Saturday, 13 February 2016

Home Free

No ghosts from the past with sordid history
No skeletons in the closet or places to be
No chip on my shoulder, no monkey on my back
No muse in my head to blame for my lack

No dues owed to the Ferryman, no tiger by the tail
No need to pay the Piper, nothing beyond the Pale
No fear of the Reaper, no angst t’wards Old Man Time
No grief for anything that ever was mine

No bad dreams to falter or things I want to forget
No tears of dread to cry, there is no regret
No niggling doubts to ponder or trivial questions “Why?”
No unsettled dispute, no little white lie

No pressing appointments or points to prove
No soap-box to preach or stumbling block to move
No chain to bind me, no lock without key
No debt tying me down - I’m home free.

No magic trick, no sleight of hand,
No fancy foot-work, no shifting sand
No ace up my sleeve or joker in the pack
No magic wand or rabbit in a hat

No spin of the dice, no four leaf clover
No reason to look my shoulder over
No rabbit’s foot, no lucky charm
No hasty retreat from a rushing gendarme

No other agenda, no facade on my face
No rockets in my shoes to cheat in this race
Not counting the blow but turning the cheek
Not eager for fame but fervent for meek

No fear of flying, no terror of heights
But an awe of flame and a kin for lights
Facing the challenges, no fear of fear
Living my life as if my Saviour is near.

No baggage to carry, no millstone round neck
No run-away thoughts to be kept in check
No prison to hold , no handcuffs on me
No reason to stay - I’m home free.



Thursday, 14 January 2016

Re-connecting with an old friend

Most of us remember the days of our high school years with warm reminiscence, or at least some fondness. Life was full of possibilities; exciting and full of exploits. The adventure of an unknown future not yet handicapped by a long history meant that most of us looked forward to the life ahead of us with more than just a little optimism.

I was no different. In fact, even today, more than four decades later, I still find myself viewing new possibilities with enthusiasm. It seems that I am not alone in thinking this way.

Yesterday I caught up with an old school friend I have not seen since we both left high school. For the past 40-odd years he has lived in Darwin and spend a lot of time travelling abroad for his work. He has seen a very different life than I have. He sort of 'fell' into many of his jobs - a case of being the right person in the right place at the right time. His work has taken him into the seedier side of life where he investigated the nefarious activities of those in society who ignore laws and hold no consideration for others. While he was describing his work history to me I got the distinct impression that he has faced serious threat to his life more than once.

And yet, here's the thing: he remains just as adventurous and inquisitive as when I knew him in school. He is still an optimistic man confident that life will return good things to him. He has enjoyed a life filled with interest, excitement, activity and relevance. Of course, there has also been the monotony of persistence and the tediousness of continuity to contend with, (none of us escape those things), but he remains positive in his outlook and unequivocal in his expectation of good times ahead.

Tony, it was very refreshing to catch up with you after such a long time and to see that the friend I knew in our teen years is essentially still the same man today.

Monday, 11 January 2016

A new agency!

Today is my first day at a new real estate agency - @realty

I have learnt a lot over the past 2 years working in a small semi-rural agency. There was new legislation nine months after I started which caused a complete change of forms and procedures, but all-in-all it was a fairly easy thing to learn. Conversely, getting to know the locals was both a huge challenge and hugely rewarding.

Now, venturing out on my own, the only really big issue to tackle is the one that is common to most real estate agents - getting listings. It may surprise you that the number of friends you have selling a property does not translate into the number of listings you are offered.

That complex, sometimes-fragile, often-unspoken relationship you have with a friend requires a high degree of sensitivity, empathy, understanding and sometimes just plain good timing to convert circumstance and all its subtle nuances into a property listing. 

The problem too is that most people only buy or sell a family home a couple of times in their life, and markets change substantially between each such event. Being able to educate people contemplating one of the largest transactions of their lifetime often requires the dismantling of deeply-held opinions, and occasionally the reduction of hopes and dreams. And while reality always, finally enforces itself upon us all, fore-warning can often make the process less painful. Soft-landing unpalatable news is an essential skill for every real estate agent.

So, it's a new day and, as always, I am enthusiastic and confident of success. If you know someone who is considering selling, please pass my details on them.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas everyone!

Remember, He is the reason for the season.

Saturday, 26 September 2015


Seething Sea; Writhing wind; Rigid rocks
These be my heart and mind.

Restless soul; Aching heart; Empty void
These all the same kind.

Faithful Father, Brothering Son, Gentle Spirit
Creation process again.

Peaceful heart; Renewed mind; Quieted soul
Health and wholeness when I was lame.



Where value is more than the price

I have said a number of times that this blog is more about me than what I do for a living. Having said that, it's not often that I get the chance to sell a home that offers more than the obvious for a very reasonable price. So I am hoping you will forgive me for talking shop, but this little beauty is an exception.

87 Gilberts Road, Glencoe is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home that is as normal as most other homes of the same size and facilities. There are two things that make this property different.

Firstly, the views. An extensive view towards the North-West, all the way down a valley to the Bunya Mountains, and then a similar view down a valley facing South-West. You can see for miles. You can see the storm clouds roll up from the south and west. You can see sunsets that last for an hour. You can see forever.

Secondly, the price. Under any normal circumstance, this property would be worth over $400,000. Well-over. But due to the particular circumstances of the owners and their family, a quick sale is more important that obtaining the most value for their asset.

I am not going to wax lyrical about this home. This is not the place to do that. I'm not going to waffle on about all the facilities of the home, and the 6 acres it sits on. There are other forums for that. 

I'm just letting you know that there is an opportunity to make a purchase where the value is obviously more than the price.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

A swift end to a short venture

I wrote back in February that I was commencing a venture into aquaponics.

I have a greenhouse of approximately 4 square metres with an area about the same size situated between the greenhouse and the shed. There is a small 5,000 litre water tank behind the shed.

I purchased 3 x IBCs. An IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) is used to store and transport 1,000 litres of liquid. I intended to cut two of them in half to make 4 grow beds, and the third was to be used for the fish tank. I cleared the area, and made it ready for the grow beds. The fish tank was go inside the greenhouse, to provide it with much-needed protection from sun and heat. I planned to power for the pump from the shed to the greenhouse. 

I purchased water and Ph quality meters, grabbed some pipe from the local hardware store and drew up plans for placement and operation of the system.

Now, some 6 months later, I have come to the regrettable decision that I am unable to continue.

Why, you may ask?

Well, apart from the aforementioned lack of skills and knowledge (things I know I can overcome with persistence and investigation), I have become insanely busy in my businesses. Having made the decision to become a real estate agent, I expected my days as a software developer would fade into oblivion. 

This has not been the case.

The real estate work has gradually increased, and the software development has continued to go from strength to strength. This has left me with the decision to either struggle on with another project (with a steep learning curve), or to let it go. As a young lad, my father taught me to finish what I started, so this decision has taken me a couple of months to make.

So, for the thousands of people (hundreds? dozens? anyone?) who were waiting with bated breath to read of my adventures in aquaponics, my apologies.