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.

Relevance deficit syndrome – the road to retirement

My last week or so have been interesting to say the least. Whilst there has been no secret about my retiring from my firm, it’s now common knowledge amongst my staff, partners, clients and associates. No hiding anymore and no denial!

At one level it’s liberating. My replacement is intact and as he takes over the reigns I am not feeling the slightest resentful but it’s certainly different. As one of my friends, and more importantly a major influence on my career said, it’s coming to terms with your lack of relevance which is the challenge. He’s definitely right on that one. No one is coming to me to make the decision, it’s the new breed’s role. My advice is being sought on occasions but it’s all happening around me.

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Well that’s Semester One Done

As if work running into 30 June isn’t hectic enough for an accountant I’ve combined it with an exam and an assignment!

Over the last four months I’ve attended 13 workshops, 13 seminars, 9 presentations, completed 5 assignments and sat one exam, whilst working full-time. It certainly has been a challenge.

From a work perspective it has also seen one of the busiest periods we have seen for a while. Plenty of good and challenging work as I completed my second last year of professional practice.

From a study perspective, the word count is about 11,000 words submitted and countless others edited out. Numerous journal articles carefully read to extract the gems needed to support my work. Then there is the exacting task of referencing, something which after 5 assignments now seems quite straight forward – it certainly wasn’t back in March!

So what have I learnt? I know that I’m still not good at statistics, although compared to what I knew on the 1st of March I am an expert! I’ve learnt about the inductive and deductive approach. I know that method and methodology aren’t the same thing and lots more. I’ve found that writing every day does work better; that “snack writing” actually works and writing early in the day is a productive use if my time as against sleeping (which is definitely over rated)! What however is more important is that I now realise I am thinking differently and that this is not just helping my study but also work.

I’m a quarter the way through my Honours program with still many thousands of words to write and much to learn. Whilst the last few months have been challenging I’m still enjoying it.

So now a few weeks before saddling up again. Time to take in the balance of The World Cup and Tour de France on TV.

Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)

I was listening to one of my playlists and up came Peter Sarsdedt’s Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) released in 1969. I bought it when it was released as a 45 and have been captivated by the song ever since. Infact it haunts me!

If you can’t remember go to Spotify and listen to it.

The song is apparent,y fictional which I find so hard to believe, as it seems so personal and full of scorn. Read the lyrics and see if you agree with me?

You talk like Marlene Dietrich
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire
Your clothes are all made by Balmain
And there’s diamonds and pearls in your hair, yes there are

You live in a fancy apartment
Off the Boulevard Saint-Michel
Where you keep your Rolling Stones records
And a friend of Sacha Distel, yes you do

But where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do

I’ve seen all your qualifications
You got from the Sorbonne
And the painting you stole from Picasso
Your loveliness goes on and on, yes it does

When you go on your summer vacation
You go to Juan-les-Pins
With your carefully designed topless swimsuit
You get an even suntan on your back and on your legs

And when the snow falls you’re found in Saint Moritz
With the others of the jet-set
And you sip your Napoleon brandy
But you never get your lips wet, no you don’t

But where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
Won’t you tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do

Your name, it is heard in high places
You know the Aga Khan
He sent you a racehorse for Christmas
And you keep it just for fun, for a laugh, a-ha-ha-ha

They say that when you get married
It’ll be to a millionaire
But they don’t realize where you came from
And I wonder if they really care, or give a damn

Where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do

I remember the back streets of Naples
Two children begging in rags
Both touched with a burning ambition
To shake off their lowly-born tags, so they try

So look into my face Marie-Claire
And remember just who you are
Then go and forget me forever
But I know you still bear the scar, deep inside, yes you do

I know where you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
I know the thoughts that surround you
‘Cause I can look inside your head

(na na-na-na na na-na-na na-na na na na na)
(na na-na-na na na-na-na na-na na na na na
)

The words seems so personal, of someone looking so scornfully at a person who they must have once loved and has been cast aside.