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Odds and ends

It will probably be about the things that interest me and hopefully others. Like music, art, travel, holidays etcetera.

Lost the plot
19 October 2013

I do not live in Spain and so I feel my blog is a sort of pork chop in a synagogue, I try to be careful not to write about things on Spain and stick to generalities like my heading states, "Odds and ends" but the article on the Tax implications for expats living in Spain was interesting in that it uncovers a major problem in all our lives. The problem is that Goverments are constantly looking for ways to extract as much of our hard earned cash as possible. It's a universal problem. We all need a Robin Hood to stop this rot from destroying all initiative to create finacial security by the people who work hard and save. It is killing the capitalistic system, which has its flaws I know, but what's the alternative?

To add insult to injury there are always draconian penalties for not obeying the newly created tax rules. They use fear with a capital F to enforce their constantly moving of the goal posts. Strangely I remember a quote by Nikita Krushev, he said, "When you skin the people, leave at least some skin to regrow" or words to that effect. Coming from a Communist leader I thought at the time that it was a surprising comment. Seems he understood the problem and had better insight as to the solution than our present leaders who have obviously lost the plot.



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Your purpose in life is........
05 September 2013


A few days ago I watched a video on U Tube in which Adam Liepzig gave a short talk on how to find your purpose in life. It consisted of answering five questions. 1. Who are you? 2. What do you want to do?  3. Who do you want to do it for?  4. What do they want or need? 5. How will they be changed as a result?

! and 2 are about you, 3, 4 and 5 are about others. If it sounds confusing, then look at it in reverse. 5. How will they be changed as a result, or what do they get out of it? 4. What do they want or need? 3, Who do you feel most qualified to do it for? 2. What interests you, or what do you want to do? 1. Who are you?

These questions refer to virtually every job that exists and if you apply the job to the answers, you are bound to discover what you believe your purpose in life is.

So simple but so effective. No job in the world exists that does not have a benefit for humanity. If it doesn’t then no one will pay for it. So all you have to do is look at what you are doing now and apply these questions to it and you may find a new perspective in what you are doing. If you are unhappy or unfulfilled then you will have a better idea as to what you should be doing.

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When you are up to your ears in Crocodiles it's difficult to remeber that your original intention was to drain the swamp
20 August 2013

Fear is a debilitating condition. The cause of it most times is our own imagination. For many years I had a fear of flying. Getting into an airplane and waiting for takeoff got me into a sweat. It was a feeling of being trapped in a situation over which I had no control and the thought of the airplane crashing sent my head spinning in to a frenzy of fear. What I had been doing was visualizing an accident that would almost certainly result in my death.

  A few years ago I read about conquering fear. The writer had a friend who was afraid of flying and he asked him why he was so afraid, and his friend told him the exact reason I experienced about flying. The writer then said the problem was in the thought. He, the writer, actually looked forward to flying. It meant that he would be travelling in comfort, with no interruptions and would be served refreshments by the attractive stewardesses. He could listen to music, watch a movie or read something in peace.

That was the end of his friend’s problem with flying and mine too. All we had to do was focus on the pleasant aspects of flying instead of visualizing the potential disaster of falling out of the sky. The problem of being involved in a flying accident is very much less than the chance of an accident while travelling to work in your car, but you do not focus on that happening, so it’s not a problem.

All of our problems are self generated through the medium of thought. If you can train your thinking and focus on positive rather than negative thoughts, your fear will disappear and be replaced by confidence.

How does this relate to my headline?.......... Sorting out your thought processes is like draining the swamp, which had caused the crocodiles to appear.



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Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
13 August 2013

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Last night I watched a programme on television about a beautiful eco friendly scenic park that was created to be an open area for all to enjoy. It was donated by a family that owns an enormous tract of land in the countryside, and the facilities of this small, but sizeable portion of the property, was financed by donations from people who wished to honour a family member who had died. The idea was that their ashes were scattered in the area or buried somewhere on the property unmarked in an eco friendly container. Names of the departed and quotations on them are carved on large indigenous rocks, trees or other areas in and unobtrusive way.

Compare this to the current cemeteries that exist today in and around valuable city grounds, where graves are marked by concrete tombstones and placed in rows of land that serve little other purpose than giving the families left behind a place to grieve, rather than celebrate the lives of their loved ones. And as each descendant dies, less and less family members visit the graves of their ancestors in graveyards that often are left to become forgotten eyesores.    

In the small village where we live, a local church has had a wall of remembrance built in the gardens that surround the church, where the ashes of members who died are buried. Plaques with inscriptions are placed on the wall.  In the grounds of Lower Sabie camp at a grassed view site in the Kruger National Park, exists another place where departed family members are remembered by the sponsoring of benches under majestic shady trees where visitors can sit and view the river and animals in quiet reflection of the wonder of nature. There are other places there like constructed water holes sponsored where the animals can find water to slake their thirsts in off the beaten tracks, where little water is available. A small plaque is erected at or on each site with an inscription stating who or what it commemorates.

What other amazing ideas can you come up with to turn the burial places of our loved ones into a paradise where we can celebrate their lives, instead of consigning their remains to forgotten places with concrete sentinels and buried coffins, where only the sadness remains?

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In the beggining
10 August 2013

Well here we are at the start of my first post to a blog ever. A very good friend of mine has an apartment in Spain and he put me on to this Eye on Spain site. As I said, I have never blogged before and hope I don't bore you with irrelevant rubbish. I live in Scottburgh, Kwa  Zulu/Natal, which is just 60km's south of Durban, on the east coast of South Africa. Our seasons are the exact opposite of the northern hemisphere, so while you are basking in the lovely warm sunshine of Summer, we are shivering in the cold of Winter. Luckily the KZN coast has a sub tropical climate, so the Winters are mild and that's why we live herecool

In 1984 I bought a small business down here and basically semi retired, but as you know, expenses don't decrease with the passing years, so I found myself looking for more earning opportunities to earn, and coming from a publishing background, I produced a few different publications that helped keep the wolf from the door. Painting in water and oils is my hobby and music is my passion, listening, not playing, although I do try.

Although I have travelled to a few overseas countries during my life, Africa is my playground and Kruger National Park is my favourite destination for a holiday. Been going there for almost every year for the last 50 odd years. Well that's my story for now and lets hope it becomes more interesting as time goes by. If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything, I would love to hear from you. ..


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