Feb 182017

What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

– Sterling Hayden, Wanderer

Mar 282016

We humans spend vast amounts of emotional energy analysing the past in order to plan, predict and attempt perfectly happy futures.

Our current society spends much of this energy focused on money, with the belief that; “money solves all.” A logical extension of this is the fear that a lack of money necessarily translates to misery.

While this may be somewhat true I have the sneaking suspicion that it’s not as perfectly true as we are all lead to believe.

On a personal level, history would indicate that I shouldn’t fear losing my job at all because I have never been without. On a collective, social level, history indicates just the opposite. Intellectually I know I’m possibly (in all likelihood) over-fearful and yet I find it difficult to just throw caution to the wind. The logical planner in me says I have the future covered. The fearful sheep in me is swayed by the Woolly Masses and fears that the dream isn’t possible for me, only for other braver souls.

Somewhere in the middle there is my reality.

In my current life-phase I find myself unhappy with my past life – that of preparing more for the future at the expense of living in the now. I’m determined to change that and yet, unconsciously, I still fear that I’m going overboard and jeopardising the future.

Our current burn rate is unsustainable. Even though we knew it was coming and we sort of planned and saved for it, it all happened under a very different frame of mind. That of the standard work until 65 and then hopefully have enough for FI.

With the new drive for FI and to live more for the present, the spend sometimes feels totally contrary to the desire for freedom. It’s that whole balance thing once again. Live for now but have something stashed away for tomorrow in case you are forced by circumstance to start over.

Part of this is my inner need for certainty. After all, my engineering mind demands precision, my project manager side, the perfectly planned and executed tomorrow. In a very real sense it’s who I am, part of my genetic makeup. On the flip side though it’s also a given that it’s partly the cause of my inability to find total peace and happiness in the imperfect now.

The theory postulated in “Wisdom of Insecurity” is that many of our problems originate because of our propensity to try and separate the logical “I” from the visceral “me”. Watts proposes that the two do not exist; it’s only your current experience that is you. Not sure I fully agree that’s all I am but I do agree that ”’I” seems to spend most of his time living everywhere but the now. The key to more contented happiness is to stop overriding the “me” in the present.

The “I” has ruled for too long. Time for “me” to move ‘Blue !

Dec 062015

Some quotes from “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau

“It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true to-day may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow, mere smoke of opinion,”

“Some things are really necessaries of life in some circles, the most helpless and diseased, which in others are luxuries merely, and in others still are entirely unknown.”

“The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?”

I wonder what Thoreau Snr thought of his son?

Although HDT does, at the start of his book, acknowledge that many reading thus far would possibly have “stolen and hour from their creditors” to do so, acknowledges that many cannot afford to source their next meal, one has to wonder would he have thought the same had he not had Daddy’s pencil factory to fall back on, had he not been befriended by Ralph Waldo Emerson and on whose land he lived by Walden Pond for 2 years?

Were he on poverty’s doorstep would he have thought the same?

Besides that, being in a position to critically evaluate, to choose how to live, to have such means – that surely is a blessing and one would surely be criminally negligent were it neglected in favour of the”easy” route of just following the Woolly Masses?

Feb 182015

Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice. — Cyril Connolly

Not sure if this applies to blogs and websites but here are some that I return to often….

– The Flying Tortoise

– Speedwell of Hong Kong

– PocketFullofWanderlust

– Raptitude


Jan 262013


Cap’n Fatty’s primary aim is to assist the frugal, safety-conscious sailor in the purchase and repair of a modest sailboat capable of circumnavigating. The core premise: there is little correlation between dollars spent and pleasure received when it comes to cruising offshore. Cheaper boats can be far more seaworthy than their expensive counterparts if the skipper’s money is spent wisely. It is also a practical step-by-step guide to circumnavigating inexpensively—written by a freedom-loving sailor who has sailed twice around the world on a $3,000 salvaged boat. What equipment do you really to sail offshore? How can you acquire much of this gear for free or inexpensively? What items are cheap where? How can you earn “freedom chips” as you cruise? Which routes are best? What common cruising gear do you NOT need? Why? Buy, Outfit, and Sail even points out the advantages of being on a tight budget: more friends, sharing, destinations, time, culture, freedom, fun, camaraderie, parties, and a clearer cruising focus. In addition, it opens up a completely new, fresh “sea gypsy” world to the landlubber—a wonderful, wacky, watery world of international brotherhood upon the high seas. Of special interest is the unusual, non-PC section on earning-as-you-go. The book is divided into three main sections: How-to buy a boat for peanuts, How-to safely outfit that vessel cheaply, and How-to happily sail around the world on a handful of pennies. The focus is on simple, effective, practical, inexpensive solutions that allow the sailor-on-a-shoestring to have twice the fun on half the money. The dream of leisurely sailing around the world is neither an impossible nor unrealistic one. Dozens of sailors escape to paradise every day. Why not you?


Also available from Kalahari


“The tale of Carl Wake and the hurricane that was waiting for him goes straight to the heart of the greatest sea stories: they are not about man against the sea, but man against himself. John Kretschmer’s book is as perfectly shaped and flawlessly written as such a story can be. In addition to being the best depiction I have ever read of what it is like to be inside a hurricane at sea, At the Mercy of the Sea is as moving a story of a man’s failure and redemption as can be found anywhere in the literature of the sea. This book is surely destined to become a classic.”—Peter Nichols, author of  Sea Change and  A Voyage for Madmen “John Kretschmer has transformed this story of three men on a collision course with a hurricane into a modern seafaring classic.”—Peter Nielsen, editor of  SAIL magazine “With expert analysis and taut writing, he draws readers into that mad storm. You can’t turn away. You keep reading until it breaks your heart.”—Fred Grimm, columnist for the  Miami Herald “Once begun, his vivid and powerful narrative is impossible to put down.”—Derek Lundy, author of  Godforsaken Sea and  The Way of a Ship “I felt I knew Carl Wake, because John Kretschmer found in him an archetype—an aging sailor with an age-old dream.”—Jim Carrier, transatlantic sailor and author of  The Ship and the Storm: Hurricane Mitch and the Loss of the Fantome “A remarkable book, impossible to put down.”—Herb McCormick, sailing journalist

Also available from Kalahari


“The seminal guide to the new morality of personal money management” (Los Angeles Times(on the first edition))

In an age of great economic uncertainty when everyone is concerned about money and how they spend what they have, this new edition of the bestselling Your Money or Your Life is an essential read. With updated resources, an easy-to-use index, and anecdotes and examples particularly relevant today-it tells you how to:

  • get out of debt and develop savings
  • reorder material priorities and live well for less
  • resolve inner conflicts between values and lifestyle
  • save the planet while saving money
  • and much more

In Your Money or Your Life, Vicki Robin shows readers how to gain control of their money and finally begin to make a life, rather than just make a living.

Also available from Kalahari