Why a website, and now? After a week or two at home, under lockdown for the coronavirus, I looked for something new to try. Endless suggestions from experts on TV, such as learning to speak a new language. Trouble is, I’ve already tried that with half a dozen and although they’ve all been interesting I haven’t really become competent in any of them. How about a different kind of language, like HTML, and that would really need CSS to go with it? The proof of the pudding would be if I could use them to turn out a website.
What would I put in it? Nostalgia is the obvious one – with my age closing in on 80, I’ve seen quite a lot of history go past me! Quite a few experiences are rare, if not unique – how many others have tried putting a battery to the leads of a blasting detonator, to see what would happen? Or made sandwiches with boiled emperor penguin eggs? I not only know how the rules of the school playground game of rabbit (or hasie, in Afrikaans), but I’ve had great fun playing it.
Some of those are for later. To get this started, I’ll be raiding my stock of items already written, some for other websites and some for friends. So, here we go.
6/5/20: I began this website with a joke about a child’s ball that had landed in our garden and I’ve written to friends about the lockdown in a light-hearted style. Yesterday, an email told me of the first person that I know directly who has died of Covid-19. I hadn’t seen him since I retired twenty years ago but I remember him clearly as someone I have chatted to, both about work and hobbies. Jokes have their place, to keep spirits up, but we must not forget that there is a grim reason for the present restrictions.
14/10/20: This website was started to pass the time during the Covid restrictions but we also had an outdoor project. Could we remove a huge tree stump in our back garden?.
6/9/20: Some crazes and pranks at boarding school, in the 1950s.
9/8/20: The ball in this tale is anatomical. If that might offend you, give this page a miss!
2/7/20: Some items ticked off, and still plenty to look forward to.
1/6/20: If you have an unidentified device with electrical leads, surely the obvious thing is to connect it to a battery?.
20/5/20: Sometimes pages are more convenient to read if they’re in PDF form, so some pages will now have that as an alternative. For those pages the same link will lead to both versions..
12/5/20: Munro Sievwright, who took some of the photos I’ve used in these pages.
4/5/20: Two local trips near Halley Bay reminded us that Antarctica can be a dangerous place.
17/4/20: Can one grow diamonds without high-tech equipment? My father claimed it could be done.
16/4/20: A rare visit to the eerie ice-cave above the roof of a hut buried deep in the snow of an Antarctic ice shelf, as a PDF.
16/4/20: Link to British Postal Museum website, for article on mailbags used while sledging.
16/4/20: Link to the Zfids website, with much on Halley Bay.
15/4/20: Posters for our Golden Wedding anniversary in 2017, as a PDF.
4/5/20: My initial aim was to get this site launched before the end of April, and I managed it with a few hours to spare. Next target, to add at least one new page each calendar month. I’ve already got May sorted out, but how long can I keep it up?