“How’s your day, Jac?” He asked during our Skype call.  Across the 6,160 miles, I could catch the longing in his voice.  He is in London, I am in Phuket, separated by more than mere physical miles. We are talking different paradigms.

Today is a ‘do nothing’ day for me. I walked on the beach and picked some shells to make a birthday card for my son Jack. I came home, read, meditated and baked cookies and a cake. I turned my computer over so that he could see the sunset outside my window.

He told me that today, the price of oil fell to $30 a barrel (and apparently, the whole world economy is somehow tied to the price of oil) .  He told me that a few days ago, the Chinese stock market was suspended.  He told me that investment banks were urging their clients to sell.

Those things weren’t really of interest to me as I had opted out of the rat race a long time ago. These days, I am just a beach bum with enough to live and to do the things of that are of meaning to me rather than pursuing external glory.

He was frustrated.  Though he will be earning high wages as a heart surgeon, the going rate being £250 per consultation which averages 30 minutes and £3,000 upwards per surgery (crazy money!), he will be paying out a huge chunk of his income for a home in London. And the crux of it is, he doesn’t want to practice ‘money medicine’.

“I want to come home, Jac,” he said.  “And home is either my house on the beach in Phuket or a crofter’s cottage on the Isle of Skye.”


“You can’t!” I said, aghast. “What will you do?”

The first time today that he smiled was when he answered my question. “I’m physically very strong, Jac, and I am still relatively young at 44. I am not afraid of hard labour.  There will be plenty I can do. I am not afraid of the future if I am dependent on myself rather than the f*cked-up global economy.”

I too smiled as I remembered him in years past transporting used coffee beans to build an organic vegetable garden in an inhospitable place. He had used his hands with the same dexterity as he uses the scalpel.  Yes, he would be fine. Always.

Maybe the world needs this shake-up as a wake-up call for people to take stock and reevaluate their lives…..because for too long, we have been playing Monopoly with Mickey Mouse money.