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.

Namaste.

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.

Urban Nomad: The Life of Author Neil the Smith

Why ‘the Smith’?

They were the creators, the crafters, the metal smiths, the makers of Medieval Britain a thousand years ago.

Today, I’m ‘the wordsmith’.

The author.

I’ve lived everywhere..

Over 50 places 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.

Namaste.

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 save on postage.

Crash Landing

I arrived at the Blue Lake like a meteorite crashing to earth. I needed a place to crash. At the time I knew nothing of the significance of the lake, all I knew was that I had landed. Thank god.
I’d been promised a Place in the Sun to settle down and write the book.
What book?
Well, the book about my adventures up until that moment. But what were they talking about, a Place in the Sun? That could mean anything.
First there had been my one-on-one with a channel in New Jersey. The word was that Michael who I was speaking with was being channelled through numerous mediums across the United States at the time. His words had been gathered, cross-checked for consistency and published by one of the channels named Jose Stevens PhD. The books were published as ‘Tao to Earth’ and ‘Earth to Tao’. I had been given free copies of both, they’re now available on Amazon for over $A100 each. I’d never heard of his idea that we are all born with a ‘Chief Negative Feature’, a negative personality trait we need to overcome. I know mine and he was dead right (but no way am I giving it away). It could explain a lot about some people’s negative behaviour because they can’t help it. Michael told me many other personal things. He told me that I had placed myself in a kind of chute or funnel in order to meet many people and have experiences I would not otherwise have had. And I was “going for it, full blast”.
Which, in a few words, explained everything.
Was this an example of my higher self or soul taking a hand in my daily affairs?
So how did I know that this small furnished timber flat built on the side of a hill at Ocean Grove with views to the Barwon Heads was my Place in the Sun? I mean, that could be anywhere, why Ocean Grove and why a stones throw from my tranquil Blue Lake.
Having gone for it “full blast” as predicted, tearing myself away from the cute New Jersey school teacher when my 6 month visa was up, I was on a plane to meet a friend in England to search for places where my ancestors lived. My New Jersey friend had given me $US20 to cover the bus fare to Cheltenham.
Was that enough? I needed 16 pounds and I gave a sigh of relief when got small change in return. Whew. Just enough otherwise I would have been walking all the way to Cheltenham. I had to lie to customs to get into the country. On the plane my nerves were so bad that in trying to impress the attractive woman next to me I spilled my complimentary rum and coke all over me.
I arrived back in Hepburn Springs where I had been living in a friend’s caravan for 5 years before leaving for the United States 6 months earlier.
I was in for a shock.
The caravan had been towed away by my friend’s son and I had nowhere to live.
That weekend I went to the weekly trash and treasure market at the Daylesford restored railway station. It was my lucky day. There were psychic ladies offering “Readings 10 minutes for $10” for charity.
I picked Margaret who sat me down and gave me a reading for over an hour for my $10. She told me about the book I was going to write at my Place in the Sun. Over and over I asked her, how will I find my Place in the Sun? Where is it? Over and over she replied, ask the estate agent. Well of course, I’d ask an estate agent. I needed for more information. Ask the estate agent. Which estate agent? She couldn’t say.
I returned to where I was staying knowing I needed to leave soon and wondering, asking, where is my Place in the Sun? I needed to know the answer fast because, once again, I was homeless and broke. I was desperate.
As I went to sleep that night I was thinking, over and over, where is my Place in the Sun? I fell asleep with that thought on my mind. All night there was a voice in my head saying to me, remember your dream to live in Ocean Grove? I woke up knowing it was in Ocean Grove with the words “what ever happened to your dream to live in Ocean Grove”.
I knew exactly where to go. Next morning I was on the bus out of Daylesford to the train to Melbourne to my daughter’s home in Mentone. I was on my way to my Place in the Sun and nothing could stop me.
Next morning I got myself to Ocean Grove. One by one I called at every estate agent in town. Nothing. The sun was getting low as I came to the last agent who took me to the edge of town. This was my last chance. I was really out on a limb here.
As we drove along Driftwood Street and pulled up at the group of 3 flats on the side of the hill, I knew then that I was there. I moved in within the week. And that message from Margaret about keeping on asking estate agents, well, it was the last rental from the last agent in town that showed me what I was looking for. I was profoundly moved by the whole experience.
My Blue Lake was yet to be discovered, to complete my elusive but perfect place to relax, a place of peace to shrug off that “blast” I was going for, to find myself again and to live my lifelong dream, the author.
I lived there for the next 11 years and took that long to write ‘Back to the Wall: A Spiritual Adventure’. I worked through 4 different computers with 3 different operating systems all given to me by new friends because they (the computers not the friends) were about to die.
Everything was falling into place and I was a new man. Exhausted. A little disoriented. Missing my daughters with whom I had just been reunited after 10 years apart. But incredibly happy. It was a new life and I set to work straight away to write the book.
These are some of the thoughts that were going through my mind at the lake.
Pretty much every day I’d almost slide down the embankment beside my flat, walk across the Lake Road Reserve, across the road and enter the lake territory through an entrance of large old trees which made it almost invisible from the road.
There was an old willow tree with branches weeping into the lake and around the single park bench conveniently placed by the water’s edge. I’d sit there for hours, lost in the calm surface of the water, my mind still reeling from the whirlwind I had just lived through.
Those first days were spent thinking of driving along Fifth Avenue the night before I left the USA and, the next day, standing in a quiet country town with all of that in the past. There was still the memory of my 3 weeks in Cheltenham trying to find the remnants of ancestors who lived 200 years ago in Regency England and of the ancient university town of Oxford. I found nothing, everything was gone except for the churches where they were baptised, married and buried (even the graves have been built over).
Past and present.
Such contrasts.
The water was like a crystal ball showing me my frantic past as well as my future as the writer of this very therapeutic personal story. All of my boyhood dreams were coming true (and then some).
The past was all go and struggle.
The future was finding myself again.
This was a major turning point in my life marking the past clearly away from the future.
It happened at the lake.
It’s as if I had arrived.
Spilling rum and coke, flying around the world, going bankrupt, 5 years in a caravan, my ill fated freelance business, the insane ad world and the corporate madness, my 2 marriages and the dramas that accompanied them. Always fighting for my life, it seemed.
Then, 11 years later, came the call.
“Dad, I’m pregnant.”
It was over and the next adventure had begun.