27 October 2012

A bit of Me

I am Peter. I am a forty something Australian expat living and working in Singapore. I have been here for more than four years. How time has flied. Or is it flown? Either way it seems to have passed very quickly. I live here alone. Living in Singapore sometimes delights me but it often bores me and mostly it baffles me. I travel a lot for my work and I spend a ridiculous amount of time on planes and in airports. I like to read a lot. I devour books and sometimes I write. 

Just for me. 

Words do it for me. 




I like to swim and surf and the ocean is my friend. I recently discovered a love for mountains too. Big ones. Really big ones actually. I often talk to strangers. This sometimes alarms people - especially on trains and buses but less so on planes. I don't know why. 

I mean no harm. 

It is a cautious world we live in. 

I talk a lot and I often pat stray dogs. I have yet to be bitten. I had a golden retriever for 14 years and his name was Bob. He was much travelled. At the end he wobbled when he walked and he groaned when he stood and he was as deaf as a door post. He still thumped his tail and grinned at me even when he couldn’t stand up anymore. 

He was my best friend and I miss his unconditional love. 

Every day.

The term ‘deaf as a post’ originated in 1540 by the writer John Palsgrave in his work “Acolastus”. John wrote:

“How deaf an ear I intended to give him …. He were as good to tell tale to post”

I do not really know what he was saying and I have not read the book but at some point in time the word ‘door’ was slipped in before the word ‘post’ and we all know that deaf is being unable to hear.

I stand up for old men and women when I catch trains and it annoys me when others don't. Stand up that is. I mostly speak my mind and occasionally it is to my detriment. Age and experience has however taught me that it is wise sometimes not too and silence can indeed be golden. Biting my tongue hurts though and sometimes a fucker just needs to be called a fucker.

We should all of us challenge everything.

I admire and respect kindness and I value morals. Please and thank you are easy words to say and they carry weight and so too does a smile. Mother Teresa said "Peace begins with a smile" and who could or would argue with a Saint? 

I believe that we are formed by what we desire and we are shaped by what we experience.

I'd like to say I never lie but that would be a lie but I try to be honest most of the time though. Or is that a lie? I do not like spiders or snakes or bats. My favorite animal is the wombat. Wombats mate for life and there is no divorce in the wombat world. 

I also like whales and dolphins. I have swam with them before. 

Guns frighten me and I don't get wars. Violence appalls me. I don't think of myself as a coward but some things scare me. I am fearful of clowns and cornfields and being buried alive. If I ever saw a clown emerging from a cornfield with a shovel in his hand I would probably have a heart attack. I fear losing people who are close to me although I know that this is inevitable. 

Tempus anima rei.

Time is the soul of things. 

I am sometimes terrified about tomorrow.  

I can make a killer curry and I also make a mean pesto sauce. The recipe for the pesto sauce was handed down to me from my Hungarian great grandmother. It has a secret ingredient that would surprise you. I like anchovies they are not however the secret ingredient. I ring my mum on Tuesday every week. If I don't ring her she worries and it worries me when she worries - which only worries her more.

And so it goes.

I wish I could speak French, Italian or Spanish as they are musical languages. I also like listening to Welsh and Irish people because to me they also sound like they are singing. Much of the time though I can't understand a word that they are saying.

I think that giving is generally better than receiving and I truly believe that those who have - have a responsibility to those who have not. Sometimes I feel that I am living to work but now I am forcing myself to work to live. 

I am employed by an Investment Bank and it is a BIG one. Mostly it satisfies me although occasionally it baffles me. Irrespective, I am happy to take their money as it keeps the wolves from my door. 

What I do is not who I am though. I once thought it was but then I grew up. 

Now I value contentment more than success - but that is easy to say.

I like to go to places that are difficult to get to and where my Blackberry has no reception. Such places are getting harder to find. I waiver between being an agnostic and an atheist but I believe in myself - most of the time. I am my own faith. 

I am a cautious optimist and I believe that most people are inherently good - until proven otherwise. I try and learn something new every day. It is not that hard and it doesn't take that much effort. 

Winning is not everything and I have learnt much more from losing. I am more experienced in losing as well.

It has made me stronger and perhaps wiser.

I am worried about what we are doing to our planet and to ourselves. We are choking our air and we are poisoning our oceans and it must stop. Species are being made extinct, wars rage and the Rich get richer and the Poor get poorer. 

The unfairness of inequity often infuriates me and I worry too what legacy we will leave to our children's children. I am a bit of a worrier sometimes.

I seek wisdom but I understand that it is difficult to find. I know that we cannot find it in books or on the Internet and we will never stumble upon it. We accumulate it. 

Through our experiences. 

I think that goodness is the key to everything. 

"Bonitas non est pessimism ease meliorem"

"It is not goodness to be better than the worst".  

However that is just my opinion and this is just a bit of me. 

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