Self-hosting, Sandy clean-up and where to visit before it’s gone forever

News and picture of the week for November 5, 2012…

Photo of the week: Autumn means time for indoor pursuits, like moose head ping pong (Sunday November 4)

My biggest news this week is that I’ve moved to self-hosting! I’m now at, rather than This means a lot more flexibility in terms of what I can do with the site (mostly in terms of amusing myself with layout tweaks). The layout still doesn’t look quite the way I’d like it to – I want comment counts on the front page, for example – but it was a bit of a scary step and I’m happy to have pulled it off with nothing going too wrong.


My move means I’ve been doing a bit of reading up on good blogging advice.

  • English fashionista Not Dressed As A Lamb offers some great pointers on photography for bloggers at Photo Tips Friday: Clean Up, Resize, Optimize Your Photos. (I downloaded this thing you call “Instagram” to my phone last week. I still have no idea what to do with it.)
  • Speaking of photos, I’ve discovered the outstanding blog Camels and Chocolate, by travel writer and photographer Kristen Luna, who takes some of the best travel pictures I’ve seen on the internet.
  • Kate at Blogcast FM has a great plan for How To Be An Organized Blogger.
  • And now that I’m self-hosted, I’ve been able to install the excellent Editorial Calendar plugin, which puts Kate’s plan into action in an easy, drop-and-drag way.

The election may be tomorrow (I’ve already voted by mail), but the biggest news story coming out of my home country continues to be Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.

  • New Yorker Erika at Black, Gay and Jewish has a roundup of who needs help, where to go, and the state of the city – including the outer boroughs, not just Manhattan.
  • In response to the catastrophic effect of Sandy on New York’s MTA, London Reconnections wrote a detailed, comprehensive, historical analysis of the possibilities around flooding in London’s Tube system. A Familiar Fear: Flooding & The Underground
  • As usual, The Onion nails the feeling around a national disaster better than almost anyone else.  “Nation Suddenly Realizes This Just Going To Be A Thing That Happens From Now On”:

    Following Hurricane Sandy’s destructive tear through the Northeast this week, the nation’s 300 million citizens looked upon the trail of devastation and fully realized, for the first time, that this is just going to be something that happens from now on.

So the world’s going to continue being slowly destroyed by increasingly unpredictable, devastating weather. Might as well go travelling while you can…

  •  Jet pac has identified 10 places to see…before they’re gone. (Yep, most are disappearing due to climate change.)
  • The Billfold shows how to Find flights the old-fashioned way.
  • Uncornered Market writes about the positive effect travel can have on communities: Tourism – it’s the people’s business.
  • But Traveling The World Won’t Necessarily Make You A Better Person. (Thought Catalog).

However, humanity can’t be doing too badly, if six people are willing to spend spent three and a half hours rescuing a trapped hedgehog from a crisp packet, as they did last week in Somerset. Don’t worry, the hog is now reported to be “thriving”.

Carnival mentions

I’ve been kindly mentioned in three this week! Greg at Control Your Cash accurately notes there are a lot of “wom[e]n who blog about how she’s planning to spend far more time paying off her student loans than she did incurring them”. It’s unclear why he’s singled out women – my reading list of debt-free personal finance bloggers is around half and half – but however you measure it, it’s a pretty strong indictment of the American student loan system.

Canadian Budget Binder made me a Friday Blog Post Pick – his round-up includes some pretty tasty seasonal recipes at the bottom (mmm salted caramel pumpkin orange cheesecake).

And Living Debt Free Rocks gave me a Sunday high five – right back at you!


So, who’s doing anything around the American election tomorrow? I’ll probably stay up to watch the East Coast polls come in (around midnight-1am London time). There are a lot of bars staying open late in London, but I’ll be staying at home – I remember (or don’t remember) being out for the 2008 count all too well…

7 thoughts on “Self-hosting, Sandy clean-up and where to visit before it’s gone forever”