Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rhoscolyn soon

Haven't done much for the house since getting the new windows & doors in December, but it's low season anyway.

Looking forward to coming out to Rhocolyn again in April with the crazy kids.. Got some quotes for new handmade bedroom furniture which we'll aim to get done in time for the Easter grading.

No other news for now, just enjoying winter..

Friday, December 12, 2008

Videos of Rhoscolyn on YouTube

Rosie has been busy hard at work today putting some of our nicely Photoshopped pics into slideshows and making video files, and we've uploaded them onto YouTube. I reckon they look & sound pretty good, and when I get a chance I'll embed the video clips into our website and Facebook Group.

After trying for ages to download a copy of Adobe Premiere it didn't work so we ended up just using Nero.

Our new YouTube profile is on !

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Windows & Doors for Y Stabl

Well the new windows & doors are going in at last this week, and I'm looking forward to seeing them when I get myself over for a long weekend visit next week. So the entire house will then be fully double-glazed and more cozy & secure as a result. The best bit is the matching locks for front & back doors- so only a single key required. The main reason I'm heading over is just to check out whether any additional re-decoration is required around the new frames, to minimise doing this stuff during our Easter holidays. The new sills will probably need doing at least. Can't wait to get over.

I've got a few days off work for the 'Eid Al Adha holidays so have been Photoshopping all the photos we had on the website to make them a bit nicer, and tidying up the website a little bit. Small changes but the photos (especially those around Rhoscolyn beach and our garden) look a lot brighter.

I also got an experienced web guy at PDO to help me out with the Internet Explorer alignment problem (on older versions of IE like the one at PDO- IE6- the page & splash picture alignments are wonky). It seems that only a workaround in the Style Sheet code was required, and I think it now seems to be fixed for all browser versions.

No other news- will have some more updates after I get back from Rhoscolyn again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trip Back to Rhoscolyn

Well by now the new windows & doors should have been in, but they have been delayed as Paul has had some stuff at home to deal with.. So now I am being told they're going in 5th December and that all work will be complete by the 12th. It better be, cos last night I booked flights back home for 17th - 21st Dec to check that everything's OK, and to do any redecoration if required. Wasn't planning to come back this early but Emirates had reasonable flight prices and I would like to get everything sorted out before Christmas.

Already can't wait for it. Other than checking the windows & doors, I can take a few bits & pieces back home from here (like the famous dual iPod dock), get measured up for new bedroom wardrobes, do an Ikea on the way from Manchester airport, and make sure that most things are in place (including the Walkers/ Cyclists Welcome award) for the next grading which we'll coincide with our family Easter trip home.

Looking forward to the cold!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Improved Y Stabl Availability using Google Calendar

My boss at work was telling me the other day about how her whole family uses Google Calendar to avoid clashes with family visits/ holidays etc. So Rosie and I tried it out, and it is pretty cool. Then I realised that a couple of things:

  1. That we can set up online 'Y Stabl' calendars to show our availability, and this can be updated by any one of us from anywhere with web access;
  2. That we can configure the rights to these calendars to make them private of public or whatever, and
  3. That Google has APIs to embed these calendars into a website and customise the appearance. So when the relevant Google Calendar is updated, the website automatically picks up the change when it is loaded.

So I set this up last night to reflect our latest availability and included costs for the 'available' slots, and replaced our existing 'availability' table with this cool interactive widget. Very pleased with the neat result!

Google rocks.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Anglesey Tourism Awards 2009

We've finished off our entry for the 2009 Anglesey Tourism Awards (Best Self-Catering Accommodation) which is organised by the Anglesey Tourism Association (ATA). I thought we should try to put in a decent entry if we have any chance of getting a mention as there are much nicer houses than ours, and one of the key things the judges look for seems to be how much effort has been put into the entry.. The questionnaire covers topics like: improvements & expenditure, environmental & sustainability, marketing & attracting business, occupancy, customer care, training etc. So our entry is 45 pages long and contains loads of scans/ screen dumps of various thing that should help the judges look favourably on us.

The prize is basically publicity which we could well do with to help us increase off-peak occupancy/ rents, which will pay for more upgrades to the house..

The link to our entry PDF is here (big file warning).
Deadline for entries is 31st October.
Fingers crossed!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Feedburner, Adsense, Dedon $$$

I spoke to Paul yesterday and he says that the new double-glazed windows & doors are still on track for mid-November. Also making the stable door full-length and reinforcing the stone arch should happen this week..

I think our site is looking quite nice now, although there's still a few changes I'd like to get on there if I can improve my HTML/ CSS/ scripting skills. I decided to remove the Google Adsense adverts from our site as it looks a bit crap having other people's ads on there, and the revenue in (about $2 a month) is too low to even notice any benefit or offset the cost of advertising on Adwords. So they are gone (for now). Maybe one day many years from now when I am getting 100,000 hits a day (yeah right) I'll pop them back in..

I also added a Feedburner symbol on the website for feeding to this blog, in case anyone is interested..

Went to that shop in Bareeq Al Shatti that sells the Dedon stuff today to have a look at the furniture & prices- the Obelisk was over 2,000 rials (about £3,000) so unlikely we'll be getting that anytime soon.. I had a good idea that would be pricy as it's their signature piece, but I though the plainer range of chairs etc would be cheaper- they are about the same price. The 'Leaf' lounger is about 1,000 rials.