Monday, May 2, 2011



If there's such a thing as a busy retiree, then I'm one:  I run two households (including their gardens), grow, nurture, harvest and market crops, and entertain visitors on a four acre farm with a number of goats and chickens.  I chase wild boars, get rid of pests, cut the grass, pull out weeds, watch the birds and nest the bats and the bees. I build BBQ pit, am a repairman, and I mend the fencing too.  I maintain two cars, two dogs, some rusty old machines, and occasionally babysit two grandchildren.

When I'm hungry I cook, and when my clothes are dirty I wash them.

Why in the world would I want to join a Challenge which requires me to write every single day except Sunday for a whole month?  The Challenge is organized and participated by writers - not just ordinary writers but a number of them are published and accomplished ones.  The rest are on the way to being published. I'm a farmer for crying out loud!

There's the generation gap too.

The introvert in me held me back.  I could still hear the voice: "No, Grandpa don't go there, you'll be the ugly duckling".  Mr. Inferiority Complex was making a comeback, I knew.

Then I read and reread Arlee's and Alex's introduction, their strategy and guidance. I was convinced that it's worth a try. After some hesitation I clicked the 'join' button. I was participant number 852. That's how long I hesitated!

Then came the pang. The agony. What have I got myself into?  I started blogging 'seriously'  in August last year.  By seriously I mean an average of two posts a week. Or 8 to 10 a month.  Now I'm supposed to do 26!  Am I crazy or what??  If my durians and goats knew what I was getting myself into they would surely revolt.

But a commitment is a commitment.  No getting out of it. Come rain, shine, or thunderstorm. Durians dropping, customers waiting in line, goats waiting to be nursed, fed and milked, Irfan and Zaqwan screaming away wanting me to continue with their kindy classes, had to be mere distractions.

The adventure began, and I wrote and wrote.  From A to Z.  I had never written so much in my life!

Now thankfully I can proudly say "I did it!".  It is with a great sense of pride and satisfaction I now display this Award, beautifully crafted by Elizabeth Mueller :

Even though it was a daunting task I must say I enjoyed writing every single one of those posts. The challenge had disciplined me into writing every day. Constancy in purpose in the key to success, someone said. And this is proof.

I didn't get many new followers, not in absolute numbers anyway, but they did increase by a good percentage.  This is understandable.  Not many writers I reckon would be interested in farming, otherwise they would be farmers.  But visitors to this blog would realise that it is more about Life and less about farming. That's why I label this blog as My Look at Life and My Book of Life.

Those who did visit (and I have a number of awesome regulars) gave thoughtful, inspiring and encouraging comments. They are the reason for me to go on writing. They are friends who had stayed by me in good and troubled times.  Thank you all!

I had the opportunity of visiting and following some delightful blogs and made wonderful new friends.

All in all it has been a thoroughly enjoyable and exhilarating experience. I would like to thank the hosts for making it possible and for an excellent organisation.

Till we meet again - cheers!