Come with me today to swaying palms, the sweet smell of tiare, the tiny cream gardenia which grows only in the South Pacific and the gentle sound of waves from the lagoon. I have so many memories to share with you, I can't decide which to choose. We may have to visit there more than once.
My scarf today is really a pareu, which can be worn wrapped around the body like a skirt. They are worn by both men and women. If only I were not in lock-down, I might entice a gentleman in the family to model for me.......or a redundant rugby player or overworked fireman! Tut! Tut! my granddaughters will be saying! I am certainly not modelling this one. It is hand painted and a gift from the artist, Loren.
I was on my first visit to Tahiti with my husband to visit his old friend who had been shipwrecked in the South Pacific many years before and settled there. I did say I had many tales to tell....... Our host's story will be for another day.
Where shall I begin? Beachcombing on my own brought me tiny treasures, an abalone shell, pretty feather, unusual pebble, soft spongy moss and small seashore flowers. Back in dreary wintry England, I had been doing an evening class in floristry. I created a little Ikebana style arrangement in the shell for our hosts' bar counter, my modest offering for the dinner party to welcome us. Welcome is big in Tahiti. The many colourfully attired guests arrived. A bearded gentleman with an American accent admired the tiny arrangement of my beachcombing finds. At dinner I was seated beside him at the large round table with revolving centre piece with bubbling hotpot into which we cooked the raw shrimp, beef, chicken and vegetables. Finally, we ate the cooking broth. Truly a feast. The bearded gentleman from Los Angeles was quietly spoken. I thought I misheard him when he told me he had been conceived in that very house. Later I learned his father was James Norman Hall who co-wrote Mutiny on the Bounty with Charles Nordhoff, yes....where I was having dinner! The dinner guest by my side was Conrad Hall, named after Joseph Conrad, another famous writer. I also found out he was the Oscar winning cinematographer of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, American Beauty and later on, Lost in Perdition. He made his money in Hollywood and bought an uninhabited island off the main island of Tahiti where he built a living hut, bathing hut, kitchen hut, bridal hut, wind turbine, and yes, wore a pareu!
How could we refuse an invitation the next day to be met by his boat and taken to his island paradise to drink elixir from a newly cut cocoanut?
That was then and this is now.....O Tahiti e ATU is playing on CD Player and I shall dance in isolation.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!