Twelve Months

Yesterday marked 12 months since She passed from this physical earth.

It’s been the longest, hardest twelve months I’ve ever been through. I wish I could say I’ve healed, but to be brutally honest with myself. I really haven’t healed that much. All I’ve really done is mask the hurt, or hidden from it. I want to be better. I want to be OK. I want to be able to think back with fond memories and not cry for Her.

I can’t. The only way I cope is to block Her from my heart and mind. I block Her beautiful children and Her most special, gifted grand-daughter from my mind and I hide away somewhere in a fantasy where She doesn’t exist. That way I don’t have to go through that pain. It’s an extremely selfish way to live, but if I don’t do it that way, I know I will slowly die from grief.

I need to live. I need to give Love. I can’t grieve and give Love at the same time. At least, that’s how I think I feel. I mean, I have been really happy for some time now, but that’s because I haven’t allowed myself to think of Her, or my past life before that August day last year. When I do, I fall again. And I don’t want to be in that dark place anymore. I want to live and Love again.

I’ve been told it takes a long long time to ‘get over’ something like this. I guess I’ve been trying to rush the process. I’m just all fucked up and trying desperately to not be. I don’t know anything really.

Busy Busy Busy

http://wp.me/p2gxwt-3c

I am alive. Just busy keeping busy.

Five Months Pt 2

These photos were taken between August and October 2011…and I cry…I can’t help it.

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Our first week back in Cooktown. Kieth & Sal from the Sovereign Resort put us up for a week.

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Just before She shaved My head 🙂

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Two of our dear friends showed us the North end track into Walker Bay beach. For those of you used to urban beaches, this spot is 4wd only, you rarely see anyone else, and the beach itself is 30 metres away from this naturally grassy spot. Thickets of beach shrubs & sheoaks break up the breeze. A beautiful place.

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Tinas Nom Nom Paw-Paw (papaya). Beautiful sweet & juicy, tree ripened. You haven’t tasted pawpaw until you’ve eaten it this fresh.

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Being a tourist.

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My baby never was comfortable in front of a camera. She tolerated my requests on rare occasions. I should have kept taking photos of Her, but it was one thing that seriously annoyed her. We didn’t do things that annoyed each other. We could feel each others emotions so acutely that it felt normal being inside each others heads.

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“Don’t take photo of my fat belly.”
“I’m not! I’m taking a picture of Floyd.”
“Sure :)”.

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Tinas foot & Floyd.

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These two photos were taken on the eighth of September 2011. We went back to see Trevathan falls, because last time, there was so much water coming down those falls that we couldn’t get anywhere near them. Imagine at least five metres of water over Tina’s head and roaring through this little gorge.

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That afternoon, back at the camp. On the site of an old tin mine.

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Back home in Cooktown a day later. Going blonde. She found this wig in the ‘lair’. No, She did not wear it outside :).

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“See? They opened my head up from here, right through to here!”
A series of photos Tina wanted for herself, because She couldn’t see Her kick-arse scar :).

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14 September 2011. Snoozing after a short walk. Her energy levels weren’t huge anymore. Well compared to ‘before’. Tina preferred to watch the dogs & us, and the eagles & the beach.
I remember when Tina was leaving Rocky for Cooktown around February 2011. She told me, “I’m going to soak up my children (and her granddaughter-they were all ‘Her’ children).” I would see her staring at them individually, looking at them from every angle. Burning their images into  Her mind.

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27th of September 2011. The side effects of the anti-brain swelling medication was an extreme increase in appetite. Tina went from 58kg in early August, to about 75kg in this pic. I think Her friends up here at some stage thought She must have been getting better. After all, people generally think of cancer as a wasting disease. We generally associate cancer with images of pale, bald, underweight chemotherapy recipients, not fast weight gain.
Brain cancer is insidiously sneaky. This photo was taken not long before Her second series of seizures. It is also the last photo I have of Her on my phone.

I also keep these two close. One was taken some time ago. The other, my daughter took not long after Tina recovered post op.

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I love you my Phoenix. Fly baby.

Five Months

Before we go on … The ‘Cure For Life’ foundation is an organisation that is devoted to finding a cure for brain cancer/tumors. I haven’t looked yet, but their site is
http://cureforlife.org.au
I’ll be having a good look and may offer input about a combinination of Soursop, Paw-Paw and cannabis oil. All three plants’ fruits have been shown to have ‘Cancer killing’ properties in lab and animal testing. Put quite simply, different compounds in all three plants induce death in cancerous cells, without damaging healthy cells. When will human trials be approved? We are talking about three relatively easy to procure or grow, plants. Two are completely legal in every way. Why aren’t clinical trials being conducted now?
Julia Gillard. You could make change. But I seriously doubt you’ll *ever* read this post. You’re a very busy person.
OK. Enough frustraton.

*This was the original post, before I added the above*
It has been Five months now since my Baby flew with the eagles. I thought I’d put some pics up here today (which was Wednesday). They’ve been up before. Some of them at least. Maybe some of you might like them. Eight months of photos of my sweetheart. We really didn’t like having our photos taken, so consider these rarities. Photos taken between March and October 2011.

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On the 13 March 2012 at the Barron River rest stop, just East of Mareeba. This was when Jimmy blew a gasket & Phil came to our rescue. He helped us out with some cash & we got Jimmy running again. We spent a week here if I recall correctly.

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On the 21st of March, we got down to the Little Annan crossing for a look. Tina made a cairn in honour of the kids. She left many of these in random places.

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22nd of March, on Grassy Hill Cooktown. She was so happy to be here. She beamed. Couldn’t get the smile off Her face.

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In April, Tina got her first ‘commissioned’ art job. Painting the croc at Pam’s Place in Cooktown. Croc gets decorated for special days, a trend Tina started with Easter, then Mothers Day (with Marys sewing skills assisting).
On Australia Day 2012, Scott and Ahdee from Pams Place decorating Croc with flags and stuff.

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Walking on Finch Bay beach. Looking for pretty things 🙂

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Remember the ‘Planking’ controversy? We staged our own little protest. This was Tinas effort. Pretty brave to plank a Croc.

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At ‘The Top Pub’ on the 27th of May 2011. With a bunch of the banana workers, & Mary our Estonian pseudo-daughter, with Tina at the end of the table.

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On the same night with Thomas Lakefield. He was the third person we met in Cooktown. A gentleman.

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The next day we headed for Cedar Bay. Tina was checking the depth of Gap Creek, plus checking for big rocks. The clear water was very deceptive. That rock base was rough.

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On the way out of Cedar Bay, we took a photo of this old boat wreck.

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30th of June 2011. At our home, with Andre, ‘Legend of the North’. This is the last photo on my phone of Tina before our world collapsed.

And then…our Sister Kathy, & the kids, have a heap of photos of Tina in Townsville. This phone had mysteriously died while we were there. Here are some photos of photos.

In a lot of these, Tina was mucking around with Her kids. You need to realise that these were taken about a week after the operation. The first ones were taken about three days after the op. Tina recovered amazingly well, even surprising the surgeons.

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With me

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With lil sister Tracy

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Tina, Her brother Paul, Tracy, and Her big sister Kathy.

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Tina and Her youngest daughter, Loren.

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Her big brother Mark, with Loren and Lillian, my youngest.

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Kathy and Tina after they shaved their heads.

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Tina and her photo window. She had the most loving, bright bedspace in the hospital.

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Tina and Her Boy, Alex.

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Playing ‘Face-Off’ in the lift.

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This was Her, “I’m brain damaged’ look to scare hospital visitors 🙂 .

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It’s sideways, but this is a little more ‘normal’.

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Tina & I. “More photos? Aaaw but…”

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Tina & Loren again.

I don’t have any pics of Sarah or Vicki, or Ella with Tina 😦

I think that’s enough photos for one post. I’ll pop some more up in another post sometime. From when we came back to Cooktown.

I hope you get a smile from some of these photos.

Laura and Quinkan Country

Perhaps I was a little misleading (or hasty), or confused when I said I’d put The Greenbus on hold.
What I should have said is, “There will be no more sad here. Only the fun stuff the ‘we’ would have been still exploring and posting about together.” It will be a nice place 🙂
Brad’s Blog will take the weight off this place.

And so…

Tina had a deep love and respect for, and a keen interest in Aboriginal culture and history. Her art was influenced by the mysteries of The Dreaming. One of her favourite non-fiction references was ‘The Archeology of The Dreamtime which compares Dreamtime stories of different country with the archeological evidence of the past. This review give a good overview of the theories put forward.
One of the many areas on our ‘To Do’ list, was to spend some time in Quinkan country.

Laura, the commercial hub of the Quinkan country is only 140km (87m) from Cooktown. For a village with a population of roughly 120 people, Laura contains, and as a community, protects over 30 thousand years of Traditional history, and some 140 years of European settlement.
Laura township was an important link in the Gold trail back in the 1800’s, but more importantly, the country has been a part of the Ang-Gnarra peoples’ culture for thousands of years, and is one of the top ten most culturally significant rock art sites in the world.
Laura also plays host to one of the longest running indigenous festivals in Australia. The Laura Dance Festival is held at the Ang-Gnarra festival grounds, about 15 kilometres from Laura. Every two years, community members and dance troupes from as far away as Woorabinda gather in a celebration and education of dance, culture & history. The festival is also world famous, and attracts tourists from all over the planet.
I’ll give you a list of easy links to more information about Quinkan Country at the end of this post.
Last week, I had the chance to absorb just a miniscule sample of this history. As the year progresses, I will spend more time up in Ang-Gnarra country. For now, here is a small sample of this areas history and beauty.
*Note:* In respect of Ang-Gnarra Aboriginal Corporation, no images of rock art galleries were taken. In future visits, I will ask if I can capture some images for you. In the meantime, the links below have many authorised images of the galleries.

Images around Laura:

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If you head to Laura anytime after this years dry season, you’ll be crossing this bridge on the Peninsula Development Road over the Laura River. This bridge, and a couple of kilometres of dirt are all that is left of the road works between Lakeland and Laura. The original wooden crossing of which I promise a photo of soon,
*EDIT*: Borrowed from an ABC journo’s blog. A future edit will provide links.
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is very, very old & is impassable for most of the wet season. It regularly has metres of water over it.

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The T-junction at Laura. Turn left for Cooktown & South. Turn right to head ‘Up The Cape’.

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All that remains of the old Laura railway station. If you’re into railway history, the Cooktown to Laura line is worth researching.

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Once located at a Police outstation some 24km from Laura, this tiny ‘lock-up’ is now on display at the Laura memorial park. Part of the display reads, ‘…18 natives were once locked in here together…’

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This steam tractor was transported by rail to Laura, intended for use on the goldfields. Upon unloading, it was found to have a broken front axle and was left in town to decay.

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The heath country near the ‘Split Rock’ art site. At this time of year, many native shrubs are flowering.

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An assortment of colour on a rainy afternoon.

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Some of the wild features of this Quinkan Country.

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Allow Me To Expose Myself

Allow Me To Expose MyselfThere are no rude bits. I promise..

I Did Write in the About Page.

On my new blog. There is a ugly pikcha too: http://invivarum.Wordpress.com

A Change of Venue

Hi gang
First up, it’s been just over 12 months since Tina and I left Rockhampton. We left, if I recall correctly, on the 2nd of March 2011. We had big ideas on what we were going to do with the rest of our lives when we started our journey. Go back to the start of this blog & you’ll get an idea of what we had planned.
As most of you know, things didn’t happen the way we thought they would. In fact the past 12 months have felt like a lifetime. A lifetime of joy, and a lifetime of heart wrenching sorrow. It has also been just over four months since I lost my best friend to cancer.

I’ve made a decision about The Green Bus. I’m going to leave this blog as it is for now. No more new posts for a while. This was Tina’s baby. She had planned for it to be a showcase of what every day people were doing around Australia in terms of self-sufficiency & renewable energy. It was never really meant to be what it has become, a record of loss & sorrow, and random travelogues from me. So for now (things may change in the future), The Green Bus shall be parked up like Jimmy the four wheel drive.
I am starting something new, called ‘InVivamus’. In Vivamus is latin for, ‘The Gypsy’. I may at times cross-post, or I may even export some posts from here to there. The Green Bus will stay though. It is Hers & and I still need to go back and read those early posts of Tina’s.
She was a woman with strong views about the sustainability of this planet, & besides her art, this is one of those things that shows what a beautiful soul She was.

You won’t find anything on http://invivamus.wordpress.com just yet. I’ll let you know here and on Twitter & Facebook when it’s ready. I’m a really experienced procrastinator, so don’t expect anything for a few days.

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You

I don’t want anything. I don’t want a DSLR. I don’t want a laptop. I don’t want another car. I don’t want any fucking thing. I want you back. I want to see you smile. Hear you laugh. I want smell your scent. I want to hold while we drift off to sleep. I want to sit with you at sunrise. I want to watch you paint. Or weave vines. I want to watch you as you walk the beach, throwing a stick for Jack. I want to see that look you used to get when you were surrounded by your children. It was a different look. I want hear you say “Hi Bloss” to your grand-daughter again. I want to hear your voice. I want to feel your touch.
Remember how we discussed who should go first (when we were 90 something)? Well, you weren’t supposed to go. You’re stronger than me. You were supposed to deal with this. But you know. I’m glad it wasn’t me because I couldn’t stand to see you feel the way I do. Remember when He took Loren from you? This feels worse. Remember when we found Mum? This is worse.
Remember when we talked about those horrible, horrible things that happened to both of us as kids? This is far worse.
The worst part though, is that I don’t think this physical hurt will stop. I try to think of all the good/fun things we shared as people keep reminding me to do, because that is supposed to ease the pain. But it always comes back to the cold truth and hurting, because you’re not here to share those beautiful memories with.
I will always love you. I will always miss you. You will always be inside my heart and soul.
I wish you were here my beautiful lady. I miss your love, your beauty & your honesty, and I really need you because I’m not very strong without you. I’m not much of anything without you really.

I love you Tina. I hope I made you as happy as you did me, and I wish I could have made you healthy again.

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Touring Around a bit

Hey all
I had the chance to revisit a bit more of my old tramping/walkabout ground yesterday. I had to run a 22 seat Toyota Coaster bus down to Cape Tribulation via the ‘Bloomfield Track’. Once there, I was to swap over into a 9 seat Commuter & bring it back to Cooktown.
Now, back in 1984, after the protests failed & the road was dozed through, I vowed never to drive on it. I would walk it, but as my own personal, weird, damned hippy way, I wasn’t gunna drive it.
Well, now that I’ve broken my personal vow, I have to say that it is a pretty interesting drive.
I must relate a little anecdote. I had 7 passengers. The first was in Cookie. An older lady. Before I got to say good morning, she asked, “Can you tell me why I was told to be here by 06:45 because the bus departs at 7 am & it is now 07:20?”
I replied politely, “I have no idea ma’am. Perhaps there was a miscommunication between myself & the office.”
“I shall find out when I get home” she replied.
Anyway, we headed off to Ayton & Wujal Wujal to pick up the rest of my charges.
The road to Cape Tribulation has some *extremely steep climbs and descents*. For example, on the first ascent, I had to drop from third to second & then within 20 metres, a quick flick of the gear stick down & to the left to grab first before I lost momentum and gave everyone whiplash.
The change went smooth & we climbed the rest of the hill feeling like a space shuttle crew on launch. I guess the steepest sections are about 30 degrees? Thankfully the real steep sections are laid with currogated concrete to prevent drastic erosion & extremely dangerous conditions for the unwary.
One of the decents was so steep that I had my left foot bracing my body & while my right played with the brake. I had to stay in 3rd to balance between the foot brakes & the exhaust brake. But all went smooth as. I gently walked the bus over the creek crossings and cruised at about 50kmh on the straight & clear ridge sections.
We arrived at PK’s at Cape Trib safe & sound. The older lady said as she alighted from the bus, “Thank you very much for your experienced and skillful driving. I’ve had some shocking drivers before.”
So there ya go. I wonder what she’d of thought if she’d known it was the first time I’d driven between Wujal & Cape *before* we left? 🙂
I swapped over & had an empty minibus, so I could stop and check stuff out.
First up, I couldn’t go back to Cape Trib without taking a photo of the beach.

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This is looking North along the beach. Cape Tribulation itself is behind my left shoulder. Literally. You can’t see it. There are a plethora of ‘Cape’ pics around. But this one is a memory:
Thirty years ago this year, I was an 18 year old kid, wandering Far North Queensland, discovering me.
At the Northern end of this beach, almost where that saddle is, was a rough track that went up over the ridge & down, then continued along ridges and coastal flats & mountains, all the way to Wujal Wujal. The track was dozed back, if memory serves, in the late sixties or early seventies. By 1982 the track was no more than a walking track. In places it was almost completely overgrown.
The next few pics are of crossings & hills on the track & some nature
🙂

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