I'm sitting here with a slight fever and blocked nose - a sure sign of Autumn. Luckily I have a drawer full of lemsip and an obliging cat to sit on my lap to cheer me up. You've always got to look on the bright side right?
So here we are, another week over and another week wiser(ish)
So what have I been up to?
Speaking at the Guild of Entrepreneurs Marketing Skills Session
I spend most of my time behind the scenes at the Guild - organising events and undertaking general admin tasks to keep things ticking over. However when the chance cropped up to share my knowledge in our recent Marketing Skills Session, I jumped at the chance!
I mainly focused my talk practical tips for writing on websites and blogs, as that's what I know best. (Or at least have the most practice in!)
My key points were that you have to keep your copy in-line with your own authentic style of writing. It's also important not to be afraid of simplicity - as technical terminology is usually distracting rather than enlightening. Finally I advised that it's always important to get a proof reader, even if it's just a friend or partner.
Interestingly enough, I actually suffer from a mild form of Dyslexia which can occasionally affect my spelling. I try my best to get Des to proof read each blog post on here before it goes live, but sometimes that's just not possible due to schedules etc.
He's actually away this evening, which means I'm going to have to post this without any assistance. As much as I try to comb though and find mistakes myself, sometimes it's literally impossible to see them with my own eyes.
If you ever do spot a spelling mistake on this blog, I'd appreciate it if you let me know in the comments! I really don't take offence, as I'd much rather know and have the chance to correct it.
Developing my first Rails application
I spend most of this Saturday over in Manchester at the National Coding Week: Rails Girls / Django Girls Event with work!
You may remember that earlier this year I had the opportunity through work to attend a Django Girls event, where I built my first website from scratch in Django (a programming language based on Python.)
This time around I decided to follow along with the Rails tutorial (Rails is a server-side web application framework written in Ruby, another programming language).
After a fair bit of trail and error, I managed to successfully deploy my first Rails app - a basic platform which collects ideas and allows other people to comment on them.
I was also very impressed with myself, as I was able to explain the basics of version control and using Git. This all shows that my technical knowledge is building up over time, even if it sometimes doesn't feel that way!
Listening to new music
I can not express how much I love Spotify's "Discover Weekly" feature, which is basically a playlist completely curated to against your own preferences.
I've used it now to find a number of new songs and artists, all of whom I'd never have found simply surfing myself.
This is my current ear worm:
Releasing a new Peach demo track
Des and I have been collaborating musically for a while now under the name "Peach" - which is basically an umbrella for a number of weird and wonderful musical experiments recorded in our front room.
This week we sat down and recorded one of my favourite Kate Ruby songs - I am stretched on your grave. This song is actually a setting of a translation of an anonymous 17th-century Irish poem titled "Táim sínte ar do thuama"
We aren't 100% happy with the vocal levels (I'm a bit quiet in places), but overall the sound is pretty epic!
Eating at The House of The Trembling Madness in York
The House of The Trembling Madness is probably the most unique bar in York. The interior is worth seeing alone, as it boasts an impressive selection of animal heads!
Set in a 12th century building, this self-styled Medieval Ale Hall boasts a fine selection of Belgian and local beers, alongside a generously portioned food menu.
(I actually worked here for a little while right after university to help tide me over when I set up my first business!)
Des and I headed here on Thursday to kill some time before meeting a friend. We obviously couldn't leave without sharing a platter and a pint... it would be rude!