The baking, the washing and learning from John C Bogle

Preparing for Robbie Williams in Armadale

Preparing for Robbie Williams in Armadale

Well I have been on my adventure for a little while now. Piper and I are settling into our respective roles. Mine involve baking and cooking; Piper’s involve eating and washing up (from time to time).

Today is turning into a lovely day (after a breezy start), which makes it a good drying day; hence the decision to do the washing.   Baking leaves me time to surf the net, to check out Facebook (to see who liked my Robbie Williams photos) and to review homework feedback (from assignment 1 of my online writing course).

IMG_1263 3I have a carrot cake in the oven, which is taking longer than expected – perhaps too many carrots – and I want to head out for a walk along the beach shortly so I decided to update you on my progress while I wait.

I am starting to better understand my situation and my challenge; I have been looking at blogs, books, magazines in a quest to shape my thinking.   To keep me company today I have the TV on in the background and Richard E Grant is doing a programme about New Orleans and the hotels there.

Richard heads over to a restaurant called Dooky Chase’s to interview Leah Chase, who is the chef there. This place is a very big deal and not just for the cooking. In the 1960’s this was one of the only public places where people of all races could meet to discuss strategy for the local Civil Rights Movement. Although illegal the popularity of the place meant that local law enforcement had to turn a blind eye.

Leah Chase, Chef at Dookey Chase's

Leah Chase, Chef at Dookey Chase’s

She is talking to Richard about her cooking, the fact that ‘white’ restaurants now all serve gumbo and how much has changed over her lifetime (she is 93); and then she says something that really resonates with me.



He says to her “So you won’t ever retire then” and she replies with absolute conviction “Of course not, I still have work to do”.

She has so much energy and sparkle it is clear that she loves what she is doing.

To find my ‘retirement’ work is my challenge . My situation is that I have the time to explore what that is for me, and perhaps help others in the process.

So what have I learned so far:

  • I don’t want to retire but I do want to change how I work. To do something that contributes, makes life better for people (including me)
  • I need to better understand my finances (I have been doing a lot of reading about passive investing and why ‘costs’ are important to pay attention to).  I really enjoyed listening to John C Bogle talk about investment.  I actually think I am capable of understanding it (soon).
  • There doesn’t seem to be an appealing word or an active word for retirement (if you know of a good term please let me know)
John C Bogle, founder of Vanguard

John C Bogle, founder of Vanguard.  First person to make me laugh when talking about investments.

So my challenge is underway and my situation is that I am lucky to have time to step back and think.

I am yet to crack the goal of running each day.  (Well that is harder than understanding finance).



PS. I have also found a really interesting blog for anyone who is interested to retire early, and I do mean really early. It is called Early Retirement Extreme, and I have enjoyed all of the postings I have read to date.


Time to think about life, the universe and what’s next for me

Sunrise, Ocean Grove

Sunrise, Ocean Grove

Over the last couple of years my life has changed a lot.  The death of my parents has changed how I am looking at my own life and the way I view the future.  I would love to say that everything has become clear and I am now on the path to my life’s true purpose.  I think that I am in the right area (helping people to realise more of their potential) but how I do that is less clear.  Ironic I know.  So I have decided to take my own medicine and take some time to think about what I want to do with the next 10 (?) years, starting with some thinking over the next couple of months.

I am very used to my work creating limits and boundaries, real or imagined, and this has created structure and a sense of purpose; places to be and people to see, stuff to do.  Recently I used some tools related to the Eyes Wide Opened ‘What makes me ME’ course and there is one exercise called ‘the living landscape’ that really stopped me in my tracks.  When I tried to visualise my future it was very hazy (and in relation to my past, very short).  On the plus side I have got some breathing space to think about all of this.  I didn’t take a gap year, I worked my University holidays and I don’t take time out without having a strong Plan B.  This does feel a bit odd.

So almost by accident I find myself in a small coastal town called Barwon Heads in Victoria, Australia.  I talked to my friend Pennie about what to do and she generously offered their house as a place to think.  So here I am.  I wanted to experiment with writing;  I don’t think that there is a novel in me but I have a friend’s notes about his life to work with, my ideas for an eBook to formulate.

I am lucky enough to be spending time with Pennie and Ian’s daughter Piper, who is staying here for a couple of weeks.  I have known Piper since she was 7, now she is 15 and taller than me.  You see time does go quickly.  We are going to a concert in Melbourne this afternoon, Pattie Smith tribute to the album Horses.  We need to go, so I will sign off for now and I will keep you posted on my musings.

Barwon Heads with Piper

Barwon Heads with Piper