3 min read

3. Some other beginning’s end…

Finishing things up the right way. And cookies.
clear hour glass with brown frame
Image of hourglass, by Neonbrand on Unsplash

When Semisonic’s ‘Closing Time’ was released in the late 90s, I didn’t think much of the song, but as I’ve got older I’ve come to appreciate its genius. I only recently found out that the lead singer graduated from Harvard! No wonder the lyrics are so precise.

It’s certainly a good soundtrack for my March as there are a lot of “new beginnings from some other beginning’s end”. The company I work for is gearing to be absorbed by a government department in July, I’m in my final week of my current job before heading to the Government Digital Service in April, and I’m also in the introspective final week before I complete another year around the sun. (Maybe 2022 will be the year when I can finally get back to New Zealand for my birthday, after it was all cancelled in 2020?)

This month I also discovered some excellent articles relating to endings. At a practical level, the Farewell Fund created Stewarding Loss kit to help the many organisations closing because of COVID-19 to manage the transition and related feelings. It’s well worth a read to look through the various tools and lenses, as it gives a practical framework that supplements Joel McCloud’s excellent 2017 book Ends. On a more macro level is the “Deep Adaptation” writing by Jim Bendell about preparing for societal collapse. I’m really interested in her 4 R’s of enquiry—resilience, relinquishment, restoration, and reconciliation.

This month in digital government and design

  • A couple of things I tweeted got a bit of momentum. Firstly about lorem ipsum (including a story of a stakeholder quoting back Cicero’s speech in Latin!)
  • I’ve also seen a lot of “GDS patterns” language, and apparently so have a lot of others…


  • Can a computer program figure out where you’re from based on a short linguistic test? That’s what this Which English? study was about. While the study is over, I still find it a fun thing to share with people. I correctly get “New Zealand-is” (which tickles me no end) but can also get Irish, which I suspect may be the influence of 10 years in Newcastle setting in.
  • I love that an editor is reading a book from every country in the world. (I’m eagerly awaiting to see which book she picks for New Zealand, though also need to check the rules—is the UK one country or four? Will she include the Cook Islands as its own country?)
  • People who menstruate: have your cycles changed since the start of the pandemic? It’s not just you.
  • I know a load of you love the Brat Pack film St Elmo’s Fire, but it really is the worst.
  • The census meant me facing several awkward questions, but the most terrifying one was explaining my job in 120 characters. Luckily there’s a meme for that…
  • Finally…cookies. (Wait until the end) .

Until next month,