Archive for July, 2007

That lovely green stuff….

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007 | london, weekend | No Comments

On Saturday I finally got to visit Kew Gardens again. I say finally because I really wanted to go last year but never had the time, and two years ago when I first went seems, a long time ago now.

I love Kew, it’s one of those places where I can feel my heart rate slow as I walk through the gates. (What is that about me and greenery?) Suddenly all is calm, the only distraction is the multitude of planes that fly over. I don’t remember there being that many – but last time I went mid-week when perhaps there are less flights? Or I just cut them out of my memory, and chose to remember more trees instead.

With only a couple of hours to spare before the Mousetrap (I know – what a perfect day; gardens and Agatha Christie!), we took in the Pagoda and my favourite walk up the cedar vista. There’s something rather lovely about the long grass, filled with grasshoppers (Ok, they were nice at the time but I’m not a big insect fan in general), trees reaching skywards and that occasional (Ok, not that occasional) interruption from the flight path.

Of course, no sooner had we walked out of the gate (and amazingly avoided the ice-cream van) we wanted to go back and spend a day, with a picnic and a book and not too damp grass between our toes.

A quick hike along a couple of tube lines and we were in Leicester Square, hunting around for the theatre (there are so many!) and a healthy dose of murder. Of course I can’t tell you who did it (if you still don’t know), but I can tell you that it was good fun. Tweed and chintz sofas ruled, posh accents and a fair dose of over-acting in true Agatha Christie style. And Tom only fell asleep once!

Amazingly the rain held off until we dashed for the train home, in itself quite a miracle at the moment. What was lovely was to get away from Brighton for a day, oh and all that green. I do love that green.

on ticket sales, poker & a traitorous car

Friday, July 13th, 2007 | car, dConstruct | No Comments

It’s been a busy few weeks for me and possibly a bit too much burning of the candle at both ends. But it has also been a really exciting time. I’ve been busy organising more for dConstruct, tickets went on sale at 11am on Tuesday and sold out in an astounding 5 hours – an event suitably rewarded with a bottle of bubbly at Clearleft towers.

Yesterday evening was again time to celebrate the girl geekiness, at July’s Geek Girl Dinner. Denise Wilton gave a fantastic talk on designing web applications with character, something I find increasingly interesting. It got me thinking more about using language to appeal to your target audience. Quite rightly, banks shouldn’t be using “hey, you’ve just deposited some funds, cooool!” and if they did I suspect they would loose the trust of their users. Banks = serious.

However more social websites have a much freer reign when it comes to deciding on language and tone – do they want to appeal to teenagers, young adults, 30-somethings? The language and tone they use for each audience will be different, and will therefore not necessarily appeal to others outside this range.

I must try to catch Denise’s talk at dConstruct (dependent on my poor sleep deprived brain and generally running around in a gopher like fashion).

I also played my first game of poker, huddled round the meeting room table, beers in hand and delicious pizza to keep us going. I ended up £1.50 up, although Cath cleared up very efficiently… I just wonder if it was the old “let the first timer win, she’ll come back for more”.. But yes, I suspect there’ll be more Clearleft poker nights to come.

All this may lead you to believe that life is going good – and it is, apart from one thing. My traitor of a car. I laugh at the last garage I took it to (now I’ve stopped being very angry anyway) who claimed there was nothing wrong with it. Pah! I say. You take it out and wait for it to stall, stall, stall, stall, stall, refuse to start. Then you can cope with the panic and the trying to park it on a hill. So at present it’s sitting there, all forlorn, waiting for me to decide whether I can afford to fix it, sell it, or scrap it.

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