My beach

A moment of perfect stillness punctuated by the booming rumble of surf on the reef. The sun melts into the horizon, throwing rusty pink reflections at the coconut palms, shooting tendrils of vermillion, gold, neon pink and violet, that guild the sober clouds, creating a shadow-play in the sky. Framed by ironwoods, their delicate needle-like leaves softly shed, carpeting the white-sand underfoot. Solitary rocks jut from the glassy lagoon, like petulant beasts. A quiet peace reigns that never fails to uplift my spirit.


Brits are like buses!

Here in Rurutu English-speakers are few and far between, let alone Brits, but weirdly enough these last few weeks there’s been a dearth, just like London buses, you wait for ages then three show up at once! And so it was, between various film crews and a soul-searching Londoner, it was a great opportunity to speak some English, as well as to share some British humor (quite unlike French or Polynesian incidentally). I’m a big fan of self-exploration, meeting people from back home is always interesting, particularly here, it’s a reminder of where I’ve come from, but also how I’ve changed too. And I do marvel at the journey, a self-absorbed past-time I know, but I like where I am now. I’ve had helping hands along the way, I’ve always read lots and there’s a lot of wisdom out there to be gleaned from other amazing people that cross your path.

Quite by accident Elizabeth Gilbert’s Creative Living fell into my lap and it kept me amused, she’s quite an eccentric (of course who’s to call the kettle black), but her creative philosophy is spot on. As for me, I’m slowly embracing my creativity, which I’ve never fully given the space it deserves. Concerns about being frivolous and making a real contribution somewhere along the way. But here I am back where I started, after way too many years in further education, a cook and a writer, two vague dreams that I’d toyed with in high school, before putting them aside …. So, in some ways I may have come full circle, or maybe it’s more of a spiral.


Roller coaster

It’s been a roller-coaster ride since the end of March.

The hard drive of my poor suffering laptop finally packed in, leaving me high and dry, grieving the loss of non-backed up or inaccessible data. It’s not the first time I’ve lost data, and I only have myself to blame, but it’s still a traumatic experience. And I never learn! Anyway, now I have a nice new shiny computer, but the internet connection is so spectacularly slow here that I can’t install the updates or get to any of the data I had backed up! It’s tragicomedy, it happened several days before our tax returns were due! Oh yes, and the nearest hard disk recovery service is in NZ! So, once more, like island life in general, you have to figure out how to manage and make the best of it, and believe me, you can, you just need to trust in yourself. But that was just the start!

Two days after that I headed to Tahiti with my daughter, for the final of her orero competition. A moment rich in emotion, particularly for her! Of course, she was magnificent, but it was a tough few days, with highs and lows. Funnily enough she didn’t win, she came fourth out of four, having fluffed a few lines of her hugely long recitation, but the power of her presentation was electrifying, and she was interviewed and featured on the evening news! So, I like to think she got the public’s prize!

Straight after that we were taken to McDonald’s to celebrate (!), by her Tahitian language teacher, then a bit of commercial therapy (including buying a new laptop, for me). Then back to Rurutu lickety split, for the Easter hols, and our horse races the next day!

Predictably Viriamu’s horse won easily, no sign of the imported competition – a “white” horse (Rurutu horses are brown, yellow or black) retired from racing in Tahiti, as well his “uncle”, another racehorse from Tahiti, both no shows! Let’s try again in July. Anyway, we still sold three hundred plates of chicken and chips to cover costs, so that went fine.


One more year

Love is a homemade birthday cake, baked by my kids. Who cares about the extra year!