Bubbles and a Beautiful Lady

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Regular readers of this journal will already know that I’m in a pretty bad space and have been for a few months. Nevertheless, I have to hang onto a few “normal” things to help stabilise my life and restore some semblance of order. Writing here is one of those normal activities. Today, I will show you a couple of images of one of the more amusing varieties of coral from my dive last Saturday at The Eel Garden near Pig Island.  I’m also going to add a couple of images of Eunie just because I like looking at them and I feel better when I do.

This is Bubble Coral  (Plerogyra sinosa), which has appeared here many times before. If you put “bubble” in the search box, you will find many images. Why one would waste valuable time doing so, I can’t imagine, but there are all kinds of people. The derivation of the common name is obvious. It is a kind of coral, and the puffy bits of the polyps look like, well, bubbles. It is also known as Pearl Coral, which works for me. It grows only in the Indo-Pacific area.

Bubble Coral can project long, stinging tentacles which allow it to defend its turf. Other corals are stung by these if they grow too close, so they automatically keep their distance. Good fences make good neighbours.

In this shot you can see some juvenile anthea in the water behind the Bubble Coral. You can also see, if you click to enlarge, how much particular matter was in the water on Saturday. When the water is full of specks, you have to get up very close to the subject or the images are useless.

The shot also suffers from two kinds of motion blur because I was using a shutter speed of abou1 1/8 of a second. I allowed the camera to move very slightly during the exposure, blurring everything a little and the fish, as they are wont to do, were moving.

Rob Small (A. K. A. The Butterfly Man) took this shot a year or two ago up at Blueblood.

Having been away from our blood families for nearly three decades, we have found a wonderful surrogate family among our friends in Madang. Putting a baby on Eunie’s lap was always a sure way to make her smile.

This shot was taken by Geneviève Tremblay at the last party we threw at our house before leaving for Australia. Not to put too fine a point on it, it was Eunie’s last party.

The expression on Eunie’s face is priceless. “Ooooo, strawberries!” Eunie loved parties.

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13 Responses to “Bubbles and a Beautiful Lady”

  1. Helen Jones Says:

    Fabulous photographs of Eunie, for the first time in a while your journal has made me smile, yes, beautiful would be the word!

  2. kristy Says:

    Lovely pics as always!
    How big are the bubbles? I am trying to figure out perspective from the surrounding matter…not sure!

  3. Nancy McDonald Says:

    Thank you Uncle Arnie for those wonderful pictures. That is how we all remember her and love her. Love to you and take care.

  4. Steve Bennett Says:

    I agree, the photos of Eunie are perfect for this blog, for Maddog and for all of his wonderful readers. I still cannot believe the short period in time that this has all taken place, but I do understand that sometimes there are reasons, maybe answers.

    This is a warm step in the right direction Maddog but not a wrong step in a wrong direction.

  5. MadDog Says:

    Helen, I’m trying to make myself smile also. I don’t want my face to freeze in a permanent frown.

  6. MadDog Says:

    Kristy, I’d say that the average about 30cm or so.

  7. MadDog Says:

    It’s good to hear from you, Nancy. Pass on my love to all of the family. Eunie will never really leave us.

  8. MadDog Says:

    Steve, I do feel that I’m slowly progressing in the right direction. Problems which seemed hopeless now seem only difficult. The future still looks bleak, but I’m beginning to feel that I may find some level of happiness again. I know that this is all a normal process and that people do get through it, but knowing is not necessarily doing.

    The speed at which the cancer took Eunie put us all in shock. All that I can say is that I can see it as a kind of blessing. Bile Duct Cancer is an almost certain killer. Eunie’s was not detected until it was too late for any effective treatment, which is the usual case. By the time we got to Brtisbane, the doctors were switching into the palliative care mode. We all knew what that meant. One doctor told me that the vast majority of patients feel no significant pain and, in the end, go from not-so-sick to death in only a few days. From the night that we nearly lost her in Gympie, she was in the Hospital in Brisbane for only seven days. You can find blessings in the strangest places. Most people with ultimately terminal cancer suffer much.

  9. Ali Says:

    Truely beautiful photos Jan.

  10. Mari Says:

    Dear Jan,
    So sorry to hear about your loss this way. What beautiful memories these lovely pictures of Eunie must bring each day.
    Vist my blog sometime to read about my wokabout in Manus if you need to find some other story to read.

  11. MadDog Says:

    Yes, Mari, I do find comfort when I look at images of Eunie. I’ll have a look at your blog.

  12. Ahna Says:

    Dear Uncle,

    Beautiful pictures as always. I love the bubbles. In time things get better. Mom still has not settled down with the thought of living with anyone. She has been dating a fella for a while but does not see much of a future with him. She has her good days and bad but it is easier to talk about Jerry than it has been in the past. We laugh alot about the stories and of course miss him as well. (There is alot of lies on his life with us from other people). He was a good man to us and a good father when one was needed. I love Randy too and respected the fact he manned up on stuff I asked him and our relationship from then had blossomed into something wonderful. I miss him deeply as well.

    I like to ramble alot and sorry for that. But I know Im not the only person who cares for you that is giving you an outlook on the future. Im pretty sure you can put two and two together and figure it will get better, but when you are sitting in a dark hole for a while it is hard to see the light. I know. I suffer from depression and thank GOD for giving man a brain to invent medicine it has saved my marriage and me.

    Aunt Eunie, I told you has always been my favorite. Regardless of how far you all have lived. I was always so proud of bragging about your stories that grandma would tell and the news letters that we received. She was definitly a wonderful loving human being, and I remember that from being a kid.

  13. MadDog Says:

    Sweet Ahna,

    Don’t be sorry for rambling. I got a lot from what you said. I wish I had known my brother better, but we were not raised to value those things. It’s only after the loss that you know what you missed.

    I’m getting by day by day and hoping for some happiness someday. In the meantime, I’m dealing well as I can with the hammer blows that seem to never stop. I went through years of dealing with depression and finally thought that I was finished with it. How wrong I was. Here is that half-dead feeling again. I refuse to take drugs. I want to come out of this stronger and more capable or not at all. I don’t want to come out of it as someone who is dependent on drugs for wellness.

    I appreciate what you say about Eunie. I only wish that you had had the chance to know her better.

    Uncle Jan