Urban Nomad. Who is the Smith?

I am the Smith.

I am the author.

Why ‘the Smith’?

The smiths were the crafters, the metal smiths, the blacksmiths, the makers of Medieval Britain a thousand years ago.

I am the wordsmith.

I’ve written and self-published 8 autobiographical books.

Click or tap the image above to see.

This smith has lived everywhere.

Over 50 dwellings have been my home.

An ancient aboriginal corroboree ground in a wilderness area known as Fairy Hills where the creek met the river was my first memory of life.

And only a few kilometres from the Melbourne CBD.

I’ve just learned they’ve been digging up ancient aboriginal artifacts that suggest this.

I’ve lived with psychics and healers.

And sat with mediums or channels.

I’ve lived with a Reiki Master in New York.

With a Roman Catholic nurse in the north of Italy.

With a Buddhist in the UK.

My lawyer was an Atheist.

I didn’t live with him.

I ran my own freelance copywriting business. in the ’70s

In 1972 I won an award for the best television campaign of the year for a brand of meat pies and donuts.

I was a New Age hippie.

We knew about climate change 50 years ago.

A group of us started a commune on 40 acres north of Melbourne to become self-sufficient and live off the grid.

A year later we’d failed.

I helped launch Animal Liberation here.

Our patron was Peter Singer, who was then Professor of Bioethics at Harvard., and wrote the book ‘Animal Liberation’.

45 years later it’s still active today.

I was the first member of the Permaculture Association.

Which, started by two Tasmanian academics in the late ’70s, today is changing the world

Now there are over one million people certified in Permaculture in over 140 countries with more than 4,000 projects on the ground.

I went bankrupt.

An article I researched and wrote 35 years ago – about the Swiss and Italian gold miners who came to Australia in the 1850s – triggered the launch of a Swiss-Italian Festa which is still running every year today in a local spa resort town.

Their story is in my book here.

I ran a social group called ‘The Springs Whole Health Group’.

We never ran out of guest speakers on healing topics, from ley lines to chemical sensitivity, who I’d enjoy interviewing every month before our next meeting.

Then I would write an article for the local paper which they always published on page 3 or 5.

This while living frugally in an old caravan parked at the end of a street in the spa resort town.

Over 5 years I became known as the man in the van.

I studied many spiritual philosophies.

I studied Religious Experience as an off campus mature age student at Uni –

The Christian Mystics

The Hindu Bhagavad-Gita.

Australian Aboriginal Dreaning.

I practiced Yoga for 50 years from wherever I called home.

Briefly I joined the Theosophical Society in Melbourne, with headquarters in Adyar, India, with the motto ‘There is no religion higher than Truth’.

I met and befriended the Librarian of the Melbourne branch, a Wise Woman, who taught me how and where and why to search for Truth.

What is Truth?

For a time I was married and today have the pleasure of a beautiful family of 2 lovely daughters, 3 adorable granddaughters and 2 mischievous great grandsons.

I’m truly blessed

Visit my 8 fun and entertaining autobiographical books on my Author Page here.

You can find more of my adventures in my autobiographical books.


Neil the Smith (author)

PS. I recommend – ‘Our Thoughts Can Change The World’ (104 pages) and The Great Regency Cover-Up’ (236 pages). Buy both now and pay less P&P.

The Time I Threw All Caution To The Wind.

I was living alone in an old caravan parked by the roadside in the Australian bush.

I’d lost everything.

I was bankrupt.

Then something amazing happened.

I decided to write to new pen friends.

This was in the days before the Internet.

I had nothing to lose.

I wrote to Concerned Singles in Canada.

Free to enter.

I could afford that.

Who wats to know an untypical Aussie, I wrote.

I could manage the cost of a stamp to Canada.

Who would have believed it.

I was swamped by concerned singles from around the world.

“Me, me, me,” they wrote.


So began one of the great adventures of my life.

At the same time another great adventure began.

A true mystery fell into my lap.

I was drawn to begin to solve it.

About paranormal evidence to reveal a cover-up in England.

200 years ago.

So out of my humble caravan grew amazing new adventures.

Side by side.

You can read my incredible story – of two great adventures – which changed my life.

In my book I reveal all.

Every detail.

Every emotion.

Every romantic episode.

It’s a fun and entertaining read, says one reviewer.

Order your copy of ‘The Great Regency Cover-Up’ HERE.

They say you won’t put it down.

Love and Peace.


When The Dust Clears . . . How Are We Supposed To Live?

You may not believe me when I say I’ve lived the good life with nothing for last 30 years. So I wonder, have I already lived the model for how we are supposed to live in the future?

There are secrets I wish to share.

Experiments in life that we would only tackle when our back was to the wall.

Some of my experiences were crazy.

I embarked on adventures I would never have even imagined had my life and small business not have crashed leaving me with nothing.

I lived in an old caravan in the Australian bush for 5 years, homeless, penniless and lost.

Then, what happened was an adventure I could never have contemplated or planned unless my back was to the wall.

Which is the title of the book I’ve written about what happened next.

It’s called ‘Man Steps Off Planet’.

But there’s more.

My experiences have made me realise that we need a whole new system of welfare to enable everyone, no matter what their financial situation, whether employed or living in poverty, to survive and to live a good life.

The philosophy has already been proposed, even tested in some countries, and supported by a long list of prominent business people and economists.

There’s Barak Obama, economist Milton Freidman, Mark Zukerberg, Bill Gates, Richard Branston, and a whole list of others.

It’s called a Universal Basic Income.

This world changing plan provides every citizen above a certain age, without a means test, to receive a guaranteed basic income, enough to survive.

Everyone would be free to earn a regular income as well or to do as they wished with the money.

It’s their choice.

With such a safety net anyone can follow their dreams, their passions, and still be successful over time.

Especially if time is what they need.

In my case, I tried to establish a new trend in advertising creativity.

I had no capital backing me and so my freelance copywriting business crashed and burned.

Same with my daughter who started her own massage business that went downhill through no fault of her own.

Who knows how many talented people have been struggling to survive after attempting to implement their potential genius.

But there are other secrets I learned on how to survive and thrive.

I certainly haven’t become depressed or settle for living in poverty.

Instead I’ve followed my lifetime dream to write and publish my own books and, in so doing, kept my brain active and alive.

I was able to work from home, wherever that was, even in a caravan.

It’s a secret to living a long and healthy life.

It’s been the secret of keeping alive following my passion for the past 30 years.

Nothing should hinder the urge to follow our passion, even if for artisans, for example, the income that those passions generate take time to materialise.

Which is a good reason why the world needs the support of a Universal Basic Income.

Is it so crazy to suggest that the time to prepare for the future is now?

I share my other big secrets in my book ‘Man Steps Off Planet’.

I’ll give you a hint. You might be surprised to know that I was greatly influenced by Napoleon Hill’s bestseller ‘Think & Grow Rich’ (click to view video) combined with Stuart Wilde’s ideas (click to view video).

Best wishes


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Wild White Man

'Frederick William Woodhouse 'The First Settlers Discover Buckley'
‘Frederick William Woodhouse ‘The First Settlers Discover Buckley’

He’s been called the Wild White Man.

Here’s why.

A number of convicts had escaped from the Sullivan’s Bay settlement in the south, just 15 years after the first convicts arrived to establish the first settlement at Sydney Harbour in 1788.

All but one had either been killed, disappeared or returned in desperation to give themselves up.

The one surviving escapee, William Buckley, has been written into the local folklore and the Australian vernacular. To have ‘Buckley’s hope’ – or just ‘Buckley’s’ – has come to mean to have little hope.

This extraordinary story of survival in a natural and hostile environment is told in my book ‘Back to the Wall’.

He was found by a group of aborigines whose leader had only just died and, since Buckley was over six feet tall and the first white man they’d ever seen, they believed him to be the returned spirit of their deceased leader.

The Wathaurong aborigines cared for him and taught him their social order and ways of survival in the bush.

They even gave him a wife.

For 32 years the ‘wild white man’ Buckley lived with these original inhabitants on a peninsula south-west of present-day Melbourne and across the bay from Sullivan’s Cove.

As a young boy I’d come with my family for our annual holidays to this very spot. I recall standing in awe at the entrance to Buckley’s Cave beneath the lighthouse where he is said to have lived.

I would imagine this huge man with a wild beard and long unkempt hair residing inside in the darkness watching me standing there on the sand outside.

He truly captured my imagination as a boy even though, at the time, I knew only vaguely of him as an Aussie version of Robinson Crusoe.

Read more, order your copy here.

Fast forward 32 years to John Batman’s famous landing party sailing from the new settlement in Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), with the intention of claiming the site on which Melbourne now stands.

John Batman was the son of a convict mother and convict father and was married to a convict woman.

He set out from Van Diemen’s Land in 1835 with a party of three European servants and seven aborigines.

They sailed up the river known by the aborigines as Yarra Yarra (meaning ‘flowing water’), declaring this to be “the place for a village”.

A short distance upstream he negotiated the purchase of the land on which Melbourne now stands with the local aboriginal tribe at a spot right behind the playing fields of my old high school.

He purchased a hundred thousand acres of land in exchange for flour, blankets, scissors, tomahawks, looking-glasses, various items of clothing and alcohol.

His party then returned to Van Diemen’s Land.

A few months later an advance party returned to settle permanently on their new land which, unknown to them, was illegal without the approval of the Crown (which they didn’t have).

On landing at Indented Head inside Port Phillip Bay not far from Buckley’s Cave they ran into a wild white man dressed the same as the natives.

It was William Buckley the convict who had escaped 32 years earlier. He had forgotten how to speak English, speaking instead the language of his aboriginal tribe.

He was persuaded to go with the party of settlers and was eventually granted a pardon after agreeing to work between the two races to help relationships between them.

So how does this strange story of the ‘wild white man’ fit in with the mystery in the book?

What other fascinating true stories are told in my book?

Find out HERE.



Rare Book Exposes 200 Year-Old Mystery

Early map of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania)

Read more here

What royal secrets did the Reverend Robert Knopwood know?

He was the first chaplain of Van Diemen’s Land (as Tasmania was called) who sailed to New South Wales (as Australia was called) at the time of the First Fleets of mainly convicts from England came to create the first British settlement here.

He mixed with the highest society back in England including with those in the circle of the Prince of Wales.

As did a certain mysterious Dr Desailly and his wife who came to Van Diemen’s Land under strange circumstaces.

Rumours had it that Dr Desailly’s English practice had been at the court of George IV and that his beautiful wife had been a Lady in Waiting to Queen Caroline.

A vessel under special charter had brought them to Australia and they always had plenty of money which, it was said, was paid regularly from a mysterious pension with great secrecy.

What were they doing in this isolated antipodean outpost?

They were certainly not convicts nor did they hold any official position in the colony.

Was it because they knew too much?

About what?

I was in the middle of researching the background for my book when I came across an extraordinary find.

I couldn’t believe my luck.

Right there in my small country library I found a numbered limited edition copy of a rare book published 45 years ago by a bookshop in Tasmania, Australia, with the modest title of ‘The Chaplain: Being Some Further Account of the Days of Bobby Knopwood’.

In this old book the author, Mabel Hookey, speculates on a scenario pointing to a lost secret that sailed to Tasmania with Rev Knopwood and Dr Desailly over 200 years ago.

Quite unexpectedly, the author, Mabel Hookey, provided me with the perfect opening to my own book, a mystery that I had stumbled upon going back over 200 years to Regency England and the Prince of Wales, George IV.

In her foreword Hookey explains that “diaries and bundles of old letters and papers on which I have drawn for my subject matter were bought by my grandfather, George Stokell, at the sale of Knopwood’s effects.”

The author continues to say that for many years Knopwood’s effects were stored in a cupboard in her grandfather’s home and that while most had found their way to the Mitchell Library in Sydney others were still in her possession.

It’s from these lost papers that she offers an astounding proposition that pretty much matched the mystery which had fallen into my lap.

Her shocking royal secret begins my own book ‘Back to the Wall: A Fun Spiritual Adventure’.

To add to the mystery, when I returned to my library to borrow the book again to check what I had quoted, I found to my surprise that it was no longer on the shelves or even in the library catalogue, having sat there gathering dust for up to 45 years.

Then when I wrote to the publisher in Tasmania requesting permission to quote from the book I received no reply. I could find no record of any such bookshop either.

They had all, apparently, vanished.

And my true romantic adventure seemed to have become a paranormal mystery as well.

To order your copy CLICK HERE.

Reference: “The Chaplain: Being Some Further Account of the Days of Bobby Knopwood” by Mabel Hookey, published by Fuller’s Bookshop, Tasmania, 1970. Pages 177-9.