HI there, my blog is now at
love to see you there
The Author, Stand Up Comic and Speaker gives previews and updates on his What I Wish I Knew books and articles, plus he is inclined to ramble and rant about stuff from his Stand Up, Speaking and Workshops.
HI there, my blog is now at
love to see you there
I’ve finished my interviews for the Cancer book now, and there are some heavy and yet wonderful chats are ‘in the can.’ (That can’t be the right expression, but there you go.)
Talking with these amazing people has led me to be incredibly grateful for how ridiculously lucky I, and my whole extended family, have been healthwise. There’s been a lot of cuddles for my wife and kids and lots of silent thoughts of “Thank you God, Fate or whomever is responsible for my good fortune.”
The book will have all the quotes from my interview with a bloke called Warrick Try, but I wanted to pass on a text I got from him about a week after we spoke. Here’s his story and the text.
Warrick Try, 68, partied pretty hard into his thirties and smoked until he was 50. Then, six years after quitting cigarettes, he started feeling a little breathless but thought it was ‘old age creeping up’. Then some X-Rays after a skiing accident revealed he had cancer which had almost closed off his right lung. At the time Warrick had a wife and five children – the youngest being only five – so it was a very traumatic time. He had an operation to remove his lung was removed and it seemed to have gotten rid of the lung cancer. Since then, however, Warrick has cancer of the bladder, cancer of the prostate, cancer of the eye and several malignant melanomas – and gotten through them all.
In December last year, he was having one of his regular check-ups and it was discovered that his PSA levels had risen – his prostate cancer was back – and a course of chemotherapy was recommended.
Warrick decided to get his body as fit as possible to help his chances of getting through the chemo well. He joined a gym for the first time, changed his diet, and improved his whole lifestyle. In an amazing turnaround, Warrick quickly saw dramatic changes in his body shape and fitness, and his PSA levels got lower and lower. In his latest blood test it’s down to 0.001 – almost undetectable – and for the first time in twelve years the doctors have pronounced Warrick Cancer free.
Is this guy tough as nails or what?
His quotes in the final book are all great, but I wanted to share this text that he sent me.
“G’day Marty. Forgot one thing ‘When cancer is first diagnosed, some people start to die almost immediately, others start to live. The choice is yours.'”
I used to be signed up to one of those quote sites that send you this sort of stuff in your email every day, and now I get messages like that from real people. In this case, someone I’ve met personally who has kicked cancer’s arse four or five times now.
I love my job!
My last blog about the website for cheaters was picked up by the Sydney Morning Herald – a very big thanks to Peter FitzSimons for waving it in front of the right people. (Click the image and have a read, it has a different, way more judgmental and obnoxious ending which I’m pretty pleased with)
Anyway, I just wanted to share two responses I had emailed to me directly within hours of the article appearing.
The first, Kate in Newport said “Thanks very much for coining the term ’emotional consumerism’ for this rubbish. It perfectly sums up how so often we seek to fix things that are inside by changing conditions that are outside. And this never, ever works.”
The second was someone living in Los Angeles who wrote “Yeah, he’s everywhere over here that guy. They have a word for him here that we don’t really use often back home, but it absolutely perfect. ‘Douchebag'”
Thanks everyone who sent their support. Go find some time to be with your loved ones. It’s Sunday and I’m blogging, time for me to do the same…
All the very bestest
I read this article in the Sydney Morning Herald a week or so ago, and I’ve been waiting for the bile to die down so I could write about it without swearing. It’s about a man who’s setting up websites around the world to enable people to cheat on their partners.
Noel Biderman, of http://www.sleazyparasite.com.au (not sure if that website is correct)
So rather than rant and rave – I’ll save that for comedy and speaking gigs, they love it when I curse there – I’ll just tell a quick story and leave a quote.
For my 40th birthday my brother and two sisters gave my wife and I a Red Balloon voucher for wonderful weekend away in the Hunter Valley. Even more importantly, Mum and Dad offered to chip in with a “babysitting coupon” so we could go without our two boys aged 3 and 6. A few weeks ago, I finally organised the time off and we had a wonderful two days away. I am now 42 years old.
As we planned for the break we realised this would be our first in over five years. We talked about all the other things we’d squeezed into that same period of time. We’d moved back to Australia, found a house, I’d gone back into advertising, got a book deal, had a second child, changed jobs, finished my first book, had it be a bestseller, ran screaming from advertising, started comedy and corporate speaking again, had our first child start school, had both kids in hospital, finished my second book. How could we not sneak in a lousy weekend holiday? We really, really really needed a break!
I think the key lesson for us was that there was never going to be a free weekend that just “miraculously appeared” and made it easy to get away. We just locked it into the calendar, and worked liked dogs before and after.
Just like it used to be
When you do get away, it’s amazing how quickly you slot back into the way you used to be. By the time we’d driven the three hours from Sydney to the Valley, we were starting to feel like “Allie and Marty” and not “Mum and Dad”. We have some friends who talk about how things used to be “BC” (Before Children) and we could see what they mean. We were slower, calmer, gentler.
We pulled up at our accommodation for the weekend, a gorgeous, secluded little place called Wilderness Lodge has only has four suites, and – just what we wanted – is a couple of kilometres away from the main touristy area. It’s also in the middle of an expansive Olive grove, and incredibly peaceful. We spent the afternoon doing nothing much. (stop it! get your mind out of the gutter) We had a huge spa bath in the afternoon – just because we could – and as we lay back Allie said “Isn’t it luxurious to lay back in a bath without a toy shark sticking into your bum cheek?” I said “It’s brilliant to be able to do a wee without a three year old coming in asking something like “Are pterodactyls herbivores or carnivores?”
As we talked through the afternoon, we noticed that a typical conversation went like this:
“Isn’t the scenery here lovely? You really could be in Europe with the hills covered in vines and the olive trees. Remember that trip to Italy we had when we live in England? I miss that.“
Instead of this:
Isn’t the scenery here lovely? (Connor take your fingers out of your brother’s nose) You really could be in Europe (Elliot, beans are not lightsabers) with the hills covered in vines and the olive trees. (Finish your lunch or no ice cream) Remember that trip to Italy? (Boys, stop it.) we had when we live in England, (Right no ice cream for anyone) I miss that.
The next day, we went for a huge three hour walk and it was the best time of our weekend away because we walked, we looked at the stunning vineyards properly not from a car at 100km/h and (drum roll please) we talked. We spoke, to each other and no one else, for almost four whole hours. We hadn’t done that in five long years, except for those sporadic dinners when you’re so happy to be outside the four walls of your house together you end up ordering that second (sometimes third) bottle of wine and not remember exactly what you talked about anyway. It felt so natural, so easy, so just-like-it-used-to-be “BC”. It reaffirmed our commitment to each other and reminded us both why we got hitched in the first place.
Cheating on my wife, with my wife.
I may be playing amateur psychologist (when has that ever put me off), but I think if only more couples made time to have weekends away like this, those idiotic websites like the one above would never get off the ground. If we spent less time being addicted to the getting, we’d be able to enjoy the having.
It’s rare I find myself quoting Miranda Devine, but luckily it’s only a quote she uses in her column today from CS Lewis
”If you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially, they will all get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned person for the rest of your life. It is because so few people understand this that you find many middle-aged men and women maundering about their lost youth, at the very age when new horizons ought to be appearing and new doors opening all round them.”
As a writer it annoys me to admit it, but I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Had a great day yesterday on the couch with the women of The Circle.
It was one of the best interviews I’ve had about the book because everyone was happy to talk about their own experience. As the books are all about Conversational Wisdom, I reckon this made for a much better segment.
And I got to ask all the women to be in the next book, What I Wish I Knew about Motherhood. Hurrah!
I’m up at Shoal Bay – on the coast about three hours north of Sydney – on a self-imposed writer’s boot camp retreat sort of thingy. Getting a whole heap of authoring type stuff done before What I Wish I Knew about Love hits the shelves next week. Churning through loads of work, so as a writer it feels great. As a hubby and father, not so hot. The best family holiday we’ve ever had was at this spot in January so, sigh, I’m missing them bad. And feeling a bit guilty about being up here – here’s the sunrise yesterday.
However, speaking with my wife, Allie, last night and she said – as she had many times when I was often away as a Stand Up: “You know, we do miss you, but it’s actually really smooth, and nice, and easy much easier you’re away. The house just works.”
I don’t know whether to laugh, weep, or just get on with the work without the guilt. Harrumph. Can other wives (or hubbies) tell me if this is normal when one parent goes away?
I’m going for a swim.
I’ve been interviewing loads of wonderful mums for my next book, What I Wish I Knew about Motherhood, and O my (expletive deleted)!. Almost every mum I speak to says words to the effect of “Why do we all lie to each other? In those early months particularly we drag ourselves out of bed, sloth around the house in our PJ’s for 3 hours, finally make it out the door, then act like we’re cruising along with everything peachy keen. And we can’t even blame the fellas, we do it to each other.”
I’m going to write a book called “The Motherhood Secret. It’s F@& king Hard.”
I’d love to hear from any mums who violently agree/disagree. But have a rest first, don’t make it yet another thing on your to do list for the day.
Maybe click on Chris Tola’s image and read his quote first, then pop back up here…
Remember when Valentine’s Day used to be the day for everyone to send secret love notes to someone who had no idea you had the hots for them?
Call me a cranky old 42-year-old, call me churlish, if you want to you can even call me curmudgeonly, but I believe the whole day was so much better when it was a day to try and start a relationship. Now we’ve all all been sucked in to believing it’s a day for buying jewellery, lingerie and parachute jumps for people we’ve been going out with for decades.
One of the reasons I’m the luckiest bugger in the world is my wife, Allie, agrees. She is English, of course, so the logic of “Well darling, the traditional thing to do would be…” often works (as does her idea that we start our own, “new tradition” of flowers coming within 7 days either side of Valentine’s Day.)
But I love Chris Tola’s quote, because I reckon if you have to wait until Valentine’s Day to get all romantic-like and buy your lover chocolates/roses/a complete set of this years footy cards, you don’t deserve someone as wonderful as them anyway.
This page from What I Wish I Knew about Love (click on the image to read) shows an old friend of mine from University days called Danny Francis. Sadly, he died last night after a brave battle with Mesothelioma.
Dan was a bloke who lived life at twice the speed of the rest of us. A larger than large character who made women swoon, parties come alive, and footy teams play above themselves. He had a ticker so big that anyone who met him then somehow ended up going to that museum in Melbourne to see Phar Lap’s heart, just shook their head and walked away. The big horse was a pea-heart compared to Franger.
When I interviewed Dan, he was incredibly accepting of his fate, and embraced it with a hell of a lot more peace than I would.
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be one of his friends invited down to a dinner with him in Bowral, and it was a night to remember. Stories, songs, and a lot of laughter. As always around Dan. While I’m desperately sad he won’t see my wee book – that he was so pleased to be a part of – sitting up proudly in the bookstores, I did get an advance copy and gave it to him at the dinner, and I know he was touched to see his page.
Goodbye Dan, I’ll always remember your generosity of spirit, your relentless energy, and that pirate growl you used to do which clearly said “No Marty, you are not going home yet.”
(Obviously we’re going to change the last sentences in the reprint.)