Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

This is Beard

This is my new mate Scott Maggs aka Jimmy Niggles. He lost his mate Wes to melanoma and now he's on a mission to get as many people as possible to get a skin check. Part of that journey is to make his beard famous...and it's working. 

Love the creativity. Love the dedication. Check it out, and if you have a beard and see him in the street, be sure to introduce yours to his.

Two perspectives on one journey

As someone who has survived cancer I find myself morbidly attracted to those who do not. I know what they're going through, I feel like it could have been me or could be again. Maybe it's the loss of the 'it won't happen to me' bone. Or maybe I just feel their pain. Whatever the case I am drawn in and saddened. Life feels chilled and crisp like a winter's morning when I read these things. They wake me up like ice water.

This week I have come across two.

The first is all pictures and no words. A photo essay by a man about losing his wife.  Poignant in the faces it captures and also the ones that are hidden from camera.

The second is all words and one picture. A piece of prose by a man losing his father.

Each tackles the subject in such a different way yet each seems to take you on exactly the same journey through the thinning of human life to death.

Both are poignant, touching and very, very sad. Both are sadly, also, very real. I'm just grateful we have creative people to capture these moments as they slip away.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This fella is the goods

At 15 he's worked out a way to detect pancreatic cancer that costs 3 cents a go and is 100% accurate. Go you good thing.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Lance. Waving bye bye to his credibility. 

On the day of his 'big' revelation, I feel a need to lay down some words about Lance.

Anyone who's had testicular cancer, nay any cancer, has looked to him as a figurehead, so how do I reconcile the person whose books helped show me the way with the smouldering heap his reputation has now become.

To be honest, I always thought he'd done the drugs. Maybe he protested too much, maybe it's a bit of a case of 'where there's smoke there's fire. Maybe I just did the sums and figured that if all his fellow competitors had been busted one by one over the years, it didn't really add up that he smoked them all for seven years. We always thought he was a superman, but that's just a little too super for my suspicions.

Whatever the case, I didn't care. I didn't want him to get busted. As the nets drew in around him I was sure he'd slip them, uncatchable because maybe just maybe he didn't. The world needs heroes and I don't like seeing them go down. It upsets, as he said, my belief in miracles'.

Then he got busted. Big time.

So how did I feel about it? At first, I still didn't care. I figured if the whole sport was doing it then does it really erase his legacy? He still beat all the other dopers so it's still a huge thing to have won seven times. This article changed my mind. When you make yourself such a hero from doping you make it impossible for anyone to ever be a hero without doping. And you relegate any competitor who chooses to stay strong and clean to the place of also ran at best. You make a generation into dopers.

Nonetheless, tarnished cycling legacy or not, I still liked him. He's done so much to help cancer patients that I forgave him that.

Next I read about his bully boy tactics. This rocked me a little more. So now not only was his cycling prowess built on a lie, so was his nice guy persona. Nice in front of camera, self serving away from it.  Hmm, sad but not so unusual. Tiger Woods, anyone?

And what was I left with? A not very nice drug cheat who helped raise millions for cancer, made survivorship sexy and gave me years of hope that one day I would win seven Tour de Frances.

His interview with Oprah made me hate the hatable parts even more. I felt like I was watching a narcissist try to be good but not knowing how. He doesn't get that, as the guy who gained most from cheating, he deserves the biggest penalty. He doesn't get that cheating and getting busted is one thing and smiting honest people who dared stand up to him is another. He doesn't get that he tried to be a figurehead for clean sport and that turned him into its biggest enemy. He's like a kid done wrong. He's been spanked and he doesn't quite get what what he did was bad.

But still, I say thanks. If he'd just survived what he went through with cancer and never raced again he'd be inspiring to me. To me, the fact that he used a lot of his evil gains to do good with Livestong is still worth a lot. He did bad but he used it to do good. And that good helped a lot of people and will keep helping a lot of people. He and his yellow wristbands helped keep cancer firmly in the world's psyche. That's awesome, and nothing can take away from that, even if the profile he used to do it was built on a lie.

So Lance, if you're out there, you're a jerk. You blew everyone's belief in miracles, at a time when the world needs them most. You cheated, you lied, you bullied, you deserve everything you got coming. As a cyclist, your name is mud.

But Lance the cancer survivor, I still have faith in. The things you wrote in your books about how it feels to face death and see it off, the idea that we survivors are the lucky ones. They came from a better place in you, and they stuck with me throughout treatment and beyond.

So that's for nothing and thanks for everything. And I hope the legacy you created in the fight against cancer isn't tarnished by legacy you created on the bike.

Footnote: A funny photo doing the rounds at the moment in Australia. Love a librarian with a sense of humour


A kind article in this week's DailyRX and a video to go with it telling story much quicker than my book does: )  Thanks, Laurie Stoneham : )

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Now on Amazon

Glad to be able to tell you that if you're looking for a copy, Amazon is now the place and this is now the link:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What fits in a box?

Christmas all boxed up for another year
Today we packed up christmas and put it in the attic for another year.

Looking at that box, I got to thinking, it says exactly where my life is at.

When Annabelle and I landed in Ireland in 2005, all we owned was what we carried there in our backpacks.

When we left there to live in Bangkok we found we'd managed to collect enough to have to ship a box 6'x6' with us.

Now, with two kids we have a house worth. And more in the attic. The weight of it all keeping us firmly here for another year and beyond.

So what happened to the life of carefree adventure?

I gave a talk to a class of visiting US college students the other day and I found myself telling them, like I do all younger people, to travel, try new things and seek adventure all they can while they can, because one day you find life isn't like that anymore.

Then I thought, if I were in a class now and an 80 year old were talking to me what would they tell me?

Probably to travel, try new things and seek adventure all I can while they can, because one day I'll find life isn't like that anymore.

Really, the best time to do anything is now.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

And then there were four

And the there were four
The latest update from my lone surviving testicle is it's working just fine. 

My GP once said that with one testicle you still have enough sperm to populate the world. While I don't think it's necessary to go that far, Annabelle and I have put it to the test once again and it's come up trumps, delivering our second born Juliet Juno into the world on Dec 28.

Everyone says she looks like me. I think she looks like a tiny wrinkly little old lady. Mind you, cuteness doesn't take long to take hold. Once her head reshaped itself after the squishy experience that is birth she has been the fascination of everyone's eye....most of all Lulu who wants to carry her everywhere. 

So more good news. Where once I was told it was 50/50 if I'd have kids I now have two. That's winning if you ask me. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Is the world facing a near death experience?

I was recently asked to do a talk for FACETS, a TED style event in Dubbo. I thought it would be interesting to question whether the world can learn anything from a cancer survivor about surviving a life threatening experience. After all, when you look at climate change, deforestation and the rest of it, that's where the world is heading. 

Here's the talk. Comments welcome : )

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Coin Toss

We made this TV last week in less than 15 minutes. Each of the people in the commercial is the captain of an Australian Rugby League team. They were gathered together in one place on one day, wearing their uniforms, so we took a yellow sheet and a camera and asked for literally 30 seconds with each of them. Here's the result : )

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Supporting the Cancer Council

As you can imagine, since surviving cancer I've always had a soft spot for doing things that help people survive cancer.

So it was pretty exciting to be asked to do some TV commercials for Cancer Council. The first is for Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, the second for Daffodil Day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Purple and green

OK, I'll start going easy on the baby photos, promise. Just had to put these ones up from the Republic of Everyone office warming party.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Garage Sale Trail

We pulled this off in Bondi a few months back. Now we're taking it Australia-wide. Join up and tell the world you'll go shopping next May at

The Garage Sale Trail from Republic of Everyone on Vimeo.

The Greens on Gruen

For any of you who were in Australia this week and watch the ABC, I had an interesting brush with fortune after creating this ad (with help from matey Eran Thomson):

Well not only did we win the little plastic trophy, it seems we created a bit of a movement when the Greens called and asked if they could use it and the ABC politely declined. This sent the blogosphere and twitter nuts and now, four days later, it has over 80,000 views on YouTube (if you add up the one on the ABC's Channel and the one on our Republic Channel).

It was also front page on, and a bunch of other news sites. As you can imagine this made for a pretty darned good week at Republic of Everyone (my agency).

So why do I tell you this? Well for those who have read the book, Republic is the company I started after finishing cancer, with the express reason of putting purpose before profit and kicking some do-good butt in the world. Glad to say we're managing to create a bit of notice and maybe even change a few votes this election.

Some long overdue photos


Being a parent is so busy that it can take 6 months to post the photos. In my case anyway. So, Lucinda was born on Jan 17 weighing about as much as your average teenager this year and what a ball of fun she has been since. Sleepless, always ready to party fun, yes, but fun nonetheless.

She loves pulling doggie's fur, smiling at strangers and seeing how far Mummy's nipples stretch. Oh yes and that bouncy thing that hands from the door frame.

That's her on the left

A wee peek

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Well lookee here. I never thought I'd be for sale on eBay but it's happened. At a discount and all.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A really nice email

So, let me tell you, when you write a book emails like this really make it all worthwhile. It's from a friend of a friend talking about their friend...

I also wanted to share with you guys a small world story. Last night I had dinner with an old friend of mine Christopher. He's just been on holidays in Thailand and started to tell me about this great book that he had read while away. He said, it's called "Lessons I Learnt From My Left Testicle". Anyway, he started to describe Ben the man that has written this book and I said, does he have a wife called Annabelle? Christopher said yes, and then we realised that it is your friends Ben and Annabelle! What a small world. So I wanted to let you guys know, so you can share it with them some readers feedback. He said that he had dropped into his local bookshop Colddrake quickly when getting ready for the trip and the shop assistant said ... you should really read this book, it's great! And sure enough he did. And now he's telling me about it, his mum is going to read it and so on! So congrats to your friend Ben for writing the book. There's already one person I know whose gotten something out of it and was telling me little anecdotes which had rung a bell with him from it. What a great title as well. :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


A well long overdue update. And an end to the story that came a little too late to be in the book.

Annabelle and I have been trying to make babies for about years now. Alas, until now, no banana.

We tried it this way and that way. We went overseas. We got fit. We gave up bad things. We tried it the other way. Finally, we went to see the IVF people.

We booked a time and a date. Then on the morning we were due to start, Annabelle used her last pregnancy test, 'just in case'.

Hey ya, voila.

We called and cancelled the appointment with an hour to spare. Now, three months on I an tell y'awl Annabelle is officially pregnant and things are cooking in the kitchen.

Proof that there are happy endings after all.

PS: Roasting on the news, I scored a record 8 goals in one half in indoor soccer the day we got the scans. As one wise friend said, 'He shoots, he scores..."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Birth of a book cover

I've just been scrimmaging through a few of the deeper folders on my hard drive and I came across some of the earlier versions of the book cover which I thought might be interesting. In fact, not just book covers but names too. The pix below are some of the first incarnations that I put forward to the publlisher. Below that, a couple done by the incredible Ian Masek. And, right at the bottom, the final few drafts that lead to the end result.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Three years and counting

A wee milestone this week.

After another trip through the giant donut I am pleased to announ that, after poring over the films of my insides once again, the doctors that be have once again confirmed a status of cancer free. Hell yeah.

Of course, as usual, I started off quietly confident then ended at least with small beads of sweat on the 'ole forehead when the results took an hour longer than usual to come back. At least now I don't get sick the day before.

Now this is of a little more consequence than past results. See, in some parts of the world three years is considered to be out of remission and cured. In Australia, they wait five before making any such declaration. Think I might move to one of those other countries for a while lest the Little Bastard get any ideas of making a comeback.

Anyway, so, good news. I must say I was a bit nervous that launching a book all about surviving might be a jinx (yes after cancer it's easy to worry about things like this) but as it turns out I am, once again, hopefully, worried about nothin'.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

More confirmed sightings

Look at that, in the staff picks and on the front counter. Go you good thing...

Got any confirmed sightings? Be a pal and email them to me, here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Odds 'n' Ends

A few things I have collected but hadn't had the time to put up. One a shot with Tim Webster from 2UE, the others some other blogs who wrote about the Charity Bookshop.

Book Launch: The Aftermath

Well I think I've just woken up after a week trying to catch my eyelids. All I can say is that the launch was one of the best nights I've had in a long time and I thank you all for being a part of it. From what I hear everyone had a top time too. Notable moments were my Dad requesting me write another book because he had so much fun, Sarah McCarthy going home and reading the book by midnight and the venue liking the Skinny Blonde beer so much that they asked for the details to buy it in next time. A big round of applause to Ian Olver and Paul Wilson too who I think you'll agree were funny, poignant and brief all at the same time. Exactly the three things you want out of a speech.

We went through all of Berkelouw's stock of books plus two more boxes from the boot of my car and all the beer. That's right, nine cases. And to think the Berkelouw people laughed at me when I brought in four. Ha, they didn't know what you fine thirsty folk are capable of.

Ben Ando took the prize of book number one with his rather impressive eyewatering Testicle Tale, Twister. It was a unanimous crowd vote. Onya Benny. Runners up were Ben Still for Wuxi Finger and Josh Bryer for Boardshorts.

Probably the most interesting statistic of the night (or maybe it's just me) is that we sold more books than there were people in attendance. Hey that's pretty impressive. So in the spirit of meaning everything I said on the night, I have just one word for you: Gratitude.

Now, where to next? Well this is where the real Guerilla Marketing starts. We have a few ideas for how to get this book noticed and out in the hands of the good people of the world. For what, you'll just have to stay tuned...

Book Launch photos

Book Launch photos

Book Launch photos