A Festive Days’ Message



“Festive days been treating you well?” I messaged a close friend just after Boxing Day this year.

To our utter shock, he replied that he was in hospital with a stroke.

We normally remember our friends in our morning and evening prayers. We now say a special prayer for him every day.

We have also now reviewed our meals, lifestyle and other routines, and I spent this last morning of 2017 relaxingly pottering about in our small garden.

Some years ago my work (sadly for the third time in my life) became my Number One Priority, resulting, once more, in serious health issues. After a dash in a taxi during rush hour early one morning the heart surgeon shocked me by saying that if we had ignored the event, he would have been talking to a widow that evening. He placed me on medication and I foolishly still kept up a hefty work schedule. However, one morning at a moment’s thought, I decided to stop working. I gave six weeks’ notice and happily walked out of the office door my last working day.

Since then I have retired. My priorities have not changed.

For me, the order of priorities, have once again been confirmed:

  1. Our Creator
  2. Life
  3. My spouse and our health.
  4. Family and other relations.
  5. Personal safety.
  6. This space left open for now.

This does not mean we place our friends last. In fact, even before I retired, “work” was in position 7. I left position 6 open just so that I could distance “work” away from the first five items.

Hence, in closing this, my last blog of 2017, I prompt you to think about your priorities.

We wish you all a healthy, safe, prosperous and “paced” 2018.

Thank you for reading my blogs during 2017.





All Ages Matter. As it should.

Four months ago I wrote a blog on Dr. David Goodall – a 102 year old botanist and ecology scientist – who had been told to pack up his office with the Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia declaring him unfit to be on campus.

His career spanned 70 years resulting in more than 100 research papers, earning him three doctorates and the Order of Australia for his contribution to serving Humanity.

David Goodall is also a Shakespearean actor of note.

Below link leads to the short original ABC News article on this 102-year old scientist.



  • It turned out to be a silly decision.


The below link leads to a 20 December 2016 article titled “WA university reverses decision to eject 102-year-old scientist from campus”.




The 102-year-old scientist will now remain on campus after the institution reversed its earlier decision to kick him out of his office.

“I hope to continue with some useful work in my field in so far as my eyesight permits.”

Dr Goodall’s plight gained international attention, sparking debate about the value of older people in the workforce.

“I think people were rather sympathetic to me as a centenarian who wanted to continue life in society,” Dr Goodall said.

“I prefer to be on campus because there are other people around and people who potentially are friends.”

Dr Goodall has accepted an offer from the university to serve as an unpaid honorary research associate for another three years.

It feels great to blog a feel-good story in a year when The Grim Reaper and Father Time have plucked away so many very talented artists to perform on The Great Stage in the Sky.


Ageism at Work: “Unfit to be on Campus”



  • Discrimination is discrimination. And none more so despicable, pathetic and cowardly than when perpetrated against the elderly.


Today’s News in Australia:


Dr David Goodall – a 102 year old botanist and ecology scientist – has been told to pack up his office with the Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia declaring him unfit to be on campus.

His career spans 70 years resulting in more than 100 research papers, earning him three doctorates and the Order of Australia for his contribution to serving Humanity.

David Goodall is also a Shakespearean actor of note.

Below link will take you to a short article on this 102 year old scientist:



This will be a death sentence. Most of his social exchanges are at the University.

This man is a scientist. Not a fitness instructor. Why send him home?


The Edith Cowan University is a public university, thus taxpayer-funded.

We also fund jails.

  • And this is where they are sending this man who has devoted his life to Humanity.


Says Dean of the School of Sciences, Andrew Woodward:

  • “This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly, this is something that has been considered over a period of time.”
  • “We are now of the opinion where the situation is at a point where we really do need to make this change in David’s best interest and our own.” (my accentuation)


(George Orwell: Rule # 3 on writing: “If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out”

Question: Can anyone spot the excess words in the above statements? Or are both statements excessive?)


Here is a snip from Dean Andrew Woodward’s public LinkedIn profile:

  • “In my leadership role at ECU, I have a strong commitment to quality teaching, engaged research and a focus on expanding international partnerships. I believe strongly in ECUs values, particularly those of integrity and respect, and make sure that I demonstrate these values in my dealings with others.” (my accentuation).


Mr. Andrew Woodward, let me put this in a different context:

  • So, a person can be too black and must move off campus?
  • Or too white?
  • Perhaps too short?
  • Too tall?
  • Bald?
  • Wrong sex”


Or Too Old?


With modern science you may even be able to change some of the above parameters.

But age?


Here is a suggestion:

  • Let us put in place forced retirement of Deans after one year in their job. And move them off campus. For their best interest.


Sounds silly doesn’t it? But to paraphrase Andrew Woodward:

  • This is not a suggestion I make lightly, this is something that has been considered over a period of time.
  • I am now of the opinion where the situation is at a point where universities really do need to make this change in their Deans’ best interest.


I repeat: Discrimination is discrimination. And none more so despicable, pathetic and cowardly than when perpetrated against the elderly.


I would like to close with 6 points on “Remember – Age is Mostly a Number” from my 2nd book “50 PERSEPCTIVES – The Value of Things Unseen”.



  • How ‘old’ would you be if you didn’t know your birthdate and real age?
  • Ageism is another –ism, and is as offensive as racism and sexism.
  • Some reach mental maturity earlier whilst others are slower and even stagnate.
  • To age is a privilege. It is neither a sin, nor anti-social. Character is what counts.
  • Knowing and understanding things become easier as we age.
  • Ageing is as much a spiritual journey as a physical one with challenges taking on different hues.


I note Andrew Woodward was an IT Network Security Manager and Advisor for 10 years of his life. I can relate to that having been in the IT domain for 43 years of my life, and having had IT Network Security Managers work for me….

I can share the passion for acting with Dr. Goodall, having been able to play in numerous student movies and one feature film (at age 68/69) care of Singaporean independent filmmaker, director and producer Tzang Merwyn Tong. And am thankful for that opportunity to do something outside of the IT world…


Hence in closing:


“You are not old until regrets take the place of dreams” – Adapted from John Barrymore

Dr. Goodall – don’t be bullied. May you be spared for many fruitful years!


We all get old. Or die on the way trying to get there.


Dipping My Keyboard Back Into The Ink



Don’t Await Destiny. Go Create It


I have not updated my blog for some time since I was completing my book on credit cards, which is now available on Amaz
on, Kobo, B&N, Scribd and a host of other places.


Red Cover
The good news is that my red cover book “Credit Card Debt Freedom – Part One” is FREEBook front page jpegLY downloadable from the above places.



The black cover “Credit Card Debt Freedom – Full Book” is available for a small price.


I want to clear my debt of thanks to Conrad, Danie and Rupert (in alphabetical order) who beta-read my draft and also proposed positive critique of things which I may be able to get into future editions. I, of course, take full responsibility for the published versions.


Now on a point of order: During my blog absence there were a number of local and global issues in response to which I had written blogs but did not post them. I thought it wiser to let the blogs cool off for a while. However, on rereading them, I still feel as strongly about some of them now as I did then.


So, I may just dip my keyboard in the proverbial ink soon and publish what might divide opinion.



I Felt Amputated – And Home on a Sidewalk



This is a note I wrote on 30 July 2014.


This morning I took a train into town to lodge my tax return. Being in semi-retirement with virtually no income for the past 18 months there was not a lot to report – just a few dollars interest and about $1,000 from some casual work. Not enough to last a winter.

The way to the Tax Office lead past an untidy long-haired bearded and shabbily dressed jobless vagrant on the sidewalk, appreciating his luck of a wrapped sandwich – gifted by a person a few steps ahead of me. A cup of coffee was still steaming next to him – another obvious gift. He did not look up, trying to avoid the stares of passersby – a thimble of pride left in him?

A twinge of empathy seeped itself into me. Winter. No fixed abode. A set of fraying and dirty clothes. Cement sidewalk for a chair – and bed.

As I sat waiting for the Tax Office to open, increasing larger pockets of people murmured by – well-heeled, chatting – some holding expensive brand name drinks and donuts. A thin layer of envy spread over me. Something was amiss.

I started to feel amputated.

The Tax Office doors opened and accorded an escape from myself. The soulless authoritarian Tax Officer and I disengaged as quickly as I could. And I then stepped into a food-court to sit down and gather my thoughts. Around me people sat at small round tables, doing what people do around small round tables.

Yes, I missed the dignity of work and what comes with it.

The way back to the train station became a lonely upstream weave against a flood of workers. The smell of freshly cooked chips wafted out of a shop.

I boarded an empty train home. Opened the plastic lunchbox with fried rice that my wife prepared for the journey. A few shelled peanuts rounded off my lunch – eating them one at a time. A minimalistic frame of mind was engaging me faster than I liked. Even the single paper serviette seemed to have more value than its one time use…

The only difference between me and the jobless “bum” seemed to be that I had a few more earthly things but in reality both of us were amputated.

There is no dignity in being poor, jobless, of pensionable age with nothing to do.



And then it struck me: Amputated as I might have felt, I was going back to a house I can call a home. With running water and a toilet. A warm bed and clean clothes tomorrow. And hot soup on the stove.

I know where I sleep at night.

And I know where the Ministers of Health and Employment and Social Services sleep at night.


Quo Vadis?

But where do our homeless go at night?



Don’t underestimate the dignity and value of a job.


30 July 2014







It is often said that what we do and say defines us.


I beg to differ:

  • Is it not the other way around?
  • Is it not who and what we are that defines our actions and words?
  • Is it not our inner feelings, emotions, thoughts – and sometimes our logic – that drive us to do what we manifest?


The answer is “Yes”.


And I put logic last since it is more than often not the thing that drives us.

  • Think back in your own life. Are you where you are because of logic? Did you get involved with your partner because of logic? Do you have 3 kids because of logic? Do you work where you work and do what you do because of some flurry of logic?


The answer is “No”.


As much as we would like to think we are the pinnacle, the top of the tree – The Bee, never mind the bees knees – we are far from it.


It has been said that humans use less than 5% of their brain capacity.


I believe that it is far less than that. I don’t think we use even 0.5% of our brain capacity. And we are constructed that way. We do not have the physical, mental, psychological, emotional, intellectual and spiritual make-up to use even that tiny fraction of what we carry in our cranium.


And I am not going to buy into some genetic, biological or sociological gumpf here (done enough study in sociology, psychology and criminology in my time) that absolve us from our actions or non-actions. Such as “I had a terrible life as a child, Your Honour. And I was under the influence of drugs Your Honour. That is why I did this and that. So please humor me and give me a pass on this deed”.


We have been given this Life. For which we are responsible in all aspects. Our job is to develop it. Maintain it. Respect it. Use it for the good.


So let this then be the year in which our words and deeds be defined by who we are. Not the other way around.


Welcome to 2016.


Was Your 2015 a Groundhog Year?


 “Hello Again”

As a year draws to a close we all normally – at one point or another – reflect silently on what we had done during the time.

Two things are important:

  • Things change. “You never stand on the same river bank twice”.
  • Time goes by – relentless. “Our tomorrows are not endless”.

So what do we do to distinguish ourselves from the one period to the next during the passing of Time? Do we groundhog-live the same life again or do we tackle new things, brave new adventures, leave a fuller Chest of Legacies?

Many years ago I spent 3 years with a backpack on the road – and tried to make each day different from the previous day – learning new things, experiencing new places, savouring new cultures, building a mental album of things that I can now both reflect on and find blank spaces to put a “snapshot” in.

I sat on our patio the other night watching a fantastic sunset and noticed that the crumbs that I spilt (I was celebrating the release of my 2nd book) attracted some ants. As dusk settled in it dawned on me that if I sit still long enough in one place I will be eaten by ants.

So, rather than be eaten by some virtual ants, I make it a point to keep moving in life. I do not intend to live groundhog years.

What are your Goals for 2016?


My 2015 in Short Review – Activity-wise

  • Published 36 blogs
  • Completed and published my 2nd book (50 PERSPECTIVES – The Value of Things Unseen)
  • Started on 2 others (one practical, one semi-autographical)
  • Appeared at Faeryville Singapore Red Carpet Event with award-winning producer Tzang Merwyn Tong, his production team and my co-stars.
  • Enjoying a 2nd season of organically self-raised (“free range”) vegetables.
  • Delivered 6,000 free local newspapers in our suburb, walking 250kms in the process.
  • Played Santa to 2500 children and their parents over 7 Saturday in a national chain store.


Missed doing

  • Playing in another movie.
  • Making a record.