I’ve been given two jobs, both small, but perfect. The first is to create and administer the website of a local charity, and the second to help a young girl develop her creative writing. Thus I find myself quite busy, with the prospect of a little (semi) regular, if not entirely permanent, money. The first thing I’ll buy is moisturiser for my ageing face; mine ran out about a week ago and I’ve been using a friend’s cast off since. It doesn’t have the same effect.
I’ve never created a website before, so the charity sent me on a two day, free course run by the local enterprise office. And I find it’s not that dissimilar to blogging (it is a Google site), though it’s much more fiddly, and there are such things as searchability to take into consideration. The first twenty five hours of working on it were a bit grim, and I must admit I had to force myself to do it. But I pushed on and now the bones are in place I’ve been having quite some fun creating the look and feel of it. Today I spent a good deal of time just looking at other sites of similar organisations, and browsing Pinterest for inspiration and ideas. It was great. I’ve always liked research, and this is the nicest sort for someone visually minded as me. Once it’s up and running I’ll show you. Meanwhile if anyone has any tips…
I’m spending a lot of time solving problems that have been solved a million times before by others, I’m sure. For example, the header image: what a fandango it was just trying to create something of the right proportions, and now I find the text colour has come out wrong. And I had to do three conversions to get it in place: from Pages (Mac’s Word equivalent) to PDF, to JPEG. This because I had to combine two images into one. Is there an easier way? Also, the font options on Google sites are rather limited, so I’ve been faffing about trying to subvert that, which only sometimes works. Also (this could go on), the charity expressed a preference for an off white rather than stark white background, but that option doesn’t seem to exist. Still, I am learning a good deal, and it may all come in handy again some day.
The second job begins on Friday, and is only for an hour a week, but I met the young writer before the school holidays because we had to make sure she’d be comfortable with me. It seems she was. Maybe because her chosen form is poetry, and when she told me this was because reading Charles Bukowski made her see how poetry can reach depths prose can’t I squealed with delight. It was Bukowski who made me realise ordinary, squalid life can be shown poems, and that you don’t always have to write about unrequited love or the beauty of nature. Him and Sylvia Plath. So, for the rest of the week I’ll be looking out poets and poems I hope will aid her flourishing.
A trip to the Scottish Poetry Library last week saw me return with volumes by Liz Lochhead (the Scottish Makar); Janet Frame (whose autobiography I’ve just finished reading); Aonghas MacNeacail; Pablo Neruda (for the Mr who’s just finished reading his memoir); Alastair Reid, and UA Fanthorpe. I also have my own small collection to draw on, and if I’m feeling brave I may even share a poem of my own with her: ‘Self Portrait as Tracey Emin’s Bed’ perhaps.
Apart from work I seem to be in the midst of birthday season. It was the Mr.’s at the start of the month, it’s my best friend’s on Friday, and in between there have been numerous others including a 50th we went up to Aberdeen to celebrate. So to end, here are some phone shots of the trip:
You’ll have noticed that I went a bit Snapseed filter crazy with some of these images, do forgive. I have proper, camera, shots of the trip too, I just haven’t processed them yet.