I write this while getting my hair plaited. I needed to get that off my chest. I’ve said it now and there is nothing I can do to take it back. Judge me if you dare. It has been a fun filled and busy week here at Liquid headquarters. I’ll give you a quick lowdown.
- The DiveMaster Village has started to come together
- Sasha and I have passed our Rescue Diver course
- Stephen and Peggy left BUT now we have John and Ro (not to mention a hoard of French botanists plus another couple due tomorrow)
- Keith aka Lolo and Claire’s house has been completed and Keith spent a wonderfully cool first night sleeping there
- I have bought a dive computer – nearly!
I’ll break these down for you as to why they are interesting/important/noteworthy. For Reference’s sake, I shall write a small directive relating to its numerical co-hort above. Interesting? I don’t care whether YOU think it is, I LOVE this kind of geekery.
- We/ I am very lucky to be one of the longterm “guests” here. I am one of three at the moment. There is Gui, the classically handsome French, butter loving Instructor; myself – hairy, happy, heart-makingly happy and our old friend – superbly knowledgeable, hard working and a good partner for propping up the bar. As an aside note, I personally use the term heart-makingly as the antithesis of hear-breakingly. If you have a better idea, please get in touch. WE are going to be inhabiting the DiveMaster Villagewhich will give us a room each with a communal self-contained eating, sleeping, sitting, washing, cooking, talking, eating and SLEEPING area. Yeah, I meant to put eating and sleeping in twice for added contextual importance.
- If you were paying attention you would have noticed that last week I wrote “Saniya and I successfully passed our Rescue diver exams”. There were a series of moments where we both thought we had finished the course (having being told so – a simple mistake to make), only to hear an “Oh no! There is a non-responsive diver in the water” or “where’s Gui? I saw him out in the reef about 100 metres that way” only to find him/them at the bottom being non-breathing divers in trouble. S’ok, we saved them. It took a fair amount of convincing to assure us that we HAD finished. We, are now RESUCE DIVERS ready to respond to your rescuing needs which being well accomplished and responsible rescue divers means we will pro-actively prevent as many problems arising as possible.
- John and Ro are here with their limitless enthusiasm, smiling demeanour and GREAT diving videos. Four dives a day for the next week then? Don’t mind if I do! THANKS. The French ‘botanists’ arrive tomorrow so Gui will be able to happily talk to them in his mother tongue without fear of reprisal or the micky being taken. The interesting question is whether they like to dive? We have been informed that they like plants and nudibranchs. The trickier part is how they relate. The running thought is that PERHAPS they will like coral as well. I think they will especially because the coral here is magnificent and has left most of our past guests speechless. I look forward to their arrival.
- Keith’s house which is the lower floor of the grandparents’ villa has been completed. In the process, Tim and I were ‘asked’ to build Kieth a kitchen cabinet. When I say asked, I mean cajoled. When I say cajoled I mean told that it was part of my DiveMaster training. Little did they know that I quite enjoy building stuff so I was happy. (not that it is fully finished yet!)
- A dive computer. Is this necessary? Isn’t it just big boys toys? To be honest. No. It is a vital piece of diving equipment. Yeah, I know, electronic tape measures and USB laser pointers are also vital but in this case it serves a heavily practical purpose. I’m not sure if you knew but as you dive (deeper) an increasing amount of nitrogen is absorbed into the blood, so computers are there to make sure that you stay within the conservative limits by tracking your depth and time and reducing the possibility of decompression illnesses… Decompression illness is NOT GOOD. Do stuf that stops it being a possibility. PLUS, if all goes to plan, then I will be doing this for a fair while with (good) people being my resonpnsibility so it would be negligent NOT to have a computer to help plan my dives with them. If you are interested, I am going to get a Suunto Vyper.
I hope that all is well whereever you may be. I think that if you’re feeling a bit down on your luck or in need of a life-is-good boost then, honestly, you should start considering a visit to these shores. Not only would you be welcomed by a big smile, cold beer a-plenty and wonderful food, you will also have to deal with sun, sand, and the sound of the ocean waves. G’waan. Do it. I promise you won’t regret it
My moments of introspection are few and far between and are often dispelled by my even stronger feelings of content. It dawned on me the other day that I am coming up to six months of being away and that is something that surprised me. Six. Months. Much like how my GCSE’s felt like an eternity away when I was twelve years old, this is a milestone that I never imagined I would reach with such consistent and persistent happiness.
I can’t remember who it was that I was talking to the other day, but it is the people I have met along the way who have made this trip so wonderful for me. They range from the ever changing family that I have here at Liquid (yeah I know I go on about the ‘family’ here a lot but it is uniquely special. Deal with it. Jealousy is not a virtue!!) through to Aran, the ANCIENT Iban head man from Murudi, Sarawak. Aran and I did not share a common language in that he only spoke Iban and I spoke a smattering of English and even less Bahasa Melayu (Malaysian). I think the only way you could find out his age would be to cut him in half and count the rings although I’d estimate him to be between two and three hundred years old. This is a picture of Aran not me.
This week has been filled with rescue, rescue, rescue and much as I anticipated I have LOVED every second PLUS, it has been a fun physical and mental challenge. Gui has been an excellent instructor and Tim has offered up a great deal of insightful and useful information, so it is with this in mind that I stupidly highly recommend doing your Rescue Diver certification… HERE. We have covered everything from the physiology of diving related accidents through to the psychology of being rescued interspersed with various people drowning or going missing in a variety of wonderfully imaginative places. Thanks to all those who took part in jangling my nerves for this week… including JUST before dinner. SEE! Saniya still finding time to smile for the camera!
Today, as I sit here and write this, I am still basking in the glow of two things. The first is not really worthy of basking but I am basking by proxy. Saniya and I successfully passed our Rescue diver exams, me with 47 out of 50 and Saniya, a native Russian speaking girl from Kazakhstan, passed with 48 out of 50. Will I ever live this down? No. Oh AND the second. I found somewhere in town that sold HUNGARIAN sausage with fried egg and rice for breakfast. Not only was it an actual sausage with meat in it BUT it tasted like it had been made with Hungarian influences. The meat content statement relates to the Philippine love of flourescent ‘hot dogs’ often served with marshmallows. My Hungarian sausage comment relates to my Greco-Hungarian origins. Dad. It tasted good.
So. Marshmallows with hot dogs. Yeah. Seriously. It’s a Phillipino birthday treat. It was Jaako and Saniya’s birthday so we celebrated with a rescue scenario, meat with sweets and barbequed fish. Drinks were drunk. Candles were blown out and merriment was made. It, as usual, was a great evening and the food was a TREAT. Peddy and Ginalyn did themselves proud.
The kids have been hanging around a lot which has been a lot of fun BUT I do not think I am ready QUITE yet for little ones of my own. Don’t worry world, I will one day but I am fairy sure you will know all about it. For now, sunny days with copious amounts of swimming, eating and drinking are just the ticket. I will happily go swimming with Solymar and watch cartoons with Kai Kai any time they want. If this was an equation for life then the solution would be Life is good. Tatty bye now!
Disclaimer: The cheesiness of that final paragraph is not my fault. I think the sun must be getting to me or something else that absolves me from blame.
Alright alright alright!! I know it’s late. I know I said I would write every Wednesday but I think you were getting complacent and so I wanted to put a bit of pizzazz back into our relationship. Y’know, keep it interesting. I can only assume from your evil death-stare-eyes that my intentions have been misguided. I am aware of my mistake and I will endeavor to make sure it does not happen again. Well until next week….
It is with stagnation in mind that I ponder WHY it is that I have delayed/paused/procrastinated this week.(As an aside, I am the overlord of literary segues). It came to me as I woke up this morning. I THINK I am becoming accustomed to my life. Worryingly, I am on the verge of being de-sensitised to this glorious place which is slowly giving me an idyllic life beyond my comprehension.
The last week has been highlighted by comings and goings of Jaakko and Petro, Emy, Ryan, Reid and Kirsten with their adorable children, Duncan and Amanda left us but NOT before a pumpkin carving session with Solymar and Kai. I have never really made jack o’lanterns. So two things happened that night. I carved my first pumpkin AND learned that they are called jack o’lanterns. This place just keeps on giving. It was a great night for all.
On top of all this an old friend of Tim and Zoe’s and an Exotic veteran arrived with his humble belongings and oodles of dive gear to call Liquid his home. He will definitely add a lot to this place. We have already been on a few good dives, I have been given a few great bits of advice and shared many laughs. Between he, Gui and I think life here is only getting better.
Saniya and I started our Rescue Diver course on Friday. Much studying has already happened. I KNOW I am going to like this. I was lucky enough to take part in a fairly serious Jungle and wilderness first aid course earlier this summer and I LOVED that… apart from being woken up at 4am for a rescue scenario where the victim had ruptured their spleen. Turns out you can’t fix that in the jungle. I wonder what will be thrown at us next. So far you should be relieved to know that we rescued all the missing dinosaurs – well most of them:) T-Rex junior will forever be in our hearts!
And yes I KNOW I am wearing a towel on my head! Apparently it is so I can concentrate on the compass bearing and Saniya can use her eyes for looking. Turns out that ‘that is important.
My excitement seldom subsides. Day to day, I find myself more and more content. The weather does not seem to be getting worse despite Keith’s prophecies of doom about the weather and they say it is going to turn cooler. Happiness is currently spelled L-i-q-u-i-d D-u-m-a-g-u-e-t-e
Until the next time wonderful people and in the mean time when are you coming to see us!!