I’ve spent a number of weeks in Sydney for work, and I’ve grown to love the place. I’ve been working in North Sydney, and staying in a serviced apartment in Miller’s Point (near Darling Habour). On occasions, I walk home admiring the spectacular harbour view the whole way.

Walking Home - Opera House

Walking home - Sydney Harbour Bridge from Millers Point

Because of daylight savings (something we don’t have in Brisbane) I’ve walked to Bondi Beach from Miller’s Point after work (about 10km), and ate fish and chips on the beach.

The view from my office isn’t bad either.

I also managed to find some street art around the city, but it was part of an exhibition, which kinda isn’t the same.


I’ve got a pet ‘garden variety’ gnome on my desk at work. I found him abandoned (in a basket) when I started my job last year, and since then he has always been there with me. Until last week that is…

One day whilst answering my phone I noticed a random note hidden under the handset. I quickly read it and looked up to confirm my suspicions; he was gone.

Ransom Note
Ransom Note

The worst part of the situation was that there were no instructions. I did an ‘all staff’ office email asking for leads and offering a reward for safe return: gnome is dearly missed.

A confidential source told me that my gnome ‘didn’t get out much’ and so he was currently making his way around our office and would return in a few days.

I didn’t get much else for those few days, only another cryptic note of my gnome taking help desk calls and asking where I was.

Second Note
Second Note

The next day when I arrived at work I was rather suprised to find my gnome, on my desk, with another gnome, and some candy.

Gnome returns with friend
Gnome returns with friend

Today, a week later, I was still quite confused about the whole thing when a parcel arrived for me. It contained a copy of Gnomeland: An introduction to the little people, and four additional photos of my gnome in various poses around our office.

So it’s been a fun couple of weeks. I’ve had my gnome gnomenapped, returned with candy, another pink gnome friend, and six random portraits. I’ve finally worked out who did it all and they know me well because I think the whole thing was hilarious.

Now I just need to come up for a name for both the gnomes.

desperately needing instructions for life

I’ve had a tough few days at work dealing with a co-worker who I find both condescending and arrogant. My boss recommended reading some Dalai Lama and it prompted me to revisit a blog post that I read late last year. On that action I found their latest post; five reasons to quit your job today, which didn’t encourage me deal with the current situation one bit.

The Dalai Lama’s Instructions for Life (link)

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.