- Eight, because that’s my lucky number…but only because my favourite player in the All Blacks Zinzan Brooke (when I was 12 years old) played in the #8 jersey…sigh…(The All Blacks play rugby union, for those of you living outside the Commonwealth, and play for New Zealand NOT Australia if you are from Chicago)
- Kia orana!! Greeting and welcome in Cook Islands maori. No, I am not fluent (not even close) but I do have a special place in my heart for the people of the Cook Islands, and Aitutaki in particular. A stunning people and a stunning part of the world- so beautiful it makes my breath catch when I think back to our two years there.
- Speaking of the Cook Islands, it was there that I caught the weaving bug. But not with yarns of wool, silk and alpaca – fibres from the coconut palm and pandanus trees. Fibres that the peoples of the Pacific have been using in their everyday life for centuries. When I started talking with the local girls about learning to weave, they raised their eyebrows but kindly pointed me to the Vainetini, a women’s craft group. It was there that “Auntie” Josie tested out my commitment (“…I think you should start with a placemat…”) before supplying me with some rau ara (dried and prepared pandanus) and helping me on my way. You can see the full story here on Wrapt Weaving.
- Blue, Blue, Blue. I have always loved blue – my favourite award at high school was the waterpolo Blue I received…my favourite rugby team was the Blue…my eyes are blue…then there is Aitutaki Blue, a range of blues that is so incredible, so pure, so unbelievably real it must be seen to be believed.
- Outrigger canoeing was the perfect way to enjoy that sensational lagoon in Aitutaki. Paddling on training runs out to deserted motu’s (islets) and back as the sun set was so beautiful it was unreal. A half time dip in the water was great – just tip yourself out of the six-man canoe into the lagoon and refresh yourself. Magic. I continued to paddle when we moved on to Australia in the Whitsunday Islands, which is beautiful in itself but a completely different experience.
- I love a good cake. But I love decorating them even more.
- I have R.A. (no, that’s not what President Bartlet had – that’s MS). Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am lucky and it is in drug-controlled remission. Enough said really.
- I might have given it away in the last ‘thing’ but I have a bit of a thing for The West Wing…and Star Trek (the Next Generation, to be specific)…and Lost…and The Good Wife at the moment…am I a cliché?? I confess to marathon sessions while I weave away…shhhhhh!