In a couple of weeks time it'll be Valentine's Day. I'll be buying a card and some flowers for my wife, and maybe even a small gift?

I really don't know what to buy; maybe the two things'll suffice? Heck, I'll be second-guessing myself with that one until the day. And afterwards.

The problem is simple: I peaked in 2006.

We found a bona-fide Scottish castle\* to spend a couple of nights of romantic whatever-we-used-to-do-before-the-girls-arrived at. A typical utilitarian design externally, set in extensive grounds, with its own lake.

The Honeymoon Suite. You know?

I rang, booked, sat back looking at my wallet. Easy. Girlfriend-as-was was happy.

Then the phone rang.

> "Hello Mr Turner, we made a terrible mistake with your booking…"

Me: "?"

> "Well, we completely forgot you booked for a stay including Valentine's Day and, unfortunately, the room rate is double for that one night."

Me, hand over phone, looking over at my girlfriend after a brief summary which ended: "Do you still want to go?"

Her: (big doe eyes, soppy smile)

Me, back on the phone: "Are you ready to take my credit card details again?"

> "Yes, and can we say how sorry we are for…“

Me: (sighs)

It was worth it.

\*Culcreuch Castle, Fintry, Stirlingshire, Scotland.


My wife had gone to work, I'd sent the girls upstairs to get ready for bed and clean their teeth, the cats and dog were fed. At a temporary loose end, the desire to create another podcast had simply grown too strong; I had to…

But what to talk about? Only some uninteresting minor domestic duties left to perform before settling down to, er… not very much apart from thinking about plans for the weekend.

The answer, the inspiration, came from an unexpected source. Have a listen.


My grasp of the English language isn't as wide, deep, or rounded as I'd like it to be. I know lots and lots and lots of words but occasionally some have meanings that elude me. Some long, some complex, some ridiculously short but tricky as…

'Meta' was one such word.

The current Wikipedia definition states:

"Meta (from the Greek preposition and prefix meta- (μητά-) meaning "after", or "beyond") is a prefix used in English to indicate a concept which is an abstraction from another concept, used to complete or add to the latter."

It's a small thing in a big thing, which makes reference to the big thing and which makes the big thing complete, but without which it wouldn't be.

This post, for instance; it wouldn't be complete without a reference to…

But no, I'm not going to. For that would be very silly indeed.


"Simple life good."\*

Er… I shall stop talking like the village idiot now.

'Life' is now too complex for me, has been for quite some time, and it frustrates all my efforts to simplify situations.

Borrowing from a previous blog post, 'Paris':

"Life is complicated. Living it is easy. Put one foot in front of another, breathe in, breathe out, drink, blink, eat, pee, poo, sleep, work, play, laugh, cry. And then it's over.
> There is more, of course. Aspiration. The latest smartphone, TV, games console, car, a house, family, friends, safety…"

I wrote on for a bit in a similar vein. Heck, there may even have been a point to it at the time, but all that's forgotten already - and by pretty much everyone who 'lived' the events of the day the post refers to.

Luckily for me we live in an age where life-expectancy is great enough that, for quite some time to come, I will be yearning for an age that might have existed before even I entered this world. I'm in my forty-eleventh year in this planet dontcha know!

It's an age of simplicity, this thing in my head, but one in which even the now-simplest-to-treat ailment (scurvy, for instance) could have propelled me in particular headlong into the cart on the way to that pauper's grave.

One small positive here; we have the choice where we end up nowadays. Ok, we've the illusion of choice; the family's wishes will surely trump mine. Whether it happens or not I've at least asked to be burnt when it's my time.

No cart for me!

\*A conversation with myself, sparked in part by here on 10Cv4.


\\ Newsflash!! \\

Dateline: Right now!

We have a simply great work custom: anyone having a birthday brings in food and shares it with all. Today, 4rthur\* (thanks 4nne\* for cooking & laying it all out) brought a particularly rich spread, pizzas, cake, pork pies, some, er… tasty things…

I just ate a couple of slices of a Hawaiian pizza.

(pause for effect…)

And again I liked it.

To recap; if you read my recent 'Pineapple' post, you'll see I introduced a foodstuff (pineapple) positioned diametrically opposite to my views on the addition of fruit to savoury meals.

I'm not averse to foodstuffs prepared in challenging ways but pineapple is one of those polarising fruits; tolerable in isolation, downright wrong on a pizza. Or with gammon.\\

Or so I thought.

My palate must be changing with age; after all I eschewed the pepperoni pizza, picking up the Hawaiian in preference.

It would appear that 2016 is indeed a year of experimentation, compromise… If only my attitudes to other deeply entrenched beliefs could be moderated in a similar fashion.

Perhaps I need to go around licking stuff - you know, to test if my attitudes can be modified according to taste?

\*Names have been changed to protect even the generosity of those wonderful individuals here.

\\Gammon with egg FTW!

Rule 34

Yesterday I created and posted (if that's the correct term) my first podcast. (It at least looks and sounds like one.)

Today, whilst I was sat at my desk, a colleague approached and… "48 seconds" he said.

Despite the fact he'd earlier mentioned listening to the audio, and alluded to the (unfortunately fictional) Chorley FM slogan "Coming in your ears", my expression must have conveyed my abject lack of understanding.

He proceeded to explain, "[REDACTED]"

"Ah," I replied. Take a look at this.

But it's not really appropriate to search too deeply for a definition of Internet Rule 34\* on a work PC, is it.

\*Potentially NSFW link; be careful what you click, children.

Test: audio file

A test audio file - attached by the magic of 10C's menus to this post.

I've already uploaded it once but cannot find the URL to link to it, nor can I see the file from within (or without) 10C.

Here goes!

Test Markdown headings

Test for .


  • Without space between hashes and heading text.


  • With a space.


I may have mentioned my programming days are >30 years in the past? Well they are. It's not to say I haven't dabbled in the last few years. Because I have.

My GitHub Pages site is a prime example; personal, trivial, offering not much mass-appeal; yet requiring a fair degree of time and patience to create.

And I've learned new skills too!

My pages are hosted at; the design (the technical aspects, not necessarily how pretty it looks) is based on a forked version of the poole/hyde repository (repo.) This is where the more in-depth instructions are located. Essentially it's a Web site in a box, free from the shackles of self-hosting and server security concerns.

Getting it personalised in the first instance was surprisingly easy. Take a look at for my site's files.

I'm assuming here that you want to create a new site and want to do it the easy way, as did I. There's a learning curve of course, but there's no compelling reason to step outside the site along the way.

The executive summary:

  1. Login to your account. You may need to create one for this step to work best!
  2. Find and fork the 'poole/hyde' repo, calling your fork [your GitHub username] -
  3. Remove the entry (all the text) in the CNAME file and save it back to your repo. This forms one half of a redirect from a domain external to GitHub Pages.
  4. Customise the fields within the _config.yml file and save it. This effectively personalises the new site.
  5. Edit the post within the _data folder. This is to test whether the basics are working.
  6. Browse to '[your GitHub username]' - and you should see something superficially like poole/hyde and my sites, but with your content.
  7. Fix anything that doesn't quite work.
  8. Success!

If you don't see what you like, it's not a massive amount of work for anyone with any previous programming (at any level) or HTML background to work stuff out. Knowing a bit of Markdown - to edit and format your posts - will help.

I've changed stuff and added a few things to the basic 'framework', such as:

  • Changed the site name font (I know a tiny amount of CSS, not enough to break stuff, but I always do and have to revert.)
  • An 'Archive' page, basically a copy and paste from the site, but formatted to add post excerpts.
  • A 'Reading list' page, a simple loop reading data from a .csv file.
  • Other stuff.

Once you get into this, the ideas flow quickly.

But, despite all this enthusiasm, faffing about… my primary blog still resides at Jason Irwin's 10Centuries - here.


Because there's more to blogging than fiddling with site nuts and bolts, SEO, testing, etc. - it's all about the writing for me.

Besides, 10Centuries v4 is due soon (currently in invite-only beta) and that's an entirely different ballgame!

Despite my what it states in my bio I am \#NotADeveloper.

But it helps to have a basic understanding of what it takes to be one.

A clear mind.

Ruby dog

If you're not following me on you're missing out on the occasional post about Ruby - our dog.

Ruby's lovely. Approaching her first birthday, as she's grown she's lost none of her puppy enthusiasm; as she's become more accustomed to our commands, we've tempered none of that quivering anticipation of awesome things about to happen.

Here's a flavour of her impact on our lives, just my posts:

Planning required:

"@pme Aren't the little buggers great? A good thing it's nothing like Ruby 'Chomp-all' Dog. The rest of my family hadn't quite understood the importance of putting things away. But there is an expectation that adults can put stuff in a safe place, right?"

Not quite according to plan:

" I made sure that, if my wife was going to get a dog, said dog would be hypoallergenic, smart, and would not shed fur. Ruby has not let us down once, she's awesome. A mutant compared to all the others round here, but awesome. :)"


The cat woke me, I went downstairs to feed him and his sister - and Ruby dog - only to find she'd emptied out the contents of a box all over the living room floor. Hairbrushes, broken crayons, spectacles, pencils, paper, card, sticky tape, lipgloss…
> … a plastic troll too! All chewed, damp. :/
> My wife can sort it out when she comes home from work; she's the one who leaves stuff out, allows the girls to, then complains when the dog chews.
> Yeah, I just threw it all back in & stomped upstairs. :/"

Striving for an uncomplicated existence:

" I didn't go looking deeper, Ruby dog wanted me to play with her ball. Simple things… :)"

And, this self-referential \#QuoteSunday post:

'"Ruby dog, GET OFF MY PENIS!!!"\
> -
> Slightly\
disconcerting #QuoteSunday quote.
> \*I mentioned my hedonistic lifestyle earlier in the evening, never thinking it'd come to this!'

True joy arrives unbidden in life, often unexpectedly, and in many different forms. Whilst bent over cleaning the cats' litter tray, wearing a gaping dressing gown with the dog nuzzling one's man-bits, trying to not startle Ruby 'Chomp-all' Turner though‽

Yeah, why not.

FYI: I am on