Sunday afternoons free from cfo thoughts

So me and my gal Danielle are enjoying a brief interlude on a Sunday afternoon sans dependents at Mr and Mrs G’s.

It’s attached to our favourite restaurant, a haven of happy memories and today we drink cocktails and listen to gypsy jazz.

I feel like I am sitting in a scene from Chocolat….one of my favourite movies of all time

The music is fab…and the cocktails and simple platter plate superb as well


I’m also thinking of Miss Caitlin 800kms south, in Newcastle, in final preparations for her lead role as Christine in Phantom of the Opera. It’s one of four productions nationally to celebrate 25 years since the launch of this sensational musical.

Caitlin has dreamt of a musical theatre career since, well, it seems she could talk, dance and sing.

Her mum has taped a couple of rehearsals with the orchestra, and come early September we will get the chance to see it live. At the most magnificent historical theatre, the Civic Theatre in Newcastle.

I have listened to the iPhone recordings of her singing “wishing you were here” and “phantom of the opera”. I then listened to the movie soundtrack of the phantom song and the original cast version.

I do say without bias that I won’t be surprised if the world knows a little more of Caitlin after these performances. She is simply spectacular.

I do think my little girl has a chance to realize her lifelong dream. I hope she does. Not many get a chance to do so.


And just to conclude I’m not thinking much of the week ahead, which will be full of cfo type stuff. It’s been a sensational weekend of little man Louie and my gal Danielle

If money were no object…

 I’m stealing this blog title from, well, the person who has got me into this blog caper. Well, two people have got me into this blog caper, my gal Danielle who is a blogging master, and a colleague who is a friend who is a writer, who finally signed me up in a moment of weakness.

Well, it was not so much as a moment of weakness, but me having the perceived need to get a message out to the masses, as my word is important (*smirks*), and LinkedIn only has 700 characters. I always need more characters than that as I am a chronic gibberer.

I did get injured on the board this morning, I got so enthusiastic leaving a great business meeting, and getting out on the street, I just had to ride off with passion. Hence, strained calf muscle. I have the enthusiasm of a 20 year old in a *cough*, forty something body. And not a body of the well maintained variety.


Let the journey begin (just before said injury)

 Anyway, if money were no object, the subject at hand and started by my blogger friend “A story to write” this morning. I need to get to that. (PS Look up “A story to write”, well worth it.)

Anyway, I am well and truly in the zone now of re-engaging with Azure Group and doing what I love, and that is being an advisor….finance, strategic and otherwise to SMEs in the Australian and wider market. If money were no object, while a provoking or even confrontational concept in theory, it made me ponder that what I am doing is what I love. I realise that in the SME sector of my commercial world, you are not only directly assisting in a hopefully successful commercial outcome, but you also have a profound impact on another person or persons life/lives.

I love the commerce of life, but what I havent deeply realised until now, or maybe only in a cursory way, is the clients that are in my space, they have a dream and a vision and an objective to do something that hopefully they are passionate about, and they often risk everything to make it happen and seek to be successful. So, really, if money were no object I actually cannot think of anything that I would rather do ***. I think I have come full circle to where I am, give or take, back to where I have come.

Now…. how to make money 😉

*** the topic is if money were no object…if the topic was “if talent were no object” you would have me gibbering away about how I would much rather be a hippy rockstar belting out some Eric Clapton blues, or being on the sticks with the Chili Peppers, or being behind the dish playing for the Red Sox. But that my friends is more about talent, in my case lack thereof, and less about money being no object.


For reasons too many in number my lifestyle has changed. I no longer have the big mortgage, big everything, wish list of cars and boats and watches yadda yadda. My life right now is rich in many other ways. Danielle, my little man Louie, my daughters (one hopefully will talk to me again one day), my work, my skateboard, my mum and stepdad, my friends, lots of things.

Anyway, I digress.

I was looking at a car magazine that a client had given me and got twitchy about the new AMG CLA45 Merc coming out. I was talking to a client about it, “man I would love to get one” and then reminding myself “when would I drive it when I would rather be on my board”.

My client suggested I not be concerned about such things, and then told me the reason why.

I cant share it as it would expose a commercially sensitive deal, but it made me realise. If you focus on what’s important, that is making a positive influence on another’s life, and your occupation allows you to do this, and less on what is not important, money and “things”,the universe will in fact provide (I think if it thinks you worthy).

I actually own my skateboard. I dont need to buy a car to drive a car…and that my friends was ultimately what my client reminded me of, and in the process of that discussion with my client, and thinking of that “thing” I am working on with said client….the opportunity totally gets me worked up. Makes me passionate. Makes me want to ride off on my board full of enthusiasm and thinking anything is possible, when “money is no object”

I wonder how they would catch you...would they shoot you?

The simple pleasures…

Keeping to blog title I woke up this morning and had to attend a business meeting…there could be worse things on a Saturday morning than venturing to a food institution, especially for breakfast (Bills at Woollahra). The meeting finished with a flurry of excitement, commitment of startup capital usually has that effect but the chilli fried egg on spinach and brioche was fabulous.

Why this is about the simple pleasures was what happened afterwards.

I moved to Sydney in 1997 as a “drive in/drive out” with the drive out element back to Newcastle, the city of my birth.

When my family moved down permanently in 2001, in hindsight it now seems like a mad rush to get into the zone of life on the upper north shore. Expensive rent, then expensive mortgage, then expensive schools etc etc. I am sure there is sympathy from many that have seen it all as well, that may or may not read this blog.

But today, cruising around in North Sydney on my skateboard (I live here when I am not in Brisbane, in our one bedder “Sydney Saloon”), I stumbled on some joys and gems of Sydney that after years of “living” I had no idea existed…

From a few visits, I have loved spending some time at the foreshore of Lavendar Bay, and my real introduction was with my girl Danielle, and our little man Louie, a month ago.

This time, without any pre-planning, I set off. I am getting more bold and brave with my board (probably a very bad thing), and found myself behind Blue Street at Royal Art Society Gallery. 

Then, I went down some steps, and into an oasis of harbourside park land that was simply beautiful. I was later told by Bruce and Jo that they were sure it was or had been attended to in a very generous way by a local artist. It was the sort of place you could relax in for hours. The sort of park that is in the closing scene of Notting Hill. Where you can sit on a bench and read a book, preferably with one’s love, and the world would be bliss or even lush.

Neither of these two things of complete enjoyment cost a dime, or a five cent piece. They were free. Around the most sensational harbour in the world. And I was happy.

The simple pleasures….ImageImageImageImageImage

Careers, fatherly advice and all that is wrong in the world

I had dinner with my daughter tonight, she is in Grade 10 and we discussed her subject choices for the HSC and it got me thinking about my own choices back then and the path of my career. They say you should pursue what you are passionate about. Maybe its older age, and people do say I can be an angry “Ant”, but I often think of what a career of advocacy could have been. To channel passion in a different direction than purely one of a commercial pursuit, but still linked. I have followed with different degrees of emotion some recent examples of what I have grown to detest about the capitalist side of our world. I have read about the CBA financial planning division, the lack of action by ASIC, and the lives of especially the elderly destroyed not only financially but with great sacrifice to their health, and no doubt the loss of spirit that would come from such disappointment. My anger builds every time I read about Sunland, Dubai and what has occurred with Matt Joyce and some others. Sure, there must be many elements to the truth in this case, but I suspect we are seeing much of the facts coming out and it repulses me. Often justice seems such an elusive outcome, but for the advocates out there who fight the injustices of the world, I tip my hat to you…whatever career form you might have taken….my girl has the heart and soul to make a difference to the lives of others, maybe I should shine a light on this concept of advocacy for her and less on something more traditional, like investment banking 😉