Well that’s done but it couldn’t have been done without the music or The future is Streaming!

20,000 words, an exam and oral presentation and this academic year is done! Maybe just as significant is the amount of music listened too.

Day after day, Spotify has continued to provide a seemingly endless stream of music, supported by Pandora and my substantial iTunes library.

Through this year many of my posts have highlighted a new love of country, a revisiting of Dylan, and how music has been an integral part of my day.

I have since my late primary school days had an insatiable desire to buy Singles, LPs, and CDs. That is until now.

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My purchasing habit led to a brief foray into importing records. For a couple of years a close friend of mine and I started to import records for our friends, less for profit and more to bring down the price of our own purchases. It lasted until the local post office told us that we would be considered a business if we continued,

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A daily occurrence – the best of times, the worst of times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” -Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

For me this is a daily occurrence as planning for retirement or transition brings these emotions on a very regular basis.

I often describe my days as a roller coaster of mixed emotions, moving through a cycle of euphoria ( “the best of times”) to ambivalence and then to panic ( “the worst of times”). During a day I find myself excited about my future, a period post retirement from my firm, relaxed that I’ll be able to fill my days with gainful activity and then frightened that I am not properly prepared or ready.

In those times when I am looking forward to the next phase, it can be the best of times. No more time sheets, budgets, and relentless pressure to grow the business. My excitement also comes from the opportunities I have before me.

University the opportunity to learn, complete my Honours, start a PHD, research and teach. These are all things that over the last 12 months I have come to enjoy. I feel confident that my network of contacts will engage with me in a way that neither they nor I have before, providing me new and exciting opportunities. I’ll have more time for travel and riding my bike.

I then cycle through feelings of ambivalence arising from the assumption that it will all work its way through and I’ll be OK.

But then there is the fear of the unknown, the worst of times. Sheer panic!

What happens if I don’t like it. I’m moving from the cocoon of a very large firm where I am relevant to perhaps being completely irrelevant. How will I feel about that? What happens if I can’t afford to live the way I want too? What happens if my planning simply doesn’t pay off? What happens if I don’t continue to enjoy my study, it’s too hard and I can’t make a success of teaching? What happens if I my network no longer engages with me after I no longer have my Partner badge? It’s very scary!

So yes on a daily basis I experience both the best and worst of times.

Daily Prompt – Extreme Tale

Just one more assignment to go this year!

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Just 10 days to go, one more assignment and oral presentation and I will have completed my academic year. So far it’s been 17000 of 20000 words submitted. The last 3000 words are written but are definitely not yet in a form ready for submission. Whilst I continue to enjoy my study, I have to say just now it’s feeling a little like a grind to the line. This was never more evident than last week sitting with my supervisor, who in the most encouraging fashion possible suggested, I might have missed the point!

After I reflected on his comments I had no doubt he was correct, however for someone who has a responsible position and reviews other’s work everyday that was a real wake up call. A few days later and a re-read of key texts and journal articles I am hoping I am on point ahead of one final submission of a draft and final submission by the end of the week.

Included in all of this process is the final step of reading and re-reading including checking the referencing. Even with EndNote getting the referencing right is no small task!

After that it will be preparation for my oral presentation of my literature review and the academic year will be done. Time for some R&R and more time at the Beach!

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Country Music – a new passion

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To anyone who has read browney237.com before, my love of listening to music will not be a surprise. Whether walking to or from work, at work or studying, I am always listening to something. As a result it’s always a constant challenge to look for something new and at the moment that’s Country.

Over the years my music collection has had a smattering of Country, Olivia Newton-John and Glen Campbell to name two, but it hasn’t been a major part of either my vinyl or CD collection.

It used to be a joke with my team at work that I liked both Country and Western Music. Always got a laugh, but the truth is that Country is an awesome genre. I have to say that my wife and daughter do not share that view! They are always insisting that I put my headphones on or just turn it off – whilst for me it is my new passion.

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The world is a bad place… a terrible place

Just on twelve months ago I wrote a post <a href=”http://www.browney237.com/reflections-of-my-life/“>Reflections of my Life</a>. It was inspired both by The Marmalade’s song of the same name and a visit to Berlin’s Topography of Terror. However, the last week coupe of weeks have caused me to reflect again on the two lines which were the central theme of that post

<em>The world is a bad place, a bad place

A terrible place to live, oh but I don’t wanna die.</em>.

In recent weeks we  have had reports of the terrible happenings in Iraq, the continued and seemingly never ending challenges around Israel and The Palestinians whilst in Australia, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/the-unravelling-of-harriet-wran-20140816-104xfb.html“>the sad report about the daughter of a former state Premier facing murder and attempted murder charges </a> which are allegedly linked with her need to fill her drug habit.

These are all awful. Each in their own different ways.

What have the “run of the mill” people of Iraq, Israel or the Palestinians done to deserve this? How can it be that a young, apparently intelligent women brought up in a well to do family find herself allegedly involved in such a mess?

What is becoming of our world? We simply seem to be unable to learn from the past. For heavens sake, it’s 100 hundred years since millions of people lost their lives for the “war to end all wars” so ironically now known as the First World War.

It’s just all so sad.