Ian “Watto” Watson, a family friend of 30 years, has once again delivered a perfect and timely book for Aussie blokes.
Like his previous two books I reviewed, Every Bloke’s a Champion- Even You! and Champion Blokes “Shed” Their Shame, Watto tackles the four letter word many Aussie blokes struggle to say AND understand – LOVE.
Aussie men may not talk about it much, but deep down, what men want, what everyone wants – is love. He shares what he’s learned during 50 years of loving Margaret, the girl of his dreams. He tells us in plain language how to build communication, encouragement and joy into real-deal relationships that stand the test of time – not just in marriage but in family, friendships and business too.
Through my teenage years I sat many a time at the Watson’s table eating their food, hanging with his sons and listening, observing and partaking in the Watson’s life. Of course, it wasn’t perfect, but I loved being there and accepted as part of the family. Yet, and no 14-21 year old male would really see this, Watto had struggles. He had struggles with his faith, he had struggles with his relationships, he had struggles with THAT word – love.
In 2016, Ian and Margaret celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. A marriage that has stood the test of time. He believes he has done the “hard yards” in all areas of love. “Watto” shares, in the most intimate, but straightforward way, his mistakes, his thoughts, his lessons and his little gems of wisdom. Watto’s way is not to shame, but encourage. And as he frequently says, “I’ve never seen a bloke go backwards with encouragement.”
His previous books dealt with many painful issues from his past- sexual interference, along with big griefs and regrets. But with vulnerable honesty Watto shares, “If [these issues] had been sorted out sooner, Margaret would have married a bloke less muddled up about love. Our love life would have been better over a longer time- open and free, early in the piece.” Don’t we all want this for our relationships, particularly our marriages?
Asking the Big Fella about the tough stuff
Yes, this is how “Watto” speaks to us in his book. God is the “Big Fella”, Margaret is referred to as “the girl of his dreams” and he wants each man, each woman, to experience “real-deal dinky-di” love.
One of the many stories he shares gives the reader a very small insight of how to help your love-heart relationship with God and your wife.
When Watto was in his 20s, he remembers having a “squibby talk to the Big Fella.” He didn’t have the “guts” to tell anyone about the conversation. He loved Margaret, found her stunning. But lust was getting in the way of a fulfilling marriage. He would “perve” on other women, because isn’t this what “normal” men do? He knew deep down he didn’t want to. He asked God to sort him out from the inside.
It sounds simple, but it is not always a simple thing to do. As simple as he asked, as simply God sorted him out. He began to look at other women the right way and appreciate their beauty, but Margaret became secure in knowing she was the right one for him.
This was hard for him to talk about because this was the spiritual part of himself at battle. The inside battle that all men confront. But think of the benefits. Your wife benefits because she is secure in the relationship. You benefit because you don’t have to battle with your thoughts and eyes alone. God becomes real and you can thank Him for sorting out something you can’t do in your own strength. The battle and turmoil within is winnable.
I have known Watto for 30 years and been married to my wife for 21 of those years. This latest “lecture” from Ian is just what I needed to rejuvenate and reinvigorate our marriage. The memories he shares are honest, thought provoking and full of life lessons. You will be drawn by Watto’s honest vulnerability and his trademark way of saying things just as they are.
His advice is easy to apply because these are his real feelings and real thoughts; from a real life that has been lived. You can take what you want out of the book. Find what will work for you. Watto just wants you to, “Give it a crack, re-jig it and/or delete it, reshape it to fit for you and get on with your life.”
Once every bloke can reach a point of knowing and experiencing God’s “real-deal dinky-di” love, then they will also know the amazing feeling of inner JOY. You know, that place of PEACE and SATISFACTION amid all circumstances, where God’s love reigns over all.
It’s where the POWER OF LOVE wipes away the love of power.
Read it- and then give it to your sons, brothers, dads, husbands, uncles and mates to read it to. We will all be better off when we take these nuggets of truth to heart and become “fair dinkum” about putting them into practice.
Russell Modlin teaches English and Physical Education at a Christian School on the Sunshine Coast. He is married to Belinda and they have three children.
Russell Modlin’s archive of previous article can be found at