October 27, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Over the years I’ve seen many friends and workmates touched by cancer and this is my way of making a difference.
So my reason for riding is the people I care about.
With your help we can raise money in the fight against cancer.
If you’d like to donate, click on the link below.
Don’t worry, it’s legit.
August 6, 2013 § Leave a Comment
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.*
This is of course the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) serenity prayer. It’s been a valuable thing for me to have in my tool kit during recent attempts to reduce my alcohol consumption.
I’m neither religious, nor am I connected with AA, but I’ve left references to God in here. I hope it doesn’t make any atheists (or temporarily abstaining folks for that matter) feel uncomfortable.
In his recent book “Religion for Atheists”, Alain de Botton says of this secular age that we shouldn’t “throw out the baby with the bathwater”. He essentially says that cherry picking the good and useful aspects of religion is perfectly legitimate.
A sense of community helps drive Hello Sunday Morning (HSM). This is an online group where people support each other in “taking a step back” ie reviewing and moderating their alcohol consumption. Of course there’s still no substitute for face to face contact with terrifically supportive fellow humans. I’m tremendously grateful to my friends, family and colleagues who’ve helped me on my quest to find my booze “off switch”.
So HSM is a temporary “secular” break from booze and AA is a permanent, somewhat religiously inclined one. They’re both cut from similar cloth, but I’ve found HSM to be a pragmatic approach to regaining control of one’s alcohol consumption through the use of a social media style forum in lieu of formal meetings, sponsors and religion.
I reckon Alain de Botton would love the concept of HSM…. I know! I’ll ask him!
His twitter handle is @alaindebotton
PS Here’s the original unabridged serenity prayer, attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr:
God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
*According to Wikipedia, the abridged AA serenity prayer is from a longer prayer, attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, although it may have been “floating around for centuries”. In the latter stages of WWII (1944) it was included in a Federal Council of Churches (FCC) book for army’s chaplains and servicemen. After 5 years of bitter fighting and destruction, soldiers, their families and civilians would’ve definitely needed the solace these sentiments had to offer.
**And of course “How’s the serenity” is a quote from one of the most beloved Australian movies of all time, “The Castle”.
July 26, 2013 § 4 Comments
Well, I’ve done it. 12 booze free months. 28 kgs lighter and more than 7,000 kms travelled on my bike. I’ve found a new addiction. Celebrated my “soberversary” with a 185km bike ride.
I’ll to try to continue this sobriety thing until Christmas. If I can do “moderation” after that, then I reckon we’re winning. If not, I now know how to “do abstinence”.
I didn’t travel this journey on my own.
I want to publicly acknowledge and thank Chris Raine, the founder of “Hello Sunday Morning” for establishing this important organization. A wiser head on such young shoulders would be hard to find. http://hellosundaymorning.org/
Jill Stark, journalist, and author of the highly acclaimed book “High Sobriety” for documenting her pithy, intelligent insights into a Scots/Aussie party gal taking on a year without booze. In it, she also illustrates how the booze industry likes to fuel our love affair with grog by saturating major sporting events with ads. (I’ve attended numerous footy games this past year without beer goggles and they’ve all been awesome!)
“High Sobriety” http://scribepublications.com.au/books-authors/title/high-sobriety/
Ben Mitchell, whose blog Year of Living Sober (YOLS) I found randomly through twitter, and whose efforts inspired me to tackle a booze free year in the first place. Thanks for those encouraging tweets in the early days of my own YOLS Ben!
http://yearoflivingsober.com/ Ben’s also written a couple of novels. Not necessarily about booze, but about other stuff. You can find them here. http://www.benjamingrantmitchell.com/BGM/Home.html
I also want to thank my friends, colleagues and family especially my beautiful wife Linda. Without their constant love, support and encouragement, my year off booze would’ve been that much harder. A special thanks too to my cycling buddy Liam, who helped me up those first hills on the bike on our way to doing the 145km 3 Dams challenge in Perth earlier this year.
And to James, whose wise counsel kick-started a sensible idea into action, I thank you.
So here’s to any of us who take on the personal challenge of changing our relationship with alcohol. Maybe we’re heralding a new beginning in developing different attitudes towards booze. Or maybe we just want to prove to ourselves that we can make and keep a commitment of temporary or permanent sobriety. We’re finding ways of socializing, de-stressing, being funny, sexy whatever, that don’t necessarily have to include booze. And in my book if we can just do that, then we’re all winning. One day at a time.
Here’s to life!
July 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
C’est l’hiver ici. Pas très bon pour le vélo aujourd’hui. Mais en tout cas le café est bon ici
October 1, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Alan Jones has hijacked sensible factual political discourse for a surprising number of years. His “pick and stick” approach is to bully and harrass those who disagree with him and praise those who pander to his point of view, which he in turn presents as “fact.”
The only way to circumvent this is to neuter his “credibility” through financial, political and factual means. If sponsors withdraw their support, politicians refuse requests for “interviews” and everything he says on air continues to be scrutinized for its veracity, his Jurassic media model faces extinction and he knows it.
But he won’t go down without a fight. He’ll be kicking, screaming and spewing forth bile whilst encouraging his apoplectic listeners to call in and do the same. This is how the shockjock’s feedback loop works. He’s probably loving the attention he’s getting at the moment, but as his sponsors begin to evaporate he may start to realize that this time, like Icarus, he’s flown a little too close to the sun.
2GB holds a broadcast license. With that license comes the right to broadcast his points of view. With that right however comes their reponsibilty to observe the required standards of how those views are expressed.
Although Jones’ remarks about the Prime Minister were made off air, they were made in a public forum. One which hailed him a hero in the wider political debate. Prime Minister Gillard has chosen not to dignify Jones’ most recent offensive remarks and his quasi apology with an official response.
If politicians of all persuasions were to boycott Alan Jones’ radio show his ratings would nosedive.
Freedom of speech is a right we all share.
I’m exercising mine now.
Exercise yours if you like by signing the following online petition.
May 28, 2012 § Leave a Comment
AKSEL KOLSTAD AS MOZART
When: SUNDAY, 3RD JUNE 2012, 10:00 AM
Where: THE GROVE LIBRARY, 1 LEAKE STREET, PEPPERMINT GROVE (cnr Leake St & Stirling Hwy)
Ticket Prices: All tickets are just $20. Children under 2 years old are free!
CLICK HERE for online bookings
Bookings are essential as there will be No Door Sales.
Likened to comedic musician Victor Borge, internationally acclaimed Norwegian pianist Aksel Kolstad presenting his big show for kids about Mozart!
Free entry for the group organiser!
Invite your friends or family for a delightful afternoon and remember – group organiser gets their ticket (1) FREE with every 6 tickets purchased
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
CLICK HERE To get tickets online in advance (No booking fee) to avoid disappointment!!