Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Seeking Diversity

I’m going to start the early part of 2018 by being unashamedly commercial of a potential venture that is probably not going to generate much money – my blog, which I started sometime in 2006, when I had my own little PR business.

I started blogging with no idea of where things would lead. At the time of writing, it was just a place where I placed the articles that I was planning to write for the mainstream until they were actually published by the mainstream. I didn’t even think of the possibility of making money from it.

However, times are changing. Over the years, the blog has grown an audience. If the analytics of blogger platform are to be believed I am no longer a “Singapore” only blogger. If you believe the analytics provided by the blogger platform, the largest audience for most of my blogs is in the USA and ironically the second largest audience for my main English blog is in France. One of the most popular pieces on the blog is a piece that lifted from Haaretz, the Israeli liberal paper.

On a personal basis, people have told me that they read what I write. I remember Supriyo Sircar, the CEO Digileap and former CEO of Polaris Financial Technology Asia Pacific telling me that my blog was “spicy,” and Meshari Bin Khalid, former Director General of SAGIA ASEAN thanking me for this blog. I’ve received further signs of the blog being read. One of the most prominent was a Reuters Journalist contacting me out of the blue for a quote and more importantly, my father told me with regards to this blog – “I can protect you from many things – but this government isn’t one of them.”
So, it did occur to me that if people were going to know me for the blog(s) that I publish, I might as well try and earn a few pennies of the blog. Thankfully Google has made it fairly easy in as much as all I had to do was to sign up for an AdSense account. So, sometime in 2017, ads have started appearing and to the shock and horror of my parents (lifelong advertising producers), I’ve become a space owner.

However, times are changing and its tough to get the traffic to make online advertising pay. I seem to have a following but like as every parent knows, things have to become about something more than me. My main “Ah-Ha” is that the blog needs more contributories. My views are known but I want the views of others to be shared.

Other than the blog, I’ve realized that I have a diverse group of friends, ranging from CEO’s and Excellencies to street hawkers and bar girls. So, I’m hopping my diverse range of friends with a diverse range of views will contribute to this blog and ad some spice. In the age of Donald Trump, we have a wonderful range of disunified people who can be brought together to make a beautiful story.
So far, four friends have agreed to contribute to the blog. I’ve made an announcement that that they’ve agreed to contribute to my blog on a Facebook Page called “Tangoland Blogs.” Once again, the analytics have shown that the decision to have other people contribute has proven to be popular.

I’m looking for more people to contribute to the blog. My basic terms and conditions are:

  • 1.      You can write about anything you want and you should try and make a commitment of once a month or at least once every two months.

  • 2.      While I can’t pay you directly (I still need my day and night job), I can provide you with some publicity with the right audience. You should have your byline, copyright for your piece will belong to you and if you want to add a designation or weblink to promote yourself, please do so.

  • 3.      There are two main points. I don’t have the resources to hire sub editors to fact check and so, responsibility for the accuracy of information is yours. I’m in the business of expressing opinions not reporting news.

  • 4.      If you have to get permission from your boss, please do so. I will assume that you when you send me a piece, you have cleared whatever you are supposed to get cleared.

  • 5.      I believe in Freedom of Speech and Expression. I don’t want people who will praise me for the sake of it. You can use my platform to slag me off and attack my opinions. I will not tolerate smear campaigns against my friends and family.

  • 6.      I will promote you on my Facebook and linkedin pages, so I think reciprocity on your social media pages is not unreasonable. I will also provide machine translation and publication of whatever you write in English, Bengali, Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Bahasa Indonesia, Vietnamese, Italian, Nepali, Arabic, Hindi, Tamil and Thai.

  • 7.      Please support the advertisers of this blog. I need money to survive and if you want to build it to a stage where you get money for your contributions, please support the people paying.
  • 8.      For those of you who want to sponsor an article, please let me know. I’m starting out and I don’t turn down offers for money. But please make your sponsored article well written. I do provide writing services and I know writers who could do with the work.

  • 9.      So, if you want to have a bit of fun drop me a line at and let me know what you are interested in writing about, how often you want to write and something about yourself. Please send your piece via MS Word format so that I can upload everything.  

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Things That Matter

Had a funny experience yesterday when I took a taxi. The taxi driver kept telling me how familiar I looked and I didn’t think much of it until he asked, “Are you from the Picture Farm (Dad’s Production House.)” It was then that I clicked, he was talking about my Dad, even if he had no idea who I was.

I used to get that a bit, especially when I worked in advertising. In fact, I got one of my best jobs (a small creative powerhouse called 10AM) from my Dad. Helps that the Old Man and I look very similar and to a certain extent we sound very similar.

My Dad has always been a special person. He’s done exceedingly well from his talents and his work as a photographer and advertising film director is still talked about even today. While, he hasn’t worked the way he has in his heyday, he’s doing well enough. An example of his work can be found at:

and the credits can be found at:

You could say that as a son of a successful father, life was always interesting. As a kid, everyone told me I was lucky to have him as a dad, even though I was living overseas most of the time. As I grew older and wasn’t make it in a similar industry to him …..well, life did get a little interesting
However, I’ve always been proud of my Dad and the work that he’s produced. My Dad came from humble beginnings and made it big as a local boy in a one-man show in an industry where someone from outside is always seen as more upmarket. Having gone through my own struggles, I have a lot of pride in the old man for doing what he did.

I don’t his achievements but I felt really proud of him when the guy told me, “Your Dad is a man of principles.” For some strange reason, being the son of a man with principles meant so much more to me than being the son a well to do businessman or a top artist.

I guess, I’ve learnt that life is filled with geniuses at this and that but it has very few men of principle and very few men who make it a point of take care of the little people. It also helps that my father doesn’t make a big deal about his “character.” It’s more my mother who talks about principles and integrity (Mum’s Dad being a civil servant who was known for being absolutely incorruptible.)

So, it suddenly made me feel really happy that I was the Son of Man of Principle. It was like a title or potential inheritance that was worth having and fighting over. So, I got say thanks to him for being a man of principle.

Wonder what my kid will want strangers to say about me? 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

At the Crossroad

It’s been an emotionally draining day in the office and so I thought I would take the time out to write my usual end of the year summary, something which has become a tradition for me ever since I start this blog about a decade ago.

World in events in 2017 have proved to be “interesting,” and the man we have to thank for it is the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Mr. Donald Trump. From the moment he plonked his behind onto the desk of the Oval Office, the “Donald” has proceeded to run the American Government like his famous reality show- The Apprentice. Donald and the world media have worked together to ensure that “old media” remains more relevant than ever by publicizing the man himself.
For the most part, I’ve found the man vile. Foolish Cowards on their own are usually a pain in the arse but Foolish Cowards in positions of power are worse. What can be worse than having your life crapped on because some fool in power woke up on the wrong side of the bed?

However, as I grow older, I’ve become more accepting that there are certain things in life that I can’t change and that I can only accept things as they are. I’ve also learnt to make peace with certain things in my life. While one might conclude that life is generally sucky, I believe that if you calculate your blessings and look at what you already have, you may find that you’re better off than you think.
I take the fact that my health has remained relatively robust. Although I am not as fit as I once was, I’ve suffered no major health issues (baring three sick days this year) and I am glad to say that I am slowly but surely moving my weight southwards, which should help me have a better quality of life in the years to come.

Then there is the fact that I continue to remain gainfully employed in two jobs when most people worry about staying in one. While I don’t have anything to brag about on the professional front the way I had when I freelanced, I can say that my CPF (Central Provident Fund – Singapore’s National Pension system) has gone the right way and I’ve been able to make a more significant contribution to the family that I chose to bring into my life.

However, I am at the crossroads. I’ve had stability in two industries that were not ones that I looked for. I see myself being stable for a long while if I carry on down the path that I’ve been on but I don’t see myself going beyond where I am. So, the question remains, do I take the chance and what chance do I take.

I’m a believer in doing what works for you. I’ve reached the age where I need to admit to myself that I am not meant to be sitting behind a desk and the thing that works for me, isn’t the thing that necessarily works for everyone else. I’ve proven that I can be in a full time corporate environment but I don’t feel any sense of achievement. So, I need to work on where do I go from here in the next quarter.

As I sit by the crossroads, I must take the time out to mourn the passing of my old friend, Mr. Luke Fogarty, often known as the Old Rogue. Luke was what they call a “larger than life” character, who we all believed would outlives us all until he got struck by cancer this year. When I think of Luke, I think of his ability to have energy at all times and his incredible sense of optimism. I’ll always remember a 16-year old asking him what he wanted to do for retirement and the answer was, “He’s thinking of retirement at his age – I still haven’t figured out what I want to do when I grow up.” (He was in his 80s at the time). Luke was the man who encouraged me when I least expected it and I will always bless his heart for writing the testimonial he wrote for me when I was ready to adopt the character we call Jenny Tang.

Speaking of Jenny Tang, she finally buckled down and did something towards her school work. It was a little late in the day but she did enough to get through the next level at school. Now, the hope is that she really understands that she’s taking a public exam this year and does what she needs to do. As a parent, I need to be able to see her through this year and my biggest challenge is to ensure that she understands that she needs to use her potential this year.

I have hopes for the year to come and I have to thank the fact that I made a new friend in Mr. Greg Page, who is the husband of Lucy, one of my wife’s friends. I met Greg at the start of this year and although we’ve not had the chances to meet often, Greg has been a source of inspiration, who has reminded me of the important things in life – staying true to family and having passion for life. He has helped me by reminding me that you only get successful at something if you have a passion for it. In a way, Greg is the American who lives the reasons why America has been the main power of the world for the last two hundred years – openness to ideas and people, who differ from you (his background is Southern Baptist and tells me I’m one of the few liberals he likes 😉)

Next year could be challenging but like always, there’s always a case for being optimistic about the future. I think 2018 could be a very beautiful year. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

It will be Christmas Day in 4 days and everything at work will slowly wind. While life in my White Collar existence slows down, my Blue-Collar character can expect to get busier while people get ready for wine, have dinner and have a lot of fun after spending a lot of money on things they do not really have need.

I do not want to deny the celebrations because they serve their purpose but I have not stopped being able to find ironic that we celebrate the birth of man was the great champion of the history of the poor and the oppressed with our biggest show of consumption.

Although I can hardly call myself a Christian, I believe in Jesus and in his message of love and compassion. For once, I really agree with my old school chaplain who told me, "You can not get all the answers from RE". I think he was a little disappointed that I could discuss theory and biblical concepts but I did not want to take that final step and get confirmation in the Church of England.

Talking about Christ (rather like talking about a great religious teacher, but since this is Christmas, Christ will be at the center), it's easy. I think of the number of devout followers of the Church who think nothing to donate part of their salary to the bottom of the shepherd's car, but somehow find it difficult to understand why the national aide who have not paid for the last 8 months does not find gratitude in doing free work. Once again, if you think that I am identifying Christians unjustly, I can give the example of Muslims who are proud of the number of times they pray, but when a dark-skinned beggar comes to them for alms, they show nothing but disdain for the beggar (Islam actually gives alms giving part of the duties of a good Muslim).

It is easy to go through the movements to feel charitable. It's a different story to do it, which is quite understandable. I think of my good friend Datuk Vinod Sekhar who, in a play that he wrote, said: "If suddenly the shit had a value, the poor would have found a way to be born without the assholes". I think of my poorer friends who can not afford the bus ticket to go to work, but end up using their last pennies for a beer or a smoke. Going out with poor people can make you break down in a great way. If nothing else, the poor are depressing louts.

Having said this, it is essential for the human soul to have compassion for others. In simple terms, you are the person you are partly because of God's will. I am who I am because somehow it was deemed appropriate in some cosmic court that I would be born in Singapore to have some decent people as parents . Even if I did not make it, I'm not hungry and I'm not starving. I was born with my members in functional order and an operational mind. Whatever being divine out there gave me a pretty decent leg giving me more than I realize I have.

So, I ask the question what can I do with all these gifts? I think most of us end up using what we have to do to make it ourselves, but there must be something more. Somehow, somewhere, people who are successful are those people who took Christ's message to heart and chose to look beyond themselves and did things to bring others with them. In some ways, we find ourselves exalted when we humiliate and do things that benefit the less fortunate.

Before the teachings of Christ, the Gods were always beings who were obviously more powerful than mortals. Zeus, for example, was not just a God, he was the King of Gods and mortal people built great statues for him or otherwise ...

Jesus, he did something different. He was born in a situation where he was barely above the donkey. He never made a lot of money and never did anything so obvious that people would immediately know. Instead, he never held income-generating work, remained at the lowest levels (tax collectors, prostitutes, etc.) and died as the lowest criminal form.

However, it is recognized by the living incarnation of God of over one billion people. Another billion people recognize him as the chief messenger of God and many others attribute it to God. His teaching forms the basis of what we call Western Civilization.

Jesus taught us that God was with the disadvantaged, people to whom everyone spit on him. I think Jesus would hate the high mouths and charlatans who profess his name

As Christmas approaches, I thank God for giving me the chances he's had. I hope in the insignificant life that I have lived that I might have done a thing or two for the less fortunate.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Do you expect me to make him rich?

A friend of mine had a boss who found it very difficult to pay his subcontractors – specifically the subcontractors involved in blue collar activity. He’d look at the bills and try and knock off $50 here and there and then remark, “I don’t want to make him rich, the bugger is trying to get rich off me.” At the very same time, he had the same ability to be very generous with people in “white collar” professions. When a lawyer he worked with sent a bill of a few thousand, he actually remarked, “Wah, his bill so cheap ah,” and then told the lawyer to charge more.

Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated example of a strange disease that people in air conditioned offices seem to have. Nor am I proud to say that I’ve always been immune from it. Far from it in fact. I once had to hire a plumber to fix a leak in Daddy’s Soho flat and I couldn’t understand how the flat blob of a character could justify charging me 400 quid when all he did was to rip up my bathroom, play with a blow torch and tell me to avoid showering for a week.

We, in the “professional” class have a peculiar inability to recognize that people who work blue collar jobs actually do something called work and that they should get paid for it. This disease is such that white-collar professionals tend to begrudge every penny that the “working class” make.

While this disease isn’t exactly limited to Singapore, its particularly ridiculous when it comes to this little island that I call home. The reason is simple – our tropical weather. The guys doing “brain” jobs spend their days in front of a computer in an air conditioned office. When they go for lunch, it’s usually in a swish café where there’s plenty of air conditioned and it’s filled with beautiful people (one of the perks of working in the business district here is – eye candy). By contrast, the guys who do manual jobs are usually out in the sun and the time when the sun is the least kind and even when they’re relaxed or supposed to be relaxing, it’s usually in a pretty crappy place

Image result for Cushy CEO at work

Do we seriously believe he struggles

When you’re faced with such a juxtaposition, its hard to understand how the guys sitting in the air conditioned offices get the idea that they’re the ones who have it tough while the guys toiling away in the midday sun are having a picnic.

Image result for Labour in hot sun

While she has it easy......

The usual line of reasoning is – “Mental Work is more taxing.” I don’t disagree that using your brain can be tough. The brain, like the rest of the body does get tired and if overused without rest can screw you up badly. I also don’t disagree with the fact that you should get paid for the value that you create. 

In the construction industry nobody begrudges the architect his pay even if he sits and creates drawings instead of slogging it out with the guys on the work site for the simple reason that the architect’s drawings are the reason for everyone’s existence. You can replace muscle with robots. Theoretically you cannot replace the human brain with a robot (even if we live in the age of AI). I think of the chap who consistently justifies the stress of the guy in a brain job over that of the guy in the muscle job by consistently saying, “The mind is stronger than the body.”

Well, that isn’t exactly quite accurate. Anybody who moves more than five metres-a-day will be able to tell you that the mind isn’t as strong as it claims to be, especially when the body is struggling. The sterotype of the weedy but clever nerd winning one over against the buffy jock isn’t accurate. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example is both well built and highly intelligent. The reason is simple, people who exercise and develop their bodies have to develop strong minds – the mind has to tell the body to keep going when the body cries for a rest.

Then there’s the issue of work. Yes, while I agree that brain work creates more value and should be rewarded accordingly, we need to remember that nothing moves without the muscles actually moving. The brain can send all the signals that it wants to send but if the muscles don’t work, nothing moves – any stroke patient will tell you that it’s a shitty experience to have all sorts of wonderful thoughts spinning through your brain but the body refuses to move then all your beautiful thoughts remain just that.

There needs to be a basic respect between those in brain jobs and muscle jobs. Both parties need to respect the fact that the other chap is actually doing something called work and no party should begrudge things like fair payment to the other party.

I go back to the feelings I had about paying my plumber – bastard earned 400 quid for less than 2 hours work. Every time I look at paying that bill (admittedly I was using Daddy’s money rather than my earned money), I think I studied the wrong course. Then again, I have my step-nephew to thank for setting me straight. He reminded me that plumbers spend their day crawling through shit and the question I ask is how much money would I accept for doing that.

I bring the matter back to the topic of workers who slog it out in the sun. I remember my colleagues in the insolvency firm I work for getting worked up that I was giving away money to help Indian and Bangladeshi workers that the firm had to fire from a construction firm we took over. The legal process denies them money due to them and I put my hand in my pocket to help out a few strangers. 

I’ve pointed out to my colleagues that for me to make the money, I just stay in an office that is for the most part quite comfy. Those guys are out in hot building sites and go back to cramped dormitories.
Life generally sucks and every profession has its stresses. Some of us are better at somethings than others and so when we need to get things done, we look for people who can do what we can’t. When they render a service, they should be rewarded accordingly. Society is like the human body – the brains and muscle need to work together. While the brain should generally be calling the shots, it should never begrudge the muscle what is due to the muscle.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea if stroke patients had to have a say in policy making and HR policies. It would help people in brain jobs remember that nothing gets done unless the muscles move. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Friends, Friends – Not a Single soul when I’m In Need

Bloomberg has just issued a report entitled “Saudi Prince Who Wooed West Finds Few Friends in Tough Times” which is a report about how Prince Alwaleed, the billionaire investor who is the single largest shareholder in Citigroup, is now finding himself without friends, now that he’s been arrested on charges of corruption. The Bloomberg report can be read at:

What makes this report interesting is the fact that if the Saudi Royal Family has a hero in the Western world, it’s Prince Alwaleed. While the Prince did not get start with nothing, he is the only Saudi Prince who has been known to have made something of his stipend through his own brains and industry. He took the risk of investing in what was then known as Citicorp when its shares were at an all time low. The investment in Citicorp has grown more than ten times since the company merged with Travelers to become Citigroup and that’s not all. The Prince has also made successful investments in companies like Twitter and Lyft among others.

As well as being a successful investor, the Prince is also as close as the West has to someone who shares their values in Saudi Arabia. Women who work at Kingdom Holdings were known to have been allowed to go without a veil in the office and he most famously hired a female pilot in a country where women have only just been given the right to drive.

When you think of everything that Prince Alwaleed has achieved, you have to wonder why not many people have uttered a sound at his sudden imprisonment on 4 November 2017.

The simple reason is this; Prince Alwaleed got onto the wrong side of his cousin, the current Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman, better know by his initials MBS. While Alwaleed may have been the darling of the Western media and the western business community, MBS had something far more valuable – controls of the levers of real power. While the rise of MBS has been sudden, nobody doubts that MBS will the first king from the grandchildren of Saudi Arabia’s founding father, King Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Rahmad Al Saud.

Simply put – power trumps money. While having money often brings one great power (for example nobody screws with Li-Ka-Shing in Hong Kong), the two are in actual fact separate items. I should know, I’m from an ethnic group living in a part of the world where people of my ethnic group have money but live fear from the people with power. The people with the power can always get hold of the power while the people with the money don’t always have the power. I live in Singapore where one doesn’t mess with the family of Lee Kuan Yew because this is the family with the power. By contrast, I can afford to be less polite about Wee Chow Yaw, the former head of UOB Bank. The reason is simple, the late Mr. Lee and his family have influence on the government and thus over just about everything in Singapore that I need for my basic survival. While Mr. Wee has power due to his vast wealth, he doesn’t affect my life if I don’t work for him.

Furthermore, friendships in business tend to be dominated by self-interest. When you need someone, you tend to be nice to them and helping them out often depends on self-interest. When someone with greater influence comes along, you tend to find that the people whom you thought were your friends, start jumping ship.

I think of Susan Lim case, which I helped out on. Dr. Lim was a star surgeon to the rich and famous. She’s married to Deepak Sharma, the former Chairman of Citi’s Private Bank. Between them, they had more money than most could dream about and the rich and powerful clamoured to be their friends. Then, it all broke down. The powerful no longer came knocking at their door. The reason was simple. The Singapore Government was given a choice between her and Mr. Sharma and the Sultan of Brunei. The government chose the Sultan of Brunei.

Likewise, for Prince Alwaleed. The boardrooms of the West would salivate at the thought of an investment from Prince Alwaleed. But when given a choice between Alwaleed who had money and some princely influence and MBS who has the power of the entire Saudi Government and its influence in the Muslim world (Saudi Arabia is Custodian of the Holy Mosque of Islam), the cold-hard-power calculations point towards not risking the prospect of offending MBS.

What are the lessons to be learnt? I guess the key is to recognize where the power lies and understand what your friends will or will not do for you. There is such a thing as not asking your friends to stick out their necks for you so that they do remain your friends.

Then there’s the importance of cementing your relationships to something stronger than money. If a relationship is based merely on money, you’ll find the party running when a better offer is made. It’s especially common when you see Westerners finding love with much younger Asian girls. The Westerner really believes that the girl loves him for him. Suddenly, when a better offer appears she dumps him and he’s heart broken. I’m not casting aspersions on West-East relationships but it’s a common site in this part of the world where you see normally intelligent Westerners losing themselves to girls who are obviously in the business.

Prince Alwaleed has found this out the hard way. He has lots of money and now he’s found his friends in the West have found someone who has something more desirable.
You need money to get things moving. You need friends to do things. Its often said that the two go hand in hand. However, if money is all there is to a friendship, you may find yourself losing a friendship when the money is not longer there. It’s a basic fact that many of us forget until it is too late.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Humanity as an Asset

It’s my 43rd Birthday today and although I’ve reached the age where birthdays are nothing more than just another day, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by two-people, whom I seem to have given up hope on. One is my favourite pet charity and the other is my perpetual damsel-in-distress. Both these ladies have thrived on my weakness for vulnerable puppies. Whenever they need something, all they have to do is to look sad and something in me compels me not to want either of these ladies to be sad.
Well, just when I least expected it, the pet charity struck had a small windfall from the lottery and her first reaction was to rush over to my work place, pay off a debt and she bought the cake and insisted that my restaurant crew end up ushering the birthday with her.

Around 13-hours later perpetual damsel-in-distress made special arrangements for me to have a birthday lunch including a cake. She actually had everything down to a fine point – all I had to do was to sit here, she took care of everything.

Both these ladies have reminded me of one of the main points in life that I’ve always tried to practice – remembering the humanity in people. I’ve not been perfect at this but whenever I deal with people, I try to see people as people rather than what they can offer me.

Practicing this can be tough. Human beings are quite often sods of the highest level, who, if given a chance would try and screw you for being nice to them.

However, I’ve found that for every time I’ve been screwed by an ungrateful sod, I’ve been rewarded more often by decent people, in particular the people who used to be somebody.

What am I referring to? I am talking about people who once held powerful positions in the government and corporate sector, who suddenly lose their jobs. It’s at this point where they realise who their friends are, the people who cared about them rather than the position they held. It’s at this point in their careers where they become willing to do things for their friends rather than dealing with the people who clamored to them because they were deemed useful.

I think of a business partner who was in many ways my first boss. This partner ran a small advertising and PR firm that had run into financial issues. I remember when he was going down.  Nobody wanted to touch him with a barge pole. Suppliers and former employees were pissed off and clients wouldn’t touch him because, well everyone was pissed off.

For some reason, I kept in touch and we went out for drinks and before you knew it, I was back at work. Somehow, when I joined him, he managed to build himself back up and managed to pass me enough pocket change to get by.

I also think of a former editor-in-chief, who I had written for. I remained in touch with him and before I knew it, I had the privilege of working at BANG PR and the Public Utilities Board account, which involved an aspect of PR that I would not have touched on my own. I got to know Singapore’s water policy and became one of the spokespeople for the government’s water plans.

I even look at my current situation. I’ve now been working on a corporate job for the last four-years, after a history of not being employed for more than eight-months, because I was willing to work for a boss with a decent enough heart for his friends. I didn’t have projects on the horizon coming in and he was on the verge of building up his business from scratch after a particularly nasty fall. As ironies would have it, I’ve found employment longevity in an industry where I’ve had the least qualifications for.

People are funny and I think we all relate to each other in strange ways. I’m a believer in being a decent human being in your dealings with people. It’s a case of never knowing who you’ll need. I’ve been fortunate that those in the position to help have helped whenever I’ve needed it. I also think that those who may not be in the position to do anything for me, might one-day surprise. I think of the two young ladies who have turned this birthday into a surprisingly pleasant one and I like think they won’t be the last people to surprise me in a pleasant way.