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Islandliving pacifi c from the editor

SUMMER 2016/17 | ISSUE 18








e n i D & ive IN A H OLI



ext issue, we will be celebrating four years of Pacific Island Living. We started this magazine for Pacific people – to find, review and recommend things to see and do, and ultimately, buy. We are proudly an aspirational magazine, we want our readers to sit back and indulge just as much as we want to tell the world how great the Pacific really is. From Georgie Gordon’s health and beauty columns, to Carolyn Ernst’s gardening tips, we hope you agree Pacific Island Living has something for everyone. In four years our market has grown from Vanuatu and Nauru Airlines to cover most of the Pacific. We’re particularly proud of our market share in Fiji and the Solomon Islands as well as our distribution in Australia through Qantas Club lounges. As I write this column I’m in Fiji, having just flown in from Vanuatu. Next month it will be Nauru then the Sollies. Pacific Island Living truly is a Pacific magazine and we’re so pleased you have enjoyed it and helped its growth over the last four years. Please do keep in touch via our website, Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter. Happy reading. Tiffany Carroll

Find us on Facebook, Twitter


and Instagram at or read this and all our magazines online at www.pacific-island-living. com Cover images - Fiji Island Living courtesy Adrenalin Fiji; Solomon Island Living, by David Kirkland; Nauru Airlines AU$5 (incl. GST) Cover courtesy Nautilus Resort, Kosrae; Vanuatu cover courtesy Pavol Stranák.

ISSN 2200-9566


03 reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced without the permission of the Copyright: All rights publisher. Articles express the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Nauru Airlines, Tourism Fiji, Vanuatu Tourism Office or Pacific Island Living.

9 772200 956005

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from the editor

m not sure why, but 2016 seems to have really dragged on for me – which is strange, because the older you get, the quicker the years are meant to tick by. I’m not sure if it is the thought of a long-planned holiday at the end of the year that still feels like months away or perhaps it’s being a resident of the Pacific for 16 years now I have finally got in to the ‘island time’ way of life. Nothing ever happens in a hurry over here. In Fiji they call it Bula Time, in Vanuatu, it’s simply Vanuatu Time, in Samoa it’s Fa’a – the Samoan way of life. And there’s something to be said for it – I’ve learnt that everything will eventually happen, maybe not on time – whatever that means in the Pacific. When I first moved to Vanuatu normal everyday things used to frustrate me. Why did I have to go to three different offices to get a driver’s licence? Why did you have to arrive at the airport two hours before a flight when you knew it would be two hours delayed? And why, when you asked a seemingly simple question such as how far away is the post office would you receive a puzzling response such as ‘long way little bit’? None of these things frustrate me anymore, well most of the time, because I realise that whilst I may have to go to three different offices to get something done, the weather is going to be warm, the water views along the way spectacular, and I’ll always be greeted with a big island smile. So why worry? It’s the Pacific way of life and I’m so glad to be a part of it. Happy reading.

Tiffany Carroll

Find us on Facebook, Twitter


and Instagram at or read this and all our magazines online at: Copyright: All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Articles express the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Nauru Airlines, Tourism Fiji, Vanuatu Tourism Office, Samoa Tourism Authority, Photogenic Limited or Pacific Island Living.

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Pacific Island Living No 18 | Summer 2016/17 EDITOR Tiffany Carroll Email: ART DIRECTOR Tanya Green FEATURES EDITOR Georgie Gordon FASHION + STYLE EDITOR Olivia Waugh FOOD EDITOR Christiana Kaluscha GARDENING EDITOR Carolyn Ernst CONTRIBUTORS Toby Preston, Craig Osment, Pat Ingram, Fiona Harper, Carolyn Ernst, Christiana Kaluscha, Gayle Stapleton, Fiona Marston, Tiffany Carroll, Tourism Fiji, Vanuatu Tourism Office, Tatyana Leonov, SIVB, Deborah Dickson-Smith, David Kirkland, Rebecca Worsp, Pohnpei Surf Club, Roderick Eime, Bronwyn Besley-Norris. EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Pat Ingram PUBLISHER: Craig Osment ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Rebecca Worsp: Advertising Director Fiji | Vanuatu | Nauru | Samoa | Australia | NZ Telephone: (678) 778 0005 Email: Honiara: Bronwyn Norris Telephone: (677) 745 6066 Email: Pacific Island Living, is published quarterly by Photogenic Limited Fax (678) 23 402 | PO Box 322 Port Vila, Vanuatu Printed by APOL Find us on Facebook Twitter


and Instagram


Or read this and all our magazines online


COPYRIGHT All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Articles express the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Nauru Airlines, Tourism Fiji or Pacific Island Living.

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The lotus flower doesn’t come much more spectacular than this. Bright yellow with folded petals and a green seed pod from the Port Vila Central Market. Art Smart, page 102


1 0 2 r e m m Su 8

BEACHCOMBER This issue we feature a new

Fijian coconut-based vodka, Lonely Planet’s new dining and travel guide plus a luxury villa for rent and an ecofriendly line of professional make-up in Fiji.



Olivia Waugh dresses for the party season by getting glammed up in festive frocks and sparkly shoes.


NET ASSETS Our pick of the websites we love. This


DISCOVERY – FINDING THE REAL FIJI Fiona Harper believes Captain James Cook may have missed the point ... and one of Fiji’s unspoilt gems when he left the Lau Islands without further exploration.


PACIFIC PULSE Our round up of Pacific happenings and this time we check out the conservation efforts surrounding the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Pacific Art on display in Sydney and Nauru Airlines new hangar.


STYLE+DÉCOR – SEASON’S GIFTING Olivia Waugh rounds up some festive baubles and other goodies with which to deck the halls this Christmas.

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PHOTO ESSAY Travel photographer Alix Willemez fell in love with the culture and customs of Vanuatu and has recorded her impressions in a series of stunning images from around the country’s outer islands.

time sites for men and women interested in fashion, a worthy site for volunteers and the king of cool.


TOURISM AWARDS Vanuatu celebrates the annual ceremony in honour of the best in tourism from local to luxe. Warning: partial nudity

BOOK LOOK Georgie Gordon reads a couple of books she can’t put down, a romantic romp and the story of a far flung Pacific Island.




RESORT REPORT a selection of our favourite places to soak up some sun and local culture from around the region. This issue we drop by a few of the best in Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu.


ABODE Toby Preston takes a peek inside a very special holiday villa in Vanuatu. Its five pavilions sit right on a white sand beach and open onto a pandanus strewn lawn. And if you hurry it may still be for sale.


HEALTH – THE HEALTHY HERB Turmeric has been known throughout Asia for thousands of years for its medicinal properties, so all those hipsters islandliving | 5 paciďŹ c

who believe it only turned up in a latte last week couldn’t be more wrong says Georgie Gordon.


BEAUTY – SET FOR SUMMER Georgie Gordon tracks the trends straight from the international catwalks and picks the products that will ensure you get the looks – get ready for the heat.


CROCS, CAVES AND CLOWN FISH For Deborah Dickson-Smith the Solomon Islands show off their wild side to divers, from Munda to the Florida and Russell Islands making for an unforgettable holiday adventure she’ll be talking about for years to come.


RESTAURANTS A couple of suggestions for anyone interested in the local cuisine – that’s gotta be everybody.


THE OTHER RED MEAT – GOAT Christiana Kaluscha is a long-time aficionado of this tasty little ruminant which is a staple in so many countries around the world but remains a bit of a culinary outlier in the Anglo-sphere.


UNDERWATER WORLD – SAMOA Noted for spectacular scenery from dense jungle to volcanoes and lava flows, Samoa’s real delights, according to Deborah Dickson-Smith are to be found under the water.


LONG DISTANCE LOVE AFFAIR Craig Osment gets aboard a big boat and cruises through the Baltic taking in the delights of Scandinavia plus a couple of places that weren’t previously on his list.


GLORIOUS GARDENS Gardening editor, Carolyn Ernst reflects on the influences that have made her garden what it is and why every garden is unique.

102 ART SMART – BLOOMING BEAUTY In the Pacific we are surrounded by some of the world’s most exotic blooms which thrive in our tropical heat Toby Preston looks at their place in art and life.

108 BUY IN Gayle Stapleton advises on getting into the Top: Whatever floats your boat! Here an extremely cheerful couple have washed up at Tavenui Island’s twin waterfalls. See page 14. Middle: Underwater lighting on diving wreck, Fagamalo, Savai’i in Samoa, page 80. Bottom: Nice eh? Take a closer look inside this splendid beachfront villa in Port Vila’s Whitesands area. Page 52.

booming tourism industry in the South Pacific.

116 STAFF BIOGS The behind-the-scenes people who make your magazine every issue, contributors and staff details. Lots of girls and only one bloke – is that equality?

116 PAR AVION Toby Preston vents a little spleen and reveals the little things that irritate him.

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Beachcomber Every issue we bring you the news, views, people, products and places from all around the Pacific.

INTERNATIONAL DINING COMPANION Those world famous travel experts at Lonely Planet have just published a companion to their acclaimed Wine Trails, this time it’s Food Trails. This beautifully illustrated hardback is the perfect travelling and dining companion for all of us who like to gather culinary souvenirs on our travels. The book features 52 trails – a year’s worth of weekends away – from the planet’s cuisine capitals each with gorgeous photography, a bespoke map, expert‘s reviews along with practical information on how to get there and where to stay.

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From Buenos Aires to Beijing, Auckland to Aahus (in Denmark) and Bali to the Black Forest you’ll find everything from the best steaks to the perfect Parisian patisserie with individual itineraries for each of the 52 destinations. Each place covers a dozen stops, including food local markets, must-visit restaurants and shops as well information on getting to know the local providores. Lonely Planet’s authors recommend various events which take place during the year and provide plenty of practical information on bookings and accommodation so that readers can tailor their trips to suit their requirements, For a perfect weekend gourmet getaway at 304 pages there’s plenty here for every taste and every trip, available from Lonely Planet, its RRP is AU$34.99, see for order details.

LOOK OUT FIJI WATER HERE COMES FIJI VODKA Every now and then a new product hits the market and you just know it is going to be bigger than Ben-Hur. From the iPhone to the iPad, the microwave to bluetooth, you see it, and you know – this will be everywhere. Suffice to say being invited to a vodka factory in Suva, Fiji my expectations were not high for a market-changing product launch. I mean Vodka – the Russian drink? And then I tried the product. Fiji Coconut Vodka is a

pure taste sensation. Think Bounty chocolate without the chocolate. The difference between this product and Malibu is Fiji Coconut Vodka actually uses fresh Fijian coconuts in their recipe. The flavour is fresh without being overpowering and I knew, after one sip of this beautiful drink over ice, Fiji Coconut Vodka would no doubt replace Fiji Water as the market leader of Fijian made products. The packaging is fun and stylish and with the marketing brains of Sharon Smith-Johns and Pete Ovenden behind Fiji Coconut Vodka, expect to see it everywhere. From Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to the NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully - everyone’s trying it. For now, you can buy it throughout Fiji at retail and duty free stores, including Tappoo at Nadi International airport. Get on to it – it’s a winner.

Beachcomber And if you have anything that’s worth knowing about, get in touch and let us in on the secret. TATOKA HAIR AND HARLOTTE JOIN FORCES Harlotte is a professional line of makeup, animalfriendly, cruelty-free and already established as an industry favourite for its sensual sophistication. With a huge cult following, their products are now stocked in 400 salons across Australia and a popular choice for many brides, runway models and fast becoming Australia’s makeup brand of choice. Harlotte formulated a new foundation colour at its lab, to match the skin and tone of local Fijian girls. This colour was launched at Fiji Fashion Week. Leanne Goff from Tatoka Hair and Beauty is the Fijian distributor for Harlotte and she raves about the range. “It is great to have Harlotte here, expecially for the wedding market, giving brides more options in professional makeup and boosting the kits of Fiji makeup artists,” she said. Find Harlotte at Tatoka Hair and Beauty at Port Denarau, Fiji. LUXURY RENTAL AT ANGEL FISH COVE Situated at Angelfish Cove on three acres of lush landscaped gardens with 100 metres of private beach you will be in your own piece of paradise when you holiday at Karibu. Inspired by Kenyan coastal architecture, Karibu, which means welcome in Swahili, has lovely wide verandahs which run the full length of the house. Here the day beds and hammock are perfect for relaxing and gazing at the calm waters of Port Vila bay. This four bedroom, four bathroom villa comfortably sleeps nine people. With spacious living areas, four poster king beds and views directly on to the sparkling ocean, this property is perfectly suited for families or friends traveling together. Managed by Vanuatu Luxury Holiday Homes see:

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Cardo s STEAKHOUSE & COCKTAIL BAR Port Denarau, Fiji

Open for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Port Denarau Marina Complex, FIJI Phone (+679) 675 0900 Web islandliving | 10 paciďŹ c

Book look: Summer Reads Georgie Gordon selects her summer reading suggestions. NEVER ALONE by Elizabeth Haynes For a great summer read Elizabeth Haynes’s new psychological thriller doesn’t disappoint. Sarah Carpenter lives alone in an isolated farm house in North Yorkshire. When an old acquaintance, Aiden Beck, needs somewhere to stay for a while Sarah’s cottage seems ideal; and renewing her relationship with Aiden gives her a reason to smile again. But suddenly the weather turns and Sarah finds herself in real danger, can she trust Aiden to offer her protection or has she invited the enemy into her home? Nothing is as it seems in this brilliantly suspenseful novel and you will find it hard to put down until the final shocking twist. Published by Text.

HOME by Harlan Coben In bestselling author Harlen Coben’s latest gripping thriller Myron Bolitar returns to locate a missing boy. A decade ago kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally arrived: Myron and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? Fans of Coben wont be disappointed by this explosive thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home. Published by Century.

YOU WILL NOT HAVE MY HATE by Antoine Leiris One night last winter, Antoine Leiris was at home looking after his son while his wife, Hélène, was at a concert with friends. She never returned home as that night Hélène was killed, along with 88 other people, at the Bataclan Theatre, in the Paris terrorist attacks. You Will Not Have My Hate is a heartbreaking memoir about how Antoine and his baby son endured after her murder. With extraordinary courage and emotional honesty he finds a way to go on, his beautiful words a message of hope and resilience in perilous times. Published by Penguin.

CRUSOE’S ISLAND by Andrew Lambert Crusoe’s Island charts the curious relationship between the British and an island on the other side of the world: Robinson Crusoe, in the South Pacific. This tiny island assumed a remarkable position in British culture, most famously in Daniel Defoe’s novel. Crusoe’s Island reveals the truth behind the legend of this place, bringing to life the voices of the visiting sailors, scientists and artists, as well as the wonders, tragedy and violence that they encountered. Published by Faber.

THE CHOCOLATE TIN by Fiona McIntosh For a fun romantic romp you can’t go past Fiona McIntosh. Her latest tale takes us from the battlefields of northern France to the medieval city of York, where Alexandra Frobisher hopes for a career at the chocolate factory in town. After turning down several marriage proposals the charming Matthew Britten-Jones arrives on the scene offering her his hand. But will the amicable union that he proposes be enough for the headstrong Alexandra? If romantic fiction is your thing this story of love and heartbreak ticks all the boxes. Published by Penguin.

CITY OF SECRETS by Stewart O’Nan Best-selling author Stewart O’Nan’s latest novel is set in 1945 as Jewish refugees, with no homes to return to set out for Palestine in their tens of thousands. City of Secrets follows one survivor, Brand, as he tries to regain himself after losing everyone he’s ever loved and commits himself to the Jewish underground resistance. A noirish, deeply felt novel of intrigue and identity, it asks how both despair and faith can lead us astray, and what happens when, with the noblest intentions, we join movements beyond our control. Published by A&U UK.

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Net assets: Cool Sites Fashion for him and her, gifts for everyone and a site for volunteers. By Georgie Gordon. WE WORE WHAT Keep your finger on the pulse of all things fashion related with this blog from New Yorker Danielle Bernstein. Daily outfit inspiration, the latest trends and what celebrities are wearing are all discussed in detail. Health and fitness, beauty trends and even interiors also get a look in, so if you’re after for a one stop shop (and yes it does have a shop) for a daily dose of frivolity and inspiration this is it. Not surprisingly you can also follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

DO SOMETHING This brilliant initiative finds causes for people based on their concerns and what they have to offer. Type in your cause (options include environment and violence) then how much time you have and what kind of help you can offer… For example, if you are passionate about animals but don’t have a lot of time or money to offer, it might suggest you sign up to help sea turtles by committing to pick up rubbish before it hits the ocean. Relieve as much or as little of your social conscience as you please, there are currently 5.3 million members taking action, join up and as the site says ‘make the world suck less’.

PAUSE ONLINE Because men like fashion too you know. This is our pick for the site most likely to keep you in the loop on all things style related and probably make you feel like a complete dag… let’s call it aspirational. From interviews with uber cool musicians to the best street style pics to the latest sneaker releases. Check what threads you should be buying and what you should definitely not be wearing and stay up to date on what the hottest male celebs are into… Jared Leto favours Gucci hoodies FYI.

TOUCH OF MODERN If you’re looking for a cool and unusual gift or just interested in ‘what will they come up with next?’ a Touch of Modern is for you. Full of things you didn’t know you needed such as the See Everything Snorkel Mask and the Hyperchiller for instant iced coffee. They have a section with affordable art work and they also have great gifts for notoriously hard to buy for guys, with everything from beer soap to a razor sharpening block to guitar picks made from coins.

HFFH How Far From Home is a blog (but you can also follow them on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter) from a South African couple, Chanel and Stevo, who left their jobs and cushy life to travel the world ‘and collect memories, not things’. As they go from island hopping in Greece to sailing around Ibiza to Reykjavik, Iceland at an alarming rate you can follow them through their posts, however it is their beautiful photography of these places they visit that will have you indulging in a bit of desk chair escapism from time to time.

THE COOL HUNTER JOURNAL A beautifully curated site of music, architecture, art, design and travel content. Play cool tunes via their weekend music playlists, check out beautifully designed spaces from around the world and read articles on lifestyle trends accompanied by beautiful imagery. It is the perfect online destination to relieve the senses when the world is feeling unpleasant. Cleverly they also have an online shop where you can pick up well-designed homewares, fashion and gifts.

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The Real Fiji Fiona Harper believes Captain James Cook may have missed the point ... and one of Fiji’s unspoilt gems when he left the Lau Islands without further exploration.

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ntrepid navigator Captain James Cook’s ambitious explorations enticed him from the wintery shores of Great Britain to the idyllic South Pacific. It sounds like a dream assignment. Commanding an expedition to observe the Transit of Venus, Cook spent a number of years bouncing around the Pacific Ocean on-board the bark Endeavour once that mission was accomplished. Searching for the mythical Great Southern Land, his travels took him into chilly Antarctic Circle waters before heading northwards to the Marquesas. Making just one landfall in Fiji (or Fidgee as it was then known) he chose to go ashore

at one of the most beautiful islands in a country with over 300 of them. Sighting turtles foraging on the reef, Cook’s shore party found islanders armed with clubs and spears. He named the landmass rising out of the fringing reef Turtle Island before casting Fiji adrift and sailing over the horizon. Had he known that he missed the chain of islands now known as the Lau Group of Islands the course of history would likely have been vastly different. But he was on a mission, inspired to ‘not only go farther than anyone had been before, but as far as it was possible for man to go’.

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Sorry James, we know you were on important government business, but, with respect, you kind of missed the point of exploration. Well, you did when compared to today’s travellers seeking their own tropical paradise in far-flung South Pacific locales. Particularly those inclined towards finding secret spots as yet undiscovered by mass tourism. On that point the Lau Islands deliver in spades. If you’re looking for the Fiji unseen in any tourism brochures, you’ll find it in the Lau Group. In fact, the Lau Islands are so far off the tourist radar few have heard of them. The chain of 57 islands that run northsouth along the 180 degree meridian are beautifully bejewelled treasures draped across an aquamarine sea. There are a couple of dirt airstrips though most arrivals come by sea just as they have for eons long before Cook stumbled upon them. Cruising yachts and a sporadic inter island service offer two options to get there. But the best way to explore the Lau Islands is to book a berth on Captain Cook Cruises MV Reef Endeavour. It took

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CCC three years over innumerable kava bowls to gain approval, meeting with chiefs, islanders and government officials. It was worth the wait. Cook’s namesake ventures to this far eastern archipelago just three times each year, taking travellers to places without postcards. Though Cook reported altercations with fierce warriors, these days bashful children or gap-toothed elders are more likely to greet the rare visitors who step ashore. Touted as the ‘real Fiji, untouched and unspoilt by western influence’, it’s hard to argue with the claim. Particularly after

PICTURES: Captain Cook Cruises.

Three years and lots of kava

surging through the narrow gap of fringing reef surrounding Fulaga Lagoon. A vast turquoise-hued lagoon is protected by ocean swells generated by south east trade winds. It’s a natural tropical paradise. The only thing missing is a freshly hulled coconut with a miniature umbrella and a straw poking out of it. There are however plenty of palm trees dripping with coconuts at hand to make amends. Beneath a powder blue sky dotted with cotton puff clouds tiny mushroom-like islets rise from the seabed. The shallow seabed itself is every bit as white as the clouds overhead. Atop the tiny islets iridescent green palm trees swoosh in the breeze. Undercut and eroded by the tide, some have arches creating miniature land bridges just large enough for a kayak or canoe to manoeuvre through.

Oceania’s star cluster

As the tide falls sandy islets rise above the sea, their shores kissed by gin-clear waters. Turtles appear to hover in thin air. Further afield long strips of beach sand are shaded by more coconut palms. This is the real treasure that Cook missed. It’s the sort of tranquil South Pacific idyll countless adventurers and artists, hedonists and hermits have sought for eons. I confess I’m smitten. Hidden away in the Southern Lau Group, Fulaga Lagoon is as far from downtown Nadi as it’s possible to be. If paradise has a postcode it’s right here. I toy briefly with the idea of jumping ship, settling into Fijian life and living a castaway life. Had Tom Hanks’s Cast Away character Chuck found himself washed up at Fulaga I suspect he wouldn’t have been quite so enthusiastic about being rescued.

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Travel writer Paul Theroux in The Happy Isles of Oceania describes the Lau group quite neatly as ‘one of the pretty little star-clusters in the universe of Oceania’. He must have paddled into Fulaga Lagoon too. There are but a handful of villages spread across the Lau archipelago. Few receive foreign visitors so that when MV Reef Endeavour appears on the horizon villagers throw open their arms. They open up their meagre homes, schools and churches too, inviting visitors to come inside like long lost family. Some, like those on Makogai Island lay out the welcome mat with delightful meke (dance) performances. It doesn’t take long for bashful children to lose their inhibitions amongst strangers, happily holding visitors’ hands as they proudly show off their school classrooms. Makogai was a former leper colony until 1969, when approximately 4,500 lepers passed through the hospital staffed by Catholic nuns. A crumbling graveyard and hospital ruins overgrown by jungle remain. At Waiqori village on Oneata Island villagers turn out in their Sunday best to greet new arrivals before worship services begin. Women bring out bolts of tapa cloth hand beaten from bark and decorated with vegetable dye geometric designs. Purchases are discussed with much laughter and joviality while curious onlookers keep their distance. The Lau group’s third largest island, the coastline of volcanic

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Vanuabalavu Island has been eroded and undercut by wind and waves creating caves accessible by sea. Snorkelling through a gap in the rock a cavernous cathedral opens up. It’s dripping with stalactites. Fish dart in and out of the cave unperturbed by human invasion. Archaeological expeditions conclude that a Vanuabaluva cave shows signs of human habitation around ten centuries ago. Life in these fertile islands remains very simple with the land, the sea and the sky providing pretty much all the sustenance required. I wonder how much daily life in these parts has changed since Cook’s much-lauded Pacific voyages. Not a whole lot I suspect.  More information Captain Cook Cruises

Above: A primary school student offering a traditional greeting smile. Centre: Aboard the MV Reef Endeavour. Above far right: A Kabara Island wedding is serenaded by a local guitarist. Below: Canoeing on the gin-clear waters of Wailagilala Island with the MV Reef Endeavour in the background.

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Maketi Ples, an event for contemporary Pacific Islands-based artists and artisans returned to Shapiro Gallery in Woollahra, Sydney. With art by communities and individuals from 12 Pacific Island nations, the 2016 collection featured some of the most exciting contemporary visual art, textiles and 3D artisan works with a strong representation of women from around the region.

This year artists from Niue, FSM (Yap), PNG, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu and Fiji were featured. Maketi Ples was established in 2011 by Pacific Islands Trade and Invest (PITI) to introduce a wide range of contemporary and traditional Pacific Islands works of art to an Australian audience of consumers, designers, retailers and importers The exhibition featured some of the most exciting contemporary visual art, textiles and artisan works, with a strong representation of women from around the region.

Nauru Airlines held an opening function on 1st September for its new hangar and maintenance facility at Brisbane International Airport. The facility was officially opened by His Excellency President Baron Waqa, President of Nauru and Nauru Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Bowmaker in front of more than 80 VIP’s and guests. “This is an historic day in the life of Nauru Airlines in

centralising its maintenance activities in this new facility” Mr. Bowmaker told invited guests. ”The viability of this move has been underpinned by the recent growth in our fleet of Boeing 737-300 aircraft to five aircraft in total,” he said. Nauru Airlines has partnered with Aircraft Structural Contractors a Brisbane based maintenance and repair organisation in setting up this new facility.

wedding bookings Fiji’s most sought after and experienced stylists for your perfect wedding day look.

denarau hair salon Internationally recognised products such as Yuko Straightening, Brazilian Blowout, Olaplex plus hairstyling and Make-Up studio.

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Denarau Industrial Park, Denarau Island p +679 672 1177 e

Pacific Pulse FIJI CONSIDERS BAN ON GILL NET FISHING TO PROTECT HAMMERHEAD SHARKS IN REWA DELTA Fisheries and Forest in order to protect this ecologically important area for SHS. “We would like to open a discussion with the stakeholders to achieve an agreement that fulfils the resources requirement of the people whose livelihood depend on the Rewa Delta while minimising the risk to the long term survival of this nursery area,” the USP researchers said. These include the following options for the Rewa Delta: The Scalloped Hammerhead Shark the Rewa Delta from September 2014 A complete ban of gillnet fishing (SHS) is among the most globally to March 2016 using gill nets. throughout the year; partial ban from threatened shark species. A University The USP report found: Sharks are sunset to sunrise throughout the year; of the South Pacific (USP) study more commonly encountered in nursery partial ban from sunset to sunrise presents empirical evidence for the areas than in other surrounding areas; during the parturition period (Octoberexistence of a SHS nursery in the Rewa sharks have a tendency to remain or return April); partial ban from sunset to sunrise Delta in Fiji. USP researchers believe it is for extended periods; the nursery area or during the peak of the parturition period the largest and probably most important habitat is repeatedly used across years. (December-March). nursery ground for the species ever “Because our study results showed The report was compiled by the team documented in the world. clear evidence the Rewa Delta is a of researchers led by Head of the School A total of 1217 SHS captures SHS nursery, USP made a number of of Marine Studies Professor Ciro Rico. (including 107 recaptures) were made in recommendations to the Ministry of

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Discover Fiji OR Vanuatu for FREE* by simply visiting the Pacific Island Living website at and entering our competition. WIN a holiday for two courtesy of Warwick Fiji, Warwick Le Lagon Vanuatu, Fiji Airways and Pacific Island Living. Experience the ultimate South Pacific holiday and all that Fiji or Vanuatu has to offer from the luxurious surrounds of the Warwick’s beautiful South Pacific properties.

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F I J I ’S FINEST ADDRESS Look no further...

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Felt Message Garland Feliz Navidad, $29

The Xl Alfred Faux Deer Head, faux taxidermy, white resin with gold antlers, $90;

Deck The Halls

s g n i t e e r g s ’ n o s a e s All items featured are available online with shipping throughout the Pacific.

All prices Australian dollars unless otherwise stated.

Lit faux blue spruce Christmas tree, from $599

Christmas Nativity Nesting Dolls, $29.95

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Lanvin set of two printed porcelain Christmas baubles $224.78

Alpine Toile dinner plate set of 4, $59

Bell Wreath, $45 Antler serving set, $39.50 Glitter Diamond Crackers set of 6, $24.35

Twas Embroidered Napkins, set of 4, $39.95

Stocking Bag, $13.99

Holiday Cheers! Stemless 4-piece 8.5 oz. Champagne flute set by Cathy’s Concepts, $55.99

Vintage Dutch Wooden Sled, $245.00,

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ARTISAN JEWELLERS SINCE 1981 Find us on Facebook and Instagram

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River Island sandals, $104

Season’s Greetings up ...

Earrings, £10


All items featured are available online with shipping throughout the Pacific.

Megan Park collar, $239

All prices Australian dollars unless otherwise stated.

Stella McCartney bag, $1353

Charlotte Olympia pumps, $778

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Dress, £75

Maria Stern silver and pearl ring, $425

Milly dress, $558

Zimmermann Dress, $810

Flare dress, $420 Sleeveless dress, $14.95 Simone Rocha Earrings,$360

Saloni dress, $559

Sophia Webster heels, $903 www.matchesfash

Red Valentino dress, $796 Anna October dress, $740

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Aquazzura sandals, $730 www.

Let’s Get Festive e m i t y t r s pa It’

Earring, £7.50

All items featured are available online with shipping throughout the Pacific.

All prices Australian dollars unless otherwise stated.

Aurelie Bidermann bracelet, £160

Oscar De La Renta choker, $729

Sam Edelman heels, £92

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Esterban Cortazar dress, $1997

Ring, $2250

Dress, £59 Kenneth Jay Lane earrings, $43

Mikael Aghal, £870 Dodo Bar Or maxi dress, $1,274

Embroided silk dress, $199

Dress, £85

Salvatore Ferragamo sandals, $802

Raey dress, $926

Camilla dress, $952

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Life is a collection of special moments Let Warwick Le Lagon be part of it Surrounded by natural beauty along the cobalt waters of Erakor Lagoon, Warwick Le Lagon - Vanuatu offers opportunities to create those special moments. Whether planning a relaxing holiday, romantic escape, wedding or conference, guests enjoy comfortable accommodation, exotic scenery, soothing spas, delectable cuisine and a host of activities suitable for all ages.

Warwick Le Lagon - Vanuatu, Elluk Road, Erakor Lagoon, Port Vila, Vanuatu D +678 22313 | | 38 | Islandliving paciďŹ c

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AWARDS t s e B s ’ u t Vanua

A gala event celebrating Vanuatu’s achievements in tourism saw Warwick Le Lagon Resort, Ratua Private Island Resort, Rah Paradise Bungalow and White Grass Ocean Resort take out the accommodation categories for the best in the business. Big Blue dive centre, Vanuatu Jungle Zipline, Evergreen Tours and Eden on the River all won for tours and service. Clockwise from below left this page: Max from Zipline won for best tour guide; Warwick Le Lagon Best Hotel/Resort; Fatumaru Lodge Best

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Mid-range Accommodation; Rah Paradise Bungalows, Best Island Style Accommodation.


he best of the best in Vanuatu’s tourism industry have been recognised at the annual BSP Tourism Awards for Excellence. Accommodation categories included Best Island Style (Rah Paradise Bungalows); Best Mid-Range (Fatumaru Lodge); Best Boutique (White Grass Ocean Resort); Best Hotel/Resort (Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa); Best Luxury (Ratua Private Island Resort). Tours and experiences were also recognised. Winners were Flower Garden Water Music, Vanuatu Jungle Zipline, Big Blue (diving), Evergreen (Mele Cascades and tours).  This page from top left: Evergreen’s Mele Cascades; White Grass Ocean Resort, Tanna; Ratua Private Island, Santo; Big Blue (diving), Port Vila; Eden on the River

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Photo Essay

AptFresh Eye a r e m a C ured on


Travel photographer Alix Willemez fell in love with the culture and customs of Vanuatu and has recorded her impressions in a series of stunning images from around the country’s outer islands.

PICTURES: Alix Willemez. see more at

Below: female dancers on Malekula. Above left and middle: Water music practitioners at the Leweton cultural centre on Espiritu Santo. Above,

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far right: Male dancer on Malekula. Below; left: The rugged terrain of Ambrym; right: Lap lap preparation on Malekula; bottom: Volcanic light on Ambrym.


lix Willemez claims she is a ‘photographer who travels to the most beautiful places on earth’. After living on the Mongolian steppe with Mongols for a year, she travelled to Siberia and China to live with local families. Since 2012, Alix has been living in New Caledonia, in the South Pacific and from this amazing region, she has captured the life of Vanuatu, Tasmania, Hawaii, Japan and New Zealand in pictures. Here we showcase her tribute to the Ni Vanuatu inhabitants of Malekula, Ambrym and Santo. Alix was struck by the resilience of the people in the face of natural disasters, raging volcanoes and life on remote islands surrounded by endless ocean. See more of her work at or follow her at  islandliving | 43 pacific

And they’re on the most accessible Fiji’s 333 owner, you’lllocated enjoy reciprocal privileges at sixisland of theofworld’s most specks paradise – Viti Levu, with its international airport, an beautifulofdestinations.

Villas enjoy five-star resort amenities andfacilities, services,bathroom including the fully furnished with kitchenette, laundry and oceanfront nity pool making (thoughfacilities all the villas their wardrobe, infi tea/coffee andalso free have wifi access

Vanuatu’s Most Sophisticated • Waterfront Self Contained Accommodation • Poolside Restaurant • Wifi • Watersports

BeachfrontVilla Rentals

Paua offers a range of spectacular private, absolute beachfront villas in the Whitesands/Narpow Point area of Efaté. On-site staff and en-suite accommodation in-ground pool plus private beach available. In-house catering, airport transfers and concierge advice on request. Paua for your perfect ‘private resort’ holiday or function. Paua villas are also perfect for weddings U which can be professionally arranged. PA A

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Contact Christiana or Toga. T: +678 775 1793 +678| 775 1792 or +678 26 108 5 mins fromortown M S EN T911 E: W: for villa details + CON | (678) 36

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ENROLLING NOW for Semester 1 2017 Contact your nearest campus today!




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Resort Report

Places we love c ďŹ i c a P e h t n i s y a magic st Our favourite resorts across the Pacific. Stay for a week, a month or a lifetime.







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Resort Report

Above: Holiday Inn Resort’s main pool in Port Vila.

Club guests have special access to the Sheraton Club Lounge. A relaxing, upscale space, the Club Lounge offers complimentary breakfast, afternoon hors d’oeuvres, and a variety of beverage options. Take advantage of the private Club Lounge, where you can connect with friends, meet with your team, or simply relax by catching your favourite TV show. Need to get some work done? A copier/fax/printer and complimentary office supplies are ready to go.

in 2014, and is another addition to an increasing number of honours, just three years after opening. “Naisoso Island Resort Villas are still in very early days and we have so much more we intend on rolling out so being recognised so early on is very exciting.” Located on the private island of Naisoso in Nadi, they are Fiji’s sole provider of upmarket villas and holiday homes, with its size, luxury amenities and self-catering options crafting a unique niche in Fiji’s bustling tourism industry. Only a few minutes’ drive from Fiji’s main airport, the villas command a unique mix of central proximity with extreme privacy and security. They are the only high-end villas and holiday homes that offer self-catering options and full resort services in Fiji. Villa sizes begin from 346 sqm and each is large enough for families and groups. Its returnee rate includes guests booking their third and fourth trips. Simply, Naisoso is ideal for short to medium term stay – most don’t want to leave. The pool area is particularly inviting, with an open-air bar and causal dining area. There is also an air conditioned restaurant and undercover restaurant and bar area close to the impressive reception area.

5.Holiday Inn, Port Vila

Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu located on the beautiful First Lagoon in Port Vila offers guests a choice of several packages for the perfect holiday. For the ‘Stay Romance’ package, guests enjoy superb service with their own personal waiter while dining in a private cabana surrounded tiki torches overlooking the tranquil “We’ve come up with a few destinations that are sure to fit the bill – literally and figuratively.byJust decide whether you want to be on the beach waters of Erakor Lagoon. Delicious food, fabulous wine and great company makes for an Naisoso Island Resort Villas has bagged another win at the unforgettable experience at the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu. World Luxury Hotel Awards, global tourism’s highest And if you’re traveling with kids, mums and dads can send them accolades for upmarket accommodation. (aged 3-12) to the Resorts’ free Kids Club facility which will ensure Naisoso was nominated for Luxury Villa Resort, Luxury every member of the family enjoys some treat time. Private Pool Villa and the Best Service Villas. The resort boasts two swimming pools, over-water bungalows, a “We are so proud of our achievement and for all our staff’s ball room and conference facilities, water sports and day spa. And dedication and hard work,” manager Nyssa Berryman said. located just five minutes from Port Vila town, guests are perfectly The award follows Naisoso’s first win for Luxury Villa Resort placed to experience all of Vanuatu’s capital’s highlights.

4.Naisoso Island Resort


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T: +678 26517 E: W:

by the pool or on the lagoon, lots of friends to accommodate or children to consider, it’s all covered.”

Perfect planning

Fiji as a wedding destination has an abundance of choices in terms of locations, packages and most importantly couples’ wedding budgets. The easy way to get the best from your Fiji wedding is to consult Paradise Bride who have been in the business of perfecting weddings here for couples from all over the world since 2003. The company says “We ensure we work with only reputable suppliers that offer the highest quality products in making memories for our clients. We maintain our reputation for handling all our bridal clients and events with the utmost discretion and offer an outstanding individual service for each of our spectacular celebrations.” In addition they are currently expanding their offering for Indian weddings with a range of props arriving from India to ensure an elegant event for all ethnicities.

Say ‘I do’ at Holiday Inn

Whether it’s a celebration for two or a gathering of family and friends, Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu is the island destination to say your ‘I dos’. The resort’s facilities and venues cater for various sized weddings and its experienced team pride themselves on offering a personalised service that is second to none. The Resort Ceremony Cabana, with Erakor Lagoon as a backdrop, provides the perfect tropical setting for the exchanging of vows. From an intimate dinner, relaxed poolside party or a formal affair at the Erakor Ballroom, the options are limitless. Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu even caters to the traditional Vanuatu wedding experience, where a bride and groom can be brought to a ceremony by traditional canoe to the sound of a Melanesian warrior blowing a shell conch.

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8.Warwick Fiji The Warwick Fiji is part of a large international chain with several properties in the Pacific; this is a hotel of substance with a grand foyer and impressive entrance driveway. There are five unique restaurant choices, three bars and a romantic private island bure dining option. The culinary landscape covers Japanese, Italian, local seafood specialities, and the brasserie style Bula restaurant. The Wiki Walu restaurant is located on its own private island and is very popular with both in-house guests and visitors from neighbouring resorts – do book ahead. Pappagallo is the hotel’s Italian restaurant located within the main hotel complex. This restaurant engaged famed Brisbane (and now Vanuatu-based) chef Mario Alfieri to design its menu. The result is authentic Italian food with a Pacific twist. Apart from the beach there are two pools, a kids’ club and a full suite of activities from kayaking and canoeing to fish feeding and glass bottom boat tours. There’s also a floodlit tennis court, two squash courts, a gym, an archery range, bicycle tours and village tours. For something more relaxing, there’s the spa set on the water’s edge where you can luxuriate in a range of treatments from aroma salt and milk baths to tropical manicures and pedicures using Pure Fiji and Pevonia Botanica products. So plenty to amuse the entire family. Room choices include garden and ocean view hotel rooms, suites and family rooms.

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Located on the Coral Coast, the Warwick has its own private white sand beach and is within easy distance to several of Fiji’s best attractions, including Beqa diving and Rivers Fiji Whitewater rafting. More can be found here: 



Second edition book available early 2017 Investment I Finance I Tourism I Geography I History I Culture RRP VT3990 islandliving | 51 paciďŹ c


Island Retreat s s i l b t n o r f each B

This sensational private villa complex has it all – a private beach with coral-enclosed rock pool, spacious gardens, interconnected Balinese-inspired pavilions and a Pacific Ocean address. And, even better, it is available for holiday rentals. Toby Preston reports.

Below: The main living pavilion which contains the lounge, dining, kitchen and pantry opens directly via bi-fold shuttered doors to the

lawn and white sand beach and rock pool. Above: A view worth waking early for, gun barrel vistas to the Pacific Ocean right on the doorstep.


rom the coral rock wall at the street to the sweeping ocean vistas at the beachfront this beautifully executed island compound reflects the tropics perfectly. The bespoke design is the brainchild of Christiana Kaluscha (yes, our food editor) and her former partner Fred Looijschelder who also project managed the construction on behalf of two couples from New Caledonia. The Vanuatu house, known as Villa Asana, was designed from scratch to accommodate the needs of two families, ensuring privacy and separate sleeping pavilions for both sets of owners. The shared main living, dining and kitchen area is flanked by two wings either side which contain the bedrooms with separate staff quarters to the rear. The Balinese-inspired house is typically well ventilated and designed to maximise the views to the beach and ocean with easy access to a large coral-enclosed lagoon pool set on the edge of the Pacific. The house is designed for simple lowmaintenance living so that wet sandy feet can wander directly from the beach to the inside where the surfaces are stone and cement for ease of cleaning, you could virtually hose the place out in the event of a storm or cyclone and indeed this is exactly what happened after last year’s Pam disaster. Apart from a few roof lights there is no glass, just enormous walls of hardwood shutters which completely open the building to the grass, sand and pandanus-fringed beach. The various pavilions are connected by open covered walkways and the entire soaring roof is Natangura (local Vanuatu thatch) covered for its excellent thermal qualities and resistant to salt air. Set in the Whitesands area which is about a 15-minute drive from Port Vila, the temperatures out here are usually around

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five degrees cooler than in town and benefit from the almost constant south easterly trade breezes for comfort all year round, even in the humid wet season. Ceiling fans throughout keep things even cooler inside with air conditioning in the bedrooms for a peaceful night’s sleep in the large four-poster beds draped with whispy white mosquito nets. The good news is that you can take your holidays here as it's available for rental when not in use by the owners. The place accommodates eight to twelve people and is tended by on-site staff who take care of daily cleaning, room make up and gardening. All linen, towels, beach towels etc are supplied along with bicycles, WiFi, TV and DVD, parking, a fully equipped kitchen with all crockery, cutlery and glassware for up to 12 diners and of course, the private beach. The management team at Paua Villas can also arrange massages in your rooms, a nanny service, in-villa catering and when the moon is in the right place and the sea calm a fresh lobster delivery straight from the reef at your front door. The owners have tastefully furnished in bright islandy colours for the cane chairs and lots of white on natural cane for the sofas. The big limstone-paved en-suite bathrooms (one in each of the four bedrooms plus a guest powder room) feature twin vanities a shower and sunken bath all with garden or beach views. Sitting on a 6000 square metre piece of land the 1000 square metre house has all the appointments you'd expect of a five-star virtual private resort. For enquiries see for availability and rates, and if Villa Asana isn't vacant when you choose then Paua has a collection of similar properties within a few minute's walk. There are two nearby restaurants for those times you can't be bothered cooking. News just in; this property is for sale. Contact: Chantal Hooper by email – Below left: The eastern sleeping pavilion with private outdoor lounging area. Centre: The interconnected main buildings seamlessly open

PICTURES: Steffen Burggraaf

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to the beach and garden. Right: One of four bathrooms. Above: Dining area; garden Buddha and ocean pool.

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healthy living


Turmeric b r e h y h t l a the he

hen golden lattes started popping up on café menus you could’ve been forgiven for assuming it was just another passing health fad (blue algae latte, anyone?). However the popularity of the warm drink of coconut milk, ginger and turmeric hasn’t waned, and for good reason, the health benefits of turmeric are far-reaching and include reducing inflammation in the body and helping to ward of big killers such as diabetes and cancer. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for all sorts of ailments however it is only relatively recently that the bright yellow spice best known for colouring and flavouring curries is getting the recognition it deserves. Turmeric is one of the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today and among medical and alternative health circles it is now considered an effective tool in maintaining certain aspects of health both preventative and as a treatment. One of the most surprising findings from the extensive research is that when turmeric is compared to pharmaceutical medications its benefits are equal to many of them, such as ibuprofen for relieving osteoarthritis pain. It is the compound in turmeric called curcumin (which gives it its bright hue) that is the active ingredient giving it strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is these characteristics that make it so beneficial for treating any condition that involves inflammation in the body such as arthritis, sprains and bruising, some skin conditions such as psoriasis and also heartburn. Usually seen in powder form turmeric is actually a root similar to ginger in appearance, the root and bulb are boiled down and dried to form a powder, however you can grate the root and consume or you can opt for a supplement if you are after a higher dose. Turmeric is fat soluble so it is best absorbed into the blood when consumed with healthy fats such as avocado, nuts or coconut oil. A pinch of black pepper will also make the curcumin work a lot more efficiently by essentially activating its beneficial properties.

Health Benefits

The Brain Some studies suggest the anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric are strong enough to break down the amyloid

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Side Effects

A word of warning for those who wish to take high dose supplements: Avoid if you are taking blood thinning drugs as turmeric also slows blood clotting, if you have problems with your gall bladder or if you are pregnant. There are also more superficial benefits to turmeric including teeth whitening, helping to fight off the common cold and a range of digestive problems such as stomach pain, bloating and gas and as use as a natural antiseptic. So considering how accessible and cheap it is, its mild flavour and seemingly endless health benefits, it might be worth considering incorporating some of this wonder spice into your diet.

Ginger and Tumeric Latte Ingredients: 1 heaped teaspoon of peeled and grated turmeric 1 teaspoon peeled and grated ginger 1 tablespoon coconut sugar 2 teaspoons coconut oil pinch of sea salt and pepper 1 cup almond or coconut milk Method: 1. Combine turmeric, ginger, coconut sugar, coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt in a powerful blender. 2. Heat almond (or coconut) milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. 3. Pour the hot almond milk into the blender and blitz everything until smooth and frothy 4. Serve in a cup and enjoy. Adapted from a recipe on


The little yellow root that can; this herbaceous perennial has been known throughout Asia for thousands of years for its medicinal properties, so all those hipsters who believe it only turned up in a latte last week couldn't be more wrong says the golden latte-sipping Georgie Gordon.

plaques which lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Breaking down these plaques lead to better cognitive function altogether as certain parts of the brain are able to receive more oxygen. Cancer There are at least 30 studies that show curcumin may have an anti-tumour effect, particularly inhibiting the growth of colon cancer and when combined with certain vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli it may help treat and prevent prostate cancer. Perhaps this is why cancer rates in India and Sri Lanka are considerably lower than in more developed countries. Strokes and Heart Attacks Curcumin has proven to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, animal studies show it prevents the build up of matter in the blood vessels which block arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes. Studies show curcumin produces some of the same cardiovascular health benefits as exercise, particularly in women. Diabetes There is also research that suggests turmeric improves insulin activity which is beneficial to those suffering from diabetes and it has proven to be a good preventative measure to ward off the disease for those who are pre-diabetic.

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Beauty Spot

Set For Summer s d n e r T y t u a and Be Hair

Georgie Gordon tracks the trends straight from the international catwalks and picks the products that will ensure you get the looks. From curly hair to barely there make-up, red lips to rosy cheeks – get ready for the heat.

Curly Hair, don’t care

Put away those straightening irons because curly locks are well and truly IN. If you have a natural wave to your hair accentuate with a salt (or the latest beauty invention – sugar) spray immediately after washing hair and let it dry naturally. If you are after a more defined curl get the straightening iron back out (sorry) and wrap small sections of hair around the element to create a tighter curl. If you really love this look perms are back on the rise, think Kelly le Brock circa 1985 for your style reference. Product pick: EVO Salty Dog Spray $29.95

Coloured Lashes

Bold coloured eye make-up is big this season but if you’re not quite up for coloured eye-shadow (blues, purples and even red is big this season) indulge in a little colour play with your lashes. Bright blue is fun or opt for a navy for a more conservative look. Back it up with complementary eye-liner and tone down the rest of your make-up – barely-there blush, a nude lip – to really make your eyes pop. Product pick: We love Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long lasting eyeliner in ‘Fervent Blue’ $46 and Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening mascara in ‘Beyond Blue’ $24

Bright Lips

We’re taking our lip inspiration straight from the SS16 runways: Jason Wu had his girls with a strong red matte lip, it was a high gloss fire-engine red at Nina Ricci and a bright fuschia at Marchesa. Bold colour is the order of the day and although the matte lipsticks are currently in favour they can be a little ageing and harder to maintain than a nice moist colour so we say go for the gloss. The goth look is currently huge

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but best left to evening at this time of year so embrace the vampy trend after dark with a deep burgundy. Product pick: Burberry Kisses Lipstick in ‘Oxblood’ $33

Summer Skin

Summer calls for glowing skin. Find a foundation that gives you the required coverage but with a bit of a dewy finish. Try and avoid heavy make-up at this time of year, those in a hot climate will find it just slides off anyway, it’s amazing what a tinted moisturiser and some concealer can achieve. A primer can be helpful in humid climes, it acts to stop the make-up concentrating in dry patches on your face and gives an all over more even appearance from the foundation applied over it. Product pick: For even coverage and a beautiful finish try Nars Sheer Glow Foundation $67

Rosy Cheeks

Luminous skin calls for a rosy blush, bronzer is off the agenda and a more natural pinky hue is what we are seeing, go for tones that emulate the natural blush of your skin. Apply high on the cheekbone for great definition and a crème blush is always a good option for summer, again for that dewy look. A touch of highlighter on your upper cheek and brow bone is the final step in achieving a natural radiant look. Product pick: Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush ‘Charmed’ $26

The Smokey Eye

The intense smokey eye never goes out of fashion for a smouldering evening or even day look if you dare. The ‘just woke up after a big night’ was a big look on the runways this season with dark liner and shadow making its way to the lower lash and lid. Also known as the ‘reverse smokey eye’ this application makes for a dramatic effect but should be attempted with care as there’s a fine line between achieving it and looking like you actually slept in your make-up … after a big night. Product pick: We love Estee Lauder’s Little Black Eyeliner $46

Unisex fragrances are most certainly having a moment, this season’s scents are heady and light without being overly floral or ‘girly’. Avoid the sickly sweet scents and go for something a little woody with a masculine edge, there are so many unisex fragrances to choose from now or just steal your partners, it’s amazing how different scent smells on different skin. Product pick: For fresh citrus and basil tones try Aesop’s Tacit Eau de Parfum 

PICTURE: Gentside

Heaven Scent

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Solomon Islands

Crocs, Caves


Clown Fish dive

e v a c r e v e Best

For Deborah Dickson-Smith the Solomon Islands show off their wild side to divers, from Munda to the Florida and Russell Islands making for an unforgettable holday adventure she’ll be talking about for years to come.

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Blue anenome with true clowns seen in the Funnel on the Russell Islands.

s we swim through the shallows of a dive site somewhere in the remote Russell Islands, one of our dive guides suddenly stops and points excitedly. I look that way, expecting perhaps to see a reef shark or maybe a ray and instead I see a rather large crocodile. Looking back, I’m still not sure what my first reaction was, either fear or excitement. Our guides don’t seem terribly worried about the close proximity of the two-metre-long crocodile, so I decide I must be safe. As I turn to take a photo, however, one of the guides takes hold of my arm and motions not to go any closer. I manage to take a photo before the croc takes off, no doubt disturbed by a large group of divers blowing bubbles. I watch the powerful tail swish back and forth as it propels the croc’s considerable bulk through the water, and shudder. This is probably the biggest adventure we encounter in our ten-day experience diving in Solomon Islands but it’s not the only one. We’ve explored beautiful caverns, tunnels and slots that open on to stunning reef walls, wreck sites littered with unexploded WWII Bombs, and hooked ourselves onto reef points as strong currents swept by us while we watched large schools of rays and reef sharks swim by. There are several dive operations in Solomon Islands, from liveaboards to shore dive opeations, in Honiara, Gizo and Munda. It’s here that we head to first. Dive Munda manager Belinda Botha is keen to show us the best of Munda’s underwater world and over the three days we are here, she takes us far and wide. Heading north on our first day, we visit a couple of beautiful dive sites; Mbigo Mbigo and Alice in Wonderland (aptly named). We glide through impossibly clear water around and over coral bommies, as large schools of barracuda and unicorn fish motor past us. It’s hard to decide whether to look out into the blue to watch the fish, or into the reef at the multi-coloured soft and hard corals and delicate little creatures such as nudibranchs, anemone fish and Christmas tree worms. The next day we take off in the opposite direction across the lagoon for a couple of adventures. The first dive site, for some reason called Aussie Point, drops down dramatically for hundreds of metres and comes to a sharp point, not unlike the bow of a ship. Hammerhead sharks and large schools of bump head parrot fish are often spotted, but our dive guide, Andrew isn’t making any promises. “They’re definitely out there, but whether or not they feel like checking us out is another matter.” Despite this disclaimer a hammerhead circles towards us within 10 minutes of hitting the water and glides past us gracefully. Another follows close behind and it’s not long before we spot a few bump head parrot fish before heading

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Diving in Solomon’s on the MV Taka is a revelation of nature with featherstar, saltwater crocs, amazing cave dives and a laid-back lifestyle.

to shallower waters to look for anemone fish and other slightly smaller critters. The next dive on today’s itinerary is a different adventure altogether. After lunching on a small island, shallow turquoise lagoon on one side and a rocky beach on the other, we hike a few metres into the thick undergrowth. Here we find a small grotto, roughly two metres in diameter. We jump in feet first and lower ourselves one by one down a narrow tunnel, which eventually opens up into a large underwater cavern. It’s pitch black and we have to be careful not to kick up the fine silt as we make our way slowly through a small tunnel that descends to a depth of 30 metres before opening up onto the reef wall. The blue light at the opening silhouettes giant Gorgonian fans and we swim out and along a steep wall, covered in fans, feather stars and cascading corals of all shapes and sizes. I’m making a call: the best cave-dive ever. After our Munda adventures we headed back to Honiara to jump on the MV Taka, looking for a few adventures in the Florida and Russell Islands. And boy do they deliver. Over the next five days, the adventures just keep getting better and better.

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On our first day, we explore the wrecks and general WWII refuse at Ghavutu before exploring a site, somewhat comically named Garbage Patch. There are several wrecks here, some WWII casualties, a few the result of neglect and unfortunate maritime accidents. There’s also a large sandy area littered with unexploded WWII bombs. Our dive guides are particularly worried about this area, as several guests in the past have taken it upon themselves to tap these bombs to ‘test’ them (why on Earth?) Several incredible dive sites follow including Mberseri Point and Tanavula Point where we see reef sharks, eagle rays, devil rays and large schools of barracuda swim by as we hook ourselves onto the reef wall so we can watch the spectacle without fighting the current. While we sleep, the ship motors on to the Russell Islands, where we get to explore an incredible selection of swimthroughs, some taking us inland to surface in freshwater ponds and inland caves before leading out to beautiful coral walls and deeper caverns. Mirror Pond is a highlight. The dive starts in a shallow open

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A flurry of silvery streaks as a school of barracuda are spotted at Karumolun Point in the Russell Islands.

cavern, and we’re alerted beforehand that there is a resident barracuda at the entrance, and possibly crocs in the pond. The barracuda is indeed waiting for us, so we check him out while our dive guide swims ahead into the pond to check for crocs – if they’re small we can follow him in (two at a time) but if there’s a big croc there, it’s a no-go. No crocs at all today but the pond is incredibly pretty anyway. We each have a look before swimming along the reef wall a short way to explore a relative maze of caverns and swim-throughs. The pond is followed by Leru Cut, a tall and narrow cut through the limestone that again leads inland and opens up to overhanging greenery and vines, and after this, Bat Cave, a similar cavern leading inland to a cave populated by a colony of bats. We’re warned not to take our regs out when we surface for fear of guano. While this cavern, like the others, is stunning, the highlight for me is the tiny pygmy seahorse our dive guide John Wayne (yes, his real name) finds for us just outside. It takes a special kind of eyesight to spot a creature the size of a fingernail that is the same colour and texture as the

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sea fan it lives on. I’m always so grateful to local guides for having better eyesight and critter-spotting abilities than I have. Apparently these tiny creatures share DNA with the pink sea fans they live on – nature really is an amazing thing. However, all of these dives are the lead up to the most exciting part of our week on the MV Taka; The Funnel. A steep wall covered in colourful soft corals and Gorgonian fans, which opens up onto a shallow coral garden, where we have two incredible encounters. The first, a large saltwater crocodile, a truly unique experience. The second, equally unique but in a completely different way, a family of clownfish living in a bright blue anemone. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever laid eyes on. The combination of adventure and natural beauty has made this diving holiday an unforgettable experience. I’m going to be talking about it for some time to come. More information:, The writer was a guest of Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions and the Solomon Islands Visitor Bureau. 

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Dining Guide

Island Cuisine e d i s h c a e b h c n u l the long

A couple of our favourite places in Vanuatu to while away an afternoon or evening.

Two Canoes, Santo, Vanuatu Two Canoes is a hidden gem boutique resort which opened its doors in July 2016. On Aore Island nestled in the bay just south of Luganville the resort and restaurant are accessed by a 10-minute boat ride across the Segond Channel from Luganville. The accommodation offering is elegant, ‘islandy’ and contemporary with the Plantation Studios featuring floor to ceiling walls of plantation shutters with modern en-suite bathrooms. The restaurant and cocktail bar are set right on a private sandy beach and are open to day visitors but limited to only 10 non-resident guests so bookings are essential if you want to enjoy a long and leisurely lunch. The resident chef is considered one of the best in the region and specialises in presenting the freshest organic fruits, vegetables and salads, complemented by the fabulous local land and sea produce. Think renowned Santo beef, locally caught lobsters and fish all to be enjoyed while taking in the views of the bay and outer islands. The cocktail menu is creative and accompanies an extensive wine list and a variety of cold international beers. If you choose to arrive by private boat, deep water beach access is available. For more information and bookings, see

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Wild Ginger, Warwick Le Lagon,Port Vila, Vanuatu

New executive chef Satoshi Akimoto is continuing in the tradition of his predecessor, and continues to take a great interest in training the local talent. This is exactly what he has been doing at Le Lagon and believes that restaurants are only as good as the staff which in this case means very good. Wild Ginger has long enjoyed a reputation for fine Japanese-influenced food and the central teppanyaki station is a great place to sit and watch the theatre as his team toss, flip and sauté the many fresh ingredients that go into the delicious range of dishes they produce. This includes, lobster, salmon, chicken, prawns, beef and vegetables and a variety of combinations of all these. But the menu isn’t limited to just teppanyaki. Entrées include ‘nature’s superfood’ edamame beans to be eaten straight from the pod, coconut shrimp, salt and pepper tofu or squid, Vietnamese rice paper prawn rolls and Tom Yum soup a selection that ranges across South East Asia. Also from the à la carte menu there is a choice of a seafood grill or a Thai red duck curry among others. There’s also a selection of sushi and a tempting dessert list with several exotic ice creams and a crème brûlée. The restaurant location within the spectacular grounds of the resort is in prime position with views over Erakor Lagoon to Erakor Island and beyond and has its own outdoor deck reached through the wall of bi-fold doors that keep the place breezily cool at all times. In addition to Wild Ginger, the Warwick Le Lagon Resort also offers dining options across three other venues, from the casual Pool Grill nestled around the expansive pool and open for lunch daily to the Lagoon Terrace which is perfect for breakfast and dinner as well as the Lobby Bar for snacks and drinks. For Wild Ginger bookings call +678 22 313. 

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Christiana Cooks

OH tMY GOAT! t a e m d e r r he The o

Christiana Kaluscha is a long-time aficionado of this tasty little ruminant which is a staple in so many countries around the world but remains a bit of a culinary outlier in the Anglo-sphere. Here she sings the praises of her favourite Caribbean curry and the extraordinary varieties of cheese, and she’s not kidding!

Despite Despite being being classifi classified ed as as red red meat, meat, goat goat is is leaner leaner and and contains contains less less cholesterol, cholesterol, fat fat and and protein protein than than lamb lamb and and beef beef and and requires requires low-heat, low-heat,

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beef and requires low-heat, slow cooking to preserve tenderness and moisture. So if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go! You’ll find some of my favourite recipes below.

Jamaican Goat Curry (serves 4) You’ll be m a a a d about goat if you follow this recipe!


• 1 kg boneless goat or shoulder, cut into 5cm pieces • 80 ml (1/3 cup) melted ghee • 1 onion, coarsely chopped • 2 habanero chillies, seeded, finely chopped (or more if you like it really hot)

• 5 garlic cloves, finely grated • 1 Tbsp. finely grated ginger • 500 ml (2 cups) beef or veal stock • 400 ml canned coconut milk • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped • 1 Tsp. thyme • 200 g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2.5m pieces • 200 g potato, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm pieces

PICTURES: Christiana Kaluscha.


oat is the world’s most consumed meat, a staple in Africa, Asia and South/Central America, and a delicacy in a few European cuisines. I adore it in so many different preparations, from South-East Asian dishes through to Italian braise, but my favourite is Jamaican curry with its heady spices. I see spices as nature’s medicine cabinet and use them in as much of my cooking as possible. Goat’s meat is the meat of the domestic goat. Very lean meat that is often called chevon when the meat comes from adults, and cabri, cabrito, or capretto when from young animals. Goat has a reputation for a strong, gamey flavour, but can be mild depending on how it is raised and prepared. The best, and less gamy version comes from younger goats that are six to nine months old. It is savoury and less sweet than beef but slightly sweeter than lamb. It can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as being stewed, curried, baked, grilled, barbecued or fried. Ribs, loins, and tenderloin goat meat are suitable for quick cooking, while other parts, such as shoulders and legs are best for long braising. Despite being classified as red meat, goat is leaner and contains less cholesterol, fat and protein than lamb and

slow cooking to preserve tenderness and moisture.

Jamaican Curry Powder • 1½ Tbsp. coriander seeds • 1 Tbsp. each of: Cumin seeds Yellow mustard seeds Fenugreek seeds Whole allspice • 2 star anise • 2½ Tbsp. ground turmeric • ½ cup fresh coriander


• For the Jamaican curry powder, dry-roast whole spices in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Set aside to cool, then finely grind in a spice grinder, add turmeric, stir to combine and set aside. • Pat goat dry with paper towels, then combine in a

large bowl with 2 Tbsp. ghee and half the Jamaican curry powder, season well to taste, toss to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to marinate at least 1 hour or overnight. Heat 1Tbsp. ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add goat in batches and brown well. Remove from pan and set aside. Add 1 Tbsp. ghee to the pan, cook onion and chilli, stirring occasionally, until just starting to colour then add garlic, ginger and remaining Jamaican curry powder, mix well, fry for 2 minutes and stir occasionally until fragrant. • Return meat to pan, add stock, coconut milk,

tomatoes and thyme, stir to combine, season to taste, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until goat is tender (around 2-3

hours). Add sweet potato and potato and simmer until tender, season, sprinkle with the coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.


Moroccan goat tagine with figs and toasted nut couscous (serves 4) Ingredients

• 3 Tsp. ground cumin • 2 Tsp. ground turmeric • 3 Tsp. ras-el-hanout (Moroccan spice mix) • 1 Tsp. saffron strands • 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil • 1 kg goat meat (a mixture of shoulder and leg), cut into large dice • 1 onion finely chopped • 5 garlic cloves, chopped • 1 or 2 red chillies, stalk and seeds removed, chopped • 6 cm fresh ginger unpeeled, finely grated • 2 cinnamon sticks • 400g tinned tomatoes • 1½ Tbsp. honey • 250g ready-to-eat dried figs, roughly chopped • 1 medium preserved lemon, skin only, roughly chopped • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • 100 g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped • 5 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves • 5 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh flat leaf parsley • 5 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh mint leaves For the Couscous • 25g butter • 200g couscous • 50g pistachios, roughly chopped • 50g flaked toasted almonds • 50g pine nuts, toasted • 1 preserved lemon, skin only, finely chopped • 3 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh mint leaves • 3 Tbsp. roughly chopped coriander root and leaves • 3 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh flat leaf parsley • 1 lemon, juice only

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• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


• For the tagine, mix together the cumin, turmeric, ras-el-hanout, saffron strands and 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil until well combined. Add the goat meat to the marinade and mix to coat the meat, then set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight. • Heat the remaining oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium to high heat. Fry the onion, garlic, chillies and ginger for 2-3 minutes, or until just softened. Add the marinated goat meat and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until browned on all sides. • Add the cinnamon stick, tinned tomatoes and honey and mix well. Pour in 200ml water and bring the mixture to the boil, then add the figs and preserved lemon and mix well. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, and simmer for 1 hour or longer, until the goat is tender and the sauce has thickened, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. • Just before serving, stir in the chopped pistachios and herbs • Meanwhile, for the couscous, heat the butter in a frying pan with a tight-fitting lid over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the couscous and stir-fry until golden-brown all over. • Pour in 400ml water, mix well, and remove the pan from the heat. Cover tightly

with the lid or a sheet of aluminium foil and set aside to steam for 5 minutes. Fluff up the steamed couscous with a fork, then cover once more and steam for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the nuts, preserved lemon, herbs and lemon juice until well combined. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. • To serve, pile the toasted nut couscous into the centre of 4 serving plates, then ladle the tagine on top.

Goat’s Cheese • Some of the best cheese is made from goat’s milk. Who knew that something so simple could taste so good? Goat cheese with its distinct flavour is one of the most amazing foods in the world — a humble basic for some, a gourmet delight for others. Goats were some of the first domesticated animals, thus the art of making goat cheese has a very long history. It began in the Eastern Mediterranean thousands of years ago, spreading through both mountains and deserts into Spain and France where it was heavily adopted. Today goat cheese remains a staple of the Mediterranean diet and its popularity with food lovers has spread to New Zealand, Australia and North America. Many come from cherished, small, local producers with unique regional flavours. Others are from renowned cheese makers who have won

international awards for their creations. Goat’s milk is used to make all sorts of cheeses – Gouda, Cheddar, even Brie. Goat cheeses can range in taste from strong and pungent, to delicate and mild. They come in many shapes: cone, disc, wheel, “button,” the log-like bûche and the puck-like crottin. They delight with textures from creamy to crumbly to semi-firm. They are sold fresh, aged or marinated in olive oil or red wine. They may be coated in herbs, black pepper, edible flowers or wrapped in vine leaves. Goat cheeses can be classified into three main categories: Fresh: Spreadable Goat Cheese, Fresh Log, and Goat Feta Soft-Ripened: Soft cheese with natural rind or bloomy rind such as Bûcheron, Crottin, Le Chevrot, Sellessur-Cher, Sainte-Maure de

goat’s milk Goudas. Fresh Gouda is soft and creamy, making it a good table cheese. Aged Gouda is sweet and delicious, with caramel overtones. Compared to cow’s milk products such as cream cheese, goat cheese is lower in fat, lactose, calories and cholesterol. It also provides

more calcium than cream cheese. Even though goat cheese has fewer calories, it has a full, rich and creamy flavour. A serving of goat cheese generally contains fewer harmful substances than a typical brand of cow’s cheese, while providing similar, if not more, vitamin and mineral content.

Bruschetta with goat cheese, walnut and honey

Touraine, Le Pico. Aged: Some cheeses require up to 12 weeks and more before being released on the market. Aged goat cheeses come in various shapes and sizes. Often an aged goat cheese will be covered in an edible ash to prevent it from drying out and to keep its surface clean. It may have a fluffy middle and a gooey exterior. Readily available aged goat cheeses include Chevrot, Valencay, Selles sur Cher. Tomme style: Means, in French, a wheel of cheese – Tomme de Chevre Blue: Blue mould is mixed into the curds. As the cheese ages, the flavour changes, making blue goat cheese sharper, earthier, and more pungent than the fresh variety. Brie and Camembert: Goat’s milk Brie and Camembert is more subtle and refreshing than a traditional cow’s milk Brie

Cheddar: Goat’s milk Cheddar has everything you want from this beloved cheese: It’s sharp and fruity but with a distinctive goaty tang. One of the best is Le Chèvre Noir. Gouda: Holland produces some lovely fresh and aged

This is a very easy and tasty snack. The rich and creamy texture of fresh goat cheese combines very well with the sweetness of the honey, the nutty crunch of the walnuts and the fruity tang of the grapes. Best with a glass of red wine!


• 4 slices of rye sour dough bread, toasted • 1 clove garlic, peeled • 4 slices of buche de chèvre (a log of fresh goat cheese)

• good quality honey • walnuts • white and red grapes • herbes de Provence


• Toast the bread slices and rub with garlic • Place one slice of buche de chèvre on each slice of rye bred • Garnish with walnuts and grapes • Drizzle with honey and herbes de Provence • Place for 3 minutes under a hot grill and serve warm

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Samoa Sensations

g n i r o l p x e


Underwater World Noted for spectacular scenery from dense jungle to volcanoes and lava flows, Samoa’s real delights, according to Deborah Dickson-Smith are to be found under the water where a world teeming with fish and coral wonders awaits snorkellers and scuba divers alike.

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quietly or foraging for sponges among the corals. As long as you approach slowly and without sudden movement you can often get close enough just to sit quietly next to them and observe these ancient creatures for five or 10 minutes at a time.

Where to take the plunge

There are two dive centres in (Western) Samoa, and each runs boat trips according to the requirements of their guests, and the conditions on water, so there’s no fixed schedule. Both are very safety conscious and family-friendly, so call them in advance about the kind of snorkelling or diving you would like to do it will all be arranged. Both offer training too, and what is possibly the best way to try scuba if you haven’t before is with a Discover Scuba Diving (‘DSD’) dive – especially in warm tropical water. A Discover Scuba session includes about an hour’s familiarisation with the basic concepts and equipment, followed by a guided dive in a sheltered, shallow spot. This really is the best way to start your diving journey, in the warm clear waters of the ocean, the actual marine environment with all its inhabitants, rather than some boring swimming pool.

Diving Savai’i

Dive Savai’i have one boat and run trips every day (except Sunday), usually with a combination of divers and snorkellers, to their local reefs and wreck. The boat is covered, spacious, very comfortable and family-friendly. On a recent day out, we

PICTURES: American Samoa Visitors Bureau & Tiffany Carroll.


he image of Samoa conjured up by many would be the rugged beauty on display in the Survivor Australia series: dense jungle on steep-sided volcanoes, lava caves and dense black lava rock flows down to a rocky coastline. Add in a few towering waterfalls and its famous deep blue sinkholes and that just about sums it all up. But for those of us who like exploring the world underwater, Samoa’s beautiful landscape doesn’t end at the water’s edge. Unless you pop a mask on and stick your head below the surface of the water, even just a few inches, often you’re missing some of the best scenery a place has to offer. All three main islands of Samoa: Upolo, Savai’i – the ‘Big Island’ and American Samoa’s Tutuila are volcanic in origin and surrounded by fringing coral reefs, which are easily accessible. Add to this a climate which naturally lends itself to snorkelling and diving – where better to be when it’s hot and humid than in the ocean? Plunge into the sea at any point around Samoa’s islands, and you’ll see a landscape teeming with colourful reef fish, everything from little blue damsels, black and white ‘humbugs’ to multi-coloured striped surgeonfish. There are also plenty of anemones so you’ll likely see many types of anemone fish (aka Nemo and his extended family). Looking down to the sandy sea floor and you might see a blue spotted ray hiding, and looking up you might be lucky enough to see a few eagle rays fly overhead. Often in the staghorn coral thickets you might come across a turtle resting

Samoa and American Samoa offer world class diving and more than a good chance of seeing a turtle or two.

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Above: Above: Up Up close close with with aa turtle turtle at at Fagamalo Fagamalo dive dive site. site. Opposite Opposite page; page; top top left: left: Savai’i Savai’i Island, Island, Samoa; Samoa; top top right: right: take take aa break break from from

were joined on the boat by a couple with 6-month old baby. The Samoan crew even fashioned a hammock and took turns minding the baby while mum and dad went diving.

room and heading off to the airport for a late evening flight can be filled by an afternoon snorkel, followed by a warm shower, while Aquasamoa look after your luggage.

Diving Apia

Diving American Samoa

Apia’s Aquasamoa has two boats permanently moored at the marina, and a dive shop close by, recently relocated from near the airport to the capital. Now closer to the action, they’ve been exploring the many reefs around Apia for new dive sites. Regular sites include Sydney’s Wall, a place where snorkellers and new divers can safely explore an underwater reef for the first time. More experienced divers have the opportunity to ‘discover’ new dive sites on an ‘Explorer’ dive. You get to boldly go where no one has dived before and if it turns out to be a site that merits a name you get to name it. Which is why one of their recently discovered dive sites is called Wilco’s Wardrobe, a site with a swim through reminiscent of the passageway in Narnia’s wardrobe discovered by Dean “Wilco” Wilkinson. There are regular guided Sunday snorkels too and any afternoon where you have a gap between exiting your hotel

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The diving in American Samoa is a little different from (Western) Samoa due to the terrain. The fringing reef is so shallow that at low tide you could walk on it and there are no dedicated dive boats. There is still plenty of diving though, with one of the favourite shore dives being on the reef edge right in front of Tisa’s Bar and Restaurant, a 10-minute drive from town. They’ll also show you where to hire gear if you haven’t brought your own. One thing American Samoa is BIG on, is its marine reserves, with a number of small reserves around the bays and islands of Tutuila, and larger reserves offshore. They also boast the biggest coral formation in the world: Big Momma which is over 7m high and 8m in diameter. The marine reserves in the sheltered bays close to Pago Pago offer possibly the best snorkelling in the South Pacific, but you’ll

diving in Savai’i, on the beautiful north east coast; Middle; left: Vaimoana Resort; right: Valley of Giants, Big Momma; Below: Underwater lighting .

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• In a bowl, stir together the crabmeat, mayonnaise, celery, chives, shallot, lemon juice and salt. • Peel the cucumber leaving the peel on every 2 cm to make a pattern. Cut the cucumber into 12 x 4 cm size pieces. • Take the seeds out with a small spoon, but leave about ½ centimetre on the bottom. • Fill with the crab mixture and place a dollop of the crab mixture on top of each cucumber slice, sprinkle with the paprika and garnish with flowers. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately. .

Prawns on avocado mousse (12 servings) This is an all time favourite with guests and easy to prepare


• 12 prawns, peeled and deveined, tail on • 2 garlic, finely diced • Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil • 1 big ripe avocado • 1 garlic, finely grated • freshly squeezed lemon juice • ½ Tsp. Cayenne pepper (optional) • Sea Salt, Parsley for garnish • 1 Tbsp. black sesame seeds to garnish

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• Heat the olive oil in a saucepan add the garlic and fry the prawns 30 seconds each side • Add salt and pepper, sprinkle with lemon juice, take immediately off the heat, cover and set aside to cool • Cut Avocado in half, take the seed out and scoop the flesh into a bowl • Add the lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt to taste and mash everything up roughly • Fill 2 Tsps. of the avocado mash into the spoons, top with one prawn and garnish with parsley, seeds

Smoked salmon on rye sourdough baguette (12 servings) Ingredients

• 300 g smoked salmon • 12 slices rye sourdough baguette, 1.5 cm thick • 1 Philadelphia cream cheese • 1 Tbsp. Greek Yoghurt • 3 Tsp. Wasabi paste (or to taste) • sea salt and freshly ground pepper • Fresh dill for garnish


• Mix the Philadelphia cheese with the yogurt and wasabi paste (to taste) • add salt and pepper to taste • Fill the mix into a piping bag and spread on the baguette slices making a circle • Top with half a slice of smoked salmon • Garnish with fresh dill

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SITTING TARGETS e l y t S i d n Sca

Toby Preston has to sit down after discovering how much some mid-century Scandinavian furniture is selling for only 80 years after it was manufactured. But that’s not the point, good Nordic design endures and today a designer stool can be bought from Ikea for less than the price of a bottle of wine.


hat is it about Scandinavians and chairs? They are hardly the most sedentary of people, they have a reputation for loving outdoor activities in often the worst weather imaginable and their preferred form of transport appears to be a pushbike … but they are responsible for some of the world’s greatest chair and sofa designs. Maybe since the place is a meteorological wasteland for several months a year those that do stay indoors want to be sitting comfortably. Whatever the explanation, and it’s probably as simple as being culturally inclined to value good design in general that they also just happen to have created a lot of good looking places to place your bum. The golden age of Scandinavian design is agreed to have spanned the period from the 1930s to the seventies and included names like Alvar Aalto, Arne Jacobsen, Hans J Wegner, Eero Saarinen and Sven Ivar Dysthe. The works of these pioneers of furniture design are now highly sought after and sell for tens of thousands of dollars at auction. But good Nordic design endures today with many affordable pieces widely available. And of course we’re all aware of Sweden’s most ubiquitous furniture retailer – Ikea. They may sell it flat-packed but it’s still good design and as cheap as you’re going to get for a well thought out piece of furniture, and they credit their designers. But back to the originals, You’ll know many famous chair and furniture designs without necessarily being aware they are Scandinavian, think the tulip chair and the womb chair by Finn, Eero Saarinen (his father, Eliel designed Helsinki’s art nouveau Central Station building among many others). And the Armchair 400 Tank chair by Alvar Aalto with its reindeer fur upholstery and his wonderfully simple tea cart trolley, and the much reproduced Arne Jacobsen Egg chair or the Poet sofa by Finn Juhl or the Palmio chair by Alvar Aalto and probably the most imitated dining chair originally known as the Series 7 by Arne Jacobsen.

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Above Above from from left: left: Aalborg Aalborg is is Jørn Jørn Utzon’s Utzon’s home home town town and and site site of of the the Utzon Utzon Centre; Centre; Aalborg Aalborg City City Hall; Hall; The The Royal Royal Yacht Yacht berthed berthed in in Copenhagen Copenhagen with with

also an enormous spa area with saunas, spa pools and a ‘snow grotto for cooling down Scandi-style. The Viking Sea is considered officially to be a ‘small ship’, which means that even though it is 745 foot long and accommodates 930 passengers, it is about one third the size of some of the other cruising behemoths. Viking Ocean Cruises is a relative newcomer to this segment, having launched Viking Star, its first ocean-going ship in 2015 prior to this Viking River Cruises had accumulated an impressive reputation, and a fleet of 64 vessels since its inception in 1997. The next pleasant surprise was our cabin, or stateroom in cruise parlance, which was beautifully decorated, spacious and like all other rooms had a private open verandah. I quickly decided that the great joy of shipboard life is unpacking once, putting our belongings in the wardrobe and not having to anticipate any more airport transfers or transit lounges for a couple of weeks, meanwhile looking forward to a tasting menu of eight countries and 11 ports. A tight schedule but the well-oiled machine that is Viking tours ensured it all went without a hitch. So in chronological order this is how the briefly glimpsed Baltic tour unfolded: Bergen, Norway My first taste of Scandinavia, somewhere I’ve long wanted to visit but was always relegated by southern Europe due to our household’s democratic travel policy. I wasn’t disappointed. This town which was founded in 1070 and home port to the Viking Sea, is a delight, the ship moored about a five-minute walk from the centre of the city and the stroll along the harbourside reveals a picture-perfect Nordic village – it’s actually Norway’s second largest city but presents as something much smaller around the port. The backdrop is one of huge snow-capped mountains draped with greenery of every shade. The port is lined with quaint gabled timber

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buildings and narrow wood-paved lanes. Almost all of these seemed to be places for eating and drinking with tables out the front bathed in summer sunshine and packed with diners and drinkers, while the lanes were filled with artisans and craft shops. Flåm, Norway Next stop after a night cruising north from Bergen was Flåm which sits at the end of an eight-hour journey inland through the breathtaking Aurlandsfjord. The views from our verandah took in cascading waterfalls, more snow-capped peaks and spectacularly precipitous walls of rock either side of the ship which felt close enough to almost reach out and touch. Nestled among these vertiginous slopes are picturesque little villages, which for up to eight months of every year are cut off from the snow-covered roads, crawling up the peaks. The small town of Flåm is the gateway to a world-renowned railway that takes in the magnificent local scenery in the surrounding mountains. Stavanger, Norway Next morning found us approaching Stavanger, another impossibly picturesque place with the country’s largest collection of timber houses dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, all of which seem to be painted white with terracotta red roofs. Again the ship was moored right at the centre of things and only a short walk along cobbled streets to the centre of Gamle Stavanger, which because of the local oil industry revenues which flow into this city, makes it one of the most expensive in the world. But there are cultural riches too, among them the Cathedral which is the oldest in Norway and as the nation’s leading ‘culinary cluster’ the home to an annual food festival. It was declared in 2008 as Europe’s Capital of Culture. The centre of town is a wonderfully intimate walkable area with paved plazas, good shopping and many outdoor cafés (try the waffles with cream and jam) and take a trip up

Amelianborg Palace in the background; A tourist ‘galleons’ moored in Gdansk; The keeper of the keys to Tallin’s ancient Dominican monastery.

Øvre Holmegate where the gorgeous wooden shops are painted in uncharacteristically bright colours. Aalborg, Denmark Until around the year 1000 Aalborg was a thriving Viking community but is now noted for its industry and as a university town. The town itself is again adjacent to the port and is what I’m learning is typically Scandinavian – sophisticated modern infrastructure, clean and tidy with an air of affluence as well as history. The buildings here are more substantial and Dutch-influenced in their architectural origins with elaborate Gothic gables, the most famous of which is the 1624 Jens Bang house fronting Østerågade but it has to vie with a distinctly modern competitor in the shape of the waterside Utzon Center, Jørn’s (an Aalborg native) last building project which contains exhibitions of the master architect’s work including pieces originally destined for the Sydney Opera House but not used. Copenhagen, Denmark Famous for princesses – Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid sitting on a rock off the Langeline promenade and, of course Australia’s Princess Mary. So a visit to the sites where both are to be found is a must-do. It’s easy to get up close to the mermaid version but as Mary and Frederick are resident in Amalienborg Palace, a glimpse of them is less likely in this sprawling home to the Danish Royals. The palace complex is made up of four identical buildings surrounding an immense square with a few random costumed guards on duty and an impressive statue of King Frederik V on horseback at its centre. But, unusually, there is a rare sighting of the royal yacht berthed not far away in the harbour with a small crowd of curious locals checking it out. Apart from monarchs and their offspring Copenhagen has a lot on offer and is the Nordic capital of cool with not only Noma, voted the world’s best restaurant, calling it home but

myriad bars, chic eateries, fashion shops and the original hippie commune of Christiana. It also enjoys nine centuries of history, the Tivoli Gardens, the world’s oldest amusement park which combines thrilling rides within park-like grounds with open-air theatres and 38 restaurants and the Nyhaven area the hippest spot in town with its canal-side culinary scene. Warnermünde/Berlin, Germany When I noticed Berlin on the itinerary, it did occur to me that it wasn’t exactly on the water (apart from the River Spree) and that is indeed still the case. The port of Warnermünde was the starting point in a specially chartered train provided by Viking for the two-hour journey to the capital. A quick tour of the major sights – the remains of the ‘wall’, the starkly moving Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (no euphemisms there!), the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, Checkpoint Charlie, the Hotel Adlon Kempinski. From there we set off for lunch at the not-quite-typically German Maredo Steakhouse on the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt square which is home to the Neue Kirche Cathedral (where you’ll find a democracy exhibition) and adjacent the Konzerthaus (or concert hall) Berlin. The rear of restaurant opened to an elegant marble-floored shopping gallery with sweeping staircases and a towering atrium containing a retail wonderland with high street shops and Berlin’s branch of Galeries Lafayette. Gdynia/Gdansk, Poland Without wanting to offend any Poles among our readers, this country had never featured on our list European holiday destinations but it does now. What a surprise! All I previously knew of Gdansk was that it was home to Lech Wałesa and his Solidarity movement in the seventies and was central to the downfall of Poland’s communist government of the time. It is in fact a port town drenched in maritime history which today is increasingly on the tourist trek for northern Europe. On arrival in

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Above Above from from left: left: St St Petersburg’s Petersburg’s much-photographed much-photographed Church Church of of Our Our Saviour Saviour on on Spilled Spilled Blood; Blood; The The Memorial Memorial to to the the Murdered Murdered Jews Jews is is aa bleak bleak

Gdansk a good place to start your walking tour is Long Market, a plaza lined with Amsterdam-style five and six-storey buildings (largely rebuilt after WWII) with elaborate gables overlooking a statue of a spear-wielding Neptune and any number of outdoor/indoor eateries. From here the narrow, cobblestoned streets meander along the Motława River bordered by cafés, restaurants and any number of shops and street vendors selling amber, the region’s favourite and plentiful gemstone, and there’s a particularly interesting old building called Zuraw which housed the port’s original maritime crane. Tallin, Estonia Like Poland, Estonia wasn’t on our list of must-visit places either but it too should be as its Old Town is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and remains one of the bestpreserved medieval cities in Europe. But in contrast, the newer part of Tallin is known as the Silicon Valley of Europe and has been listed among the world’s top ten ‘digital cities’ and happens to be the birthplace of Skype, so from its founding in 1248 to now the place has obviously kept pace. The main tourist attraction is unsurprisingly the walled Old Town where the main access is gained via the Viru Gate after a walk past the flower stalls and outdoor restaurants lining the cobblestoned Vana Viru, just inside the gate the first sight of the old town is dominated by a McDonald’s sign, not necessarily a ‘good sign’. But closer inspection reveals genuine medieval delights including stumbling upon the town’s oldest building a Dominican monastery dating from the 13th century where a small arched entry off Müürivahe revealed an ancient stone courtyard with a subterranean art gallery to one side and a winding staircase leading to a large dimly lit room on the other. Here we found a bespectacled older woman wrapped in a huge blanket-stitched shawl with a calculator and a cashbox. For three euro you could access this astonishing building’s cloister, priory, dormitory and library.

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Outside on the street were artisan boutiques filled with beautiful, colourful skeins of wool, linens, felt slippers in every hue, leather-bound books and outdoor stalls set into the arches of the city wall selling knitwear and fabrics. Saint Petersburg, Russia For once the ship docked some way from the main tourist attractions here, indeed the view was grimly Soviet from the wharf, a barren open area, awaiting some sort of construction, framed by a line of architecturally bereft apartment blocks whose redeeming feature was to dramatically reflect the afternoon sun in a blaze of golden light – a workers’ paradise for about ten minutes a day. In stark contrast, if you ever needed to be reminded that the Romanovs should have been kept on as design consultants by the Bolsheviks, the tableau of central St Petersburg’s stunning array of gelato-coloured buildings lining the Neva River is all that’s needed. Having two days here meant getting to see quite a few of the significant sights of this extraordinary city which was captured by Peter the Great in 1703 but has now been captured by cruise ships. Cruise ship invasions mean queues and timing is everything when you’re trying to catch a glimpse of some of the more than three million exhibits the Hermitage museum has on offer. The first hundred metres of shuffling along among teeming fellow tourists was spent just getting past the cloakrooms but after a few hours and thousands of exhibits we were outside on Palace Square again, a walk along the riverfront and then back to our own floating palace. Day two it was off to see the Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral with its gilt spires and domes, Saint Isaac’s Cathedral (more golden domes), then the gloriously colourful onion-domed Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood. After a trip up Nevsky Prospekt past the giltembellished (again) Café Singer it was on to Senate Square

Cruising by Numbers 47,800 – gross tonnage I 227.2 – length in metres I 930 – passengers I 550 – crew I 14 – decks I 14 – days cruise duration I 11 – destinations I 8 – countries

reminder of Berlin’s wartime past; Sibelius monument in Helsinki; Across the Neva River to the dome of Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, St Petersburg.

with its bronze statue of the great Peter on horseback and a bus back through the crumbling suburbs where the Bolshevik workers lived in state-supplied ‘splendour’ of another sort altogether. Helsinki, Finland About 400kms west of St Petersburg, the Finns enjoy a shared history with their Russian neighbours having been annexed by them in 1809 (until independence was declared in 1917) and there is an unmistakable neoclassical resemblance in some of the architecture and paint schemes from that era. Indeed during Soviet times the city was often used as a film set substitute for it former occupiers’ home country utilising both the functionalist and the fabulous buildings as a backdrop in many famous movies. The city now is a vibrant, funky Nordic design hub filled with jewellery and fashion designers along with galleries and museums loosely grouped in the official Design District which spans several adjoining areas of the city and encompasses more than 200 participants. Its design history is well established with many familiar names harking from Finland – think Marimeko fabric, Alvar Aalto furniture and Saarinen father and son for architecture and furniture as well as Arabia pottery. It was awarded the title of World’s Most Liveable City by Monocle magazine and officially voted by international industrial designers as the World Design Capital in 2009. It was also the home of the hard living composer Jean Sibelius who is commemorated by an eponymous park and a stunning organ-pipe sculpture. Stockholm, Sweden The big surprise on approach to Stockholm is the number of islands drifting past our shipboard verandah in the early morning mist. There are 30,000 in the Swedish archipelago and the city itself occupies 14 of them. Probably the most visited is the one occupied by the ‘old

town’ of Gamla Stan which is a magical little collection of cobblestoned streets, cafés and restaurants (one, Den Gyldene Freden, dating back to 1722 and among the world’s oldest) and interesting shops. It’s also home to the enormous baroque Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum. A quick tour of some of the city’s major sights took in Parliament House, the ABBA Museum, the Royal Dramatic Theatre, the very upmarket canal-side street, Strandvägen which is sited in the glamorous Ostermalm area and is supposedly home to Björn Borg and either Björn or Benny from ABBA. From there it was on to the spectacularly colonnaded City Hall which enjoys wonderful views across the water towards Gamla Stan. It is here you’ll a find a modest bronze replica of the log from which part of Stockholm’s name derives – stock means log and holm islet. As the hometown of the fashion chain H&M the city is well served by fashion retailers and along the pedestrianised Drottningaten (Queen Street) you will find the city’s largest department store Åhléns City and a plethora of smaller boutiques. Having a few days here at the end of the boat trip gave us the opportunity to get better acquainted with this elegant city. A stay at the Rival hotel (owned by Benny Andersson, yes that one) in Mariatorget was a comfortable introduction to life back on land and with views over the local square and opportunity to observe the Swedes doing what they do best – ride bikes, laze in the sun under linden trees, eat pastries and drink coffee – what’s not to like? And for those Scandi noir and Stieg Larsson fans, it is in this area, Södermalm, that the Millennium walking tours begin – discover Lisbeth and Mikael’s nearby hangouts. For more of Swedish history you could visit one of the many museums which cover everything from art, maritime history, money, science and technology to biology and far eastern antiquities. 

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Create your own playground, fantasy world, vegetable plot or paw paw plantation, it’s your garden, make it what you want.

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glorious gardens

Gardens of Remembrance a reverie Gardening editor Carolyn Ernst reflects on the influences that have made her garden what it is and why every garden is unique and personal.


o two gardens are ever the same, even if you used the same plants and the same plan they would still be different. There are many things that cause this difference, from the physical, soils and climate, to the simple things that make us who we are. One of those things that helps define us is our culture, the story of where we came from and the journey we have taken to get where we are now. This is all part of who we are and is therefore reflected in our gardens, this is what defines you and your garden and what makes every garden different. Take me for an example, I learnt to garden from my mother’s and grandmother’s laps, their gardens were their lives, this is where all the important things in their lives took place, my mother was married in her mother’s garden and so was I.

PICTURES: Carolyn Ernst

Garden to mouth

The multitude of family events; the Christmases, Christenings and funerals, all with the house full of people overflowing and spilling into the garden. The cousins, aunts and uncles and many others more remotely connected, all celebrating together and enjoying themselves in the surrounds of the family gardens. My cousins big and small, the big looking after the small, playing hide and seek, the damp fern house making a great place to hide but always that fear of those big nasty wetas (bug in NZ -ed.) finding you first, climbing trees, raiding the vegetable garden, seeing how many ripe juicy strawberries you could find and trying to get those delicious raspberries without spoiling your special outfit of the day. I still have trouble getting peas from my garden to the kitchen, in fact now I know this is never going to happen, they all disappear long before I get that far, there is nothing like a fresh picked pea, garden to mouth.

The New Zealand influence

Gardens are places of memories, starting from the campout with my cousins never going far, the creepy noises, the determination to last the night, to the joy of pushing my grandson on a swing, playing on the slide, all in my garden. The image of him after rolling in mud and the fun those children had painting someone’s car with mud (I’m not sure their idea of fun was reciprocated), the day they gave the laughing Buddha a cigar and fancy party hat, these are all part of who and what I am. These childhood experiences are reflected in my own garden, there is a place for the children to play, nooks and crannies for them to hide and space to run and play. No, you might say, this is not ‘culture’, but it is, it is what defines me. I am proudly a New Zealander. This pride is reflected in who and what I am as well as in my garden, I have my New Zealand totem, proudly for all to see, my practical do it yourself side is evident in the garden art, the pots that have been recycled, the practical reuse of bottles in garden walls, this has all come from my up-bringing in New Zealand. Then of course there is my adopted country Vanuatu. Here there is the lush verdant landscape, the smiles and friendliness of the people. The tam tams or black palm carvings guard and greet all guests to the garden, man and woman together as a couple making sure all are welcome. Also included in the garden are the local plants with all their traditions and various uses; as a food item, something to keep the mosquitos away or to protect you from the evil spirits, each plant has its own story. Many popular plants in our gardens today originate in the area, both crotons and cordylines have their origins in the Pacific.

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“Our wants are sometimes conflicted by our environment, so it is hard to have an alpine garden in the tropics.”

Family food source

This lush growth is also reflected in the way nature just seems to happen and I don’t believe in fighting it, paw paws are allowed to grow and flourish where man or bird has spread the seed, ferns seem to just grow out of stone and soften the walls and garden surrounds. These changes are a maturing or the changes that occur as we grow older, nothing stays the same, this is the same as our culture, it too is changing and evolving being affected by the things that happen now and as we go forward by the people that are part of it, the power of the new and the old. Other peoples stories will be different, the Mediterranean’s and their love of cooking will be reflected in the plants they grow and it is hard not to add a little of the Asian culture to your own once you have experienced it. The changes in our lives are also the reason behind the change in our gardens, Anyone over 50 years old will remember the most important thing in our grandmother’s garden was the fruit and vegetable section. It was nurtured and cared for and produced bountiful quantities of fruit and veggies that were cooked and preserved, lovingly bottled or later frozen, given to friends and family, nothing wasted. These people all remembered the years of nothing, the pain and suffering that came from the war years and the depression, the rationing and lack of essential supplies. These memories have faded for many or never known by the young, there is no longer a need to store and save, the supermarket shelves are ever full.

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This need to grow is no longer seen as essential by many, time is better spent having fun and spending time with friends and family. This has now given rise to the sometimes lavish entertainment areas, outdoor living spaces, all the better to make entertainment easy and enjoyable. The BBQ has become a thing of wonder with every gadget and accessory, a necessary male tool for making the garden the perfect place to enjoy meals with friends and family.

Embrace change

. Our wants are sometimes conflicted by our environment, so it is hard to have an alpine garden in the tropics. It is however possible to have a garden that looks like one, using appropriate plants to create the image. All that is required is that you spend the time having a look around you and checking out what you can or cannot grow. I know as gardeners we sometimes want to stretch the boundaries and the challenge is something most of us enjoy. Just remember be prepared for the failures and extra work that this will require. It is sometimes easier to accept the situation and make life a little easier by adapting what you want to your environment. This adaption is what we all need to do, our lives, our culture are changing, nothing stays the same and although sometimes we don’t welcome the change, these changes are the essence of what we are and we need to embrace them, make them part of us and move forward. Carolyn Ernst owns and operates Eden on the River, an open garden and adventure centre about 20 minutes outside of Port Vila, Vanuatu.

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Offering a stunning range of Vanuatu stamps and first day covers for collectors or as souvenirs available for purchase online

Featuring beautiful photographs and illustrations of Vanuatu

At Hideaway Island Resort’s marine sanctuary you will find the world’s first underwater post office. You can post Underwater Post postcards to family and friends as a unique souvenir of your Vanuatu holiday! islandliving | 100 pacific

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art smart

Blooming Beauty s l a r o l F stic Fanta

In the Pacific we are surrounded by some of the world’s most exotic blooms which thrive in our tropical heat but while they are admired for their decorative qualities they may be overlooked as a timeless inspiration for artists through the millennia. Toby Preston looks at their place in art and life.


flower of itself is probably already art so needs little enhancement but artists and other creatives over the centuries have attempted (and succeeded in) capturing it’s enduring beauty in almost every medium known, from oil on canvas to dye on fabric to transferring photographic images to sensitised paper or simply putting them in a vase to be admired. The earliest known examples of floral arrangements go back to 2500BC when the Egyptians started putting them in vases as table decorations or for religious processions, wall decorations or carved into stone reliefs. Later on the Greeks and Romans used them for adornment as wreaths and garlands with Romans strewing roses on floors at banquets. The Chinese were making floral arrangements as long ago as 200BC with many species gaining a religious significance for the followers of Buddhism and Confucianism who placed them on altars, made carvings and embroideries

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Above: Ambrosius Bosschaert’s Flower Still Life held by the Getty Centre in Los Angeles. Right: Hibiscus patterned Hawaian shirt.

along with paintings found on scrolls and silks and carvings in wood, stone, jade, ivory and bronze. It wasn’t until around 1000AD that mainland Europe took to flowers in a significant way with churches and monasteries using them for decoration as well as medicinal purposes. From then on every age celebrated the flower in distinctive ways from the Renaissance through to the Victorian era flowers were arranged in bouquets, urns and vases as well as just simply scattering petals. Japan’s famously formal Ikebana art originated in the 15th century and continues today as a custom throughout Japanese society. Here in the Pacific we are endowed with an abundance of extraordinary tropical flowers and exotic blooms. A trip to any local market reveals all sorts of amazing heliconias, ginger flowers, frangipani, hibiscus and strelitzia for sale at prices to make anyone from Australia or New Zealand weep. Huge bunches can be had for as little as around AU$10 which would cost AU$50 in an Australian florist shop.

Far Left: Picasso’s Bouquet of Peace (1958) which is one of an edition of 200 prints can be had at auction for around US$3000. Above left: Georgia O’Keefe’s Oriental Poppies. Left: Andy Warhol’s acrylic, silk screen and pencil Flowers (1964). Above: Robert Mapplethorpe’s book Flora which is published by Phaidon is his definitive collection of flower photographs and comes in a fabric slip case for AU$200.

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Above: Vincent Van Gogh’s Irises which was sold to Alan Bond in 1987 for US$112.3 million. As it was he couldn’t pay it off and it was later sold to the Getty Museum, probably at a discount. Interestingly the most expensive painting sold at auction last year was painted in the Pacific by Paul Gaugin while in Tahiti, the painting titled When Will You Marry? or Nafea Faa Ipoio? in Tahitian sold for around US$300 million. Left: An example of the very formal Japanese Ikebana style of flower arranging. Below left: Flowers as a motif in a stained glass window. Right: Step outside and grab a shot of something in the garden, here are frangipanis, which around my place in Vanuatu grow in abundance as street trees and around my garden. Simply take the pic, have it printed then choose your frame and hang it on your wall– instant floral art, easy!

Above: That really is a flower in the Port Vila market – a stunning lotus with green seed pod.

Among the most famous floral paintings are those of Ambrosius Bosschaert, the Dutch artist whose Baroque style Flower Still Life is held by the Getty Centre in Los Angeles. Painted in 1614 it features a variety hyacinths, roses, forget-me-nots, tulips and cyclamens in a basket. Seventeenth century Flemish painter Jan Brueghel the Elder was known by the nickname ‘Flower’ Brueghel after his affection for floral art, the best known example is probably Bouquet painted in 1603 which features a blaze of blooms in a terracotta vase. The French impressionists were great flower painters too with examples by Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Auguste Renoir, Édourd Manet and Paul Cezanne. Later exponents include Georgia O’Keefe, who was fascinated by flowers and best known for her Oriental Poppies from 1928 which is a vast close-up in orange and black. Pablo Picasso didn’t overlook flowers either with his Bouquet of Peace (1958) a favourite piece. Andy Warhol didn’t just paint soup cans and Marilyn Monroe, he also ran off a few floral prints too. Then there’s Robert Mapplethorpe whose book of flower photographs, Flora, is a collector’s item filled with almost erotic pictures of blooms for those who don’t want the very confronting Man in Polyester Suit hanging around on the coffee table. But you can make your own flower art photographs by stepping into the garden and using the macro setting on your camera, get up close to almost any flower and the shapes, colour and intensity are magnified to become wonderful abstract forms that anyone can capture and enlarge for the price of a photographic print to hang on your wall. Experiment with some of your camera’s filters to change the saturation, contrast or hue, turn it into black and white and experiment some more, it’s easy to make art when there’s a flower about the place. Perhaps the simplest way to get a great shot is to just pop into your local island market and snap away. 

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Tourism Investment Started Getting


n a previous edition of Pacific Island Living we covered five tips for investing in business in the Pacific. Following this article, I am receiving an increased level of enquiry from Australian investors wishing to invest in the South Pacific and more specifically the tourism sector in Vanuatu. And why wouldn’t you want to invest in this paradise, the flights have recommenced, there are significant infrastructure projects in progress and tourism is on the improve, particularly in Espiritu Santo. While this article is Vanuatu-centric, a number of the aspects remain relevant across the South Pacific. Top Five Questions Here are the top 5 questions that I receive from clients. 1. What is the interest rate? 2. Foreign Investment – what is the process? 3. Land system – how does it differ from Australia? 4. What are the costs? 5. Borrowing – what level of equity do I need? Interest rates in Vanuatu – Vatu or AUD? The local currency in Vanuatu is the Vanuatu Vatu (VUV) and the current exchange rate is around AU$1 = VT80. Due to the smaller size of the finance sector, fixed rate borrowings are not available in Vanuatu. Business borrowing rates in Vatu are approximately 10-11% and I am regularly

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asked, why so high? Vatu interest rates are influenced by: (a) Liquidity i.e. the Vatu is not a globally traded currency; (b) Sovereign or country risk i.e. risks of government, civil unrest and natural disaster; and (c) Competitive activity i.e. the market comprises four commercial banks Are there other options? Yes, there is an alternative option for you. In Vanuatu, there is the option of borrowing in a foreign currency i.e. Australian dollars (AUD). Capacity to borrow in AUD is subject to your Vanuatu business stream being in AUD however in tourism, room rates are typically sold in AUD. This is due to the major tourism market being from Australia and for us ‘Aussies’ having difficulty in understanding the conversion between AUD and Vatu – there are too many zeros. The commercial banks in Vanuatu source AUD either from client liquidity (AUD deposits) or via the respective global treasury. As a result, AUD borrowing rates are competitive and not too much higher than what you would expect to borrow for commercial purposes in Australia. I recommend that any operating/working capital facility be structured in Vatu as the majority of your local expenses will be in Vatu.

PICTURE: The Havannah

Financial adviser Gayle Stapleton responds to the many enquiries from potential overseas investors interested in buying into the South Pacific's burgeoning tourism industry.

Foreign Investment - what is the process? There is a quite detailed six-step process required to formalise your business investment i.e. 1. Foreign Investment approval – Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) 2. Residency permits 3. Work permits 4. Company incorporation/business name registration – Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) 5. Value-added Tax (VAT) – Department of Customs and Inland Revenue 6. Employer registration – Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) While there is now the scope for ‘self-service’ online access, I recommend you invest in the services of accounting and legal professionals within Vanuatu. Land system The land system used in Vanuatu is leasehold versus freehold in Australia. Maximum lease term is 75 years and the relevant land lease covers the specific conditions pertaining to your lease e.g. lease term, process for renewal of lease, lease rent, usage of land, timeframe to improve and lessor entitlements at the expiry of lease term. While the lease will typically include an option for renewal, any renewal will be subject to an additional payment to lessor (lease premium) and may include changes in lease conditions e.g. lease rent. I recommend as part of your business due diligence, satisfactory allowance is made for a commercial return on your investment within the residual lease term. Should the lease be for a period of less than 25 years, I suggest a renewal of lease is included in your sale and purchase contract conditions. What are the costs? When considering your chosen investment in Vanuatu, allow for costs of 10% which based on an investment of AU$1,500,000, I recommend you allow for additional $150,000 for these set-up costs. These costs will include such items as Government fees, professional costs, valuation, insurance and finance costs. Borrowing ratios? Vanuatu is a beautiful South Pacific paradise however due to the Pacific location, the downside to paradise is natural disasters in particular, cyclone and earthquake activity.



And when it is ‘natural disaster time’, the impact can be will recall the impact of cyclone Pam. As a result of this country-risk issue, lenders in Vanuatu allow a maximum borrowing ratio of 60% So, overall – how much do I need to contribute? Let’s complete a couple of sums. Based on a tourism property purchase price AU$1,500,000, your minimum contribution will be as follows: Contribution to purchase i.e 40% of purchase price: AU$600,000 Allocation for costs i.e. government, valuation, finance: AU$150,000 Total contribution based on purchase price AU$1,500,000: AU$750,000. Potential borrowing structure If you are retaining income producing property in Australia, there is the option to intelligently structure a loan in Australia to be repaid from the income being earned in Australia. Various loan packages are available for this type of asset for instance, residential line of credit, residential investment property, commercial investment loan and commercial line of credit. Due to the current historically low interest rates in Australia and reasonable yield being received from residential and commercial property, this structure could prove to be valuable as a way to source the required level of equity to invest in your Vanuatu tourism property. Summary 1. There are currently good opportunities for investment in tourism in Vanuatu – in particular the main island of Efaté and Espiritu Santo. 2. Investing and borrowing in Vanuatu is very different from Australia and as a result, working with local business professionals (real estate, legal, accounting, risk, finance) is recommended. 3. Equity contribution is quite high however this is recommended due to the inherent risk (e.g. country, natural disasters) of investing in a Pacific paradise 4. There is the opportunity to leverage income producing property assets in Australia to contribute towards purchase. I hope this article has assisted you in your research for an investment in tourism in Vanuatu paradise. Please do contact me, should you wish to discuss your aspirations. 

FLOOR GOVANT BUILDING | PO BOX 1276 | PORT VILA TEL+ 678 24 404 | FAX+ 678 23 692 | ST

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The People: Behind Your Magazine Behind the scenes, or should that be the scenery, since we’re in the Pacific, we’re making your mag. TIFFANY CARROLL | Editor Tiffany began her career in journalism at GTV 9 in Melbourne before switching to print media with Rural Press newspapers in NSW. She joined the private office of the Premier of Victoria as Press Secretary in the second term of the Kennett Government. Since moving to Vanuatu, Tiffany has written for many clients and has been editing Air Vanuatu’s inflight magazine Island Spirit for seven years. TANYA GREEN | Art Director Tanya has a degree in Graphic Design with experience working in both Australia and overseas, in roles ranging from Commercial Producer for TV, to Designer, Art Director and also owning her own magazine. She now spends time with her two small children and freelancing for clients across the country ... and the Pacific too now.

CAROLYN ERNST | Gardening Editor Carolyn Ernst is a passionate gardener and farmer. Originally from New Zealand, Carolyn has called the Pacific home for well over 25 years. She is a married mother of four children and two grandchildren and operates Eden on the River - an outdoor adventure and garden experience in Port Vila. GAYLE STAPLETON | Finance Writer After numerous chief executive roles with ANZ Bank within Australia and the South Pacific, Gayle established Stapleton Pacific. She works with investors, business owners, expatriates and foreign non-residents to assist them build property investment and wealth portfolios via intelligent, personalised and well-structured lending.

GEORGIE GORDON | Features Editor Georgie’s university studies in communications, journalism and publishing were followed by a successful career in advertising. Georgie now spends much of her time writing about the things she has a passion for, design, food, travel, books, health and beauty. She now resides part time in the region allowing her to pursue her enthusiasm for promoting the pleasures of the Pacific.

PAT INGRAM | Editorial Director Pat Ingram has a long and passionate association with magazines. She edited Australian Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar before her 10-year stint as Publishing Director for ACP Magazines’ 16 women’s titles including Woman’s Day and The Australian Women’s Weekly. She currently works as a publishing consultant and editorial director for Fairfax Media. She is a resident of Vanuatu and dreams of spending most of the year here.

CHRISTIANA KALUSCHA | Food Editor Christiana studied languages and economics at Cologne University before taking up the life of a sea gypsy sailing the Mediterranean from Spain to Turkey and onwards around the world. Fluent in several languages plus the language of food. Christiana now runs the exclusive boutique B+B, Sarangkita, on the beachfront outside of Port Vila from where she also conducts cooking tours and classes as the creator of Vanuatu Food Safari.

CRAIG OSMENT | Publisher Craig has over thirty years’ experience as an independent publisher of consumer magazines, books and trade titles. Originally a graphic designer, he was art director of Australian Cosmopolitan, The Bulletin and POL magazines. Now a Vanuatu resident he is also the publisher of Island Spirit the Air Vanuatu in-flight magazine.

OLIVIA WAUGH | Fashion + Style Editor Olivia Waugh is a highly regarded fashion stylist with a career in both retail and editorial. She has been Fashion Editor for the top-selling Australian weekly Woman’s Day and Fashion Director of the glossy monthly SHOP TIL YOU DROP. She is currently freelancing for a variety of Australia’s top magazines and manufacturers and island-hopping

REBECCA MURPHY | Advertising Director Rebecca is another exile from New Zealand but has spent the past 17 years travelling extensively through Europe and the Pacific so thoroughly acclimatised to our region. She lived in PNG before coming to Vanuatu and is a media junkie having worked in print and radio for ten years. She loves anything to do with fashion, style and travel and claims to be an ‘all round exceptional person’ and we have to agree.

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Par Avion

Life’s Little Irritations A contumacious and curmudgeonly Toby Preston vents some spleen about those little things in life that get under his skin, here’s his brief list of triggers.


s a bi-island dweller – that’s nothing to do with my sexual orientation, simply that I am resident of two islands – the big island of Australia and the ‘smol’ island of Efaté, Vanuatu. Which means there are very different irritations in life – big and smol. There are some that are universal, thanks largely to the internet, my spam follows me around the world and, in spite of unsubscribing to endless email feeds from companies I was obliged to provide my details to just for the pleasure of spending money on their products, I still get bombarded with all sorts of useless offers to buy everything from sex toys to soap powder and yet another taillight lens for the car I sold six years ago. In-yer-Face-book apostate The other bane of my life is the constant intrusion into my electronic mailbox by Facebook, I’m notified on a daily basis of the upcoming birthdays of everyone I ever knew (along with many I’ve never heard of), I’m told several times a day someone has ‘updated their status’ I used to think they may have appointed themselves a duke or a bishop or the dictator of a small country but usually find it’s something much more prosaic like a picture of their cat asleep in front of the fire (so that’s news?) or an engaging photograph of a grandchild smeared with peanut butter – equally astonishing. I also get messages of simpering concern about extended absences which I refuse to respond to. I figure since Facebook already has 1.65 billion active monthly users they can’t be all that bereft if I continue to ignore them. Note: after acknowledging that I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to things digital, I’ve now followed instructions from a 12 year-old friend on how to disable the disruptors – go to settings ... Duhh! Thanks to the boyz but we wuz robbed on the night I know I’m in a minority on this one but sport isn’t among my favourite pastimes, basically if it sweats and moves I’m not interested unless the perspiring human is behind the wheel of a race car. Anything with a ball involved (apart from maybe beach volleyball) bores my bum off and the participants should absolutely never be given airtime. Having spent the best part of an hour being concussed or beaten to a pulp by their opponents footballers from any code simply don’t make good television. So that ten minutes of every news bulletin dedicated to panting, grunting men answering inane questions is a major annoyance – everywhere. Hand me the grenade Packaging is another constant irritation, I think ever since someone

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contaminated a pack of painkillers in America, companies have been devising ever more impenetrable packaging. I seem to need a power tool, a hand grenade or at the very least a Stanley knife to get access to anything these days. Those blister packs which are often five time the size of the enclosed product (I saw a USB stick in the supermarket the other day attached to an A4 sheet of cardboard) are now made from airline grade polycarbonate or Kevlar and require a chainsaw to access the contents. Packets of cigarettes, boiled lollies and paracetamol now come in several layers of cellophane which like women’s petticoats electrostatically vulcanises itself to anything nearby. Then there’s anything slightly delicate or vulnerable which comes with 5 cubic metres of polystyrene and 10 layers of cardboard and takes hours to dispose of. Or those plastic trays which are now essential to protect anything from a kilo of potatoes to half a dozen chops and necessitate emptying the kitchen tidy every time you try to stuff one in, they are impossible to crush without industrial strength equipment, no wonder our domestic waste has gone from landfill (which went into holes in the ground) to something resembling the Massif Central. Makes you yearn for an island market where the packaging is a woven palm leaf that turns to compost within weeks. The robots have landed Here I am at 700 words and I’ve only covered three ‘little’ irritations, these things are bigger than I thought. To summarise a few more: Constantly being asked to agree to 10,000-word lists of terms and conditions before I download a three-minute music track or buy coffee online. Aviation ‘noise events’ That’s code for jet aircraft hovering just above rooftop height. Those signs in shop windows which declare ‘sale continues instore’ where else would they continue? Under a tree over road? Unsolicited phone calls asking for everything from a seeing eye dog to my bank account codes because of an unforseen problem with a computer which has been identified by a very helpful chap in Mumbai who calls me by someone else’s name. Municipal authorities constantly outlawing any activity that may bring joy to the day – dog walking, kicking a ball in a park, skateboarding, riding a bicycle, consuming food or drink on a footpath. Call centres based in Manila staffed by robotic chipmunks who politely repeat every question but never have an answer – the list goes on. But I’m off to the smol island where the major grievance is also its most attractive attribute – nothing happens quickly.









1 | Islandliving paciďŹ c

1 | Islandliving paciďŹ c

Pacific Island Living Issue 18  

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