S01E06 June Slipped By…

Roger Lawrence
Jul 24, 2019 · Unlisted

Alright, happy June everyone.

Firstly, apologies for the tardiness in my letter this month. As you can see, I decided to record a video for you. Somewhat more intimate, and theoretically easier. And as they say:

“There’s no difference between theory and practice…
…in theory”

So for those who’re still reading, this month’s letter is essentially the transcript from the video made a little more legible.

First stop Berowra Waters…

Lucy’s Birth(week)day

So, June kicks off every year, as it has always done with Lucy’s birthday. This year highlights quite how much our lives have changed. We always celebrate (all our birthdays) with the family. Only this year a third of our family is overseas! :-( Still, we had dinner at home for the family: A splendid cheese and wine platter with Em, Pete, Amanzi & Steven.Which is absolutely Lucy’s favourite meal, so it was a fabulous evening.

Camping for the Queen’s Birthday

Coincidentally the Queen (of England) shares her birthday with Lucy, and counterintuitively in Australia we get a (public) holiday for the Queen’s birthday. So for the first time since the kids were at school we went camping as a family. Again Amanzi and Steven, Em and Pete joined us for the weekend. And I think actually it was also the first time that Lucy has ever camped midwinter.

When Amanzi and Charis were growing up I used to take them camping mid-winter with their friends, and dad’s. Because it was so cold mum’s stayed at home to go shopping, and watch soppy RomComs with red wine. So the week-ends were known as “No mums, no rules” week-ends.

We went to one of our favourite sites about 3 hour’s drive away. A place called Wombeyan Caves. It was seriously cold, so we took with us a trailer load of wood. Which is what we always do when we go camping midwinter. And we lived around the campfire. The campfire was pretty damn good.

This too highlighted some of the changes that I have been making in my life. You know, those “no alcohol, no bacon” changes. Because bacon and eggs in the morning; and Rum (and Milo) in the evening, are pretty much staples when we go camping in winter.

Lucy’s Woes

Continuing with Lucy: The operation on her shoulder went very well. I don’t know if you remember from last month, but she’s got problems with both her shoulders. On the right shoulder, which was particularly painful, for some reason there was a splinter fracture at the end of the collarbone. That had started healing, and the healing process had created a spur. And that spur was rubbing against the ball socket from the humerus.

So she saw the surgeon. Surgeon took her in. He basically went in laparoscopically, but with a little angle grinder. He ground off the end of the bone where the Spurs have been made. And even 2 days after the operation her shoulder was less painful than it was previously. She’s been recovering really really well.

The problem with the left is a torn bicep, and I think a torn tricep as well. The surgeon is going to check her out when she gets back from the UK.

Oh yes she’s going to the UK to help her sister convalesce. Although I’m not sure who’s going to be supporting who. But anyway. I think also to visit Leah and Charis who are both in the UK.

Leah Moving On, Moving Up

So, talking about Leah and Charis. Leah’s doing really, really well. She is month two into her 3-month internship at the design organisation. She’s absolutely loving the role.

She moved into a share house in the last month or so. And I think she is moving in the next week or two. To another share house, which is still in London, just much closer to work. So she’s doing well!

Charis Moving Too

A Quick Sojourn to Paree

Charis has moved to the UK, and she’s looking to continue finding out what it is that she wants to do, and her career there. Not to mention just to continue her travels.

She’s been in Spain for closing on a year now, so time to move on. Of course being British, having a British passport means you can work there. As we’ve got family and friends there that she can stay with! Although she is very keen to find her own place. And to do her own thing.

Welcome to Pie In the Sky…


At ACHIEVR we are in that horrible doldrum between having finished our last project, while still awaiting proposals to be signed for our next project. So things are a bit calm.

A Prospective Client Learning to Operate a Crane with our VR SW..

We’re working pretty hard on sales and getting products ready for sale.

The industry has experienced some of the technology changes I predicted at Christmas time. For us this means we are working on porting products over to the latest headsets. These (untethered, standalone headsets) reduce the hardware cost for organisations for our solutions significantly. We’re talking 80–90% lower hardware costs.

The work that we have done has garnered a lot of interest. We’ve got a meeting early next month (July), in fact in the first week with the management of (our recent client) George Weston Foods. They’re looking to build a new pie factory in New Zealand. It’s early days yet, but we’re looking to potentially put together a solution for them.

This time, not only for training but also for (facility and process) design. Even before they do the physical build-out, which is pretty exciting stuff. Which is positive.

We’ve got another couple of prospects waiting for the new financial year budgets to kick in. So, we are hopeful. But as ever, standing on the ”Abyss of Death” chewing glass…

Multistrada Woes (aka 1st World Problems)

In other news my bike went in, as you know from last month, for its 72,000 km service. It was about 700 km before 72,000 so was on about 71,300. At the time they said that it didn’t need brake pads. Then about 2–3 weeks after the service my brakes were very soft and spongy. So I gave the dealer a call and asked if they give a warranty for their work. They said: “yes sure, they’ll warranty their labour.”

I replied: “That’s great because I came in for a major service and the brakes are really, really soft now.”

I took it in and they were then said that no, they remember looking and seeing that there were brake pads there, and that I wanted to spread the cost of the fix over a couple of months. I replied that I would never have spread the cost of my brakes. I absolutely would have replaced them there and then. At the end of the day one month isn’t going to make any difference on the cost of replacing brake pads.

So they took the bike in on Tuesday night to do the brake pads on the Wednesday. Then they called me on Wednesday and they reported the front forks are leaking, and showing oil. So they are they going to replace the seals on the front forks, which I agreed to. As I’m about to take the bike on a 7,000 km run up to Cape Tribulation and back.

Then they called me on Friday to say that the bike wasn’t back together again. They haven’t put the forks back together again, so they wouldn’t be able to get it to me by the week-end. This was last weekend (22 June) So would I mind terribly if they give it back to me on Monday. Sure, I said, I can’t do anything about it. I mean I’ve got no transport.

In the interim I had put a comment on a private group for Ducati Multistrada owners on Facebook. I just mentioned how disappointed I was with the dealer. I didn’t mention the dealers name as I didn’t want to denigrate them if they were going to come to the party and do good by me when I picked up the bike. The marketing manager for Ducati Australia New Zealand contacted me privately and asked me to let him know who the dealer is, as they would like to assist me. Of course I thanked them, and sent an email with all the text in etc. And, lo and behold, I got a call from the dealer on Monday apologising and letting me know that they’ve just striped the right fork, which was showing a lot more wear than the left. In fact they need to order replacement parts, which were going to take a couple of days to arrive.

Again, I was disappointed that they hadn’t stripped the right fork the previous Wednesday when they said they were going to. Be that as it may they didn’t. So I approved the order for the parts, and asked if they could expedite delivery?

I then got an email back from Ducati thanking me for the information and they’ll see what they can do. Then on Thursday I got another call from the dealer informing me they received the parts, and it turns out the parts are missing the necessary bush. You can only get this from Italy and which they had now ordered it and it was being expressed over. Of course it’s not likely to be here until the end of the following week. But they finally came through with a loan bike. A brand new Kawasaki 650.

So I picked up this Kawasaki Versys 650. This is also an Adventure Tourer like my Multi. It’s a brand new bike. It had two kilometres on the clock when I picked it up. So I’m actually running it in for them. I rather suspect that Ducati ANZ got onto the dealer and impressed upon them to do something right by me.

The dealer also mentioned that to make it right they’ll give me the labour on the brakes for free. Hopefully I’ll get some discounts on the fix. And I’ve got a loan bike until I get my bike back.

Now obviously I can’t take this loan bike up to Queensland and back, but at least I’ve got a bike to get around on until my mine returns. Hopefully my bike is back on Friday this coming week. On the plus side it’s going to have brand new brakes and brand new shocks. Which is probably exactly what I need before taking it on a long trip up north as I’m going to. This is clearly an inconvenience, but it’s such a first world problem isn’t it! Whatever happens, my life, my health and safety, not to mention the safe operation of the bike is a lot more important than a couple of hundred or thousand dollars.

Em and Pete

Ok, so Em and Pete. Em is doing so well! The other day we got to play trumpet together, which was spectacular. I’m now 3 months into trumpet and two Sundays ago (16th June) I played my first concert. 18 songs. I was pretty terrified before going into it. It’s a lot of music to learn in three months. Even when you can play the instrument. The concert was pretty intense but awesome. I really enjoyed it.

Anyway Em came around one evening just to support Lu, and to spend some time with her mum. We all got our instruments out. Em borrowed Charis’ trumpet and we played trumpet together. Which was awesome. Absolutely awesome. I wholly recommend doing something with your (son or) daughter, where they are better than you are. Where you are the student and they are the master.

Em has stopped feeling morning sick (Ed: This is actually incorrect. She feels less morning sick) and she’s looking awesome! I mean I know they talk about the glow of motherhood, but man does she look good at the moment!

Peter is also enjoying his job at “First Five Minutes.” In the years I’ve known him, I’ve not seen him this relaxed and energised about work before.

Amanzi and Steven

Amanzi and Steven are settling into married life. They really enjoying living together. Some of the changes have been quite interesting to see: E.g. Steven now gets to work an hour earlier than he ever did before. The first time he got in at 8:45, I think I had just got out the shower, and I asked if he was ok!! This is because he used to rock in at about 10. Y’see we’ve got our first meeting of the day usually at 10:15. (Being a globally distributed company) we start with a video conference with everybody in the company.

So that’s that’s an interesting change. Although he hasn’t gone home any earlier, so he is just working harder now that he’s married. Which is cool.

Amanzi is also settling in. Now that she’s got a team leader she’s really starting to thrive and enjoy her role as a as a case manager for short-term foster care for kids. She too is absolutely loving her job, which is great to see.

1% better

I had not a drop of alcohol this month.

I have had not a single meat pie this month.

I have had no French fries or hot chips at all this month. And actually I haven’t had any cold chips that I can think of.

I’ve had no soft drink, apart from soda water or soda, lime and bitters.

And I have not had a single rasher of bacon which I really missed. I miss bacon much.

And also, I’ve not lost any weight at all. Whatsoever!!

So live healthy I say, and stay fat!!

Spanish is going well. 307 days of Spanish complete. I’m loving it

This is The Estuary, also known as Kangaroo Point. Right on the Hawkesbury River as you can see. What is not to love about this place? Sun setting in the west over there. This is one of my favourite places in all the world.

Let’s Connect

I’d love to connect with you. Do us a favour: Let me know whether you prefer the Video or the Medium Post. I will still be doing the text on Medium, unless most would rather the video.

Let me know via WhatsApp or email, or even just record a video yourself if you prefer this format.

We’ll see you at the end of July…

…in a week :-D


Roger Lawrence

Written by


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