It was 1974. Unlike many kids from Hull, I had already been abroad. My parents had driven in 1962 from Hull to St. Tropez and back in a Reliant Robin with me in tow. We still have cine film – miles and miles of french hedgerow goes flying by for much of the film as my parents marveled at their bravery of driving so far on small French roads in a three wheel car that attracted looks of disbelief from the locals. I guess they felt like they would never return and so best film as much as possible? The film also has me in it sitting in the warm blue ocean, looking at artists painting St. Tropez harbour and interfering with the locals’ game of boules…. But, I digress.Read More »
A photo of my Dad looks back at me from my desk in my home office. He sits in rainproof gear and back pack with a big smile on his face on the top of the Sgurr of Eigg. It was chilly and drizzling that day but we had climbed the Sgurr in the morning and were now examining the remains of the Iron age fort at the top and admiring the views periodically visible through the mist. After a sandwich and crisps lunch, we would walk down the other side of the Sgurr talking animatedly about the Iron age, geology and Scotland. Half way down, I would step inadvertently into a hidden crack in the peat and have to endure a smelly, wet and very darkly stained foot andRead More »
Currency Blues and Other Topics
So these days I get paid in the (not so) mighty Dollar. Right now, the USD is falling against most other currencies due to the US Government shutdown. It is now below 19CZK – $1 which just a couple of months ago it was 20CZK per USD. This is not at all good news as for every 1CZK it slips, I would lose 5% of my income in CZK……. The US shutdown is costing me money…. Meanwhile, inflation here continues. In fact, everything I earn more or less is in USD compounding the issue. Even the books are mostly sold in Dollars. I had decided to go out and buy an exercise bike. One that had the heart rate program to try to lose some of the weight I appearRead More »
The temperatures dropped significantly on Sunday – from in the 20’s to 7C today. The leaves of the trees outside my window are beginning to discolor and even fall already along with the conkers that my daughter loves to collect. Fall cometh. Actually, I quite like Autumn. The colors and the earthy smells. The damp and even the cold. We used to go camping right up to November when I was a boy and the final camping weekend was always down near Goole by the River Humber. By the first weekend in November, many trees are already laid bare and leaves blew around in large numbers or lay in damp heaps sticky and wet. The air had a chill in it and by the relative warmth of a major estuaryRead More »
While still hoping that The Last Observer will find its own audience and take off a bit (two more great reviews today!), I am still quiet excited about my next book – Astral Messages. Since Astral Messages is a mix of poetry and blog articles I have gone the self publishing route using the Amazon publisher. Poetry doesn’t sell much and I think this book will be more one for the connoisseur than Joe Public. What I like though is that I was able to combine a poem with an article from Asteroth’s Domain in such a way that one supported the other. These truly are messages from the astral so I think its a great title. I am now waiting for the proof copy. It should be winging itsRead More »
The Secret Anti-Aging Formula…
There is a surreal feel about getting older. Inside, we tend to think of ourselves in a state of eternal youth. I guess for me that would be an age of say 25. From my thinking perspective, I feel no different than when I was in my mid-twenties. But then you catch a glimpse in the mirror or you see a photograph and there it is…. wrinkles, gray hair, paunch, double chin. Sad isn’t it? How people approach aging is also interesting. For some, any visible sign of aging is to be avoided. Anti-aging and anti-wrinkle creams, plastic surgery, injections of growth hormone, whatever it takes to fool mostly themselves into believing that they do not age. Billions upon countless billions spent pursuing eternal youth. The vast majority of usRead More »
Just A Dream
The just over two weeks in Florida and NY now seem like a dream. If it wasn’t for the photographs I might even believe that it was a dream. But good vacations always have that dreamlike quality don’t they? Now it is back to the real world – jobs, bills, tidying and so on. Our vacation started more like a bad dream however as our daughter immediately started with a fever, stomach pain and diarrhea more or less on arrival at Disney World. Once the diarrhea turned bloody it was time to deal with US healthcare. The hospital was just outside of Disney in Celebration, FL and it was palatial – I am not surprised after being presented with the bill for around 4-hours cooped up there, one saline dripRead More »
Technology is Killing Us
I was reminiscing to myself last night as you do from time to time. I recall back in the early part of my career how there where no cell phones, no smart phones, no IPads, no PCs, no windows, no Google, no Facebook…… and wasn’t it great! If I went on a trip, I didn’t expect to keep in touch with people, no one called me looking for something. Occasionally, I’d get on a payphone and call home to check in but that was it. Back then, a holiday was a holiday. On Sunday, we leave for two weeks in the USA. Sunday looks like being miserable with three flights and around 14 hours in the air. But I am looking forward to my vacation and going back to theRead More »
Back in Sales Mode!
I recently swapped the security of a quite fat monthly paycheck for the lifestyle of a business owner and entrepreneur. I partnered up with my long time buddy and business associate, Patrick Reames, who is based in Houston, TX in Commodity Technology Advisory. For the time being, I am working out of the spare room at home after all, all I need is a PC, phone and internet connection. I could, in fact, be located anywhere……..(there’s a thought!). Working for yourself is great fun. You can be creative, pick your own hours, choose who to work with and what to do. The problem is that you have to generate cash too. That’s the tricky part. I have always been quite good at sales. If anything, I tend to oversell. GivenRead More »
Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
Rocky and I just got back from a walk up the hill here in Prague. The sun is shining and its already warm….. Rocky, who thinks he is a dog, marked every lamp post while I surveyed the city lying in the valley below. It’s a nice city that is for sure. The view and the walk gave me some perspectives on things. See, I just quit my high powered and highly paid job. It feels good not to have to deal with that stress any more nor have to worry about the silly staff issues, politics, owners, forthcoming regulations, keeping costs down and so on…. But I face a new challenge because I am going back to running my own business with a partner from Houston, TX. The stressRead More »