Hello, good evening, and welcome, in the immortal words of David Frost. Welcome to Rarotonga, truly a most wondrous island. Still, if you’ve just read Vol IV, you’ll know something about it, something of our deeds + misdeeds so far. We’ve eaten too well, drunk too much, + not slept nearly enough – in short, it’s been terrific. And it’s not finished yet (I still have the benefit of over a week’s hindsight.) Still, preparations must be made for moving on, + this morning Val + I did some of the boat’s shopping, equipping ourselves with some vegetables. Dick told us that Heather was coming over for lunch, so we wanted to be finished with chores so that we could meet her – she has a flat on the island somewhere, + had offered to let us use her washing-machine. We were in dire need too, since we’d just about run out of clothes. So we bought a few things for the boat, + a luxury item or 2 for ourselves – cake, ice-cream, a Newsweek, + popped back to the harbour to wait for Heather. Some confusion with people popping back + forth, so to make things simple, Dick was kind enough to tell us to go aboard Blue Moves, his boat, + wait there. It’s a nice little boat that Dick is single-handing to NZ – tho’ he’s not averse to giving the occasional ride, particularly if his hitch-hikers are female. He’s a very nice chap, tho’ – fond of a good laugh. He provided us with a lunch of bread + cheese, + then Heather invited all of us out to her place for dinner. Dick had business to attend to first, but he said he’d be out later, while the other 3 of us set out straight away.
Stopped off first to buy some beer, + then I popped into a local store to buy one of the film T-shirts. When I came out again, the women had gone! Still, things worked out alright – I got a lift fairly easily, + when I met the others it turned out they’d been invited to a party. Two of the guys from the film crew had picked them up, a couple of construction technicians who’d walked around with scarves wrapped around their heads, Japanese-style – one had WAN written on his, the other KER. Fairly apt, actually, but they were nice enough. Real names George, + something else. Nick? Anyway, they were throwing a party tonight. Only problem was, it was right on the other side of the island, + we had no transport. Still, something to bear in mind.
We (ie Val) did the washing, + then I trotted off to the supermarket to buy some mince. Horrified to discover that somehow it had become 5 o’clock, so the place was shut. So we made do with chops from a local store. We all showered (separately) – Dick had arrived by now, so we started on the beer. Heather shot off to fetch another friend who lived close, an Aussie girl called Annie. She’d also been an extra in the movie, but I hadn’t noticed her. Don’t know why tho’, since she’s extraordinarily pretty. Heather had had to rescue her from the clutches of WAN + KER who were trying to persuade her a) to go out to dinner with them, + b) to go to their party… + presumably then a spot of c) too. However, she came over to join us, + an exceedingly pleasant evening it turned out to be. The food was pleasant tho’ unremarkable, but the conversation + company was very good. It must have been – I can’t remember any of it. At one stage, Heather + Annie went out for more beer, + were quite a long time, but it didn’t seem very remarkable. And somehow, once again time flew by, + it was 12 o’clock, all of a sudden. Annie left, + the rest of us prepared to bed down – we had unanimously agreed not to venture out tonight.
However, it was not to be. At 12.30 there was a knock on the door, + there stood Annie with WAN (or possibly KER… I’ll call him George) who had come to fetch us to the Ball. It was a bit late, + we were somewhat bushed, but a party is a party, especially when there’s transport laid on, so we climbed into or onto George’s pick-up. All, that is, except Annie, who having foisted her would-be suitor onto us, steadfastly refused to come. A bit rough on George – he’d come for Annie, + ended up with us.
When we arrived at George’s house, it was virtually empty – he seemed genuinely surprised tho’. Still, there were a few people, not all of whom were complete washouts. I was pleased to see Corky, who had been on Ganesh our first night there, + was both a splendid artist +, more gregariously, a fine guitarist. At first, we just sat around + listened to the stereo, but pretty soon a jam session began, with Corky + Nick on guitar, + George on violin. They were disgustingly good. (As Heather later told me I said at the time, “What a pity wankers like this are so talented – it’s such a waste.”) However, it all became too much for me, + as is increasingly my wont at such functions, I fell asleep. Still, George was good enough to take us all home at about 4.30 – he was still disconsolate about Annie.
That’s the trouble with an active social life; sometimes it can be just a bit too active. Still, it was nice to be able to socialise with friends; we can tend to rely just a bit too much on each other.