It’s a funny thing, not working in paid employment. When I was slogging through the bureaucratic quagmire of the UK NHS I could go home at the end of every day and say that I had been at work, even if I hadn’t really accomplished anything (and believe me, that is how it felt sometimes). Now my days are completely task driven but what I am able to achieve doesn’t sound very impressive. (“Hello honey, how was running the university’s research & international office? Today I paid the phone and electricity bills and found a place that sells cat litter!”)
It’s unbelievable how exhausting carrying out these tasks is. It’s also kind of embarrassing. It hardly seems right to complain about being tired after a day of internet banking, doing a few laps in the pool and avoiding the housekeeper. It must be the combination of the heat and my brain losing functionality.
I totally relate to this clip from the Mitchell and Webb Look. It's a little rude at the end, so if you're easily offended stop watching after you get the gist.
Speaking of exhaustion, Anna had Friday off school again for the sole reason that neither of us could face getting up at 6am for a fifth day running. Before you all go off and judge my parenting decisions, can I just remind you that Anna is retaking the last term that she already finished in the UK? Most of her Suva classmates are taking their GCSE exams which she absolutely aced in May/June (clever girl). Things will get serious come January 2013 when she starts the International Baccalaureate, but until then...
A little mangrove stand on the walk into town. Note the brown water.
We had a wonderful day off. I introduced Anna to Bulaccino’s, a coffee shop that I’d stopped into the day before while running the aforementioned errands. It really is an excruciatingly ridiculous name (Bula + cappuccino = Bulaccino = Helloccino in English), but the service and food are of an international standard that we haven’t really found very many other places here. They also have smoked salmon, which is Anna’s all time favourite food. I know that we’re supposed to eat local produce and most of the time we do, but sometimes what you need is a little bit of home on top of a delicious homemade bagel smeared with cream cheese.
The Vessel of Honour and the view across Suva Bay.
It was a lovely evening so we set off on a walk. We ran into one of Anna’s classmates and her mother (it’s that small town thing again) and before we knew it, we’d walked the coastal route all the way into the city centre. While discussing whether we should eat out twice in one day, we found ourselves in front of the Bad Dog Cafe which pretty much decided it. This is the place where the waiter (Nat) greets us with “Hello John. Hello John’s family”. John was not with us (he was in Noumea), so we just got “Hello John’s family”. Nat took the opportunity to quiz Anna about our names while I went to the toilet. Two Shirley Temples and two glasses of sauvignon blanc later, Anna and I decided that we could get to like this place.