5 Share Friday 9 November 2018

1. Quote I’m pondering this week “You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” – John Mason

2. Veganism is mainstreamthis long form piece from The Guardian newspaper is a fascinating read about how plant based eating is becoming mainstream. I eat meat & dairy rarely and for me it was a health choice I made years ago, though for many it’s down to allergies or other conditions. The myth of protein from meat being best and calcium from milk is finally being understood as not fact, it’s been a long time coming.

I find plant based eating can also be less time intensive to prepare (if you have the right equipment) and tastier. The Forks over Knives series of books (a documentary found on Netflix too) has terrific recipes if you fancy giving eating vegan a go.

3. Inspiration I’m benefiting from – I’ve been using Happi Cards ,  I’m sharing here as they really do make life more interesting. For instance, last week after breakfast I picked a random one and it turned out to be the inspiration I needed to totally rewrite a piece for my LinkedIn series ‘A Little Guide to a Big Life’

These cards make a wonderful present (my wife bought me mine) and you never know what type of inspiration you might get for the day.

4. Home purchase I’m enjoying – Our cargo or ‘family bike’. The choice to go car free is working out well for us so far. There isn’t a better country than Denmark to ditch your car and use public transport or a bicycle. After much research and testing we chose a Bella Bike. It’s a customisable 3 wheeled bike with rear wheel steering (resulting in more accurate control than conventional 3 wheel bikes). It’s also suitable for when we eventually return to the UK as it’s not as wide as other makes and models.

I met the inventor and creator at his workshop (they’re hand made to order). The design, engineering and fact that it’s locally built and not mass manufactured appealed to us. If you’re after a cargo or family bike, you won’t go far wrong looking at Bella bikes as part of your choice (he delivers internationally).

5. What I’m watching – the final season of House of Cards on Netflix. This whole series has been a roller coaster. At times it’s been so dark I’ve considered not continuing, yet it’s also very captivating . After watching the first season a number of years ago, I was better able to understand office politics in a place where backstabbing and throwing others under the bus was common place. It’s amazing what you can learn from a TV show.

In this season, almost every character is planning to connive against the other to get what they want. I’m hoping we see a satisfying end to the show, one that closes the many story arks and shows us that acting selfishly is not rewarding in the longer term.

Have a great weekend everyone!

5 Share Friday 2 November 2018

1. Quote I’m pondering this weekA real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”Walter Winchell

2. Purchase I madeNordVPN. If you value your internet security, privacy or simply want to watch media from a different country (I purchased this for all 3 reasons) then a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is for you. If you route your internet through a VPN via your modem / router then everything at home connecting to your WiFi will be secure and private.

I’ll also use it with my phone and laptop in public places, giving me that added confidence and security.

3. Article I’m pondering this week: These 20 truths about life are great reminders and No. 13 is one I’m focusing extra energy on:

“13. Nobody cares how difficult your life is, and you are the author of your life’s story. Stop looking for people to give you sympathy and start creating the life story you want to read.”

4. Someone I know shared this amazing 3D view of our world population. You can move around from country to country while also comparing with years past. This fabulous web app effectively visualises 7.6 billion people so it’s no longer inscrutable for any of us, amazing!

5. Since the release of Spotify’s engineering culture videos back in 2014 I’ve been fascinated by the content they shared.

Part 1: https://labs.spotify.com/2014/03/27/spotify-engineering-culture-part-1/

Part 2: https://labs.spotify.com/2014/09/20/spotify-engineering-culture-part-2/

Much of the engineering and quality change I explored with my teams at Microsoft happened as a direct result of content from these videos.

4.5 years on I still find them interesting and regularly review every quarter. This week I realised they’re also being watched by others here at Unity and I’ve rewatched them again recently. Each time I watch them I realise I’m learning a gem, not just for my work but for my personal growth too.

If you are involved in software development or simply interested in how Spotify works and you haven’t watched these videos, or read the Spotify blog, then grab a coffee, get your headphones on and make 30 minutes right now. It’ll be the most productive 30 minutes you’ve had all week.

5 Share Friday 26 October 2018

1. Quote I’m pondering this week “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”Albert Schweitzer

2. Most thought provoking read this week: Seth Godin interview at Onbeing. This one is excellent, covering such things as the connection between struggle and hope, learning from failure and constant change in our lives. It’s a 10 minute read or you can listen to the episode too (links on the webpage)

3. Most interesting purchase: These little silicon ‘ends’ for food and jars. I use a lemon each morning. I squeeze juice from half a lemon into a glass, add water and drink. It’s the first thing I do before anything else when I get up. Now I’ve discovered these silicon ends I can put the other half of that lemon in the fridge and use it the next day without it going dry and crusty, excellent!

4. Most used app this week is WeatherBug. Since moving to Denmark my favourite weather app doesn’t work (Dark Sky), it simply won’t pick up radar coverage. I’ve been researching and testing other apps and have chosen WeatherBug (a desktop version available too). It’s free and quite frankly wonderful. It’s available on both iPhone and Android so if you’re looking for a weather app with a difference (it’s particularly great if you have allergies by the looks of it) look no further than WeatherBug.

5. Following on from last week and my kale extravaganza at home, we found a humdinger of a curry recipe based on kale. If you’re into kale and like a warm curry on a winters evening, then you won’t do much better than this one.

5 Share Friday 19 October 2018

1. Quote I’m pondering this week “Age may wrinkle the face, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” – Danish Proverb

2. This week my wife Mandie found a gem online. I’m reminding myself to review it each morning in order to make the change from sorry to thank you. It rewires the brain and creates a more positive interaction, amazing, see below:

3. This week we had a Black Kale error on our veg delivery and accidentally ordered 4 bags of kale. Since we’ve been looking at boosting our immune system for the winter we’ve found this Kale pesto to make at home. It’s not only tastetastic, it’s full of goodness too. It’s a simple 5 minute recipe and you can easily swap the almonds for walnuts to make a truly winter tasting pesto

4. Talking of walnuts one of our neighbours has a fabulous walnut tree in their front garden. He came over to give us a nice bag of them. Yesterday evening I put on some Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel, sat down with my 14 month old son and we washed them in a bowl together. They then went in some old tights and we hung them in the basement for drying. They’ll be nice and ready for Christmas!

Walnut trees are more common than you might think, have a look here to help identify one and have fun collecting and eating non supermarket nuts.

5. Last week I found myself overcommitted, not leaving enough time for new short deadlines at work. I had to let go of something and chose to drop training at work on how to learn. I was so enthused about attending this training I almost used a ploce word here to emphasise how disappointed I am (I’ve just learned ploce, what a great term).

There’s always a bright side to things however, and this situation made me look at my own ways of making sure I have my usual space to learn each month. Taking inspiration from a recent Microsoft post on ‘building a culture of learning’, I’ve used Trello to make my own learner board. What a fantastic idea, the Microsoft post is a 3 minute read and well worth it for those interested in understanding the importance of continuous learning for the modern workplace.