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Saturday, September 29, 2012

The older you get the stronger the wind gets and it's always in your face


Last night was bad, really bad, with near-cyclonic winds. I've been up since six o'clock cleaning up and mending broken things. The worst damage occurred up the lane where a huge tree branch fell onto the new neighbours' new fence. After all the controversy over this fence, it seems like a bad sign.

(Or should that be signage which at this point in time is the word for more than one sign; as in, 'God sent Moses a piece of signage' or, 'Moses had a signage event that empowered him going forward' ?)

Friday, September 28, 2012

You see it when you believe it!


Our new neighbours will soon be neighbours no more: having bought the little shack at # 33 Sproxton Lane in June 2011 for $950,000 and the adjoining vacant block in January 2012 for $750,000, and having built a huge green wall around it, it's all up for graps again - for $965,000 and $765,000 respectively!

I assured our new neighbours at the time that, having lived with the Berlin Wall for the first twenty years of my life, I'd have no problem living with their wall for the last twenty but some neighbours objected strongly to it. They complained to the local Council who have called for a development application to decide if the fence can stay up or come down. Had that something to do with their decision to sell again?

To make them feel better, I told them that our other neighbours had given us the inverted Victory-sign for years - he to me, and his wife to my wife - as well as leaving anonymous notes in our mailbox in which they called us 'unAustralian'. I guess, by their definition anybody who has worked hard all their lives and paid their taxes and doesn't live on hand-outs from the Government is 'unAustralian' which makes us very 'unAustralian' - and proud of it! The human race really hasn't evolved much since it first emerged from the primordial slime.

In my idle hours - of which there are twenty-four in every day - I sometimes amuse myself with Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary which defines 'neighbour' as 'One whom we are commanded to love as ourselves, and who does all he knows how to make us disobedient'.

Life is like a jar of jalapeno nuts. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Greetings from Bali


I've just received an email from my Balinese friend Ketut Wahyuda who operates his EXOTIC MULTIMEDIA internet shop in North Bali. It's always nice to hear from him and it always makes me want me to jump on a plane and join him and his family!

He kindly gave me the contact details of Made Tanou Onederful whom I met during my last trip there. Apparently, he's still in Bali practising his yoga and living on next to nothing. How Onederful!!! ☺

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach them to use the internet and they won't bother you for weeks, months, maybe even years.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Size does matter: the new iPhone5


I've just ordered mine!


Men have two emotions - hungry and horny. If he hasn't got a glint in his eye, make him a sandwich.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Outsourcing my retirement


As soon as "Riverbend" is sold I'll outsource my retirement to Bali. It's almost like the India in this video clip but without the elephants.
And this is the place I've chosen to retire in:


A small hotel with just four exquisitely appointed bungalows which can be rented for a whole year for less than the annual upkeep of "Riverbend" - and, yes, that includes breakfast! I may even rent all four for total privacy ☺

Let's see what happens. All I know about the future is that it will be different. "Everything will be alright in the end. So if it's not alright, it is not yet the end."

If you want to retire in Bali, then you must read this e-book:

Click on image to go to order form

The book covers all aspects of moving and retiring in Bali, to help you plan your move and avoid costly mistakes. It gives an honest account of all of the positive and negative aspects of living in Bali. Living in Bali is not always a bed of roses and the guide will help you to prepare for problems you are likely to face in Bali.

Not only does the book include the essential information on visas, insurance, shipping companies, medical care and property, but it also includes interviews with expats who have already retired in Bali. Their stories and advice are an invaluable source of information.

Retiring in Bali is not just about warm weather and a low cost of living, Bali has a rich and fascinating culture. The religion is strongly intertwined with daily life. Bali has a very strong community life and Balinese are welcoming to newcomers. For people that get involved in village life, you just cannot help to be touched by the people and have a deeply rewarding experience.

The book should put your mind at ease, as it answers many of the typical concerns people have about retiring in Bali, such as visas, finding medical insurance, health care, cost of living, dealing with the government and police, safety and buying or renting property.


Monday, September 24, 2012

The Brisbane bionic man

A happier moment just days before the fall.
We had asked the resort to serve him a
bottle of red to celebrate his birthday


It's been six weeks already since my friend Manfred Richter entered Brisbane's Princess Alexandria Hospital after his disastrous fall at the Hideaway Island Resort in Vanuatu.

They've put a titanium plate into his right hand and are still deciding what to do about his hip. If it's another operation, it'll be another six weeks!

Practising his German 'Gruß'

Orange juice comes in strange bottles

I've just spoken with him on the 'phone. He's not a happy Vegemite and can do with all the moral support he can get.

Good health is merely the slowest rate at which you die.

Tirra Lirra by the River

Like the Lady of Shalott, I sit here on my little "island" watching the bustling world on the river and in the mirror of the Internet. What a contrast to my previous hyperactive life when, already aware of life's brevity, I tried to do as many things as possible and to live a dozen lives at once.

I look back to that hectic journey, which now is little more than the accumulation of memories that prove it occurred, with some grief of the price I paid and the price I made others pay. But there is no going back; this has to be it for me. Intimations of my own mortality arrive almost daily, either in my own slowing or the sickness and ultimate demise of those I have known.

I once worked it out that we're born with about 700,000 hours to live. Of this we spend roughly one-third sleeping and another 20,000 or 50,000 hours, depending on our bowel movements, sitting on the dunny. Which doesn't leave all that many hours which are really useful to us. Perhaps I was, after all, right to have lived such a hyperactive life?

Oh, and yes, I did read Jessica Anderson's novel.


Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, lying in hospital dying of nothing.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The world needs more Pat Condells


Good ol' Pat Condell who hasn't succumbed yet to the disease of our time: political correctness.

And read this article, Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant.

That's what I call a good neighbour!

Click on article to enlarge

Friday, September 21, 2012

The boating season is about to start

from the audio book publishers CSA WORD

This is the hilariously chaotic story of a sojourn taken on the Thames from London to Oxford by the writer, Jerome K. Jerome, with his weary inept friends Goerge, Harris, and the dog Montmorency.

The novel - [click for full text here] - is a series of often very funny vignettes that recount the many scrapes the men get involved in. Rather than the situations, it is Jerome's prose that is the real attraction here. He finds humour in the most banal of objects from a tin of pineapple chunks that is impossible to open, to the description of his friend's day's work: 'Goeorge goes to sleep in a bank from ten till four each day except Saturdays, when they wake him up and put him outside at two.'

The book is a wonderful read. The movie, starring Tim Curry, Michael Palin, and Stephen Moore, is a real treat but hard to get. Here's the full albeit rather washed-out sequence from Youtube:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8





Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The most beautiful waterfront property on the South Coast is for sale



Absolute waterfrontage - no public access! Enjoy sailing, swimming, and fishing at your doorstep! The sense of peace and tranquillity is absolute: no traffic, no noise, no "next-door" neighbours, and never to be built out! Go to




Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Colourblind drivers need not apply!

And then there were three: first came the rubbish bin with the red lid, then came the recycle bin with the yellow lid, and today we were given the organic-waste bin with the green lid. What a waste!

I hope they've tested the rubbish collectors for colour blindness before I totally confuse them by putting all three bins out together and pretend to be the Embassy of Lithuania ☺

Oh, and the neighbours across the lane got two green-lidded bins because they bought two blocks. That's what you get for $1.7 million!

The wife left a note on the fridge...... "It's not working!! I can't take it anymore, I've gone to stay at my Mums!"

I opened the fridge, the light came on and the beer was cold......... What was she on about??!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

We are lucky in Australia


We don't need a parody; we have the real thing!

Where is Australia (be-)heading?

Will our unelected Prime Minister do anything to stop this incitement to murder? She's pretty useless when it comes to just about anything else, so I might as well address my concern to the next Prime Minister.

If you are a concerned citizen, you should, too. [Click here].

"It is easy to dismiss the practices of the last week as the result of some crazy extremists," Senator Cory Bernardi wrote on his website. "That is the convenient route for those who know very little about the fundamentalist Islamic agenda and understand little of their mission worldwide."

Fellow Coalition MP George Christensen says those found guilty of violence should be deported if they are not Australian citizens. "I think the average Australian would think (that) if you're engaging in violence and you weren't an Australian citizen, jump on the first plane and head back to where you come from because that stuff is just simply not on in this nation," Mr Christensen told ABC News Online. "It really does call into question the whole thing that's been pushed for the last 20 to 30 years on multiculturalism. When we see scenes like that, we just wonder what the future may hold."

Immigration Minister Bowen says he is looking at what options he would have if any "non-citizens" were involved in the protest, but has spoken out strongly against the violence. "Clearly this is not done in the name of Islam and it is not done in the name of multiculturalism; it's done in the name of thuggery, nothing short of that," he told reporters in Canberra. "This is just criminal behaviour, nothing short of that."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Luckily no transposition of numbers this year

Gebackener deutscher Käsekuchen


67 !

Time to take stock or be in shock? Time to celebrate or cerebrate? Luckily this year there was no repeat of last year's transposition of numbers ☺


Click on image

Okay, so now you know how close I'm getting to my use-by date but there's no need to tell anybody else, is there? If anybody else asks me how old I am, I simply reply, "Mid-forties" - which is entirely true as I was born in the mid-forties, in 1945, to be exact ☺

Well, this is it for another year!

The secret of longevity?

Keep breathing!

Friday, September 14, 2012

You have to know the past to understand the present (price)

Click on map to enlarge


And here are some past prices to understand just what a bargain "Riverbend" is at $2 million:

# 1 Sproxton Lane 1,565 square metres
sold as a vacant block in March 2006 for $605,000

# 3 Sproxton Lane 1,682 square metres
sold in February 2007 for 800,000

# 5 Sproxton Lane 1,771 square metres
sold in February 2012 for $1,200,000

# 7 Sproxton Lane 1,821 square metres
sold in June 1996 for $290,000

# 9 Sproxton Lane 1,883 square metres
sold in October 2010 for $970,000

# 11 Sproxton Lane 1,872 square metres
sold in May 1997 for $220,000

# 13 & 15 Sproxton Lane (double-block)
still held by the original owners

# 17 Sproxton Lane
still held by the original owners

# 19 Sproxton Lane 1,770 square metres
sold in April 2006 for $925,000

# 21 Sproxton Lane 1,897 square metres
sold in December 2010 for $900,000

# 23 Sproxton Lane 1,770 square metres
sold in January 1997 for $330,000
currently on sale at $1.2 million

# 25 Sproxton Lane 1,745 square metres
sold as a vacant block in March 2006 for $750,000

# 27 Sproxton Lane 1,760 square metres
sold as a vacant block in March 2007 for $705,000
then had modern house built on it and was until
recently on sale at $1.990 million

# 29 Sproxton Lane
still held by the original owners

# 31 Sproxton Lane 1,720 square metres
sold as a vacant block in January 2012 for $750,000
to the owner of # 33 Sproxton Lane

# 33 Sproxton Lane 1,695 square metres
sold in June 2011 for $950,000

# 35-39 Sproxton Lane, known as "Riverbend"
approx. 30,000 square metres (more than 7 acres),
for sale at $2,000,000


I have had "Riverbend" listed for sale with two agents in the Bay for some time. The last time I saw them was when they drove off with the signed listing agreement. "Perhaps it's time I tried another agent", I thought to myself as I eeny-meeny-miny-moed through the list of local agents.

Well, I've just had a visit from one of them. Expensive car, gold watch, winning smile, firm handshake - all the usual stuff - but I was ready with LIAR, my Language Interpreter for Agents in Real Estate.

As the agent began to explain, "Of course, we will require an exclusive sales agreement", LIAR beamed back at me, "Of course, once we've got you all stitched up and nobody else can sell your property, not even you yourself, we'll just sit back and wait until a buyer turns up."


When he added, "I've been in real estate for a very long time and have a wealth of experience." LIAR simply winked at me and translated, "Not having any other skills or professional qualifications, I've been driving people all over the countryside to look at real estate for longer than I care to remember".

But LIAR really went into overdrive when he continued, "I don't want to waste your time and want to be completely honest with you: I don't think your price of $2 million is realistic".

LIAR churned and spluttered and almost gagged on the words 'completely honest' but eventually came back with, "I don't want you to waste my time: I want to make a quick commission on this one; so drop your price low enough for the property to sell itself."

"So what do you think it's worth?" I managed to croak.

"Well, the prevailing price range in the lane is around one million. Would a prospective buyer be prepared to pay an extra million for the extra seven acres? I don't think so!" pronounced "God", the agent.

"Amen", I muttered (isn't that what you say after God has made one of his infallible pronouncements?)

LIAR had already stopped chucking and churning and gone up in smoke. Even I experienced one of those Diderot 'l'esprit d'escalier' moments which had left me speechless.

As his expensive car headed out the driveway, I thought of all the things I should have said:

That last year a small wooden shack plus the adjoining vacant block - # 31 & 33 Sproxton Lane - , total land area 3,415 square metres, sold for $1.7 million

That the most recent sale in February this year (long after the end of the boom!) of a very ordinary house on just 1,771 square metres - # 5 Sproxton Lane - was at 1.2 million.

That Riverbend's large two-storey full-brick house and guest cottage and workshop and library and utility shed would easily command a large premium over the recently achieved sales price of $1.2 million and also $1.7 million, even without the extra seven acres of land which is large enough for a man and his loving wife to have a stimulating argument at the top of their lungs without invading the nervous systems of surrounding neighbours.

That Riverbend, because of its size, location and substantial improvements, has always sold at more than double the price of any other waterfront property in the lane.

That waterfront properties in the lane had increased in price four- and fivefold since 1993 when I bought Riverbend (# 33 increased almost eightfold!). Riverbend had then been marketed at $500,000. What do you get when you multiply $500,000 by four?