The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

And So It Begins …
January 27, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: China, Chinese Culture, Comment, Culture, Holiday

So today is the start of the Chinese New Year holiday.

Yep, that means my first holiday of 2017 has already commenced.

A holiday that sees me away until the 5th February.

I know … I know … but don’t blame me, blame the Chinese Government. Or someone.

If it’s any consolation, I’ll be spending the next week or so doing a bunch of stuff. Sure, none of it will be ‘real work’, but according to you, I’ve never been doing that anyway.

Anyway, to celebrate the year of the Chicken [or, said another way, the year KFC’s share price goes through the roof], I leave you with this …

See you next month.


God Bless Communism …
October 1, 2016, 7:30 am
Filed under: China, Chinese Culture, Culture, Cunning, Holiday, Unfair Life, Wankers

Want to know the definition of bittersweet?

Knowing you have a weeks holiday from my blogging because from today, China has a week-long national holiday.

That’s right, I’m going to be on holiday. Again.

Yes … I know I had one only a few weeks ago and I know I had a month off only about 6 weeks ago, but hey, I’m just a humble servant of the Communist party so don’t blame me.

So unless you live in LA – because I’ll be knocking on your door – enjoy the break, because I know I will. Till the 10th …

Humble Brag. Without The Humble …
June 20, 2016, 2:39 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Experience, Family, Fatherhood, Holiday, Jill, Love, Otis

So by the time you read this post, I’ll be in Paris.

And yes, it’s for work.

It’s potentially the best work assignment of my life because not only do I have the pleasure of presenting to a bunch of global NIKE guys, I’m doing a presentation about Boatie McBoatface.

No really, I am.

Mind you, having written that down, I’m starting to realise the idea was better when it was in my head.

Oh well, too late now …

But if you think that’s showing off, wait till you hear this.

Tomorrow I fly home …

But it’s not to go back to work, oh no, it’s to pick up my wife and son and then get on another plane and spend a month on holiday.

I can’t wait … we will be catching up with old friends, seeing members of family and doing a bunch of new things in new places.

But most of all, we will be together … and while I’d love Rosie the cat to be with us, it will still be very special for me.

Being together is precious.

Of course that is to be expected, however when you have a young child, it takes on another dimension.

You don’t just do things together … you get to experience new things together.

Normally with a young child, life falls into 2 parts:

1. You bring them into your life. [Where they experience things you’ve done before]

2. You let them explore their life. [Where they experience things designed just for them]

But on a holiday – especially a holiday where you will be spending time in a place none of you have been before – you get to experience things for the first time together, literally share an experience where everyone is [kind-of] equal.

Now while I know it is exceedingly unlikely my 18 month old baby will ever remember anything from it, the fact is I will and I can tell you it will automatically be something important in my life and that makes me extra excited to be going away.

I’m back on the 17th July, so enjoy your holiday from me while I enjoy my holiday from you.

2016: Holiday #1
February 5, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment, Daddyhood, Family, Fatherhood, Holiday, Otis, Parents

So today is the last day of work for a week before the Chinese New Year holiday.

I know … I know … I’ve just come back from my Christmas holiday, but this has been going on for 6 years so I don’t know why you’re surprised.

Last year, Chinese New Year was the start of a horrible time.

Mum was rushed into hospital and I flew back to be with her.

She recovered – and even thrived – but 10 days later, when she had her heart operation, it all went terribly wrong.

I’ve written a lot about that so I won’t say anymore for now, but this holiday will be different and I am sure my Mum would be happy about that.

Family is very important.

Sometimes we take them for granted.

We don’t mean to, but pressure and expectation occasionally distracts us from what’s really important and that’s why holidays are so important, because you don’t just get to let go of the distractions, you get to spend uninterrupted time with the people who make you feel fulfilled.

I’m not going to lie … holidays are very different now I have a son, but they are still magical, just in a different way.

When we were in Sydney a few weeks ago, one of the things we did was take Otis to the beach … Balmoral Beach to be precise.

Watching him play in the sand and the sea for the first time in his life was very special for me.

Seeing the joy on his face as he engaged with nature with his Mum and Dad was something that affected me deeply.

China was never going to be our home forever, but being able to easily compare against another way of living – albeit in the bubble of a holiday – certainly brought home what we now view as important.

That doesn’t mean things are going to change immediately – the fact is I still love my job, my life and China – but it does mean the things we want to explore and experiment with in the future have to fit in with certain environmental requirements that we never previously viewed as important. What’s even more amazing is that I no longer see this as a restriction of opportunity, but a sign my life has grown in ways I never previously could imagine.

That would make my parents happy which means that makes me doubly happy.

So while it is true that I am going to have another holiday just weeks after my previous one, it is no longer about me being a work shy, lazy bastard, it’s about spending time with the most important people in my life and even you couldn’t begrudge me that.

OK, you can, but I’m choosing to ignore you.

See you on the 15th.

Happy ‘year of the monkey’.