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I don’t know what I did in my past life to deserve this week on Kauai, but it must have been something good – because this was a week to remember. And all through, as Penny and I floated in the sea and the pool and the hot tub and ate fresh fish and sat in the sun, all that time, Christmas music was playing and tropical trees were decorated with tinsel and bright balls. Surreal.

We rented snorkel equipment first thing this morning – masks, breathing tube and flippers – and tried them out immediately on our local beach. Phenomenal – I’d thought there’d be a few fish, but there were tons of the most gorgeous tropical fish, yellow, silver, bright green and blue with orange splashes, schools of tiny translucent ones, big ones, medium sized ones … Magical. We went next to Poipu beach where the water is easier to get into – and saw as we arrived a string fence had been set up. There were other sunbathers lolling about on the beach.

A male and a female monk seal had climbed onto the beach to sleep in the sun, and the volunteer Monk Seal Response Team was on the case, making sure they were not disturbed. I asked if they were a couple (the seals, not the response team), and the man said, “Well, for right now – she’s had several partners just in the last few days.”A monk seal floozie! Long may she flourish – he told me the Hawaiian monk seal is the most endangered mammal in the U.S. As we spoke, a woman looking at the seals started clapping her hands and shouting, “Wake up!” and he rushed over to shut her up. He told me there’s a big sea turtle resting nearby, and people touch it and try to put their children on its back. Poor beasts. There are so many idiots.

And then we floated in the water looking at fish. Lots of people stay out for hours; I couldn’t last too long – my mask leaked or salty water got into my mouth and I got cold – but I saw plenty of magnificent fish, including a big one in electric pastel blues and greens. I felt I was swimming in Chris Tyrell’s fish tank. Why are tropical fish so stunningly decorated?

We went to Koloa for lunch – friend Nicky who has often come here recommended the food truck fish tacos in the parking lot, and she was right, they were delicious. And then back for more snorkelling, ending with a float in the warm pool and the jacuzzi. Could there be more pleasure? We cooked dinner using as much as we could of our groceries – not much left. Had a final shower to wash out salt and sand, and watched a final sunset.

So that’s it. We leave tomorrow morning for Honolulu where I spend two days, leaving  Sunday afternoon for Vancouver. Carol writes from home that it’s been unseasonably mild but the cold is returning … Sunday. Sorry to hear that; it will be a shock.

Thank you to the gods for the magnificence of our planet. May the powers that be at the Paris climate change conference right now shoulder their responsibilities to our fragile blue ball full of wonders. And may Donald Trump (I bought a New York Times today but shouldn’t have) fizzle like a wet firecracker and vanish. The Americans have their own Rob Ford, only this one is lethal not just locally but globally. Terrifying. Let’s not end with him, though.

The arrival of the parakeets. Followed a few hours later by the departure of Penny and Beth.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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