I wanted to collect some quotes in a page on this blog but can’t work out a way to add a dynamic table to contents – so I’ve published a notion doc instead – here is the link.

not getting what you want

For many years I had a page on this blog which contained the Dalai Lama’s Instructions for Life. I’d forgotten about it yet snippets of it have remained in my subconscious for many years and bubble up in various life situations.

One such recent situation was our new fence. As we rent our family home we’re used to not getting what we want in regards to accommodation since it’s someone else’s property. One such example is the fence alongside our home separating the identically built 100 year old house next door. The existing fence was metal, old and falling over. We asked for a replacement fence and we were thinking a solid wood fence would give us more privacy than a replacement metal mesh one. But the owner installed a replacement metal mesh one – not what we wanted!

As soon as the fence was installed a old grape vine that was cut to the ground started to grow again. I also planted two passion fruit vines and less than two months later they’ve grown so well – the metal fence works way better for vines! Much better than a wooden fence!

Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck 🍀

Our new fence

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three Rs:

Respect for self
      Respect for others and
      Responsibility for all your actions

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

7. When you realise you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

lockdown again

Brisbane currently has a case of the infectious UK strain of the ‘rona so we have a 3 day lockdown to stop it in its tracks. It’s the first lockdown we’ve had since March/April last year so feels pretty weird and this time around masks are mandatory the second you step outside your home.

I recently took up painting – I’ve been painting ‘piggyback’ onto old thrift store paintings I get for a couple of dollars each. I’ve wanted to start painting for sometime and I just decided recently to start – rather than learn. I heard something like 1 in 100 adults say they can draw/paint compared to primary school children where it’s like 9/10. I think around 15 we tell ourselves we can’t do it but I think it’s still there since we’re kids – we’re just a bit rusty.

One day I might start painting on my own whole paintings in the meantime here’s some piggybacks I’ve completed in lockdown:

The first painting is originally of outback Queensland, the second one is the Huon River in Tasmania.


Agave yuccaefolia illustration from Les liliacées (1805) by Pierre Joseph Redouté (1759-1840).

“No one know when agaves will raise their huge flower spikes, some as tall as trees. It may take twenty, forty or sixty years to produce a bloom, but once this magnificent display is over, the plant is exhausted and dies.”

The life (and death) of the amazing agave plants. Forgotten in this quote is the flower is one huge selfless act of procreation.

50% more leisure for 20% less pay

At the start of COVID-19 our company temporarily reduced everyone’s pays 20% and told us we could choose to work 4 days per week if we wanted (whilst expecting the same output).

For the first time in my working life I was working 4 days per week accompanied by a 20% pay reduction.

It only lasted a few months but when the company went back to full time employment – I was one of the few people to put their hand up and ask to stay on four days/80% pay.

Why? During those few months I realised that working four days per week is a twenty percent reduction in working hours (and pay) but results in a fifty percent increase in leisure time (three days leisure per week versus two).

So I currently work Tuesday to Friday. I think it’s a win-win situation. It’s good for my employer as I’m super focussed on those days and they get to pay me less – it’s good for my family and I am more present (especially as I don’t work from home so there’s no temptation to work on Mondays) and it’s good for me as I no longer feel moody on a Sunday evening and have a day to do stuff on Monday without kids.

The downside is our savings isn’t increasing as much, and we’ll probably never be able to afford a nice house.

I understand not everyone is fortunate enough to choose to work four days a week but if you could make it work at some point I recommend to give it a try – you just may love it.

MacArthur Building Brisbane City 2020

hello again my friends

It’s been a long time.

The last two years have been a rollercoaster: changing jobs twice, moving house, moving offices, hospital visits, therapy, despair, hope, covid-19.

A while ago I rage quit this blog and removed all my old posts. I’ve since realised I’m missing the mental clarity that comes from writing. Instagram seems so shallow where people on the scroll skim over the comments and repeat. Facebook feels like a fake tan.

Here’s for a fresh start, lower expectations, a new neighbourhood and some new thoughts.