Tuesday, July 05, 2011


I awake in the quiet of the morning, reclining on my bed, made by the finest mattress-makers in all the land, filled with natural fibres and customised support structures, designed to ensure that I awake from each night's sleep revitalised and refreshed. I rise into the sunshine amid the sounds of the parrots frolicking in the garden, and don fine robes, crafted far off in the orient. I dress for comfort and warmth, and that which I seek I find instantly in my wardrobe, filled with many, many such clothes for all occasions.

As I descend the staircase, I feel that perhaps I should like a warm, invigorating beverage to ease the chill on this winter morning.

"As you wish, my Liege" - A beautiful white clean china cup, with intricate floral designs, and an ingenious machine that heats water almost instantly sparks into life with a gentle boiling hush. While I wait the idle minute or so, I gaze out at the tropical landscape, quietly encompassing the view, a dense majesty so rich and vivid, and yet, one that this King often fails to appreciate. I reach into a nearby drawer, and produce a clean shiny, silver teaspoon. In a jar nearby I have a compound, composed by the most brilliant food scientists, that, when mixed with water, reconstitutes the finest Arabica coffee from Equatorial Guinea - the aromas and deep robust hues appear like magic, as the boiling water is poured into the cup.

While the flavours of the pure drink are intense, lively and bold, I am not satisfied. Indeed, I should like this beverage to be sweeter. In another jar, just nearby, I have the distilled granules of a compound grown in the northern lands, the sugar cane. This grass is grown to a height of around 12 feet, before workers harvest and slash it, and then each individual strand of cane is crushed, woven and pressed, until a thick molasses is formed. This brown molasses is then refined through a boiling process, seven times, until a pure white crystal is produced, after extensive drying. It is this substance, this white powder fit for a king, that I choose to sweeten my beverage with. I add two spoons of the powder into the cup and stir. The clinking of my spoon is the only sound in the still morning.

And now, while sweet, this drink still does not please me sufficiently well. For it to be fit for me to drink this winter morning, it requires further modification. What I wish, is for a maternal cow who has given birth to a calf to be taken from the pastures and to have milk suckled from her teat. This milk should then be boiled and cooled. Then, when it has been boiled and cooled once more, it shall be carried on the roads of the land, hundreds of miles, until it is brought to me. This is perhaps an odd request, but it is what I desire.

Fortunately, being a King, precisely this liquid, white and cold, is stored right beside me, in a complex cupboard, designed by the finest engineers so that the temperature inside it is maintained at that of a freezing winter morning.

I pour this white milk into my cup. It swirls brilliantly, thermal currents producing a spectacular display of diffusion whorls. I stir them away impatiently with my spoon.

Bearing my Royal mug, I adjourn to the front deck, to sit in the winter sunshine, as it warms the land. As I sit, regally on the deck, high above the other houses and the ocean below, I am reminded of those fresh moments of my youth, those times when the winter sunshine seemed the only comfort that I received.

Still moments, where alone, and far from home, when that warming ray of sun on the back of my neck was like magic in the cold mornings, my cheeks still flushed from the cold, my clothes ragged and unkempt. Full of promise and discovery, a stranger to change, I would find those quiet moments in the morning, and I would feel amazed that I could be there, amazed that the world had a mechanism that I could maybe one day comprehend and be part of.

The sweep of nostalgia covers me with a rich tapestry of memories and moments, and the fleeting, desperate longing comes with it - for that time, when I was not a king, and was merely a rough and tumble young knave. I let it pass as I finish my coffee.

The Royal iPhone rings.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Man who lived in the Sea

At the edge of the world, where the sand meets up against the crystal cylinders of the rolling blue windswept ocean lived a simple and humble man, who had forsaken the land and his family. He stayed, for the most part, drifting around in the water, floating with the waves, riding the swollen anticipation that stemmed from the storms far out to sea on a hand made board. Fed up with the complications of the land, of the stupid human machinations of society, of people, and responsibility, he had awoken one morning with the seed of an idea.

And over time, although that seed was poised to blossom into a crazy proposition, he nurtured it, referred to it in quiet moments standing at the bus stop. He held it close to him, and it was never far from his thoughts.

This is how to grow oneself an idea - one holds it in the top of mind, and when pressured or sad, one recalls it. Soon, the idea will start to bud. Far from being fully-formed, an idea in the process of unfolding doesn't need to be held in the mind - it will reappear spontaneously as it grows, or when its host would benefit from its presence. Soon, the idea will begin to fully bloom, and if it is carefully regarded, and welcomed by its owner, it will take root, and the host will be driven to share it, to act on it, and to publish it far and wide to others. This is where an idea begins its powerful transformation into being, and this is how the world is made.

The seed of the idea that was planted into the humble man was to live in the sea. To forgo the suit, and the tie, and the meetings. Always meetings. To throw off his responsibilities with callous disregard, and to move from the land to the water, with a view never to return. There were problems with this zygotic notion, he would agree with himself, nodding. For instance, there were bound to be some people who would feel upset by his departure from the walking people. There was likely a great deal of busywork that would remain uncompleted, task items unchecked, questions asked. There were other things, more physical things, that would hinder his ability to live in his new aqueous abode.

And yet, despite it all, his idea began to grow, like a sand flower, clung to the yellow dunes, with dogged persistence, in such a fashion that made one suspect that there was a powerful subterranean reservoir that provided the flower with nutrients in this harsh sandy windswept world. And there was - it was love.

The humble man was in love with the sea. She danced for him, and whispered with crashing waves, the sounds of freedom into his ears. He could hear her call from far away, and was drawn to her, to stand with his feet buried in her sandy shores, and to gaze longingly at the swollen, bursting hollow lines of the waves. Sometimes the wind would blow from over the shore, and her delicate lines would be clearly accentuated, with trails of blown water streaming from the tops of her peaks, and he loved her. He wanted her most of all, more than the land-things. His desire grew. More and more flowers appeared on the bud of his idea, and soon, she was the only thing in his mind.

And then one day, the dense herbaceous entanglement of the idea could not contain itself within him any longer. He pressed the button on the bus marked "Stop" and pressed his way through the commuters, without saying "Excuse Me", and he kicked off his shoes as he walked through the automatic door. He walked through the tourist lines, through the market of people setting up their goods, removing his tie. He threw his jacket into the open parkland where children were playing with a football. He shed his suit pants, and pausing only to grab his board from the racks, slipped away into her open arms, as his idea burst forth into being.

And that is where you can find him to this day, floating with his one true love, nestled among the hollows of her waves, floating joyously among the white foam. Sometimes there are difficult moments, turbulent times where she will not talk, and only scream, trying to storm away from him, and all he can do his cling to his board and wait for her to calm down, and other times she is still and sad, and he must paddle hard to stay with her, to work with slight, delicate waves.

And together they are their own kinds of happy - one with the immense fullness of the natural world, and one with delight and accomplishment at the power of change.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Introducing Musichord

I've always fancied myself as a writer for Rolling Stone. Living a wild reckless, rock n' roll lifestyle, touring around with no fixed address, being all edgy and drug addled and fuck-you establishment... Being one of those guys who can't speak, interviewing people who can't talk for the benefit of those who can't read...

...Overall, It seems I have (fortunately) chosen a somewhat different path, but part of that reckless dream lives on in my new blog, Musichord.

Along with an old friend, Charles, I'll be posting my thoughts on new music I like.

Yeah, as a couple of aging hipsters, it's tempting to hate everything that the kids come out with these days. But it turns out there's a lot to like out there. And if you're looking for something new to listen to, or just for that voyeuristic pleasure that comes from skipping through somebody else's iPod, you can head over to our new website - You can also get us on Facebook, and Twitter, too.

Rock on. :)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

So this is the New Year...

We spent New Years in time honored family tradition, on the beach under a glorious clear sky, with the Western Outer Orion Arm of the Milky Way luminous and scattered above the warm summer waves.

This year, I've decided to focus on production rather than on consumption. If that sounds a bit odd, well, perhaps it is.

It seems to me that in this coming decade, the massive increase in information availability, brought to me through the internet - through Facebook, and Twitter, and mainly through a never ending supply of smart, insightful and amusing humans to provide me with content, results in me feeling obligated to consume it all.

That I should read each heartfelt status update, and follow each interesting link. I should upvote salient points of view, demote and chastise those less pleasant.

I should "Like" things I read,

(Except when the tone of the status update indicates that "liking" would be inappropriate:

"Bob was abused as a child - 12 people like this")

I should be abreast of the latest memes and Internet jokes, be able to identify a RickRoll or a Bachelor Frog at twenty paces. I should re-tweet this to my followers. I should leave a pingback on relevant posts. I should only "mark as read" when I have actually 'read'. I should not unsubscribe, or uninstall. I should poke those who poke me. I should help my neighbor in Farmville. I should add to favorites. I should rate this content 5 stars. I wont have the guts to set this as my status message for the day. I should leave a review. I should ignore this purchase for the purposes of recommendations. I should re-join today at heavily discounted rates. Chris is new, so I should suggest people who Chris knows...


Given some time to reflect, in all seriousness, all this stuff requires me to take in an inordinate amount of information. My default position in the information economy has become to spend far too much time trying to passively consume it all.

As much as I love the people and the intentions behind it, this year I'm going to stop consuming.

Instead, I'll focus more on my family , my work , my blog, and the endeavours that I've already undertaken, that are, truth be told, suffering through my information consumption addiction. Focus more on what I can produce, than what I can consume.

So, my gift to you for the coming year, is this:

Go ahead and ignore me.

Don't read my status updates, or my tweets. Don't feel you have to reply to my silly email, or leave comments on my ramblings.

I won't mind. It doesn't sound like much, I know, but maybe I can give you back a single instant of time to produce something worthwhile - a moment with your kids, or some creative pursuit- leaving the office a minute earlier, not missing the train, checking an item off the task-list.

In the end, it's our contributions that define us. Our actions, not the amount of background research we did.

This year, I want to do more, and I think the way to achieve it will be to focus on the doing, rather than the related information and discussion.

Happy New Year!

(if you like this post, please tell ten friends about it, via seven different social networks, set this as your status, print it out and stick it to your car. Bill Gates is counting them, and 1 dollar from every post will go to cure starving elephants from child abuse.)