Chinese Androids: A Cautionary Tale

Considering buying a Chinese Android phone like a Xiaomi, Vernee, Elephone, Huawei, Honor, etc? They seem to be incredible value for high specification devices, about half the price of a premium brand smartphone. They’re very popular and getting rave reviews in tech forums. But it doesn’t always work out. Let me tell you a story. […]

Review: The Ocean At The End of The Lane

I recently had the opportunity to get an ARC copy of Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at The End of The Lane” which has just released in mass-market paperback. I’ve read a huge amount of praise for Gaiman, he is frequently touted as one of the top fantasy authors in the world. I read a lot […]

Performance Enhancing Online Reviews

I’ve written a few long form book reviews here and posted to Goodreads and Amazon. And lately I’ve been asking people to review my new book “Running a Website with WordPress: A Quick Guide for Business Owners“. There’s been some discussion lately in book forums about paid-for book reviews, and how – hopefully – Amazon […]

Minimalist WordPress Theme

Reading Tim’s post about default WordPress themes and bloat, I thought I’d experiment with creating an absolute minimalist WordPress theme, which you can see live here on here at the time of writing. I want a single, functional barely styled skeleton theme a default theme that no one will ever use – Tim Nash […]

Updated WP-CLI backup script

Here’s a new version of the wp-cli backup script mentioned previously. This adds a check that it’s running as a user, and backs up the upload directory too. You need to have wp-cli installed and run this in your WordPress root, as a regular (non-root) user. If you use this I’d love to hear from […]

Nearly there

It’s the last of the 14 days of Cycle Against Suicide, and my 13th day on the bike after missing one day out for work. We’ve come from Belfast to Malin Head to Mizen Head and back up the midlands spreading the message “Everyone feels shit sometimes and that’s ok. It’s also ok to tell […]

Back in the Midlands

  It’s been a busy few days so apologies for lack of updates.  Tuesday evening after finishing in Skibbereen I met my parents – dad is down to join the cycle, mum is providing support and enjoying being part of this big orange circus.   Still in my cycling gear, I drove their car the long […]

West Cork

  We stopped in Bantry after a very long day – 128km from Tralee to Kenmare to Bantry with around 1100m of climbing including a single, gradual 14km climb from Kenmare up through the Caha Pass. It was very cruel to give us two final and fairly serious short climbs at the very end in Bantry […]

Halfway there

We’re in Tralee and halfway around our 1400km journey. Last night a few pints were had in Fels Point Hotel, and there was a pretty serious karaoke competition – serious in quality terms at least, it was a fun evening.  I limited myself to 3 pints and a relatively early night because today is going […]


I got my bag back about 30 minutes after posting yesterday’s blog post! The system works: one of the crew noticed the bag in the morning and dropped it over to the night bag truck. I was very glad of it as I could put on long cycling trousers instead of the thin summer shorts […]

Bilbo Bagless

As I mentioned yeterday, I was under time pressure in the morning. I arrive late into St Mel’s in Longford, the orange train was getting ready to leave the station.  I had been wearing my big rucksack while pedalling furiously into town from the B&B, so I looked for Doreen’s day bag van to chuck […]

Glad that one is done

It looks like another misleadingly beautiful morning out there.  I’m staying in The Fiddlestone Pub and B&B in the village of Beleek on the border of Co. Fermanagh, UK, and Co. Donegal, IE. Raymond has been a fantastic host here, helping us get wet cycling clothes and shoes dried out, all while running a busy […]


  Lying awake since 5, listening to the rain on and off. More off than on as the morning brightens, hopefully! It sounds like it’s going to be another nasty day out there today, I think I’ll bury myself in the middle of the pack today and recover from yesterday’s exertions. Damn that wind for shifting […]

It was a beautiful day, apart from the weather

A very brief update on Day 1, Belfast – Ballymena RFC – Coleraine. 100km. Started 10.50am, finished 6.59pm. Weather: 4 seasons in one day. I regretted not having my winter gloves, very cold afternoon session, although no repeat of the brief hailstone shower of earlier. Some photos of Day 1