St. Cuthbert's House

northumbrian bed and breakfast

Wednesday, 04 February 2009 00:00

"Little unremembered acts of kindness are the best part of a person's life"

Written by 

Whilst we’re talking about jobs-we-get-to-do-that-we’re-not-very-qualified-for, let’s talk about spreadsheets. No, stay with me, this is a warm fuzzy story with a happy ending…

We have a spreadsheet which keeps track of all our business finances. Occasionally, we even remember to put some numbers in the boxes. But we decided we needed to make use of some of those bewildering features which Excel has – features which retrieve the right bit of data from over there, decide which column it needs to go in over here, adds it to that one there and then tells you whether you can afford to go out tonight.

I used to teach an Advanced Excel course, so I know my way around it, but after several hours of faffing around, I was no further forward. I simply could not get it to work the way I wanted it to. So I decided to venture into a dark and mysterious world which I rarely enter – newsgroups.

Newsgroups are a strange world. They’re the internet-underground, the kind of place your average internet user wouldn’t even know about, unless they were looking to enjoy conversations with like-minded people about things like metallurgy or miniature piston engines.

But what’s also down there is a vast array of groups devoted to any computer program you’ve ever heard of, and a lot you haven’t. So I posted a question in one of them, asking for any ideas to help solve my problem. Within an hour, I had two replies, which ultimately led me to my solution.

These guys were obviously experts in using Excel. And they invested time and energy in solving a problem for me, a complete stranger. And here’s the thing: it was completely free. And I don’t think this was something which took them just a moment or two either. Perhaps I can illustrate this point by showing you the solution which one of them came up with. Here it is:


See, you just don’t pick up a pen and write that, do you? You’d have to think for a few minutes, wouldn’t you? This fellow invested himself, for no tangible reward, in helping me to solve my problem. Even though I’d hoped for an answer, when it came I felt genuinely touched, as if a fellow pilgrim had reached out to offer a helping hand through the ether…

With a bit of work and adaptation, his model was working swimmingly for me, and I wrote to thank him. This is what he wrote back: Hi Jeff, thanks for your kind words. Many posters do not even feed back to the newsgroups that a solution has worked for them, so it is very heartening that you have done not only that, but also taken the trouble to contact me directly. Your words are very warming, and I'm pleased that I was able to help you. Regards, Pete

I looked through the newsgroup, and saw his name - and several others - appearing regularly against people’s questions. These people are helping to change the world by spreading a little outrageous kindness for no reward other than the joy of doing good to their fellow (frustrated) human being. And many people don’t even say thanks. But that's not what makes it worthwhile, is it? The quote at the top is from Wordsworth: "The little unremembered acts of kindness and love are the best parts of a person's life." Have a good day, Pete.

Jeff Sutheran

We are Jeff & Jill Sutheran, and we own and run St Cuthbert's House. Our blog is a little corner where we come to write about things that stir us, move us, intrigue us or otherwise get us going. Usually in a good way. But not always.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Featured Items

  • We're VisitEngland's 'Best B&B in England' for 2017!

    We're VisitEngland's 'Best B&B in England' for 2017!

    We were delighted to be shortlisted again, amongst the top 3 finalists from around the whole country, when we went to the VisitEngland 'Awards for Excellence 2017' ceremony at the Waldorf Hotel last week.

    But then we were absolutely thrilled to be awarded the top spot - the Gold Award, making us VisitEngland's 'Best B&B in England 2017' -  as we were in 2014 too.  To win this prestigious and highly-prized accolade a second time is very special indeed.

  • Clare votes us her No 1!

    Clare votes us her No 1!

    We've been enjoying reading Clare Balding's new book recently. She stayed with us here at St Cuthbert's House a while ago, but we were really taken aback when folks began to call to tell us that she mentions her stay at St Cuthbert's House in the book! Here's what she says, on page 201:
    'St Cuthbert's House went instantly to the top of my 'best ever B&Bs' list. I would describe it as a luxury small hotel with a family feel, but that might not fit on the signs.' Aw, thanks Clare!

  • Want to see what's so special about Northumberland?

    Want to see what's so special about Northumberland?

    Some time ago, we began work with our local Tourism Association to produce a video showing some of the things which make this area so very special.  Now the video is complete, and we are deeply grateful to the remarkable young film-maker Cain Scrimgeour for working patiently with us across the seasons, to create something very, very beautiful. This is 7 minutes long, and we urge you to settle back and watch...

  • Peter & Kathy recommend St Cuthbert's House

    Peter & Kathy recommend St Cuthbert's House

    Peter & Kathy told us that they'd really enjoyed their first stay at SCH, and so we asked them to tell you why...

    Reassure yourself - watch their one-minute video..

  • Check out our Tripadvisor Reviews

    Check out our Tripadvisor Reviews

    Check out our Tripadvisor Reviews, to find out what other guests have said about their stay.  But please - always book direct via our Book Online page to avoid fees.

    We're pleased to be included as members of the Tripadvisor 'Hall of Fame' - where entry is only available to businesses which have won Tripadvisor's coveted 'Certificate of Excellence' for five consecutive years.

  • Our Price Guarantee

    Our Price Guarantee

    You will ALWAYS receive the best possible price by booking direct with us - either by calling us on 01665 720456 or by following the Book Now menu item!  Beware that some large agencies charge you more - and they also take a large slice of commission from small independents like us.  Show your support for small businesses by booking DIRECT!

  • The Good Hotel Guide - Cesar Award!

    The Good Hotel Guide - Cesar Award!

    We're in the Good Hotel Guide!

    We are delighted once again to be included in the 2018 edition of the Good Hotel Guide, and especially proud to receive a Cesar Award from this proudly independent and highly respected Hotel review organisation.  They describe the Cesar Awards thus:

    We give our Cesar Awards to the ten best hotels of the year. Named after Cesar Ritz, the most celebrated of hoteliers, these are the Oscars of hotel keeping.

Make a Booking

Ready to Book? You can check availability and book online right now using our Online Booking tool.

Or you can call us on 01665 720456 to book, too. If you don't see the availability you need in the Online Booking tool, it's always worth giving us a call to check.

Make a Booking

Connect with Us

We're using some fun social media streams to keep you up to date with all kinds of interesting things. Do join us there - Follow, Like, and join in! Take a look at our Social Wall.



socialwall 500

Contact Us & Stay In Touch

If you have any questions, please call us on 01665 720456 or send us an email or a booking enquiry.

And please sign up for our e-Newsletters below! We send our St Cuthbert's House newsletter about four times per year. It's filled with interesting SCH news, and Special Offers for subscribers.

And if you'd like to keep in touch about upcoming house-concerts and be the first to know who's coming, then please tick that box too! We send a house-concerts newsletter most months to keep you up to date on the musical front.

  • our history

Copyright © 2019 St Cuthberts House. All Rights Reserved.
St Cuthbert's House, 192 Main St, Seahouses, Northumberland NE68 7UB (00 44) (0)1665 720456