Skiing Loveland, Colorado

After leaving Korea our first stop was Colorado for two weeks skiing. We flew into Denver, Colorado, hired a car and for some reason we ended up with a GMC Yokon. It was unnecessarily huge but more on that later. We stayed the first night in the Microtel Hotel and Suites, then it was on to Silverthorn where we rented an apartment through VBRO (Vacation Rental By Owner).  It was a well set up two bedroom apartment with two single beds in the second room and a queen in the master suite, this was one of the reasons that I had chosen that particular apartment as most 2 bed apartments has a queen bed in both rooms. The apartment was equipped with the basics such as salt, pepper, oil and toilet paper. Overall we were very satisfied with the apartment.

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On the way to Silverthorn we stopped at Loveland Ski area to pick up our passes, we ended up getting weekday season passes for the adults and season passes for the children, the four passes cost a bit less than $1300, which was more than $500 less than the passes that we could have got to ski any of the Vale Resorts ski areas, this felt good value to me. One of the good things was that I only had a weekday pass, this forced me to have a break from skiing on the weekends. On the weekends we explored the local area which we would not have done otherwise.

Loveland 1

Silverthorn is at over 9000 feet in altitude, for the first couple of days all of my family and I suffered a bit with altitude sickness, dehydration and sun/wind burn, nothing too  debilitating but not 100%. We tried to stay hydrated but it was such a massive change in circumstances it was very difficult.

I thought that Loveland was a great resort, it had a real local and family feel. Compared to Breckinridge it was a very basic resort, with most of the lifts being three seat lifts. None of the lifts had safety bars!! And there were only two places on the slopes that you can buy food and drink, the whole place was very under commercialised. All the staff were very friendly and helpful.

One thing that was a bit of a blip on our experience was that my wife’s helmet, gloves and goggles vanished form the ski hire shop while we were delivering the children to the ski lessons. We were most perplexed as the helmet is bright yellow and the gloves and goggles were not exactly new, and we could not work out why any one would steel them. We duly reported that they had gone missing to the resort, the staff were wonderful, the lifties kept an eye out for the helmet and the hire shop leant my wife replacements for the day for free, this made the bitter taste of loosing the gear far less. Three days later our faith in humanity was restored as when my wife received a phone call from a person who had been tiding up after a group of students that he had been looking after and had accidently put them in one of his gear bags.

Easter Fail

We were staying in Silverthorn over Easter, as is our family tradition we planned to have an Easter egg hunt for our children. What we do is buy small Easter eggs and hide them round the house and garden then, when the children get up (usually far too early) we send them off looking for the eggs, this usually keeps them occupied for a good half an hour.

Below the balcony on our apartment there was a lovely snow covered slope, we decided that it was a good opportunity for a snowy Easter egg hunt. So on Easter morning we got up early and threw the eggs off the balcony on to the slope below, and returned to bed, we hoped that we could have cup of coffee watching the children search for eggs later in the morning. An hour or so later the Children were up, we convinced them to get their snow gear on and go searching for the eggs.

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The Easter Egg Thief

 

We got up made coffee and looked over the balcony, there were no children in sight but there was a Fox!! It was quartering the slope looking for something, it stopped and picked it up, it was an Easter egg!  The fox trotted off  and returned a couple of minutes later and continued searching and picked up another Easter egg, we yelled at it to scare it away but it was unperturbed by our noise and trotted off ignoring us. At this stage I realised that I could not see any eggs in the snow. Alarmed I threw my snow gear on, found the children and we all searched for any remaining Easter eggs, there were none, the fox had collected the lot!!! The children were inconsolable (my wife was not much better) and being a Sunday the shops were not open so there were no Easter eggs for any one (except the fox) BAD DADDY!!!!!!!

An oversized car

I like a big car, with a big motor, I used to think that too big was impossible, then we were upgraded to a GMC Yukon XL it was huge! I knew we needed a large car as we had 3 months worth of gear that required 7 suitcases, but when I had loaded the back of the Yukon we had just covered the floor of the boot and had not even needed to stack anything two high. One of the issues, other than its ridiculously bad fuel consumption was that when any small item was put in the boot and it slid up to the backs of the rear seats it was impossible to get out without climbing fully into the back of the vehicle. Not that the size was all bad, the skis lay flat in the back!!!!

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A very large car

 

Catching up

One of the highlights of my stay was catching up with my translator (from the time I was in Korea) and her husband. We went for lunch, then a walk in the reserve overlooking the Dillon reservoir. It was great to see them, the last time I had seen them was in Seoul at their wedding six months before.

Jinny

 

After two great weeks and my first Oxford exam looming it was time to keep moving and we were on to Florida.

 

Oxford Encounters

One of the rewarding things about doing the course in Oxford, is the people that I am meeting and the experiences that we share.  There is an incredibly great richness to the experiences and knowledge  of the members of the cohort.

Just prior to leaving Korea I received a message from a member of the cohort saying that he would be on Seoul and would we like to catch up. As it happened he was arriving with his daughter the day before we were due to leave Korea for good. This may sound like an inconvenient time but in fact it was the opposite, instead of being bored round the hotel waiting to leave we had a mission, organise the evening and have a good night out.

We duly organised to meet, and subsequently meat, at entrance 1 to Seoul Station. Then we were off to Namdaemun markets with the plan to eat marinated boiled pig trotters  (chokbal  촉발).  As usual we got a little lost, as there are a myriad of little side streets that all look the same to me, so to keep the kids going we had some Korean street food, a seafood pancake  (hemulpajon 해물파전 ) and some octopus and then some sweet filled pancakes (hudeok  호떡 ) for desert.  Then after walking, talking and looking at the markets for a while we came to the chokbal  촉발 restaurants that we had planned to go to.

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Eating Chokbal

 

We sat down and ate the chokbal  촉발, rice and drank soju, talked about many things, work, travel, Korea, France, culture and many other things, however the one subject we did not cover was the upcoming EXAM. It was a wonderful evening,and it was very nice be able to introduce one of my class mates and his family to something that was very Korean and they may not have tried otherwise and it was great to learn about his family and life

 

Time to move on

After almost 4 years it is time to leave Seoul and Korea, I have had a fantastic time living here and shall be sad to leave. Living in Korea is a life of extremes, the good is very good and the bad is downright awful, and the rest is just weird. Why would you make a toasted ham and cheese sandwich do you then go and smear honey on one side???

There were three events that had a major impact on Korea that occurred while I was living there. It is possible that one of more of them will change the very fabric of the country. These events were, the sinking of the Sewol ferry where 295 passengers and 2 rescue divers died, the murder of a young woman by a deranged cook in downtown Gangnam and the Impeachment of President Park.  Two of them were very close to me, I walked passed the nightclub that the woman was murdered at every day and the instant shrine was at Gangnam Station Exit 10 which I also walked passed every day, it was impossible not to be affected by the outpouring of emption over this tragic murder.

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The Instant Shrine at Gangnam Station exit 10 a day after the murder. All notes of condolence.

 

The Impeachment of President Park was not nearly as personal for me, however twice I ended up caught up by the protests and the company I worked for was also intimately involved in the scandal. I  have no crystal ball and can’t possibly predict the changes to Korean Society that will occur because of it. However the behaviours that caused all the rage are at the heart of Korean Society.

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Protests demanding the imprisonment of President Park.

 

My plan is to take a break and spend some time in the USA with my family, skiing, fishing and generally exploring the country. Because I am a mean and evil person and my children are going to be out of school for 3 months I will be forcing them both to write a travel blog. The plan is that they experience the real world application of maths and understand some of the history and geography of the country that they are traveling through. The two blogs are called Evie the Explorer and Toad on the Road. They are children’s blogs for children.

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My baristas hat…… She made me coffee every day, what do you say???

 

I am hoping that every evening I will spend an hour studying and then some time every week on this blog.   I have added a compilation of photos (mainly mis translations that were funny and lack of awareness of inappropriateness), bits and pieces from my time here (some are not mine but they are too good not to include) just enjoy the moment.

KIds Tshirt
The perfect gift for a 5 year old!!!!!

 

 

A series of products that need no explanation, or I have no explanation.

Beware the African Animals

 

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The name says it all..

Oxford Post 2 – The land of Pixies, Elves, Harry Potter and a Korean Restaurant

So I was off to Oxford for my first contact week, the lectures run from first thing Wednesday morning until mid-afternoon on Saturday. To make the best of my time I flew from Seoul to the UK on the preceding Saturday so that I could spend a couple of days at my Uncle and Aunt’s house studying and getting over jet lag. By way of a side note, if possible I would recommend that anyone traveling from Australia, SE Asia or America should travel on the Saturday or Sunday prior to the course, those that did got far more out of the Wednesday and Thursday than those who arrived on the Tuesday evening. While at my Uncle and Aunt’s house I did less study than planed and ate and drank more than planned, I blame them, they are such great company, cook such delicious food and have a great cellar.

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The Korean Restaurant under the Royal Hotel

 

I had hired a car when I arrived at Heathrow so on the Tuesday afternoon I drove to Oxford, dropped my car off and checked into the Royal Hotel . As is the way of the world, I had flown 10 hours from Korea and the bottom floor of the hotel I was staying was a Korean restaurant!!! The royal hotel was comfortable, but nothing special, my room faced inward and was quiet, some of the other students who had outward facing rooms said it was noisy at night. Once checked in I went for a walk to get my bearings.

The Royal Hotel is opposite the Said Business school, the business school is a very modern building both in age and style. A short walk down the street the whole feeling goes backward in time several centuries, I enjoyed my stroll taking in the antics of drunken uni students, the river, architecture and the general ambiance.  The Business school had organised a first night ice breaker at the Kings Arms, this was a great way to meet some of the people who I will be studying with for the next year.

The next morning it was into the course, I was nervous just like a young kid at his first day at school, the information came quick and fast, and I am glad to say although some of the pre-reading was very dry the lecturers were not. Throughout the module the majority of the information was presented by Sue Dopson and Michael Smelts, they were enthusiastic, flexible and fun, it made all the difference.  All the days were packed full, there was something to do every break and activities organised every evening.

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The Front of the Business School

 

There were numerous things that surprised me about the organisation of the course.  Most importantly there was a great lunch provided every day and we had access to coffee, tea and snacks for every break (it is not a course to go on to lose weight). We only had limited time that we spent in breakout sessions, the breakout sessions averaged one a day and generally they were quite short (half to three quarters of an hour is my guess, I didn’t keep a record), on reflection this had to be the case we had so much content to get through and also had to do all the things like how to use the University IT system, Libraries….  I am hoping that in future modules there will be more time for group working, time will tell. The final thing was how accessible and amenable the staff at the business school were, we could just have a chat, I remember for my undergraduate days how aloof, scary and unapproachable the lecturers were, and here it was the opposite. However as an undergraduate I suspect that there was very little that I knew about engineering analysis that my lecturer didn’t, however I am sure that I knew more about the internal workings of a Korean chaebol than anyone else at the course.

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Pembroke College Chapel

Now for the fun stuff STUDENT LIFE, I am an Affiliate Member of Pembroke College, whoohoo, on the second night we got to visit the college that we were now affiliated with , told all about the history, the content of the Masters cellars, and shown round some of the amazing buildings. Some of it is right out of a fantasy novel, I was expecting to come face to face with a pixie or fairy or some other mythical beast.  The next night we were off to Dinner at Balliol College, the dining room may have been the set out of Harry Potter, the only difference was the lack of wizarding robes and the candles were in candle stick holders on the tables not floating in the air.  The food and company was great and after dinner some of us made our way to one of the local pubs.  This meal felt like the first time many of us properly relaxed and it was a great chance to get to know my fellow students far better.  The next morning, Saturday, the final day, one of our numbers was missing for the first lecture; we were slightly concerned that he might have disappeared in the Vodka triangle, however it was far more boring, he just had a frustrating two hours trying to fix ticketing problems for his flight home.

 

The lectures finished at 2:00 pm and then I shared a car to Heathrow, and caught the 8:00 PM flight to Seoul.  Exhausted; I ate the yummy plane food, had a couple of glasses of wine and slept for almost the entire flight.  I arrived home with confidence that the course was entirely doable, I was learning some great things ant there were many interesting and fun Class mates. Time will tell how well I go in the exams.

Oxford – The First Steps

This Post (and all the Oxford posts that will follow) essentially mirror the posts that I am writing for the Said Business School in Oxford University  where I am doing a Graduate Diploma in Organisational Leadership.

After I volunteered to write a blog about my experiences I thought “what the hell have you done”, which was exactly the same thought that I had when I completed the enrolment process.  So in need to relax take a breath deep and get on with it.  So I intend to write a series of blog posts tracking me through my journey at Oxford and the Said business school. I emphasise intend because sometimes life gets in the way of plans and if it becomes the choice of a blog post or studying for an exam it is really an easy decision.

The first step to Oxford was the conclusion I was at a point that now was the time that I needed to do something to give me a step forward in my career and fill in some gaps in my knowledge.  I also had to find a course that could be fitted in with my life, my family’s life and work.  These constraints meant that I could not commit to do a full time EMBA program.  The other thing that I was acutely aware of is that branding is very important and everyone consciously or subconsciously tends toward the better and more recognisable brands.  If I was going to commit to the effort that I perceive that it will require to do well in later life study I wanted the pay back, this meant that I only considered the top ranked schools.  I was in the process of reviewing the offerings from the top schools we a friend of mine said “Mate what you need to do is a Grad Dip form the Said Business School” so I looked at them in detail.  They are a great fit for me, 4 modules with a short residential session for each, 3 exams, an assignment and a project all with constrained time lines so I don’t get complacent or lazy. Of the Graduate Diplomas offered two stood out, Organisational Leadership and Global Business.

Both of the Diplomas suited my experience and ambition,  according the Said business schools website the Global Business one focuses on  “global strategy, risk and reputation, corporate diplomacy and international business challenges” and the Organisational Leadership one focused on  “building a deeper understanding of how to manage people and organisations for competitive advantage“. After reading all the online information and considering what my ambitions were I felt that the Organisational leadership better filled me. Subsequently I approached the Said Business School and spoke to both Tom Brownrigg and Andy Pool, both were very helpful. We went through my history and experience and concluded that I should be a good candidate and encouraged me to apply.

The application process was simple enough, fill out a questionnaire, write some short statements as to why I wanted to do the course and submit my CV.  The most difficult part of the process was getting copies of my Academic record, no simple on line application and credit card charge. It was a bit like the modern version of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”, Internet, phone and post, slow frustration but we got there in the end. I started the application process in the Second week of October 16 and received my offer of a place on the course on the last week of November 16 (subject to me submitting the originals of my academic record).  So I duly paid for the course and received the reading for the First module in January. 17

During the discussions with the business school I had been told that for the duration of the course I would need to commit about an hour a day to doing the pre-reading, study and assignments. So like a good studious little student I sat down and started reading and doing the case studies. Holy cow some of the papers were particularly boring, 50 pages could have been summarised to two or three with a couple of nice graphics, those ones took a lot of reading.  That aside the Harvard business review articles were easy to read and to the point and the case studies were fascinating.

So having done the requisite pre-reading I set off to Oxford for the first on campus session, I was more than a little nervous, I hadn’t done any real University level studies for over 25 years and I had never — ever done studies any of the Soft subjects university.  However I did console myself that it could not be too difficult to pass at Oxford, my Uncle and Grandfather had managed it, in fact my grandfather had managed a double first while playing up like a second hand lawnmower,  by amongst other things, fighting a duel at dawn, I added an newspaper extract below and here is a link to another article.

Maurice Fighting

Next my first on campus session “Oxford the land of Pixies, Elves, Harry Potter and a Korean Restaurant”

Hoon Hoon drives his last. Part 2

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Drinking with Dad

 

After the funeral I spent a further 3 weeks in the UK.  I took a trip with my Sister to Bath and Wales to stay in a beautiful Village with an unpronounceable name, caught up with some child hood friends in Leister

Baths at Bath and a highly instructional Welsh sign post

But my siblings, our spouses and children all got together after the funeral.  16 of in total, including 6 children between 5 and 12, what could possibly go wrong!! If you ignore the ongoing child warfare all went well, no stiches, no broken limbs, no crashed cars and only a modicum of blood was split.

We spent the two weeks in the Thiefhole cottages, we stayed in the Millington house and Turpin cottage.  The house and cottage were both very well turned out, they were fitted out with all the requisite furnishings and kitchen ware to allow us to cater and serve Christmas dinner with ease and comfort.  As usual the kitchen knives were blunt mutter, mutter, mutter, as far as I can remember I have never stayed in a rental apartment, cottage or house with sharp Kitchen knives, maybe I am a bit OCD about them.

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Some of the wine in Dads Cellar

 

One of the highlights of the stay was drinking Dad’s Cellar, Dad was fond of his wine and kept a good stock of Port, Burgundy and Bordeaux along with an assortment of other bits and bobs. My brother and I did a very careful inspection of the contents of the cellar, looking at one bottle of each type and considering what the likely characteristics of each were likely to be and what food they would probably suit.  So after much deliberation and discussion we concluded we knew stuff all and just started with the oldest of each type.  As it happens that appeared to be a good tactic we drank some delicious wine over the two weeks. The two outstanding  wines were a 1963 bottle of Martinez Port, although it was 54 years old it still good, it had retained a surprising intensity of flavour, with a golden red colour, and a bottle of 1998 Cateau Haut-Brisson, which is a Grand-Cru from Saint-Emillon in Bordeaux.

As is expected Christmas dinner was a highlight, it had input and dishes from at least five cooks from three continents, to make sure that things ran smoothly I stayed as far away as possible from the kitchen. My sole responsibility was to ensure an even flow of bubbles to those working in the kitchen.

Christmas tree and the boys horns with port

After lunch it was time for us to open our presents, as is tradition in our family, the aim is more amusing rather than practical.  Hence the boys ended up with horns!!!

fireworks
Did we get enough???

 

The final highlight was fireworks!! As my brother so eloquently put in his part of the eulogy Dad “loved blowing shit up” so in his honour we though we would let off some fire works on boxing day.  In the UK fireworks go on sale on Boxing day for New Years day, so my brother, sister and I headed to town early Boxing Day morning to ensure that we didn’t miss out on the best goodies. The agreed plan was we were going to buy just one box of fireworks, some how by the time we finished, there was rather more than that and a few spare rockets to boot (and a random hello kitty lunch box).  All the kids were very excited an impressed at the quantity of explosives that we had purchased, so to keep them in line we set them to work to dig all the holes that were required for the safe use of the fire works.  Once this was done there was an impatient wait for dusk, for the kids because they wanted to let off the fireworks now and for me because we were having boxing day drinks and I wanted a drink but it was best that I remained sober until I had let off all the fireworks. The fire works were set off with the minimum of fuss and were enjoyed by all, I don’t know why but I still enjoy fireworks just as much as the kids !!!

Hoon Hoon drives his last. Part 1

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My Father as a young Army Officer

 

It is some while since I have posted last, much has happened, I have done the dopy thing of re-enrolling in University, so that is going to consume much of my spare time. There is an upside, I will have to travel to the UK four times in the coming year, so there will be plenty on that.

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The last known photo of Dad with his trusty companion Hector

 

 

In November, my father died after a long illness, it was very a sad time for me and my family.  Due to the distance many of us had to travel, it took some time for all of us to travel to the UK and arrive in North Yorkshire.  The day of the funeral consisted of a Cremation service at the Crematorium, a memorial service at the Kirby Wiske and then on to the Buck Inn for a wake.

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Waiting at the Crematorium

 

The eulogy for my Father was a three part affair with me, my brother and uncle (Dads Brother) sharing the duties, because there were three of us and we didn’t want to cover the same parts of his life.  So, I did something I never do, I typed out my speech……. Although I didn’t follow it word for word, (I was not even close is some parts) it allowed us all to frame our speeches so they followed some common threads but did not cover the same subject matter, I have attached the text at the end of this post.  My Uncle covered his early life, my Brother our life at “Merriwee ” the sheep station (farm) that we grew up on, and I covered his later life and anything else of importance.

It was fascinating to listen to both my Uncle and brother speak of my Father, my Uncle spoke about episodes in his early life that I only had sketchy knowledge of, I knew he was in the Army, spoke some German and worked in Germany and was in Berlin during the Airlift. I didn’t know he worked as an interpreter on Check Point Charlie and was a regular in the Club that the Beetles played in in Hamburg.  These revelations and more were followed by my brother’s colourful description of our lives in rural Australia, some like keeping power gel (modern dynamite) in the fridge (because it didn’t sweat and worked better cold) and how Dad used to causally hand it to any new and unsuspecting Jackaroo (young farm hand who lived with the family) while he was getting a beer from the fridge and wait for the fear in their eyes when they realised what they were holding.

This was followed by me, from what I can tell the eulogy in its entirety was well received and provided insight as to parts of Dads life that many of the congregation had never heard about.  This was despite the use of “colourful” Australian descriptors that I suspect have never been uttered in that church before or since. But as we said it was about Dad, they were words he used and were used in their appropriate context, if not the appropriate place.

This was followed by the wake, I have to admit my memories of the evening are not as sharp as they might have been.  It was wonderful to meet many of dads old friends whom were there were legendary stories told of and to hear those stories from their side. The owners of the Buck Inn went over and above, I appreciated the hospitality they showed to my family and friends,  the wake went on late into the night, the later in the night it got the less edited and more exaggerated the stories became, it was fabulous, but I shall not repeat any of them!!!

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My family circa 1969,  My Parents, older Sister, Me, the dogs Simpson and Sherri and the blue Austin Westminster

 

My Eulogy to My Father

Eulogy for Anthony Green 1937 – 2016

By James Green

I would like to read a poem and then say a few words about my father, First the poem, it is un-surprisingly about fishing, one of Dad’s passions.

Trout Fishing

by Eunice Lamberton  1873 (written only slightly before dad was born)

Give me a rod of the split bamboo, a rainy day and a fly or two,
a mountain stream where the eddies play, and mists hang low o’er the winding way,
Give me a haunt by the furling brook, A hidden spot in a mossy nook,
No sound save hum of the drowsy bee, or lone bird’s tap on the hollow tree.

The world may roll with it’s busy throng, And phantom scenes on it’s way along,
It’s stocks may rise, or it’s stocks may fall, Ah! What care I for it’s baubles all?

I cast my fly o’er the troubled rill, Luring the beauties by magic skill,
With mind at rest and a heart at ease, And drink delight at the balmy breeze.

A lusty trout to my glad surprise, Speckled and bright on the crest arise,
Then splash and plunge in a dazzling whirl, Hope springs anew as the wavelets curl.

Gracefully swinging from left to right, Action so gentle- motion so slight.
Tempting, enticing, on craft intent, Till yielding tip by the game is bent. Drawing in slowly, then letting go Under the ripples where mosses grow,
Doubting my fortune, lost in a dream, Blessing the land of forest and stream.

I feel those words not only encapsulate Dads love of fishing but many other similar things in his life.

Speaking of his life I would like to share some of my thoughts and tales of the man.

I am afraid that my words are more suitable for a pub than a church, but hey, I suspect that he will be happy with that. He liked a good storey and had a firm belief that a good storey should have its feet firmly in the truth but hard facts should never interfere with the telling of the storey.

I always think of him as intelligent, kind, brave and a little mad, or,,, actually on reflection stark raving bonkers, what would possess a city boy from Chelsea to go and live in the out back of Australia, how did he think his children would turn out??? anyway I will let you judge that.

He had a love for gardening, some of my earliest memories are of the garden at Camas in Essex and the bru haha about the seakale pots. Then at Merriwee where through the worst of droughts he produced some wonderful food, and then in his latter years here in Yorkshire he still grew a bountiful harvest, as was his way what he produced was more important than how pretty the garden was.  I seem to remember that he entered his sweet peas in the local flower show here, a beautiful bouquet presented stylishly in an old jam jar!!! That is not saying that he did not enjoy things that were easy on the eyes, he most certainly did. He enjoyed and more importantly appreciated many of the fine things I life.

There is a quote about the finer things in life, I believe that it is attributed to George Best “I spent a lot of money on Wine, Women, and Fast Cars, the rest I just squandered”…….. Dad did not squander much, but the other three are very pertinent.

Wine, Dad had a good palette, liked an occasional drink, beer was always a favourite in the hot Queensland summers. But, his favourite was red wine, for the Bordeaux lovers here,  he wasn’t really your friend, his favourite tipple was burgundy, a nice Nuis St George, drunk out of one of his glasses from his glass collection, with a few of his friends round having a good old chin wag.

Women, the lucky bugger, there have been 5 majorly important and wonderful women in his life,

His mother, who gave him his love for art, furniture and glass; Oh and most importantly a taste for gin and tonics while playing bridge.

He loved his two beautiful Daughters (my sisters), they played a rather Jeckle and Hyde role in his life they are both capable of either giving him a headache or taking one away. When things were the hardest, and sometimes they got very hard at Merriwee it was his daughters who could make him smile and he always looked forward to their company. The giving of headaches, they can tell you in the pub later.

Finally His two wives, hummm, that sounds rather polygamous, but it is not a bad as it sounds, he had them in series, not parallel.

His first wife my mother, the first love of his life, they were partners in everything, and worked together with common goals. It is not to say they were perfect and didn’t fight, they did. This brings me to an expression that Dad had a commonly used, which makes me chuckle every time I think of it, “oh fuckya Darling” this was a declaration of annoyance and love all wrapped into one.  In many ways this epitomises their relationship, strong, fierce, respectful, loving, all these types of words come to mind. He was devastated by her death in 2004. But he got a new lease on life….

His second wife Gillian, the rekindled flame, who was his love and rock during his later years, and I can’t thank her enough … for keeping him out of my hair, I just don’t think apartment life in Seoul would have suited him!!!! He loved his life here with Gillian, and I am sure that love and Gillian’s hard work kept him going for the last few years.

And Finally Fast Cars, he was an avid follower of F1 racing, watching not driving, the thought makes me shudder and his nick name from the younger generation was Hoon Hoon. This is a very Australian nick name, both in the words themselves and the usage of them, for those who are not familiar with the term I looked it up in the Dictionary, it is defined as follows,

Hoon:- is a term used in Australia and New Zealand, to refer to anyone who engages in loutish, anti-social behaviours. In particular, it is used to refer to one who drives a car excessively quickly, loudly or irresponsibly

So dad was hoon²,

He was so hoonish that he could give the 4wd bunny hops from low revs while driving round Merriwee inspecting the stock.

He was so hooninsh that one Christmas eve he was driving home, down the dirt roads from the pub, after having a couple too many. He was driving so slowly that when the police pulled him over they completely forgot to breath test him.  Ever since then he had an unshakable belief in Santa.

He was so hoonish that he almost stalled the 4wd every time he drove onto the beach to go fishing, and yet he never batted an eyelid,

He was so hoonish that all the younger generation (yes that even includes me) loved doing things with him, specially going hooning with him down the beach to go fishing,

He was called Hoon Hoon in a typically understated Australian way of love, respect and friendship.  May he go on hooning forever.

Thank you.