A fantastic Sunday

Seth on his first horse ride

Seth on his first horse ride

The gang

The gang

Yum!

Yum!

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The feast

The feast

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Just last week I thought that life on the island was getting rather boring these days. We have been busy at home and trying to catch up on sleep whenever possible. But, in true New Caledonia style, a regular day can turn into something spectacular.
It all started with a simple trip to the beach. Summer has begun here and the weather is warm. My friend Marie France and I had tossed around the idea of going to the beach earlier in the week. We thought it would be a great Sunday morning.
So, yesterday morning we got up and organized. I swear we pack more for the beach then to fly to Canada. With beach toys, BBQs, picnics and baby stuff packed we were off to Pindaï. Once we arrived we noticed that there were lots of people at the beach, including numerous horse trailers. Cool I thought, horses on the beach will be neat to see. Little did I know that, that would only be the tip of the iceberg. Of course in true Marif fashion she knew the people with the horses and within minutes I was being summoned to come quick and bring your camera. As I made my way down the beach I could see Seth, riding the horse, bareback in the water. It was like a movie scene! The sand white, the water turquoise and there was Seth on a horse! It was a true ‘only in New Cal’ moment, but also a ‘only with Marie France’ moment. After Seth’s horse ride we headed back to our spot and had our picnic; charcoal BBQed wings, chicken brochettes, hot dogs and pasta salad. We enjoyed the rest of our time and headed home. We all agreed that it was a pretty awesome trip to the beach.
Now before I tell you the rest of the story, I have to tell you about Marie France and her husband Marc Antoine. Two years ago when we arrived here I met Marie France through a friend. I instantly liked her. She talked fast, her enthusiasm was contagious and she seemed to be able to convince you to do anything. Within minutes of meeting her she invited Keith, Seth and I to her house for Christmas Eve and asked if my husband (who she had never met) to dress up as Santa. I needed to also bring a bottle of champagne. Her husband Marc Antoine is an interesting cat. He works crazy hours, seems to be always happy, has lived all over the place and loves maple syrup. They have become close friends. They are easy to be around and always lots of fun. But, unfortunately, it’s their turn to leave in few short weeks.
Back to my story.
It’s 3pm the same day. The house is quiet and some are having their after beach sieste. The phone rings, it’s Marie France, she is gleeful and speaking in a French so fast I can barely understand. Marc has returned from fishing with a haul! A tazard, carangue and a huge langouste or porcelain. Something about no pot big enough, you have to share in the feast! Can we bring it over? It needs to be shared. Sure! I answered. It no time at all Marc Antoine was filleting fish in my yard, my neighbour, who’d been fishing with him was arriving with spices from India and Marie France was rushing in with rice in her rice cooker and what else but a bottle of champagne! There was the best fish curry I have ever tasted made that night, a fish cooked whole with butter, onion, tomato and herbs and the tail of the langouste barbecued and shared.
It was one of those days that you could just never plan. It’s what living here is all about. Seizing the moment, abandoning your nap for an adventure and the sharing of good food. It was perfection.
So, with a heavy heart I must prepare to say goodbye to my friends. It will be sad but it’s all part of this adventure. And for some reason I know in my heart it won’t be the last time that our paths cross. Cheers Marif et Marc Antoine. Je vous aimes!

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