Temporary Beauty

RAS (Global) Adventures

It was sunsets that taught me that sometimes beauty only lasts for a few moments.

And it was sunrises that showed me that all it takes is patience to experience it all over again.

~ AJ Lawless

Photo: “temporary beauty”, sunset somewhere in the Java Sea, on our way to Kalimantan (Borneo) to see the orangutans!

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The Lost Thing

I stumbled into a regional art gallery while I was exploring. They always surprise me.

The Perc Tucker gallery in Townsville had a fantastic exhibition: behind the scenes of an animated movie, Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing. 

Amazing animation, cool collages, and a thought-provoking story-line. I especially loved the explanations of where his inspiration came from: signs that we recognise from everyday life.

I’m not sure where the exhibition is headed next, but look out for it. It’s worth a visit.


Today is the tomorrow you expected yesterday.”

A symbol of incredible change is a butterfly. They all go through “complete metamorphosis”, starting life as eggs, then morphing into larva, pupa and finally emerging as majestic winged creatures.


The delta from start to finish is a miracle of nature!



I’m a sucker for lame jokes. Like this one:

What is a snake’s favourite subject?

I like a bit of history, but snakes, not so much. Still, I’ve had a few snake/history combinations recently.

In 1911 the SS Yongala sank after steaming into a cyclone off the QLD coast. All souls on board were lost, including a race horse and a prize-winning bull. The wreck wasn’t discovered until the 1970s, but is now one of the best dive sites in the world. I recently had the fortune to do a dive trip out to the Yongala and although the seas were a bit choppy, the diving was indeed excellent. The wreck sits in 26 metres of water, so you don’t get too much bottom time (and as it is a gravesite, wreck penetration is forbidden) but we saw giant Queensland grouper, colourful angel fish, and sea-snakes! Apparently they are more deadly than land snakes, but have brittle teeth that struggle to bite through human skin (or wetsuit). I didn’t test out the theory (but they did get pretty close!)


Meanwhile on land, while we were bushwalking up to an old World War II fort constructed on Magnetic Island in 1943, I nearly stepped on another deadly snake: a coastal taipan. Unlike most other snakes that usually beat a hasty retreat when humans come stumbling by, taipans usually stand their ground. And this one did, eyeing me off. He ended up winning the stare-off and I cautiously backed up. We proceeded to the fort, learnt a bunch from the informative displays, and checked out the fantastic view. On the way back down we were lucky enough to also see koalas in the trees.


Anyway, talk of shipwrecks and islands has led me to life’s big questions #3: If your ship sank and you were stuck on a deserted island, who would you want to be stuck on there with?

I’m thinking Bear Grylls, for his survival skills; Josh Richards, the Aussie ex-Army scientist/comedian who wants to get selected to live on Mars, because I reckon he’d be bloody handy too; and my bestie Sondra, because she’s great company. And maybe a Telstra or Optus technician to get wifi up running…(otherwise how would I blog about it??).


Message in a bottle

The other day I was beachcombing on a deserted tropical island (Russell Island, in the Great Barrier Reef), and I found a bit of sea-glass. It was all milky white and smooth along the edges from being churned around in the ocean, rubbing up against sand and rocks and dead bits of coral.

On closer inspection, I could see the faint remains of the branding: Coke. In a previous life, it was a coca-cola bottle!

It got me thinking: if this bottle could talk, what stories would it be able to tell?

Where was it from? I’ve been to some pretty remote places: Bougainville (an island in PNG), Afghanistan, Uganda. But I’ve always been able to buy coca-cola, so it could be from anywhere. Who drank from it? Was it just an afternoon thirst-quencher? Or was it a mixer for a party? And where has it been since it fell in the ocean? Did it float for a while, past big tankers and small little yachts, or creatures from the deep? Or did it sink straight to the bottom and roll around with the other detritus on the sea-floor. And where are all the other shards of the bottle?


Post publication edit: Andrea from the Daily Post and I have similar thoughts about transience

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