Showing posts from October, 2016

Col, what actually is it that you do again?

I've been pretty crap at explaining what I do for work over the years. Even people who have known me for years (including my own kids) struggle to explain what I do when I disappear from home. Meetings, conferences, workshops, writing stuff .... but to what end?
So here's a little diagram I've been playing with. Each box is a conversation but you'll get the idea ...
1. I'm motivated by the prospect of a more just and generative world. 'Just', because the disparity of opportunity and experience is immoral. By generative I mean a society where we all get deep pleasure from engaging our senses in the natural world, where everyone gets to do what they are good at, and where all people engage meaningful endeavours.
2. The 'be the change' box is about my own life ... following Ghandi's famous if over-used exhortation to 'be the change we want to see in the world.' It is about who I am when no one is watching. It is about the life Maria and I …

an integral life

A few days ago I visited The Foundry, one of Ethical Property UK's buildings. The walls are peppered with proverbial wisdom. This one on the underside of a staircase caught my attention because when rubbing shoulders with people who think globally, as I have been privileged to do this last week, it is easy to forget that life is integral.

nice but ....

Complimentary beetroot infused salmon with fresh horseradish between flights is kinda nice but I'd actually rather be having a coffee and muffin at the Starfish Bakery.

taking in a London Friday

Such a great day to be wandering the streets of London. Started the day down in Brixton visiting Pop Brixton catching up with Michelle, then wandered from Trafalgar Square up through Soho and along Oxford St. The pubs spilled hipster Londoners onto the narrow side streets lingering over lunch time pints while the street food through Soho attracted a pumping early weekend crowd. Ended up at Midori House in Marylebone. I loved taking it all in and warmed to this city like I haven't before. (... and dropped in at Flat White for an Aussie brewed coffee.)


'Was privileged to spend the day in Westminster yesterday. Our conference moved into parliament so we could be joined by some MPs from across the houses and across parties. Momentus time and so much fun to be walking the corridors and halls. 
After finishing up, we took a couple of hours to sit in the galleries, listening to and watching the Lords spar and then digesting a serious debate in the House of Commons where arguments about ongoing military support for a high profile campaign were being put.


As many of you know, my working life has been significantly shaped by my association with Donkey Wheel Ltd, a venture philanthropy and impact investment foundation. 
Yesterday was a bit of a pilgrimage; went straight from Heathrow to Grey's Court in Oxfordshire where arriving early meant a kip in the morning sun before we got to spend a few hours wandering the estate where Donkey Wheel was born.

The Brunner family home, the origins dating back to the 11th century, holds fascinating stories and an incredible maze of gardens.

... and in an old building THE donkey wheel.

Liz, me, Dave and Paul in front of the donkey wheel ... less the donkey.

ugly glamour

Frequent travelling might open some doors to luxury, like tonight's invitation into a UAE first class lounge. But whatever way you package it, a few hours stop over in the middle of the night is all kinds of ugly. (except the deserts were incredibly good)

endless winter

In South Eastern Australia the Endless summer surf fantasy is under sever threat from a new phenomena: the Endless Winter.

8 years and still going strong

Johanna sometimes recounts an episode from 2008, when she accompanied me on a quest for a new pair of shoes. I can be a tad fussy, and she rolls her eyes when she recalls how long I took (not that long really, but shopping for men's shoes is not the stuff of little girl dreams).
This weekend has been good. Good company, food, coffee, surf, newspaper/magazine browsing and open day at the community garden where some of Maria's photos help tell the 'now' bit of the story. 
... and as is my occasional habit, I lined up my shoes and gave them a polish ('that's such a dad thing'). I love these trusty old loafers. They have been to the cobbler a couple of times, but I like getting quality stuff fixed rather than discarding and replacing. Scandinavia shows us the way again with Sweden introducing tax breaks for people who repair stuff, everything from shoes to washing machines, those great people who offer an alternative to the disposable society.
Eight years and …

no more words

It's the weekend. It's offshore. The sun is out and the temp is above 20 at last. No more words.

living local: embracing whoever happens to be here

I wandered up to the end of the street on Saturday afternoon to watch the BH cricket team in their first outing for the season. The sun was out and the grass cut. I don't know any of the blokes, but I know them inside out. They are a wonderful mob, made up of talented youngsters keeping wickets and bowling leggies, enthusiastic twenty somethings yelling encouragement before and after every ball from half way to the third man boundary, the undoubedly swashbuckling middle order batsman casting twice the shadow at short cover than he would have done twenty years ago, and the 'not bad in my day' players who's love of the old game has them coming back summer after summer. 

And then this morning over scones across the road, we talk about all the different stuff going on in the community; groups of people doing things they love together. For a small town there are so many ways to belong and contribute. And I thought about the cricket team again. Of course they want to do wel…

the generosity of the land

We dropped Johanna at a bus station in Geelong on Saturday morning (surprise visit to the Sunshine Coast for a friend's birthday) and kept going to the You Yangs. Should have worn the shorts and taken a day pack, but we'll go back another time to explore some more. The Australian bush is so engaging and sensual. The trees, rocks earth, sky, flowers .... beauty everywhere. Sounds, smells, textures, and shapes. Every tree holds a story, or maybe an epic. The ground is scarred and marked from experiences, our visit minuscule and insignificant, and yet the land offers us all it holds while we are there.

befriending unpleasantness

I find it psychologically helpful to make 'friends' with unpleasant bits of life. When we moved to Barwon Heads my biggest fear was coping with the trauma of commuting, so I decided to make it my friend. That means podcasts and emails.
I am a creature of habit. I love variety, but I love routine. Once or twice a week, the train becomes a temporary office, and I relish the opportunity to clear my inbox. And Antony Funnell (Future Tense) and Daniel Giacopelli (Monocle 24s The Entrepreneurs) have become my travel buddies.
With my head in my computer I rarely look up and out. There is plenty of ugliness: the train line seeks out a number of unofficial tips where locals in the know dump household goods and cars, open wounds on the landscape. But every now and again the beauty of sprawling farmlands and gum trees soothes the visa.


My mum was full of smiles this afternoon. Dad's unit flooded with well-wishes for her 81st birthday ... she sat, nodded and appeared to take it all in. A good day.

Dog of a day

Barwon Heads to Rye and back on the ferry to watch the Grand Final. Still can't forgive the bowl lickers for keeping Carlton goal-less until the last minute of the final quarter on a wet day at the Western Oval back in 1991 (what a shocker) etched into my emotional memory ... but was pleased to see them get some glory yesterday after 6 decades without a flag. 
Now let's get back to the real challenge and get them Blues back on top ... as my brother reminded me yesterday, its now 21 years since we raised the cup.

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currently reading

Decolonizing Solidarity: Dilemmas and Directions for Supporters of Indigenous Struggles
Sand Talk
Radical Wholeness: The Embodied Present and the Ordinary Grace of Being
A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries--A Guide to Inner Work for Holistic Change