Written by Giles Bennett
Summer's here, and with it a flurry of non-work-related activities at HummingbirdUK HQ, so for once this post isn't about the finer points of Magento, but instead about what we've been up to when we chance to escape from the keyboard!
We're all in training for the Leeds 10k, having been persuaded to sign up for it in a vulnerable moment (for which read 'in the pub after a few beers') some months back to support the Stroke Association. Having got the Great Selby Bike Ride under our belts earlier in the year, preparations for the 10k (bearing in mind that none of us are really 'runners') have been going in earnest in recent weeks.
With the help of semi-regular parkruns and the Sweatshop Running Community, we've pretty much all got the first 5k under control, it's just the prospect of the second 5k coming straight after it that's causing a bit of consternation in the office at the moment. One or two have committed to a longer-term running careers by quickly following the Leeds 10k up with the York 10k a few weeks later, and there's even talk - rash, but talk - of a half marathon if things go well.
Flagging energy levels are being counteracted by regular coffee deliveries from the York Emporium (with whom we have a tenuous historic link, as their business started (way back when) in the York city centre property subsequently taken on by one of our clients, The Yorkshire Pantry, before the latter moved online only). The coffee is being produced through this really rather lovely coffee machine that we think is so attractive it's a shame to have to hide it away in the kitchen!
Founder Giles, a long-time blood donor, has persuaded e-commerce expert Richard to take the plunge and give blood for the first time later this month. Our earlier post on the #MissingType campaign is worth a read if you needed any persuasion to support this excellent cause, and to do what we can to help any HummingbirdUK employee can take as much time off as they wish as regularly as they wish to donate blood. How else can you save a life, get time off work and get free Bourbons, all at the same time? If you're tempted to take the plunge, signup online here.
We've also been spending a bit of time tarting up the office - with custom-built desks made out of scaffolding and scaffolding boards, lights made out of plumbing fixtures (no, really), and exercise balls instead of office chairs, we're taking the fitness thing to new heights, although there are a trio of retro Italian leather armchairs to retreat to if all the healthiness gets too much. Overseeing them all is a rather lovely floor lamp.
Proving you can strike a balance between old and new, music comes courtesy of a 1970s amp, solid teak speakers, gramophone player and an 8 track deck with apple crates full of original cartridges. Just in case, though, the amp is also linked up to an Airport Express so we can fight over who gets to stream to it when the classics just don't cut the mustard.
Although, to be honest, how often does Frank Sinatra on an 8 track not cut the mustard? Not very...