I’ve been converting tracks in Apple Music on my Mac to MP3 files that can then be exported and saved elsewhere. This can’t be done with some. I remember reading somewhere that tracks bought before a specific date can’t be converted. A DRM issue if I recall correctly.

While using the old PC for ripping CDs I discovered that in fact most, if not all, those older purchases are in iTunes on this machine. And are in an exportable format. Along with many albums from CDs which I had evidently copied to ITunes back in the day. This is going to save me a lot of work.

I fired up my 15yr old Windows Vista pc today. The only thing it has on any of the other machines dotted around the house is a CD drive, and as such, it will be the means whereby I digitise our music CDs.

With some brighter weather and the need for fresh air, I ended up spending a bit of time in the garden today. Actually got around to cleaning out the nest boxes, so much earlier than usual. Which is good as I often almost leave too late.

I’ve already been hearing great tits singing so they’ll likely be checking out potential nesting sites soon.

These shortest of days are often a tad difficult mentally. This year is the hardest it’s been for a while. Once we get past the shortest day it starts to get easier, even though there is no perceptible difference for a couple more weeks. Just knowing the days are lengthening is enough to tip the balance of my perception towards something more positive. Like the shifting of a weight.

It’s been fun, if a head scratcher.

Moving from Hugo to WordPress, I couldn’t see a way to bulk import my posts, so took it upon myself to write a Python script to do the job. I save my posts as markdown files, so the script runs through each one and writes the content to a CSV file. Then I use an importer plugin for WordPress to import them all. A bit of tweaking to do here and there as not all the files are in quite the same format. Other than that, it works.

Robert MacFarlane writes in the Guardian about Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising. He is part of a team bringing a dramatisation of the book to the BBC World Service this Christmas.

He mentions the Twitter reading group that he ran 5 years ago with Julia Bird, which I remember. It was fun to discover so many others for whom the book holds a special place in their imagination.

I read it in my early teens. I recall getting it out of our local library. The rural wintery setting totally resonated with me and the folklore tapped into my own fascination with the idea of the supernatural and nature.

Growing up in the south of the UK we had snow nearly every winter, usually just for a few days. This made it an Event and is forever synonymous for me with The Dark is Rising.

As an aside, from the ’90s onward the incidence of snow has really dropped off. Anecdotal signs of climate change.

I look forward to listening to the new audio drama.

As a family we all in our various ways get affected by the shorter days, particularly when it’s also cold and foggy and dank. Like this last week has been. It’s a drain on energy, motivation and mood.

So the prospect of friends coming today, an arrangement made some weeks ago, brought with it a degree of trepidation at the effort required to get the house in some order, cook and so on.

We needn’t have worried, of course. In fact, it was just what was needed.

Sometimes it’s difficult to relax and change down a gear, so a having commitment to do something enjoyable, like seeing friends, forces you to step off the treadmill.

Having plenty of cake helped as well.

Finally decided to move the blog hosting to a different platform. I have continued to have issues with my Hugo setup for some time now and it gets in the way of writing.

As much as I enjoyed making my own workflow the whole thing needs a rebuild. And that will take me some little time.

So for now, I’ve switched to WordPress having got a good deal on a hosting plan. Officially, I don’t like WordPress but if it gets me back writing more frequently and with fewer issues actually getting a post to appear on the blog, that makes it a good thing!

This means my RSS feed address has changed to https://strandlines.blog/feed/

I can’t recall when it was, but I’d had the idea of writing posts that were a series of short posts on whatever it was that was on my mind. I often have thoughts that would make a longer post but either a lack of time or being put off by the mental effort results in me not postin at all.

The idea of posting in small chunks was twofold; I’d find it easier to post something at all, and it could actually help my thought processes as well.

Can I try again to implement this idea?