Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hot shots.

The old Paia Railway station building on Baldwin Avenue was awash with the afternoon light, flattering its already gorgeous color. It drew me in for a portrait, the results of which I was happy with, until I glimpsed myself in the window's reflection. Beginner mistake, now that's all I see!

The annual crab spider invasion continues. This one hitched a ride inside on my hair and when I pulled him off my follicles, I popped him on the keyboard (for later disposal) thinking he was dead. Imagine my post nap surprise when I flipped open my laptop (yes he had been sandwiched in hot plastic for a good 45 minutes), to find spiderman not only alive but suddenly repelling down the thesaurus on his own sticky life line, well done old chap! He won a return trip to the garden.

And talking of the garden, here's a visual tomato progress report and quick, quick, which is it............ a fruit or a vegetable?

Bloomin' cactus....... 

Oh happy day, after a month in the doldrums the wind came back for a quick visit, Lano.......keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Heat wave.

Whilst I was out playing in the water, I stuck the bottle on the dashboard of my truck and let the tea brew itself. Not the milk and two sugars kinda tea you understand, but a herbal formula for coughs (ugh-huh)and 'twas delicious.

The long windless spell of Maui weather caught me in it's magic and I finally bought a SUP board I can call my own. "Look at you" I said to myself, "just an ordinary girl from Leeds, who'd have ever guessed this is how your life would turn out?". I've always enjoyed my own company, but these last few mornings gently paddling over the reef, catching small waves and chasing turtles have really been "how long have I been out on da water?" kinda fun.

You already know the coastline can look like this....

....but there's a lot of this too. No less beautiful, but the rugged outline is much harder to launch from.

Still, those rocks are handy for breaking open beach snacks.

Plus, mo'bettah for fishing.

Later, I sat at Paia Bay and enjoyed the slight onshore breeze that cooled me from the stifling heat of midday. I expectantly pulled out The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and devoured a couple of chapters, while watching the beach action (or lack thereof) go on around me. 
Three day weekends are good.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Upcountry to sea level.

This little house always looks so idyllic to me. It's actually part of the Tedeschi Vineyard property and I suspect it's appeal is partly due to it's age and construction. I miss very little of mainland life, but homes made of bricks and mortar can make me quite nostalgic. My house in comparison feels like one constructed by the three little pigs, it's all wood and sticks - a flimsy affair that the wolf could huff and puff and blow it right down.... if he wasn't busy with Red Riding Hood.

I popped over to the winery not to sample their wares, but to photograph the extraordinary Jade plant in bloom. It's conveniently located on a lovely arbor above their public loo's and for the record, Tedeschi has excellent latrines. It's always such a pleasant surprise to find a bathroom that someone has put thought into rather than provided by necessity. I shall have to add them to the website! TG: Take note, you can add this application to your iphone!

And while we're on the subject of toilets, take a moment and enjoy these fantastic creations. 

Sunday afternoon I perched on a cliff with a Jack Russell (whose name escapes me) and waited for the Olukai stand up paddle board armada to come by. Trade winds are your friends in these races as they push you from behind, however, we haven't seen those for about 2 weeks so peeps who did the race knew it was gonna be a slog from Maliko to Kanaha.

Cape Maliko-T minus 30 minutes.

90 or so paddlers were out on the water, including the amazing Michelle Crompton who despite a gammy knee and carpel tunnel syndrome made it look like a doddle. There was also Danny (what an athlete) Keevil, who'd been out on the piss 'training' the night before until 1am. As he drank his post race Coors Light he said "it's a sports drink," and inhaled deeply on his fag, I can't say he didn't earn either one. 

MChumbie here's your girl and three of her many fans, Melanie, our star, Renata and moi. Meesh even came first in her division of 35-39 on 12ft -ish board, nice one Cyril! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ducks and drakes.

The duck in question (and a couple of her feathered buddies) adopted my friends Jami and Nancy last year. They just showed up one day at their house and never left. Being the welcoming family that they are, J & N bought the ducks feed and a pool so they could live the good life. They are not penned in or kept in any way other than with love and the feathered ones wisely chose to stay and thrived.

They did what all ducks do and just a few weeks ago look what hatched!

Sweet, downy, absolutely cute as a button, ducklings.

Look at that little one in front resting his head on a handy yellow (brother or sister) pillow.

I was given visitation rights and snuck up to the house today for a gander. The Mum was as super cool and as I was super stealth. Taking the cue from their Mother, the chicks watched me with their beautiful ball bearing eyes. The Mum was taking no chances however and after a while left her clutch for a closer inspection of the disturbance.

I kept quite still as she came about half way between me and her offspring. I knew she was sussing me out and efficiency, with only a few ducky words she called to her chicks once she deemed it was safe for them to proceed.

Along they toddled at a leisurely pace with no panic or alarm to a safer spot, where no peeping Tomess could capture their images for her own amusement. I was foiled from any more paparazzi shots as they tucked tidily under the house and so I  departed as abruptly as I had shown up.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A bit left of center.

This was me today, feeling a bit ropey with a wicked sore throat so I took the day off to hang around, sleep and remain speechless.

There's been a lot of this going on, endless cups of warm this, that and the other. Then I read on the Internet that orange juice and cayenne pepper gargled for 15 minutes are a sure cure. Let me underscore for those who've not tried it that's a long time, so to amuse myself I gargled various show tunes and the British national anthem which (if I say so myself) was not a bad rendition.

Praps I should take a leaf out of my young friend Tess's book and sit in a small cupboard in a pink tutu with my back to the world until the storm blows over?

And finally,  on Sunday in a spectacular act of willpower, one of my freckles finally said “enough is enough” and off it to the great wide open, under them skies of blue, out in the great wide open, a freckle without a clue.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The right of passage.

At the time, it was a given - an unspoken right of passage that you could accept or decline. I (being of weak spine and strong need to be liked) accepted.

There were two choices for lunch: the cafeteria at college or the ‘King Arthur’ which was just a short trot down the road. More often than not a Cornish pasty and a pint of John Smiths was infinitely more appealing than the half way decent food (it was a catering collage after all) served on premises and a glass of luke warm tap water.

And so we come to the fateful date of January 28th 1978, my 17th birthday. After Conrad Lashley’s juicy economics lecture we all (including Mr. Lashley) walked the few minutes from the college steps toward to The Arthur. “Wotcha havin’ Shaz”? Now this was a tricky question because there’s only an hour for lunch and the point was defiantly to get a bit pissed. So I chose something that I could drink quickly and would not fill me up “Gin and Orange, thanks” I said. Now the ‘orange’ bit is a concentrate that normally you add water to – to make ‘orange squash’ for kids. However, its pre H2O thick and sticky predecessor is just plain nasty, which is why of course you add the gin!

This brings us back nicely to the unspoken right of passage – which was to drink as many drinks as the birthday age you were turning. Ugh, damn bloody silent agreements, what the fuck was I thinking?! In my best recollection before the hour was up I had swallowed (a not unimpressive) 12 beverages.Upon re-entering collage to attend afternoon lectures I headed not as scheduled to the Accounting classroom but directly for the toilets.

As I wretched, cried and vomited the only thing I could think about was that which had occupied my mind for months. “Get Michael” I cried to my girlfriends in attendance, “Get Michael, I only want Michael”. My god what blatant drunken disloyalty, verbally dismissing- no wait commanding those who so graciously ditched ‘Accounting’ to aid their intoxicated friend. And bless their cotton socks they found him and delivered ‘His Tastiness’ into the ladies loo where he found me. I sat on the floor propping open the lime green stall door, holding the bowl and reeking of gin. In this half crumpled prostration I confessed (as one does) all my desires for him, that my shy sober self had been storing away for months. A class act all the way.

As all knights in shining armor do, he took command of the situation and declared he would make sure that I got home safety by taking me there himself. Oh glorious divine beloved intervention what more could a girl want for her birthday?! I have no recollection of the actual journey home on the number 15 bus to Roundhay Park, but I do recall feeling those first tingly sensations of excitement that I hadn’t been totally rejected under the most hideous of self created circumstances.

I was delivered to my mother like a broken package from the post office to 17 Lidgett Park Road. She was surprised I was home so early and given my state (which amused her no end) extremely grateful I had had an escort. As the limp baton (namely me) was passed between one caretaker to the next, my mother knowingly ran a bath explaining “there’s not much water in there because I don’t want you to drown”. A good call on her end but alas, her specially purchased Dougal Swiss Roll birthday cake went untouched for days.

As my first drunkenness downgraded itself into plain old ‘feeling ill’ and finally (the next day) hangover, my right of passage was officially complete. It even had a happy ending as Michael Waterfall became my first boyfriend of two years, until that fantasy abruptly ended when I let my inexperienced and naive heart be broken after he got another girl pregnant, but that’s a whole other story.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

You tell 'um Charlie.

To quote Stephen Fry "The Prince of Wales doing a webcast? I never thought I'd see the day!"

From now on I'm going to say 'issue' like 'tisssssue' and I love how HRH brings the scope of the deforestation problem to a level that the average Brit can handle "they are being destroyed at the rate of a football pitch every 4 seconds". Bloody hell mate-now I get it!

At the risk of sounding like a public service announcement.....for more information on the Prince's Rainforest trust you can visit his website