Weeknotes 2

by Clive Walker

Here’s my second weeknotes post where I look back on what I’ve done this week (web development and outside work). And put down a few thoughts about freelancing. Let’s start with that.

Freelancer business

My web design and development company is going through a quiet patch. I need to get out more and promote myself! However, the positive from this is that I can work on a new site design and on business strategy and focus.

This week, I’ve completed some more work on the new site and I want to get a lot more done next week.

… short term gains lead to longer term disillusionment

My business focus needs to change I think and I’m still pondering the direction that will be best for me. It’s tempting to say, I’ll take any work that is going. However, I’ve been doing this long enough to know that short term gains lead to longer term disillusionment - so I won’t be taking that approach.

Horsham Coworking

Along with Matt Ide and Roger Johnson, I manage a coworking space in Horsham and it’s been growing steadily over the last 15 months. I’m very pleased.

I rent a desk at Horsham Coworking and it’s changed my working day completely (for the better). I’m meeting new people every week and there’s a productive and collaborative atmosphere in the office.

We have some coworkers who work full-time like me and others who just drop in occasionally. And anything between those extremes. For example, last week, a Horsham-based AdWords specialist rented a desk for the week because his home office was undergoing decoration. He brought in a monitor and desk items and used the same desk all week. That’s great! I hope he comes back (based on his home broadband speed, I think he will!)

Learning CSS Grid

I’ve found two new sites this week that have helped me learn more about CSS Grid:

  • Layout Land: Jen Simmons has started a YouTube channel with two videos about CSS Grid.
  • CSS Grid Course by Wes Bos: A free course (thanks Firefox!) with 25 videos and course material.

The final video/lesson from the Wes Bos course helped me recode the post layout on this site to use Grid. This is so that I can have full(er) bleed content (images for example) and post ‘notes’ on either side of the post’s text content (on screens bigger than 800px wide).

Here’s an example note on the right :-)

The appropriate CSS wasn’t too difficult but I had to change the element where display: grid is applied because of a sub-item that wasn’t behaving. There may be another way round this but I’m happy with what I have now.

Apart from the CSS, I also needed to add a new content block to my Perch CMS post template to generate the note item mark-up and content. In this template, I can choose the note class (for left or right position) and add the text content. Perch CMS really does make this type of change very easy.

I hope to do more with CSS Grid because it really is fantastic!

Running

… slow is good but too slow is not!

More training for my February half marathon this week with a 12.8 mile run with Horsham Joggers Sunday group. I started at a slower pace than last week with the aim of finding out if this helps me at the end. It didn’t and I never really made up the time. So, my lesson here is that slow is good but too slow is not! However, I was pleased to make it back under 2 hours (just).

My local parkrun has changed to a winter course for a few weeks to let Horsham Park recover from the mud bath that it’s become. The Horsham team pulled out all the stops and with the support of local council and another Park, they have moved it to Southwater Country Park which is 2-3 miles from Horsham

The new course is all tarmac/gravel paths and hard-packed Downs Link trail and it was great to run it for the first time. It is a more strenuous route than the original ‘summer’ course in Horsham Park because it has a few sharp hills and a tricky downhill section as well. I’m looking forward to running it again.

Friday’s beer o’clock

Two pints of Dark Star’s Hophead Loral in the Anchor Tap with Graham and Matt from the Horsham Coworking space. And a good chat about a few ‘tech’ things.

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