People who know me will be expecting me to say 42. Those who don't may be wondering why 42. If you want to try to understand my thoughts (I try and keep things simple but seldom succeed), it pays to have a sense of humour. The number 42 is, in “The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”, calculated by an enormous supercomputer over a period of 7.5 million years. Unfortunately, no one knows what the question is.

I've tried to stick (not 100% successfully) to one key point in each article, and as my understanding changes, I try to update the articles. That's why this is not a blog as such. I revisit these articles as my understanding develops. The dates alongside articles are the dates these articles were last updated (although even that doesn't always work correctly). Sadly it can't pick up whether the changes were substantial, or merely grammar, vocabulary, etc.

Unsurprisingly I have some thoughts on humour. Humour brings its own challenges to understanding. One of the things I've learned in life is that if people can misunderstand me they will — and even when they can't, they still will. I attempt to indicate attempts at humour to avoid another complication — despite the fact that when we have to explain humour it loses something.

In intensive care after heart surgery, I got to know my nurses a bit. One laughed at my jokes, but as I got to know her, I found was just being polite. She had developed no sense of humour. It wasn't that she didn't appreciate my peculiar sense of humour (not uncommon) — in her world humour simply didn't exist. I briefly explored this with her because it was such a foreign concept (she wasn't a Kiwi) — but was lost with such an unusual (to me) frame of reference.


I'd already found that nurses live in a different world from the rest of us. It was a shock to find that people can live in this world with such different values and priorities from what I had come to regard as normal through my work (accounting) being all-consuming since my stroke. I have been through a series of thoughts and eventually decided to write them down. They're very much a work in progress, but I decided to make them public because I am fortunate in my life to have had my views challenged (at times strongly).

Considering those challenges has modified my views (or not) — and I'm not finished yet. I'm not looking to change people to think like me — that would not be helpful. One people group isn't inherently superior to another. Each has different strengths and weaknesses — just as individuals do. So we can and should all learn from each other.