Thursday, July 18, 2019

I used to believe this

"Make your hobby your vocation and you'll never work a day in your life"

Sounds right, doesn't it?

I've decided it 'aint.

Because when you turn your hobby into your job, both are diminished - ie you lose twice.

I've (finally) come to the conclusion that work is work and pleasure is pleasure and it's best to keep them that way.

That's not to say work can't be enjoyable - of course it can. But the thing that really feeds your soul, the thing you would always do for free, keep it unstained by money and obligation to others. Once those two things enter, everything changes in my experience.


Friday, June 21, 2019

Beware the dream-takers

They're everywhere. People who are afraid of life and seek to stop you having adventures because, if you have them, it makes them look scared for not doing the same. 

They can be tricky to spot however because they disguise themselves as "sensible".

As "concerned".

As "realistic".

Listen to Helen Keller:

'Security' is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature nor do the children of men as a whole experience it [...] Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. [...] Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all.

And this from a woman who was deaf, blind and mute!

I've decided on a new strategy now when people come over all concerned about my motorcycle riding.

"Isn't it dangerous?" they ask.

My answer used to be a lengthy defence of this pastime that makes me feel so alive. Not anymore. My answer now is simple:


The discussion usually stops there.

Ahh, peace.

Thursday, June 20, 2019


That's what people say when I tell them I'm joining Far Riders Australia

I mean, these guys do extraordinary things.

Like ride around Australia in 9 days.

Or across Australia and back again in 4 days.

People ask me why I would want to do such a thing. I must admit, I asked one of the group's most crazy dedicated members the same thing.

He didn't answer.

So I jumped on Big Red and rode 1,000km in a day to see for myself.

When I got back I was sore - but I GOT it.

It's actually about overcoming mental barriers, conquering your fears, backing yourself... that sort of thing.

The motorcycle and the trip are just the medium. People achieve the same thing by climbing mountains or running marathons.

I reckon it's about being a better person than you were before you headed off.

At least it is for me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Jacinta Ardern

What would it take to get her to come here and be our PM?

She's wasted on the Kiwis :)

But seriously, hasn't she kicked some goals?

And when you think about it, how?

By being a decent human being. Genuinely compassionate. Genuinely interested in people.

Of course I'm under no illusion that she must also be made of very stern stuff to cope with the rigours of her job but, wow, very impressive how she handles herself.

Iron fist in a velvet glove for sure.

Kiwis 1, Aussies 0.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

(about)Face book

My Facebook journey lasted 48 hours. 

I only signed up so I could guest post on someone else's page.

Big mistake.

I immediately got inundated with the mundane kinda stuff that turns grown mens' minds to mush.

It only confirmed my suspicion that social media is de-structive, face to face is con-structive.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Seemed like a good idea at the time

I'm talking about the groovy new coloured-gravel panels MRWA is putting into the median areas of freeway interchanges. Sorry, can't post a pic as it's a bit hard to (legally) get in there to take one ;) Anyway, I'm sure you've seen them.

At first glance you think "Great! Low maintenance and interesting to look at. Better than the old rye grass you had to get in and slash now and then"

Only you'd be wrong.

You see, those groovy new coloured-gravel panels are soon to be covered in LEAVES from the trees.

Then what?

You'll have to get in there and blow the leaves off*. Otherwise what's the point of the groovy new coloured-gravel panels in the first place? And trust me, those leaves will quickly accumulate and bugger up the whole thing. So now you're back to putting personnel and machinery in there - the very thing you were no doubt trying to avoid.

So what should they have done?

Plant more trees in there and just mulch it. A self-mulching landscape. Initially you'll have to send a worker in there to spray weeds but even that will reduce down to virtually nothing as the mulch gets thicker and thicker from the growing trees. Magic, huh? ("Look mum, no hands!") The key to making this work however is mass planting the trees. They need to be at 3m spacings or even closer. You end up with that classic forest floor thing underneath where basically nothing grows. There are numerous examples of it around town. The City of Armadale council offices and UWA are two that immediately spring to mind. Very effective. Very low maintenance. Very friendly to the environment and - I don't think anyone would deny - very beautiful!

All this comes about because Landscape Architects design stuff but haven't actually lived it. Mind you, the other extreme isn't much good either: leaving the design to a Parks and Gardens guy with the aesthetic sensibility of a plumber (sorry guys, but you know what I mean).

The answer of course is that you need both - designer and practitioner - if you're to have truly pleasing treatments that actually work.

It's going to be very interesting to see what MRWA do to keep their admittedly lovely-looking treatments, well... lovely.

* But wait, there's more. Where are you going to blow the leaves to? Onto the freeway? No. So where? If everything's pretty, coloured gravel, you got nowhere to send 'em! Didn't think of that did ya?

Monday, April 29, 2019

This thing 'ere has changed my life

Two years ago I was 57 years old and had never sat on a motorcycle let alone ridden one. Two years later I've ridden 50,000km and am a different person. For a while there I kept saying, "I wish I had discovered bikes earlier". I don't anymore. The teacher arrives when the student is ready.