Heroes – No 1. The Quiet Architect
We have begun the short series on Villains (the ever present ghastliness that is Mosquitoes), so it only seems appropriate to begin the short honour board that is the Heroes.
In fact, this first entry should be Heroines, because the very first entry – the non plus ultra – is my wife, Julie Williamson. She is a girl of the mid-west, born in Iowa City, Iowa, and has lived here in the UK for approaching 20 years. Folks in the US now think she has a British accent, whilst the Brits think she got off the plane yesterday. She has lived with me plotting this madness for four years now and it is her (as ever) that gave me the final push when last year, about this time, she said “listen, row the damn river or stop talking about it”. As it happens, I under-estimated her command of Anglo-Saxon as I am not sure that my representation of her actual words is strictly accurate…..
Being Julie, she didn’t then stand back and watch me flounder and fail, she gave me all he help, guidance, encouragement and positive criticism that was required to bring all the elements together. She even learned to row from scratch and last week completed a 20 mile session with me. If any one person should take credit for this project, it is Julie.
She embodies all the characteristics of the mid-westerners. She is steadfast, indefatigable, tenacious and horribly smart. She instinctively under-sells, and over-delivers. What is so endearing about this is that she considers herself the least able in any room, whereas anyone who encounters her, recognises immediately the outstanding qualities she brings.
She is the quiet architect of all that is good in my life. I have little doubt that had I known her 30 years ago, my silver medal would have been gold.