Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Happy Melbourne Cup Day

Sometimes the memories are worth the pain.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

As Tall As Lions - Ghosts of York

I've been listening to this band so much lately. This isn't the official video but I really like it anyway.

Aside of the song, lots of travelling as always. I am in Melbourne again and seem to be spending about 25% of my life here right now...as a consequence I have seen quite a few TV shows. I've watched every episode of Suits, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad in the last month or so, and I have just started on The Mentalist. So, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to post them below!

Keep Safe

Friday, October 12, 2012

My Top Played Songs Over The Last 5 Years

My iTunes has just over 13,200 songs (I recently did a cull of a few thousand) and here are the top 10 most played songs over the last 5 years. Interestingly (or not) "Round Here" appeared twice more in the top 50, but different versions of the song.

Until a couple of years ago I could not play my iPhone in the car so I was reliant on Cds, so this may not be entirely accurate, but still a good idea.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Too much going on...

A lot of the time I do not bother updating my blog because I simply do not have too much to say, or there is not much going on. This time it is because so much has been going on that I simply didn't know where to start, so kept putting it off so, I'll break the ice with a few words...

Since getting back from Jakarta I have done a fair bit of travelling with work in Melbourne, Brisbane, and then Melbourne again. I took an 8 day holiday to Phuket and on the same day I got back I flew to Melbourne to work here again (yes, I am in Melbourne now). I fly home tomorrow for two days and then fly back to Melbourne on Sunday for another week. I suspect I will be down here quite a bit as I have just taken on another couple of staff down here, with one more to follow in the Sydney office in two weeks (so I will be there for training). Then back here again...

It goes without saying I am pretty exhausted, hence why I booked a holiday at short notice. I'll get some photos up soon.

Anyway, that has started the ball rolling so I will try and do more updates at the weekend or early next week.

Keep Safe.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Home, Sweet Home

Well, it's good to be back in Sydney. Unfortunately I am feeling the effects of the trip still and struggling to get to sleep. That's not entirely true, I fell asleep at about 10pm but woke up at 2:45am, and here I am. It reminds me of the bad old days with sleep, only this time I don't go all of the way through the night without any, and the prospect of going to see the sunrise with my loved one is gone. Bittersweet memories.

It was a fairly rough trip home from Jakarta with some of the worst turbulence that I have experienced. In the end I did come back business class so at least I had a bed, even if I only managed 30 minutes sleep (an upset stomach didn't help!).

I think I will go to Melbourne of Thursday, although hopefully up and down on the same day if possible. I only have three, possibly four interviews to do so it shouldn't be too bad.

Anyway, I am going to try and sleep again.

Friday, August 03, 2012

A touching passage...

NOTE: I have update this as it seems there are a couple of different versions of the story. I have replaced the first one with the original one that I read that touched me so much.


When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man!

That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement that stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly.

Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce that had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage. This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that everyday for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face and her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger. She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily. Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head. Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mum out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day. But her much lighter weight made me sad.

On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore. She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other any more. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, “I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us part”. That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead.

My wife had been fighting cancer for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from a negative reaction from our son, in case we pushed through with the divorce — at least, in the eyes of our son — I'm a loving husband....

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property or the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage! If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you. If you do, you just might save a marriage. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

A new favourite quote

“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.”

Still in Jakarta

Due to a few delays I am still stuck in Jakarta until the end of the week. The benefit of that is that I didn't have to go to Melbourne this week. The downside is that I have to go next week!

I am really not convinced about this place to be honest. It seems to be a constant wall of noise which makes rest and downtime difficult. During the day it is a constant barrage of traffic and in the evening there is lots of prayers over the tannoy system of the local mosques (and there are LOADS in the close vicinity). As it is Ramadan, of course it is to be expected so there is no option but to be respectful of it.

I am looking forward to flying home tomorrow but unfortunately it is in economy. I tried to upgrade with my Frequent Flyer Points (it only costs 24,000 points) but the ticket is non changeable unfortunately. I can now use the points for something else, but I doubt it will be a return trip to Jakarta! Hmmm, I wonder if Qantas fly to Chengdu; maybe I could finally get my trip to Tibet (even though I still do not know anybody that would be interested in going, at least nobody that talks to me!).

Anyway, I guess it is time to go and get some dinner.

Keep Safe

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The sights of Jakarta

It's been an interesting few days to say the least. On Friday I was at work minding my own business and we were hit with a few major computer problems relating to our new system (which had not been released and was approximately a month behind schedule). 48 hours later I am in Jakarta to go through things with our developers. It was certainly far from ideal but there was not any other real alternative. To further complicate the issue I have to be in Melbourne on Thursday to interview six staff for our Melbourne office so it is going to be a tiring week.

I'm staying at the Shangri-La in Jakarta, which seems ok although we are halfway through Ramadan so I am not sure it is the usual Jakarta. the food has been much better than I expected although in the main I've been having Chinese food (congee for breakfast with chicken feet!). As I type, I'm sitting in the lounge area with a tonic water (I no longer drink since I took the five precepts!) and a mozzarella and tomato salad.

On the day I arrived I was told I could either try the buffet or a steak bar/club, both within the hotel. I chose the former and it was again, better an expected. Once I had finished I decided to head over to Bats (the steak bar) and see what it was like in case I wanted to go the following night...and what a shock I got! As I walked in I noticed that there were a handful of expats there and about 30-40 Indonesian girls, probably aged between 18-23. Very quickly I was called over and I suspect it wasn't to give me a menu! I suspect it was more to do with me giving money in return for a little late night company...needless to say I left pretty quickly and returned to my room. It seems as though they arrive like clockwork each night looking for wealthy westerners or a husband (not a sweeping statement, I did my research on Google when I got bak to my room!).

So what else has been happening in my life? Not too much if I am honest. I took on some study recently (Buddhism) and did very well in my exam; 99%. It was a weird feeling when I got my score, a mixture of both happiness and complete disappointment that I got one wrong. Anyway, the good thing is that it gave me the impetus to look in to a more serious course and I have just started online study with Kathmandu University. It's only a short 5 week course but it will give me an idea if I want to purse something longer term. For the record, the course is call Buddhist Ethics.

Finally, the other big news is that my sister is having a baby boy, which I seem to recall is due around Christmas Day. She is naturally very excited about the prospect and I know it is something that she has been looking forward to for a very long time. I guess I need to follow suit as well but before that, I need to find a relationship that I don't screw up!

Anyway, I may post a few photos from my phone of some of the sights of Jakarta although I have posted quite a few on my instagram account (simoncook1969).

Keep safe.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Special Day

Today I think of this song. Feelings never change. For some reason this doesn't play on mobile devices, If you can't see it it's Colorblind by Counting Crows.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Buddha's Birthday Celebration

The 12th/13th May, 2012 was Buddha's Birthday Celebrations at Darling Harbour. As always it was well attended and a good opportunity for Buddhists to get together for a celebration. It also presents a good chance for passers by to experience a little Buddhism and taste some great vegetarian food! For the record, I am not vegetarian, but am of course Buddhist.

Since officially becoming Buddhist (taking the Triple Gem and the Five Precepts), I believe that I have improved myself, and the life of others around me. I could argue that I did it too late but at least I did it.

Of course I had many happy times before that period, but it is sad looking back knowing that I lost that special person, but that is a part of life's journey I guess.

While I was there, I spent some time lying on the grass in the sun looking up at the clouds and the beautiful Sydney skyline. One of the pictures below actually looks a little weird as the clouds make it look a little like 9/11.

Sydney Rangers Supporters Club Harbour Cruise

I recently attended (and help organise) a Sydney Rangers Supporters Club Harbour Cruise. It was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sydney RSC, but also to raise money for Rangers Football Club (or more specifically, the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund) as, for those that don't know, there are serious financial problems at our great club.

We had a great day out and also managed to raise a total of $12,000! I also won one of the main prizes, a signed framed Rangers shirt as seen below!

Inspirational Prince

It's been a long time again, sorry!

So what have I been doing of any note? Well, Prince has occupied a fair amount of my time lately. Anybody that knows me will be aware that I've been a big Prince fan for many years now. I've seen thousands of bands and he still rates in the top few artists, so when I saw that he was coming to Australia, I was suitably excited!

I managed to go to all three of the Sydney shows and as I type this, I am working from my Melbourne office. By complete coincidence (cough cough), Prince is also playing in Melbourne on Wednesday...lucky me!

Purple Rain was an obvious highlight (I had never seen Prince play this live before and he played it at all three shows), although The Most Beautiful Girl In The World was also great as it has special meaning (up there with I Can Feel a Hot One, Stolen, and a few others).

I suspect the Wednesday will be the last chance that I ever get to see Prince as he is 53 now, and only seems to come to Australia once a decade. Who knows, at 63 he could still be a great guitar player, dancer, piano player and all round entertainer!

Prince quote of the day: "How can I get through days when I can't get through hours".

Keep safe.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Watching Dashboard Confessional

I'm at Soundwave watching Dashboard Confessional singing Stolen, a very special song for me.

Location:Holker Busway,Sydney Olympic Park,Australia