66 shades of grey

66 shades of grey
66 shades of grey ... this pic of me was shot by Kim, of Kim Thomsen's Photography at Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. Kim just wandered over and asked whether it was OK to get some character shots.


The cross is in front of the church in Karumba and it seems TV antennas have a greater reach for the sky.


I went fishing out of Nhulunbuy on the Gulf of Carpentaria. We anchored in a bay about 10 hours from Nhulunbuy and went ashore. This poor fella had been snared in the locals' overnight net and then had a run-in with the resident 14-foot saltwater croc - named Nike by the local indigenous fellas - and came off second best.

the rock

the rock

oodnadatta track

oodnadatta track
What a tough place to live ... this is out on the Oodnadatta Track


My photo
G’day, I’m Michael and I have two fantastic grown-up kids. I’m a jeans and singlet/T-shirt, cowboy boot, tattoos sort of fella, who knows a bit about this and sometimes a lot about that. I'll have a crack at most things, although having a relationship? ... well that ship has sailed. I'm past my use-by date anyway, so I'm gonna make it all about me and surviving life as I know it ... or make it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


At one time or another, I have been a smoker for a lot of years. I learnt, thanks to my old man who smoked Phillip Morris Plain, to enjoy (OK, that’s a mind thing … it’s not really enjoyable) cigarettes without filters … I was a Camel Plain man for so many years, lapsing occasionally into rolling my own before, and then for a long, long time, becoming a Marlboro Red man when they were 16s (hardened smokers will know what that means).
After recently spending 10 months on the road and living in a tent (OK, it was a flash tent, some would call it a camper trailer), I was a rollies bloke again and until a couple of weeks ago, was smoking two 50-gram packets of Champion Ruby a week.
OK, so I had trouble making it up anything more than four stairs (yeah, my age may have contributed) and I thought, bugger this, I’m stopping the fags.
I’ve done the hypnosis thing a few times over the years … it seems that I’m a good subject … and it always works, usually for a good while. There always seems to be dodgy circumstances that get me back on them (fags, not stairs) … I hung out with a woman who smoked (on so many levels) and didn’t succumb to the smokes until we were at one of our many break-up stages.
Anyway, that’s a long-winded way of saying that a couple of weeks ago I went to see Angelo, the hypnotist, and I’m travelling beautifully.
The secret to making it work is that you have to want to give ’em away, unlike my son’s ex-girlfriend, who smoked on the way home from Angelo’s office after a session.
I wanted to quit.
I drove to Angelo’s place, armed with the last of my tobacco, my lighter and a bottle of water.
After a quick chat with Angelo, I threw my tobacco and lighter into the large basket in his room (it’s full of fag packs and lighters) and settled into arguably the most comfortable chair my bum has ever been near.
Away he went, talking in his (they seemed familiar) dulcet tones, extolling the virtues of the Winkler method (no, it’s nothing to do with the Fonz), a method developed by someone years ago and one that works.
Angelo took me to new levels of relaxation. I know I fell asleep (for just seconds) three times during our session and that each time I woke, it was because of the almost surreal voice from somewhere in the distance.
Truly, I was aware of my head … nothing else, no hands, feet, legs, body for that matter … it was a total form of relaxation and concentration on what Angelo was saying.
I haven’t experienced that form of calm since I smoked some amazing shit during the ’60s … there I was standing under a waterfall, totally at peace with the world, when the man in the North Carlton deli asked me whether I wanted something and why was I staring so intently at his fridge …
But I digress.
I walked out of Angelo’s place $250 lighter in the pocket (it’s $200 a head if there are two people), but sure that that would be the only mention of lighter again in my life.
I quit. I’m more motivated, I don’t snack to compensate for lack of smokes, I drink lots of water, I’ve stopped coughing in the mornings and, oh yeah, I don’t stink. Well not in a stale tobacco way anyway.
And already, food tastes better, wine tastes better and I reckon I’m good for at least 11 stairs already. Now if I can only find a non-smoking woman.
Angelo can be contacted here.

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