Sunday, 24 July 2022

A Profile

A Personal, More In-Depth Profile

Who-What-Why-Where-How Am I?
Some random views of myself...
(Updated November 2021)

(PLEASE NOTE: This post is not a "pity-party/woe-is-me" thing, as I'm simply sharing a very brief insight into some of the reasons as to why I may act so "up-and-down" from time to time).

► NB. Also, see the "Q&A" and "Who Am I?" pages.

 I'm a 58-yo Aussie divorced dad (happily single) of three handsome sons, & enjoy a great sense of absurd humour ie. The Goons & Python!

 I love listening to and playing music as well, especially British '60's stuff like The Beatles.

 I used to perform live acoustic solo music as "Lancelot's Pram", and have released a music CD album in 2009 as well.

 I enjoy listening - to the sounds around me (taking a moment to stop and 'listen' to the roses?!?).

 I am a classic Introvert, and an 'INFJ'/'INFP' ("INFP" - introverted, intuitive, feeling perceiver [ie. Meyers-Briggs]), and a deeply flawed human being,

 I also love to read a good novel, biography, or Robert Lowell's poetry.

 I used to socially sail.

 My dream was to spend quality time in Hydra, Greece.

 My Personal Life Motto: "Live and Love Beyond": I'd rather "be" me first, rather than "do" something that makes me "be" me.

I am a flawed human being
I used to believe in happiness, the joy of life - an idealist
... nowadays I am but a hollow shell of the person I once was...
... I've always tried ... tho a lot of who I am has been misunderstood, stolen or rejected...
...  my heart & spirit have been 'taken for a ride' too many times...
... I feel scooped out until virtually nothing of value remains...

"She was told, when she was young, that pain would lead to pleasure,
Did she understand it when they said,
That a man must break his back to earn his day of leisure?
Will she still believe it when he's dead?"
Lennon/McCartney 1965

 Age: 2021 will be my 57th year on this planet - gosh! Time flies when you're...? 

 Eyes: Blue; Hair: Dark Blonde; Hair Length: shorter than it has been in 10 years! By the end of 2001, I had cut 14-inches off its' length! 99% of the time it's kept in a short clean neat'n'tidy ponytail. When I used to play in Surprise, it would take me an hour to crimp it! Currently wearing glasses (I'm classically short-sighted) and a long beard and mo. No tats. No piercings. My left testicle is the larger one, as is my left ear lobe.

 Born in Paddington, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 1 month after The Beatles had toured out here, in the Chinese 'Year of the Dragon'. I was conceived 1 month before JFK was assassinated (right on the boundary between Baby Boomers and Baby Busters!) Altho I don't 'believe' in the Zodiac, I'm told I'm a "Leo".

 My Favourite Things: My family - my 3 most precious sons. I love you guys endlessly! Yes, I'm one proud papa.

 Sex: Yes please (D'oh!)...true-blue 100% Heterosexual Aussie Male.

 Weight: Sits around 98-ish kg. I'm currently 98kg / 216 pounds - but I'm happy even with a few extra pounds... no, not really...but hey, I'm not 25 anymore!

 Height: 5' 10" - in metric? Hmmm...let me try to convert that...7,429.95 cm - does that sound right to you?!? Or is it 178 cm?!?

 I'm now officially a 'divorced dad' as from 18th November 2002 (Decree Nisi 19 December 2002) - singleness not being something I had anticipated nor planned on becoming at the age of 38.

 I'm happily single.

 I've spent 22 of the last 26 years living in Bathurst, NSW, Australia (about 200km west of Sydney). Over the past few decades, I have lived in Warwick (Qld), Gosford, Narara, Bathurst, Ilford, Sydney, Manly... tho I grew up in Allambie Heights in Sydney. I never want to live in a big city ever again.

 I have a fun highly-warped yet playful sense-of-humour that loves to delve into random absurdity. This aspect of me is a huge part of my psyche. "You've gotta laugh, otherwise you'll disturb the neighbours with your screaming..."

 I don't drink alcohol (personal choice), don't smoke, don't do drugs nor gamble (boring old fart, huh? hahahaa). I'm not a "gamer", either.

 Favourite Food: Cheese sandwich and strawberry milkshake (a childhood and life-long fav); Hot chip butties; cream-centred Lamingtons; Tacos - thanx Drew (but - not all at the same meal!)  Yes, I have simple tastes... my 'gut' doesn't appreciate such diversity as it once did, dagnammit.

 Favourite colour: Orange - it's a bright, joyful, happy, refreshing and natural colour. Totally useless to use about the house for anything tho...  but it has a delightful vibe. It's the MS Awareness colour too... I must have subconsciously always known!

 I adore watching lightning-storms light up the night-time sky. Heaven's 'fireworks'...

 I still adore laying on my back in the middle of a pitch-black paddock or deserted beach in the middle of nowhere, gazing up into the stars and into infinity... I did this with my partner in her backyard in QLD one night, and she fell asleep [laffs].

 I appreciate times of isolation - I need time by myself to emotionally 'recharge' after being surrounded by lots of people (yes, I am a classic introvert), but I also adore company - to be entertained by peoples' natural talent to just be themselves.

 I am a loyal team player and not necessarily a good leader. I am a facilitator of others. In other words, I thrive best working with a group of people striving towards a common goal. That's why I really enjoy playing music in a band because it's a team situation.

 I find it strangely difficult to be as open and honest and to make new friends - unlike I used to be. I highly value 'trust', yet I have experienced the painful agony of a few key people in my life who have let me down relationally big-time. Ouch.

 My 'best man', who I rarely speak to (rather, I can never reach him!), has very keenly observed (correctly) that I only let people know what I want to let them know about me. This comes down to my loss of trust in people. I am either a highly-complex individual or a very simple person - I swing between the 2, I think. No, I think I am an intelligent simpleton

 As you may gather, altho it fluctuates, I struggle with a poor self-image sometimes. Although - I like me. Yes, I do like me.

 I've been suffering various debilitating health issues on and off over the last few years, mainly thanks to my body's inability to cope with the long-term stress it underwent over the 2000s. Ongoing current health issues include MS, continuing depressive episodes, anxiety/panic attacks, Ulcerative Colitis, nasal polyps, sleep apnea, eight (so far) kidney stones... that'll do...

 I have spent most of my life reasonably healthy overall... these recent setbacks have come as a heart-breaking shock to my psyche.

 I have some physical scarring after a severe case of eczema bought on by the whole stress of events early in the 2000s. Yes, there are some bald patches up there, as a result... and the long beard is a subconscious thing to hide the scar on the left side of my neck...

 Experiencing a wholly-random blood clot in the lung in early 2010 (and another in early 2016) was NO fun either... nor was a debilitating heel spur (both now cleared, thankfully)...

 On 22 January 2017, I was diagnosed as having "MS" (Multiple Sclerosis, a disease of the nervous system).

 I'm under ongoing medication for clinical bipolar depression since 2001-2002. (Now I'm on 'Effexor')... I continue to seek regular professional medical assistance in this area of my life.

 After suffering the horrible personality effects of depression for most of my adult life, plus seeking (debatably-ineffective) prayer ministry and counselling - I NOW find out it was all caused by something as simple as a 'chemical imbalance'! D'oh! 25 years' worth of grey hair, sleepless nights and wrinkles all for nothing...

 The effects of anxiety and panic attacks have slowly started to become more acute for me, over the past few years, which have decreased my ability to be as open and available as I used to be. 99% of people will have absolutely no idea that I suffer from this, as I usually just have to wear a 'mask' and battle on, appearing as 'normal' as I can.

 The deliberate emotional bullying thrown at me, from an un-named radio station in QLD, has negatively affected my psyche. Yes, it was that nightmarish. My partner at that time was solid, thankfully.

 If I have ever contemplated suicide, the main reasons that have stopped me are i) the boys and ii) that someone has to 'discover' me afterwards. Neither option is fair or just for anyone else. 'nuff said.

 Sometimes, my horrid manic-depressive episodes have seen me contemplate the awful mechanics of suicide in a very harsh black-and-white light. The last episode saw me spending some time in a Mental Health Care Centre for a short while. Scary times that most people don't know how to cope with as my friends, understandably. I have always been told that it's always better to seek help with these things - and I have... even tho other people have walked away from me as a result of me seeking help in these matters at critical times.

 I often make things hard for myself - I am often my own worst enemy when it comes to making some decisions. I am continuing to work thru this as I get older. It's one of the 'side-effects' of the crippling depression and anxiety, which is a right pain-in-the-ass sometimes...

 I often act lazy. It is not my intention to be so, tho. (Note: I didn't say I 'am' lazy) ...

 And yes, I am a sensitive son-of-a-bitch! It can only take one negative word to bring me right down - yet one simple word of encouragement can propel me upwards and onwards for a whole week! I've discovered that most people (of all shapes and persuasions) can be right @$$holes when it suits them. I've always assumed there is good in people, however as I grow older in years, I've observed less and less 'goodness' in most people. Very unsettling.

 I'm not enjoying feeling as though I'm turning into a "grumpy old fart" somedays! ... can I just blame the MS for this? [laffs]

 I've only travelled outside Australia once, as a c.11-yo to New Zealand with my parents for a 2-week package holiday.
The only 2 Australian states I haven't been to yet are WA & Tasmania.

 The most remote place I think I've been to is Lightning Ridge, or maybe Silverton (near Broken Hill), or maybe Ularu and The Olgas.

 I plan to watch a sunset over the ocean sometime before I die - being on the east coast, I've seen scores of sunrises over the ocean! I've always wanted to do that with someone very special...

 One of my all-time fav places is a spot in the middle of nowhere, just north of Port Stephens in NSW, called Mungo Brush. There is nothing there (which is why I like it), except a lake, sand dunes and a c.20km beach! But, a close second is Rainbow Bay & Snapper Rocks, just on the other side of the QLD border!

 I would love to travel and spend some time on the island of Hydra in Greece. It looks absolutely gorgeous, plus my favourite authors spent many years living there. Altho, the practical reality is that it will not happen. But it's nice to dream.

 While I don't mind travelling to visit new or familiar places, I'm usually quite content to be a 'home-body.

 Favourite Car: Datsun 120Y - my very first car, with a top speed of 85 km/h!!! Until recently, I have been driving a blue '93 Mitsubishi Lancer. My last was a Ford Telstar. I don't have a car at the moment... financial reasons, basically.

 What form of transport did my family have at the age of 12?
Dad had a white (tho rusty) Holden Kingswood Station wagon; before that, he used to have a pale-green VW Beetle - a car-load of 12 boy-scouts physically bent the chassis! Poor "Herbie"!

 Most Painful Experience: Separation - and now divorced - from my wife of 10 years - absolute purgatory. BUT - there is light afterwards - purgatory does not last forever...future happiness is possible now..." leaving the past behind, and pressing on towards the goal..."

 Continuing Painful Experience - being physically separated from my three precious sons (a "Divorced Dad"). I miss so much just being with them 24/7.  I am trying to have an (external) continuing relationship with my sons, as hard and painful as that is at times, and as difficult as that is being made for me to have. I have lost my mind thanks to this.

 I have a sense of inner peace, despite this, that I know my sons are living and surrounded by a loving, caring, nurturing and supportive family environment, and I simply couldn't be happier for them. I simply adore and treasure my sons. They are my joy and delight.

 Thank goodness, it is easier now they are their own adult young men now.

 I was once bound and gagged by my older brother, and shoved under my bed when he was 'babysitting' me when I was a young kid. I have always felt slightly defenceless and helpless ever since. (Oh, I have long-forgiven him for this). And no, I do not have a BDSM kink as a result [laffs].

 Two very special, precious and positive years of my life were spent alongside someone who was, in so many ways, my soulmate. Alas, twas not supposed to be. "Better to have loved and lost, than to have never..."

 I bailed out half-way-thru my HSC final High School year in 1982, hence only achieving my School Certificate in 1980.

 I enjoy researching information, but often it's of no practical worth - ie. forms of trivia. That's probably why I enjoy studying so much... and researching for the radio programs! Haha.

 I completed a 3-year A.C.T. (Full) Diploma of Theology (Evangelism) in 1996 - a very personally-satisfying achievement for me (the sociology aspects are still relevant, yet most of the rest is now useless to me).

 My 'passion' is to "help and facilitate" other people - I'd love to teach adults (ie. Adult Education and Training). I was beginning to move towards that... I was formally accepted, thru the University of New England, to do a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education and Training full-time in 2003/04.

 The 'plan' (after Uni in 2004) was to become a workplace trainer or assessor - assisting people to fulfil their work potential more effectively. Teachings' still my 'passion', plus it'll be 'helping' people - that'll be something based on job satisfaction, not just the bucks! Whoo-hoo!

 After a hiatus in 2005, I undertook a Certificate IV in Assessment & Workplace Training - Nationally Accredited training.

 I'm emotionally devastated that, due to an awful situation back in the mid-1980s (in combination with negative aspects of my current chronic health situations), I'm not able to teach. This is a life-debilitating blow for me.

 Favourite Band: The Beatles - any 1960's British pop/rock, really. I can't go too fast past Crowded House, either... but here's a list...
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Who
  • Bob Dylan
  • Pink Floyd
  • The Byrds
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Neil Finn
  • XTC
  • Pugwash
  • Sherbet
  • U2
  • Mozart

 I enjoy playing music 'with a passion, including guitar (acoustic, classical, electric), bass (electric, fretless, acoustic and double), piano/keyboards, drums, vocals, and arranging too. I've written a few songs... I taught myself to play the guitar after locking myself away in my bedroom as a teenager, chugging along to all those Beatles' LP's.

 I finally recorded and released my first solo album "Lancelot's Pram" in mid-2009... it only took me twenty years to be able to do it!

 I have a natural gift/talent for being able to play music 'by ear' - I can listen to something once or twice,, and usually play it. I have an annoying 'habit' of usually being able to tell the pitch/key of a song or note! I'm a really-rusty sight-reader tho - I can 'read the dots', but it's a slow and arduous process nowadays (Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit & FACE) - D'oh!.

 One of the bummers about having MS, is now I am unable to play stringed musical instruments! I have now retired from live performances - which is pretty bloody awful (Read: massive understatement).

 I've collected over 500 music CD's these days... listening to music is a big part of my psyche. I've over 4,000 music albums digitized as well in my collection.

 One of the joyfully-unexpected upshots of all this is that I was involved in presenting live-to-air/internet radio programs. This is something I wish I'd been doing 20 years ago - it's come to me very naturally, which is quite surprising to me - I lived with a rather awful speech impediment as a young child.

 Thanks to my various chronic health issues, I am unable to present radio any longer... fvck!

 I love to create, including creative writing with poetry, short stories and novellas. The whole MS Short Attention Span stuff usually stops that dead for me - extremely frustrating (understatement!)

 I loved to sketch, and wish I'd learnt how to 'paint'. I'm enjoying rediscovering the lost 'art' of colouring-in - when my dizzy fingers allow me, that is.

 I love to read... a good novel, autobiography or modern history. My mum instilled a passion for reading in me at a young age, for which I'm eternally grateful. I have an eclectic library of books, and local libraries are fun!

 Favourite Authors:
  • George Johnston (1912-1970) - ('My Brother Jack', 'Clean Straw For Nothing', 'The Far Road' - you MUST read 'The Far Road' b4 you die!!!)... I must be the only person in Australia (outside of the National Library) who possess his entire published works.
  • Charmian Clift (1923-1969) - ('Peel Me a Lotus' etc)
  • Homer ('The Iliad', 'The Odyssey')
  • Now having re-read Tolkien, I have the greatest respect and admiration for his work.

 Favourite Poet:
Robert Lowell (1917 - 1977) - 'Life Studies', 'For the Union Dead', 'Notebook', 'The Dolphin'... I have 'em all!

 Being a 'visual' person, I love movies, but strangely - I don't watch much TV. I'd prefer a documentary, or something blatantly silly, rather than suffer thru a lot of current rubbish mindless TV programming.

 My only brother - 10-years-older than me - told me in 2002 (and again in 2013) that he didn't want me as part of his life anymore "This makes me very sad" (an understatement!) We had both suffered nervous breakdowns' within months' of each other.
He is a good man, he just needs his own space at times, and I respect that. It's difficult, after becoming very close over quite a few years.
STOP PRESS! The thaw is complete, and we are in positive communications and a 'good place' again... we are "Besties" now - yay! It's great that they moved the 3,000kms to be just 60kms away now!

 My brother's pet hobby is genealogy/family trees - I have a direct relative who arrived in Australia on the 2nd Fleet in 1789 as an Irish convict. The family were originally from Scotland, then Ireland. My great-great Grandfather's name was 'Cornelius' - poor sod!

 I miss my dad very much. Even tho we didn't talk all that much, we had a very close 'connection' - we had so many things in common, and he was always 'just there,' you know? Is it really 20 years' already?! Love ya, ya ol' coot!

 It's a very surreal situation to be in - having both your parents no longer here, and seeing their ashes/memorial plaques side-by-side! I'm an orphan.

 My parents tried to do everything for me growing up [that was their way of showing they loved and cared...] - hence I have had some difficulty accepting personal responsibility with some things sometimes. BUT - I've "grown-up" now...!!

 After my wife had been in labour for 32 hours, and JD could've died before he was even born, I finally went home and wept uncontrollably - I had felt so utterly helpless.

 Then there was 4-month-old SJ in hospital for 16 days with meningitis, with a central line going straight into his heart... unspeakable ouchies inside for a helpless dad...

 JD was falsely-diagnosed with Perthes Disease when he was 8-yo.

 All three of my sons are happy healthy young men now, thankfully.

 I caught my dad's passion for sailing - 'wet-bum sailing'. I used to race 16' Skiffs out of Manly in Sydney Harbour every Saturday arvo for years... I had a season skippering a Flying 11 as well... we even won a few races!

 Until recently, I'd been socially sailing every Sunday at Carcoar Dam NSW, a 14-foot one-man sailing dinghy [a Laser] I called "Wyreema II". Well... I did, when there was water in the dam! That's the nasty side-effects after seven years of the ongoing drought. Tho after all the recent flooding at the end of 2010/early 2011, the dam is almost full again - the first time in over 10 years! Tho I unwisely sold it [in retrospect], before I moved to Qld in 2012.

 The little sailing dinghy I had before the Laser was a "Solo" (also called "Wyreema"), which was one of the best little boats I've ever had the pleasure to get wet with! I regret having parted with it, but such is life.

 "Wyreema" was the name of my dad's boats, which is simply a name he liked, with no huge connections, my brother and I found out years after he'd passed!

 My left knee has become a little 'creaky' these days, so my time out sailing on my own is fairly limited, unfortunately. Riding a pushbike again (after a break of 35-ish years!) is also a bit of a daunting prospect as well, with a funny knee...

 Because my MS hands don't always 'co-operate' for me, I'll never be able to go sailing on my own again. *&^%!

 I vaguely follow Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in the NRL Rugby League and watched endless games at Brookvale Oval as a young teenager. #ManlyForever

 I've always followed the NSW Blues in the Rugby League... living in Qld for 18 months (2012-2013) saw me, cop, a lot of friendly $#it as a result.

 I am a self-professed CRICKET TRAGIC!

 I enjoyed rowing as the bowman in an 'Eight' at school. We were Public Schoolboys (ie. scum), and absolutely whipped the GPS (ie. Private School snots) boats! Apparently, my 'technique' of dipping in fractionally early was our coaches' preferred action for his bowman - I found out years' later - thanks Gibbbo! Great visual and aural memories.

 I used to play soccer. I cannot believe that Zalai was still playing soccer with "The Slashers" - continuously since 1982 right up to 2002!!! Wow! Memories of Bathtub Parties at Gents haunt me - lol. We had a team mascot called 'Vomit the Pig' - what a worry! I haven't played soccer in years (I used to play left-half), but I enjoy watching a few games a year.

 The only stitches I've ever had were on the outside of my left knee after I fin-chopped myself with my surfboard at Freshwater Beach as a teenager, c.1980. Needless to say - I was never very good at surfing! But - sitting 'out-the-back' is one of the most blissful/peaceful experiences I have ever experienced!

 I've broken most toes on both feet (incl. left big-toe twice!) - thru sailing as a teenager! There's not a whole lot they can do for a broken toe, except let them mend themselves! I never realised a toe had broken when I was out on the water - until trying to get out of bed the next morning and falling over in pain! D'oh!

 I mastered boogie-boarding in a major way at Tweed Heads/Gold Coast in the summer of 2001/02 - yeah! Tho I managed to fall off just two waves on my $35 5th-hand surfboard... Thank you Rainbow Bay.

 There's fairly limited access to the surf/ocean, living 200 km/125 miles inland from the ocean... I miss the smell and sound of the sea. Thank goodness for local dams and lakes... there is something very special about "being beside the water"...

 I used to inadvertently get badly sunburnt at the beginning of each summer as a kid - somehow, my skin is still reasonably alright. Altho we lived within walking distance to the beach, when I was a child/teen, I rarely went to the beach.

 I have a 'dent' (no, not 'Arthur' Dent...) in the middle-top of my head, after getting my head stuck between the rails of a neighbours' front-gate as a 4-yo - sitting in an empty cardboard box being pushed along on a skateboard at 6 o'clock one morning. (The stoopid thing we did as kids, hey?!)

 Best Friend in Primary School: Glen Barry - he had flaming red hair, and had a little brother, Russell. I randomly bumped into him again on Facebook a few years ago.

 It was wonderful reconnecting with an old Primary Schoolmate again after 26 years, back in the early 2000s, and seeing how different lifes' journeys make of people.

 Best Friend in High School: Ahmed Y - I was his best man on his wedding day in 1983. I met him at the bus stop on the very first day of High School. He's moved on now.

 Richard Bodle - Vale. I still can't believe you've gone. In our late teens, he was one of our "Famous Five"!

 I wore braces on my teeth for two years as a teenager. I sucked my thumb until I was about 10(?), and my teeth stuck out terribly as a result. I wore the nickname "Buckkie-Beaver" for a long time - and naturally, I hated it.

 No nickname has ever really stuck with me.

 I have an illogical fear of falling over backwards - being tripped at ankle height. I also have an unreasonable tendency to avoid walking across large manhole-covers as I'm walking in the street. Of course, this is illogical, and 99.9% of the time I just walk right over the top of 'em nowadays! Yes, I know it's nutty...

 I always had an illogical fear of Dobroyd Heads' Bombora - even when we sailed right on top of it once. Yeeeesh!

 I've had 2 non-malignant but feral 'warts' removed in the last 20 years' - one on my left side, the other on my right shoulder/neck. All clear nowadays, tho.

 I have nearly accidentally drowned at least twice - once in rapids whilst white-water rafting in the Upper Shoalhaven River c.1988, the second time in the surf at Tweed Heads 2001. "It's peaceful."

 I've suffered two terrifyingly painful "Pulmonary Embolisms" (blood-clot in the lung, or PE's) in six years, the last one in 2016 (aged 52). And no, they did not know what caused it!

 My last PE I thought I was going to die; the pain was that intense (it came on very quickly), but at that time, sitting up in my bed, I felt a whole peaceful, reassuring, releasing a sense of "It's OK... there's nothing I can do about this, and that's OK... if it's my time, then it's my time". Not a 'religious' experience, just a feeling of calm and peace.

 Death doesn't scare me at all, thanks to both of these experiences.

 Click here for a full-colour photo essay of my latest nudist swingers party, complete with live Volleyball-Net Cam feeds.

 Jesus Christ WAS my Lord and Saviour, but "Christianity" and "church-life" are - as I've experienced it - disappointing and shallow. "Grace"? (Sounds great, but in practical reality...?)

 If Jesus is who he says he is, the church has a hell of a lot to answer and account for...

 Three years of Bible College taught me some great sociological translation skills... but now I have no use whatsoever for all the theological input I received.

 My first Christian role models were: Greg Stigter, Barney Miller, Baden Wynn - all of whom still worship (Thank you All Saints Anglican Church, Balgowlah. Good memories). Thank you, John Capper. My now-long beard is in tribute and memory of you.

 I spent c.4 years as a full-time Protestant Evangelical "Evangelist / Missionary" around NSW, during the late 1990s. Most people think I am joking when I tell them this about me. These days, I do not believe or follow such a line of thought.

 I have never fitted into anyone's "box". (I am sure I would have been diagnosed with a form of 'mild lower-scale Autism' if they did that back in the late '70s etc).

 I am not journeying with a (mainline evangelical) Christian church presently (or any organized religious group). I am 'learning to view the world through a different pair of glasses, and it's a refreshingly different experience from what I have ever known before. Some of my previous churched associates would be horrified to know that I have a practising pagan as a good friend nowadays, as well as some agnostics and atheists, and even Liberal Christians too! I haven't had the 'religious' freedom to mix with non-believers freely in this way in 17 years! Loving it!

 I'd describe myself as a "Pragmatic Agnostic" these days as well. This is a long way from mainstream Protestant Evangelicalism for sure...

 I've experienced that some of the greatest hypocrites and destructive gossipers proudly stand up and count themselves as 'Christians', much to their eternal shame.

 Please don't offend me by trying to 'preach' and 'convert' me, or by trying to make me one of your "pet evangelism projects". Treat me as a normal flawed human being, and I will respect you.

 I won't willingly detract someone else from their own distinct spiritual journey, nor shove my own stumblings upon others.

 I remember where I was when:
  • The Bold Street Bridge in Granville (Sydney NSW) collapsed
  • I saw the Bear cry at the Moscow Olympics
  • John Lennon was shot
  • Australia II won the America's Cup
  • I proposed to MJD (turned-down), and later to M (accepted)
  • I first saw and held JD, my first-born (actually - all three of my precious boys)
  • I first heard my father had died
  • September 11th 2001 (9-11)
  • I unhappily mailed away the signed divorce papers
  • 'Having a beer' with my only-brother for the very first time, only after our mum had passed away a few hours earlier.
  • I first heard that my oldest son was engaged.
 I remember being in Infants' School at Manly West (NSW) and watching the 1st moon landings on a large black-and-white TV in July 1969. I also remember throwing up outside that same room too - I can still see a picture in my mind of the sawdust being spread from a red metal bucket all over the wooden floor.

 Three years of taking 'recreational drugs and binge drinking as an older teenager has stuffed my short-term memory. I do not remember my 19th year, anyway - it was one big blur of continual partying... I have not done any of that crap in over 30+ years. Learning by repetition has become the standard rather than the exception! Just as well I enjoy 'study' and research...

 I once hand-paddled a small white dinghy from one side of a possibly-shark-friendly Middle Harbour to the other in the middle of the night, as the tiny battered craft slowly sank underneath me. Ahh...those all-nighters at Clontarf have a lot to answer for! I often wonder how we got away with and even survived some of the stoopid things we used to do together!

 I am personally aware of having a possibly addictive personality - I do enjoy having a relaxing drink now and again. I very occasionally drink... altho it ruined my life as a 20-yo. But - there is a huge difference between 'relaxation' and 'excess'... Being on strong medication sees me abstaining from alcohol these days - and that's fine.

 Anyways, I've 'gone off' alcohol' nowadays, and I don't miss it - just from pure personal choice, really.

 I spent 3 1/2 months in the MRC at Long Bay (Sydney) in the mid-'80s 'Gibbo' was the first 'Christian' I think I'd really met. A lot of self-confessed 'Christians' distance themselves from me after they find out my past background. Delusion caused by excessive personal drug use is very very uncool, and a result of this incident will have a continuing negative effect for the rest of my life. Psychological counselling and a practical involvement within church life changed me 1,000% for the better as a person.  

 Sometimes I find it hard to honestly forgive myself - sometimes for things that have passed like 8-years' previously!  

 My passion for poetry and appreciation of literature came from my Year 11 High School English Teacher, Rod Leonarder - I dedicate Robert Lowells' "Skunk Hour" to you - thank you! (A group of us, [his students] even attended his Wedding Service - he meant that much to us; a great bloke).

 My passion and joy of appreciation of all types and styles of music came from my High School Music Teacher, Antoinette Jameson - thank you for pushing me!

 The High School Maths' Master who dropped me, three classes, at once was a drunken ignoramus after lunchtime alcoholic binges at the RSL Club. My actual Maths' teacher looked on in horror and pity - unable to do anything - as it was announced in front of all my peers that I was being dropped three classes - thank you for your look of compassion. Dignity is not something to be thrown away.

 The torturous situations that have happened to me/around me/because of me over the last c.8 years have left me quite emotionally scarred. I physically aged 15-20 years in just four years. In many ways, I am just a hollow shell of the person I once was. This distresses me.

 I used to think I didn't give a shit what other people thought of me - but "there's one thing you can't hide when you're crippled inside." If people don't like it when I wear my heart on my sleeve - that's their problem, not mine! It's hard for me these days knowing quite when to share and not to share my heart, as people have taken my heart/spirit for a ride one time too many.

 I also feel sorry and sad for the people who would think I am making this stuff up for my own ulterior motives or hidden agenda. I am NOT. (Fvck you!)

 I also don't expect anyone to ever read this far into this page! Contact me if you have and/or want to leave a comment with the word "Asparagus" or observation with me! (NB. I've only received one 'asparagus' so far! lol).

And to wind things off...

The Bulletin, 20 December 1890

The roving breezes come and go
 On Kiley's Run,
The sleepy river murmurs low,
And far away one dimly sees
Beyond the stretch of forest trees --
Beyond the foothills dusk and dun --
The ranges sleeping in the sun
 On Kiley's Run.

'Tis many years since first I came
 To Kiley's Run,
More years than I would care to name
Since I, a stripling, used to ride
For miles and miles at Kiley's side,
The while in stirring tones he told
The stories of the days of old
 On Kiley's Run.

I see the old bush homestead now
 On Kiley's Run,
Just nestled down beneath the brow
Of one small ridge above the sweep
Of river-flat, where willows weep
And jasmine flowers and roses bloom,
The air was laden with perfume
 On Kiley's Run.

We lived the good old station life
 On Kiley's Run,
With little thought of care or strife.
Old Kiley seldom used to roam,
He liked to make the Run his home,
The swagman never turned away
With an empty hand at close of day
 From Kiley's Run.

We kept a racehorse now and then
 On Kiley's Run,
And neighbouring stations brought their men
To meetings where the sport was free,
And dainty ladies came to see
Their champions ride; with laugh and song
The old house rang the whole night long
 On Kiley's Run.

The station hands were friends I wot
 On Kiley's Run,
A reckless, merry-hearted lot --
All splendid riders, and they knew
The `boss' was kindness through and through.
Old Kiley always stood their friend,
And so they served him to the end
 On Kiley's Run.

But droughts and losses came apace
 To Kiley's Run,
Till ruin stared him in the face;
He toiled and toiled while lived the light,
He dreamed of overdrafts at night:
At length, because he could not pay,
His bankers took the stock away
 From Kiley's Run.

Old Kiley stood and saw them go
 From Kiley's Run.
The well-bred cattle marching slow;
His stockmen, mates for many a day,
They wrung his hand and went away.
Too old to make another start,
Old Kiley died -- of broken heart,
 On Kiley's Run.
 . . . . .

The owner lives in England now
 Of Kiley's Run.
He knows a racehorse from a cow;
But that is all he knows of stock:
His chiefest care is how to dock
Expenses, and he sends from town
To cut the shearers' wages down
 On Kiley's Run.

There are no neighbours anywhere
 Near Kiley's Run.
The hospitable homes are bare,
The gardens gone; for no pretence
Must hinder cutting down expense:
The homestead that we held so dear
Contains a half-paid overseer
 On Kiley's Run.

All life and sport and hope have died
 On Kiley's Run.
No longer there the stockmen ride;
For sour-faced boundary riders creep
On mongrel horses after sheep,
Through ranges where, at racing speed,
Old Kiley used to `wheel the lead'
 On Kiley's Run.

There runs a lane for thirty miles
 Through Kiley's Run.
On either side the herbage smiles,
But wretched trav'lling sheep must pass
Without a drink or blade of grass
Thro' that long lane of death and shame:
The weary drovers curse the name
 Of Kiley's Run.

The name itself is changed of late
 Of Kiley's Run.
They call it `Chandos Park Estate'.
The lonely swagman through the dark
Must hump his swag past Chandos Park.
The name is English, don't you see,
The old name sweeter sounds to me
 Of `Kiley's Run'.

I cannot guess what fate will bring
 To Kiley's Run --
For chances come and changes ring --
I scarcely think 'twill always be
Locked up to suit an absentee;
And if he lets it out in farms
His tenants soon will carry arms
 On Kiley's Run.

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Peas be with ewe 


  1. Asparagus( there is always a first time never give up hope my friend hugs:))))

  2. Asparagus. Nice work on the blog Mal. I found myself here after listening to your magpie recording on FB.

    1. Thank you, good sir! My second asparagus... I may have to start farming now [laffs]. Lots of love to your good selves.