Piñata in the making
I apologise to Instagram users, these images are repeated there.
We enlisted helpers for Gracie's birthday piñata this year. It made fast work of the job. We won't tell the helpers that the piñata balloon lost air overnight and became the shape of a giant raisin, it might "deflate" their enthusiasm to help next time. Problem averted, new piñata in the making and we'll try and salvage the first one to use on another day.
I forgot to tell G the secret of keeping a punching balloon inflated for papier mache. I must make a list of our tips and tricks for piñata making and smashing. As this is the 24th birthday piñata we've made we've come up with quite a list of tips for successful birthday piñata. They were included in an article a few years back, I'll have to dig it out and share it here.
Wales Millennium Theatre, Cardiff
We had such a brilliant time at the Green Day stage show in Cardiff at the Wales Millennium Centre. We were really lucky to get the tickets, and what an amazing venue. The building, designed by architect Percy Thomas, is beautiful. Not just it's famous facade, but all the way around it and from every angle it's stunning. The use of materials and form and function are all outstanding. The theatre itself was also fantastic, great acoustics and there's not a bad seat in the house for viewing. The show itself also lived up to all the great reviews and awards it's received, we loved it.
The big apple orchard that's part of one of my walks is full of apples for cider making. Cider is a big local speciality. In the UK cider is alcoholic, not apple juice. The method for harvesting the cider apples is to shake the trees and scoop the apples up with a big vaccuum type machine attached to a tractor.
Loaded up for cider making
I wish I actually liked cider, local ales are my pub beverage of choice. But the smell of the apples at harvest is amazing.
Geese on the move
The geese are on the move and I might be on the move again too. Not moving house (thank goodness!) but moving from Typepad to Wordpress or other blogging platform. For me Typepad was by far the best solution for blogging without having to code when I first started blogging. Back then I felt Typepad blogs stood out from the crowd for their design differences and the platforms stability, but I don't feel Typepad has kept up with trends and the needs of it's users.
In order to make simple changes to my blog (for instance taking extra pixels or padding out from around photos) Typepad wants a person to upgrade to a more expensive monthly package. This means to make a simple aesthetic change and improvements I have to up my monthly outgoings. It may be just a few pounds to them, but to me on a monthly basis it's significant in the financial grand scheme of things. Pay extra pounds to remove a few pixels, grrrrrrr.
Typepad keep up. The internet is information and image focused, especially blogs. We want to be able to display our images to their full potential and not have to use CSS to do so. Even if we want to take the time to use CSS we don't want to have to pay for it, not when there are free blogging platforms that are offering just as much as Typepad if not more for the image and design enthusiast. I used to be able to adjust things in html easily in Typepad, but their model has changed over time and now we must pay more to make minor changes.
Typepad, if you want to continue with this business model then it's time to add more design flexibility for all your users, especially your dedicated, long-time users. Offering me 10% off doesn't cut it. At the very least, design new themes that are dedicated to creative image use and add attractive widgets that are keeping up with your competition or I see doom in your future Typepad. Come on, you started so strong; put some dosh back into development directed to us time-short, design-centric users. I want to be loyal to you Typepad because you've served me well, but you must keep a sharper eye on your user's needs. It's very simple, if you want to charge premiums you must offer more value than the free systems and right now you don't.
I chose to pay for your service over Blogger and Wordpress when I started for three reasons. Superior layouts, site stability and customer service. Even Blogger has caught up on the first two points and the third is less of an issue now with users in forums being as savvy as they now are.
If I can find an easy and inexpensive way to make the switch I will. I want to keep this online diary going but I don't want to be held to ransom by a service that may keep adding expenses at will. If anyone knows of a way, let me know. I'm still researching it but at the moment I'm leaning towards moving to Wordpress.org because I'm now visually attracted to Wordpress.org sites in the way I used to be attracted to Typepad sites. I think the whole process will take a lot of time, and time I am very short on so I might be stuck here for a long while.
If you use Typepad have you experienced these frustrations? Have you simply upgraded or found another solution? Please tell.
See you in the spring geese