The desire to strive on

I’m currently in a funny place. I have no real job. I should get a real job. But then my lifestyle is affected. Mind you the distinct lack of money is probably affecting my lifestyle more.

This is the funny thing about the western world. living on subsistance is seen as failure. You’ve not got the big house with a swimming pool and with twin Range Rovers on the drive. Now that is truely failure.

What has happened to the world I grew up in where having fun was the key to life. We all have lost that. We all think that working 45 hours a week and buying an XBox is fun. Well okay an XBox is fun, but it’s not the only fun thing that can happen.

I struggle to live in this world where a stay-at-home dad with a minimal salary is considered a life failure.

Contrast that with a close friend who has worked on his business for over 20 years and has nothing to show for it. And now, when he is at his lowest, he can’t even get a job. He is an engineer and me a computer scientist. Neither of us can get jobs. So we must just carry on as we are on subsistence wages until the end.

Why did we not recognise the end was nigh? Why were we unable to see the trend in technology where anyone over 35 is unable to obtain employment.

We were seeing things through rose coloured glasses. Imagine being older than the company CEO who looks on with distain at a 55y/o employee who has to go home at 5pm to be with family. Oh the horror! I can imagine the thoughts “he is not dedicated. lets not train him up and replace him with a younger, cheaper model who already has been taught XYZ”. Let’s not fool ourselves, these thoughts do occur. And they are illegal.

I am a victim of ageism.

Join my fight. Let’s strive on together.


John Kambanis November 21, 1946 – December 28, 2014

It is with great sadness that my mentor and very close friend John Kambanis passed away.

John was a kind an generous man. We had many lovely and fun days together. I will always treasure the times we had. Weather it was at our favourite restaurant the Meekong in Ottawa’s china town, or chowing down on a greek takeway from Greek on Wheels. It was totally a great experience to be his friend and to work with him. He was with me when I was going through the process of getting married and made the extra effort to come my reception in Toronto.

John was born in Greece but spent much of his youth in Ethiopia where his father ran a barber shop. John was there when the king was deposed. Later the family returned to Greece and John moved to South Africa to attend and later teach at a university there.

Though he studied Physics, John became very interested in the micro computers in the early days when they were becoming popular. He learned how to program and started his own company selling a small database system.

John was offered a sabbatical in Toronto and quickly took it up. He loved Canada so much that he began to look for work and found a job at Cognos in Ottawa. I met John there on my first day on 1 Feb 1993. We didn’t hit it off immediately, arguing about how evil Microsoft was and such! But John was so kind and gentle that his gentleness rubbed off on me. He saw in me the talent that I had.

I later worked for John in our lovely office on Metcalfe street in the heart of Ottawa city centre. It was a single room but we made it like a second home. It even had a couch and a coffee table. Even after I had got laid off I still went down there to visit and chat. We even managed a trip to San Francisco for one week, driving around in a convertible. He was lovely.

In 2003 I got married and moved to the UK. John visited me twice in the UK and on both occasions we had a lovely time. I think John did enjoy things very much.

John suffered a mild heart attack in 2008 and he required a heart bypass. Afterwards he was on blood thinners which he complained often gave him dizzy spells. It was in 2009 that he had a particularily bad fall and suffered a subdural hematoma.  I was still able to speak to John on a regular basis – but in 2010 he lost his ability to communicate and I began to worry very much about him. I was still hopeful that with physiotherapy he would recover. Sadly his condition got worse and on December 28 2014 my good friend passed away. I never did visit him whilst he was ill and for that I am very regretful.

I will truely miss him.


Space for hire

Space for hire

I have a commercial building. Presently I only need two rooms and I have three for rent as offices/shops.

Owning a commercial building has turned out to be a massive error. So I am desperate to get these rooms hired out to pay the bills.

I have two offices which can be had for £40/week until August 2015.

There is a shop front also available for £50/week. Would go great as a Christmas popup shop. I happy to rent this space out for six weeks. Though I do hope you would hang around longer.

Both have access to common toilets and kitchen. There is also a little storage available.

Rent includes business rates at present. Share of Utilities & Internet is extra.

Have a look at my gumtree ad