Woke in the night to the sound of wind lashing rain against the window – I don’t think I have ever heard it quite so loud before. Got up this morning to find the rain has moved through and the gales have subsided. Quite the contrast.
I have been trying to bring some sort of meditation/mindfulness practice into my daily routine, but lately I have let it slip. Work, CBT and some minor medical issues have been tiring. As a result, I have not been taking the time to relax and be mindful in the way that I should. All very counter-intuitive. So to sit here this morning and be aware of how still it was outside, hear the continued singing of the song thrush and be present in the moment was a good way to renew my practice.
Having moved my blog to WordPress, the first task was to choose an IndieWeb-friendly theme. Over at
IndieWeb.org there is advice aplenty on what themes work well – I won’t pretend to understand it all yet. I have used Autonomie by Matthias Pfefferle. I like it’s minimalist look – no doubt some tinkering will occur.
The second task was to find a way to easily post to the blog without involving the ghastly WordPress app. To this end I dug into
Drafts 5, which I haven’t used in an age. Initially I edited the Post to WordPress template that is available to download from the Action Directory. This was easy to set up but I quickly spotted a problem. For some reason that is beyond me, when I posted to WordPress using this action comments would be closed, overriding the default that I have set. I tried to rectify this but no joy.
Another option is to email a post to WordPress via Jetpack. I set up an Action in drafts which emails my text. Relevant tags are typed in the first line. The second line is a duplicate of the first few words of the blog post minus any markdown formatting – the reason for this will become obvious. The rest is the body of the post. Using this method seems not to interfere with the ‘comments on’ setting.
One slight hitch I discovered when emailing a post was that WordPress automatically created a post title – not something I use as a rule – using the current date. This is where that second duplicate line comes in. By inserting a title shortcode in the Drafts action which calls this line, WordPress uses this as a title instead of the date. While I don’t generally display the titles on the blog it should look better in RSS feeds than a date would. Probably not the most elegant solution but this does all mean I can type a post with tags and send it to WordPress in one click. And I’m all for fewer clicks.
For the past few months my blog has been hosted on
Micro.blog. I really like the frictionless nature of using it. I mentioned this in a post in which I also said that I was done with WordPress. So why have I been fiddling around with a self-hosted WordPress site for my blog for the last week?
Firstly, when I said I was done with WordPress I was referring to WordPress.com. While there is a fair amount of customisation that can be done, access to plugins (and the subsequent tinkering that can be done) is limited unless you pay for a top-tier plan. If plug-ins are your thing, from a cost perspective alone it then makes sense to use a self-hosted site. And I like the idea of fiddling with plug-ins.
Secondly, I have become intrigued by the
IndieWeb movement. I like the ethos of owning your own content and communicating with other web users without having to use social media. Micro.blog is IndieWeb compatible, and while it is accessible it does have one or two limitations. One drawback is that in order to comment on someone’s post you have to be a member, which means that you won’t have comments on your own posts from people outside of the Micro.blog community. Another drawback is when it comes to customising the website templates that are used – I am not that great at it. Admittedly, this is largely down to my own lack of coding knowledge, but I am more familiar with using WordPress. Additionally, there are several plugins available for WordPress that support the IndieWeb and I want to experiment with these and get my head around webmentions, endpoints and the like.
I suspect my logic here is somewhat skewed and someone with much better knowledge of both platforms could point out good reasons for me to stick with Micro.blog. I will continue to take part in the community there and I may yet go back to using Micro.blog to host my blog, but for now this is a particular itch I have to scratch.
I like days like this at the tail end of winter. Temperature up to 14C, a few trees starting to blossom and hawthorn coming into leaf in the hedges.
🏏Have enjoyed the SA vs Eng series – good games overall. Now looking forward to the Women’s T20 World Cup.
I decided to write about my experience with mental illness I didn’t really have in mind how much or how often I would share my thoughts. It was a case of have a go and see where it led. What I definitely hadn’t given consideration to was what, and if, to write when I am not feeling so great.
Part of the exercise was about being honest about the experience, and it goes without saying that a big part of most mental illness is not feeling too good about yourself. So it figures that when things are a bit of a shitshow that I should still write about it, otherwise I am not really expressing the full gamut of what it’s like.
This leaves me with a dilemma – on the one hand I do want to be honest about the experience, on the other I don’t want to come across as complaining or self-pitying. Bad times are just the way it goes, and I have to find a way to talk about that.
The other aspect is that shame is one of the things you commonly find in the big party bag that is mental illness, and as anyone who has dealt with the aformentioned will know, when shame is rearing its head the last thing you want is the attention of other people.
I’m not there yet but I hope that over time I can find a way to write about the uncomfortable stuff in a way that I am as comfortable with as I can be. If that makes sense…