Saturday, June 16, 2007

The most unpromising circumstances

Previously I've written about the signs of obsession, and one that I should have added to the list is the ability to bring flyfishing into even the most unrelated of subjects. I managed to do this a few weeks ago while attending a course in London on ‘Gathering requirements for software applications’. An air-conditioned room full of software developers, project managers, and IT consultants; a central London office block; four days of workshops on writing effective ‘use cases’, and how to elicit functional and non-functional requirements: a world away from the cool waters of a small trout stream, and hardly the kind of environment to give inspiration of the angling kind. Or so I thought.

Memory stick - relationship to flyfishing: tenuous.

On day three our attentions were turned to software tools. The course instructor struggled to the keep the attention of delegates looking forward to the lunch break. ‘The installer for the free software is on the your computer’s desktop. You can copy this on to the memory sticks that I will pass around’. Somewhere in my subconscious, the usual routine:

Brain: Man referred to free, repeat FREE, memory stick. Memory sticks are useful hardware for file storage.
Me: Ah, excellent. Free hardware. That is a good thing. But tell me, can this be related to flyfishing?
Brain: No. Association with flyfishing is tenuous.
Me: Oh well. Still, free is good, and, anyway, it’s nearly time for lunch.

Ah, but the box - now that has possibilities...

Meanwhile a memory stick had arrived, nestling in foam, and housed within a metal case. Having ruled out the hardware, my attention moved to the casing: silver, sturdy, and a lid with a window. And at five inches long it could easily fit into the pocket of, say, a fishing jacket, and given the responsibility of storing, just for instance, some wet flies and nymphs. A rather dull morning had suddenly become full of promise and delight.

And so, soon after, a new piece of fishing equipment had been born. And better still, it had come from the most unpromising circumstances.