Status Update – the completion of the first month of “What’s Next”

Wow a month down already. Where did I have time for work?

My thesis is now back on track. I’d ignored it over the month of March as I wound out of life at my firm. I then submitted a draft of my Research Design Chapter that my supervisor said just wasn’t OK. I’ve now resubmitted it and got the OK to proceed. My data collection is moving forward with a number of hills wineries now interviewed. I still have a number to do. The interview transcripts are coming back for review and analysis. I have also made a start on my Introduction and Literature Revew a chapters. 

I have continued with my Uni tutoring, have completed one guest lecture in an MBA Program and have been invited to give another. I have also been asked to act as Research Assistant in a new project – that’s exciting! I have also at the advice of my supervisor started to meet with potential supervisors for my PhD which I hope to commence in early 2016,

I have also formalised some advisory opportunities and started to meet with my new clients. That too is very exciting and so rewarding. I am also excited at the discussions I’ve had with people about other opportunities to build new and interesting networks. 

Then there is bike riding. I’ve met my objective of riding to Mt Lofty at least once each week and increased my kilometres significantly. My objective of 2500 kilometers by 30 June may have been a little ambitious but I am getting into the hills more regularly, getting fitter and losing weight.

Then there is the matter of our plans for Italy later in the year. We have settled on an a basic itinerary and are thrilled that each of our children are planning to spend some time with us in Sicily. We still have six months before we leave so plenty of time to plan.

Oh, I have also had a few work commitments to attend too as well.

Anzac Day


Australia and New Zealand took time to remember those who fell 100 years ago at Gallipoli on Saturday.

I along with about 20,000 others attended the Dawn Service in Adelaide. Hundreds of thousands also attended at other locations elsewhere in Australian and around the world. It wasn’t the first time I’d attended but certainly with so many more people present and it being the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landing it had a little more meaning than usual. 

Anzac Day is quite possibly the most significant day in the Australian calendar, as it signifies the day when to many Australia came of age. As I stood there yesterday listening to the service and the speeches I was taken by the comment made by the service’s MC, a returned serviceman, that it matters not whether you have a view that Anzac Day is jingoistic or one that views with scorn the decision to get involved with a war on the other side of the world or somewhere between, it is simply an opportunity to remember those who have fallen in battle.

For me it’s not a day of celebration but a day of contemplation. To reflect on the sacrifice made willingly by so many for what they considered to be an important cause. It’s also a chance to acknowledge those who have served since and those still serving. It is not in my view appropriate to take  disagreement with the cause out on them but to acknowledge their contribution. 

As I was in my period of reflection I recalled the Vietnam War era, where as a child I recall hearing that returning vets were spat on and jeered at while marching at the Anzac Parade. Even the as a child it seemed wrong that those opposed to the war took it out on them, particularly as so many were conscripted.

Governments make the decisions to enter these wars and those who are in our Armed Forces are called into battle. To me they deserve our admiration and gratitude. They have made Australia a better place for their sacrifice and I for one am grateful.

100 Up

So this my 100th Post – It’s timing is perfect just as I start my next journey.

Michael Clarke’s Celebration after reaching 100 in Adelaide. Source: au

My blog has not met the WordPress suggested approach of a theme and stick to it. Rather it has been the thoughts of a fifty something as he contemplates what’s next. 

While it hasn’t been a “Dear Diary” it certainly has been a reflection on my thoughts. There has been plenty on music including my discovery of Country Music and the regular paying homage to The Boss. There have been posts on our trip to Europe and our plans for 3 months in Italy. There’s also been the opportunity to post on our local scene – the fabulous Adelaide Oval, Tour Down Under and Second Valley. I have also mentioned my move back to study on numerous occasions but the topic I expected would appear most being Sport has only been mentioned sparingly.

It has  enabled me to meet an objective of writing a thousand words a month and I think also improved my writing skills. 

It’s a time for celebration!

3 Weeks to go!

I started this blog just over two and half years ago. It was one part of a process to prepare me for “What Next”. At that time my favourite person and I had just come back form a retreat that my firm puts on for partners who are over 50 and is designed to assist them with transition from the firm.

Armed with an action plan from the retreat and some thoughts about “What Next” from a book I’d read, I set about a plan to be ready for “What Next”.

“What Next” is now a little less than 3 weeks away!

Back then my plan was to have a reason to write a thousand words a month as I experimented with writing in different styles.  I had this romantic notion of a career as a writer. It was naive I now know, but it was a great place to experiment. Since then I have completed nearly 100 posts, written regular articles in The Adelaide Review on business and writen about 25,000 words as initially I undertook  a couple of undergrad subjects in a Media Degree and then started my  Honours.

I also had some initial thoughts about an academic career.  I could lecture. It all seemed straight forward.  I had no idea of the process, simply assuming I’d turn up and be welcomed with open arms. The welcome has been very warm indeed, as it seems my experience is highly regarded, but I don’t have the academic stripes. However, just over two years on from embarking on that pursuit I have a very sound idea of what’s required, I am half way through Honours, getting my head around my PhD application and have some casual lecturing filling in for others and two tutorial classes. I’m definitely on my way.

While my primary focus has been academia, I also don’t won’t to lose touch with my past life in profesional services. So far I’ve been privledged to have had approaches to work with some very exciting local firms. I’m looking forward to being involved.

Then there’s me time. More time for the bike. Already this year I’ve had more time to spend with my riding buddies, as I haven’t needed to race off after the ride to get to work quite so early. I’ve very much enjoyed the opportunity to just sit around and talk the usual post ride rubbish. But in 3 weeks I can get those extra rides in. My challenge will be to get back to over 200kms per week for the period to 30 June. Back into the hills, build my strength and get fit.

Then there more us time. I’m looking forward to more time at the beach and traveling with my favourite person. Our plans for 3 months in Italy are taking shape. Perhaps starting in the North as a winter begins and then having Christmas in Sicily before wending our way back toward Rome and then home.  We can be like the couple I chatted to on the ferry across to South Perth a couple of nights ago (when I was on one of my last business trips in my current role) who have embraced retirement with gusto, taking time to travel completely relaxed and unhurried.

So with 3 weeks to go there’s plenty ahead of me.

It really isn’t long until  “What’s Next”.

Street Art – Hindley St, Adelaide






Share My World

Found this set of questions whilst I was mulling through my Reader -share your world via a really great blog – 61musings


How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 

Wow there’s a thought. 

If I asked my staff they’d say I was old enough to have helped Noah load the Ark!

My children would say judging by the Dad jokes that I’d been around a while too.

My favourite person would say we are still young with so much to look forward to.

I think I’d say I say I was about 50, after all that’s the new 40 these days. 

Are you left or right handed? 

I’m right handed which explains why when I played golf as a left handed I was pretty ordinary!

If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to?

Given I’m pretty comfortable with where things are at I don’t think I would change it at all. 

Where do you hide junk when people come over?

I don’t really!

We live in an apartment so there isn’t much space for junk. What we do have gets stashed in the cupboard under the stairs to be forgotten about!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up

Last week some new opportunities emerged as I plan for my future post retirement from my firm. I also loved my few days at athe Clipsal 500 with my son.

In the coming week I’m looking forward to getting on with my thesis and riding my bike,