Friday, May 30, 2008

Sky Watch - How Blue the Sky Is.

You're tired.

             You ask to be carried in my arms.
Already you're in my arms.
"Do you see
           how blue the sky is?
Do you hear
           what birds are in the forest?
Well, what are you waiting for?
                                    Carry me then!"
And where shall I carry you?...

You are Great in Love - Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Am feeling very poetic today.
Go to Tom for more Poetry in the Sky.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Paddle your canoe

“Voyage upon life’s sea,

To yourself be true,

And, whatever your lot may be,

Paddle your own canoe......”

Sarah Bolton

.......or kayak!!


I’m away again for work, this time to Mt Hagen up in the Highlands of PNG, (for a week). We used to travel through there when we lived in Tabubil in the late 1990s, so am looking forward to going back.

I can now pop my posts in draft and they can be scheduled to appear on my blog while I am away – it’s like magic. I do think HWDB & Benson are a little miffed they have become redundant though.

PS The top photo needs enlarging to appreciate it - just click on it.

Thanks for popping in - see ya soon.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

PNG Flowers

No, this isn’t some sort of shrine with prayer messages hanging off it; it is rubbish caught on a rusting metal truck body near the golf course.

Rubbish in PNG is made up mainly of plastic bags – which are “affectionately” known as The Flowers of PNG because of their bright colours along the road-sides.

The government, a number of years ago, actually banned the use of non-biodegradable bags but it has never been implemented. Some companies have bio-degradable bags but the cost inhibits widespread use. Of course the bags blow into water-ways and the sea, causing injuries and death to bird and fish life.

Until someone can develop cheap bags that will break down quickly, we will continue to have our unwanted flower gardens.


I’m off again for work, this time to Mt Hagen up in the Highlands of PNG, for a week. I used to travel through here when we lived in Tabubil in the late 1990s, so am looking forward to going back.

I can now pop my posts in draft and they can be scheduled to appear on my blog while I am away – it’s like magic. I do think HWDB & Benson are a little miffed they have become redundant.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reflections & blogging friends

A quiet "reflective" spot on the local golf course, and a cemetery for golf balls.


Rainer & Erika from Germany, are blogging friends who contacted me through my blog when they were thinking of visiting Rabaul. Well here they are. It was great to meet them and this is a photo I took of them at the Bitapaka War Cemetery yesterday.

Rainer is an historian and writer, with many books under his belt, so was very keen to research our local history. We will keep in touch and I will try and do some extra research for him. They are such an interesting and friendly couple who have traveled all over the world, and can now add Rabaul to their list.

Blogging brings so many people around the world together Great stuff!!!


I'm off for work again, this time to Mt Hagen up in the Highlands of PNG, for a week. I used to travel through here when we lived in Tabubil in the late 1990s, so am looking forward to going back.

I can schedule my posts to appear on my blog while I am away – it’s like magic. I do think HWDB & Benson are a little miffed they have become redundant though.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sky Watch - Escape

The sky says, "Escape!"

......and so we do!!

Escape with Tom and his Sky Watch sailors from around the world!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Binatang bilong Neva

This binatang (beetle) was downstairs yesterday clinging onto a pot base. I immediately thought of Neva who hates bugs.

I have put a 10 toya coin beside it so you can see how huge the thing is. Benson the cat walked around it and said, "Excuse me Sir!!" before pelting upstairs out of its way!!!

Not sure what type it is, maybe Beetlebloodybiggus?? We do see them around quite a bit. I should go and google him.

Anyhow Neva but this one is for you!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mushroom Island

After all that food, it is time for a walk.

This is the island out the front of my place that you see in lots of my photos (last Friday’s Sky Watch Reflections). Chuckeroon thought it was a bush growing in the water so I decided a short walk to the island was needed to clear up the misunderstanding.

Our girls call it Mushroom Island but it is known locally as Snake Island, as there are few stripy sea snakes living there (they are harmless Neva!!!)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Looks weird but tastes good

Well I did it. I asked the gardener at school to go bush and find me some banana flowers. Ten minutes later he triumphantly appeared with two very exotic phallic-looking things. The staff , after falling about laughing (along the lines of “What is this silly white meri going to do with those??), gave me lots of instructions on how to cook them.

So I came home and my neighbour ,who comes from Malaysia, saw me with them and said, “What are you going to do with those?” She then proceeded to tell me what to do with them aka Malaysia.

Totally confused by all this, I ditched the recipe on my post and went for a combination of Tolai and Malaysian, and came up with this.

In a wok cook mustard seeds and cumin, then add the chopped flowers (Cut open the flowers and discard all the red leaves. Chop up like an onion).

Add a chopped onion and cook for a few minutes.

Add coconut cream, curry leaves (which grow in my garden, but if you can’t get fresh use dried) and chilli. Cook until soft.

When it was finished it was purple

- which worried me a little, so off I went to my neighbour who said, “No worries it will do that.” She soaks it in watered down yoghurt as soon as she cuts it to keep it white. So next time I will do that.

She tasted it, which was very brave of her, because I wasn’t game enough too, and pronounced it was good but it needed more chili – she always says that!!!

I took it to dinner at a friend’s last night and they ate it all up, said it was great.......

.....yeah well we did have quite a few bottles of wine and we were eating by candle light - it does look horrible doesn't it??

But we are all still alive this morning.......

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sky Watch Reflections

I must admit I can be quite lazy with Sky Watch. All I have to do is walk down to my front yard every day and just point and shoot. Mother Nature always puts on a wonderful show for me.

It was quite dark by the time I had finished my walk and I had taken a pile of pink/red sunset photos, but this is the one I liked best. This is looking towards Rabaul and yes most of that "cloud" is ash and you can follow it down to the volcano. The ripples were caused by me splashing my foot - I thought it would add to the photo.

Join Tom and his celestial family on Sky Watch

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Banana flower

This is where bananas come from - a tree. Don't laugh some kids in a class I once had in Australia didn't know!!!!

Bananas are a good source of carbohydrate and PNG has the world's second highest per capita consumption of bananas. Banana trees are almost as prolific here in ENB as the coconut palm. Everyone seems to have them in their garden. Buying bananas in the market is very confusing, as there are so many unfamiliar varieties. I didn't buy a banana for months until someone I knew helped me tell the difference between the eating varieties and the plantains that are the cooking varieties.

Hanging underneath this bunch is a banana flower, which are eaten in PNG.

The rounded spike is the male part of the flower and to use it you need to cut away the red petals and use the firm inner part. They are usually eaten raw and can be prepared in the "Philippine way", (I have posted a recipe on the comments page if anyone is interested).

You can also make wine from bananas but unless I was stuck on a desert island I can't imagine
I would ever be in such a desperate state of alcohol deprivation to warrant the effort. However if you are ever going on a long sea voyage in a small boat you may want to ring me before you leave.

Not able to post today as I had my usual phone line troubles. It seems better tonight so here's hoping!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yes we have planti bananas

With all my blogger friends coming to visit I will need to buy more food!!

Bananas are a meal in themselves and taste wonderful here - must be the warm sun and great views they have.

Banana leaves are used in mumu (cooking in the ground on hot stones) Here kaukau (sweet potato) is drenched in coconut milk before being wrapped in banana leaves.

I love to use banana leaves to serve food on too - looks so exotic.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Home Sweet Home!!

Lynn from Cheltenham asked me for some beach photos, and a photo of where I lived.

So here they are Lynn!!!

This is my house - behind the coconut palms.

This is my front yard.

This is a typical beach up here. Notice there isn't a Club Med in sight!!!

Life is tough but some us us have to do it!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Light through Ashen Sky Shines

The last of the afternoon sun in the west lit up the top of this cloud, and painted the water and the raindrops pink.

The dark cloud through the centre of this formation is ash streaming away from the volcano Mt Tavurvur.

Sky Watch Friday - visit Tom's blog for all the celestial members.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Still up the creek without a paddle!!!

The cliff face is beautifully textured from the rushing water,

.....which has eroded the banks,

.....and even unearthed a WWII Japanese tunnel.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

4-wheel driving up a river without a paddle.

This water course on the outskirts of Kokopo is filled with dirt and debris from flooding during the wet season. Even the bridge disappeared under metres of mud but now in the dry season the river course it is accessible by vehicle.

Imagine the power of the water that washed this massive tree, roots and all out of the ground

The water course ends a few kilometres up-stream at this wall of rock. Flood waters pouring over this would be a hell of a sight.

Sorry this is late but was unable to post before I went to work and have only just got home.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Village views

This village on the Kokoda Track is set in stunning surroundings; no need to worry about traffic noise here!!!


PS My Vietnam blog is back after the week's break.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sky Watch - alien skies

This strange coloured sky (no touching up was done) was caused by all the ash in the air - I think? The whole inside of the house was filled with an eerie orange glow - very weird!!!

Pop into Tom's and link up with Sky Watch

I flew to Lae last Saturday for work (will be back tomorrow), so will be leaving you in the confident hands of He-Who-Doesn't-Blog and Benson (the Boy Cat). Hopefully they will remember to post every other day and keep their feet off the coffee table!!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

MayTheme Day - Numbers

When your number is up in Rabaul, this man on the Rabaul/Kokopo road would be summoned with his tape measure.

Pop in and visit all the other Daily Photo Blogs and see if they can count!!!