Another big birthday!

Quick 80th birthday wish to Uncle Dave, back in the UK, the second of the Claridge brothers to make it to fourscore! That's over 160 years of wisdom shared between you!


Back to Nature

The holiday long weekend, to mark the arrival of the gospel in French Polynesia, was an opportunity for us to kick back and relax - being as the guesthouse was empty and the sun was shining! Viriamu took the opportunity to take the kids out on the reef, gathering food, like when he was young. The kids loved it, though eating the shellfish, hermit crabs and seaweed feast was less to their liking. We topped it all off by car-camping up on the plateau (OK, it was hardly roughing it, but it made for a change and an excuse to build a campfire and toast marshmallows). All very wholesome family fun!


St.David's irises

Not a daffodil nor leek in sight, and only a few rather freezer-burnt lamb chops to be found in the local store, so St. David's day passed uncelebrated here in Rurutu, or almost, there were these rather lovely irises blooming, and, we broke out a bottle of Welsh mineral water, on sale in supermarkets in Tahiti!
Also, as always, I took a pause for thought about my homeland (enjoying exceptionally cold temperatures, blanketed in snow and ice), and what being Welsh still means to me, after more than a decade on the other side of the world.
Identity (cultural or otherwise) is a subject that I spend more and more time musing about at the moment, between the genealogical sagas here and the kid's school projects. It's funny to say, but I definitely identify with many aspects of  Polynesian culture these days. I have actually always felt that Polynesians and Welsh have a fair bit in common, Robert L Stevenson was struck by likenesses between the Scottish Celts and Marquesans, in his Tales of the South Pacific, I can't vouch for the Scots, but I often feel like the mindset here is a bit like small villages in Wales, even today. And the Polynesians have a spicy character that I identify with the Welsh, I am a great fan of Dylan Thomas, a great anglo-welsh poet, and if you've ever read the radio play Under Milk Wood, I like to think that I've found my own Polynesian Llareggub.
There we have valleys not islands, sheep not coconut palms, but the small town gossip and colorful characters abound!
Or maybe it's just that we are all really the same in the end.