Tribute to a Friend - and a Call to Action

Tribute to a Friend - and a Call to Action

This blog is written by Darcy...

Waking up early isn't typically my style, especially not on a Saturday.  Saturday mornings are sacred to me—a day to decompress in the slow unfolding of the morning, usually not leaving the comfort of my bed until the clock nudges around 9am.  That's when the start of my day with the first of many coffees begins.

However, yesterday the dawn greeted me with an unusual silence, the world outside my window paused and perfectly clear, with a chill in the air but not a whisper of wind or a cloud in sight.  As I rolled out of bed, I grabbed my phone from its nightly charge and wandered towards the kitchen, halting momentarily in the doorway of my bedroom.

I sent a message to my friend Vaughn through WhatsApp.  He'd been in the hospital battling a blood infection, but the news was good—he was on the mend and expected to be sent home soon.  It was mid-morning in Canada, a reasonable time to catch him awake.  After sending my message, I proceeded to make my coffee, noticing the three dots of someone typing, yet the response was taking an unusually long time.  I laughed to myself about Vaughn's prolific texting habits, expecting a lengthy update.  Instead, the reply that came through was from his brother, Graham, asking if he could call me in 10 minutes. My response was swift, "Hi Graham, yes please. I hope Vaughn is okay?"  No response…

Einstein was onto something with his theory of relativity because those next minutes stretched into what felt like eternity, the tension escalating until it was almost unbearable.  When Graham's call finally came, the initial silence was jarring.  Then came the devastating news: Vaughn was gone.  The impact was immediate and overwhelming, I sat down from the force of the blow.  I wept.

I was rescued from yesterday thanks to the unwavering support of my partner, Jen, who gave me unconditional love.  Sensing my distress, she immediately made her way to me, offering me consolation and her presence.

Later, my business partner, Anna, inviting me for a coffee and conversation, along with the chance to spend time with their dogs, provided an additional layer of solace.

Vaughn was more than a friend to me—he was among the precious few I counted as true companions. His generosity knew no bounds, and our adventures together were legendary, often skirting the edges of both man's laws and one or more of the divine.

A master of words, Vaughn's passion for music was unmatched, with a taste that ranged from the electric wails of Hendrix to the heavy beats of Rammstein. His cherished Bose 901 speakers were a testament to his love for loud, life-filled music sessions that would often spill out onto his deck, much to our delight and the entire neighbourhood’s dismay.  Vaughn's loyalty was fierce; he embodied the true essence of friendship, always there, no matter the circumstance.

Remembering Vaughn brings to mind not just his vibrancy but also his vulnerabilities.  His sweet tooth was legendary, a hallmark of our buffet adventures in the heyday of the '80s and '90s. Those indulgences at the time, shadowed the darker implications of our dietary choices—implications that, with age, manifested as diabetes for him among other health issues, and the same for me, minus the diabetes (although I was heading there).

Those who know me are well aware of my own journey and how my lifestyle choices have impacted my health over the years.  Vaughn and I would frequently delve into discussions about this very topic.  Our conversations often circled back to the choices we made, the roads we traveled, and how those paths influenced our well-being.  It was a shared understanding between us, a mutual acknowledgment of the joys and the risks that our ways of living entailed.  These heart-to-heart talks were not just mere exchanges of words but were foundational to the bond we shared, allowing us to explore the depths of our experiences and the consequences they brought to our health and lives.  It's a stark reminder of the peril in our collective penchant for foods that are more about immediate gratification than nutritional value—energy-dense yet nutrient-poor choices that have become all too common.

 It's time for a pivotal shift in our approach to sugar and overall diet; we truly need to prioritize healthy eating.  The reality is, we hold the reins when it comes to our health.   We are responsible for our own health.  Regardless of how deep we've ventured down a path of less-than-ideal lifestyle choices, it's never too late to change.

This message is critical, especially in these times of soaring inflation.  Lately I have stopped eating simple carbs, and just focused on the basics.  I have been fasting, and usually eating twice per day.  Just those simple things have allowed me to drop almost 30kg.  I feel better for it, I am in full remission from my autoimmune disease, and my blood sugar and insulin resistance is normal.

This could be the best time to introduce a sugar tax.

The concept of a sugar tax isn't just about imposing penalties; it's a call to action for a healthier society.  Imagine redirecting the revenue generated from such a tax towards making healthier food options—vegetables, fruits, meat, and dairy—more affordable.  This could be a game-changer, encouraging healthier eating habits by making nutritious food more accessible to everyone.  It's about creating a balanced ecosystem where the financial barriers to a healthy diet are significantly lowered, making it easier for individuals to make choices that benefit their health in the long run.

I know the choices I made, and I have to live with consequences of them.  So does Vaughn’s family.

Damn sugar. 

I want my friend back!

If you would like to discuss any of this further, please contact Darcy or Anna (who you can contact at +64 27 599 2255 or +64 27 4861418 respectively) or via

Back to blog