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?

Feb 162014
 

A new car. Doesn’t have to be a new ‘new’ car, a new ‘old’ car will do. Again and again I battle the urge. There’s an A4 cabriolet. I want it. There’s a Jimny. I want it. A drop-top mini. I want it.

Best thing to do is stay out of the kitchen because I can’t seem to handle the heat.

It’s too soon says Sands. She’s right. Another 2 years and we’ll find Caz something small, cool and reliable. But now, it’s too soon.

R120k. That can buy something cool. It can also bring the debt under the 1Bar level. It can also buy quite a few trips down to the beach, as well as a gazillion hamburgers. And when you don’t have the cash under the mattress and you have no absolute need other than ‘want it’,  it it is really stupid. I would rather live in my beach-house, walk, run, ride and sail and have the time to enjoy these all rather than have a new toy.

And yet the desire still burns strong!?? A constant battle. I hope I don’t WILL NOT give in.

The ultimate reason, the reason I will not cave is the non-negotiable need to finally break these golden handcuffs, this corporate crap. 2018 was a date penciled in, although that may be too optimistic. 55 [or 2024] is the dream date, the year to cash in the RA’s, provident funds and life-savings and finally make the move. It’s already a stretch and buying another expensive toy at this stage of the game is going to threaten that big time.

No, I’ll stick with the plan thank you. Kill the debt, pump the RA’s and savings, survive the next decade and live life well [be happy, exercise, eat healthily, minimise stress and conflict] while we do it!

Remember: Freedom, Integrity, Tranquility ! Never cave in to Wooly Masses thinking and pressure. Never.

Feb 162014
 

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I’m thinking along the lines of having a new set of wheels built for ‘the Gorilla’, super strong, super light, disc-brake wheels. But the problem with having a high-end frame and components is when things wear out and need replacing it’s all to easy to buy cheaper and end up with a downgraded bike.

Why do I need disc brakes? I rode for years, pretty much continuously and aggressively, with the standard Vees. Sure, the world may have progressed, the technology dishing up superb stopping power but you don’t need to stop if you never get going in the first place do you!?

So forget about the spend. Just get back on the bike and ride !

–ooOOoo–

The hills in this neighbourhood are high and long! 11km, 48min. Nothing epic but a good workout nonetheless. And the new pads are stopping me a treat. Beautiful morning out!

Feb 132014
 

There was good news all round yesterday. A decent revised offer and the skin cancer scare not being too serious it seems. We were both happy, relieved and carefree yesterday. A good feeling! Why is it so hard to hold on to, to maintain, to replicate? If you could bottle and market that feeling you’d be OK.

On the bike, heading into the office this morning, older feelings, frustration feelings, tense feelings are already surfacing again. I ask myself ‘Why?’

The best answer I can come up with is that I really don’t see what I do for my work as fulfilling or exciting or desirable anymore. I’m tired of the tension and aggression in Jo’burg living, I’m tired of being a corporate cubicle slave. Sure, I bring home some bucks and we live a good life, but the joy of yesterday’s living doesn’t permeate today’s life and dreams. And I feel, at this stage of life, that it should. At least I think it should.

I’m using every opportunity to work the Cape Town move into conversation. I suggest we put 253 on the market to feel things out. We need to fly regularly, using the additional income while we have it. Sands is all in for the latter two, but not convinced yet on the former. Good thing is both of us have this vision and I think the latest scare has brought us both on the same page that life is short. Too short to prepare to live one day.

Today is the only day you have to live!

So, here’s to making the best of life as it is today and still working towards the dream of tomorrow.

Nov 132013
 

Weird thought you say, considering I’m only 45 at present.

Not so weird I say. Not if you want to live life deliberately and consciously.

So, assuming I’m blessed with making it to 70, here’s what it will look like:

  • I’ll be sailing, running, biking and kayaking with Sands regularly.
  • We’ll be living with a view, running a little self-built Small House B&B for non-Woolly Masses folk
  • We’ll still have regular and meaningful contact with B and Caz.
  • I’ll be enjoying the finest red’s the Cape has to offer, in moderation of course.
  • Life will be simple but meaningful. No TV, no consumerism.
  • We’ll have a gas stove, cooking fresh snoek, fresh salads and good homemade fare.
  • We’ll drive a beach buggy, topless.
  • We’ll be building a “tiny house” cabin on the back of the property

There are a couple of “heros” I’ve found that are worth modelling [some aspects of their lives at least]:

Nothing happens without a plan. Good habits and good health are essential to this future vision in the present. The habits formed today are the surest ‘certainty’ [if indeed there is such a thing in life] of giving that future a chance to happen. You don’t move it by the time 70 rolls around you’ve probably lost it.

Nov 092013
 

“I sometimes wonder about the definition of ‘success’. I have an 18yr old son who still pops his head around the corner and says ‘nite dad’. That’ll do for me!”

It’s not that the relationship doesn’t have it’s ups and downs – they all do – but that even after a lifetime we’re still on pretty good terms. I’ve worked with those who’ve sacrificed family on the career ladder. Are they more or less happy? Don’t know. Don’t care. All I know is I’m pretty happy with the way my life has turned out with respect to the balance between ‘career’, earnings, leisure and family.

But life is entering a new phase now. The Jhb-Grindstone is slowly wearing away at us. With the kids finishing up school in the next couple of years, the time is right for a major change – city, job, leisure.

I’m tired of waking up each morning with project challenges buzzing my brain, every day. Tired of manipulative, unhappy customers who act like spoiled toddlers trying to get their way.

“How will we fund life?” remains a huge unanswered question. We could [and probably will] end up selling Highland, leaving a little chunk of cash to earn interest each month. But even a million in the bank these day’s doesn’t get you much more than R5-6k a month. So work it will need to be. But what? I suppose it will end up being another engineering PM job but my dreamy, idealistic side hopes that I’ll supplement interest earned with a little DIY business servicing yachts, homes and friendly people leaving plenty of time for sea, sun and sailing [we all have to dream].

Anyway, the die is cast, we have a street address. Ocean Blue will be heading home soon and how things will work out from there …. we’ll just have to see.

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Sep 192013
 

Octogenarian

Been thinking a lot lately about “mortality”. Not that I’m afraid I’m about to die tomorrow [although I could] but more a realisation that life is slipping by at an ever accelerating rate.

I don’t want to be 65 and then try – that may be too late. Even though it’s obviously possible, the risk of it not happening increases with passing time.

That’s why we had to jump in the Glencairn deep end. That’s why we have to sever the ties to the Jhb life in the next couple of years.

It’s not that life as it is cannot just continue, it’s that we’ve really had enough and it’s time.

 

 

Apr 212013
 

One of the pleasant aspects of how life with my wife has changed over the years is our mutual enjoyment of running. I’ve always been a runner but she has only become one since her early thirties. It’s a healthy outdoor activity that we regularly enjoy together. It’s a simple sport to enjoy, whether at home or travelling. It’s an efficient all-round work-out, especially if you have limited time. All you need are your running shoes and you’re set.

Yesterday was rainy, cold and miserable in Jo’burg. Today was beautiful, fresh and crisp and we got in a nice little run around the neighbourhood. Coming down Earnest Rd our chatter turned to how beautiful the morning was and how silly we both found society’s need for gym membership and wanting to run on a treadmill.

Yes, I’m amazed by the way the world works when it comes to exercise. It seems you’re not quite right in the head unless you join a gym and do your running with a crowd and blaring music. And wait. You must spend thousands on heart-rate monitors and running gear. And don’t forget the iPod pouches to allow music and entertainment if you ever do run outdoors, because, heaven-forbid you encounter those things called thoughts in your head while you’re out running.

It’s as if the world has forgotten how to enjoy life. There seems to be a belief that to achieve or enjoy anything you have to spend money.

Pure simple basic running in the outdoors! That’s my choice for health and fitness. For me, there is no such thing as “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner”.

running free