WWXI – Eleventh Worcester Wassail – 12th December 2015

10th December, 2015 – 2:02 pm

It’s that time of year again. We pack ourselves into the car and drive to the fine city of Worcester to drink twelve pints of ale of varying quality in 12 establishments. We have to do this in Worcester because clearly there is a shortage of pubs in Manchester.

This year’s route has been modified as the Cap ‘n’ Gown has been an unreliable start – often being closed! This does mean we can add a new pub which has reopened this year!

1. The Lamb and Flag
2. The Dragon Inn
3. The Saracen’s Head
4. The Paul Pry
5. The Imperial Tavern
6. The King Charles II
7. The Swan with Two Nicks
8. Eagle Vaults
9. Farriers Arms
10. The Plough
11. The Cardinal’s Hat
12. Heroes Bar


Remember please drink irresponsibly, responsibly.

WWX – Worcester Wassail 10 – 20th December 2014

18th December, 2014 – 11:39 pm

Wow – it’s been ten years. I only lived in Worcester for six months and it’s been down to the regulars that have made journeys from Manchester, Chester, Birmingham and London that have kept it going!

This year’s Wassail pubs are:

  1. Cap ‘n’ Gown
  2. Lamb and Flag
  3. The Dragon Inn
  4. The Saracen’s Head
  5. The Paul Pry
  6. The King Charles II
  7. The Swan with Two Nicks
  8. The Eagle Vaults
  9. The Farrier’s Arms
  10. The Plough
  11. The Cardinal’s Hat
  12. Heroes

The Worcester Wassail December 2014 – Pub Crawl route guide Worcester-wassail-route-guide-screen

Make a frisbee (or any other object) fly across your webpage

30th March, 2014 – 10:26 pm

I help run a community Ultimate Frisbee club in Manchester. I’ve just changed our design to make it responsive (mobile, tablet and desktop friendly) whilst aligning it to our “brand” colours and identity. Unfortunately it looked a little bit bland – we all thought it needed a bit of fun so I wanted a spinning frisbee to fly across the page!

Here’s how I did it.

1. Make an animated, transparent GIF – I wanted people to be able to “catch” the disc so I make the image canvas larger than it needed to be to make the click target bigger. Unfortunately GIFs are rubbish so it looks a bit jaggy.

DUFFA Ultimate Ultrastar frisbee animated spin

This one doesn’t fly across the page – see http://www.duffa.org for a live demo!

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Dientes de Navarino trek – 4 days (in good weather!)

23rd February, 2014 – 3:31 pm

When we heard there was a remote trek in the most southerly point of South America we thought this was interesting. When we then heard that this is more southerly than Argentina’s most southerly city (in a Chilean town that snubs it nose at it’s northern neighbour) we were hooked. Apparently it’s not for the inexperienced and ill-prepared, being inexperienced and ill prepared we were going!

We Found Jesus - Plaza de Virgin at the start of the trek

We Found Jesus – Plaza de Virgin at the start of the trek

The Dientes de Navarino An example of a marker post

The Dientes de Navarino An example of a marker post

View from our tent - Lago Salto night 1

View from our tent – Lago Salto night 1

Up by Paso Australia in the snow

Up by Paso Australia in the snow

An incisor

An incisor – one of the teeth (dientes)

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Trekking Peru’s Huayhuash circuit in November

23rd February, 2014 – 2:02 pm


View from San Vincente Pass - Huayhuash Trek, Peru

View from San Vincente Pass – Huayhuash Trek, Peru

We hadn’t initially planned to walk this hike though we knew we were going to do some trekking in Huaraz. A Belgian guy we met in Colombia sold it to us… 8 – 10 beautiful days with campsites along the way. Unfortunately we later found out that we were trying to do this out of season. Even the taxi driver in Lima told us “it’s not possible in November”. We decided to ask around anyhow – one of the first quotes was of £2,000 per person we had a bit more of a look around ($600 each was the best we found via an agency).

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Worcester Wassail 2013

21st December, 2013 – 10:00 am

Despite not being in the UK the Wassail continued under the tutelage of Phil Torpey. This also resulted in a change in style of the guide and the, frankly, disturbing misuse of PowerPoint.

Thank Phil for keeping the Wassail going – this means we get to have a tenth anniversary.


Upgrading Umbraco from v4.0.1 to v4.11.3 then to v6.0.5

11th February, 2013 – 2:48 pm


Update: I’ve used exactly the same method to take it straight up to 6.0.5 following the security announcements http://umbraco.com/follow-us/blog-archive/2013/5/1/security-update-two-major-vulnerabilities-found

Please note: my method of upgrade might not suit your site – e.g. if you’ve got lots of custom configurations and plugins installed then this might not work.  As always, test it on a local copy first and back everything up!

My preferred method of upgrading Umbraco is to take a live copy – freeze content updates (see how your users like this!) – upgrade locally, test thoroughly and then upload onto a new instance on live and switch over.  I couldn’t do this as I didn’t have as old a version of SQL Server as my host uses and there is no way to downgrade MS SQL Server DBs.

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WordPress Redirects Incorrectly After Deployment to New Server

11th February, 2013 – 1:30 pm

If you like to use different ports (I do) for development locally then you might find when deploying a WordPress site live it tries to redirect to http://www.mysite.com:8080  or similar.  You can’t fix this in the admin interface as that redirects too.


To fix this you need to run some SQL direct on the DB.

Login to your MySQL DB – select the relevant DB (check the webconfig if you’re not sure).

USE myDB name;


Then run this (replacing MYSITE):

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = ‘http://www.MYSITE.com’ WHERE option_name = ‘siteurl’;
UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = ‘http://www.MYSITE.com’ WHERE option_name = ‘home’;

This is what this person was finding: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/need-help-wordpress-site-redirects-to-a-different-domain

The Worcester Wassail VIII – A Splash of Worcestershire Sauce

21st December, 2012 – 9:26 am

Saturday 22nd December Phil and I (and a host of others) shall be doing the annual ridiculous drive to Worcester to drink twelve pints of ale because that’s just what we do every year.  A twelve pint pub crawled known as “The Worcester Wassail”.  If nothing else you can say we’re consistent.

Each pub has a toast – Phil is the lead toaster and will don the ceremonial hat.

The route guide is available in a printable, fold into booklet format here.  The Worcester Wassail December 2012

The Worcester Wassail - Worcester Pub Crawl Route Guide with Map

The Worcester Wassail – Worcester Pub Crawl Route Guide with Map


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MS Project 2010 – Project Windows off screen, can’t restore or view – data is missing!

25th October, 2012 – 9:44 am

I’ve had an issue with MS Project where I mimimise the window within project of my active project and then no matter what I do with views or zoom I can’t seem to restore it.

Not found the root of the problem but you can restore your precious project plan via VBA.

EDIT – the code had some none ascii chars and I’ve updated the title to cover more issues I’ve solved with the code in solution 2 in the office. It seems to be an issue where you switch from multiple monitors to a single and back (e.g. undocking your laptop – something PMs do multiple times a day!)

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