Mato pics

Here are this week's best pics....


A weekend at the beach

Thanks to a last minute cancellation we had the weekend to ourselves. Now don't get me wrong it's great to have guests, but it's also nice to have some time off every now and then! We headed off to the south coast to visit Mato's cousin and partner in crime Meisi, for some sand-castle building and boogie boarding.



The simple joys of owning a paddling pool!



I'm super excited to have discovered a 'new' vegetable in these last few months, it's called a christophene or chouchotte. It looks slightly weird, but is very versatile, it has a taste and texture a bit like a mild radish, though it has funny spiky skin and an almond-like stone. To be honest I had actually seen it for sale here before, but I'd just steered clear of it. But I've been reading a few Caribbean cookbooks, and most recently Ann Vanderhoof's An Embarrassment of Mangoes (about a couple who take a career break to cruise around the Caribbean in a yacht), it's filled with great travel tales and delicious anecdotes and recipes. I've long looked to
Caribbean cuisine to inspire my dishes for the guesthouse, a lot of the same vegetables grow here and there, though we lack the diversity of spices, peppers and chilies, sadly! Anyway I use the christophene in salads to give crunch, but it can also be cooked in a gratin, stuffed or added to stews and curries, it's just another thing to add to my backup list, for the days when I'm tearing my hair out to find vegetables here......


Birthday Girl

Matotea celebrated her fourth birthday yesterday, in a pink fairy princess outfit! What could a little girl of four want more, aside from the ultimate Dora DVD collection and a paddling pool?
To blow out the candles maybe?
At the end of a long day even little princesses have their moods!


Mato's art

You probably think I'm mad, but since Mato was about two and a half, I've allowed her to play around with my camera. It is a risk letting her play with such a delicate object, but I've found her to be very
responsible and what's more a talented photographer, she loves to draw, but clearly photography is a medium that is easy to master, and with my digital she can shoot off snaps to her heart's content, and yes she does shoot a lot of duds, but over the last few months I've collected a series of beautiful shots that she's made. Here are my favorites. She's been concentrating on self-portraits recently. All the photos in this post are hers.


Birthdays galore

The most recent picture I have of the birthday girl Aunty Sue, 
with Uncle Dave, way back when at Rob and Louise's wedding
This week in October is our family birthday week. It started yesterday with my big brother, today is my lovely Aunty Sue's birthday, then it's my nephew Oliver on thursday, Mato's on friday and husband Viri's on sunday! A full week of festivities! Break out the champers and get out the balloons!


Bathing belles

It's october now and the chill is out of the air, the weather is
still a bit changeable, but we've been venturing down to the beach to
have a quick dip and a bit of a play in the sand, the girls in their
adorable new matching swimsuits, thanks grandma......it's all lots of


Hina evil ogress!

We have a new dog, Hina, she's a feisty little black puppy, we got her a bit over a month ago now, in late august. The poor little thing was skinny and petrified (but fierce!!), now she's put on weight and has a shiny coat and follows the girls everywhere....

Legend has it that Hina was a witch/ogress who lived in the mountains in Rurutu, she had long unkempt hair and long fingernails, she feasted on unsuspecting children sent to collect firewood on the plateau. When she was eventually found and captured, living in a small cave beneath the ridgeline of the highest mountains here, the people of Rurutu found that she had decorated her cave with woven mats made from pandanus, and it is Hina who taught the women of Rurutu how to weave, before being put to death for her wicked deeds! Our dog is not quite this despicable but she is a flip-flop stealing menace, she's partly house-trained (our beautiful oblong peue got piddled on last week!). But she's also got the makings of a great little guard dog, much
better than Maroro the old softie.....


Where did september go?

I apologize to those of you who have been waiting for the next installment all this last month. We've been busy with the september rush, and somehow I just never got 'round to updating. So now I'll give you a bumper edition. September is always a fun month, the start of the month is full-on whale season and as it's not yet the school hols so we get an interesting variety of international guests, here especially for the whales, among them Dutch, German, Czech, Japanese and Canadian visitors, it gives me a welcome opportunity to practice my English! Not to mention the metropolitan French and Swiss contingent. We celebrated Tuati's birthday with a BBQ with Pascal the Dutch anesthesiologist and Marek the Czech mathematician. Towards the end of the month we made a quick dash to Tahiti for the salon du tourisme to meet our public (three-quarters of our guests are already based in Tahiti, so it's worth the hassle of a 48h stop-over before we get back into the half-term fray), we bust a gut trying to get some rosewood bowls ready for display. I also launched my new soaps and sold out of jam whilst there!
In between, Matotea got a chance to hang out with some other girls at the guesthouse, and even did a horse-trek with Papa.
Heimana is transitioning into a 'terribly cute terrible toddler' (who said anything about two years!). We have the tantrums and everything, we're pulling Matotea's hair and giving as good as we get, if not better!