Did you see Felix Baumgartner’s sky dive from space at the weekend? It was truly an amazing leap of faith. True, the people behind the space suit and parachute that he used have put as much work and time into this amazing achievement as Felix has, but even if you know the equipment you are using is state of the art it still takes a lot of guts to go up that high and allow yourself to free fall. I wouldn’t feel happy doing a normal skydive or even a bungee jump, and hundreds of people have tested these out before me. You really have to believe in the technology to put on a space suit and go that high, let alone allow yourself to fall. We all take our own leaps of faith in our life, and listening to the politicians at the moment, just having our own business feels a bit like a leap of faith, lucky we’re not in free fall, and still seem to be on the way up
We decided to spruce up our garden last spring, and the children even made me some lovely planters (with a bit of help from their Dad). I dutifully sowed some seeds for salad, and strawberry plants and petunias were planted as well. Everything has grown really well (despite the weird weather we’ve had this year) apart from my cucumber plant. It started well, but then it became obvious that something was munching it, so I put down some ‘hedgehog friendly’ slug pellets (as I don’t want to hurt Mrs Tiggywinkle, just rid the garden of slugs.) Well it did no good, my cucumbers were still disappearing at an alarming rate. I was blaming the slug pellets for not being up to the task when Malcolm called me to look out of the window one morning. There sat right in the middle of the planter where the cucumbers had been was the fattest squirrel I’ve ever seen. I had no idea squirrels eat cucumbers (maybe they don’t, and we’re unlucky enough to have the world’s first squirrel that doesn’t like nuts!). We had a good laugh, and at least it was obvious now why the slug pellets weren’t helping. In this life (that includes business too) you really do have to expect the unexpected sometimes, and if one solution isn’t working it helps to try something new….It’s too late to save the cucumbers this year, but by next spring I’ll have invented a squirrel scarer ready and waiting!
I was just looking over my last entry on the blog and a thought occurred to me, the marriage contract is the only contract where you don’t have to squint at the small print and wonder if it will cause you trouble later on. In fact all of the words of the contract are spoken and repeated, this makes it simple. I think most people confuse simple at this point with easy….I could never be without my husband, but even he would agree that putting up with me is not exactly easy There are a lot of occasions where people tend to get simple and easy confused. Malcolm is in the middle of writing a new system for one of our clients. It looked very easy at the beginning, just update the design and keep the database and code from the old system. Easy. Unfortunately, as with so much in life this was not as straight forward as it first appeared. The front did need updating, that was simple, but several things meant this was far from easy to achieve. First the data stored was not consistent, and the code was poor, so it could not be re-used and he started to re-write things. Once you start re-writing the client thinks ‘this is great, can you make it do this now…’ and before you know where you are you’re designing a whole new system. This has made us miss the deadline, but what has been achieved is truly remarkable, as the system is easy to use now, even if it wasn’t easy to create!
I hope you all had a good bank holiday weekend, despite the weather. We were asking for all of this rain really…putting posters up about the ‘drought’ and having two bank holidays next to each other was just tempting fate too much We were lucky enough to be invited to two weddings over the bank holiday weekend, and as lovely as both occasions were, I have come to the conclusion that there is one thing wrong with a wedding in England. No, it’s not the weather (for once!), it might sound grumpy, but the thing that is lacking is a nice cup of tea (with biscuits). We are a tea drinking nation, but when we get together to celebrate we bring out nasty fizzy wine, fruit punch and other drinks we wouldn’t normally ask for at four in the afternoon. All I really wanted was a comfy chair, a cuppa and something to dunk I think we’d all smile a bit more naturally in the photos if we knew a nice cup of tea was just around the corner. I think what I will take away from that is stick to what you’re good at…..Brits are happy with a cup of tea in the afternoon, just as Malcolm is happy writing great code for our happy customers.
So Code Genie has been trading for a whole year And I’ve just had my birthday (30 something…) so I was thinking, another year older but am I any wiser? Probably not! A lot of people told us it was the worst time to start a new business with the economic climate the way it is (and we would hate working together – shows what they know )..but not only have we survived, we seem to be doing well, and enjoying ourselves. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to write a proper website for us (ironic since I’ve been updating other peoples websites). The website is like the shop window of a company, and ours is dusty to say the least, but if we got even more business through the web we wouldn’t be able to deliver the quality and service that is important to us. I’d say I’ve learnt a lot, but there’s always more to learn, and I will enjoy the challenges the next year throws at us.
You know what it’s like – you have days where nothing much is happening, then everything happens at once. We have a lot of big projects at the moment, and yesterday we were having one of those days. Everything needs to be finished NOW, and nothing we were doing seemed to be working. The stress levels were rising and Malcolm was chain drinking coffee! Then the phone rang, and I got to it first. I was a bit stunned to hear the voice at the other end tell me she was phoning from the coroners office, and was ringing about a recent death here. It took a second to work out she had the wrong number (our number is very similar to a local doctors, and she wanted them). Once I’d politely sent her on her way I put the phone down. Malcolm asked who was on the phone, so I said ‘The coroner, are you dead??’ He laughed and said no, and that I looked a bit lively to interest them. It broke the stress and made us both laugh, sometimes we need to be reminded life’s not that bad really, and that did it properly. A little bit Monty Python, I would break into song with ‘Always look on the bright side of life’, but I don’t think your ears could take it! On the way home on my bike I saw the white van man that had tried to kill me on the way to work being told off by the traffic cops. The cherry on the icing on the cake to return me to my normal smiley self
Our oldest child, Michael came home and told me about an interesting lesson he’d had. He’d been told that good parents give their children what they need, not necessarily what they want. This was a revolutionary thought for him, but instead of feeling grumpy and stropping about all of the times we’ve said no and made him eat his greens, he said this was quite cool. I have to admit this surprised me, until he pointed out that it means that parents are a bit like the TARDIS in Dr Who (No not that I’m a lot bigger than I look-thankfully!). The TARDIS never takes the Doctor to where he wants to go, but where he needs to go. I love the way he looked at this, it made me think that maybe we’re not doing a bad job as parents after all (fingers crossed). It occurred to me that our new business is a bit like having a new child. It’s just as demanding, mentally and physically, and we watch each new progression with pride. We are always learning as we go along, and put as much effort into each new project as we would in to taking care of a toddler. So although I still might have a lot to learn, I’m ready for the challenge!
Well here I am making friends with the pigeons outside the office window. They sit on the window ledge, and each one seems to have it’s own personality! I considered naming them, but the laughter coming for the man to my left was enough to put me off that idea….so this is our new company, ‘you don’t sound very busy’ I hear you shout-why am I looking out of the window instead of pressing my nose to the grindstone? I have been working, but I find there is only so much I can take-in in one day. Malcolm knows everything (at least he knows more than I do about all things geeky), and I am quickly trying to get myself to learn useful stuff so he can throw some of the work my way. Between us we have plenty to do, it’s just the balance of knowledge is definitly one sided!