Christmas Day at Blueblood

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Christmas Day started off with a beautiful sunrise. No, I lie. It was a cloudy day that didn’t promise much and didn’t deliver either. The weather threatened to dump on us all day, but managed to hold its water. The morning sky didn’t look anything like this:Arriving at the beach house, we were greeted by the establishment’s cheery welcome sign unceremoniously nailed to a roof beam. There is a thatched roof over the lower deck. As you can see, it is made of palm leaves. In this case, they are the leaves of the Sago palm. The material, after it is ‘sewn’ into long mats, is called morota:The mats are then laid down across the rafters starting at the outer edge of the roof and moving toward the centre. Each mat is laid over the one below it. The result is that rain flows down the leaves and off the edge. Inside, it stays nice and dry. Before we get into the images of Christmas Day at Blueblood, I’ll show you what’s been happening with Madang – Ples Bilong Mi. I don’t dig around too much in the statistics, but at the end of the second full year it seems appropriate to have a look. First, who is reading? Here are numbers from December 1 – 26 of 2009:

Countries Pages Hits
United States us 35583 298614
Australia au 11241 70207
Netherlands nl 7259 17353
Great Britain gb 4655 40234
Canada ca 3633 42595
Russian Federation ru 2171 4509
India in 2037 16155
Germany de 1652 15347
France fr 1112 10451
China cn 1007 3471

I listed only the first ten countries. Papua New Guinea is 39th on the list. There are a few surprises. What is Netherlands doing way up there? I know far more people in Austria than the Netherlands, but Austria is 56th on the list. I know nobody in Russia or China, but there they are. The only way that I can explain this is by looking at the content of the journal. Though I try to appeal the broadest audience possible, I do have a lot of specialised content here and that makes for a lot of search engine hits. In fact, about 30% of the traffic comes just from Google, much of that from Google Images. You tenacious readers out there are giving us some healthy numbers:

Unique visitors Number of visits Pages Hits
25573 32718 (1.27 visits/visitor) 87556 (2.67 Pages/Visit) 700320 (21.4 Hits/Visit)

That’s not bad numbers for less than one month for a puny little site such as this. It’s getting up around 1,500 unique visitors per day. I can remember a year ago when I was doing cartwheels if we hit 200. I was rather pensive on Christmas Day, not my best time of year. Therefore, I didn’t take many pictures. Here is a cheery one of nearly the whole gang out swimming around the floatie thing:And here are two little angels in a rubber duckie:I like this one of Mike Cassell, as fine a mate as a bloke could have, and his grandson, Josh:As the day progressed and a little wine began to take the edges off my melancholy, I did sally forth with camera in hand to snatch the soul of this perfect hibiscus blossom:That’s me. The soul snatcher.

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6 Responses to “Christmas Day at Blueblood”

  1. Lindsay Says:

    The Dutch were resident a long time in Indonesia that’s probably why many in the Netherlands are checking out your site.

  2. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Lindsay. That makes perfect sense and I should have made the connection myself. I used the same logic when I looked at Germany’s placement on the list. The southern half of PNG used to be Deutsch Neu Guinea when it was a colony.

  3. Lindsay Says:

    I taught in Finschafen in 1975 where the first German missionaries all died of Malaria. There were 2 German kids in my class. They lived up on the hill in Heldsbach & the parents ran a mission station there. The leper hospital near Finsch had an American doctor. His 2 kids were in my class too. He was a keen diver of the deadly cones. He swam around with pantyhose & dragged his catch after him. The family went back to the US for a trip & he sold his collection & bought movie equipment in HK on the way back. In 1976 I taught in Kimbe. Cheers & all the best for 2010.

  4. MadDog Says:

    Very interesting info, Lindsay. Finschafen is steeped in history. If you have any picutres from the period when you were there, I’d like to have scans of them along with some stories to put up on Madang – Ples Bilong Mi. If you send material to me, I’ll do a feature on it. Quite a few PNG old-timers follow this journal. You might get re-connected with long lost souls.

  5. Lindsay Says:

    hi MD,

    I’ll do some sorting & see what I can find. I scanned you in the water with the wine glass this morning with the intention of doing a sketch of you.


  6. MadDog Says:

    Hi Lindsay,

    Possibly you have confused me with my friend Trevor who is in the water with the green wine glass. I suppose we do look a lot alike. Nevertheless, go ahead and do your sketch if you like. I had a look at the sketches on MySketches. There are some very intreresting techniques there. I’ll be interested to see what you can come up with. I’d like to do a post on the work.