What I’ve been listening to this week


Hmm…lazy Sunday.  But hold on a minute, I had a lazy Saturday.  I probably should unhinge myself from this chair and move my body about today.  Although, saying that, my body is in need of some downtime.  I did move some heavy weights this week, 180kg on the benchpress:

4 plates today! | #Stayfit #benchpress

A video posted by @soulcruzer on

The sun is just starting to make an appearance now.  Perhaps some longboarding or cycling are in order today, but we’ll see…

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been listening to this week:


Let’s Tweetup!


Art is for everybody. It’s not about going to an art gallery where you have to ring the bell to get in.  We don’t want it to feel like it’s prescriptive.  We want you to walk in and look at something and have it resonate and think I love that. – Kate Bramwell

The @leamTweetUp was back in action last night.  I met new Twitter friends and some old Twitter friends who I’ve never actually seen in person before, so that was cool.  The TweetUp was held at the Deasil Art Gallery.

In between activities I spoke to Kate, one of the directors of the gallery.


And here’s a round up of some of the tweets:


fullsizerender-5Rapping with Kate Bramwell, Co-Director of Deasil

My home girl Lisa-Marie Nelson of Spa Town Comics

I’m already looking forward to the next TweetUp! Ok I think that’s it for me now. It’s coming up to 17:00 on a Friday, which definitely means it’s yabba dabba doo time!

Peace and Love,


Steal stuff


You say, ‘I’m going to write something completely new and original and very funny.’ You can’t do it. It’s like trying to fly a plane without having any lessons. You’ve got to start somewhere and the best way to start is by copying something that is really good.

Some good advice from John Cleese for us creative types.  Watch the full video over at Big Think.


What role does outcomes play in your choice of careers?


Ok. Imagine you have just won £10 million in the lottery.  Would you quit your current job or would stay on as if nothing  has changed?

We recorded the next episode of the Havana Cafe Sessions podcast today and our topic was about work and why people do it.  During my conversation with Sarah, I mentioned that a lot of people are stuck in a job that they would happily walk away from if they didn’t need the money.  They stay put, however, for a variety of reasons like fear, comfort, not knowing what else to do, not knowing how to change, or simply because their current financial situation doesn’t allow them to leave.

For those who stay put because of fear or more specifically because of the fear of the unknown, I was wondering would these people change if they knew the outcome of their decision to leave would be favourable.  And inline with the podcast topic of work, would they choose to do work that was more fulfilling and gave them a greater sense of purpose? Is it the unknown outcome that keeps them in place?

What would you do for work/career if you knew with 100% certainty that you would not fail, and that you would be super successful, monetarily and otherwise?



Things I got rid of


He he…I suppose I could have put my daughter on this list seeing how we sent her off to university on Saturday.  But  you never really get rid of your kids do you?!

Now comes the period of adjustment where we have to get used to being empty nesters. I’m sure I’ll cope just fine, in fact, I’m already starting to plan a few adventures in my head.

My quest for minimalism continues, this week I got rid of 17 items.  That brings me up to a total of 100 items trashed, recycled or given to charity.



What I’ve been listening to this week


The weeks are rolling by fast.  I saw someone post yesterday that we’re now into the hundredth day countdown to Christmas! Dude, where did the year go?! Where did time go? Today I’m taking my daughter off to her first year of university and my son has started his last year of university!

I was thinking a lot about life yesterday (I guess having two kids in university does that to you).  And the question that I settled on was ‘what if there is no afterlife or reincarnation?’  What if this is it? And when we’re gone, we’re gone.

If that’s the case, then I want to go do this now:


(via Leap of faith)

I want to base jump and whole lot of other crazy stuff because as Kurgan said:

And on that note, here are the tunes I’ve been listening to this week:


They say you can never go home again


For many years I have traveled in many parts of the world.  In America I live in New York, or dip into Chicago or San Francisco.  But New York is no more America than Paris is France or London is England.  Thus I discovered that I did not know my own country.

I, an American writer, writing about America, was working from memory, and the memory is at best a faulty, warpy reservoir.  I had not heard the speech of America, smelled the grass and trees and sewage, seen its hills and water, its color and quality of light.  I knew the changes only from books and newspapers.  But more than this, I had not felt the country for twenty-five years.

Like Steinbeck in Travels with Charley, I have become a stranger to my own country. The last time I was on American soil was November 1995.  I had won a free flight to Boston from one of the daily papers.  At that point, I had been out of the country for a few years so thought to make the best of the trip by flying into Boston and then taking a Greyhound bus from Boston to Georgia  I felt a thousand mile bus journey would help me get reacquainted with my country and its people.  I had also planned to stop along the way to see some of my family.  I have relations all along the east coast of America.  Sad note: I didn’t know this at the time, but this would also be the last time I would see my mother alive.

When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch.  When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job.

I searched my old blog and found these entries from my last visit to the States. It’s funny reading through them after all this time:

Travels to America
Boston to New York
New Jersey
Fat Mike
South Jersey
Missy cont
Newark to Baltimore
Random Dialogue

Once I traveled about in an old bakery wagon, doubled-doored rattler with a mattress on its floor.  I stopped where people stopped or gathered. I listened and looked and felt, and in the process had a picture of my country the accuracy of which was impaired only by my own shortcomings.

I feel like I need to go home again. Where that is I’m not so sure anymore. Maybe I need to do my own version of Travels with Charley and go in search of America.

I wonder what I might find.

So it was that I determined to look again, to try to rediscover this monster land. Otherwise, in writing, I could not tell the small diagnostic truths which are the foundations of the larger truth.

Time to make a plan, I think.  Anyway, if you haven’t read Travels with Charley, it’s a fine read.  In fact, it’s my favourite piece of John Steinbeck writing and it always makes me homesick for the open road and my homeland.