Offline, online

Well I’m sitting in seat A30 in carriage A of the 18:43 to Norwich. We’re on the Cross Country line and just shaken ourselves around so we can all find a seat. We we’re packed in like sardines on the Transpennine train from Lockerbie, with silly announcements like “Sorry you’re packed in like sardines, but what do you expect if you travel at peak times on a Friday.”

This week has been mental for being on and offline. On Saturday I got a warning from the website hosts saying unlock your FTP as Forthhosting is migrating servers. Looking at the control panel I could see no way of doing this and wasn’t sure the email was genuine. I signed back up for Jetpack in case things went pear shaped which they did. CALLUM, who set up the site, assured me he’d done a full backup of the 4.6Gb site. Then Sunday Mrsphysics went down. I must have been around when it was happening as between me getting an email from a conscientious student saying it was down and me checking on my phone that it was ok the thing went offline and stayed that way, until an hour or so ago. I’ve come to rely on using it: students had the excuse that homework couldn’t be handed in as they didn’t have access, and I couldn’t get the video clips I’d uploaded for AH.

All this coincided with a shut down, at school of connections on Wednesday for totally different reasons. No phones, no registration lists, no internet and lots of blank faces. “We’ll just do this, drat can’t it needs internet, we’ll do that, heck it’s not working!” “Has anyone seen any books recently?” I think everyone left early Wednesday.

This also happened to be the day our lovely partners at MRC, in Glasgow were expecting us to train for our Hear Today, Gone Tomorrow project. It would have been an ideal time to pop up and start this project as Rosie the Head is up there waiting to be plugged in. The email mentioning this had been sorted into my ‘canal’ box as I’d offered a narrowboat trip after the training. Alas, I found this too late to sort.

Hopefully we can get this thing off the ground on 11th, before saying Goodbye to Owen, my star in all this who is moving to Trumpton; he’ll be sorely missed!

After crushes on the train and crashes taking me offline I think I’ll unplug everything and mooch around the market with Mum for the weekend and remember what it was like when trains went clackerty clack and typewriters made a similar noise and only people from Bletchley had heard of computers.

Ha even this post crashed, as I lost the 4G signal around Stockport, and Chrome disappeared to nothing.

Going to read a book. Have a good weekend.

Going grey; making grey!

This has been on my mind for a week or so, changing the colour of the About Me page to match with the book on the home page. I’ve been trying to work it out on my mobile- which is not the easiest way. Finally after 3 hours I’ve changed the colour strip around the page on the Usefullinks part of the site.

I know, for you this is lower than basic, but I’ve been struggling with this. I hope one day to get the page to be grey for About Me. When you click on About Me on the main page it is a custom link to Usefullinks, but it seems odd it comes up in the Usefullinks colours. I want to change this one page to grey. I’ve read about 20 blog posts and added double that number of codes into the Custom CSS part of the Appearances, but only the final part seemed to work.(I added the little code “ {
background-color: #99A3A4;} “)

In the time it has taken me to put a little grey box around the page my hair has gone decidedly grey. I wish it was as easy to change both my hair colour and the page colour. I am hoping to change the whole page, but I think that will mean an additional plugin, which I am loathed to do as it will slow down the site. Wouldn’t it be funny if we could just dial in a hex code to get our hair colour! Must work on both of these tasks!


PS. Looks like it wasn’t my fault anyway….

4 Reasons You Should Never Use (And 4 Reasons You Should)

The Physics Jewel

Mrs Physics has an ally! Over several years she’s got quite used to doing her own thing, but the new generation are yapping at her heels. With one eye to going boating and ignoring the state of the world, she has passed the rights to the National 4 part of to the new kid on the block, as Mrs Physics has a new colleague.

It is exciting to work with a new young, enthusiastic Physics teacher, (although I really wish she didn’t share my initials!) and I am sure that very soon she’ll be teaching me everything I need to know.

It is an odd feeling, handing over your baby, but it’s important to share things if you want them to improve.

Welcome on board Physics Joule!


TablePress- for mental exercise!

Whippee, after a few false starts with Tablepress and a lovely email from Tobias Bäthge, the creator of TablePress, I finally managed to get the width of the tables right so that you can read the headings and values. The Gas Laws results in the N5 section Properties of Matter is now accessible and I’ve deleted the preformatted tables. I still don’t know if it works as well as it could, but at least it is an improvement on what was there before, which was totally illegible.

Maybe I need to start being content with functional, rather than trying to get things just perfect. Then I might be able to spend more time doing the gardening and looking after the house.

I wonder what your distractions are, and whether you justify your distractions as hard work, thus putting off other important tasks.

I think I really ought to be happy with what I’ve done and go and get a cover for the air gap in the eaves before the bats move in again! That would be a whole new level of distraction.

Urgh! Another Mystery- pages

Just got back from Science on Stage in Debrecan, Hungary. I’ll need to write a couple of blogs this week on that, but currently I am still taking it all in!

One of the tasks this summer is to update this site and make it more streamlined. So the obvious place to start is the “About Me” Page.

I know I have a page and a post containing the same details and I altered the link to match the page, but it didn’t work. However, as the link is now to the post after reading the About Me section it continues on to all the other posts I’ve written, which doesn’t look very neat. When I write a new post it then demotes the About Me page and people will have to go searching for it. I think I might have sorted that by making it sticky, but I am not convinced! All of this is not ideal, which is why I want a page. However, I don’t seem to have got the page anywhere I can see it.

So here is the problem. I decided to alter the page, so I could tell the difference between the page and post. I then went to the menu and added the page in the top menu with the post underneath it. However, whatever I did I could not find the page alterations coming up wherever I clicked. Suggesting the page is hidden in the ether. I can’t even get it to show up when I click view page after saving the changes. I’ve saved it loads of times, so it can’t be that.

I’ve read the help files and I am right in that the About Me ought to be a page not a post, but no luck! I haven’t found the video useful as it doesn’t match what I am seeing….

Not sure whether to give up or keep going? As I am rather sleep deprived, sense would say leave it until tomorrow. Instead I’ll work on my Forces song for the European Science Song Competition for Portugal 2019, Science on Stage…. all I need is a good tune…..

….. well if in doubt start again…..

I’ve made a new page and copied the old page into this. It appears to be working. All I need to do now is see if I can change all the links in each section and then I can delete the post and all should be well. I really do need to get someone to talk me through this! It would have helped if I had watched as the website had been set up.

We live and learn, and never stop learning, it just gets harder as we get older!


Tablepress, better than a bench press and more tasteful to the eye

As if 4 days at Standardisation isn’t enough, I sadly decided to spend the evening finally learning how to put neat tables into a website. The ultimate guru for this is Mr  Mackenzie who holds the “National Collection for SQA Papers“. I’d got as far as downloading Tablepress but hadn’t done anything more than that.

Several posts currently have tables and they look shocking. I am quite embarrassed by them, so sort to do something about them. I’ve got something in my continual professional development about making things look better but as I am unlikely to get out for a course I thought I’d self taught. Over the last three months I thought I’d be able to bend the ear of Mr Mackenzie, but although we are at Standardisation together, with the rest of the team, there isn’t much time for a tutorial. So off I went to the next best place, the internet. Now I looked at several ideas but the following link gave me a start Web Monkey gave me a start, but I must admit I got bored of waiting after the super heroes got to the fourth line.

So I decided to have a play with the SQA SG Past Papers and Marking Instructions. J Boyle, had kindly offered these files to me, and I hope that she doesn’t mind me uploading them. Although these are excellent as a resource for National 4 and 5, if a student manages to complete them all they deserve to do well in their National 5 exam.

It was over 2 hours of work. I uploaded an excel table to get the basics in and then had a play about. I am not sure if I’ve learnt the correct way to add a link but adding insert image appears to open the media library and I can upload the files. I’ve found it is easier to add all the files into one box rather than cut and paste them individually from the library. I even got to move the boxes, although again I think I might have taken a circuitous route to do this: I added a column, duplicated a column and then deleted the column that was empty and the original one, then I found the drag and drop function. I hope I can learn how to custom the column widths.

Hopefully over the next few months I can change all the tables and make them look quite presentable. I hope they look good on a mobile phone too. Now I am going back to my hotel room and am going to sleep- can you believe the 8 a.m. early start and late nights we will be doing.

Thanks to everyone who helped!


About Me just took off

Oh every time I think I’ve cracked this wesbite stuff things go wrong again. Kids, learn from this. Find out how something works before you try to use it!

I’d got my About Me page, all set up and I was quite pleased and thought that I could leave it indefinitely. It looked ok, I’d put links in from each section and Callum had made a front book that was a direct link to the post.

The other day I posted  a new post on “usefullinks” and it appears this has removed my page on About Me. Now I still haven’t got my head around the difference between a page and a post. I can do a static front page and it fills up the whole page and doesn’t do columns so looks nicer, but why does any page, other than the front page vanish into the ether?

I am sure I will read up on it, at which point I will have to go through every section again and change the link! Oh dear, this really is taking up a lot of my time and no one but me is reading it anyway.

Time for bed, should have had my SAD light today and more tea. I’d feel so much better.

Oh boy, now I am really really confused. It appears I didn’t need to change the custom link in each section as it found it automatically. Explain that one! Why is it a link can detect the About Me, even when it has changed from a page to a category? Oh well it is working now so I am going to go to bad and hope it still works in the evening.

Still waiting for someone to offer to tutor me on Building a Website, I’ll teach them AH Physics in return!

Where have all the comments gone?

OK this has taken hours and I am no nearer a solution! Can anyone help? Just as I begin to think I’ve got the hang of this website stuff something else goes wrong and I don’t understand the forums to get the help I need. Actually I can’t log in to the forums. Well, that isn’t totally true. I logged in today, but when I tried tonight it didn’t recognise my email address, any of them, despite being registered. I just wish I could get an afternoon tutorial from someone who can really show me what to do. I am not a book person when it comes to trying this sort of thing. A set of written instruction doesn’t usually help as it doesn’t appear to be written in a language my brain can make sense of. However, if I do it correctly I ought to just need to write it down and then I will be able to go back and do it correctly again..

In the blog section the “Leave a comment” is by the side of each post. In the National 5 section this is at the bottom, in the BGE where it is needed, I can’t find it anywhere. Looks like I might have broken the site!
Oh heck!

Hope someone can find a leave a comment to this post and can tell me what I am doing wrong. The discussions are set correctly, I know that, so it is somewhere else.


For two days I got myself into quite a state as I wondered why the comment box disappeared. It was there one morning, I have the comments to prove it, but by the evening I had totally misplaced it.

Today Sir Lancelot solved my problem, and I feel such a numpty. I had been looking at the end of the post, but I lacked the all important patience. I had so many alterations to the BGE front page that I didn’t scroll down to the bottom. It took the calm, organised personality of Sir Lancelot to look for 5 mins to realise I hadn’t scrolled down enough. Sure enough, there, at the bottom of the 45 changes to the post, was a small unticked box stating,

  • Allow comments”

Clicking and ticking the box brought it all back and my worries dissolved, apart from realising what a huge number of hours I’d spent trying to sort this out myself.


Students, spend so long on a problem and then at a certain point just go and ask someone who knows. It is good to try to work it out for yourself but there comes a time when you have to decide that you have spent enough time trying to sort it out for yourself that it is best to seek help. By seeking help at the right time you can achieve so much more and everyone is better off for it. In my case I could have got the washing, ironing, floor mopped and button sewed on to my skirt!

I dedicate this post to Sir Lancelot of Lockerbie Academy, my knight in shining armour. He knows who he is, as does his wife!


Adding an About Me Page

The very kind Steven Simpson from the Royal Society gave me some advice about the site- thank you. It will never be up to his standard but I did get a few bits of advice.
I have added an ABOUT ME page as a custom link for each section and a BACK TO HOME page. Both are custom links from pages on the site. As I don’t have access to the front page I can’t place a link where it really needs to go. Well I’ll work on it.

What I really need to find out is how to wrap the header and menus as they are looking quite untidy in some of the pages. Any advice warmly welcome. At least repeating for 9 pages gives you plenty of practise at remembering how to create things.

Must go, Christmas starts here!

First bit of genuine code

My day started badly but it’s just got better…. oh maybe not.

I’m proud of myself for entering my first bit of true code (apart from the BBC basic I learned in sixth year at school). I needed to make the charge carriers a superscript for a power. What is weird is that when I typed in <sup>, which I assumed would be the code for superscript in the 1018  the superscript came out as a subscript. Using my problem solving skills I entered sub for superscript and bingo. Now all powers will neatly be displayed in their true format!

Someone in the school tried not to laugh at such an insignificant step, but hey- this is what students are experiencing all the time. I’m proud of this tiny step and it will encourage me to try harder to do more complicated stuff. For those that think this is a truly insignificant event, it’s the way all progress is made.

Addendum: Just looked at the post and guess what? On this computer at home my superscript has become a subscript. At least I now know how to change it! I think I’m going to put a simple coding book on my Christmas present list.