Friday, November 20, 2015

Paradise, here I come

Several blog readers have asked about my impending trip to Hawaii. I've not mentioned it before because it seemed barely real even to me - but it must be real, because there's a flight on my calendar next Saturday. My British friend Penny wrote in the spring to tell me an old school friend of hers, Harriet, who has lived for many years in Honolulu, had offered her time in a two-bedroom timeshare apartment Harriet owns on the island of Kauai. Penny is an intrepid, savvy traveller; she put together one of my most memorable trips, around the Cotswolds in her little car, some years ago. But she's not that comfortable on the right side of the road and sent me an irresistible offer - if I rented the car and drove, would I like to share her free apartment?

Well - a week free on Kauai - how could I say no? I decided at the same time to coordinate a visit to Vancouver, where live several of my dearest friends whom I see far too rarely. I used travel points to get to Vancouver where I'll spend four and a half days, then on to Hawaii, overnight with Penny in Honolulu, both of us flying on the next morning to Kauai for a week, then back for a few days, courtesy of her friend, in Honolulu. Home Dec. 17, just in time for Christmas madness.

Wheee! Everyone speaks of Hawaii as paradise on earth and Kauai is the garden island, apparently. Can't wait. But also, Penny and I have a possible writing project to discuss about her sister Barbara, who was my childhood penpal. Barbara died in 1966; she had just turned 16. Her death affected me profoundly, and of course, even more profoundly, the loss of her affected her family and younger sister. I have all Barbara's letters to me and my letters to her, and, more than 30 years later, the start of the on-going connection between Penny and me. Is there a book in Barbara's short yet resonant life? Penny and I will have time, amidst the pineapples and the beaches, to discuss.

Yesterday was wondrously mild, again, but now our idyll is over - it's much more seasonal out there, 7 or so, but still sunny. It's a relief, in fact; out in a light jacket in November, I couldn't help thinking about polar bears.

And further to global warming - I am coming closer to becoming vegetarian like my Macca. Yes, though I've been inching in that direction for years, the final step actually was because of Paul. He was featured in a FB clip about Meat-free Mondays that gave a warning about graphic material and started to show shots of cows on their way to slaughter, so I immediately turned it off. I don't want to see animals suffer, but I don't mind eating them - is there hypocrisy in that? I have not eaten veal for many years and only eat pork if I know it comes from a small local farm - but still, that's not enough. I won't become one of those rigid vegetarians who are hard to feed; my family eat far too much meat for that - and at the moment, I'll continue to eat chicken and turkey and fish. Have to figure this out. I've never been that keen on tofu, but here goes.

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