A journey of reinvention and renewal after retirement

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At my feeders

I really enjoy watching the birds in my backyard.  I find it to be a relaxing hobby.  I recently added a feeder to attract Finches and within a few hour they started to come.  Amazing!



Yesterday I said goodbye to my sweet Eddie (Edina Monsoon) who was suffering in the final stages of kidney disease. I know it was the right decision but it was still painful. She was exceptionally loving and cuddly. Every time I sat down to read, she would jump on my chest, making it difficult to see the page but I loved every second of it. Heartbreaking! She will be missed.


My favourite books of 2018

I know it is now coming up on the end of February 2019 but I was thinking about some of the books I read last year and thought I would share with you my top 3 favourites.

I started out 2018 reading Leonardo DaVinci by Walter Isaacson and what a great start it was. It is a brilliant biography of one the most creative minds ever to have lived. Beautifully written and filled with photos of his art and illustrations. A joy to read.

Another of my favourites was Red Famine, Stalin’s War on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum. The book impeccably details Stalin’s policy of agricultural collectivism and the attempted destruction of the Ukraine peasantry. The ensuing famine and starvation is devastating and the struggle to survive is epic. Although the subject matter is difficult and some details are horrifying, it is an important reminder of the evils of Stalins reign of terror. Mankind should never forget.

My absolute favourite read of 2018 was The Road Not Taken, Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam by Max Boot.  The book details the life of Edward Lansdale an American covert operative working first in the Philippines and then in Vietnam in the days leading up to the US build up there. Lansdale is a larger than life character, who some say was the model for Graham Greene's  The Quiet American.  Lansdale followed a "hearts and minds" approach to counterinsurgency and had some initial successes.  His attempts to convince leadership to follow this approach in Vietnam fell on deaf ears and the result is well known.  A absolutely fascinating page turner.  I struggled to put it down!