Posted on 5 April 2010. Filed under: Downtime | Tags: , , |

We always do a picnic at this time of year, the kids didn’t want to come with us and we wanted to go a little further away than normal so we had a lovely drive out to Ballarat by ourselves. I have a friend out there who had ordered some books so we packed them away in the car and left them at his house (you knew there had to be a reference to books somewhere in this post). We then drove off to Lake Wendouree, had our picnic and then walked around the Lake.

Lake Wendouree No Swimming

Yes, I still call it a lake despite the lack of water. It has a great history and this is shown at the part of the lake where the 1956 Olympics Rowing finished. We didn’t take any photos of the installations at this part of the lake but they are very nice.

We walked around the Steve Moneghetti Track and had a great time reading all the information about him and the track, this was posted every 500m. I was in uniform and people took a great deal of interest in my tshirt; it’s a Tintin tshirt with Tintin and Snowy on the front with the words “The Adventures of Tintin” and a reproduction of the Tintin book “The Land of the Black Gold”. Yes, I said uniform. Seeing as I sell books I consider any clothing a uniform if it mentions books. Today’s was Tintin, other days I’ll wear my Disorganising Committee tshirt from the First Australian Discworld Convention.

Lake Wendouree Boat House

I’ve ended up with sore feet and a disorganised brain that can’t recall all I was going to write about today’s walk but it did include a sad note and a photo of a boat house on Lake Wendouree. When we were first there some years ago there was lots of water and I’m sure the boat houses didn’t look so strange, but now they look like fish out of water. As you can see they sit way up above the bottom of the lake, carefully avoiding the water that isn’t there. This is just sad and illustrates the drought as little else can.

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When a holiday is not a holiday…

Posted on 3 February 2010. Filed under: Downtime | Tags: , , |

I’d taken some holidays, much needed as I have to break the addiction to books and the internet. It was very hard to leave the computer at home and while packing I left it to the last moment to pack my laptop as I was still undecided whether I’d be able to break the emotional ties and leave it behind. On the one hand it was meant to be a holiday but on the other I had lots of blogs to write and I can write much faster on the computer than I can by hand. In the end I managed to leave it behind and I’m not quite certain if I made the right decision. I did take plenty of paper and a pen so I could write by hand and that’s exactly what I did, I wrote five blogs in total and made numerous notes for a series of blogs I’m planning on Pulp Fiction Magazines. I didn’t manage to leave the books behind and actually packed a box of them, a very small box, though. I’d forgotten to put a note on my home page and was constantly worried about the business, I spent some time looking for internet connection and when I finally found it I couldn’t actually get into the back end of the website to add a note about me being away. I also had no mobile phone connection, we’re reliant on the mobile phone towers and there wasn’t one for my network in the neighbourhood so if potential buyers wanted to ring me they wouldn’t have been able to.

So, the theme of this blog is holidays as it’s the Christmas/New Year break and so many businesses in Australia close down for this time as it’s summer, so the holiday destinations get a real workout. We booked a week in Halls Gap, a beautiful area of The Grampians in Victoria, Australia and three days in Daylesford, home of the mineral springs. We don’t celebrate Christmas so we travelled on that day and when we got there the place was deserted, it was lovely, two days later it was absolutely packed. We booked in for seven nights and our neighbours changed every couple of days. It’s a seriously lovely place and I couldn’t help looking around at the shops to find the pre-loved books for sale. There were several shops with books, two of them were pre-loved: the supermarket and a gift shop. Neither of them had a lot of books but I carefully checked them all out and while the gift shop had some lovely books none of them were of interest to me. There was an empty shop and a couple of other shops up for sale and this got me thinking. A tourist destination would be a good place for a secondhand book shop. You’d have to multitask and have a section for new books as well as selling online as a lot of the time you’d be sitting there with nothing to do but it would make a great place. The scenery is just delightful and the people really friendly. The empty shop was quite big and all it needs is someone with business accumen and a bit of money. I know people who sell pre-loved books in bulk so would be able to help someone make the contacts in order to buy several thousand books at once, transport from Shepparton would be the challenge.

So, other things that came up when we were away are op shops we visited. We’d left Halls Gap and were travelling to Daylesford on New Years Day when I noticed an Op Shop open in Beaufort. It’s a tiny little town and I was so totally blown away by the idea of any shop being open on New Years Day that I had to stop and go in. Previous holidays when we’ve been looking for an icecream on New Years Day we’ve had great trouble finding anything open and have had to travel long distances only to find a place just about to close up at midday so to find an Op Shop open on this particular day was really amazing. The kids came in with me and between us we bought three books. A very nice shop, just strange to find it open on that day. Daylesford was much more as expected, it’s a real tourist town and so almost everything is open. A fabulous pre-loved bookshop, it’s only got 14 rooms of books on two storeys there’s also a number of antique and collectable shops all having a number of pre-loved books, I didn’t get to all of them as I had to spend some time with the family and also do some washing, but I did see most of them. One of the shops looks and feel like an op shop, but is actually a collectables shop and it took forever to get through as it was rather small and very crowded. They had a nice collection of Agatha Christie books but none of the ones I’m missing. We also visited the Daylesford Sunday Market, I think it’s on once a month and there were so many stalls I didn’t get through them all.

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Website Update

Posted on 23 October 2009. Filed under: Downtime | Tags: , |

You probably need an update on the website. This is going to be short and I’ll probably be keeping most of my posts fairly short or cheating and giving you a book list for a while.

Things are going well and the website is actually up and running. There are still problems but I’m finally able to actually get books listed. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to buy anything as some parts of it are still not working but I can get books up and that has to be good. If there’s something you’re interested in and the buying part doesn’t work just email me and we’ll work something out.

You will notice changes in the colouring scheme as time goes on and I figure out how the graphics programmes work. At present it’s looking a little strange but I’ll get there. One of the things I noticed is that I have an option to include WordPress in my website so when things are settled properly I’ll be having a look at that to see if I can import the blog into the website.

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I’m not writing much tonight

Posted on 22 October 2009. Filed under: Downtime |

I’m not planning on writing much tonight. My website is starting to take shape and I’m going to get some books listed there instead. There is a problem with the prices as it doesn’t seem to like the price I put in but I’ll just keep going and put that in later.

If you want to have a look you can click here.

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Website problems

Posted on 9 October 2009. Filed under: Downtime | Tags: |

More delays. This was going to be about something to do with books. I’ve started a blog about Tom Holt and I’ve also just received an email about the voting for the favourite books of all time by Borders so I was planning on writing about that. Unfortunately, events have taken over so I’m going to just say a few words about the website. Things were going well and I was working through each step and progressing nicely…until a few minutes ago when I managed to delete a large number of files. Unfortunately it was before I’d taken my first backup so I’ve just emailed my webhost with a plea for help and I hope he is able to install it all again for me and I’ll be able to start again. This means it’ll be at least another week before everything is sorted and I’m able to start listing books again.

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Website update

Posted on 7 October 2009. Filed under: Downtime |

Okay, so much for posting more often. Things are changing, thanks to the magic of my new webhost I’ve finally managed to get access to the back end of my new website. It’s going to be slow as I have allocated a week to get things shipshape before creating listings and getting the books back in view. I made the first changes last night to get the About Us and other pages ready for viewing. I’ll leave it available for viewing so you can see any progress if you’re interested. I haven’t begun to look at the colours and logo as I’m trying to come to grips with everything else first.

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Finally, as promised

Posted on 28 September 2009. Filed under: Downtime |

Finally, as promised my website is down. If you decide to visit you will find a very generic home page with nothing useful to do. This is where I wanted to be a month ago so at least it’s progress. I’m still having trouble getting into the back end to actually fix things up and make it useable so you might have to bear with me for a while longer. If you’re wanting a particular book I do suggest you email me as I can still process sales offline.

I’m not running any competitions until things are finalised but you can still read my blog, as I’ll be writing intermittently, follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you can even subscribe to my newsletter. All of these things will continue on as before.

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Website challenges

Posted on 23 September 2009. Filed under: Downtime |

Ok, this is going to be the boring post and I don’t blame people if you don’t read it just remember it’s here in case you try to buy books on Suz’s Space and the site doesn’t show.

I hinted at some things happening a while back and now I need to give some more details. I’ve been having some problems with the website and also with my webhosts. So, on 30th August after much research and prompting from friends I signed up with another webhost. First step so far so good. I get my email to tell me all is registered and then spend some time working my way through the steps to get everything set up so I can start putting in books. Unfortunately, that’s when things started coming unstuck. Eventually, after much help from my friends I’m told I’m running round in circles. Great, I say, at least I’m getting exercise. I referred it back to my webhost the day before he got married, fabulous timing. He passed it onto his part-time offsider who also couldn’t get things sorted. At this point my new webhost was prepared to work on my website on his honeymoon, something I couldn’t let happen so I’ve had to just wait. Today I got another email telling me all is well so I tried to login again with no success. Basically, the website should go down any day and will only come back up when he gets it sorted out so I can login. It will look different and I reserve the right to make changes to the looks until I’m happy or get bored with fiddling. You’re more than welcome to email or call me if you’re looking for a particular book and we can sort it all out offline. You can also comment on any post on this blog and I’ll get in touch. Not forgetting the competition I have running at the moment, any comments will get an entry.

Now the new website is going to be in php while the old one is in asp, this means I can’t just import everything across I’ll need to create new listings for each book. I’m not unhappy about this as it means I’ll be able to cull books that aren’t in good enough condition and really shouldn’t be there. I might consider taking new photos if they don’t represent the book properly, but that’s an enormous amount of work so I’ll see how things go.

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