Monday, November 26, 2007

Toilet training.

Jules putting a happy spin on a grim loo moment.

If only she'd known about the toilet paper genie!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving every day.

It’s great to be a tourist in a place you are familiar with as there isn’t the urgency to run around and see the sites. Such was the case Thanksgiving day when I thought “I'll take the trolly to the end of the line and see what happens”. What happened was my feet started protesting at the thought of walking from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Marina, at the exact same time I passed a bicycle rental shop!

Perfection. Another stunning clear blue day, a saddle to sit on and I was a happy camper peddling toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Since I was here last they’ve opened up a whole new pathway that leads to the base of the first tower. And shock of shocks, there’s a decent wave there! Plus, not much of a line up giving plenty of room on the wave (just gotta watch out for that one big bastard submerged rock) and some decent sets. True, the entry/exits and the water quality/temperature leave a little to be desired but other than that, Michelle would have been in like Flynn! Naturally an audience gathers and on a couple of waves I heard ‘oooooooooo’ and then a polite round of applause. Classic.

Dinner at the Demasi household is always an event. Jules pulled out all the nosh stops and for most of us around the table there was a warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia from the memories of dinners past.

However, with nearly all the ‘kids’ now in their early twenties there was more of a club element between courses than normal! Luckily the furniture held out and the only victim was a Royal Dolton plate!

As I was leaving the poker table was just being set up as priorities shifted from eating to dancing to gambling. I could barley get hugs goodbye from those embroiled in liars dice and could not lie myself, bed was now my better offer.

PS: I love this photo of Bournemouth meets LA, Sylvie and Sean doing their own generation game sofa dance.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Walk about.

Remember when your goldfish wasn’t feeling well and he’d float to the surface desperately gulping for air? Well my desire to breathe wasn’t that dramatic, but today I did feel that same sort of ‘want’ for greenery. So after a quick trip to the Haight I legged it to Golden Gate Park and dove right into the deep end and entered the Conservatory of Flowers.

Nothing like a bit of home to make you feel at home, all those bromeliads, orchids, ferns, bananas, hibiscus, anthuriums, etc most of which seem to grow in my garden! Though I confess for the smell the water lilies I have to jump in my truck and drive to my chum Martins house.

I grew up walking; to school, the shops, my friend’s houses and if it was too far to walk I just took the bus. Consequently, I have moments on Maui of ‘car dependent frustration’ and am always happy to find myself in a walking city. Hence, in the bliss of the park I just started strolling, relishing the smell of eucalyptus and taking in the pleasure of being off the cities 'eat-shop-work' hamster wheel.

It was a clear, cloudless, warm autumn day and I needed a beach, so a few hours later my stroll had become a hike and I found myself at the ocean. It’s not exactly a crop circle, but I like it! I was starving so went to the new and improved Cliff House and tucked into a bowl of squash soup and Ahi sashimi fortifying myself and contently watching the surfers and seagulls which (I swear to God) are the size of small dogs.

4pm; what a bloody lovely day, as I stepped back outside it was a bit nippy (those surfers are mental catching that slop) so I donned scarf and gloves and said to hell with the bus and walking, TAXI!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Back to the future.

When I left England in 1981 with my best mate Jules to ‘follow our noses’ around the world, I had no idea that all locations we'd pointed to on the map would disappear upon touch down in the US. First stop San Francisco and that remained home until I got on a plane to move to Maui six and a half years later!

So as I sit in my sexy ‘W’ hotel room in San Francisco enjoying a week of city life, room service and mod-cons the memories come flooding back. BTW-if you too want a light changing Buddah....he's yours for just $310.00.

It was a crazy time and our flat mate across the hall (as a gesture of welcome I’m sure) started posting tiny little envelopes under our door. It was a bit creepy (to say the least) and when we opened up the miniture wrappers they contained a white power that we could only assume was cocaine. Not knowing what to do and not wanting to offend (you can take the girls out of England) we gathered up all the packets and wrote a polite note back of ‘thanks for the lovely offer of narcotics, but we’re more the booze and fags kinda girls’. Now I think about it, with language like that we’re lucky a leather clad-buffed out-Polk Street ‘top’ didn’t come a knocking!

Walking around the city today I realized that I consider the environment on Maui to be my good friend and without her I fall in step with everyone else and start to over consume (OK –just a lipstick and one pair of shoes-so far….).
Of course nature is available here, but it takes effort to get to it and the easy way out is to not bother and numb your mind with desire for stuff and ‘excuse me may I please have a latte’?! I have the same routine on Maui but the desire is to windsurf or romp in nature and the latte is my snack and water afterwards!

So yesterday, instead of nature I went to a Museum of Modern Art and had a blast. I saw an exhibition and went on a tour explaining the work of James Cornells creative genius and felt the deep satisfaction of being exposed to something new and interesting.

The day ended perfectly when I finally hooked up with said best mate Jules, her beau Ed and one of their two lovely offspring, Gemma. They’re cooking for 12 on Thanksgiving day and decided to bypass kitchen safety and get their knife cuts in early! Now thats love.....

Monday, November 12, 2007


I’ve mentioned before that (for the most part) I’m a rule follower.

Do not feed the birds.
Start line here.
Please take a number.
Do not tread on the grass.
8 items or less.
Please do not disturb.
Turn left on green arrow only.
Plastic only please.
Five garments only in changing room.
Do not feed the animals.

So why oh why would I see this sign and ignore it’s warning? I’ll tell you why….because it provided rock star parking and I figured as I always follow the rules; this one wouldn’t apply to me!

Wrong! A coconut fell on the roof of my truck, cracked the clear coat and whilst it looked like an innocent dent for a while, fast forward 3 years and hey presto - one ruined paint job! Happily my truck is functional and not precious so I don’t care, but every time I drive past Paia Bay I sneak a peak at that sign and am reminded that ‘Instant karmas gonna get you, Gonna knock you right on the head you better get yourself together Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead’ Thanks for the reminder John……..I got it!

'How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours'. Wayne Dyer

Monday, November 05, 2007

Any ideas?

Indulge me if you will as I’m generally not a moaner and groaner; however I think a good rant might be quite cathartic, so here goes.

In an effort to find the magic cure for migraines I have undergone the following over the last few years.

Acupuncture (on going)
Allergy tests (mild aversion to coconut)
Blood work (lots of it)
Cholesterol checked (all good)
Cranial sacral therapy (on going)
CT scan (as an aside that they didn’t find a reason for the headaches but they did find a 50% blocked left carotid artery and I was recommended to go to Stanford for a cranial angiogram!) Happy to report Stanford tuned me down J
Diet changes (sugar, alcohol and caffeine are no longer my good friends)
Daily beta blockers for 18 months (suffocated my personality under a blanket of medicine)
Ear nose & throat examined (clean as a whistle)
Exercise and no exercise (given up biking and surfing due to doctors orders)
Eye tests (love my specs)
Hormones checked (no menopause yet…..!)
Ibuprophen (rare I go a day without it)
Massage (on going)
Medical Psychic (Not getting enough protein, especially for animals)
Naturopath (Stay away from protein, especially animals)
Physical therapy (on going)
Relpax as needed (easily a packet a month)
Rolfing (on going and it hurts!)
Supplements (on going)
Teeth examined for leaking mercury (despite UK doorstop sized fillings all good)
And finally, had 25 friends stand in a circle and chant three times ‘no more headaches’ and still at this stage I am the recipient of at least two low end migraines a week and numerous other ‘ordinary headaches’. Wotdafuck is up with that?

Can I just have a moment and shout at the top of my lungs “ I’m sick to fucking death of this bullshit and want my good health back” It’s completely dumfounding to my logical brain that after this much expertise, money, time and effort I have not found the frickin’ cure that will keep this beast permanently at bay.

You have no idea how much this low end Chinese torture can mess with the mind and more importantly my social plans! Allow me a little exaggeration here, but it feels like I have been either going into or coming out of a headache for the last 3-4 years and let me tell you, it’s a big fucking drag.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, wow if feels really good to get mad, I almost don’t want to spoil it by letting you know the blessings and blessing in disguise due to this temporary monkey on my back! But I simply won’t let ‘mad’ have the upper hand so here goes;

A true sense of love from my friends and family as they don’t glaze over with boredom at the repetition of my same old story (or if they do they disguise it well)!

A clean bill of health in all other departments as everything but my colon has been looked at. (yes, yes, yes I know a colonic is on the to-do list).

A rolodex full of information that I can pass onto others regarding what has worked and not worked for me.

A team of wonderful practitioners and healers that due to knowing me well from the headaches were able to easily shift gears and assist invaluably with all aspects of my surgery.

An overall improvement in my diet and health consciousness.

Significant progress was made for about 5 months, so even though I have temporarily slipped back, I know that if I keep taking the highroad to wellness it will be my reality.

I feel compelled to state I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m looking for solutions, so if you have any thoughts, ideas or crazy treatments that I haven’t listed, give me shout. As the saying goes, 'if nothing else is available clutch at straws'. So let me state for the record, while I know Botox is an option that’s another treatment along with the colonic that I’m not pushing to be first in line for!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Never too old to be a kid.

I look upon little Tess and witness her unbounded possibility from my conventional, curbed and good mannered observation deck

How confusing for her that it’s OK to draw with chalk on the ground, on your legs but not on the furniture? How extraordinary that she doesn’t complain or struggle when spoken to in both Italian and English and will speak back to you in equal doses of both. How genuinely she carries her little stuffed lamb in a blanket, cradling it one moment with the nurturing of a mother and throwing it high as a ball into the garden the next.

I feel quite dull in comparison....conformity (I am a card carrying member) definitely has its place but bloody hell, spend any time with a kid and your blinkers are immediately ripped off in the most delightful, playful and innocent way.

We all have the same naive start and I have turned out to be an obedient servant who does not tread on the grass and queues politely. Good grief, I’ve gotta spend more time with the keiki - mark up the furniture and chalk it up to a good time.