Right now I’m sitting on a ‘lani’ listening to my new housemate sing and strum a song he made up for the kids he teaches called My Favourite Colour Is Rainbow. YES I’m in Hawaii, YES I’m in paradise, YES I’m a total hippy. I even bought eco soy-based paints today.

Just so you can get a bit more of a picture – the lani is a balcony, but the word can be used here for any chillout outdoor space. We’re high up about 20 minutes walk from the beach, so the view beyond the wooden balcony strewn with fairy lights is of the sun setting behind the Waikiki skyscrapers and over the ocean. I’m at my friend Dahlia’s house for a few nights before spending the rest of the month exploring the islands.

Dahlia and I met nine years ago in Byron Bay when we lived in the ‘Peter Pan’ house. Everyone in the house handed out flyers for the PP travel agency in exchange for free rent. It worked ok if you were happy to live in an overcrowded shack and we were in cheapy traveller mode up for anything so…it worked. Next we both helped out at a hostel called Aquarius in exchange for board. I drove the minibus picking up the greenies from the Greyhound bus stop, Dahlia worked on the suppers and cleaned the kitchen. We knew everyone and got in everywhere for free, skipped the lines at the clubs, the works. We were 23 and thought we owned the place, good times! At the end of that trip I visited Dahlia in her native Boston and three years later she moved over to London. We lived in a little flat for six months in Bethnal Green and then we kept rather badly in touch. Six years later I’m on her doorstep in Hawaii and the lovely girl has welcomed me in again.

I flew in early yesterday morning from Sydney. The great thing about this journey is you get to do a day twice, so this week I’ve had two Wednesdays! Dahlia and I spent a few hours chatting on the lani, then headed down for a swim at Kapi’olani, the part right next to the gorgeous Diamond Head. This is the east end of the Waikiki beach stretch, so way more chilled out than the hectic tourist part. Got back. Slept on the sofa for a bit since the plane lights had blinked on at 3am my time. Woke and met Griff, who greeted me with an, “I’m going for a surf, wanna come?” Five minutes later I’m on the back of a scooter, hair blowing in the wind (it’s legal to wear no helmets. Sorry Dad) and off to Waikiki to catch the easiest break in the world. I even managed to high five Griff while surfing a wave, what a rush! Then it was back to the lani for some beers.

Today I went drawing and ran some errands – bought a mobile, dinner for tonight, got a bit lost. That sort of thing. Griff and I went for a swim when he got back from jury duty and now I’m blogging…. can you tell I haven’t written in my journal for a while? What a lot to say!

Here are some pictures. First up the view from the lani.

Um, pretty good? Yah.

This is where I’m sitting right now, looking at above view.

Possibly where I’ll sleep tonight, was a bit warm last night. But I was woken up by a cat butting my head in the house. This house doesn’t have a cat. So more chance of a return cat visit if I sleep outside.

Dahlia and I after our swim. Loving the palm trees.

Griff my surf instructor, housemate and swimming buddy. Check out the Hawaiian beer and cheesy grins. Nice! And that’s Diamond Head behind.

The trees are amazing here. Twisty in a Japanese cherry blossom way, or beanpole skinny palms with tufty heads, or BANYAN trees. See these:

Trees like these remind me of Mondrian’s early tree paintings

Loads of white pigeons roost in this tree on Waikiki Beach:


And here they are:

Cute huh? Even though these pigeon things are actually some sort of weird hybrid between London pigeons and seagulls. They pick crumbs off your towel on the beach. Fact. Seen it.

Right at the far end of this beach, that’s where I swim every day.

Love Hawaii. Feel blessed. Plus, I just sold some drawings for $600. YES I DID! wow.