28 April 2015

Rubble and Dust


It tastes like entropy.

It burns like acid and bile.

I never knew that grief felt so much like fear.

I had no idea.

None at all.

I have never had faith or religion but I have always found solace and peace and serenity in places. 

I found them often in ancient places.

Such a place was in a square that the native people called a Durba - in region called Patan - in a city named Kathmandu – in a country called Nepal - that has been reduced now to ruinous heaps.

The earth rumbled then shook with fury.

They tossed buildings and people around until they all fell over.

They crumbled.

There was devastation and great destruction and horror and terror.

It is surreal.

People in Kathmandu and all over Nepal are dazed and confused.

They are shocked and horrified.

Since the mighty earthquake three days ago there have been more than thirty aftershocks.

Many of these have been very powerful.

Hundreds have buildings have fallen over and thousands have cracked

Roads have buckled and twisted.

It is teeming now with rain.

Thousands are dead and tens of thousands more are missing. People are wandering the streets hoping to find their love ones. However hope I can tell you is an exhausting emotion.

It is taxing.

It is terrifying.

When it is combined with fear it is perhaps the most exhausting of all emotions.

It is like juggling eggs in this environment.

The hope resides inside the fragile shell.

A single crack and the despair leaks out.

It spills everywhere.

It stains everything.

I feel like I have lost something very important.

I have.

Lost something really important.

It is a selfish emotion given all that the Nepalese have lost - but I feel broken nevertheless.

I feel helpless and hapless.

I can rebuild all of the schools and I will.

I will make them better than they were but the temples that I so adored - they can never be replaced.

They were built by artisans a thousand years ago

They are forever gone

They are now just rubble and dust.

22 April 2015


Many things happen just by chance.

If they are happy things it is serendipity.

It is finding something or someone nice without looking for it

Or them.

Whichever the case may be.


I like the word.

I love the concept.

Some things are meant to be.

I also like the word surreptitious.

It has nothing to do with serendipity but it is just one of those words I like.

I like all words

They do it for me

Some words I like better than others.

It can be the way that they sound or what they mean.

I just like them.

One of my favourite writers Haruki Murakami wrote, “When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we’d be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing”

It is the crossing of paths that is serendipity.

It is fate.

I am a believer in it.

I don't care whether you believe in it or not. I don't even know who who you are.

I don't give a fuck.

Not that all things are necessarily meant to be - but more that we all of us at certain times in our lives reach those forks in the road where the choice of what path we take defines our destiny.

You know what I mean.

Serendipitous moments are not really that. It is more when we by pure accident find something that is delightful and wonderful when we weren’t actually looking for it.

Some of us get lucky that way.

Most of us battle for what is left over.

I have had some ponderings of late.

What could have been.

What should have been.

Pretty much every relationship that we humans have commences by happenstance. Even the most fundamental of all relationships – that of parent and child starts entirely by coincidence. Babies are born by whatever serendipity that bought Mummy and Daddy together and children have no choice at all over the relationship that is arguably most important to their very existence.

By contrast friends and lovers select each other but even those choices are simply a by-product of whatever random event that paths crossed.

“What is luck?” a wise man once asked.

“But the opportunity to exploit accidents”

I know of course that life and love are funny things and a turn of events or a chance meeting might seem quite trite at the time of it’s happening but we never really know do we?

How could we?

Life is short.

Live it fast.

Be brave.

Be bold.

If I were asked what I was bought into this life to do I would have to confess that I didn’t know - but whatever I do I will do it loud.

I will live as large as I can and with whatever I have and I will be as reckless as I possibly I can.

I won’t dwell on what could have been or what should have been or sulk with regret  - because what’s the point in that?

I will push on and take as much joy as I can in just being.

And I will wait for those sweet moments of serendipity.

16 April 2015

The Full English Breakfast.

“Y’Oright innit?”

I have said this a lot already.

It is a bit open for interpretation but it is basically saying ‘hello’ in Geezer English.

I like the phrase a lot and I use it liberally.

I am now in London

I know.

I was only in Seoul and Tokyo last week and I spent just the weekend home in Singapore.


Here I am

On the other side of the world.

My ride here was a torrid one.

There was turbulence for most of the thirteen-hour journey and I was much jostled in my narrow but comfortable flat bed. Every time I began to drift off the cursed pilot announced it was time to put seatbelts back on.

For some inexplicable reason he also announced it was OK to undo them if we wanted – but it was advisable not to.

Undo them.

To reinforce the announcements the normally dainty and dignified Singapore Airlines Stewardesses prodded and poked us.

They were relentless.

This happened all night and everyone in my section of the aircraft was pissed off.

Somewhere over the Atlantic ocean seven hours was ripped from my time zone and combined with less than 2 hours sleep and a full day in my London office I am somewhat battered.

I am beaten as well.

I need to stay up for a couple hours more though least I wake up at 3.00am

That will really fuck me up.

The driver who picked me up from Heathrow airport was late.

They always are in London.

I was a bit surprised when he did eventually arrive – about half an hour later than he was due – that it was a bloke called Jack.

Jack drove me to the airport last time I was here which was in July 2013. He works for a company named Addison Lee. The English for whom I work use Addison Lee to drive us in London.

They have an Account.

Addison Lee is a very big Company.

They have many cars all over London and they are a major competitor of English Black cabs.

Jack my Addison Lee driver today was a geezer.

A "geezer" is a word some English use as a substitute for 'man' or 'bloke'.  

A geyser is also a natural phenomenon that sometimes occurs in seismic areas of the world. It occurs when a lava flow deep under the earth heats up below-surface water - which is then periodically released through a fissure on the earth's surface in a high pressure gush.

These are geysers.

Their gushes are called "blows'.

There is a very famous geyser in Yellowstone Park in the US. The Americans named it 'Old Faithful'.

It gushes regularly.

I have visited the Yellowstone National Park and I have seen 'Old Faithful".

I have seen it blow. 

The English word 'geezer' emerged amongst the cockneys in London in the early part of the nineteenth century. It was thought to have been originally used to describe 'odd or unusual' people - however in modern times it is just used to describe anyone male and the cockney English mostly uses it.

Strange characters lurked the streets of London in the 1820's.

They lurk here still.

In the 1820's they wore unusual costumes and the fashion of the day was peculiar. Some would argue that the fashion of this day is peculiar. Such opinions are subjective - and I digress. I am referring to the early part of the nineteenth century.

Think Sherlock Holmes.

Some people were thought to be in disguises and they came to be known as "Guisors". These people who were dressed in disguises were perhaps the odd people seen by the London cocknies and they adulterated the word to "Geezers"? 

This is one theory on the origins of the word and it is the one that I like the best.

I like the sound and use of both words "Guvnor" and "Geezer". When I return to work back amongst the English in my Singapore office next Monday I shall use both words and I shall use them liberally.

I am sure that it will not be appreciated. 

The English with whom I work are not a very grateful or gracious lot.

“Yorright mate” Jack said to me when he picked me up at Airport

“Yorright Jack” I replied to him.

Youse remembers me name son?” He grinned.

I do indeed Jack,” I replied. “Is this a coincidence?”

“No me old mucker – I saws your name on the booking sheet and fought I’d pick youse up”

“Good one Jack”

“’Edding ‘ome to the Marriott then are we? At Canary Wharf?”

“I am thanks Jack”

“Back for work innit?”

“Yes I am here for work Jack - and also to bask in the glory of Australian cricket and rugby and all other sporting endeavours. How have you English been faring Jack?”

The last time I was here in England – the English had been giving Australia a hiding in the Cricket Ashes Test Series and the British Lions rugby team also destroyed us in a number of games on our home soil.

I copped a lot of shit from the English for whom I work in London that visit - and also quite a lot a jibing from Jack on the drive to the airport.  

Australia being bested by the English in any field of sport is as rare as it is difficult to swallow.

“It’s a right old turnaroun’ innit” Jack dourly replied

“You got beaten by Bangladesh in the cricket Jack and by the French in rugby”

“Innit” I added.

“I could ‘ardly believe it” Jack responded.

Jack moaned and carried on as the English do about their lack of ability in the sporting arena - and he and I chatted about everything and anything on our trip into the city. I reminded him at one point in our conversation that when I was last here I asked him whether there was a man named "Addison Lee' who his company was named for - and he told me there was not.

Jack told me that a geezer called John Griffin started the Company in the 1970’s with a single car. He told me that the first job John Griffin got was a pick up on Addison Street and the passenger's name was Lee - and that was the origin of the name.

When I asked Jack back then whether he knew if Lee was the surname or the first name of the first passenger John Griffin picked up - he told me that he didn't know.

We agreed that the name could be male or female or a first or a last name.

Jack laughed when I suggested that the person could have been Chinese or English.

He told me back in July 2013 that he was going to look it up when he got off his shift and I told him I was going to look it up myself. 

I never got around to it and as it turned out neither did he.

The drive to the Airport from Canary Wharf took nearly two hours as there was an accident on the M4 and traffic slowed to a crawl.

Neither Jack nor I cared a bit though – as I was in no rush to get to the office and he was being paid by the job. Our conversation was pleasant and comfortable and we had a laugh or two.

I told Jack that when I was last here – and in fact on the day I arrived - the Royal Baby George was born.

I told him that I was hoping that another Royal baby would be born this visit too and I asked him if there was any news about whether the next Royal baby might arrive early.

The baby is due sometime next week.

“I ‘aven’t ‘eard any news govner but we’s is all ‘opin’ the little blighter is a girl”

This is cockney for “There is no news yet but we are all hoping that it will be a girl”

“I hope it will be a little girl too Jack and I hope too that they name her Dianna”

As an Australian I am not supposed to care for anything royal but I actually do now.

I am passionate about royal babies.

I was caught up in the royal baby frenzy when I was here for the birth of little Prince George and I am now the proud owner of a number of Royal baby tea towels, a Royal baby stubby holder and a beautiful little royal baby soap box.

I have a royal baby collection.

Dianna was the mother of the Princes William and Harry who was allegedly killed in a car accident on the outskirts of Paris - whilst being pursued at high speed by the English paparazzi. There is a conspiracy theory that secret agents may have actually killed her as she was having affairs with at least one Arab prince - and it is also rumored that the father of Prince Harry may not in fact be Prince Charles.

Harry is a ginger and he looks nothing like his brother – but he bears a remarkable similarity to an English Officer that Dianna had an affair with.

Dianna got around a bit.

So does her youngest son Harry.

A ginger is a red headed person if you didn’t know.

I like them both a lot.

Harry and Dianna.

They are not your stereotypical royals - and I enjoy the scandals they have both been entwined in.

My body is telling me it is time to go to sleep now although my mind is somewhat muddled.

Tapping away at the keyboard here I am feeling a little delirious and I am craving the full English breakfast I am going to devour when I wake up in the morning.

Sans the black pudding.

It is an abomination.

Who the fuck would put blood in a sausage?

The French and the English.

Why have I used the word ‘sans’ – which is French for ‘without’?

I have no idea.

Jet lag is a fucker.

It feeds my already festering madness.

Whilst I remembered I have just sent an email to Addison Lee demanding that my driver back to Heathrow airport on Friday night be the Geezer Jack. I have also demanded a to know whether the first passenger Lee was male or female and Asian or Caucasian.

I am definitely losing my mind

I have also cunningly booked Jack for an hour before I actually need him.

Knowing that he will be late.


9 April 2015


For fuck’s sake Mum.

Despite my repeated and emphasized requests for you to relax, calm down and chill right out you obviously haven’t.

I most certainly did not write that I had slept with a host of high-priced hookers in Japan.

It was Korea.

And I didn’t sleep with any of them no matter what the ladies at your Bridge and your golf club told you.

I have no idea who this woman Ethel is but the lady sure can twist my blog posts around and really - if they upset her so much why does she keep on reading them?

Please tell her to just stop.

It’s driving me mad.

Perhaps you need a new Bridge partner.

Perhaps you need a new golf club.

Not a driver or a putter or anything - but a new place to play golf

One where there is less gossip and with oldies who gets their facts straight.

Ethel does not.

Get her facts straight.

I do like the name Ethel though and if I ever get another golden retriever I think I will name her Ethel.

Eth for short.

Yes I got your voicemail.


Did you read the blog yourself or are you just taking the word of the doddery bridge and golf ladies?

Never expect an answer either by the way when you ring at 5.30am - and with the shrill high-pitched hysteria of your voice it was quite difficult to hear what your saying. I had to replay the message a few times.

What would my father think you ask?

You mean about the non-factual accusation that I bedded a host of Japanese hookers? Well as a matter of fact I think he would be somewhat delighted and proud and a tad bit jealous.

Why don’t we ask him?

What would my grandfather think?

He’s dead Mum!

He doesn’t think anything.

From what I recall of the old fellow he would have loved it though - and he would have pressed me for every lurid detail.

But I say once more, there are no lurid details.

Not a single one.

I assure you of this.

I have decided I might come over and live here.

I like Seoul that much.

The hookers are sensational.

I am only joking Mum!

Chill right out.

They are though.

It is not the reason I like Seoul so much though.

The country has four seasons for one and I am loving the crisp, clear and cool days of spring and the gardens of this city are spectacular. I think the cherry trees in full blossom are more beautiful then their Tokyo counterparts even though they are reeking havoc on my hay fever.

I was out for dinner last night with friends and the food was incredible. We ate barbequed pork with fresh wasabi and a dozen different varieties of pickled vegetables. I drank far too much soju for my own good as my friends made a toast every time they re-poured.

Soju is a local type of distilled spirit. It is clear in colour and has a kick like a mule.

I was pissed Mum.

The Australian type of pissed – not the American.

As in I was drunk  - not angry.

Yes I know the Bridge and golf girls will be shocked and Ethel will carry on.

They will ask you what sort of son would do such a thing?

Well I would.

I think my younger brother Richard would too.

He is far wilder than me.

Or is it he is far wilder than I?

My English is not so proper sometimes and it annoys me.

I don’t really care.

As for your voicemail message you left about me swearing – if you care to read the post yourself you will note that I used the word ‘fuck’ once.

Just once.

I would like to hear Ethel’s opinion on how many times you swear on the golf course?

How about it Ethel?

The last time I played with my Mum there was a ‘fuck’ uttered at least once on every whole and countless ‘shits’ as well.

Missed short puts and slices off the tee seem to bring out profanities on the golf course.

I have yet to witness you playing Bridge Mum but I’m sure there is an odd ‘fuck’ you let loose there too.


So anyway – I love you heaps Mum and I am glad you take an interest in my writing and that your friends do too but I don’t need pre-dawn shrieking messages based on inaccuracies.

So let me repeat the Hookers I wrote about were not Japanese.

They were Korean.

And I didn’t touch any of them.