Thursday, 15 June 2023

17 years, Man and Boy

Bokor Sunset
Laid in the hammock observing sinister cloud formations over Bokor. Next door's fluffy dog on my lap. As the seasons shift from hot/dry to cool/wet the sky is often pregnant with electrical energy. Distant arcs of lightening, count the seconds, 15, so roughly 5km, a while yet before hammock-evac.

The beauty of a tropical rainy season is two-fold. Firstly, when the clouds clear, the blinding sunshine and brilliant blue skies accentuate the lushness of replenished greenery - feels like you're on LSD in Disneyland. I never tire of it, even after 17 years out here. Secondly, the twat-packing masses fade away, leaving only tranquility in their wake.

Uberboyo's Irish brogue emanates from a bluetooth speaker as he entertainingly describes western decline through a Nietzschean lens. GigaChad Neechy called it 150 years ago! Water buffalo graze near the palm trees seemingly oblivious to their ultimate fate. Gratitude radiates from my being - intensifying daily. So overwhelmingly happy to be here.


Became hungry for nautical distraction, unaware of what spurred the desire, perhaps nostalgia for my time scrubbing shitters on HMS Coventry? Went with the flow and watched Master and Commander followed by The Bounty. Both epic. Currently halfway through Moby Dick - should've read it back in English class.


Sores manifested randomly all over the skin sack. Presumed it to be heat rash so drank some isotonic shit and ignored it. Only went to a Pharmacy after they'd blistered. "Herpes," she pronounced with no hesitation.
"Herpes? No way! Ain't been near a cervix in donkeys!"
She laughed explaining HSV1* can be spread skin to skin whereas HSV2 is the nastier shaggy version. I had numero uno given the outbreak didn't affect muh meat-n-two. Possibly from the gym. Tablets and cream - jerb do

*It was more likely shingles (dormant chicken pox) and not HSV1, though they're similar and use the same antiviral meds. Makes more sense and feels less filthy. Shingles? Sounds like something at a beach.

Fluffy DtooDtoo
Next, the hammock ties gave way, crumbling under the weight of my 734N. Banged the starboard elbow hard and a sack of fluid, the size of a golf ball, came into being. This is known as elbow bursitis and, as a toxic male of non-color, decided to not oppress any medics-of-color, and waited 6 weeks for it to heal. The hammock is now secured with Kampot's finest hawser.


Started cutting my own. It's been a year and this is the longest it's ever been after a lifetime crew cuts. However, the front and sides became ridiculous. All you need is a comb, mirror and scissors - just comb it all forward and cut a straight line along the eyebrows, and again along the top of the ears - piss easy.

An old mate in Chiang Mai reckons I look like Begsbie hehe. Going for some kind of mullet look. I figure we should try long hair at least once in life. I'd never given the matter much thought but there's a couple of consequences of long hair. I used to marvel at how exgfs would cast like dogs - forever cleaning it out of plugholes. I get it now as I sweep tons of my own off the tiled floor.

Then there's washing it - a whole event. On Fridays. It's a big deal - I owe the exgfs an apology - it takes time. First, I had to buy some actual shampoo. Previously soap had sufficed but now I need 12 sachets of because-you're-worth-it every 3 months. They're strung together like a belt of ammo. It's a far cry from Geordie Price shaving our swedes in 1980's Ashington, with a tab hanging from his gob - hoping the ash won't fall on you.


Shat $330 renewing a 1 year visa. Worth every penny.

Sep $420  Oct $320  Nov $360
Dec $340 ($275 work permit)
Jan $360  Feb $260  Mar $330
Apr $365 ($75 laptop screen)
May $375 ($330 visa)

$3,810 - 9 months - all in. I've now exceeded the unexpected surprise $3,600 bonus from my last job. They'll be pleased to know it funded the first 9 months of sitting on me arse. Thanks Uncle Vin. Now I'm draining me own stash.

The safe withdrawal rate has been oscillating around the $1000/month level for a few months. The S&P500 has strengthened while MSTR (a BTC proxy) has weakened. It's tempting to reallocate the gains from the S&P500 to TSLA but I'm going to resist the FOMO and simply sit on me brass bands. Stick to the plan. No need to overcomplicate a simple dual-asset-class portfolio with stacks of diversity built in. Something about eggs and baskets - once bitten twice shy.

Apples and Pairs

Gym Bros
Gary's a canny lad. Thought I knew all the rhyming slang from my days in the Peas and Gravy. But he threw a curve ball while spinning motorbike dits, "And then me missus had a mars bar all the way down her peg."
"Eh? She shat herself?"
"No mate, a scar, mars bar, scar." He chuckled as I hung me napper in shame. Doh.


What else? Started playing football on Monday nights. Over 50s (fecking hell). To say I've lost my touch would be a criminal understatement. Good bunch of dudes - good laugh. Proper aching legs after.

Over 50s
Then there's the pool. At the halfway point of the season, Power of Love has won 3 and lost 3. Not bad. Each team has 4 players. 11 frames in each match, 8 singles and 3 doubles. Each player gets 2 singles. I've won 8 of my 12 single games. Pretty happy with that.

Gym. Still an hour on Mondays and Fridays. Still going great. Some cracking lads there. Weight 75kg. Increased some loads:

Bench 70kg 6x5 (fewer reps coz heavy af)
Squat 80kg 3x10
Deadlift 80kg 3x10 
Shoulder 30kg 3x10 (should add 5kg but find these tough)
Pull ups 10, 5, 5  Dips 3x10

The progress in just a year has been remarkable. I would encourage folk to avoid intoxicants and focus on both their physical and mental health. Gym + meditation is the way to go. Especially as you age. Meditation in particular has paid dividends since I got into it this year. A nice segue for:


Tangent alert. When I was little I'd often wonder: Does the moon exist when I'm not looking at it? Materialists (most people) would answer yes. They believe matter to be fundamental - constructing everything in our reality (including minds and consciousness).

The first hint they might be mistaken came when I started teaching physics. Questions arise - even at A-Level - when we first encounter Einstein's E = mc² and Planck's E = hf equations, whereby energy can be thought of in terms of matter and/or frequency. Matter, energy, frequency - same same but different.

LUFC 2 v 2 NUFC.
3 Geordies

I'm not onto anything new here. In ancient Greece Plato suggested that the physical world is not really real and actually made from timeless, absolute, immutable ideas. These ideas being the non-physical essence of all matter. This is known as Platonic Idealism. I reckon he was onto something.

When one embarks on the so called path of self-realisation via meditation, it becomes obvious that we are something more than just mind-body systems. When the mind goes quiet there's an unmistakable conscious-awareness-energy thingymagig present. Further investigation reveals it to be a formless, timeless, dimensionless, non-physical entity. This is what/who you really are. This is beyond doubt and can be experienced by anyone disciplined, hungry and patient enough to explore. I think of it as experiential knowledge as opposed to intellectual knowledge.

So, back to perception. When we observe something, an image of it appears on the screen of our consciousness. However, the "image" and "screen" are one of the same. We experience the "seeing" from within consciousness. It follows that all perception (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) is thus made of consciousness.

So does the moon exist? Yes, as consciousness, like everything else. There is nothing solid outside. I picture consciousness in the same way physicists conceptualize fields. Our physical matter reality is made from a subset of this infinite conscious-awareness-energy field. Part of this subset resonates so as to appear as a solid moon. Another part resonates as your limited mind-body. Consciousness has somehow devised a ruleset to govern the interactions between consciousness-objects - we call this physics.

17 years
Cambodia passes Vietnam

Descartes famously said "Cogito ergo sum". I think therefore I am. I'd tweak it to "I'm aware therefore I am". All we can truly know is that we exist as something I've labelled conscious-awareness-energy. Everything arises within this thing therefore everything is this thing. We have never experienced otherwise. There's simply no need to assert anything else (like physical matter) exists outside of this thing - to do so requires an unnecessary leap of faith. You can see this for yourself - it has to be experienced rather than described by words from our limited minds.

So how does this help us? Well, yeah, the moon still appears solid. A bullet will still kill you. But you come to know there is no "you". Your limited mind is like a localised whirlpool in that infinite, boundless, timeless, dimensionless consciousness-awareness-energy thingymagig. As is the moon. The mind is limited in order to be able to experience the physical-matter-reality illusion. However, you can transcend the mind through meditation - though not many of us ever try. When you die (you were never really born), the whirlpool dissolves. Everything's fine. You are simply consciousness experiencing itself. Enjoy the ride.


My younger brother passed on the 4th June - the morning after watching the Manc-derby FA Cup Final. He was only 46. Basically drank himself to death. However, if you followed the previous metaphysical ramble you'd know he's good now. Like a wave dissipating in an infinite ocean of timeless peace. No more suffering. Nothing to fear.

This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief. — Rumi


  1. " Gratitude radiates from my being - intensifying daily" lol

  2. Great read as usual matey. Regarding hairdos recommending Phillips clippers. You can easily cut your own hair all around with 2 mirrors plus use it to shave. It's incredible how far you made it having in mind your working class origin which has proven to be deadly for many (drugs, booze, violence, crime...).

  3. Glad to see Xeno of Cambodia is back!

  4. Very easy to feel that transcendental under lab conditions.

    1. Always good for a laugh, when's the next instalment of smug pretension?