Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 143

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The Martinshof Story - A Philosophy of Happiness - Life Awareness - Maps & other Text series

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Sunday & Monday, February 21 & 22 2010 (diary)

Alain de Botton Philosophy of Happiness : 9 continues from February 12
Reading yet another book of Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel) my mind is arrested by :

"Journeys are the midwives of thought."

"Few places are more conductive to internal conversations" writes De Botton, "than moving planes, ships or trains."
"There is an almost quaint correlation"
he continues, "between what is before our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads : large thoughts at times requiring large views, and new thoughts, new places."

I go along with this most elegantly expressed proposition, adding that long drives in a car are also most conductive to "internal conversations", moving along at similar speeds to De Botton's favourite thinking vehicle, the train.
Our home with all its familiar objects (furniture, decorations, ornaments) surrounding us daily (I agree with De Botton) are often holding us back, pinning us down to our smallest regular self. We need to escape this safe cocoon, in order to liberate our thoughts.

I personally believe that our "journeys" (escapes from our mundane self) can be as small as reading a book or as large as the life changing migration to another continent. My daily drives to the beach, local library or lunch, for example, are also stong urges within myself to get out of my self contained environment and free up my thoughts and feelings.   It depends very much on our individual character and need for personal growth how far we take this.

For me personal growth through new experiences and the thoughts and ideas they evoke are absolutely essential for my achievement of happiness and my fulfillment as a true human being. In consequence I have gone, and still go, all the way!
Seen within the context of personal growth the element of thought takes on a new and dominant role in my collection of "Factors for Happiness".

1. Health   2. Freedom   3. Sense of Purpose   4. Family   5. Thought   6. Friendship   7. Environment

In this regard Freedom, Environment and Friends are directly and most strongly affected.
In order to liberate our thoughts and advance our personal growth we take full advantage of our Freedom and change our Environment when we feel we become "stale" in a place.
We even leave our (sometimes dearest) Friends behind, because the environment of a constant set of friends also contains us within the one image we have of ourselves. With every move we make to a new place and different social environment (as I have experienced frequently throughout my life) we create an opportunity to reinvent our self. This is a liberating experience and most conductive to further personal growth.

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Tuesday, February 23 2010 (diary)

Mel at the 'Bucket+Spade Bistro, Feb.2010 This week I am very busy with lunches and dinners, prior to my departure from the Sunshine Coast. Last night I had dinner again with Mel Lockwood at the Bucket +Spade Bistro in Dickies Beach, Caloundra (20km south of Mooloolaba) Babette and Doug recommended.
They have a Japanese chef and on Monday nights offer a special 10 course Japanese meal for just $30, and a demonstration by the chef how to properly cut and prepare a large salmon fish for a sushi or sashimi meal.

The meal was very good (they also served some excellent sake for the occasion) and we had a very pleasant evening together. Mel loves escargots she told me, so I (having looked hard these last few days for an excuse to dine at Chez Claude once more) immediately invited her for dinner there on Thursday.

Lunch with the Diddilliba Bridge Girls, Feb.2010 Today (Tuesday) it is my usual bridge morning here. Over the past months I have given a few of the Diddilliba Bridge ladies some lessons in Contract Bridge and as a thank you they have taken me today for lunch at The Boat Shed Restaurant in Cotton Tree, right on the Maroochy river.
We have a good lunch and an animated time together. They all do lots of traveling, and we have many experiences and stories to share.
It is well into the afternoon before we break up and I proceed to Mooloolaba for my swim in the surf to cool of, for it has been rather hot (32°C, 90°F) and humid today.

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Wednesday & Thursday, February 24 & 25 2010 (diary)

La cassolette d’escargots 'vigneronne' Wednesday I meet Malveen again for lunch in the Surf Club. She looks lovely and we are both very happy to see each other again. Amongst the ashes from our previous amorous encounters (respectively 8 and 15 years ago!) some embers have continued to glow and are now coming back to life again. We will maintain a close friendship for the rest of our lives I think.

Thursday Mel rings me. She can't make it for dinner tonight. Mel works in the Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore, where it is late shopping tonight. Her colleague who was going to do the evening shift has called in sick, so Mel will have to fill in for her.
But that does not deter me from going to Restaurant Chez Claude by myself, after all I had made the reservation.

I am welcomed by French Chef Claude Faullimmel and the friendly waitress Courtney (Jasmine is away teaching a dance class tonight) with a complimentary glass of French champagne (with a dash of strawberry liqueur in it, apparently very popular these days).
I then have my usual cassolette d’escargots "vigneronne", followed by an absolutely delicious leg of lamb with lentils and red wine stew in filo pastry (I had it last time) and cheese for desert. All this with a carafe of (as usual) Chateau Les Bertrands Merlot.
During the past few weeks I have exchanged several pleasant emails with Sophy Dubois, spokes woman for her family's wine Estate Chateau Les Bertrands near Bordeaux. It is cold and raining there she tells me and they are all longing for the spring to commence.

Martinshof in Eefde, The Netherlands I also received an email from Yvonne Hafkamp in the Netherlands. Yvonne joined Martinshof shortly after I had sold and left it in 1983, and is now in charge of the company.
She has read my Martinshof Story with interest and asked me for a larger copy of adjacent photo (which I did send to her). The photo will be included on their website as reference to the company's historical past. That is very good I find. Yvonne also invited me to visit their present company's premises in Apeldoorn when I am in Holland coming August. I will certainly do that.

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