A journey back to Middle Earth…

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Would I rather be a fisherman?


The story of the fisherman I heard for the first time when Uncle Dan told it. He was such a great speaker. I cherished those moments and miss his wit and wisdom. I’ll never forget it and I seem to have noticed similar versions of it in recent times. Seeing the fisherman on the river this morning made me reflect on if that’s the life  I aspire to, especially living in ‘lockdown’ here in Port Waikato where I could truely imagine what it might be like. The only thing is that if I pursued the fishing ‘company’ route I would also be enabling the livelihood of others and that’s the choice I’m really making…


(The Fisherman and the Businessman by  Paulo Coelho)

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.

The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said

The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

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LevALE 3 Brew

Going into Level 3 this week has given the nation some relief both around greater freedoms to move (ie. expanding your bubble and being able to go surfing) to businesses able to operate in ‘contactless’ mode with takeaways, drive-through and click and collect. News of crowds lining up and breaking the distancing rules at Burger Fuel and ‘house parties’ dominated the headlines. For me it meant being able to get out the Grainfather and doing my first all-grain brew for over 2 years. Thankfully I already had the kit ready (another example of my pre-determined pandemic preparations). As always it’s quite a luxury to take what ended up being most of the day to do the brew (due to all of the associated cleaning required) but definitely satisfying. Will need to make it up by having a ‘productive’ week this week.


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Nilay’s Lockdown

We’re now coming to the end of lock down level 4, and level 3 will start on Tuesday. I’ve had online school and then school holidays in the past few weeks which has been great because I can sleep more because I don’t have to commute to school and back or wear uniform. I’ve had a lot of free time and have been using the old home gym here in Port Waikato and also running sometimes. I’ve also had a birthday in the past few weeks which was quite different to other ones, but still was alright. We had a video call with all the Ramas and I had a cake. Yesterday I got my haircut and he did a pretty good job. I’ve also been used as a tool by my parents helping them with building mostly and have cooked dinner a few more times. Lock down has it’s pros and cons but I think going back to normal will be good.

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B and B

I decided on a zoom call to join Peter in making his special bagel recipe, which didn’t turn out too badly for a first effort. Lockdown has inspired getting into a whole lot of self-sufficiency initiatives. The discussion quickly turned into how this could be turned into a sustainable business and so spawned the idea of setting up a B&B (Beer & Bread making Co.). It is all rather time consuming however, and a reminder of why it might have been difficult in making time for all this in the ‘old world’.


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Ride to Nowhere

I’ve been fortunate enough to have my bike with us and been able to go for a few rides around the area. Been able to rack up 115km since we’ve been here which isn’t much in the big scheme of things but given we can’t venture out too far, it’s been great to get out on the bike and enjoy some of the local scenery. My calf injury has also cleared after long last so have also been able to get in a couple of runs this week after work.


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Got a bit serious on Saturday with the renovations. Managed to reconstruct our bed, put up a shelf in my ‘study’ and have another go at refurbishing the old dining room table. Really starting to get into it now and it would be good just to have a week with all the tools out (without having to put them back at the end of the day because of the rain). We did however need to clear our workbench (aka table tennis table) for another match in which I was ‘smashed’ by Nilay.


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You didn’t listen

Wonderful write up by Vivienne in Spain 🇪🇸.

The earth whispered but you did not hear.
The earth spoke but you did not listen
The earth screamed but you turned her off.
And so I was born…

I was not born to punish you..
I was born to awaken you..

The earth cried out for help…
Massive flooding. But you didn’t listen.
Burning fires. But you didn’t listen.
Strong hurricanes. But you didn’t listen.
Terrifying Tornadoes. But you didn’t listen.

You still don’t listen to the earth when.
Ocean animals are dying due to pollutants in the waters.
Glaciers melting at an alarming rate.
Severe drought.

You didn’t listen to how much negativity the earth is receiving.
Non-stop wars.
Non-stop greed.
You just kept going on with your life..
No matter how much hate there was..
No matter how many killings daily..

It was more important to get that latest gadget than worry about what the earth was trying to tell you..
But now I am here.

And I’ve made the world stop in its tracks.
I’ve made YOU finally listen.
I’ve made you take refuge.
I’ve made you stop thinking about materialistic things..

Now you are like the earth…
You are only worried about YOUR survival.

How does that feel?

I give you fever.. as the fires burn on earth.
I give you respiratory issues.. as pollution filled  the earth’s air.
I give you weakness as the earth weakens every day.

I took away your comforts..
Your outings.
The things you would use to forget about the planet and its pain.

And I made the world stop…
And now…

YOU are having to take time to reflect on what is important in your life.

Again I am not here to punish you.. I am here to Awaken you…

When all this is over and I am gone…
Please remember these moments..

Listen to the earth.
Listen to your soul.

Stop Polluting the earth.
Stop Fighting amongst each other.

Stop caring about materialistic things.
And start loving your neighbors.

Start caring about the earth and all its creatures.
Start believing in a Creator.

Because next time I may come back even stronger….


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Good Friday


I was determined to have a productive Easter and maintain a level of distraction from work and the situation the world has found itself in. Again, recognising how fortunate we are not being in the front line or in the provision of essential services we were able to take advantage of what turned out to be a beautiful day. In addition to the above we also managed to move the garden shed from one side of the back yard to another which on reflection (and change of plan) wasn’t actually necessary…


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Happy Birthday

Turning 16 in isolation with only your two parents around you I’m sure was hardly the way the Nilay wanted to spend his 16th birthday, but there was very little choice. We hadn’t really prepared for this situation so the consolation was a collation of treats mainly of the chocolate kind. In the evening I had arranged a family zoom call to mark the occasion. I am sure there will be other opportunities later in the year to celebrate with a bit more style.