Romance – In the South Pacific

Ratua Island

If sipping a cocktail as the sun gently slides below the water and warm balmy nights fanned by a cooling breeze excite you, then Ratua Private Island is the place for you.

 We’ve not long returned from a week on this tropical island paradise where Janet-Planet, TomO and I swam with turtles and lazed in warm turquoise coloured waters, fringed by white sandy beaches and coconut trees.

I even had an encounter with a wonderful marine mammal, a dugong, whilst out on a stand-up-paddle board as the sun was spreading its last rays of light on the day…

The dugong pictured is most likely the same one I saw and was photographed by another guest on the island.

Ratua Island

Yes, it is a long way from the mountains and the Australian Outback, but hey, as long as you are with the ones you love…

And what makes it even more special to visit is its French owner donates all profits to a foundation he set up to fund the education of the children of the surrounding islands.

Photos: Baz – The Landy, and the Dugong courtesy of “Jim” who photographed it during our stay…

Spontaneity and Predictability (Which one are you?)

A couple of days ago I was walking along the back streets of the  suburb where I live, Pearl Jam blasting loudly through my iPod helping to take my mind off my trekking companion – a back-pack laden with a 30-kilogram sandbag. 

 The setting sun was cloaking the developing storm clouds with a rich, golden hue as it slipped towards the western horizon.

On the east coast of Australia we’ve just switched to daylight saving time, putting our clocks forward by one-hour. That means I can now exercise in the afternoon with some daylight, or at least a setting sun instead of the usual darkness.

But, as usual, I’m digressing…

Maybe it was the spontaneity or the predictability of the magnificent sunset, but I got around to thinking about spontaneity and predictability in life.

I asked myself which camp was I in, spontaneity or predictability?

 Or did I have a foot in both?

A bit like the sun, predictably it sets each day, but the spontaneity is in the way it happens…

I pondered that if we lived as we should, “in the moment we are in”, than life would always be  spontaneous. You’d never be planning for the future and you’d have no concern for what has come to pass.

Mind you that sounds great in principle. But whilst we do need to plan some things, life can still be spontaneous.

Surely?

Janet, my partner, has often told me that my spontaneity and good looks are traits she finds attractive. Frequently opining that it is exciting not knowing what journey we will take next as we walk arm-in-arm through life.

My parents loathe this spontaneity whenever they visit.

They both need to know what they’ll be having for breakfast in one week’s time, so spontaneity doesn’t work too well for them, predictability all the way. But each to their own I say, and that is fine!

But was there a bit of the “chip off the old block” in me?

Letting this musing go, my thoughts turned to Janet’s birthday which is coming up in a couple of days, this Saturday…

She loves birthdays!   

Well, you know what I’m mean, she loves celebrating her special day, the day she snared me, birthday cake, family and friends, maybe a present or two. And a bunch of flowers always brings a smile to her face…

And her birthday signals a very special day in our lives together. I proposed to Janet on her birthday in 1983, marrying some months later! 

We were living in a small cottage together, furnished with only one bed, two sofa chairs purchased  from an Op store, and a dog, a Great Dane I inadvertently kidnapped from outside its owners house (I’ll explain it some other time, but it did go on to live happily-ever-after with its true owner)…

The “proposal” was a very spontaneous event.

That morning, I got down on my knee at the end of the bed, dressed in Top Hat and Tails and asked her to marry me!

We had spoken of marriage but she didn’t see it coming this particular day, nor did I until a day or so before…

And on our wedding day Janet wore the Chanel Number 5 Perfume I bought that year for her birthday…

And every birthday since I have bought her a bottle of Chanel Number 5 and she has each and every one of the finished bottles secreted away in a special spot in her wardrobe.

She wouldn’t hear of any other present on her birthday…

Yes, as much as we both like spontaneity this is one thing we are both happy to say is totally predictable in our lives…

Happy birthday Sweetie…!