Can we have too many friends?

An old school photo with all the gang, 20 plus years ago. I’m the guy with the pocket square. All photos are my own.

It was my birthday last week; my first Covid19 lockdown birthday. I’m not complaining — it was enjoyable. I had nothing to do all day. My son went to childcare. My wife worked from home.

That was until the messages began. The congratulatory messages via SMS, Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, and I can’t remember what else. I even received some phone calls.

While it’s nice for me to think my friends remembered my birthday — they didn’t. They were almost certainly reminded, and that’s ok. We live in a new age. A notification tells us…

Rest stop at Black Hill, Ballarat.

I ride a bicycle and I don’t own a car; please don’t hate me. I don’t hate other drivers. I live in Australia where everyone drives a car, well, almost everyone.

The film “The Castle” hams this up somewhat, but it addresses the Australian lifestyle.

Darryl Kerrigan: “Oh Steve, could you move the Camira? I need to get the Torana out so I can get to the Commodore.”

Steve Kerrigan: “I’ll have to get the keys to the Cortina if I’m gonna move that Camira.”

Darryl Kerrigan: “Yeah. Watch the boat, mate.”

In Australia, between 84.2%-91.8% own a vehicle. The…

and the difficulty of being a good mum.

I hear, “You’re a good dad,” and feel empowered. I smile back, brimming with pride, and say thanks as I move along with my almost-two-year-old son. Today he’s in the shopping trolley as we look into each other’s faces. We speak a kind of almost language as his words are still forming — but we understand each other perfectly. I secretly tell him to wave back to the complimenter and she gushes. They always do. It’s a neat trick we have, so why stop now?

There is, however, something that feels quite wrong: The bar for a “good dad” is…

Alisdair Horgen

Writer. Musician. Husband. Dad. I write about parenting, personal finance, fitness, health, relationships, everything. I’m at

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