Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dinner Party

Dinner Party and BD Party
Last weekend we went to Vavau Beach for Saturday nite of constant rain - woke to morning to brilliant sunshine - swam, snorkeled, lots of U/W video (first dive – washing machine on full tide – second, fogged lens – third, cotton wool on the housing lens – YOU learn by your mistakes in LIFE), invited to 12th Birthday lunch - met lots of people(50) who are interconnected with people we know - excellent day on the beach, rained from 11.30am, no one cared it was still 30c, water 28c.
The week sped by and on Wednesday I hired a Tuson wagon and went to the south coast at Sinalei on the full moon/solstice low tide but with huge seas running. The pass was a turmoil of raging water coming from the lagoon to the ocean – NOT the place to snorkel. Where there should have been dry was a half meter of water going at 6 knots. So I packed up and went back to Apia and the Palolo Deep where the .16 meter low tide had the reef exposed on two sides. All the fish were in the deep and I had to separate them to snorkel and shot some excellent video – saw my first black tip shark albeit a 1 meter specimen – I don’t have to exaggerate as the video tells the story. Tried to push him into the wall but he had a keen sense of survival and exited stage right with a flick of his tail and is just a blur on the 40 inch LCD.

Hash on Monday night saw me in a tizz as I couldn’t find my old faithful runners, so the new (2yrs old) New Balance had to be worn and the pic tells the whole story.
Comments from my Facebook page follow :

Nice shoe ...... hope you took out the inner sole .....

Sorry R-- it is against the rules to remove the inner sole - toe jam and all you drink the Vailima, just one full shoe. I have misplaced my old scungy runners and so wore my New Balance - a tasty choice with just a hint of foot odour.
I was a bit worried about the S of O match - it's 5.21am and I just checked the score - Maroons AGAIN !!!!!! Roosters in full crow - they start at the bottom of the valley and then they all crow together - dozens of them. Beautiful morning - windy and 27c - waiting for dawn. Myself and an engineering officer from the US Navy at hash. excellent night.
Facebook comments:
wheres your tan ????

I do look a bit pale against the CPO, local palangi's avoid the sun here, only tourists have tans. Anyway it's been raining for weeks, dry wet and a damp dry - typical. Ran out of water last night as I don't fill the tank in heavy rain because of the muddy water in the pipes.
HASH was a sendoff for Crown of Thorns our wonderful Whale Researcher, so it was a bit special with lots of competitions (I didn’t qualify for the kissing comp) and give-away’s – I got pink fur lined handcuffs (anyone into bondage) apparently for some in digression in the dimm past.

Away from Hash - Another FB entry :
Yummy Flame Snapper for dinner tonight, cooked in the Webber with string beans and avocado dressing. Went to the Fish Market at 6am and waited till 6.45am for a right size fish. Think I over-paid at 30 tala, home cleaned and scaled it, cooked in lime slices wrapped in foil. Such is life in the tropics.

THE Dinner Party
We had our first dinner party on Friday evening with 7 guests – I cooked my FIRST quiche and it was vegetarian, found our nine plates and one platter for cheese biscuits peanuts and pineapple– went to Giodarnos for 3 Pizzas and 3 Tropical salads, 10 Roti breads from the Curry House, some prawn rolls(From a friend) and Dinner was served. Washed down with a couple of wine packs (they were left over’s from a sendoff), some Vailima and for desert friends brought a cheese cake and someone else - homemade chocolate icecream. WAS IT GOOD !!!!!!! YUMBO
Unfortunately I tried to show my prowess at a Balance test on the Wii Fit program – failed dismally ( I was 8 years older and my previous was 18 years younger) and blamed it on the wine and SC.
The Wii got a workout and a 14 year old got to the end of Quantum of Solace with ammunition to spare - all on his first try – I go down in the first garden.
On Saturday evening there was a triple Birthday Party and we took over a whole restaurant for an excellent evening. Unfortunately F was not feeling well so I sallied forth alone for a great evening.
From the Pacific and Samoa

Sorry for the jumbled list - blogger is having some problems and I can't see the pics only code.
With USN Ensign at Hash

My rendition of the blowholes on Savaii ( F in pink - Matai in blue)

Beaked Leatherjacket rendition

Shoe drinking - mild toejam aroma

With Ring Ring at Hash

Mr Whippy on the trail

COT and Godfather (winner of the over 40's hair competition)

Masi Masi on the cutting board

Flame Snapper in the market

Flame Snapper in the kitchen

R and R(her birthday)

At the jibe mark

At the jibe mark last Saturday

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The meaning of Life - Part 2

Back from AUS – Life is run at a hectic pace.

I want my hammock hung from two trees and just to relax, watch the day go by at a leisurely pace.
But life is not like that – life has been a race the last few weeks. First it was getting everything ready to go to AUS, people to farewell who were leaving permanently, things to buy from the closing down sale, lists to compile for shopping back in AUS, lists for friends, cleaning and running the fridge/freezer down in case of major calamity (friends had their refrigerator turned off by tradesmen and came back to mould hell after several weeks away).
We survived the OFF island experience and caught up with lots of friends and relies. I was able to complete most of my “to do” lists. The body has had a complete overhaul and has been prodded and poked and I even caught a couple of waves before the “Low” weather pattern decided to turn the surf into a foam zone and flood bits of S-E QLD and northern NSW. We are grateful that we decided to not go up to Fraser Island for the second week, instead we stayed at Coolum, had a day at Australia Zoo (aka Crikey – Crocodile Hunter) and had a night up the range at Toowoomba before the last weekend in Brisbane.
It was good to catch up with my swim group the “79ers” at Coolum Beach.
We flew back with suitcases overweight, duty free bags hanging off out arms and backpacks bulging to a bedroom of mould. I dumped the bedding and stripped the spare for a better nights sleep. So it has been washing everything in sight and cleaning mould in the kitchen, and it was only 18 days away. Apparently it was a wet 18 days in Samoa.
This weekend is Independence Day celebrations with lots happening and Fautasi races on Monday (Rowed longboats).
That was as far as I got by Thursday evening when F gave the “Mr C” email from my doctor. SEE previous post.
It was a gut wrenching time back in Aus – the waiting was the worst. The end result is that I’m going back the end of July for a specialist appointment. Most probably have Monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS) which is the precurser to MM. Chances of moving to MM vary, statistics include lots of old people who die of some thing else and skew the results, so that they look good, as low as one percent per year, others quote as high as 10%. At least it explains all the illness I have experienced lately – the immune system is non-existent and will never repair even minor scrapes. I just have to extremely vigilant around sick people.
On a lighter note I got to go to the American Impression and Realism exhibition and the Caravan and Camping Show. I enjoyed both – the art was not “ball tearing” but I picked the best of each room and then started again – the best of the best. Two hours to the exit. I didn’t buy any posters which is unusual, the full catalogue was too heavy. After finally trying to get in to see my selected specialist on his last day for a month, I found a net connection and bought a ticket home and made the check-in with 5 minutes to spare. Bne-Syd-Apia. Got a row to myself and a lap extension for a 2 hour sleep. F was waiting for me at arrivals and somehow I was first thru customs after being the last off the plane. I had a lot of bags and bundles to juggle – typical Samoan.
I got Art Group organised, did loads of washing and washed the floors for the children tomorrow. Now have 7 framed digital canvas prints to hang – YAHOO.
That’s about it from the Pacific – weather 25c Still – beautiful night
If the pics appear(they are text at the moment) - the old hag is called "The Visitation" and was the door keeper in the old Art Gallery. As a child we went the gallery so the older boys could check out the nudes, but this old girl frightened the "little Richard" of the group. She gave me the willies !!! This was about 1959 and I was 7. The museum was next door and we played in the old WWI German tank, it was a lot more fun, I was't interested in nude women - until later in life.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Life's Meaning

Sorry that I haven't posted in the last month. We had two weeks at Coolum Beach though F worked the first week and we veged the second, returned to Samoa loaded with things, lots of chocolate to a house of mould and crashing laptop. Lots of washing and cleaning, bought a USB keyboard to get it running. Had a great week(sang and danced to the Blues Brothers DVD at Art Group)until Thursday evening and the email you never want from your doctor. The following is from my Facebook post -

The question at the top of the text box is " What's on your mind?" In the last week I have gone through a rollacoaster of emotions and feelings after being told that my latest blood and urine tests showed some abnormalities, makes you pretty small in the scheme of things and you ask the question WHY ME?

You can also ask the question why not ME!!!

After finally talking to my AUS GP I flew back to AUS at 6 hours notice for a bone marrow biopsy followed by a Nuclear bone scan, preliminary results are encouraging - "I am NOT in denial". I may have Multiple Myeloma or a hopefully a precursor to it, I'll take the precursor. More results from the bone marrow will come in over the next 3 weeks. I'll post results as they become available. May the Force be with you. Ri

I have just checked the HASH blog (, one of our GM's daughter's died this week from a vehicle accident, what a lovely beautiful girl taken from us in Samoa,

rest in peace Desirable.

I am still in AUS waiting, hope to be home by next weekend.