I know all about you?


How serious or thoughtful are we about our personal security?  Certainly those who frequent clubs and pubs are conscious of  spiked drinks and strangers – and kids are taught about stranger danger.  However, security is more than just our personal space, think about all the documentation we have online or in files around our home and offices.

I was tackling my annual Xmas clean-up this morning, and dumping those magazines I was going to read, that clip from the ‘Tiser that was critical, but I never got around to using into the recycle bin.  Walking back inside I noticed a ‘typed report’ lying on the ground that I must have dropped.  Picking it up I placed it on some other papers to go through once the bulk of the accumulated ‘stuff’ had been sorted and relegated to the Green Bin.

Sitting outside checking the pile of reports and other papers over a coffee and lunch I came across the paper I thought I’d dropped on the front porch.  It was not mine.  It was a psychiatric assessment on a twenty year-old woman whom I will call Jane.  It outlines Jane’s medical history, depression, anxiety, and even more intimate details of her family and medical background.  I assume that the report had been dumped in her rubbish bin, but at some stage it had blown out of the rubbish collection truck.  This assumption is based on Jane living no where near me, and the medical practices mentioned in the report are also in distant suburbs.  In less than a minute I found Jane on FB.

Many of us do the ‘annual clean-up’ around this time of the year and toss out old financial statements, tax returns, receipts and numerous other files.  How conscious are we though of our privacy.  Cyber security is regularly discussed online and in the media.  However, we need to be aware of the other documents and files that we have in our homes and offices.  I’m not advocating paranoia here, but a level of common sense.  Shred those personal documents before they get to the green bin, or at least rip them up a few times.

I consider myself a reasonable guy, so as for Jane and her medical report, it is shredded along with my personal papers.  As for her FB page – Jane who?

Good friends are forever

I have just experienced one of those joyous moments when a friendship is revitalised.

All too often I have sat on the sidelines and thought: “why hasn’t ‘so and so’ been in touch?”   Maybe the better question to ask myself would have been: “why haven’t I contacted them?”  People drift apart for numerous reasons – lack of time, new partnerships formed, moving, changing jobs – but it is never because we have just forgotten.  Lazy or not getting around to it may be the reason, but not an excuse.

Singapore, Chinese Bonsai GardensAt our fingertips we have the technology to contact someone at any time, yet who are our friends?  How many people on FaceBook, Twitter or any other social media outlet are your true friends?  Social butterflies, professional contacts, friends of friends, or even worse, online game friends, but who, if any would hold your hand, hug you, buy you a coffee (or a single malt Scotch) and listen without judging?

Yesterday afternoon I took a punt and sent off a text message to a beautiful friend whom I had only one contact with in the past six years.  A few hours later I received a reply.  I was wrapped.  We then ‘chatted’ for well over an hour and caught up on some of our respective experiences during our ‘time apart’.   So much has happened.  Have we changed?  Of course we have, and that is also wonderful to discover.  Are we still friends?  Yes.  Better, stronger and closer than before I expect.

So whether it is your best friend forever from school – whom you haven’t spoken with in ten years – a former work colleague with whom you shared special times, someone from your football or netball team, even a cousin, aunt, uncle or neighbour, just make the effort.  I guarantee that you will feel excited, and they will have a special surprise in their day.  If you get dumped on, well maybe they weren’t your friend in the first place – but you have made the effort.

Life is too short to lose a friend.

Thanks my SLaSH.

The smells of summer

Brighton UK the English heatwave was only 28C

Brighton UK the English heatwave was only 28C

Yes it has been hot today – about 38C (100F for the peeps who are not metric). This morning it was nice and relaxing, sitting at the Uni cafe, marking and reading assignments. Then I wandered inside to our regular three weekly PhD reading group. That was enjoyable as always. A coffee afterwards and a non-academic chat went well also. This was followed by a 30 minute chat with a good student over her assignments and career directions.
Then I went outside and was hit with the very dry heat of an Adelaidian afternoon in summer. Walking through the stands of big river red gums and other native bush to get to my air conditioned car I was surrounded by the heady aromas of eucalypt and flowering bottle brush, some wattle and melaleuca flowers as well. Makes one happy to be is such beautiful surroundings.

Have a fun weekend – I intend to.

Death can be a release

On Saturday October 4, 2014 my sister Judith died.  She was 79, but her life was lost five years ago with the onset of dementia.  Earlier this week, at her funeral, I had to give the hardest speech of my life, Judith’s eulogy.  I have added it to the stories in this Blog as part of our family’s oral history.  You may enjoy my memories of Judith.

Time Flies

Well that went quickly. It seems like yesterday that I was wandering through the historic Colleges in Oxford, and now I’m back home. In the final three weeks of my trip I seemed to be packing so much in to my days I didn’t leave time to blog regularly. So with some hindsight I will gradually update my travels and start looking at the completion of my PhD and some continuing oral history projects.

A belated update

While I set up this blog some time back — as part of a teaching exercise, I didn’t get around to using it.  I’m about to rectify that (I hope). slowly over the coming weeks I will be populating my Blog with aspects of my life, my research and interests.  I will try and update regularly, possibly weekly to start with and then see how I progress.

Welcome to: A Baby Boomer’s Blog.