Finally we're getting there. This month has been hectic. I've never had so many late nights and so much lack of sleep as I've had recently... actually that's not true, but it's hardly ever been work related before.
As you will probably have noticed by now, Sexyloops has radically changed. If you haven't noticed this and you have been here before, then please switch off and go to bed - you've been online far too long, if this is your first visit, go here to see the difference.
The aim with this new layout is to bring a slicker, faster, easier to navigate and easier to maintain site. It now incorporates CSS and SSI. Three months ago I didn't have a clue as to what this meant. And all the bollocks asides, it means that we have suddenly become serious.
It's not just looks and navigation; there is also something else here rather more subtle. This 'ezine' layout allows me to present short interesting snippets of information immediately and in a way that looks like it belongs there.
Actually it goes deeper. If I don't update regularly like this then the site looks stale. So I've got to work dammit.
What's happening now then!
The entire site is under construction. Every section is under the hammer. They're being redesigned and rewritten. The way it works is a bit like this:
Steve, my website manager and friend, puts together a template which we are both excited about and sticks the old Sexyloops page into it and uploads it.
Paul, that's me, downloads the page, inserts meta-tags, changes the outdated text, fiddles with the layout and uploads it again.
Steve, website manager, downloads it, fiddles with it and uploads it again.
Paul, me again, downloads it...
Somehow it works. And although there is lots of graft here, we are having a lot of fun... mostly. Have a look at the site maintainance log. The monkey in particular has been a pain in the arse.
What's coming up
Well for one thing the top nav bars should tell you something! A nice attractive sitemap and a search engine will be in place shortly.
We are also playing around with various shopping carts in order to find something suitable. The tackleshop is about to undergo a dramatic transition. Shortly you can expect new tackle from other major brands. Serious steps are now underway to expand both the variety of tackle and the distribution network.
But the real excitement will be the Stillwater Section. I am about to launch the most comprehensive section on stillwater fishing anywhere. We are looking on a timescale of about one month before this goes live.
You can also expect the flycasting section to undergo some pretty hefty changes. We have some major plans in that department.
While I've been based here in Essex I have been making the odd forage to Hanningfield Reservoir in order that I can at least get some fishing in. And on the few occasions I've been, it's been ok. But it's also been frustrating.
This is the routine; so you arrive in the arvo to get a cheap boat (sorry chaps been spending too much time in Aussi ...Australia), so you arrive in the afternoon to get a cheap boat, and flog away until dusk when you discover that you have exactly 5 minutes to get the boat back to the moorings. And what happens? Every fish in the lake rises.
Now I don't know about you. But I don't care what's happening out there in the rest of the world, but when I encounter the rise of the decade I don't pack up and go home; I really get down to fishing!
But not for long as it happens. For on this water if you don't pack up on time, or even just look like you're not going to pack up in time, they send the surf-patrol out to haul you in.
Now I know that they have to clean the boats and lock them up. My problem is that the trout know this too.
I'm currently in Essex, but later this month I do a couple of flycasting courses in Berlin and will be there from the 8th to the 18th. After this I fly back to Noosa, Australia, for three months... this time I'm going back determined to crack the Saltwater nut.
Soon I'm going to start ask you folks for advice in this area. Now this is a ironic twist of fate isn't it?