Posted by: nativeiowan | January 30, 2018

2018 v1.030th

I sit out side of Henderson Field domestic terminal. I just checked in for my flight to Gizo. Got an hour plus before we fly.

My gandgorgeous G.G. Came to drop me off. Insisted she get dressed up (including lipstick) thinking that if she was ready she might get to travel with me.

I got lucky. She stayed. Part Munda n Isabel n Laura n Vela n Greek n German-English-Irish. She is dangerously smart, manipulative n demanding. And used to getting way. It is a flash of will when she n I are alone.

I sit out at the ” what used to be” leaf Haus. A couple Guale’ guys sit idle. They chatter in language. I unobtrusively glide In and sit.

It’s obvious the 3 snotty nosed kids climbing moving and playing belong to the big guy with the beard. The clean shaven guy with a betel red mouth alternately pays attention and dozes off. He had work boots on so I guess he works here.

A squall just came in with force.

I leave my bench And move over to the Guale’ side of the Haus.

“Runaway firstaem” I say. Everyone laughs.

I hide behind the carved post…

I have top quality rain jacket with me but this is too much fun.

It’s amazing how the rain changes the landscape. I moment ago I was going to write about the heat n humidity n fetid smells fermenting all about.

After all my years n all my scars n joy n hassles n pain, the Solos is still a magnificent place. I hit the tarmac here 37 years and 29 days ago. My 38th year associated with this sublime yet accosting land.

I just invited myself into a family gathering in a public place. The kids are dirty and each sport a spectacular “numba leven”. Remember numba leven?

But they are healthy n happy. I do hear that deep bronchial rasp that comes from living in a cook house. In fact I can smell the cook house on them.

A combination of woodsmoke boiled fish n tobacco.

The kids are fascinated yet fearful of me. I am dressed for the tropics and half my body-art is visible. I enjoy how people sneak peeks at you when you are ink’d. When in reality I am more than happy to show off n discuss my ink. I never fail to comment others’ body-art.

Rain has slacked so I wander inside. As I take my leave from the Guale’ family I say “by mi go firstaem, tangiotumas”.

I slide in, take a pew in the back.

I have a Choiseul gathering behind me. I catch a bit of the conversation. They are not talking about me, I can tell that much.

A new family moves in and sits in front of me. A beautiful blond haired lagoon baby stares seriously at me. I smile back. Her expression does not change.

Just found this…

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Posted by: nativeiowan | January 26, 2018

2018 v1.intheislands

The rain is dancing upon the earth. The horizon is very close. The sky is cloudy, opaque. Miles Davis plays as I write. Insects are biting.

I remember in my PSS days, when returning to school at the begin of every year. Thats when the weather kicked up and it rained, and rained.

I recall being in places like Gizo or Honiara or Buala when it rained and rained… and rained… and rained…

Gizo harbour blood-red with the clay-soil run off. Once in Honiara, the water running through the entry/ reception of the old Mendana hotel.

Here we see road-side gutters lined with plastics flushed from the hills. This marks how flooded the road was earlier, like high tide flotsam n jetsam…. 

I am happy to report that the LDC status of Solomon Islands is in good hands.

The roads are a mess. It takes well over an hour to travel from the airport to Honiara CBD. The stretch from SDA church, Kukum, to Central Hospital is an easy 20 minutes. Rove to CBSI is 20 minutes in the morn, and 30 minutes at 5pm.

Part of the “problem” is new road works…

The bridge over the Mataniko now offers dual, two-way, traffic…

But the roads leading either direction are so pot-holed, congested, slow and snarled that you can easily shift gears in this lil-stretch. Then gat back in line…

I kinda assume that the new bridge and the new big roundabout will eventually help. The single coastal road syndrome we are in can never be solved. Add to this the fact that a shit-load (it’s a technical term/ I can’t find the actual number) of cars, new and used, are imported to the country annually.

The roads are simply overwhelmed… 

In many ways I am perplexed by the overall volume of vehicles. There are hundreds of taxis and buses. I assume they do a booming trade, especially in the rain.

This shows the bus stop outside the Central Market place, Point Cruz. The crowd is thick. A few hundred people in all waiting for “the next bus”.

I was moving very slowly.

So why all the vehicles?

On the roads there are stacks of old carcasses that have been stripped and recycled.

As my ol buddy Willis used to say, “…there are no wrecking yards in the Solos, only a taxi fleet”.

People spend a lot of money on vehicles, road transport in general. The traffic jams attest to the overload.

One funny thing… not many scooters here. Not like Asia. In Asia, rain or shine the scooters are out. Mom, Dad, the 3 kids n the dog all out for a ride on two wheels.

I think this transport conundrum is akin to the “cell phone dilemma”…

1) We are in a Nation that is categorised as an LDC.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least_Developed_Countries.

Average income in Solos is higher than I thought… something like $1500.00USD per annum. A bit over $100.00USD per month.

2) Incomes gained are spent. There are few with savings, or investments. All income is disposable as far as I can see.

3) And much is spent on nonessential items such as phones and transport.

I am told that taxis in town charge $10.00SBD per K.

A single taxi ride can be an appreciable amount of one’s monthly income.

What do I know?

I know the domestic staff here in our gig get around $800.00SBD a fortnight.

I know the legal minimum wage is $4.00SBD (55cUS) per hour. 40 hour week = $160.00SBD gross.

I know that this is still a very cool place and I do enjoy returning.

I know that most folks I see, wave at, make eye contact with all appear happy and healthy.

I know that cities, almost all (but not all) cities suck the wazzzulie. And Honiara is not a good barometer for the country as a whole.

I know I shall be in Gizo and out sailing soon so my sense of humour will liven up.

I know that my grand-babies girls are gorgeous…
More later

Posted by: nativeiowan | January 14, 2018

2018 v1.4sundaycomingdown

Two weeks of this new year are behind us. Summer in Queensland is upon us. The start of the 2018 school year approaches. My feet are itching for some travels.

My last overseas trip was to the US in August. I have been earthbound for too long.

But Qland is a good place to be. 2018-01-12 19.03.08

Its 11am on a blistering hot Sunday. 36c / 96f with a searing sun. I am watching the National Football League playoffs between the Titans and the Patriots. Grace and Mendoza took off churchifying, Angelo is dismantling a cheap out-door shade/ gazebo affair, Kuma is panting on the verandah.

So its “back to work time”… boys back to school, me back to  travels.

What does 2018 hold… First off i need to shoot to the Solomons for a few weeks. Once I get the boys in school I will shoot to the solos, spend a week in Honiara doing bizzyness, then run to Gizo to play on ICE… ice off klbga

My ol-mate Willis recently went and did a clean up on ICE. The bottom is now clean, the systems are all checked out. I plan to go spend some time actually sailing.

ICE is a peculiar vessel. A one-off build as a luxury expedition boat for a crazed mariner/ adventurer and the love of his life. It is super well-built. When it was developed ICE was meant to sail to Antarctica and “winter”, or freeze-in. That never happened. A combination of confusions and misunderstanding led to the crazed individual falling for another, much younger gal. The fantasy of Antartica and the big-freeze fell through. And I bought ICE.

I have had it for almost 2 years and have not done much with it but keep it running. And move it from Fiji to New Cal to Gizo…

Maybe this year will be my time for some adventures onboard ICE.

The hot weather, the rain and humidity, all is goo for my garden…2018-01-12 15.20.24I never cease to marvel at the colours of mother-nature’s pallet…2018-01-12 15.20.372018-01-12 15.20.44 HDR2018-01-12 15.20.562018-01-12 15.21.00Of course, the roses are my favourites…2018-01-12 15.21.192018-01-12 15.21.272018-01-12 15.21.362018-01-12 15.21.482018-01-12 15.21.542018-01-12 15.22.012018-01-12 15.22.082018-01-12 15.22.152018-01-12 15.22.22

 

Posted by: nativeiowan | January 8, 2018

2018 v1.03moonlessnight

I sit on the verge of pool n yard and play land. Almost 8pm. It is pitch black out. The night is not noise-less, but it is quiet.

Have not looked at my various quick-picts for a while. Lets see…

It do look like fun…

2017-12-31 19.32.14

2017-12-26 17.40.46-12017-12-29 18.04.462017-12-31 19.32.572017-12-29 22.04.182017-12-31 19.33.54

Posted by: nativeiowan | January 7, 2018

2018 v1.02 Sundaycom’ndown

645pm Sunday 7 January, 2018.

The eve’s light has a soft, golden tone to it.

The air is a’buzz. The cicadas, frogs, birds, insects create a cacophony of chaos.

The grass is green, the trees in flower, the sky a tru sky-blue.

Mendozza just came back from the skatepark. He’s nowadays a committed daredevil on his scooter. He just hopped in the pool when I told him he needed a shower.

Angelo watches episode after episode of various TV series… Heros, Going Bad, Game of Thrones… he can spend days in front of the tube doing the netflix boogie.

Been a relaxed and busy last few days… Family comings and goings, parties ending, New Year’s beginning.

I have to go back to work soon.

And my new-Ink itches…nk

You may wonder where the design came from… shld

Smiles

 

 

Posted by: nativeiowan | January 2, 2018

2018 v1.01

A New Year…

I guess we survived the old one…

The past two days of fun n family and New Year’s mayhem and madness.

The previous week or so of family and Cmas and anticipation and childish anticipation.

The previous several weeks of babies and grandparents and missing mommy and wrangling two-year-olds.

Yesterday could not have been better. NY’s eve was fun but “The Party” was planned for NY’s day.

NY’s eve we had Gerhard and Tu n Ify and their kids. Of course my tribe.

The ladies had prepared some island dancing, grass skirts n all, which was great.tunify

Our copper-buddy, Adrian, was on duty but showed up for some entertainment in the form of we all got to be breathalised and some got to be hand-cuffed.

adr

Yesterday we turned the house into a tattoo parlour…

Lale was very, very keen…ttoo

Tu inked Pat, Don, Paul (twice) and me… while Ify did Connie, Lale, Pepe, Betsy, and Paul…26172400_10157112391097178_3078574686360249747_o

26198131_10157112391052178_8197540905162692105_oAllow me to say that this bit of ink- tho small- really, really, really hurt like hell…26220845_10157112391272178_5319287318530123069_o

The house woke this morning around 4am. Paul n Betsy n Don n Pepe and G.G. n Dawnie n Vera n Nova all headed home. Their flight was at 10am so they have to be on the road by 530. Grace and Connie and Mendoza went down to see them off.

After they left I slept a bit then cooked pancakes for Tu’s tribe. They pulled out by about 10am, and I went to sleep in front of the tube…

I slept through the Rose Bowl game and the Sugar Bowl game. I am told both were great games.

It is about 7pm. It has been raining and we’ve opened the house up. After the recent heat n humidity, it is pleasant, the air is clean and the insects buzz n hummm.

A lovely golden glow has settled over the yard as the day ends.

Wishing you all a very smile-filed 2018.

morre later

Posted by: nativeiowan | December 26, 2017

2017 v12.dayafter

It is the day after Christmas. 949am. Not all in this house are out of bed yet.

Yesterday was a frenetically messy day. It started with a big breakfast and presents and noise and happiness and disappointments. Teenagers tend to get disappointed when they get underwear and socks, not toys. Babies are hapi with little but little does no go very far. The broken and dysfunctional presents are strewn about… a broken neckless of bright beads, the RC flying machine that did not last through its maiden flight, the legos that were spilt and are hiding under and around furniture and stacking unwary feet.

It was fun…

We baked a mountain of meat and a pile of potatoes and a great glob of gravy… and it was all good. Connie baked pies and Joe brought alcoholic-cake. Add some whipped cream and ice cream and coffee… It was all real good.

The ladies drank wine and the guys drank beer. The kids spilt everything they tried to drink so the floor is yucky-sticky today.

I woke up kinda early and started helping Gracie clear the mess. The back of my little truck was piled high with boxes and packing and paper. The rubbish bins are pretty much overflowing. Kuma has been very well fed on left overs n turkey bones.

For somer reason I took a single picture yesterday. My phone spent most of the day on the shelf. I basically forgot to stick it in my pocket, so only one visual, but thats ok… IMG_9289 copy

Christmas 2017 is in the record books. 2017 as a whole is not long for this world.

And life is good…

More later

Posted by: nativeiowan | December 17, 2017

1027 v12. anothersundaycomingdown

Another Sunday coming down…

The music of a confused family fills the air. The boys have some shitty reggae/rap stuff playing from their devices. MEANINGLESS, repetitive DRIVVEL that only SIMPLE MINDS CAN DECIPHER.

Call me an official ol grumpy fart…

Kinda like the music listened to when I was a testosterone poisoned teenager? Doubtful… I used to play “Yes, Relayer” to drive my father nuts… I still think Yes was pretty good…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relayer

Turn that gawdamned music offff!!!!

I smile. Little changes from generation to generation.

So we have half-a-passel here.

Definition of passela large number or amount

Paul n Betsy n Grace n Angelo n Mendoza n G.G. n E.D. n Nova n Kuma n I…

Half-a-Passel. More to come. Soon.

They are in the pool as I speak. The shitty teen-tunes are too loud, as is the water-slide that bubbles n gushes. The babies squeal n yelp and the older folks talk too loud – to be heard over the music…

2017-12-17 15.14.06

It was warm day. Better to be inside where it is chilled n nice. I keep the aircon cranking so you can nap with a blanket. Now, 317pm, the family has been up since early, they stayed in all morn, they’ve all had naps then woke to a gourmet-dawg bbq I put together while all slept.

I drug them out-of-doors. And they’ve been enjoying it. I prefer to be outside.

So all fed n messy n hapi I chased all to the pool. Where they still play. Boys n babes n moms n dads.

And by the sounds of it all is well in the immediate familial universe…

Half of December is gone. twenty-three – twenty-fourths of the year has passed. It’s all but dun for 2017.

With so much confusion and family, the basic needs of the sane familial domestic are trampled upon. Last night the clan stayed up all night playing cards… so all are tired n grumpy this AM.

Grace just ran off to snatch a nap claiming more cards tonight, so needed to rest up…

Tho a born n bred player of cards, I no longer partake. I have forsaken chess, a sport I played  a minimum of a game a day for decades. I can’t recall my last game of backgammon. Damn, I learned to count playing cribbage.

A few years back, when I retired, I gave up my competitive nature. Since then the games don’t give me as much pleasure. Without that damn-mammillian competitive nature it aint as much fun. In fact it kinda becomes meaningless.

My last game of chess brought back old habits and before it was over I was in a sweat and demanding a rematch.

I decided that I no longer enjoyed that rush of competitiveness that is so deeply programmed into our DNA.

I still shoot stick. Gotta have at least one bad habit… And I very much enjoy my 12-foot snooker table… Snookeer is a grentleman’s game that requires great patience and skill.IMG_5254Snooker, to me is geometry. And with the www you can research shots and actually get pretty good. We play “call n crow”. If you don’t call your shot n make it, you cant crow. So “call n crow’.

Forgot to mention that I have not golfed in years.

Angelo just taught E.D. to go down the water-slide by herself. Not sure its a good idea, but then no one listens to me…

Reminds me of a song… “Old n In The Way”… Well worth a listen. I’d forgotten about this iconic piece of music… Thanks for the memory!

And the beat goes on… the wind-chimes giggle. the kids laugh n shout. No tears, yet, so we are doing pretty good.

My favourite Christmas pict… Kinda says it all.mcmas

And life is good.

 

Posted by: nativeiowan | December 14, 2017

2017 v12.the cool of the eve

Sitting outside the Palmwoods ranch. A cool breeze tinkles the wind chimes. Various species of birds make noise n argue n fight. The air is dominated by the shrill, childish chatter of Dawn and G.G.

I have been slow, slow, slow today.

Cooked a big feed for Gracie’s Birthday, yesterday.

Gracie’s young friend, Miriam, was going to come by and share a bottle of wine with Grace. So I whooped up a mess of Cajun Mojo pork and a Lemon Zinger cake. Both turned out pretty good. It took most of the day to do it all. Not because it is hard, but rather because I am a slow, messy cook.

As I was cooking away I gave our friend, Big G, a call and asked if he was hungry. Big G is single, and very much enjoys his home cooked meals. Its always good to ahve him around.

He was free and showed up about 6pm. We waited a bit for Miriam but eventually learned she could not make it so…

The nice bottle of red ( to go with the meal) and the nice bottle of white (to go with the cake) had one less partaker partaking,

So I had to tough-up and ensure both bottles got emptied…

I have been slow, slow, slow today. I don’t do red wine at all any more. Chateau Migraine is what I call red. And today is no exception. The bottle of good bubbly was a waste. A fun bubbly waste, but a waste non the less.

When will I ever learn????

If past experience is anything to go on… the answer is “never”.

So the sun sets. The kookaburra laughs. The little girls make too much noise.

Cajun Mojo Pork is a great dish. It starts with onions n garlic n red peppers all fried up in a roasting pan…2017-12-13 12.58.27

I do all the prep and final cooking in the same pan to get a lot of juice n drippijgs from the cook-up so its a nice, almost bbq type cosnitency with a very good Mojo flavour…

I add one-only thermal-nuclear red-bomb chili to make the whole thing dance a bit…2017-12-13 13.00.04

After the vegies all cooked I sear each pork chop in the pan…2017-12-13 13.03.40

So everything all ready in the roaster for a few hours of oven…2017-12-13 13.28.53

As the concoction cooked I did a number of different upside down cakes. Mostly to test my batter for the Zinger which required a bit of zest and lemon juice fresh from our garden…2017-12-13 14.17.52

The main part of a zinger is the syrup… about a cup of sugar and juice n zest from a few lemons. It is super sweet and super-super sour. Pretty good stuff…2017-12-13 15.28.17

A couple of the cakes… a big upside-down apple n a couple small pear and lemon cakes…2017-12-13 16.17.06

The Mojo Pork after its been melting in the pot for a while…2017-12-13 17.21.12

Took an old picture from our wedding on Moli Island, South Choiseul, and had it enlarged and framed as Gracie’s present. A very long time ago, when we were all young and beautiful…2017-12-13 13.39.12

Happy Birthday to you… G's 61st

The end of the night…2017-12-13 23.24.10

I cleaned up then (drunk as I was) wrapped Cmas presents until 2am. Very, very tired n sore n lazy all day today.

And life is good.

Posted by: nativeiowan | December 3, 2017

2017 v12.1 The Itch Fer Ink

Sunday.

Damn! 12th month of the year!

Christmas just a stone-throw away.

I went down to visit my dear friends n family, Tu and Ify, yesterday. Of course Tu is the dude who inks me. Ify is his lovely lady, who has also inked me.

Check out… https://artselemental.com/artists/

If you ever wanted to get inked, or even if you have inked, you’ll appreciate their art form. Hell, even if you do not even like ink, their art form is killer.

It was in 2010 that I decided to start an ink programme… I decided to find an ink master and chase a career in wearable art. I had a  bit of ink then. My first ink session was a PCV obligatory “gupo” in June 1981. Years later I dressed the gupo up with a couple of sessions under the gun of a Kiwi guy whose influence was Polynesian.

I figured I stay with the Polynesian theme and started looking around. I was discussing this with Tu yesterday… I recall that I eventually got in contact with a guy out of Brisbane named “Marty” who had been recommended to me.  By the time I found him Marty had moved back to NZ. He gave me an email address for Arts Elemental. “A new guy on the Coast”, according to Marty.

Look what I just found… LMTL

So it was in 2011 when I first sat under Tu’s gun.

And the itch for ink has not diminished… 2017-12-03 11.11.08

As time goes on I don’t sit the long sessions like before. I guess part of the gig in the “old days” was the travel. Was moving a lot and needed to fly in, get inked then head home. Now days I drive down, we sit n chat n catch up for a couple of hours, then do a bit of ink. Tu and I discussed it as, perhaps, just perhaps being at a stage where I have a fair amount of ink and, tho keen for more, in no hurry, anymore.

Also, I don’t take the pain as well as when I was “younger”. I think of sitting for 3-4 hours straight then a break, then another couple of hours when my back got done. I remember going into a Pain-Accepting dream. Zoning out. Going to that “space”.

Not any more. I’m good for an hour or so at a punch. Ink a bit, have a cup of tea, ink a bit more… Like I said, no longer in  a hurry.

Today I am wrangling babies… Grace went off to church and I cast a sleep-spell. I have UFC on the tube so they sleep and I watch blood sports…

GG has woke up. Dawnie is fidgeting.

Rd 1 of a killer punch fest. Alaveria v Meneria… a killer first round.

And life is good.

 

 

 

 

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