horrible photos now attached to this profile: see explanation and exculpation below.
now that that's out of the way, I am a 58 year old man re-starting my life after my marriage and career fell over one way or another. Part of the re-starting is recommencing a legal career as a self employed lawyer with all of the terror and all of the freedom that implies.
I think wistfully that I should not have chosen law; journalism or tv production or something along those lines would have been better. I did law because it was philosophically interesting, did a number of legally related jobs and now bang! just when everyone else is retiring or dieing here I am starting again. Which is, I have to say, encouraging in a way. It would be terrible to retire.
I find the concept of law, and the rule of law, fascinating and important. By and large I am at best deeply suspicious of lawyers and legal practice generally. I guess it takes one.
Just realised that description needs a bit of surgery. I wasn't always a lawyer; I didn't get to university until my mid 20s, and in addition to student jobs I've been a stationhand, storeperson, truckie, hamburger cook, dishwasher, labourer, seaman, bureaucrat, university lecturer (criminal law, legal ethics and media law), and all the other jackofall jobs. I am grey, balding, and overweight but not spherical.
I am genuinely funny; indeed I have a tendency to blow up conversations by dropping one liners in when they weren't wanted. I am the sort of person who cares about global warming, refugees, and a range of similar matters, and I have acted for refugees and other victims of unfairness.
I am an intellectual snob; I don't suffer fools (including bad spellers). This is a bit silly of me, because intelligence is really a capacity, like the lines on a measuring jug, not a virtue. But there you go.
I like conversation and interaction with other people, and I try to be an entertaining and considerate conversationalist. But I am extremely lonely; changes in career and marriage meant a lot of contacts just sloughed off, and I am not a good networker.
I am, I think, kind and considerate (but he would say that wouldnt he) and I am honest, which again is not so much a virtue as an attribute, albeit a good one.
I am deeply deeply disorganised and I procrastinate and I worry. I am working on ways to fix the first two, and to use the third as a bit of a motor.
***Upgrade upgrade run for your life now****
Because of the 'you must have a photo' fascism i have now uploaded two photos: one in my suit and one not. Both are horrible; both reveal that I have a head like a robber's dog or, if you prefer, a head like a boarding house pudding. One looks unbearable smug; the other borderline homicidal. Believe me believe me under that appalling design failure there is quite a nice bloke who would love to get out.
I am sceptical, funny, and called richard
I am setting up a specialist law practice in an area I am pretty good at (don't ask this is not an ad).
I am working out how a dad best loves a 17yo son.
I am trying to re-build my interractions with the world, and especially with women.
I am going to a whole lot of festival of sydney shows.
After many years in which I was in a kind of cave, muttering darkly and feeling bleak and limited, I am taking silly little steps outside in the sun and going yippee in a suitably muted voice.
I even bought some new expensive jeans at Maple in Newtown.
Moving in the direction of losing weight.
I am planning a website/blog in which I can market myself and make the odd comment.
Unpacking and analysing concepts and fact situations.
Absorbing and processing information quickly.
Being funny (which is not the same as making jokes).
Seeing the ridiculous.
Being thoughtful and kind
Christmas turkey, and cooking generally.
Putting things off.
At a party people will probably not notice the bloke in the corner looking a bit nervous. If I have to address a meeting, even on no notice, they will go away saying that I was funny, informative, and a good speaker. If I meet around a dinner table, provided there is something I can hook into, I will generally be a good contributor. If I am on song, people will be convulsed by my humour; if there is a hostile interaction they may be put off by my sarcasm. I cannot work a room to save my life. I am not sure how my first date (if there is a first date) will go; it has been a long time.
I am generally well dressed, if that helps.
Ok I read all the usuals from Atwood to both Waughs, passing through Winton, Runyon, Kipling, Angela Carter, Le Carre, Stella Rimington et al on the way. In non-fiction I read pop economics, stuff about string theory, zero, quantum physics, sociology, language, Fowlers MEU etc etc. LRB and/or NYRB. SMH. Huffington, Crikey, Rotten Tomatoes, 3 Quarks, Boing Boing, Overheard in NY, Talking Points Memo etc. The Monthly. I read at least one book a week, often more, and of course I read all the work related stuff. I really need Kindle chip put into my forehead.
Movies generally with some structure, some substance. Not generally blockbusters, but don't forget that Casablanca and Maltese Falcon were probably blockbusters in their day. So I like the Coen brothers, Altman, Maltese Falcon, O brother where.. Fargo, I’ve loved you so long, Almodovar, Goddard Godfather Kill Bill Altman Hunger. etc etc. Chaser, Hungry Beast, 7.30 report, The Wire, NCIS, BBC crime. Chinatown of course, and of course Polanski should come back and face the Court. I just saw the new Sherlock Holmes and it is dreck. I saw Avatar with my son, and it is nice little cheer the good guy boo the bad guy Saturday afternoon flick with amazing sfx.
I grew up in the bush, and my mum was a standout cook. So was my dad, in a certain bush tradition. I love food and I cannot possibly say I have a favourite. Duck, of course, noble little critters that they are, and pork. Beef. Lamb. Fish. Roasts. Soups. Italian of course, and French but Vietnamese is the best cuisine - light, sparkling, a surprise every mouthful. Cantonese and SHanghai. Lolly fruits like mango and watermelon; lolly herbs like mint and purple basil. Toast and marmalade. Yum Cha. Salad. The magnificent timballe in Lampedusa's 'the leopard' and the Canard a la Presse meal in Brideshead.
Music The usual baby boomer music but basically anything – baroque, rockabilly, early Stones, Chilli Peppers, Gregorian chants, r’n’b, Van Morrison, Paul Butterfield, Lucinda Willams, Motown, Zydeco, Delta, jazz, Hendrix, Santana, lounge etc etc. Would love it if someone would teach me about opera.
Or if you want someone to go to a movie or dinner or a play with. Or perhaps Scrabble.
Or if you find that I am totally repugnant and you wish to engage in a textual slaughter of my disgusting person. Think how much fun making up will be for the survivor!
Or if you feel like it for your reasons; it is your decision after all.