Category Archives: My Life

Sharing the Joy

“If you can develop joy in the wonders of life and where your talents lay,
if you can cultivate attitudes of love and caring towards yoursef and others whilst single,
If you can remain accepting of how things are and work with, rather than against what is.

my friend,
you will know how to foster a loving relationship with another,
and have strong foundations for a happy future together.
“, – Russell Smithers


Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” – Oscar Wilde

Having been a dedicated photographer for many years, the same is true of photography. The photograph is the result of a meeting between person, subject and how the photographer was being in that moment. But mostly it is a manifestation of how that person was when they were taking the picture.

Copyright © 2008 by Russell Smithers

Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts


I have just started to read a book called Shantaram (Gregory David Roberts). The first paragraph is amazing, I get the feeling that this will be like Star Maker (Olaf Stapldon) not because of the content, but because the first paragraph in both books are awsom, and in Star Maker each page was no decent from the original greatness of the first paragraph. Maybe Shantaram will be like that, according to the reviews it will be. Third time lucky, he wrote this book 3 times in prison, 1000 pages (nearly), the first two copies the guards in his prison trashed. Amazing, I shall read on.

All the best

Earths Wisdom

As the gaze of the Sun ever watchful, looks towards Earth
Earth rotates, and gracefully passes under her watchful eye

Earth always asleep and awake, as the Sun’s gaze comes and goes
The caress of the Sun, awakening lands of Earth
While nighttime comes and puts to bed, the tired lands

Earth’s wisdom to always rotate, giving all it’s lands the chance to rest and play
As all mothers know, Earth looks after her children and bears their sorrows
But children do not always know what pain they cause their mother

Copyright © 2008 by Russell Smithers

Degree Choice and Loose Ends

2007 was yet another hectic year for me, so I decided that 2008 was the year I needed to review my life, education and other goals. January has seen me reorganise my life (and time) sooner than I thought possible. I am now in a position to review the degrees available, make a decision and commit to a degree, but first I will need to sort out some loose ends.

Loose Ends

It is important the deck is cleared of loose ends and unnecessary things, before I set sail for the shores of academic success. Essentially I need my ship free of distractions. It is my aim to complete the following qualifications before starting my chosen degree;

Finally I will need to choose the degree I wish to study for.

Open University Options

The Open University (OU) distance learning is a good way for me to study, so it seems sensible to narrow my search to OU courses. Some of the courses I have completed might well count towards the following degree qualifications;

The Plan

To complete the SCJP this year, and finish the Web Applications course sometime in 2009.

2008 – Focusing my Energy

Toward the end of last year I knew it was time to review my goals and refocus my efforts. Why? well the last few years have seen many changes in my life, including a lifestyle becoming so hectic that I was almost tripping over myself to get things done. Needless to say the quality of my life deteriorated because of that. So 2008 is the year to work out how much time I have, decide how much time I need for myself and how much I am willing to give to volunteering and my studies.

In order to achieve what I really want (what I really really want … LOL). I decided to pause the degree I am studying for and enjoy myself a bit, in the process I have the time to sort out my life and try out different ways of using my time. This also gives me time to review the degree I am studying towards so I end up with a degree I feel happy with, rather than one I just achieved for the sake of it.

So far I am happy to report that within only a few weeks of trying out a new way of using my time, I have found a way of limiting what I do which gives me enough time to enjoy myself, do my study and volunteer in a sustainable way. 

So the next decision is, can I resume my studies this year, and what degree should I aim for. It seems obvious that I need to change degree I am studying towards, but which one?