Unpredictability - Good for your health

Our modern life is based on organising an environment free from the unexpected. The house needs to be as stable and reliable as possible. The job as safe as possible. Nothing should break down. Nothing but what we predict, should occur.
This is the life of the zoo animal. Let's explore the life of the Nomad. Let's live the life of the Nomad.

Friday, 29 April 2016


I have been blessed over the past year.  I could have very well tripped over with various challenges thrown my way.  My Rwandan lady has been there by my side with a love that is both committed and life enriching.

I am not an easy person to have as a partner. This beautiful woman has never teetered. Always there by my side.

She has shown me how faith in the infinite spirit transcends every suffering.

She has shown me how a life on my own is a compromised existence.

She has shown me the subtle joy of peace itself.

Peace to All

Thursday, 28 April 2016

One year in my apartment

The annual statement from the mortgage company arrived in the mail.  Nineteen more years to go before I will be mortgage free. It has been said that debt is a form of slavery.  While that may be debateable it is definitely a bit of a gamble. When I was in my caravan there was little in the way of debt.  But also there was little in terms of equity - apart from the caravan itself.  Thus it only takes some luck and the price of property rises or some misfortune for it to fall.  There is little I can do about this and so I do not let it disturb me in my slumber.

So where am I now after a year living as most people do live?  I do miss the caravan life.  The fellow nomads with their high interpersonal standards.  That life was very suited to my personality. I am very grateful to have experienced it.  Perhaps I will return to it in my later years.

However I really do appreciate having my own place.  There is far more internal space than I can use.  I have endless internet connectivity.  I have a BT TV subscription - there are hundreds of channels.  I rarely would watch a television set but now I am not adverse.  A couple of days ago I even watched a championship football game!!  I have a washing machine that is always available for use.  Cooking is a pleasure in such a large kitchen.  Rarely will I eat a microwave meal.  The zanussi cooker is getting daily use.

There has been an issue with the roof.  Flat roofs are not so robust and so last week I spent many hours repainting a thick layer of tar to prevent water leakage. I found this physical labour enjoyable.  I could not do it for my weekly living, but to be physically taking care of my apartment was a satisfying activity.

One of the more satisfying aspects of home ownership has been granting myself permission to furnish and decorate it according to my tastes. Of course my tastes are not in any way sophisticated but I am pleased with the results so far.

Here is the newly painted lounge room with very comfortable leather sofas.  I purchased the aircraft posters from a pilots' shop and had them framed.
The bedrooms were also repainted. The master bedroom is a little like a hotel room with television fixed to the wall and a king sized bed.

The kitchen is old and in need of a complete redesign, however I did have it painted and purchased many new essential appliances.

And so my new home is coming together. I still need new carpets and a new glass barricade for the balcony along with a marbled floor.

This has not been a cheap project and I have been working very hard to keep the funds in place. A year onwards leaves me feeling quite proud of what has been achieved.  This blog was about living a life free from financial bondage.  The irony is that it also allowed me to clean up my finances and position myself as a viable candidate to a mortgage company.  Given that my life was lived for many years in a caravan or a campervan - I consider the achievement of the last year nothing short of a miracle.

Peace to All

Croydon - A time to party

A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3

I had been intending to visit Croydon for some time now.  The mid to late twenties of my life were spent in the south of London.  And for us lads these were the partying years.  To be free from work on a Saturday evening - indeed this was a great privilege.  The place to be was Croydon.  The night clubbing epicentre for anyone young in the body or young in the mind.

Croydon is considered a town however it feels more like a city.  It is a large commercial district and has a population of over fifty thousand.  It is multicultural and this is reflected in the spectrum of shops and restaurants.  African, Chinese, Polish, Irish, Caribbean - people from all parts of the globe living together in this great town.  I walked along the main street for the first time in over fifteen years.

Yes in those years of the past it was a time to party.  And even now, for those at the brink between youth and mature adulthood - Croydon remains the same. Vibrant and menacing, magnetic and disarming: if you want to experience the real London, without the millionaires, limousines and palaces - you should visit Croydon.

It was a Saturday afternoon and it was myself and my partner and her daughter in the centre of Croydon.  My lovely partner and the daughter quickly found one of those boutiques specialising in nail painting.  I therefore had a couple of hours to myself to explore this town: to note what had remained and what had changed.

It seemed much more had changed than had remained.  In the past we strictly adhered to a ritual to complete a night of party  The first stage of the ritual began on a Saturday afternoon shopping on the main street.  This was for clothing.  I visited the huge department shop that used to be called Allders. This was a very elegant shopping complex.  Sadly it is now one of those discount centres selling a bit of everything at reduced rates.  A good place to pick up a bargain.  Now it operates on one floor but it used to be several floors deep.  I even purchased my wedding suite here.  It's glory is now gone.

The second stage of the ritual was to meet up at the pub.  Few of the pubs still exist however the George does indeed still stand.  We would meet up in this pub with its long alley of tables and chairs, walls with with shelves and books.  It could be quite a crowd.  The objective was to order in as many rounds of beer as possible before the bell rang.  Ironically the law whose purpose was to prevent blatant insobriety actually encouraged it.  The drinking laws are now more relaxed. For us it was an issue of economy - alcohol was much cheaper in the pub than in the club.  Thus a few boozy hours were mandated.

The third stage of the ritual was the club.  There were a number of clubs - Cinatras, The Colleseum and Joe Bananas were often frequented.  But the main club was the Blue Orchid.  It was imperative to be seen at the The Blue Orchid. Although not cool to arrive too early; arriving late would mean a long wait.  The queue could extend around the corner and it was not uncommon to be waiting an hour, only to be turned away if the bouncer didn't appreciate your dress standard. This is why the ritual began with fashion shopping that afternoon.

So admittance itself was an accomplishment.  Inside the club was to enter into another dimension. Pretty people dancing to the latest tunes.  Laser lights and misty guns.  Flashing floors, cocktails, flirting, kissing - all those things that comprise the experience of the nightclub.  A few hours lived without thought of the mundane.  Without reference to work, bills or any of the toil of daily life.  Isn't this the gift of youth?  To be able to stand aside from duty for a little while.  To have a party and to enjoy a few hours.

The fourth stage of the ritual was the early morning meal after the club closed its doors.  This was typically a burger with cheese and sauce.  No meal ever tasted so good - after all those hours of dancing, drinking and flirting.  There would be banter and also some menace.  Jealousy, anger, love and despair - they were all there somewhere within the boundaries of the dispersing crowds.

This great nightclub and the surrounding areas are now deserted wrecks. Entertainment's focal point had obviously moved to another part of the town.  As I stood in front of this once superlative night club taking in the present day debris: I reflected on a generation that was mine.  Where are those clubbing folk now? Probably like me - middle aged and dealing with the everyday matters of life. Children, mortgages, careers.  Planning for a retirement perhaps, or the struggle of a divorce. Perhaps some health issue. Grief.

So this was an era that has been and now only exists in my mind's memory.  It is all too easy to remain locked in a phase of your own history. Cannot today be even better? I believe it can irrespective of age.  Perhaps this is not always easy - living life with the truth can be a struggle but it is possible.

Yes there is a time for everything - and it was good to visit this town of the past.  A town where indeed, it was a time to party.

Peace to All