If you’re one of the few people who have visited this site on and off over the last couple of years, you will undoubtedly have noticed the lack of new content or updates. As is usually the case, life has gotten in the way of me posting updates to this site. There have been a lot of changes over the last two years, so I thought it was time for some life updates.
Those who read my last post will know that my dad unexpectedly died in 2020. This triggered a sequence of events that changed my life considerably. This sequence of events, along with some changes in my work life are the main reasons I’ve been too busy to sit down and write any new content.
In 2015, my auntie (my dad’s sister) was diagnosed with breast cancer. Due to personal circumstances, she was unable to have treatment at the time. By the time circumstances allowed, it was too late for her to have treatment. This prompted her to get her affairs in order before the inevitable happened. A will was drawn up and having no remaining direct family, my dad was named as the primary beneficiary of her estate. There was also a provision in the will that stated that if she were to outlive my dad, then I would become the primary beneficiary. I never in a million years expected things to happen the way they have.
Fast forward to September 2021 and my Aunt lost her battle with cancer. After making all the arrangements, which was fairly easy as my Aunt had prepared well, there was the matter of the estate which included a bungalow.
Dealing with the solicitors appointed as executors of the will was a nightmare. We initially decided to liquidate everything and use the money to buy our own house but after putting the bungalow up for sale, we didn’t get any takers. It required some updating, the choice of decor and fitted furniture were from the 80s and despite it being priced accordingly, we didn’t receive a single offer.
For our own house, we were looking for something larger, something with 4 or 5 bedrooms. I liked the idea of a bigger office and at least a guest room and a room that could double as a photo studio or additional guest room.
After having the bungalow on the market for a couple of months and getting no interest, we had a few discussions and started to think about moving into the property ourselves and making it our home. It wouldn’t be without its issues, having downsized from a five-bedroom house to a three-bedroom house and now considering a two-bedroom bungalow would mean having to purge a lot of possessions we’d accumulated over the years.
The more we talked about it, the more it made sense. Not only financial sense but also long-term sense. Neither of us is getting any younger and moving to a smaller property with no stairs to navigate would make sense in the long run and we wouldn’t have to downsize again as we got even older. We decided to take this path, took the property off the market, and started the conveyance process to transfer the bungalow to our ownership.
While this process was happening, we got the go-ahead to start work on renovating and updating the place. As I mentioned earlier, this was no small job and would take some time, made more difficult by the fact that tradesmen are in short supply and waiting times run from three months to a year.
Fast forward to March 2023 and after a lot of work, money and time, we’re now all moved into our new home. There is still some work to be done, but for now, it’s comfortable and it’s ours. Time to take some time out and rest after what’s been a hectic past eight months.
At the same time as the personal life updates above, I was also making changes in my career path. A couple of years ago the company I work for did some internal restructuring. Part of this involved a job role analysis, the results of which were that I spent more time doing design work than I did doing delivery work. This meant that I would be moving into a different service tower under a new head and moving away from the delivery role I’d been doing since I joined the company. This was a new direction for me, one that I was looking forward to. It meant I could spend more time improving and standardising our processes which in turn meant I could design things in a way that would make automating them in future much easier. Automation has long been one of my goals, automate the boring stuff so it becomes repeatable and scaleable and focus on the more complex and challenging work. My new role would be that of an architect rather than an engineer.
Not long after this change in job role, an opportunity presented itself not only to be part of this new business unit but to be a leader within it. To bring some structure to the new unit under the Head of Architecture, two new roles were created for Lead Architects. The purpose of this role was to lead a team of Technical Architects all tasked with bringing standards to our products and solutions. After some internal reflection and conversations with both colleagues and my partner, I applied for one of these roles.
To my surprise, I was successful and now lead, mentor and support a team of five technical architects, all driven by the same purpose. To standardise and constantly improve how we design and deliver our products and solutions.
I’m looking forward to the opportunity this gives me to mentor the next generation of technical architects and bring my experience over the past thirty-odd years to the team and help shape the future of not just the company but also these individuals and their careers.
As you can see, this has meant I’ve been a little busy over the past eighteen to twenty-four months, but it’s been a good type of busy. Mentally stimulating at work and physically stimulating outside of the workplace. Learning lots of new skills and getting back in shape, both mentally and physically.
There will be more updates to follow as we continue our home improvement journey and as I continue my career journey.
Thanks for stopping by, I look forward to sharing more life updates, as well as other content, with you over the coming months.