Thoughts

alt photo sunrise over hills

“One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands alone and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun—which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone’s eyes.”

The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

FED 4 | Fujifilm 200 developed in b&w chemistry

What’s going on?

Just a quickie…
My site recently got hacked. I didn’t know that was even a thing. But it would seem the hacker got in through the backdoor and changed some posts, including my most recent one. If you came here via my newsletter link and wondered where the posts had disappeared to, I apologise.
So anyway, I did the normal thing. I panicked. Then regrouped, rolled up my sleeves, made a pot of tea and got to work. I am the least techie person in the world so this was all very scary. But if you run your site through WordPress I recommend you do the following if it either happens or to prevent it happening to you.

  • I put my site to a standard WordPress theme – I used Twentyfifteen, and disabled all plugins, deleting any I don’t use. I recommend you delete any disabled ones you have asap.
  • I deleted the affected posts. Shame about all that hard work for nothing, but heyho, no biggie in the great scheme of things.
  • Contacted my hosting company to check everything was OK there. It was and they recommended the following:
  • Downloading Wordfence plugin and running a scan. Bingo! It found the rogue in one of my theme’s .php files. So I deleted the theme pronto. I’m keeping Wordfence running all the time now.
  • Downloaded another plugin that limits log in attempts, changed my password and activated 2 step authentication just to be sure.
  • Then bought myself a beautiful new theme which I will start working on later this week, and I’m very excited about! Please excuse my ugly site for now, but hopefully it’s on lockdown, belt and braces style.

 

A winter mountain retreat in the Pyrenees

I mentioned before that I started the new year by going on a retreat high up in the Pyrenees. It seemed like a perfect way to start the year – I love the mountains. The clean air, the jagged landscape, the peace and tranquility; evoking feelings that make me come over all Julie Andrews. Just picture me now, running across a meadow, then spinning around and singing “The hills are alive, with the sound of music!” You’ve got it.

My friend and I were staying in her house in the Pyrénées-Orientales. A 16th century stone barn high atop a rocky hill, and the facing hill is in Spain. This place is roughly 150kms south-east of where I live. As I look out across ravens are circling and cawing and oh my, I can see horses on the hill. Oh yes, I’m going to love it here.

16th century stone barn in the French Pyrenees

That first night Continue reading A winter mountain retreat in the Pyrenees