps the best thing I’ve ever written for this blog. (The edit was to fit the word limit of a BBC travel writing competition, which I entered and never heard anything more about. Thought I might as well give it an airing here.)

12 August 2006

And the Winner Is...

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Two of you, anyway. Who out of the dozens, nay, couple of entrants to the Speedysnail Seventh Birthday Extravaganza will win the dozens, nay, two prizes on offer? Who will be taking home the striking hachimaki and the envy-inducing pencil set? Most importantly, who will get which?

Read More · 7 August 2006 ·

The Speedysnail 7th Birthday Extravaganza

That’s right, it’s seven years to the day since Speedysnail was launched. Seven years of bashing out words and pictures for the entertainment of myself and others, whoever you are. And what an enormous pile of words and pictures it is.

Read More · 30 July 2006 ·

Unstressed Syllables

The author of these, speedysnail,
Is resting for now, turning tail
From anapest shores
To do prosier chores,
But will one day return without fail.

25 July 2006

It’s that time again... time for the sign that I’ve been too busy to write all those posts I meant to get done (and man, they were real beauts—classics of Blogdern literature), and won’t have a chance again until later in the month. Yes, it’s our old friend the Test Pattern!

Read More · 6 May 2006 ·

More found stuff at that newly revamped part of the site, from an origami penguin onwards.

13 March 2006 ·

Achtung! Bloggen

I’m still tweaking the templates for this new design. A comment from Bill about changing his bookmarks to point to the new location of the blog made me realise that I shouldn’t have made /2006/ its default location, because he (and everyone else) will only have to change again in ten months’ time—it’s Walking West all over again. So I’ve duplicated the page at /weblog/. For the next ten months it’ll be identical to /2006/, but changing your bookmarks now will save you a full twenty seconds’ effort in January (or February, or March) 2007... assuming you’re still reading then, and that I haven’t been hit by a falling anvil.

25 February 2006

Clap Your Hands Say Anything

This is going to seem pretty pointless when I’ve just spent all week doing everything else except post here, but the RSS 2.0 feed for this site is now human-readable—assuming said human is using Mozilla or Firefox. That’s right, I’ve added an XSLT stylesheet to convert it into HTML. All those months of XML work have finally paid off... in the form of a page that isn’t even directly linked from the front of the site (unless you choose Show Site Navigation Bar Always in Mozilla). And if you’re using Safari it overrules my XSLT with its own RSS format and defaults to the 1.0 file anyway (which doesn’t have the XSLT, because it’s RDF); and who knows what happens in IE6/Win, so really, what’s the point.

Read More · 24 February 2006 ·

And to think I was planning to post something every day. Pitched battles with XML during the daytime have kept me from dashing off a quick entry or two, and at night I’ve been sorting through folder after folder of photographs from Australia and America. I’m almost at the point where I can put up a New York gallery, but first had to do something about the tired 2004 design at Detail (ta-dahhh!). That’s the trouble with redesigning: you change one little front page and the whole site needs doing. (For a while I thought about turning it into a photo-a-day site like the impressive Chromasia. Then I thought of my posting rate in 2005, wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes, and went and watched another episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.)

Read More · 9 February 2006 ·

A New and Maiden Holiday-Ground

Westward, beyond the still pleasant, but, even then, no longer solitary, hamlet of Charing, a broad space, broken here and there by scattered houses and venerable pollards, in the early spring of 1467, presented the rural scene for the sports and pastimes of the inhabitants of Westminster and London. Scarcely need we say that open spaces for the popular games and diversions were then numerous in the suburbs of the metropolis. Grateful to some, the fresh pools of Islington; to others, the grass-bare fields of Finsbury; to all, the hedgeless plains of vast Mile-end. But the site to which we are now summoned was a new and maiden holiday-ground, lately bestowed upon the townsfolk of Westminster by the powerful Earl of Warwick.

And what better words to summon you to this new and maiden holiday-ground than those of Lord Lytton, whose fine volume The Last of the Barons we picked up for three quid on Saturday, in a leather-bound 1900 edition. We have laboured hard, these many hours, to build a pleasant, but, even then, no longer solitary space, broken here and there by CSS borders, in the late winter of 2006. Scarcely need we say that, for some weeks after our return from New York, we could not be bothered, or, rather, that we were far too occupied by fresh pools. But at last we have bestowed upon you, townsfolk of Web-minster, this hedgeless plain of grass-bare fields...

We, I mean, I (slipping back into my own voice, for, lo!, it is I, etc.) have changed a few things around here, as you’ve no doubt already noticed. Goodbye, Feed, and the increasingly pointless separation of blog and journal. Goodbye, blog entries on the front page of the site; it seemed sensible to submerge them slightly to help guide new visitors around this ramshackle maze. Hello, job-related advertising (below); not too intrusive, hopefully, and it might help keep me in work beyond the middle of next year. As for the rest, a few more corners of the site could use a revamp, but we’ll see how it goes.

6 February 2006 ·

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