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Outstanding October, Issue 10/15

№257 ~7 minutes

In this month’s issue of Keeping Up With the Erikssons: I head down to Camber Sands for a weekend, Lucien and I catch up with all the Marvel film, I get a camera and become a published writer, the new Squiders.com website goes live and we celebrate Halloween.

Beach Haven, Camber Sands

The first weekend in October was Steve’s birthday and for his big 30th celebration he had booked a designer house called Beach Haven. A majestic house which apparently has been featured in Grand Designs and other magazines. Able to accommodate 10 people, amongst its many features include 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 2 kettles—the British take their tea seriously.

Located by the beach at the village of Camber, it is the only sand dune system in East Sussex and is east of the estuary of the River Rother at Rye Bay stretching as one expanse beyond the Kent border.

In short, it’s a pretty house by a long beach.

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The water is as cold as it looks. Photo courtesy of Richard Fitzjohn.

Now Steve, the weekend might have been all about you, but this is my journal, where it’s all about me—the narcissist that I am. So with that in mind, here’s a photo of me splashing around in the water like a delighted child.

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Splash splash motherfucker! Photo courtesy of Richard Fitzjohn.

In an unlikely twist when it comes to English weather, the sun was shining and there was no rain in sight throughout our stay at Camber Beach.

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Mandatory group shoot is mandatory. Photo courtesy of Matt Thompson.

All in all, a quite wonderful weekend with barbecuing, board gaming and birthday celebrating—which would have been an excellent title had this entry only been about this.

And I even managed to pick up a few seashells as souvenirs for Lucien and Rebecka, who had spent the entire weekend at home doing absolutely nothing and loving it.

Catching up with Marvel

Our beloved friend Amanda has recently moved to the UK and is currently living in Sheffield.

So when Rebecka went to visit her for a weekend I figured this was an excellent opportunity to complete Marvel’s Phase 2 by finishing the remaining films, having only Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-man left.

So I ordered a pizza as we watched them back-to-back.

Lucien really enjoyed both of them, though Ant-Man more than Age of Ultron because, and I quote, He can shrink and he can go through key-holes and he can fly on a flying ant. He can do everything.

I’ve really enjoyed watching all the films with him, in part because they’re entertaining but also because it has given me the opportunity to address people’s actions and comments in these films.

Because whilst the notion of Good vs. Evil is still new to him now, I want him to grow up understanding that no one is inherently good or inherently evil but rather we can define ourselves by what we do and how we treat others.

The long version of, Don’t be a dick, in other words.

And now, since we’ve completed Phase 2 we’re going to have to wait, like everyone else, for Phase 3 and the rest of the films.

By my counts, Lucien is going to be 11 years old before Marvel has finished their, so far announced, multi-year spanning film saga.

Getting a camera

After a lot of researching and agonising about mega-pixels here and crop factors there, I finally decided what camera to get. You can read all about it in Lights, Camera, Something! where I go into more details about my priorities and some of the other cameras I looked at.

So far I’m very happy with my choice but need to get a bag to carry it in as soon as possible so that I can start bringing it with me when I go places as well.

Net magazine

Last month, whilst I was busy getting ready for camping and preparing my talk in the woods I was also approached by Oliver Lindberg, editor of net magazine.

Earlier this year they had published a State of the Web article featuring Web in the Woods and having found me through Twitter he wondered if I would be interesting in writing a short article about accessibility.

The cover of net magazine, issue 274, December 2015.
net Magazine, the voice of web design.

Naturally I said, “Yes.”

Cutting down my 45 minutes talk about accessibility into a 400 word article proved to be quite a challenge. But after a feedback from their production editor I think the end result is still as eye-opening as my talk albeit significantly shorter.

Carlos Eriksson and his article The Cost of Accessibility in net magazine.
The cost of ignoring accessibility is substantially higher than you might think.

I’m going to take another look at the term and conditions to see if I’m allowed to re-publish the article here—I would really like to. But until I do, go and pick up a copy of the December issue of net magazine to read, amongst many other things, my article The Cost of Accessibility.

The zombies are (a)live

Last Thursday Kris decided, just in time for Halloween, to launch the new and much improved squiders.com.

Since I’ve already talked about the reasons behind the redesign and the process of becoming a zombie in Beards, Brains and Beauty, I’m just going to show you a few more behind-the-scenes photos that for obvious reasons didn’t make it to the live website.

Carlos ignoring the brain in front of him and instead holding up a stethoscope to Kris's forehead.
Am I doing science now?

In between our serious shots I couldn’t help but relax a little and have some fun with the props.

Carlos, as a zombie, peaking into and photo bombing the photo shoots with Kris and Jo.
I couldn’t help myself.

With the launch of the new website we also published another article of mine. I write about how without a performance budget you risk losing a majority of your customers before they even reach your website.

And you can read When Every Second Counts right away.

Halloween

We celebrated our 4th Halloween in the UK this year and did our, by now, usual pumpkin carving.

Before going out trick or treating we also headed down to Leeds Castle, advertised as, “The Loveliest Castle in the World,” for their Halloween-inspired event Witches and Wizard Academy.

Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get a good camera bag for my Canon 100D yet so I didn’t feel confident enough taking it with me to Leeds Castle, worried it would get damaged on our way there.

I need to get a bag as soon as possible.

I did snap this photo, with my camera phone, of Lucien dressed as Draco Malfoy gazing out the window of the castle.

Lucien Eriksson dressed as Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter films.
Lucien dressed up as Draco Malfoy, wand and all.

But there were so many photo opportunities at Leeds Castle that I now regret not being able to capture with justice. But it was pretty awesome so we’re going to have to go there again.

And that’s it for this month.

Jingoistic June, Justifiable July and Accepting August, Issue 06-08/16

Agnostic April, Issue 04/16

Fucking February, Issue 02/16

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