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12 August 2016


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Arthur Williams

I recently received a sad call from Kavieng about a good old friend dying. Along with 10 others he had been part of Lokal Environmen Faundesen -LEF – that we started in 1990 to try and stop the loggers spoiling the remains of Lavongai's rainforests.

SABL legislation eventually saw 80% of the island lost for two or three generations to its people.

He was an ex-school teacher who lived on one of the Tsoi island chain that skirts the north of the bigger island. He lived out his environmental lifestyle by even designating part of the foreshore near his beautifully sited home as a sea grass reserve.

Distance is a bastard when a friend dies, but I managed to show a little of my respect to his wife by getting a few bags of rice or other food for the burial feast.

As Phil said it was yet another reminder of time passing for us old fellows.

Only this morning there was one of those 'come-on' storyline ads on Yahoo home page entitled, 'Why Time Feels Like It Passes Quicker as You Get Older' written by Thorin Klosowski.

As often is the case rather than the article itself I enjoyed more some of the comments on it.

One suggested a reason: 'Try to remember what happened to you every day last week. Chances are that nothing extraordinary happened, so you will be hard-pressed to recall the specific things you did on Monday, Tuesday, etc.'

Yet another: 'compare off road to highway driving: off road driving is going to be hard going as you forge a new trail - it slows you down; on the highway, it's a smooth easy trip over a well established route - a quick and easy ride.'

People say or at least their eyes cannot hide their thoughts that I never cease talking about PNG and life there. It's true and perhaps I make it worse by reading both daily newspapers Mon-Fri along with not to be missed Ex-Kiap and PNG Attitude.

Why not? A least I can relate to many things I read there than here because I feel I don't really belong in Cardiff. Yet I can appreciate my long-suffering friends attitudes as well as knowing they now know PNG is not in central Africa or northern South America.

I do get out and even have physical moments as I help a very old friend with his 25 year old charity Support for Romania. One way or another our team mostly manhandles several tonnes of assorted items every month. No gym fees for us oldies.

The work is an eye opener of the differences between Wales and PNG. It reflects the throwaway nature of British society.

I could load a full sized container from the assorted goods that are donated to us and my Lavongai family and friends would empty it in minutes to make use every item in it for years; well perhaps not the expensive fur coats – though might make good padding for a mattress.

So life goes routinely by at an apparent fast pace- it is nearing end of summer; even frost last weekend in Scottish glens and then downhill to Xmas.

But as another blogger wrote: ' Enjoy the moment while you can, one day it will just be another memory' for me to add to my other 2½ billion seconds of experiences.

Sun comes up and the sun goes down.
The hands on the clock keep goin' around.
I just get up an' it's time to lay down.
Life gets teejus, don't it?

My shoe's untied but I don't really care.
I ain't a-figurin' on goin' nowhere.
I'd have to wash an' comb my hair.
That's just wasted effort.

Water in the well's gettin' lower an' lower.
Can't take a bath for six months or more
But I've heard it said, and it's true I'm sure,
That too much bathin'll weaken' you.

I open the door an' the flies swarm in.
I shut the door an' I'm sweatin' again.
I move too fast an' I crack my shin.
Just one durn thing after t'other.

My old brown mule, he must be sick.
I jabbed him in the rump with a pin on a stick.
He humped his back, but he wouldn't kick.
There's somethin' cockeyed somewhere.

There's a mouse a-chawin' on the pantry door.
He's been at it for at least a month or more.
When he gets through there he's sure goin' to be sore.
[Chuckles] There ain't a durn thing in there.

Hound dog howlin', he's so folorn.
Laziest dog that ever was born.
He's howlin' 'cause he's a-sittin' on a thorn —
Just too tired to move over.

Tin roof leaks an' the chimney leans.
There's a hole in the seat of my ol' blue jeans.
An' I've et the last of them pork an' beans.
Jus' can't depend on nuthin'.

Cow's gone dry an' the hens won't lay.
Fish quit bitin' last Saturday.
Troubles pile up, day by day —
Now I'm gettin' dandruff.

Grief an' misery, pains an' woes.
Debts an' taxes, an' so it goes.
And I think I'm gettin' a cold in the nose …
A-choo! Ah, life gets tasteless, don't it?

Peter Lind Hayes -1948

Daniel Kumbon

Phil, your youthful smile makes me highlight this quote: "You don't stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing" - George Bernard Shaw

William Dunlop


`Robin Lillicrapp

Well said.

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