My life as a pack leader, confessions from Fawkner Park

Halfway to Fawkner Park I realised I was wearing the wrong shoes.  To say that it is damp underfoot in the Park at the moment is to understate the swamp like conditions faced by the novice dog walker.  I reasoned that … Continue reading


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.