Aug 032017

I’ve come to the end of the ZR-7 rebuild [for a while]. To be honest it seems that life’s balance is once again out of whack, leaning far too much to the spend-it-up and live life today side of things. Time to take a breather and focus on padding the stash for tomorrow again.

Pirelli MT60’s complete the package

No matter how I try, I keep coming back to this angle. Many [most?] will not understand my liking for this machine, nor indeed my customisation. I’m ok with that!

The original plan was to replace the stock headlight with a dual-lens replacement. Of late I have been reconsidering. Perhaps the single round light speaks of the era from which this bike originates?

The next step in the project is to have the seat re-covered, possibly still in red but perhaps more of a darker ox-blood shade and perhaps in leather.


Then……on to the rear !


Jul 222015

Trade-in values: 1995 Alfa 145 – R50,000; 2002 BMW Z3 3.0l Roadster – R40,000

Against a brand new Fiat Panda 1.2

Those are the best values I’ll get for my two aging vehicles but suddenly the Panda is R10k more with paint and on-road fees and it’s R10k less than really needed for the BMW, which means suddenly what was an excellent deal – a new car for another R50k – has now become a R70k spend which doesn’t feel as good.

Right now they are all running. Right now there are other bills and education fees to pay. Right now spending another R70k just doesn’t feel right.

So, no matter how good the R90k trade for both vehicles is [indeed perhaps a never-to-be-repeated offer?] it’s just not money we’re going to spend on an other car right now.

Hope it’s a good decision :-/

And the lessons relearned – liabilities are yours forever! No matter how good the story, how great the sales pitch, they always think they smell blood in the water and, with a pretty, friendly smile, thrust the knife and give a twist for good measure. Be very, very careful what you commit resources to in life. Liabilities, once yours, remain yours forever…..unless you are willing to give them away. What was that about “You’re only as free as the stuff you’re able to walk away from”?

Jun 242014

mx5 rear

Damn it ! Will it never end? 2007 MX-5, 114000km, R122500. That sounds like a deal too good to miss?

My day-to-day life in the corporate is ultimately restrictive. I’m tired. Tired of 20d leave a year. Tired of the corporate drive at profit to the expense of all else. Tired of the ‘protecting-my-turf’ politics that need to be navigated each day. Tired of the people who cannot be open and honest because of their concern for the reprisals or limiting their ‘careers’.

I look at the sea-view desktop photo that is Glencairn. It calls to me, beckons me to a life that is simpler and less complicated. A life with less [different] responsibilities and challenges. I yearn for that different now.

The Ford wouldn’t start and run properly this evening. Belging black smoke – and this after we’ve just spent R9k on a water system repair. It’s not what I want anymore. Cars. Euuuugh !!

Yet, I’m continually tempted by cars. While I live this life, I struggle with that temptation.. My life needs to be redesigned and different so that I am free of that temptation.

I’ve been thinking what I might do once we relocate down to Glencairn?
– Sailing and mile-building voyages – but that means accommodation to the peculiarities that are people. At least the interested parties have a closer commonalilty with me.
– House renovations – flipping. Seems a good plan since that’s what S really enjoys. BUT we have budget inconsistencies !! This risks our freedom from debt in a big way!
– But, the big question is really “What are we to do with the proceeds of 253 sale?”
– Rentals are hard because they involve people. Flipping is easier because we buy, renovate and sell.
But there is always risk!!

What if the tenants trash 16 de Villiers? No matter. As long as we have the land we’re ok is my thought.

Am I stupid to give up the current perceived ‘salary security’ ?? I suppose the question is deeper than this. It’s more a question of why? Why are we working? Why are we saving? What is the point of ‘enough’? Am I really giving anything up? What if I can’t find happiness even once we’ve done the move? Am I not happy now? At least happier? I think I am. it’s not that I don’t still think of things, but overall I do think I’m coping better with all the grief of life. Am I happy? Yes, I think so, but I still want the change.

Right now I’d like to get in the car and take the pups for a quick walk outside, on the beach. At Glencairn I feel OK doing that. Here in Jhb I’m wary of the setting sun, the approaching darkness, the danger of Rhodes Park. So here, I don’t act on that impulse. In Glencairn I would actually act and load them up and head for the sand. That’s the big difference in my mind !! A big reason for what we’re contemplating and planning.

I feel my life sliding into inaction and indecisiveness because of the Chinese trip thing at the moment. If I don’t go and things turn pear then it’s going to reflect badly. But ES is apparently going (but doesn’t seem too speedy at applying for visa etc). As a result I’m delaying planning for Cape Town and feeling all the worse for it. I think today is d-day for a decision. Take a stand and roll with the punches.

I think I need to forge ahead with my plans to close over the trailer area and build a workshop there. While this was a relaxed weekend I do, to a certain degree, feel it wasted by inaction. Sure I spent the time reading rather than TV but still would have liked to potter on projects for the boat a bit more.

So here I derail the plan again by driving the MX-5 and negotiating R122500, on-the-road purchase price. I haven’t signed anything and paid no cash, but it’s as close as it ever can get without being done. I hear the hesitance in Sandy’s voice and understand fully where it comes from. I feel it myself. What do I really want? R122500 is an estimated 6mths of total freedom. It pushes the bond back over the million mark, setting us seriously back on that front.

To re-read something I recently read over at have a funny view of money. They spend lavishly on socially-acceptable priorities like homes, cars and education, but they rob their real dreams to pay for that. Seeing the way that people reacted to my 2-year round-the-world trip drove this point home, so I decided to dedicate my life to teaching one very simple but powerful message: Cut ruthlessly on the things you don’t care about. Spend lavishly on the things you love. Ignore conventional wisdom.”


I don’t visit strip clubs and whore-houses hoping to resist the temptation. I stay out totally because I am totally committed to the marriage and the person. But yet, with the Glencairn dream, here I am, visiting the automotive version of the “whore-house strip joint” and somehow hoping that I’m strong enough to resist. Can you not see the patently obvious, the ludicrous in this? This has nothing to with “we’ll have to buy a car for Caz anyway and at least I can enjoy the Maxda for a year until then and then trade it” but has everything to do with me caving to emotional whims that will have a very real impact on the date our dream comes to fruition. It may even derail the dream totally or it might not kill the dream at all. But it certainly won’t do the dream any positive good – and that’s the indisputable fact !

I’ve battled enough with this car thing my whole working life to know that the buzz of the ‘new’ MX-5 will fast fade and we’ll be back to square ‘1’. Well, not all the way back to square one, let’s be honest, but certainly not as close to the goal as we could be. As soon as I need to replace that 17″ run-flat at R8k, the novelty is going to wear off pretty quickly.

Sure, one can argue the “save some, live some philosophy” but ultimately the dream is not to have a cool car. The dream is to only have a cool car if the DREAM is realised. and that means getting our butt’s settled down in Glencairn before anything stupid happens.

S is a sweetie. She’s supportive and understanding. Gently doesn’t agree and refocuses me on the common goal, but will accept my wobbly if it turns into action. I haven’t met many men with that level of support and trust fro their better half. She’s right. The 1-bar mark has been breached and that is huge. We don’t want to rise above that again, not for consumer purchases. We can always buy the MX-5 when we’re settled in our beach life. Yip. True. But the chances of it happening then are slim, because the salary is not going to be there. Slim to none. Can I live with that? It’s all about choices.

You can have anything you want! You just can’t have everything you want!


May 162014


Owner not willing to negotiate on price. Adamant that the car is worth the R58k asking price. It’s beautifully kept for sure, pristine actually for an ’83 model, but a little more than I’m willing to spend on a 30+ year old car. Will have to move on.

Crisis averted, thanks to the strange way things are in the universe.


True to form I can’t ever let things go. Took B and the alfa past for a closer look. Poking around under the bonnet and I find pools of oil on the inlet manifold. The seller is convinced it’s not serious, a ‘small’ problem easily resolved. I, on the other hand don’t know enough to agree with him. I’m cured. I don’t need another leaky car in the driveway. One is enough.

OK. Crisis is now averted!


R58k – That’s enough to live off for 3-4 months on an ER budget of 15-20k pm. That’s 3 to 4 months of total freedom, not even considering the future investment growth on the money [R191k over 10yrs].

That begs the question “How serious are you about stepping off?” Where’s the balance between building the stash for the future and living life today? The answer to that question lies in a full understanding of what it means to you personally to ‘live life today’. Simple answer for us is – sailing and Glencairn. Anything that big a spend outside those two arenas is suspect and probably frivolous.

If I know this then why do I go window shopping and get that close to derailing the plan so often?


May 132014

Yesterday I gave the ‘car-free’ life a good go but I must admit, I honestly don’t know if living without a car here is desirable.

Sure, I’ll agree, it’s doable, but is it desirable?

Yesterday was a wet, wet day on the Peninsular and the walk to Fish Hoek from Glencairn seemed to take forever. My mission – buy some slime for the MTB wheels. Maybe I should have taken the bicycle. That would have been quicker.

What was knocked off in a 20 minute run earlier the same morning takes eons longer when you’re walking.

Sam’s reply: ‘It’s all in your head’ is true, but it’s still hard to think of the limited time here and to be using up half a day finding slime seems somehow wasteful.

In the end, instead of walking back, I caught the train. The late afternoon saw me exhausted. Maybe it will be different when I really have time?