A nice story completely not about software engineering at all

Was inspired this weekend : A story completely not about software engineering at all.

I got a thank you card this week. The story starts back in April. We were in church in my village, up the tower, when a local comes in, and all I think is ‘oh no, someone is complaining about the noise’. Turns out he liked the sound of church bells, as did his wife Shona, who had just died after a long illness. Even stranger, his wife was an architect, and designed the platform we were all standing on! His only request: “Please come ring at her wake in 2 months time”. I agreed, it’s a brilliant way to give someone their wish, by making their wake more memorable. I was nervous as can be, when the day finally came around, but I had a band and we snuck in and rang. We were even joined by the organist at the end. We had such a good time they had to chase us out because all the guests had already left for the party down the road. So I locked up and followed and was again astounded. When I got to the lady architects home (yes it was a smart looking home) I got to see her work studio. Her “office” was full of building scale models and every spare wall surface was covered by something she had painted. I was amazed how an architect could also be a prolific painter too. (The picture above is a detail from one of her many thousands of paintings.) She was such a helpful person, that the wake had crammed the church, and now filled a huge back garden. And that although many people knew her, she was not ever famous. She just did a lot of good. Have been on a high all weekend inspired to work even half as hard as Shona had.

This story was not my only inspiration this week, what has been your new inspiration?


Shona sounds amazing
I was inspried recently by my friend from university, who I stayed with over one of the bank holdiay weekends. Due to suffering from fatigue she does not work full time… instead having a part time job in retail plus running two businesses for her art and writing. I love listening to her talk about her passion, but what I want to share is how she (by necessity) listens to her mind and body to set reasonable goals for what she will ‘get done’ each day. When we are expected to be busy and productive all the time, it’s difficult to justify rest, but knowing our limits and taking care of ourselves is the only way to be sustainable (and enjoy ourselves).


Sometimes it’s the invisible people who so much love what they do, that go unnoticed. Be gentle with every person you meet, always. You don’t know how well they slept last night.
I think a bit I missed out in the Shona story, in her studio was some cardboard doll house chairs. She would make dolls house furniture for people too, out of that same architect’s model building card of course. And basically people had brought back all the things she had painted for them to display them all in one place. Together we can do beautiful things.