Before the quiet, peaceful moments before dawn, after a warning to the huge crowd who attended the Anzac Day dawn service in Southport, the sickening sound of gunshots and bombs echoed across the calm waters of the Broadwater on the Gold Coast in a mock battle to pay tribute to and remember those who served.
This is a Harlequin Stink Bug I snapped on a leaf over the road from where I live on the Gold Coast. I wish I had a Nikon macro lens with me at the time. At times, when the bugs are hassled, they let rip with some type of gas they can stay on you until you have a bath. Real bad small. I escaped. Queensland, Australia.
A ROMANTIC INTERLUDE I overheard in the jungle in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia:
“I’ll never forget the day I saw you swinging through the jungle in your leopard-skin speedos. Oh, you looked so manly.”
“Ah yes, I remember. On that very day I was chasing after Tarzan. I wanted to be his side-kick, so I had to get rid of Cheeta.”
“And when you gave me that bunch of bananas I fell in love.”
“A lovely memory. How about we swing into town and have dinner at a fancy restaurant to celebrate our wedding anniversary.”
“Oh my darling, that would be wonderful. I’m in the mood for satays with lashings of peanut sauce and a couple of banana fritters.”
“Just for a change, I might have the steak, egg and chips.”
“Do we need to wear our Sunday best?”
“Certainly not – it wouldn’t be a wise move for any manager to kick anyone out who wears an expensive fur coat.”
Met this lovely man on Sanur beach in Bali, Indonesia, just before sunrise. We had a quick chat. I noticed his body was gaunt, his voice was slow, low and wavering.
Me: “And how are you on such a wonderful day?”
Man: “I’m doing okay…but to tell the truth I’m not doing good.”
Me: “Sorry to hear that. You may get better during the day.”
Man: “No I won’t…I have skin cancer…the worst kind.”
Me: “I’m sorry. That’s a bastard. Is there anything I can do for you?”
Man: “I’ll be fine, thanks. there’s nothing anyone can do.”
Me: “Do you come to the beach every day?”
Man: “When I feel okay…but I’m only here before the sun rises.”
Later, off he goes down to the beach, kneels in the clear cool water and meditates for a while. Then he dips his face in the water for a few moments, lifts it to take a long deep breath, and does it again. He must have done that 12 or 14 times. Then he slowly walked from the water, stood firmly in the sand for about 30 minutes and meditated slowly moving his arms. His actions were purposeful and precise. When he finished we bid our farewells and he was gone. A real nice decent bloke, but very sad.
In Lembongan Island just off Bali, Indonesia, while having a quiet beer and some lunch at magic Mushroom Bay, I cast my eyes to the sky and noticed there was a storm brewing. It was then that I knew I was looking a cloud profile of someone I had seen before. Deep in thought, on the 30 minutes boat trip back to Sanur, I still can’t make up my mind who it is. Hooray, please tell me who it is.