My boss, the wife changed my whole well planned day


The boss was off fishing and I was meant to have a quiet day doing essential admin! Yeah right!

Within 15 minutes of the boss (Xiaoli – the wife) leaving at 6.30am with my best mate up here to go fishing 50km up the beach I get a wechat message from her. At that stage I was about to head back to bed with 2 of the dogs so we could catch some more sleep. Second morning in the row she has had me up in the dark making her and Robin coffee so they can go fishing. Yesterday the boat, today the bluff up Ninety Mile Beach. Yesterday no fish. Bugger

Anyway back to the 15 minutes later and the wechat message just as I was about to head for bed again. The beach there is prolific seaweed. Bring the trailer and load up for the garden. Ok. Were her and Robin going to wait and help? Don’t be stupid, fishing for them was priority. So yours truly sleep ideas went out the window. Instead its stay dressed and go hitch the trailer to the 4wd. The dogs felt sorry for me so 2 pleaded to come. Well truth be known I didn’t give them the choice.

So off we head to fuel up first. My poor 4wd had been sitting since I went to China so didn’t turn over fast initially but it fired up. A bird flew out from underneath so guessing there may be a nest under the bonnet. Not a first so must lift the bonnet later. Grabbed a pie for breakfast at the fuel station. Not sure who ate more of it, me or my 2 companions.

Stop at our beach accommodation. Put the rubbish out as we have been busy and guests fill the wheelie bins up and sometimes if I forget to put out weekly the smells that come out are not pleasant.

5 guests checked out yesterday so strip beds and get the washing machines going so when I come back off the beach I can hang them up. So much for admin!!!!!!

On to the beach and sure enough head north and the seaweed is abundant. Get the trailer half full then think well it will be all the way up the beach so head to where Robin and Xiaoli are fishing then she can finish collecting the seaweed why I fish. Yeah right! There is no seaweed further up the beach.

There were a few fish on the rocks so dinner today taken care of. Yum, sashimi. And if still hungry a fresh fillet friend in lemon and garlic lightly seasoned. Yum. And Xiaoli will cook the head with ginger etc and devour it as fish head soup. Eyes and all.

Said my hello. Let the boss cuddle her dog and off back down the beach at a more leisurely pace. Realised there was a few items washed up covered in growth from a long time at sea. Where did they come from? The tidal flow comes down around Africa across below Australia and up between them and us. As photos infer these had been at sea a very long time before beaching on our beautiful Ninety Mile Beach for me to photograph. And are they not beautiful? I think so.

I collected more seaweed then a few shells. Yes living where we do we always have plenty of shells but our customers tend to help themselves to ones we leave on display. Personally I would not touch what is obviously displayed as a collection, but our customers don’t think like me. So given our beach business is niche marketed to the Chinese market I guess some of our Ninety Mile Beach shells now reside back in China.

I flew the newly acquired drone on return. Easier than I thought to fly but did spend several hours yesterday upgrading software to the drone. I had to purchase a new cell phone as my model for the drone software was outdated. But will now dedicate the new cell just to the drone. Photographs I took are not great but not the drone camera fault. My inexperience. Winds have now come up quite strong so the drone just needs sit until I have chance again to fly.

A China travel consultant we met on our China trip is chasing for unique tour routes and costs. Not a 5 minute job so told them they will have by the end of week.

The bank is chasing me to sign mortgage application papers for a property we are looking at buying. I told them I will get it done, just not today. If we miss on the property, so be it. Shortly I will be full on with tours down country and Xiaoli will be pushed hard with our accommodation business so if we cant acquire the beach property we look at so be it.

Days are just not long enough


I sacrificed fishing for drone lessons

New Zealand election results tonight

Yes we voted. I tell Xiaoli she must cast a vote even though she does not necessarily need to. But I point to her life in China where she had no vote for anything so therefore se should use her entitlement. Who she votes for is up to her totally although of her own volition she worked out the first elections she had the vote for in New Zealand that it just happened to be the same party as me. And no, she had no idea who I voted for as I adamantly refused to tell her.

How do the elections affect us in tourism. A very interesting question. Personally to us I think the effect should be marginal but it could affect anything from areas we visit and facilities they offer through to a possible tourist tax. How do I feel about those things? Mixed opinions but we are a small boutique business and we should ride any changes out. Tourists will keep coming. Its now over 30% of our GDP and growing.

New Zealand as a country is respected by many as being if one if not the most beautiful country in the world. And a poll just recently released rated it as the second most peaceful. So take these things into account and with the strife in todays world, I think New Zealand tourism will continue its growth patterns. So us as small players just need make sure we continue to position ourselves to get our small share.

This week we had an offer with strings attached for our accommodation business at Ninety Mile Beach. And I had to admire the persistence of the man making the offer. Limited English so he targeted Xiaoli and I guess he has now learnt she is ruthless when it comes to money and does not budge. You can manipulate the figures however you want but back in China she was a very highly respected accountant or number cruncher as I call them, and she will ferret out the manipulation technique.

She did not need ask me but because of the man’s persistence, she did describe the make up of the offer. And yes she got the same answer she had well before then arrived at. No, you want to buy, then offer the money asked, sign the contract and on the due date pay the money. I have not heard his voice again on the phone or wechat system so I guess he got the message.

We have sighted a mortgagee sale for a property 30 minutes away we are seriously considering regardless of whether ours at Ninety Mile Beach has sold. Mortgagee sales come with catches which can be serious so the offer price needs reflect the catches and worst scenario.

  • Existing owners or tenants the bank foreclosing take no role in the eviction of so that becomes the buyer responsibility
  • And that means those tenants on final eviction can run rife and cause serious damage
  • Plus because they are in residence you cannot inspect the property for its condition

All that means the property is potentially not worth much more than the land value however should you be lucky and there is minimal damage, no meth contamination, then the buy has great potentials for a healthy windfall once tidied up and put back on the market.

Do we proceed with an offer or not? Not sure right now. Some discussion to be had but tomorrow Xiaoli is off with my mate boat fishing and I have an appointment with a drone expert for some lessons in flying my newly acquired drone. Cant believe I have forgone fishing for a drone but I had no choice in the appointment time.


Tours and our reclusive lifestyle

The mad season is upon us

Mid September, emails are coming fast and furious. Phones are ringing. Just 2 weeks ago all was quiet. How things change and fast as the spring weather kicks in.

Yesterday we dropped a tour group back to Auckland for return to China. A very long day starting with a 6.30am start as we needed get to the Bay of Islands in time to get our tour party on the 4 hour dolphin boat cruise. Unfortunately no dolphins seen which is unusual but apparently all enjoyed themselves. No English spoken by any but fortunately the boss (Xiaoli – my wife) was with me as interpreter.

A good lunch at King Wah restaurant in Paihia. Strange for me living in the far north but I had never previously actually eaten at that restaurant. Normally just direct Chinese tourists that way. But I would give it a pass for both food and service.

We arrived Auckland in rush hour. Fortunately I had pre planned my route to skip the city therefore avoid most of the rush. But it was a late finish of the tour. 6.15pm. Then poor Xiaoli and I needed head home. A short 5 hour trip. Haha. But just too busy to stay a night in Auckland then still face that 5 hour drive in the morning. Plus Li Li our little Pomaranian dog and tour mascot was with us which makes staying over hard. If we find our tourists love our animals when they tour the far north then often little Li Li joins us but only if guests are happy.

We have 3 20 day tours for groups of up to 19 from England confirmed November, December and January which is great. Enquiries received from several China travel consultants we visited last month. This morning declined a French consultant wishing us to plan self drive tours for their customers. For us we are just too busy arranging our own tour groups which is our specialty, to spend time planning self drive tours.

Just last night on our trip home we had plenty of time to discuss where we are headed including where we may in the future relocate our base to. Our accommodation business Ninety Mile Beach is on the market and we need think what we do if and when sold. Often hard for Xiaoli and I with what we do to get quality time to discuss ‘us’. I know to a lot of people that sounds strange but we run accommodation, I do tours around the country and we have a farm.

Our base can be anywhere literally as business is done through the computer or over phones. From there its meet the tourists where-ever the plan dictated we should meet. Our locality has nothing to do with the physical business other than a base for us. At this point of time it does need be the far north of New Zealand why we still run our accommodation Ninety Mile Beach. But we must plan for when that day has past and that business sold.

We both agree we want yet again a small farm. We love our animals but more importantly we love our reclusive lifestyle when we are away from tourists. When you are in front of people 24/7 when working an escape is needed. A place where we can have ‘Peter and Xiaoli’ time away from prying eyes. A place we can let our 4 beautiful dogs just enjoy being around us and not having to be penned up in their own areas. They are our children as our own are grown up and long left the nest. Home is our space and we protect our solitude so it always stays our recluse with only family or close friends invited. Selfish yes but given I do up to 25 day tours on the road, living out of suitcases and sharing my days 24/7 with tourists on my tour, then our own space is essential for sanity.

I apologise for our accompanying photos. Its not that they are bad but I do now have the drone but yet to use. A session booked this coming Sunday to get professional guidance on how to fly.

The beach is at Pahia in the beautiful Bay of Islands, far north New Zealand yesterday.


A long but good day

Auckland to the far north today – And a flattering compliment to finish the day

A small group from China aboard to day for the 4.5 drive which I turned into 8 hours from Auckland to the far north of New Zealand.

The weather was a very mixed bag. The weather gods through a mix of almost everything at us. No snow but we came close which a beauty of a hail storm. But at stages which seem to coincide with stops, we had brilliant sunshine. Guests were happy and still smiling when I dropped them at our accommodation on the edge of Ninety Mile Beach. Now in Xiaoli’s care until I take them back to Auckland where they leave for China on Wednesday.

First stop was the Warkworth Honey Centre. Worth a stop if you are heading north from Auckland. The prices on their products I think are a little high but then it is what it is. If you enjoy coffee head into their café. I had a long black while my guests shopped and it was pretty damned good.

From there we headed to Whangarei Falls which the guests loved. A bonus though, a rather beautiful lady trying to cross the falls on a tight rope. My video I share with this blog obviously clearly shows the balancing act didn’t come without drama, but in the end she did get across.

A buffet lunch at The Tai Tong Chinese restaurant. For $10 and all you can eat its great but don’t pay more as then it would not be worth it. Food is passable but given only $10 and you can pick and choose, then its okay.

From there on to Kawakawa and a stop at the Hunderwaiser famous toilets. Always a good stop people enjoy. There I took the opportunity to fuel up the vehicle having seen the artworks many a time.

Then the stop at Puketi Forest to view the Kauris. Literally just got back in the vehicle and the heavens opened.

Final stop was at what was known as the Ancient Kauri Kingdom in Awanui. Well worth a stop.

Finished at the beach just after 5pm.

Hopefully tomorrow being my day off the weather may settle and allow some fishing time

Oh, the compliment. A rather beautiful young Maori girl (young to me – she must have been about 30) thought I looked in the early fifties. If only. Haha

Another fall, but again she got up. The video does not show the shear height she was up at. And my make fans admire her sheer guts and determination, not the body

Spring must have arrived here in New Zealand


Spring must have arrived

Finally able to take the jerseys off so back to just Tee shirt. Nights still a little chilly but definitely warmer although for me Xiaoli finally returned from her month in China, so extra body warmth in the bed helps.

The website hits are picking up which again says people are thinking about the summer. Phone and wechat enquiries are coming for the peak season for our accommodation at Ninety Mile Beach so that is on track to book out once again.

Tours are booking up so soon need find back up drivers that will contract to us to do our tours. So summer is looking pretty good at this early stage.

Breeding season on the farm. Chickens and ducklings hatching. We know 3 of the geese are sitting on clutches of eggs. Best keep our distance from them as they can be quite aggressive/protective this time of year. Generally though our geese are friendly to us but we do need watch them with the tourists we bring here.

This weekend I will add breeding boxes in our aviaries. Not something I want to do but its cruel on the birds not to. Mating and laying then sitting on eggs is a natural part of the life cycle so I must give them that opportunity.

Thursday in Auckland I visited the Bird Rescue centre and relieved them of just over 100 orphaned ducklings of ages 2 days to 2 weeks. Every duckling we can take to the far north and finish raising, means the more they can take at Bird Rescue as the public bring them in. I am sure next trip pigeons will also be on the list to rehouse for a while so they learn here is home and don’t head back to Auckland.

Last year I believe we helped Bird Rescue by taking over 250 orphaned ducklings plus about 50 pigeons. Hopefully this year we an increase on those numbers for them. The feed cost is not important in doing our bit for the defenceless bird life.

It very rewarding knowing we are doing our bit for our feathered orphaned friends who may otherwise die. And by bringing them to the very far north hopefully they have a much longer life cycle than living in cities where they are endlessly threatened by man and machines.

Finally found someone that hopefully can teach me to fly my newly acquired drone and start capturing some great aerial photography. That really excites me as it will add a new element to my photography I do on tours for our guests. Once I learn the drone I need explore some good layman’s language editing software for android computers. I do not photoshop but do wish a good software that allows me to mix video with stills so it flows as an end presentation.

Busy times coming. But once tours start all new photography. Will I top my 10,000 photos I take an average peak tour season. I guess we will find out soon.




The boss is on her way home from China!

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The boss comes home tomorrow

Yes, Xiaoli my wife and boss arrives home tomorrow. Her plane arrives from Chengdu China 6.40pm if on time. For me I face a 4.5 hour drive to Auckland to collect her with several stops on the way.

I need collect additional nest boxes for the many aviary birds we have as we slowly build towards a farm park. We need increase numbers which in turn will mean inevitably build more aviaries.

I need collect Xiaoli 20kg macadamia nuts. She loves her nuts but they drive me nuts. But I cant deprive her of probably the only habit she has that never seems to pass. Plus they are good for her, stacked with vitamins.

Then last I have a meeting with a college in Whangarei to discuss Chinese students who we are able to bring to the country. A bus trip down.

I am certain the boss after a month away is ready to come home. Her many wechat messages last night confirm that as she asked whether the geese have hatched any young yet, the ducks, chooks etc. The first time since she headed China she has asked for an update on numbers here.

Hopefully if she did her job right she will present me with many photographs of the temples she and her friend Jen have visited so I can try structure a tour route to China in the future to take small groups. Ideally I should have been there to but time right now does not allow us both to be away at the same time.

Looking at some of the photos I received over wechat today from Xiaoli’s friend I can see tiredness and maybe boredom setting in. Her chats last night with me signified the same. Weary now of travel, time to come home and be my boss again.

Once I arrive Auckland prior heading to the airport I need visit the Bird Rescue Centre. They have many orphaned ducklings plus some older birds they need our help with. The older ducks we home until they are ready to fly off in to the wild blue yonder. The ducklings we raise until they also will fly off. Our aim this year is to relieve Bird Rescue of about 250 orphaned ducklings we will raise. That means that is 250 more they can accept from the public as the orphaned ducklings are found.

Pigeons I believe are also on the list tomorrow. They will be put in a secure aviary for about 6 weeks before we let them loose to join our 200 or so resident with us. The pigeons provide a service to us as every time a hawk circles over our young the pigeons fly up as a flock sending the hawk on its way. And they do look beautiful flying as a flock.

Tour season is now rapidly approaching. Our 12 seater I need get in for a service just ensuring its ready for the tour season. Other vehicles required we hire so that we get the specs each tour needs plus the vehicle we access where needed. Everyone thinks New Zealand is a small country. Population wise it is but sheer land area it is large. And that in turns running our own vehicles we could never guarantee they would be in the region we require, so we hire. Our 12 seater we just keep for Northland tours.

The storms of the past week seem to have passed thankfully. It is now spring . One would hope we will see warmer temperatures today and in saying that I am guessing today it has reached about 17 degrees.

The fish start coming closer in once the weather warms which is great for us personally as the boss and I are passionate about our fishing. And people always ask why don’t we do fishing tours. Simple answer fishing is our time out for us and being in tourism when tourism is full on you need an escape.

Come walk on a live volcano with us

6 day tour incl Taupo

Have you ever been up and close with a live volcano?

We have designed a 6 day tour that on day two you get the opportunity to get up and close to one of New Zealands live volcanoes. A 5 hour trip to the volcano including walking across close to the vents. The sulphur smell can be putrid and strong but you are given masks for that problem should you struggle to cope. You will be given a hard hat just in case of any issues while on White Island.

White Island as the name infers is off the coast of New Zealand out from Whakatane. When I was on it last it was at a stage 2 out of 10 and that for me to here the roar from below sent shivers up the spine.

Every 2 to 5 years White Island plays up to varying scales. In the early Nineteenth century they mined the island for its sulphur, but alas the mountain played up and all on the island lost their lives.

The relics from mining days are still there clear to see but now well eroded by the sulphur. The sulphur eats at everything on the island and as you depart you do require to put the base of your shoes through a bath to cleanse them.

It is an experience that believe you will never forget. For me I am in no rush to repeat it but as I am a tour guide then I have no choice. But the first time I did it I was excited with the opportunity and I highly recommend if you have the chance with or without ‘Peter and Xiaoli Tours’ you do it.

Added to it you get a beautiful cruise to the island. In all likelihood you will see at least one large school of dolphins for which the boat will slow so you can take photos galore.

But our tour is not all about White Island. On the way to Whakatane we will stop at the ‘Kiwifruit Centre’, visit the ‘Comvita Honey’ shop. There you will see and read about the benefits of Manuka honey, a product unique to New Zealand but recognised world wide for its healing factors.

If you already know about Manuka Honey though prior visiting New Zealand and intend buying some, then talk to us prior the tour and we will obtain for you at much friendlier prices in the far north where we are based as is Haines Honey who have over 3000 hives.

After Whakatane we travel the East Cape. A region I know a lot of kiwis have never been and don’t know what they are missing on. The beaches are magnificent. The area is full of Maori heritage. You will be blown away.

We spend the night in Gisborne but then head off to Lake Waikaremoana. The road is not great but you are not driving so just enjoy it. Untouched native bush. Beautiful walks and an extremely picturesque lake. That night we stop Rotorua. For two nights in fact.

Our day in Rotorua will start with a visit to the AgroDome farm show and park. After that we will head to Te Puia to experience the world famous thermal activity. Plus at Te Puia you have the opportunity to visit the nocturnal Kiwi house and see our native bird up close.

The remainder of the day is yours. There are many other activities you can partake in. We will help you arrange it well in advance.

After Rotorua its our final day. We will head first to Taupo where if you have spoken to us in advance, you if you wish will get to have a thrilling Huka Jet Boat experience. For those not partaking you can visit the prawn farm or just sit and have a coffee in the café over looking the Waikato River.

From there we will visit the Huka Falls then head into Taupo and stop lakeside. If you wish head over the road and photograph one of the top 10 most photographed MacDonalds in the world. When there you will see why.

From Taupo we head to the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Another experience you will agree was worthwhile experiencing. Then its back to Auckland.

This tour we believe is unique to ‘Peter and Xiaoli Tours’. 1 to 10 people although we can take larger groups, but not our specialty. We enjoy boutique tours. Small groups.

We photograph all our tours. On completion we will give you a USB stick with all photographs we took. What you do with them is up to you but I warn you we keep clicking. A lot.


The bullet train in China – I loved it

I rode the bullet train – A first time experience

I had heard about bullet trains but never had the opportunity to ride on one before. Last train I was on in China was probably 7 years ago. A slow, old and dirty train. Got to see the terrain out the windows but ambience was just not there.

The other week on my short China trip when googling prior departure I found that bullet trains were now abundant in China and there were many running the Nanning to Guangzhou line so I asked Xiaoli to book our tickets on the train versus fly.

I was impressed. Comfortable seats that matched the aircrafts that I had been flying on prior this leg of the trip. The seats reclined even something that Spring Airways seats did not do. And quietness I have never experienced on trains of any sort.

Top speed it reached on our trip was 208km yet silent and smooth. The video I post with this not great focus because of the speed but listen for the rail sound. There is none.

I will ride the bullet trains again. Ever since the bad accident in China a number of years ago they have regulated the maximum speed they are allowed to do. Memory says maximum speed now is about 250km but I can tell you at 208km I was really impressed. I still got to see the scenery on route in peace and quiet. We stopped at various stations on route as passengers came and went. Yet the transition was smooth.

The downside, up in the sky on a plane you probably get better service but that just means if you ride the bullet train make sure you take with you water and snacks. Food can be bought on the train but it appeared to be just instant noodles.

Did we get to Guangzhou faster than the plane? Probably the same time. The plane flight itself is a much shorter duration but you need get to the airport, wait to be boarded etc. The bullet train there was only a minimal wait at the station in Nanning. The stewardess helped me find a place for our cases not far from where we sat. Very courteous.

Yes, I will catch the bullet train again. Each time I go to China I have an aim on enjoying a new experience. This time it was the bullet train and I have no regrets

Our summer tourist season approaches


As I write this there is no internet connection. Bugger!

The issues with living remote in New Zealand. We may live in the supposed winterless north in the far north of New Zealand but a storm with reasonably high winds has come through, so I am guessing it has in some way knocked out the transmitter. Or maybe its our own device on the roof that receives the signal. Who knows, all I know no internet means no phones as well. Cell reception is very intermittent here so going to be a quiet day. A chance to clean up a little.

The boss, Xiaoli – the wife, is back Thursday. Collect her at about 8pm from the Auckland Airport which means 1am home. Going to be a long day I guess.

On the way down I need call the parrot shop in Kerikeri and collect breeding boxes for the budgies and Cockatiels. That time of year. Chickens are already hatching which will make the boss happy to see. I know at least 3 geese are sitting on clutches of eggs. Probably some of the Muscovy ducks as well as I don’t seem to be feeding as many right now.

Need call in at a high school where I have an appointment to discuss international students from China attending that we can bring through business. New Zealand per head of population having one of the highest ratios of Chinese students abroad in the world. Good business for us, good for the school as it brings in much needed funding which can go towards our own New Zealand funding, and good for the community. A win for everyone.

Since I left China Xiaoli has had 2 further meetings. One in Weihai through a contact of hers who I know she has signed a memorandum of understanding, as I prepared it. The second Chongqing with a travel consultant who I have been talking with. Hopefully both positive for ‘Peter and Xiaoli Tours’.

I will never do such a short trip with lots of internal travel again in China. You survive the trip but once back the recovery is just to long. It knocks you around to much.

Talking about China, Air China have advertised I saw yesterday, $501 return to China for their autumn. Had I not just been there I would be tempted at that price to hop on a plane and go back.

Business for Peter and Xiaoli Tours is still quiet as is our accommodation. Spasmodic business typical of this time of year. Good bookings in place for tours November and January. 20 day tours for groups out of England. January can be a strange month for us with tours so its good to have a lengthy booking in place. The other months now we are through winter should just start falling in place.

The accommodation Ninety Mile Beach is picking up and many enquiries are starting to come for the summer peak season. The boss can take care of those on her return. Just a pity the accommodation has not found a buyer but it is a cash cow through the peak season so we will ride out once again, then look at shutting the doors the quiet season. Time we got a life of our own back together. We spend most of summer apart as I travel the country with tourists, time we put ourselves first.

With tours this summer I want to push our 6 day North Island tour which takes in a cruise to the White Island live volcano. Parts of it are unique to us and it is a superb tour route. To me it equals the South Island tours we do, just in a completely different way. Also hoping that just maybe we can get to quote a mix of tour plus fishing, the latter being one of main past times. Time will tell.

Both long tours for English groups in place take in both Islands so now we need find groups for slightly shorter tour routes.

Prime aim of the China trip was to grow the business so we can bring more family into it. So need keep that objective right up there. So hopefully a busy summer season approaching.

Bipolar – I conquered it

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Bipolar – A disease I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy

As I write this I am not sure I will publish it because once people know you have bipolar they generally run a mile, and very fast. It is the minority that actually try help and understand.

For me I was first diagnosed probably 20 years ago. It took me a lot of counselling plus medications to stabalise my head. Over the years my issues have driven many friends away but those that stuck have become life long friends.

My clients never see the downside. They only ever see me riding a high, giving my all. In my advertising days I was always head hunted. Only ever applied for one job. My very first job at just 15 years of age. In tourism as a tour guide, clients see me as an extremely positive guide full of energy, full of drive, and full of information. From my 8 years or so in tourism I have a worldwide network of friends from all different nationalities. They just never see the crash that may come after they have left.

I believe I have learnt to conquer the bipolar and have done it very well. Its years since I have suffered the suicidal thoughts. The highs I love. Its like I am on fire and I can do anything, and generally I can.

I now a days understand why I was head hunted for jobs. I was good, very good in fact at what I do. It is those highs the bipolar person loves.

I have known people to knock off their medications because they had big projects on and needed the high that the average person never experiences. On a high we are brilliant. Unfortunately after the high often comes a crash.

This week Xiaoli, my boss, my wife has upset me and I cant seem to shake it. A trivial issue which a bipolar sufferer can blow out of proportion. This week not helped by the fact Xiaoli is still in China completing business meetings we both set up. She is my shoulder I lean on. Very heavily at times.

Does she understand the disease. Probably not. Just knows I am the person she absolutely loves that has these weird times where negativity sets in. And no one except myself can get me out again. And she knows she is the only person that I will let my defences down with which in turn enables me to conquer the bipolar demons.

I have been off medications for a number of years now initially against doctors advice but my doctor agrees, I own the disease now, it no longer owns me. What got me to this point. A lot of counselling that delved deeply into my past. Helped me understand why I was always head hunted for jobs. Helped me understand I am bordering on brilliant and not a failure in life. And lastly those friends that stuck with me through black and blue. Never judged me

I understand now I am really good at whatever I do. I never understood that before. Just only ever chose to hear the negative comments. And that reason goes right back to childhood.

My doctor holds me up as an example of the way a bipolar sufferer can conquer the disease which will really never go away. Not sure I like being put on that pedastool.

For a sufferer to conquer bipolar or even depression, they must first admit they have a problem and need help. Until they do that they will never get on the road to recovery. And don’t be afraid to hold your hand up and say I am a sufferer. If friends or family run a mile, and some will, then those are the ones you do not need around you on your road back to good health.