Life – Act Two, Scene One – Labradoodles

Posted in Mixed Nuts on September 11th, 2010 by MadDog
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It would be a hideous betrayal of honour to my dear Eunie if I allowed my despair to envelop me and the many joyous and exciting things in life which we shared. One small thing in our shared experience of life which enriched us both has been, over the last three years, Madang – Ples Bilong Mi. She was and remains my most faithful reader.

Don’t get me wrong. There will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth yet to come. I’m starting a processes which is not unlike being run over by a freight train. Just when you think you’ve felt the last of it, along comes another set of wheels. I hope that I’ll feel better in a year. Asking more than that seems unreasonable.

Dying is a complicated game. Eunie’s passage was blessed by little pain and great dignity. To the end, her faith preserved her from fear. Oh, that we all could go with such style. When I tell the story to her mates, they will say, in the Australian manner, “Good on ya, Eunie!” – Job Well Done! However, it has left me behind with a huge mess. Stacks of unthinkable paperwork, often smudged by tears from me and my friends helping me grind through it.

For those of you who have gone through this before, you will understand my gruesome fascination with it. It seems simultaneously impossible to do and impossible to ignore. Life for the survivors depends on taking care of the mountainous cascade of insufferable minutia. If I did not have my friends to help me, I would fall down in a heap.

Which brings me to the title of this post. Some might think it a little early for frivolity and this is true. This is not frivolous. It’s serious business. I’ve always said to anyone who was in the least amused by what I say that life is like the most fantastic play that has ever been performed and you are the scriptwriter and star. That’s not to say that everything you write will be performed as written. The Director has something to say about that. However, by and large, we are expected to compose the script carefully while producing as much enjoyment in the audience as possible.

So, with this blank page before me, how to I begin the script for Act II, Scene I? Well let’s start with Labradoodles, some good mates and a fascinating new experience.

We have a dear friend in Brisbane who once graced Madang with her presence. She is a nurse and she was with Eunie in the last few days making sure that everything was tended to in the most careful manner.Tracey Lee raises Labradoodles. One of these gorgeous little critters is going to Laos and the other to The Philippines. I suppose that they must be in great demand:

Aside from the fact that they are ludicrously cute, they are also covered with the softest fur I have ever felt. Minks, eat your hearts out.

Here is another much missed vanished resident of Madang who took time from her own busy life to lighten my load, Amanda Watson:

While in Madang, Amanda was a keen diver and much fun out on Faded Glory.

Whenever anyone takes a decent photo of me, I like to hang onto it:

I seldom like the photos that I see of me, but this one works just fine. I’m your basic old dude who’s been through the grinder a few times and had the most of the rough edges worn off. My dear Eunie provided most of the labour to spin the wheel, sparks flying everywhere. In my mature years I have some to see that a good, smart woman finds some raw ingredients and bakes the man that she wants. The recipe varies from time to time, but women are infinitely patient in getting what they need.

There was a long time in my life when I felt fairly worthless and most people agreed with me. You would not have wanted me as a friend. Eunie baked me into the man I am today. Not such a bad guy. I’ll hold that in my heart, along with many other precious things until I draw my last breath.

Now, some may want to drop out at this point, because I’m going to show you a little tableau of tolerance. Eunie had the kind of love which we Christians call “Christlike” (duh). It’s not rocket science. It’s easy. You simply love everybody, regardless of their condition. The rationale is likewise easy to understand. It is only through love that we truly win hearts. Everybody knows that.

Here with Peter, Tracey’s partner, Amanda Watson, Carol Dover, Tracey and Richard Jones is Michelle Rose, A. K. A. Michael Charles Turnbull:

Michelle, as he prefers, saw us sitting at the open front of a little pub and stopped for a chat. As one might suspect, there has likely been no small portion of heartbreak in this life. Eunie would have sat down for a little while and talked with Michelle about that life. He would have felt loved.

So, what is the first line in Act II, Scene I of the rest of my life?

Well, it’s pretty much the same ol’ same ol’.

All you need is love.

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Water Comes Down – Water Goes Up

Posted in Guest Shots, Mixed Nuts on April 24th, 2010 by MadDog
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I have some very amusing images from two dear friends who are guest shooters today and a couple of shots of my own. I very much enjoy featuring images from friends. I hope that I’ve given enough encouragement to readers to send me images which have spoken to them. If not, I’m issuing the invitation once again. I started this as a source of eclectic amusement and information. There is much here about Madang and our lives and interests. However, our many readers have much to contribute also. The more participation that we have, the more interesting Madang – Ples Bilong Mi  will become.

Our first shot today comes from our Hamilton, Ontario friend, Ron Barrons. Ron said that his wife treated him to a visit to Niagara Falls recently. One can only speculate what prompted that generosity. Anyway, Ron captured this stunning image of the falls through the window of their hotel room:Now, I don’t want to take anything away from the beauty of this picture. Great job, Ron. Makes me drool. However, I’m picturing Brenda’s face as Ron fiddles with his tripod and his f-stops and his shutter speed while she re-thinks the whole idea. Ron, I can only pray that you did not ask her to carry your tripod. Women hate  that! There’s an old photographers’ joke that goes like this:  A life-long English amateur photographer dies. At his funeral his wife is overheard to say, “Ah, well, it’s a pity he’s gone, but at least I don’t have to carry his bloody tripod any more.”

Here’s a lovely shot from the lovely Tracey Lee. It’s a waterspout shot at Honiara in 2006:There’s some pretty furious action there at the base. We had another waterspout from Trevor Hattersley just the other day. Nice one, Tracey!

And, now that we’ve disposed of the title of this post, we’ll move on to this crisp shot of Old Fort Niagara again by Ron Barrons:Fort Niagara is the oldest surviving building in the Great Lakes area, having been erected in 1726. It is also the oldest continuously occupied military site in North America. This looks like a long telephoto shot to me. I got images of parts of the fort area from the same spot with my Olympus SP-590UZ the last time I was up there. I nearly froze my bum off.

This morning the southern sky was wonderfully back lighting Kar Kar Island.  I had to get up on the top of the roof of my truck to get this shot. It would have been better from the top of my house, but I was to wobbly at that time of the morning for ladders:Whenever there is a lot of news about volcanoes, such as the current fracas in Iceland, we all cast wary eyes toward Kar Kar Island. It’s listed as one of the most potentially dangerous volcanoes in the world and it by no means dormant. It rumbles and smoked regularly. There was a recent report that it has erupted, but that turned out to be a false alarm.

Last for today, but my no means least, are the Two Eunice Messersmiths:The larger model on the left is my gorgeous wife. The little one in the middle is also Eunice Messersmith. Her mom, Maureen, was raised in our house by her mom, Juli who has been our haus meri  and general manager of the house for over twenty years. Juli is sort of like a daughter to us, so Little Eunice Messersmith is like a great-granddaughter. Juli came into the office to show us Little Eunice’s birth certificate, a document which few Papua New Guineans even possess. It says right there that her name is Eunice Messersmith. Go figure!

I like her very stylish pink shades. She’s gonna be trouble!

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The Blueblood Mob Bids Farewell To Tracey

Posted in Madang Happenings on March 16th, 2009 by MadDog
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A small mob of dedicated enthusiasts showed up at Blueblood on Sunday to bid farewell to Tracey Lee. Though she is notoriously camera-shy, I managed to get this “Fine Wine” shot of her:

Tracey Lee
The label reads “Winery of the Year.”  Here is Tracey Lee and Carol Dover at Planet Rock:
Tracey Lee and Carol Dover
Another day, another dive. Here is Tracey leading the way:
Tracey Lee and dive buddies - Tracey leads the way
Fun in the sun, warm silky water, and a little vino are all it takes to make this mob happy. It’s Tracey, Eunie, Trevor, Karen, Mike, and Carol:
Tracey, Eunie, Trevor, Karen, Mike, and Carol
The “Floating Bar” is a nice touch.

Tracey is handy with a camera, so I asked her to take some shots of me. She got it right on this one:

MadDog by Tracey Lee

I like to Photoshop myself to disguise my age. Here the Poster Edges filter makes it difficult to see that I am actually the “Thousand Year-Old Man”.

I am going to miss Tracey. She is a reliable and steady-headed dive buddy, a friend that one can count on, and invaluable at a party.

Auf Wiedersehen, mein Schatz. At least until the next time.

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