Monday, April 06, 2009

A ramble... and a request

I’ve never quite understood the phrase “in fits and starts” – but since I had (hissy) fits the last couple of days while fiddling around with HTML code and headers and backgrounds and so on, I guess I can consider this post a start (yet another) to continuing this blog. A good friend suggested gently that I should bring the blog out of its (previous) darkness into light – and I thought that a very good idea. Perhaps a brighter look to the blog would fit in with a fresh start and result in more posts... because, as evident from the blank silence, I’ve not been particularly inspired these last few weeks.

The problem, while lying always with me, was (and is) compounded by the fact that the blogs I really like always have interesting recipes, good write-ups and stunning photographs (which is why I like them – obviously!). But the more I looked at them, the less I felt like doing anything with mine – why bother, when they were all so much better than anything I could cobble together? In an ideal world, I suppose excellence (in others) should inspire increased effort (from oneself), but sometimes that’s not how things work out.

However, I didn’t feel any better by thinking of all the dozens of food blogs that in my opinion didn’t make the cut... there really isn’t that much satisfaction to be gained from preening about being better than not-quite-good-enough, is there? Not unless your sights are set low.

Anyhow, I have to say that fiddling with the template and figuring out (some of) the code to change things did make me feel better. In fact, I felt quite pleased to have made the changes and come up with a reasonable result, considering I know practically nothing of HTML or any other code. I hope to be able to use my own photographs in the header and background, eventually - but for now, this will do. My template and my outlook are both no longer blue...

But here’s a query from a code-challenged person to those well-versed in such esoteric matters... you might have noticed that the drop-down boxes on the sidebar are all different widths. The code for this from my previous blogger template (Minima, as is this one) no longer works on the new updated blogger template - it just refuses to take the code. It doesn’t come up with an error message, it simply removes the relevant bit. Any ideas on how to get around this will be gratefully accepted. If you'd prefer to email me, the email address is Heartfelt thanks in advance!


Raaga said...

Keep posting... if I had to let "better" blogs deter me from blogging... I should have stopped blogging just as soon as I started...:-)

Nice template... very "springy"

Nupur said...

Oh Shammi, I can honestly say that the facade of a blog matters little to me. I read blogs because I connect in some way with the interesting person behind the blog. And I always look forward to new posts on this blog (which has a completely new look...I went "whoa" when I landed here).

Wish I could help you with the code, but trust me I don't know how :)

TheCooker said...

This is quite a fresh look.

The content is so much more important than the packaging.

Linda said...

Hi Shyam!! SO happy to see you back and the new springtime look of FITM looks fabulous! I agree with TheCooker and Nupur and Raaga above -- it's not about looks, it's about substance! But as a former dabbler in primitive web design, I also empathize with your frustration ;)

I'm afraid I can't help with dropdown boxes, but I can tell you that webmonkey used to be my go-to place for all things HTML (and CSS for that matter) -- they have great tutorials, free code, and it's all written by experts for non-experts like me! Give them a look at

I'm so glad you have a new outlook. I have always loved your recipes and stories. Don't let a bit of blog-burnout stop you now :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Shammi,
I'm a regular reader of your blog from 3 years.. I love reading your posts and recipes .. what I like about your blog is that the recipes are simple and do-able...Despite what you say about the existence of other blogs, there is some warmth in your writing which makes me come here :)
and sorry about the drop-down boxes.. i have absolutely no clue :(

bee said...

dunno much about code, but i love the new look.

aMus said...

i've been reading you on and off...and i agree, fiddling with teh tempalte and managing to change things do give you a spruced up least that's what i felt when i managed to add my own photograph to the header...tragedy is noone noticed it..:P

Do you also have another blog? i'm sure i've read you on sunday scribblers, quite some time back...

shammi said...

Raaga: Thank you! A friend asked if the green leaf background was "maavelai" (mango leaves) :D They're not, but close enough, no?

Nupur: Hey, thanks for the moral support. I can always get code! (so she says after begging for help!) :)

Linda: Thanks for the tip about webmonkey. Will give their site a visit! Also heartfelt thanks for your kind words, as always :)

A: Thank you and I hope to rediscover that warmth! :)

Bee: And thank you too. I've emailed you, by the way, so ta for your offer as well! :)

Suma: Yes, I have a couple of other blogs. ( and
I havent written for Sunday Scribblings in a few weeks too. *sigh* I should, really.

Re fiddling with blog code etc - I dont mind if nobody notices, it's enough if I've been successful in doing what I attempted :) Am sure it's the same for you! ;)

Shvetha said...

Love the new look, always loved the stories and recipes. :-)