Late nights, code and zucchini

Last night I lay awake in my bed writing PHP code until half past two in the morning. I write my best code in the wee hours of the night or sitting on a train. It's easier to focus, no emails, phone calls or any other social interruptions. 

By the evening after a late or all nighter I feel deliciously relaxed, tired and somewhat melancholy. It's a good night to play the piano, to let the emotions out. 

The reason I was up so late was that I was continuing to write my TINCA content management system web application, despite the Communications Manager's demand that the whole intranet be editable in Microsoft FrontPage. That is just an inconceivably silly idea and the manager is liable to change his mind on a whim. That's what makes it so frustrating to work in our group at the moment; you put great effort into producing something of high quality, then you suddenly find that it's no longer wanted.

Anyway, I know that what I'm doing is sensible. I also know that TINCA is not a piece of crap PHP code, but is a damn good application, even if I do say so myself. So I was relieved when the manager suddenly changed his mind yet again to leave the news and events stored in a CMS. It's still not the perfect solution, but it means that my work isn't entirely wasted. That's why I stayed up late writing code – I know we need it, even if he doesn't and I'm going to get it done.

So tonight I feel wasted. I went to the city a bit early and found myself around Town Hall Station. Memories flooded back and I found myself missing travel planning again. I miss going into Flight Centre to book tickets, wandering the bag and outdoors shops for luggage and accessories. The Galeries Victoria shopping area is almost like another country and I felt like I should be in overseas right then with my wife, no work worries, just holidaying pleasures. 

Came home and played the electronic keyboard, reminded of first year university Friday nights, recovering after submitting maths assignments done largely on the night before they were due. The rush and the relief. Yes, I miss maths too right now. 

Fortunately, dinner was already prepared. B's mother had made her some gooey chicken and vege dish, I had penne pasta. I like the creativity of cooking. The pasta recipe came straight from my head, chicken and grilled capsicum, zucchini and garlic in a cream sauce flavoured by the capsicum and garlic juices. I had never tried zucchini in pasta before and never grilled it before, yet it all worked out perfectly. I'm proud of that, proud that I can create straight out of my head without needing to use sauces from a jar. 

It's that same confidence and pride that I bring to TINCA. Unfortunately, it's like my colleagues prefer the bland safety of the sauce jars. But I know I can get it working well, solve most of the problems, so long as I am given the opportunity to do so. No, it'll never be perfect, but neither is anything else.  So, I'm going to back myself here and, whatever the outcome, I hope I have the chance to look back and say, I did a good job.

Filed under: