This weekend couldn’t have come sooner, it’s been a long week, productive, but long. Yesterday I spent most of the day drafting out Leg 8 of the Train To Turkey blog post. It’s coming along but it still seems to take me absolutely ages to get it all together. I’ve got a bit of a process now which is 1. Sort through pictures, edit and prepare 2. Research and made notes 3. Write up post with support from research and pictures. This process seems to help me stay away from the Wikiedia research-rabbit-hole, although yesterday I did spend an unnecessary amount of time reading about Nazi occupation of Bulgaria and it’s liberation by the Soviet Army. Interesting, but not really a valuable use of my time when I should be blogging.
Aside from reading Wikipedia I did make a few adjustments to the blog. One thing that I really dislike is when I write a post it’s quite often about a trip or a thing that happened in the past. Leg 8 for the Train to Turkey is an example, I will end up posting it in a few days time when actually the event took place almost a year ago. I had no solution to this with Squarespace, but with Jekyll I can add whatever front-matter I like to posts and display it or process it in any way I choose. So I’ve added a ‘history’ field which I can optionally populate and have the date displayed at the top of the post. That way I no-longer need to mention when something happened in the body of the post, I can just write and get on with it. It should also be possible to have the archive page list posts based on this ‘history’ date so that posts show in the order they happened rather than when they were posted. That’s a project for another day but something that in theory shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve.
I also added a location field which you can see on this post too, which I thought would be cool for when I’m travelling (if we’re ever allowed to again). I did set it the location information up as a URL but I need to sort the formatting out so that it works better. Few other improvements too, I reduced the title size so that it now fits on my iPhone screen without rolling over to a new line and I added a little tag icon for tags and moved them to the bottom of the post. Not yet sold on them being at the bottom, I may bring them back up, but we’ll see how we go.
In other news, I’ve signed up to complete my RYA Day Skipper Theory course. This has been something I’ve been considering since last year and it seemed like now was a sensible time to commit to it. With COVID-19 the course is run online via Zoom which is much more convenient and easy to manage around work. It’ll be 3 weekday evenings for three weeks, so I’ll carry on my my imitation commute and then switch to learning mode. I actually started my Day Skipper a few years ago with evening classes at Cushman but I kept getting interrupted with work calls and had to quit. I was pretty disappointed but, well that’s in the past. This time round I’m going to study with Elite Sailing who are just across the river in Chatham Marina, so it should make transitioning to the practical much easier too. The course is essentially the RYA equivalent of PADI’s Open Water but it seems a little more involved. I’m excited, with this and perhaps some more water time I can confidently close off Number 18 on the list.