Archives For domestic life

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I just realized that I haven’t properly posted here since August last year.

On occasion, I have the odd brain wave about turning my personal blog into travel/ digital nomad blog, but they come and go. Let’s be honest, in the main personal blogging is dead unless you’re trying to sell something, and if you’re not all the smart guys now post to Medium; I do like Medium but the same reason I wouldn’t host my personal blog on WordPress.com is the same reason I wouldn’t host it on Medium either: I like the control, even if I don’t post very often.

But I digress.

My last update was August last year after my 2 month long grand tour of Asia and it was an amazing time and a year later I do miss not doing something similar, with different destinations, again.

But life took a turn, as it always does, October last year, I met someone, and everything since has been different. I’ve also over that nearly 10 months made some great friends along the way, Thai and non-Thai.

We’ve had some life drama over the last 2 months: I severely sprained my ankle, was in a cast and on crutches. My better half took up a new job where she was bullied and treated appallingly badly and quit after 2 weeks (if it was Australia we would have been in court by now, it doesn’t work that way in Thailand) and then she was in a car crash. The stress of all that gave me my worst case of tonsillitis (and migraines and an ear infection…3 from 3 πŸ™‚ ) in 20+ years and as I write this I’ve only really been physically better in the last 2 days.

But here’s the thing. For all the drama in life, I’m grateful for what I have.

I have a fiance who is literally the nicest person I have ever met and everyone who meets her says the same thing. There’s not one bad bone in her body; I might have a natural bias but she has hundreds of friends (I’m not exaggerating) who all think the same way about her.

I have some good to amazingly great friends in Chiang Mai and other places in Thiland now who from fate, or luck, I am beyond fortunate to have made.

Life is good, and I live in a place I love, not just because Northern Thailand is insanely cheap versus Australia (it helps soooo much πŸ™‚ ), or that I hate cold weather and it’s rarely cold here, but because it’s just a legitimately lovely, nice place to live and when I decided to reset my life when I moved here the plan actually ended up working out.

Life is never boring, and there are always challenges, but I’m grateful for what I have now, and grateful at the age of 40 that not only did I live this long (never thought I would πŸ™‚ ) but heading through middle age (it hurts me to say that πŸ™‚ ) if all goes to plan I’m set for life even before 50.

Chon Chang, which in Thai is a toast to elephants (Chang is elephant…weirdly it’s also my Thai nickname πŸ™‚ ) that they may win the war.

If life is a war I think that after far too much bullshit for years I might actually finally be winning it πŸ™‚

 

Declan,

Another year and this year you’re a teenager.

I can still remember when you were so small, the first time I held you in my arms, the first time I bathed you.

You’ve grown so big, and yet I’m going to miss most of it.

They say time flies when you’re having fun, but some 4 years on when it comes to you, time never flies, and I continue to count each day until I am able to see you once again and tell you in person how much your father loves you, and has always loved you.

There’s 1,826 days to go until I can see you again today, be it put more simply 5 years flat.

The things I would have loved to have shared with you in the coming 5 years I will never get to, things such as a love of good philosophy, the works of John Stuart Mill, and appreciation of the lessons that history teaches us in avoiding the mistakes of the past.

Always remember those good days when your father took you to school and picked you up, where now your nanny does. When your father made your favourite pizza and cooked meals for you every night, where now your nanny cooks you food. Remember that despite the lies said, I always tried to be there for you every day where others in your new family are unable to, and today I’m not legally allowed to be…

I’m not religious, but should you choose to be I will support you in that, as any father would their child, but as much as I hate to use a Bible quote, it’s one I want you to think about always as you grow older and you reflect on your childhood and the fact your father wasn’t allowed to be there for half of it:

John 8:32: the truth shall set you free

Embrace thinking for yourself as you grow older Declan, question everything and everyone, take nothing sold, pitched or lied to you about without giving it independent thought, and unlike when I was your age, you’ve got Google on your side where all I had was a library; you’re half me Dec, surely some of those genes will be in there somewhere.

Until 14 August 2020 in person, or whenever next your mother grows a sympathetic bone and allows you to talk to me on Skye again next.

Adieu.

Love

Dad.

On approaching 40

April 28, 2015 — 2 Comments

Got asked today whether I’d hooked up with anyone or found a partner yet in Thailand.

Oddly I remember several people (some who I can name but won’t) saying to me that you’ll never know yourself until you can live with yourself being single, something most of my adult life I couldn’t live with, and didn’t.

I think today that I can, but I’d lie if I didn’t admit there were times where I didn’t like being alone.

I reinvented myself at 30. Through risk, occasional misadventure and amazing ups, and sadly some downs (sometimes obviously serious) in between, not many people can say they spent 10 years working for themselves (or via contract from home, same sort of thing,) and in my case, I’ve never had to wear a suit to work in 10 years. Oddly the formal 10 year anniversary is 10 years come early December.

Shit has happened, but I remain grateful today that I have a writing gig that I love, friends, be it most of them far away, and I can wake up in the morning and occasionally inspire others to do better.

But for all that: I still don’t have a plan for the next 10 years, besides being able to legally see my own flesh and blood, Declan Riley, come August 2020.

I really should come up with a plan though, I’d love to be rich in the next 5 years and be able to put my son through University for example, but at this stage, given but once again his mother has cut off all access (legally, sadly) who knows.

I’ve got about 4 and a bit months to work out a plan.

Wish me luck, I need it πŸ™‚

sanity

They saying that life wasn’t meant to be easy.

But life does test us.

I loved my time in Thailand, but towards the last week it became a challenge. I’m not going to go into all the details, other than to say fuck, and all at the last minute.

But I will share this; after a week of where I had magical highs and lows (I still can’t lift stuff with my right arm, and have possibly inflamed my arm injury again, falling on the steps of the BKK Sky Train..) so I, after a 12 hour layover in KUL, which was horrible, not because I couldn’t find a place to sleep on a bench, but because of the very rude people who make up 50% of those who do that (I’m not mentioning where they are from on the subcontinent and their unbelievable rudeness,) I got on the KUL-PER flight. Got to say Malaysia Airways was amazing in terms of quality and flight.

Would fly them again tomorrow: and in perspective, their cost was half of that than Air Asia/ Air AsiaX…which were supposed to be their cheap alt.

Except:…well, it’s probably not their fault vs the airports, but they lost my bag.

Nearly every single piece of clothing I own is in that bag. I did the purge couple of years back.

It turned up this morning (2 days later) via Courier: I can’t put in words how much it made me feel amazing again. Anyhow..

I will sleep tonight…and know I have my bag back in the morning.

Also touch wood worked πŸ™‚

XXXIX

September 4, 2014 — Leave a comment

600

 

“The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions.”

Sage advice I should have followed in years gone by.

Marcus Tullius Cicero.

As I walked down the street from one of my 3 local 7-Elevens tonight I was nearly hit by a car.

This car came probably in under 1m away from me.

I never flinched once nor cared. I’m in Thailand. It was way close, but it was never going to hit me.thai bike

And if one thing Thailand has taught me is that caring less is freedom.

For those interested in the car story: it’s just usual here. Bikes often get closer as you’re walking up and down a street.

In Australia, I’d go completely and utterly spare. Every. Single. Time.

But somehow this wonderful country called Thailand has taught me not to care. To not get stressed. To not unduly worry.

Yes, Thailand has a horrible track record with road deaths, but likewise no one is going to run into you as you walk up the street.

I’ll walk up my street again tonight, and I won’t give a shit about being hit because I know that an average Thai on a bike, or in a car, doesn’t want to hit me.

And this conquers a lot of anxiety I ever had.

I’ve been accused by quite a few people of running away from my problems.

I’m not, as opposed to saying fuck it all and lets live somewhere where I can be happy and content.

I would never have thought about moving to Chiang Mai accept this bloke I know, who’s maybe a bit crazier than I am, but none the less a good bloke (and he worked out the sale of The Blog Herald for me) David Krug suggested Chiang Mai as a destination.

I’m happy he did.

I love this town. I really do. I’m content here. I’m comfortable. And the only bad thing is it’s near on impossible to get a permanent stay here visa.

And yet some people suggest that I’ve run away.

I’ve not run away from anything. You can’t runaway from nothing after all πŸ™‚

My relationship with Kellie came to an end and so be it: still love the girl, and will always be there for her, but let me say this (please don’t be upset Kel that I’m saying this publicly) I encouraged her to get back with her husband, which she has and is still doing. She’s quite possibly my sole mate, and the only person I’ve ever met in my life who is kinda like me.

It’s a relationship I actually regret losing…unlike the nut cases prior.

I’ve had a seriously colourful relationship past (before Kellie I would note…I have ZERO negative to say about her,) including a full blown psycho who thought that sending out IVO’s daily was fun. That relationship cost me soooo many friends it wasn’t funny. For the record my name was on them: it wasn’t my idea, I was just supporting my partner.

But I need to accept the blame.

My ex-wife left me after telling me one day that she’d like to donate to the IVF programme then several months later running off with the husband of the woman she was donating her eggs to.

Shit I can’t make up: I’m seriously not that creative.

But so it is.

The next time you, and anyone thinks that I’m in Thailand running away please don’t: I’m here because I gave up the pursuit of wealth in an attempt to be content and happy, and this place makes me happy.

I’m content, not stressed (every day people nearly run me over and I don’t care, in Melbourne I’d be seriously upset.)

If it works out I don’t know. And yes the heat earlier this week got to me. But tell me seriously if you’re single: why not give a shot to something that may make you happy?

PS: Given I’m 15 months away from middle age…. πŸ˜‰

wowmSadly this may be a regular daily post.

My ex-wife stripped all contact with my son away from me in the Family Court of Australia; and before you ask I couldn’t afford to contend it, her main witness had me constantly in court spending a shit ton of money on defending myself against her. I spent roughly $80k in lawyers in one year!

Amongst her evidence was statement from herself and her child shrink that me allowing Declan to play World of Warcraft was child abuse and caused him bad dreams.

The TL;DR version is WOW is bad, apparently.

But after recently being berated by my mother, she allowed some actual contact, and that included playing Minecraft and WOW with Dec online.

Until tonight.

I pointed out the irony while thanking my ex-wife tonight for letting me play WOW with him…and I will say that it’s a lot of fun. Hey Dec *waves*

And she responded by:

bitch

 

 

So tomorrow if and when I’m no longer allowed to play WOW with Declan I say this: it wasn’t me Dec, it was your mum.

There’s nothing wrong with playing WOW, it’s no different to me playing Dragon Warriors (similar to Dungeon and Dragons) when I was your age.

2312 posts to go.

elephant

So I have a new gig, I’m a staff writer for Social News Daily. It was officially announced Monday US time (31/3.)

Post here.

It was a beyond lovely post and I promise I had nothing to do with it…well except edit it after it went up after Andy Beard pointed out to me on Twitter: b5media was founded in 2005, not 2004 as per the original post (note to self: I’m getting old and forgetting dates πŸ™‚ )

I’m also somewhat stoked that a good guy like Andy Beard not only remembers me, but remembers my past better than I do.

I’ve had a proverbial shit ton of positive feedback about the new gig across social media, including people who I haven’t had much to do with in years (some going back to TechCrunch time) that have gone out of their way to like, congratulate or other forms of social media recognition.

It’s humbling. It really is that after all these years people still can find value in me writing, and giving my opinion.

Those who know me, or have followed me through some pretty dark years know some of the story post divorce to this point. Roller coaster kind of comes close.

I’m not going to rehash it all again…because if one thing about the response to this new gig tells me is that where perhaps at times that while I didn’t have a lot of faith in myself, others still did, and do.

It’s my 13th year in blogging, and I’m in my 10th year this year of doing it for a living. I’ve been what I guess some would call extremely well off, and I’ve also had periods where I was buggered if I knew how to pay the next bill. Because life is never boring there were I think six periods over all πŸ™‚

Over the last 18+ months I’ve tried to rebuild myself, and part of that has been withΒ 4aus.com..sure, not exactly nail biting tech posts (or revenue), but I’ve built it to the stage it has paid the bills, and oddly it gives most readers joy, often daily, when they find free stuff. There’s nothing nicer when a reader emails me to say they loved a sample they obtained via the site..and in one case a $20,000 holiday abroad. The site helped me rebuild daily discipline in writing (8 posts minimum a day week day (I aim for 10), and sometimes it’s not as easy as it seems when you can’t find 4 or 5 freebies to post.)

I’m not giving up 4aus.com (it pays my bills), but having joined Social News Daily others now have an expectation that I write and deliver, and from this week I aim to continue to crawl back to someone I use to be.Β I hope to be someone who can make headlines again and break stories.

Since starting at SND I’ve already had an amazing impact in writing about the potential new Armenian Genocide in Syria, (with an insane 11,000 social shares and counting, on the first post, another 6k on the follow ups and still counting) and although someone said to me on Facebook today that I’m being employed to write click bait: it may be true to some extent but even if once a month I can drive traffic by helping promote an amazingly worthy cause like #SaveKessab, I can and will go to bed at night sleeping better for it.

PS

Hi world, I think I might be back! πŸ™‚

dec

Merry Christmas Dec.

Never forget that your Dad loves you, and there’s not one day at all that I don’t think about you and wish that I could see you, spend time with you, or even talk on the phone with you.

I hope you had a great Christmas.

Never forget that when your told your Dad doesn’t want to see you, or won’t ring you on Christmas Day, that it’s your mother who doesn’t allow this.

You see, to see you on an ongoing basis I have to do a course that involves basic cooking skills; you’re told that the “court” dictated this but the court simply stamped what your mother wanted.

And the mere fact I cant even talk to you this Christmas is because your mother stripped phone calls out of her court order…and she’ll tell you that she will allow you, but the last email I received from her she stated that if I ever tried to contact her and you again she’d take me to court…and get me into trouble with the police so to speak if I ever tried to find a way to contact you via phone again.

Hopefully one day Declan you will remember that I wasn’t evil, and work out for yourself that while your father would love nothing more than even to talk to you on the phone today, tomorrow, or anytime in the future, I’m not the one preventing this. I’m also not the one preventing me seeing you.

There are 2424 days from today until I can legally contact you. I can only hope as you get older that you might like to contact me, as there’s nothing in your mothers orders that prevents you doing so.

Love you always Dec.

Dad.