My little sunburnt angel. Cairns, Queensland, Australia

This is a photo of my wife (Engogirl) having the first decent sleep she has had for the last week or so. We went to bed at 9:30 last night and this photo was taken at 9am this morning.

Engogirl is a real trooper and not a party pooper

Sometimes, travelling can be so exhausting and daunting. We came up to Queensland for a conference in Surfers Paradise, on big dams here in Australia. We thought we may as well go all the way up to Cairns to do a couple of days diving on the Great Barrier Reef (before global warming kills it off) . We also thought it would be a good thing to travel up the coast by train in a sleeper.

What with all the conference schedules and dam tours (or should I say, “tours to dams”?), early train departures and poor sleeping conditions on train and boat, complete with recent strenuous physical activity, we are totally worn out and ache all over. Today we were supposed to be going on a trip up to Kuranda on an old steam train but we both decided that we’d rather sleep in and have a relaxing day resting before we fly back home tomorrow.

Engogirl has been a real trooper over the last couple of days. Unlike me, all this full on travel and outdoor experience thing is still quite new to her.

I grew up near the ocean and learnt how to scuba dive when I was 14 years old back in the days when all you were really told was, “don’t come up faster than your air bubbles”. I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve snorkelled and spear fished, because I’ve done so much of it over the years. I also backpacked around various foreign countries for 11 years roughing it, before going home.

Engogirl grew up, a little back from the coast, and going to the beach was not a part of her upbringing. The ocean is still “terra incognita” to her, and uncomfortable travelling hasn’t been on Engogirl’s agenda either. The first time Engogirl had ever snorkelled was on our honeymoon in Bali, four years ago.

Two days ago, my wife tried scuba diving for the first time out in the open ocean about 30km  (about 20 miles) off the coast. Scuba diving isn’t all that difficult but it is a bit disconcerting breathing underwater. “It just ain’t right, I tell ya!” Never mind that the ocean is full of things that can view us a food and there was no land in sight.

I’ve never thought that scuba diving was that interesting and I just went along with Engogirl to keep her company and to reassure her. We did our dive together and Engogirl said to me afterwards that she thought that snorkelling was much better. I so totally agree. So we spent the rest of our time on the reef snorkelling.

I can’t really describe how glorious it is to share amazing experiences with people you care about, but I can tell you that I love it. After two days of diving, it was difficult to get Engogirl out of the water she was loving it so much. There was no more fear or hesitation, just joy and I was glad to be a part of it.

Unfortunately the sun was so hot and Engogirl didn’t put enough sunscreen on the back of her legs and she got a bit sunburnt. To make matters worse she slipped on the deck and barked her shin.

So as I looked at Engogirl sleeping so peacefully this morning I was taken by how strong she had been over the last couple days breaking through various fears, dealing with discomfort and pain. It’s times like this morning when I realise that I married the right woman and I know how lucky I am.

8 thoughts on “My little sunburnt angel. Cairns, Queensland, Australia”

  1. “It’s times like this morning when I realise that I married the right woman and I know how lucky I am.”

    And that, so far as I’m concerned, is what this is all about. Feels great, doesn’t it?

    -Turkish Prawn

  2. Great, Razz, a beautiful account. I too often watch my wife while she sleeps in the morning, thinking that I have an honour to be with such a wonderful woman.

    Now you got my feelings going and I cannot wait for her to come home (two more days) after her 8 day trip abroad.

  3. If I were your wife, you’d be in the dog house for 10 years for posting this. Since you are still apparently breathing, I guess you married the right woman: the forgiving kind.

  4. Pat

    Now why would I be in trouble? You don’t think I’d post this without checking with Enogirl first do you?


    Sure does.


    They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. But an absence in Ossetia would just plain freak me out.


    So how’s the putting the guy in your life in the dog house for 10 years, type of unforgiving strategy working out for you?

  5. Well Razz, obviously the man in my life would not post a photograph of me red-faced and poofy-eyed with bed hair all over the place for the whole world to see. It is certainly an interesting peek in your intimacy, but immediate 10 year sentence to the guy who would do that to me. Apparently I’m not feeling as secure in myself than your wife. I’m glad you asked her first. :-)

  6. True Story: Today I had a visit from one of my favorite people and we were talking about everything under the sun. When she told her live in boyfriend (who I also love) that she was coming to visit me, he said sweetly, “I hope you don’t come back telling me you want to be single for a reason!” You see they had been having a tough week for one reason or another. Quite the contrary, I said to her and then showed her your post, the adorable photo, and had her read your words about your wife. I told her I thought her boyfriend loved her like this and she might want to focus on that and the rest of the “stuff” will work itself out. She left with grapes, chocolate chip cookies, a flower arrangement I’d made for their Thanksgiving table, and a little of your Australian heart and wisdom.

  7. Nat

    Engogirl’s hair always looks like that.


    Gee, I don’t know what to say (for a change) but if you look at the other male responses you’ll see I’m not the only one who feels the way I do about their wife.

    I think that it’s good to stand back a little from oneself and think about all the good things in one’s life.

    I hope things work out for your friend and if I was there with you two today, I’d have advised her to sit and have a chat with her guy about what’s going on between them without trying to score points. To get everything out in the air and then deal with it….. fairly.

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