Crazy Fish – Crazy Bird – Crazy Day

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Having Trevor and Karen with us this weekend has been a huge blessing. First I’ll show you some of our amusements. The view from the apartment balcony reminds me of home. It’s constantly changing. In the late afternoon the sky is often gaudy with colour:Yes, that is the moon up there. I’m not feeling very chatty and that makes me unhappy, because it is a good diversion to write with the hope of amusing both myself and others. I’m going to start taking a drug tomorrow which I hope will act as a mood elevator and help to allow me to function better. Stay tuned.

I used to fly helicopters. This shot of a Bell Jet Ranger dragging an undecipherable banner below it reminded me of lifting sling loads, something which always made me very nervous:

There is a big cultural art festival on in Cairns now, so the Esplinade is crowded with people.

From our balcony we could see a bizarre parade of exhibits passing down the street. As you can see from the brightness of the lights, it was getting quite dark by the time this crazy fish came swimming along:

We all decided to stay on the balcony to watch the fireworks show. As it turned out, that was not to be. We were somewhere else when the booms began.

Earlier in the day, as Karen, Trevor and I were walking down the street we spotted a bird which none of us had seen before. I got a very nice shot of this Lapwing or Spurwing Plover (Vanellus miles).  I think it qualifies as a fairly crazy looking bird:

I Googled around after Karen found the name of the bird and was quite smug to find not a single image of it that is better than this one. Too bad about the ruffled feathers.

UPDATE: Good buddy Justin friend provided an amusing bit of information about this strange bird:

The Masked Lapwings are not plovers, although for a long time that bird pictured was incorrectly identified as a spurwing plover till …it was moved across to the lapwing family. Most locals still call it a plover, I grew up calling them plovers, but it is indeed the Masked Lapwing.

Thanks for that tidbit, Justin.

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Last night we met with our oncologist, Dr. Paul Eliadis. I suppose that the news could have been worse, but it was certainly bad enough. Eunie almost certainly has a rare type of cancer commonly called Bile Duct Cancer. It is not something that you want to have. Nobody wants to hear the word “serious” coming from a doctor’s lips, but that is how he described it. You can Google it, if you like, but I’m going to avoid doing that and take the doctors’ advice day by day. There was immediate talk of treatment options and the doctor got on the phone with a colleague in Brisbane during our extraordinarily late consultation at nine in the evening (explaining why we missed the fireworks) to get the wheels in motion for our relocation to Brisbane.

As I sat there with Eunie, Trevor and Karen in his office, I felt the planet turning under my feet. How I wish it were me instead of her.

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10 Responses to “Crazy Fish – Crazy Bird – Crazy Day”

  1. Carolyn Says:

    When I was little, growing up on a cattle station a few hours West of Cairns, I looked forward to the plovers nesting. It happens at the end of the year when my three big brothers would be due to return home from boarding school in Cairns. The plovers would mostly nest on the airstrip and every week when Mum and I went out to “meet the mail plane” I would hope the plovers would be swooping and diving me. As scary as they are swooping down, I knew it wouldnt be long until the boys were home for the holidays. take care and thanks for reminding me of the bird of my childhood. Carolyn

  2. Regine Says:

    Hi Jan, I just read your comment about your stay in Cairns and Eunice’s cancer. I keep all my fingers and toes crossed for the treatment to be success!!!!! I am thinking of you guys very hard hopeing that my thoughts contributed at least a faction to Eunice#s healing proces. I will stop now as I have absolutely no clue whether you receive this message. I have never been on such a web site. lots of love, REgine

  3. Alice Says:

    I have not Googled bile duct cancer. The word “serious” is enough for me right now. I am praying for you both. Thank you for keeping us updated. I am praying also for a smooth transition to Brisbane. You are blessed with many who love and care for you. It sounds like you have a plan and that is hopeful.

    Thanks for the pictures. I love sunrises and sunsets. Here in Western NE we have such beautiful ones. This morning was exceptional. I don’t have the camera or the know how to be able to capture them as you do. But I do take time to enjoy them in the moment and praise God for them.
    Love to you both.

  4. Sue Fletcher Says:

    The photos are beautiful. I love the spectrum of colors in dawn and sunsets. Looking for a good dawn photo is how I discovered your site!
    It is good that you and Eunice are rich in family, friends and love. They are the most powerful support I know.

  5. Ali Says:

    Hey Jan,
    Some advise from my dear old Dad (via Ella Fitzgerald)
    He’s obviously doing something right, so ‘m going to share his secret.

    “You gotta accentuate the positive
    Eliminate the negative
    Latch on to the affirmative
    and DON’T mess with Mister In-Between”

    The words are easy, but the real secret is remembering the tune, and how to dance to it.
    Love to you both.

  6. MadDog Says:

    Thanks for that lovely message, Carolyn. It is a sweet story of a charming past. Several people have remarked to me that the plovers can be pretty feisty. One fellow said he saw a fox swimming accross a river. The plovers were making the fox duck under the water to avoid their attacks. I’m happy that I provoked a pleasant memory for you. – Jan

  7. MadDog Says:

    Yes, Regine, I receive all comments left on the journal at try to answer every one. Feel free to comment here. It is easy for me as email. Personal stuff should be left to email, however. I know that you love us both and It makes me sad to send out such distressing news of Eunie’s condition to her many friends. We’ll be moving to Brisbane for treatment very soon and we will be staying with Val Jerram at her home in Gympie. Keep reading my journal for news as I have it and send emails for personal messages and leave comments for things that you don’t mind that others can read. Missing and loving you, dear friend – Jan

  8. MadDog Says:

    I recommend that you don’t Google. We do have a plan and it’s mostly been put in place a long time ago by God, so we’re comfortable with it. Eunie will get the best treatment that she could get anywhere.

    I’ll keep the news up as I have it on my journal – that will be the main source. It saves me a lot of “communication” time that I should be using to take care of Eunie. People can still get more specific info or leave messages here on the journal or using my personal email address.

    Thanks for your love and concern. The love comes right back at you.

  9. MadDog Says:

    Sue, so many have found their way to my journal through Google Images. That is a good feeling for me.

    Eunie and I both have excellent support in Gympie not far from Brisbane at our long time friend’s home. We couldn’t be any place better.


  10. MadDog Says:

    Ali, good message, good advice. A little hard to follow at the moment, but I simply have to toughen myself up.

    Hey, I can dance to it! I’m a dancin’ fool.