It really was a week of extreme contrasts and I wondered if I’d be able to get a post out at all for a couple more weeks. The story goes something like this, beginning and ending on a Sunday, the day I left for Rarotonga and the day I returned home with my two oldest children. Rarotonga is a small popular island in the Cook Islands and the stay was ultra relaxing.
While my son worked, my daughter and I walked, paddled in the lagoon and lay on the sand watching palm trees sway overhead. We drank cocktails, ate way too much and had a thoroughly good time. The only minor negative was the dozen roosters cockadoodledoodling at four am as they chased their girls around the yard. We were staying inland near the hills which were often shrouded in misty rain. We looked out onto lush plants, palms and grass, and the aforementioned roosters. It was the perfect place to relax, after our terrible time lounging or walking beside the sea. Watching others on their paddle boards or snorkelling was also quite fun.
The first day it rained heavily, but not to worry. An old school mate of my daughter’s just happened to be in Rarotonga with her blues band performing at a rather posh retreat. So in the afternoon we sat back with a beer in hand and enjoyed the concert. I was sitting opposite the (older) keyboards player, and he looked familiar. I learned during the break that we’d gone to the same high school. Might seem spooky, but such coincidences are not that uncommon if you come from New Zealand. The second day was sunny and a long laze beside the lagoon was called for.
The weather was indifferent for the rest of the week; mist and showers and flashes of sun. Rather like Auckland, just hotter. After mornings walking and trying out new cafes, we returned to our accommodation to rest, poor us. I had taken an exercise book with me, and I did write several pages of notes for the chapters of my dad’s story I envisaged tapping into my computer once I got home. My aim being to finish the manuscript in a month, and hand it over to an editor, on its journey to becoming a book. I also read a lot, but not my usual picks, but two novels from the Jack Reacher series which I’m sure most of you are familiar with. Gripping stuff.
We also visited some tropical gardens, and I was both intrigued and delighted by the species I’d not seen before. But mostly I just soaked up the relaxing island ambience.
On one grey day we went whale-watching. The waves were a little too high and whales unseen, until the skipper turned his vessel around, and there was a mother humpback whale and her calf beyond the swell. How fantastic was that?
And if there had to be one true nuisance in the entire week, it came at the end of our stay with the cancellation of our flight home. Oh well, I guess leaving at 2pm was better than 2am.
I texted home to let my husband know our plane was delayed 12 hours. On landing, I called Kerry to learn he was unwell. It took us a while to get a car and reach home. To my utter shock I found my husband’s words to have been a total understatement of facts. With soaring temperatures I soon had him at the doctors, then the hospital the following day, where he stayed the week with a severe case of pneumonia. Thankfully he is back home and on the mend. I now feel like taking to my bed, but I suspect that a dose of Rarotonga may well be what he needs.
Maybe I’ll get to finish the oil painting and writing next month.