backlogged blog

Right. Hello!


I’m a bit behind with my blogging. I’ve got a load of unwritten blog posts in my head, but haven’t really had the time to extract them and get them down on paper. Screen. Keyboard. Whatever.

So, kind of as a reminder, here are some of the exciting things I’ll be talking about over the next couple of weeks. In no particular order…

  • Birthdays – turning 42
  • Books read in 2013 – progress thus far (3 and a bit)
  • Blogalongabondathon (not as kinky as it sounds, honest)
  • a new project about exploring Leeds
  • thoughts on my new Fitbit exercise tracker
  • the awesome that is le Tour de France starting in Leeds in 2014
  • decluttering the mind, the physical and the electronic
  • more Wakefield-related posts
  • the phrase ‘Twitterati’

[Edited to add]

  • goals for 2013
  • juggling

Phew. I feel better already. So, watch this space[1]

[1] well, not *this* space, obv. Keep an eye on the blog. Or follow me on twitter. Or sign up for emails! Go on, I don’t bite.[2]
[2] honest.

unplugged from the net – the results are in

Last weekend I decided to unplug from the internet. Friday evening to Monday morning, no net access.

It started fairly well, especially when I decided that ‘Friday evening’ runs all the way up to 11.59pm, so as long as I was unplugged by then, *technically* I hadn’t broken any of the (admittedly self-imposed) rules.

I also decided that I’d make a note of any tweetable thoughts over the course of the weekend and dug out my notebook.

Entry #1: Friday, 6pm
“Decided that ‘friday evening’ means midnight. ha!”

See? It started well.

#2. Saturday, 8.15am
“Bit strange not to check phone when woke up. Also picked up iPad to read news then remembered & put it down again.”
I found this over the course of the weekend – I’d pick my phone up almost by reflex, swipe to get to the twitter icon, then have to put it back down again. I ended up leaving my phone on the side rather than carrying it around as it was too tempting.

#3. Saturday, 2.30pm
“Picked up MW3 for £9.99. Result!”
Out shopping with the kids – I then promptly texted the two people I knew who would actually be vaguely interested instead. Hmm. Made note to get more friends’ mobile numbers for texting in case I do stupid things like this again.

#4. Saturday, 3.15pm
“Had to use iPad to look up train times from Buxton”. Decided that as this was someone else asking me to go on the internet for them, it didn’t count. Plus I didn’t look at Twitter or Facebook.

#5. Saturday, 4.20pm
“Watched the Bond 50th Anniversary Gala Concert. Some cracking tunes. Sang along to most, much to the kids’ amusement.”

By this point I decided that writing things down was getting silly, so stopped. I also had to go back on the internet to help Ed with some homework (again, didn’t count), but managed to stay internet free until Sunday evening when Wiggo won Sports Personality of the Year. Just couldn’t resist sharing in the joy of the moment. WIGGOOOO!

I found I missed the interactions on Twitter most of all, especially during something like SPOTY.

I found that I spent more time doing ‘proper’ stuff, and enjoyed the time away from the net. That said, it’s not something I think I need to repeat any time soon. I love being connected wherever I go. It’s strange to think that my kids will never know what it’s like not to have access to the internet by default.

What New York City Looks Like to a Bicycle

“Street Photos” Showing What New York City Looks Like to a Bicycle.

For his project titled “NYC By Bike,” photographer Tom Olesnevich attached his DSLR to the underside of his bicycle, and then snapped photographs while riding around in various areas of the city. The resulting photographs offer an interesting look at how the rear wheels of bikes see the Big Apple.


It’s my twitter birthday!

I noticed a tweet this morning from @TwBirthday

@dakegra Happy 5th TwBirthday! You’ve been around since 14 November 2007!

So, in five years I’ve posted nearly 22,000 tweets. That’s about 12 tweets a day, give or take.

Here’s a nifty breakdown of tweets by time of day, courtesy of xefer

Apparently I’m following 1,794 people (lawks!) and I’ve got 1,252 followers (crikey!).

Quite how many of them are really real isn’t entirely clear – the number fluctuates on a daily basis as spammers get caught and blocked or people get bored of my tweeting.

So. Five years, eh? Cor. Doesn’t feel like that long.

I often get asked what the point of Twitter is. People sign up, follow @stephenfry, get bored, and stop using it.

With Twitter, you really do get out what you put in. Following some interesting people, talk to them, interact.

Set up links to Flickr or Instagram. Take some photos & share them. Comment on other people’s stuff.

The more you give, the more you’ll get. I’ve made friends around the world & down the road via twitter, blogging, taking photos.

Go on, give it a go. It’s fun.

reblogged: I would not believe it unless I’d seen it

I can watch Danny MacAskill do amazing things on bikes all day. Never seen someone do the same sort of things on a ten grand racing bike though…

I would not believe it unless I’d seen it.


A conflagration of blogs

Recently I decided that it was time to relaunch my blog. I’ve been blogging in various guises and on various sites since 2003.

The trouble was that I’ve got too many blogs.

For example, I’ve got blogs on livejournal, blogger, two on wordpress (main one, one about my adventures in allotmenteering) a couple on Posterous (main one, one about skyrim (the amusingly named ‘an arrow to the knee‘, one about enjoyable sentences), two on Tumblr (one main one as well as one set up with a friend to post photos of coffee) as well as a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Google+ and so on.

They were all interlinked, and cross-posted to each other in various ways – a post to my will update @dakegra on Twitter and trigger a post on wordpress to my defunct Somewhere along the line gets updated and probably triggers another post to @dakegra.

Posts to would update @coffeecuppics on Twitter and trigger posts to… oh, I don’t know. Somewhere.

Horribly complicated.

So I’ve decided to start afresh. Sort of[1]

I’d bought the domain name earlier this year, having woken up from a dream in which I was drinking in a coffee shop of that name, decided that it was far to lovely a domain not to have, and promptly acquired it. I’ve sat on it ever since, wondering quite what to do with it.

And now I know.

So, welcome to espresso coco. Home of my ramblings, cool things I’ve found on the internets, photos of interesting coffee, ruminations on life in Leeds, thoughts about Skyrim, ponderings on various other subjects, with the odd enjoyable sentence thrown in for good measure.



[1] I’ve taken some/most of the content of the various other blogs and imported them here.