Vienna 180 A.D. – 27th December 2022

Push the barbarians back
To the river banks
Left alive for one day
To practice giving thanks
Soon ends the reign of one
Another body left vacated
Remembered then forgotten
The future we’re all fated


You can only know the good life if you know yourself. Facts won’t ever help you be happy. Unless that fact is ‘I know who I am.’

Timothy, Musings on Self-Education

Today I’m feeling:
Reasonably happy
Today I’m grateful for:
The vet for checking Tigger and his skin problem. He’s got some fungal skin infection that makes blisters though he doesn’t seem to care about it at all. I’m also grateful I had free time to be able to take him this afternoon and drop Amy at her parents too. Also grateful that on advising that I would have to take Thursday off to go to Lampang got told that there are no classes anyway so it’s not a problem.
The best thing about today was:
Again, helping some of my poorer students with some reading. It makes me happy to see them try and to slowly improve themselves. I could tell that one student, Pin, was particularly happy to complete reading the text after a long struggle.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Waking up in the morning and finding out that Amy’s uncle passed away during the night and that meant changes to our plans which we couldn’t be sure about at that time and would decide during the day. So when I got home Amy said the funeral would be on Thursday and that we will go but I told her that I had to be at school, I had to teach and also I’d taken two days off recently to help with other things so taking another day was gonna be a little bit difficult. Anyway, I sent a message to Kru Mai saying that I would have to go to the funeral in Lampang and I would organise work for the kids to do in my absence. Luckily he replied that Thursday was going to be New Year’s activities and there were no classes anyway so everything was fine. Now I just have to prepare myself for a six-hour round-trip drive on Thursday.
Something I learned today?
Earn didn’t come to school today because she was ‘heartbroken’ over some unrequited love and she had video-called to her friends and I talked with her a little but it was too noisy in the class to understand. Later I talked with her friends and they all said that she is not strong which I found surprising because she comes across as quite independent and strong-willed. I sent her a message to not let her happiness depend on other people and she said she was ok now, was over it and would be back in school tomorrow. The troubles of the heart! Haha, so easily brushed off at this age.
Have you ever had surgery? What for?
Only minor surgery. I had a vasectomy when I was 42 or thereabouts. Then, about seven years ago I’d hurt my elbows from repetitive strain due to making coffee. A specialist recommended taking out a part of the tendon in my wrist, doing some magic with it and then injecting it back into my elbows. I can’t remember the procedure name and I have to say it didn’t really work but I did discover the wonders of tramadol as a post-surgery painkiller. I’d never felt better! My elbows remain an issue and my coffee-making career was done.

I took this picture because Amy had to go and stay at her parent’s house to take care of grandma as her mum and dad went to Lampang because uncle passed away yesterday and they will help arrange things. As well as taking care of grandma she had to walk Leo who is just bursting with energetic excitement he dragged Amy along on his walk. He slobbers and is smelly, I had to change my clothes when I got home.

My war, you’re one of them – 31st January 2020

“Keep this thought handy when you feel a fit of rage coming on—it isn’t manly to be enraged. Rather, gentleness and civility are more human, and therefore manlier. A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance—unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 11.18.5b

I’ve never been a manly man. Well, I say that, though I can remember trying to be one from about ages 11-14. Then I started getting bullied a bit at school and realised I wasn’t ever going to be a strong boy physically.

Not me but you get the idea…

I retreated into my mind but taking resentment and bitterness there. I filled myself with seething hatred for everything around me, confusing what I considered personal injustice with larger injustices of the world. Everything was against us. It was us and them, whoever us was and whoever they were.

I dove head first into the moshpits of punk rock. Besides my mother, punk really was a rock for me to hold on to. Sometimes I clung too tight but eventually I found my way.

Justice and fairness are still amongst my top character strengths, thankfully along with curiousity and gratitude – those two came later.

These days I’m trying to calm my mind to bring some inner peace but the tunes of yesterday still rattle around from dawn to dusk. This inner noise is it’s own sort of peace, it’s familiarity calming, the anger gone.

Man is spelt big M.A.N. it’s the letters of the law,
Man is spelt big M.A.N. that’s who the law is for.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for the supportive teachers around me. They have helped me cover a lesson today and it was easy to stand once I found the right person to talk with.

I’m always changing the people and places just to fill up the empty spaces – 15th December 2019

Don’t set your mind on things you don’t posess as if they were yours, but count the blessings you actually possess and think how much you would desite them if they weren’t already yours.

Marcus Aurelius

What if…

I never met Amy?
Hayden was never born?
I never met Paul and Charlie?
I never saw the Sex Pistols on TV?
I never met the Gaunts Common kids, Rupert, Jeremy, etc?
I never made plans for where I live now?
I never studied anything else after getting my first job?
I never took the chance to travel to China?
I never took the time to study about Asian music?
Hayden had a disability?
I didn’t have my own space?
I hated reading books?
I didn’t enjoy music?
There was no internet?

I have so much in my life to appreciate and I really do!

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful to be able to look forward to ask things in my future. Just as we are now settled and made ourselves a beautiful home the question has been raised about selling and moving to the city. I really really love where I am now but selling this house would give us a huge boost of money that could take all pressure off us having to work all the time. Stay or go – everything is great!