With a Little Help From Our Friends

Posted in Mixed Nuts on August 17th, 2010 by MadDog
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Well, as much as I find it discouraging, it is proving impossible for me to do daily posts. This is very irksome for me, as writing provides some down time and a bit of escape. I am hoping that once we settle down to some kind of routine, I will be able to set a time during the day when I can concentrate on my journal. I need it. Many enjoy reading it. I don’t want its character to change. I need something stable in my life right now.

On Saturday night, we enjoyed the company of friends at the home of Tony and Lorraine Collins in Cairns. Recent developments with Eunie’s health have placed us in Cairns for the unforeseeable future.

Here is the happy gang at the dinner table:

Eunie is on the close end of the table next to the empty spot. I was standing on a chair to take the shot. Tony’s magnificent BBQ skills were in top form. I had some Rosemary Lamb that was ethereal.

Max provided the major entertainment for the evening with his incredible Celestron computer guided telescope:It took a while to get it set up. As you can see, it is thirsty work.

After viewing some fantastic images of the terminator line on the moon on his laptop screen, we retired back to the table to view and devour The Amazing Cake:

I’ve seen cakes like that in shop windows. I had no idea that they were actually meant to be eaten. It seems somehow wrong, like using a Rolls Royce to haul your junk to the landfill.

After decimating The Amazing Cake, the moon had retired and Max went looking for “other things”:

The best that he could come up with was a Woolworth’s sign many kilometres away which filled the entire screen with the big, red letters, “Wool”.

We are still waiting for more information. An oncologist from Brisbane is coming to Cairns on Thursday. We are expecting to see him then or the next day. The biopsy reports should be back by then. We are hoping that he will be prepared to recommend a course of treatment at that time. It looks most likely now that we will be in Australian for an extended period of time.

We desperately need to get our visas changed to Medical or we will need to leave the country in 90 days and return – a needless expense. We are hoping our credit cards will carry us until the insurance company begins to reimburse us for all of the medical costs, which have reached nearly A$10,000 already. We have to pay up front and wait until the insurance company pays us back.

I desperately wish I had good news, but we just have to play the cards as they are dealt.

I am astounded at the sheer mass of readers who have left comments, sent emails, or contacted me on Facebook (CrazyByChoice). I have always written about the relationship between me and Eunie and it appears that a lot of people other than me have come to love her also.

Peace to you, my friends.

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¡Vaca Santa! – CWA Latino Night

Posted in CWA, Madang Happenings, Parties on October 10th, 2008 by MadDog
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I feel that I am in danger of becoming a hermit.

Latino Night at CWA is the second major Madang party that I’ve missed in a row. The first was because the tickets were sold out. I missed Latino Night because I was “too tired” – translation: Too embarrassed to admit that I am hopeless at any sort of Latin dancing.

Fortunately for the patient reader, I have this fine report from our budding journalist, Lorraine Collins along with a nice kiddie photo and a couple of others featuring some very fine legs.

This from Lorraine Collins:

Hola! CWA hosted a Latino night for all its Amigos and Amigas. Based on previous successful, fun-filled CWA events, the tickets actually sold out days before the function (quite a rare event in Madang). A flotilla of volunteers slaved away cooking and decorating for the fiesta to make it as bueno a noche as possible. Guests received an uplifting Caipirinha upon arrival; a not-too-shabby cocktail of white rum, brown sugar, and freshly squeezed limes over crushed ice. It was yumliscious and full of Vitamin C, therefore making it an exceedingly healthy drink.

The evening’s entertainment started off with a posse of brave little children doing a dance from Bolivia. The miniature stars were Grace McCarthy, Lottie Beschel, Lilani Mackie, Chloe Senn, Alice, and Mathieu Senn as the token boy. They performed perfectly a beautifully choreographed dance involving scarves. I reckon they will be looking for an agent soon.

Food was then served, most of it being a vegetarian’s delight; Spanish Rice, Vegetarian enchiladas, Vegetable Salad, Mexican Vegetable Stew and Beef Enchiladas for those who needed some carne. For those who had some space left, pudding was Spanish cake with rum-soaked raisins.

Next up were Heidi Majano and Pascal Michon (our naughty little Frenchman in Paradise) demonstrating a very sexy and fast moving Salsa. Man, were they impressive! They shimmied and salsa’d, twirled and strutted and shook their bootie to a fine tune. The audience was very impressed (especially yours truly) and I think Salsa classes should definitely be something in the future. Good exercise plus “sex” that you can perform in public.

That stunning performance was followed by “The Saucy Salsa Sisters” strutting their stuff to a slinky little number from Cuba. We should probably have been introduced as the “Sauced Salsa Sisters” as co-ordination was lacking slightly, but we tried to cover it with excessive bum wiggling and boob shaking. That usually works.

From then on, it was a free for all, with all the Madang Señoras ‘y cabaleros Salsa-ing the night away, learning new moves from Heidi, our resident Latino from El Salvador, and gaining confidence with every red wine.

It was a magnifico noche with all the ingredients for a great night; healthy cocktails, sumptuous food, great dancers, sexy music, and lots of booze. The night would not have been possible without all the volunteers that made the food (Heidi, Lorraine Collins, Eunice Messersmith), decorated (Heidi), danced (Heidi, Lorraine, Cessa Beschel, Fabiana Ponting), and most-importantly, filled the eskis with booze and ice (Trevor Hattersley). The CWA staff and Committee Members that helped in all the preparations were also an integral part of the night’s success. And, of course, Heidi herself, who taught all the big and little girls their moves and hopefully a large part of the Madang Community too! Who said CWA is boring? It’s “The Place To Be” – fun-filled events with all the profits going to worthwhile, Feel Good Charities.

Well . . . I feel as if I had been there.

Here are the kiddies doing the scarf dance:

Kids dancing

Gotta admit that Mathieu is a brave lad.

And here are the ladies getting it on over a Frangipani strewn dance floor. Hey, we’ve got it all in Madang:

The Dancing Señoras

And one more leggy shot just for fun:

More of the Dancing Señoras

Please don’t ask me why Lorraine is balancing a clock on her fingertips. I wasn’t there and she didn’t report it. It must be a Latino thing.

Adios amigos.

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Deja Vu All Over Again – 60s Night at the Madang Club

Posted in Madang Happenings, Parties on October 4th, 2008 by MadDog
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Having missed this milestone event myself due to abundant sloth (didn’t get my tickets before they were sold out), I depend on our own local Society Reporter and dive buddy Lorraine Collins to recount the festivities.

This from Lorraine Collins:

A groovy night was had by all who attended the 60 Year Celebration of the Madang Club. The theme was come dressed in 60’s attire and man did we see some outfits…! There was everything from early 1960’s dress elegance flowing on to the Mary Quant look closely followed by several hippie love dudes.

Wonderful food provided by The Madang Lodge was accompanied by some groovy tunes. Several speeches were made reminiscing the old days of the Madang Club. These brought many memories flooding back to the “Long-Termers” and was great info for the post-60’s groupies! BJ Kramer wandered down Memory Lane as did Peter Hill. Dr. John, Gim, Nancy, also put their two bobs worth in.

Prizes were given out for best dressed, with Lorraine Collins winning Best Dressed Female. The outfit comprised of a fuchsia pink and black pretend snake-skin knee length coat and black shiny trousers and no shoes (they’d actually broken apart on the way to the event!). Our British correspondent in Madang actually said that The Coat is all the vogue in London right now. Aaaaah! The high fashion of the Madang Boutiques does it again…!!! Best Dressed Male was won by Trevor Hattersley although it was hard to tell if he was actually in fancy dress…!!

Other super-cool dressed dudes were Shane McCarthy in a very flattering lime green shirt and bandana, Karl McGeorge in skin-tight orange patterned shirt (lashed out a whole 50t for it, well worth spending that extra little bit as it didn’t even burst as expected…), Julie-Anne McGeorge in matching ensemble with Californian flowers in her hair, Karen Simmons sporting a dark Mary Quant look proving brunettes REALLY do have more fun… Richard Coleman looked well cool in his black shades, black shirt, black leather jacket and imaginary Harley parked outside… As John Mackerel quipped, “Black is ALWAYS in fashion”…!

The Madang Club put on a great effort and a big thank you to the Entertainment Committee and all the groovy dudes and dudesses that helped decorate the place so tastefully. And of course, a big thank you to Madang’s Tom Cruise and his cocktail shakin’ hands, Gary McGowan. Never knew a Slippery Nipple could taste so good…

So, on to the photos.

Here are Trevor Hattersley and Karen Simmons looking as groovy as one can get in Madang:

Trevor and Karen looking groovy

Shane, Karl, and Julie-Anne look as if they’re headed for San Francisco:

Shane and friends

And, here are Tony and Lorraine keeping the faith, baby:

Tony and Lorraine keeping the faith, baby

I may only presume that the good times rolled.

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What Colour IS IT?

Posted in Under the Sea on March 23rd, 2008 by MadDog
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I love the colours that I see underwater. It is a different world. But it is not all bright garishness down there.

Like all underwater photographers, I strive to capture colours that mesmerise the viewer while conveying an approximation of what I saw with my eyes. While I want to be accurate, I also need to do what is necessary to convey a pleasing image. This means a little cheating at times.

But how does one create a truly accurate photograph of what one was actually seeing? The interactions of lens and sensor physics, depth, water quality, and computer post-processing create so many variables to deal with that it becomes a highly subjective exercise.


One thing that I’ve discovered is that the flash on the camera is my enemy. The photo above of a Moorish Idol (Zanclus comutus) was taken using only natural light. The flash was turned off. Without getting all technical, let’s just say that available light photography underwater stretches every corner of the photographic envelope. It’s not easy.

Chasing the fish, keeping it centred in the viewfinder, keeping it in focus, remembering that during all that you can’t shake the camera because you don’t have the flash to ‘freeze’ it for you . . . It all uses up a lot of air.

It’s worth it, however, because I can honestly say that the colours that you see in the photo are exactly (as near as I can remember) what I saw. It’s a new photographic adventure for me.

Here are a couple of other similar photos that I took yesterday at Planet Rock. This is an overhead shot of Richard Jones.

Richard Jones

Here’s one of Rich along with Lorraine Collins as they photograph a magnificent anemone. Note that only the brightly coloured anemone stands out. (Click any photo for a larger one.) Another thing that I like is that all the shadows are in their natural positions. Things don’t look as if they are being illuminated artificially by a source not located overhead.

Rich and Lorraine

The colours are not vibrant, but they are accurate. These were taken on a hazy day at about 25 metres. The water above was milky and greenish from the discharge of the Golgol River. Nearer the surface colours would appear brighter, but never as vivid as is seen when using an electronic flash.

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Melbourne Cup Day at CWA

Posted in CWA, Invitations, Upcomming Events on October 23rd, 2007 by MadDog
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This FROM:  Lorraine Collins

Racing Horse

It’s time to dust your hats and ties off for

Melbourne Cup Day

Get dressed up and join with friends for lunch
and laughter.

Watch the race LIVE on TV!

Date:   Tuesday 6 November
Time:  12 noon
Where:  CWA
Price:  K40 which includes a two course meal


There will be prizes for best dressed man and woman and, of course, best hat!  In addition, there will be a raffle and door prize, plus, you may like to have a flutter on the horses!

Doesn’t that sound

like a good day out?

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CWA Goes Party Crazy

Posted in CWA, Madang Happenings, Parties on October 19th, 2007 by MadDog
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This FROM: Lorraine Collins (Text by MadDog)

Aside from all the good work that they do, the ladies (and laddies) at CWA have been partying relentlessly. Recently a double dose of fun was administered to the community in the form of Scottish Night (some wanted to call it NOT Burns’ Night) and St. Patrick’s Night. Here are some pix from Lorraine:

Among the usual suspects, this mob of mongrels was snapped at the St. Patrick’s Night festivities.

St. Patrick’s Night at CWA

 No coverage of the event could be complete without a photo of Irish Dancing. Exactly what this photo has to do with Irish Dancing, I don’t know, but look at the clock – it’s not even ten yet! It seems to me to be only yet another mob scene depicting The Butterfly King (or is that The King of Butterflies? – I can never remember), the sadly departed Rob Small, surrounded by the usual flitting beauties (or is that flirting beauties). Ah, you’ve either got or you ain’t. Rob’s obviously got something.

St. Patrick’s Night at CWA - Rob Small and Butterflies

The infamous local character, MacTrevor MacHattersly got caught in drag at Scottish Night. One can only speculate why he’s smiling so broadly.

Scottish Night at CWA - Trevor Hattersley

Finally, we must pay tribute to one of the primary party-plotters. Looking like some wild heathen wandered down from the moors we have, the meri i gat namba herself, Lorraine Collins.

Scottish Night at CWA - Lorraine Collins

HELP! If anyone has a good photo of Laura Carse “Addressing the Haggis”, please send it to me so I can post it. I’ve seen it done a few times, but never better. It was a thing of beauty and a joy forever. – MadDog

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