List of Blog Stories

All our lives are but a story and everyone has one.

Smugglers tales – U.K.

Five and twenty ponies, trotting through the dark, Brandy for the parson, baccy for the clerk, Laces for a lady, papers for a spy, So watch the wall my darling, while the gentlemen go by. When Rudyard Kipling wrote those words in 1906, the ‘gentlemen’ were smugglers and he was thinking of Sussex, my present…

Jim Albertini – Hawaii Activist

“War is the most unsustainable thing that human beings do, and we do it a lot. If you look underneath the surface, you’ll find that without our current, exploitative, growth-imperative global economy, war would be obsolete. We must end this madness.” Among the many activists who live on the Big Island of Hawaii Jim’s reputation…

Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance

  “No administration or commission alone can build a community, it can only happen through respectful and responsible dialogue with neighborhood stakeholders. County employees time and taxpayers money is currently being spent on building obstacles for community organizations engaged in sustainable living research and providing valuable community services and the aim of HSCA is to…

HICCUP circus – ‘Malama Ka Aina’

‘Taking care of our land’ “Dear Hiccup Circus, thank you for including Shady Grove school in your production, Malama I Ke Kai.  As a teacher, I see the confidence building that comes from all the practices, training, and performances. The show was thoroughly entertaining and spectators were on the edge of their seats.  I am truly awed by…

HICCUP circus – ‘Malama I Ke Kai’

‘Taking care of the ocean’ “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work…I want to achieve it through not dying.” Woody Allen – quote from ‘ImMortal.’ In 2002 Irene and I worked for three months with No Fit State Circus in Cardiff running summer camps for Welsh kids in the mining valleys.  We also got…

DLNR controversy

“To live cohesively is almost a fantasy and we ought to know it starts with humbling our egos.” —Nahko Bear Following my last story of Seaview Estates, Kealoha Ward commented on Facebook that I left out an important part of the history, “Because Graham doesn’t want people to know he is often a full on…

Extinction Rebellion or Extinction?

“Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.” – Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. While responsibility for fossil fuel impacts on climate change falls fairly on oil companies and governments, and recent campaigns by XR have called…

HICCUP in Hawaiian Homelands

“Eh! you the juggler guy show me ride da unicycle, what’s up bro?” Wearing surf shorts, tats and a torn tank top he had the build of a wrestler and was striding towards me in a menacing manner. A big broad smile grew across his face as he recognised me as his old circus teacher.…

HICCUP educational philosophy

I arrived in Hawaii as an enthusiastic but frustrated educator unable to surrender to the bureaucratic craziness of the standard school system. Following my brief experiences as an elementary school principal and community organiser in St. Lucia and then a short flirtation producing Macnut butter I accepted my personal life assignment was to find alternative…

A Social Circus vision

“Vision without action is a daydream and action without vision is a nightmare.” proclaims an ancient Japanese Proverb. My circus career taught me how “action WITH vision can also become a nightmare.” As the HICCUP ringleader I travelled a rocky path turning my vision from a dream into a reality with a mission “to promote…

Circus Artist – Monnya Silver

“Monnya was in first grade when her teacher called me and said she had changed the spelling of her name from Manya to Monnya. She was tired of people mispronouncing her name as ‘Man ya’. Her father and I said it made sense and was fine. By then we were used to her strong willed…

HICCUP circus shows – ‘Naturally High’

“It’s the best I’ve seen – not preachy.” “The students loved every minute of it, the combination of drama, music, dance and stunts was an excellent idea.”  “It’s a positive, strong message when kids, not adults, deliver the wisdom.”  “An all kid show—how refreshing!” “This is the best drug prevention assembly I’ve attended. Keep up the great work!”…

HICCUP circus shows – pre 1996

I woke up one day in 1990 not realising that my love of juggling had morphed itself into a social circus experiment.  Incredulously I told people my vision was to help raise healthy kids and contribute to community by playing around with some fun circus props.  I never imagined it would lead to HICCUP becoming…

S.P.A.C.E. Farmers Market

“Once upon a time there was the most amazing farmers market on the planet!! I went every Saturday for years. I always met new people, dialed in with my neighbors and looked forward to this weekly gathering. So much beauty within our lovely community. These were such magical days in lower Puna!!! ” Nicole Lesh…

HICCUP circus on parade

The HICCUP circus won first place awards in almost every parade we did on the Big Island. In the Pahoa Winter parade our contingent just kept growing larger and larger every year. We had more and more mothers, siblings, aunts and uncles and even dads joining in the fun. We had our regular loyal facepainters…

Seaview Resident – Pat Rocco

“Graham has one major fault—he’s dedicated to bringing people together and helping them achieve being the best that they can be. In doing this, his unending energy forces him to make decisions that result in skirting some rules in order to reach the greater good of human achievements. In other words, humanitarian achievements come first.”…

Seaview Resident – Joe Hoffman

He once described himself as, “a very serious young man, rebel of the public school system and all around skeptic.” After graduating in Montana he became a formidable pipelayer/operator of heavy equipment and then a tradesman. While he enjoyed the raw simplicity of physical work he remained unsatisfied. He said the “school of hard knocks”…

Renegade jungalow builders

“The pervading attitude is we are a group of renegades. Always feeling a bit of an outlaw, I have no problem with that word or in living with a bunch of renegades.” announced Alexis in 1993. I’m inclined to think that she feels quite differently about his today. Time changes people ! We founded the…

Homestead Builder

“We shape our buildings: Thereafter, they shape us.” -Winston Churchill “If you build it, they will come.”  –Field of Dreams. The first structure I ever built, in August 1988 was the shell of a very rustic community kitchen on the assumption that it would serve us until we built something permanent. I located it tucked away…

S.P.A.C.E. builders

“The Seaview Performing Arts Centre for Education will always be much more than the sum of the materials that were used to build it.” Paddy Daly Phase Two of our S.P.A.C.E. construction project was the grand pavilion—a state-of-the-art Polynesian-style multi-purpose center with bathrooms, storage, and offices. We were working on a very tight budget, with…

S.P.A.C.E. School – alternative education

“I could hear kids laughing and playing all the way from my house at Bellyacres and I really wanted to be a part of it. I begged my homeschooling mom for weeks to go to Kua Kalapana school at S.P.A.C.E. She finally agreed and my wish came true. On my ninth birthday I got to…

Political Activist – Shannon Rudolph

“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” — Thomas Jefferson On the Big Island of Hawaii there’s a host of super people confronting injustice but few with the tenacity, determination, sheer guts and work ethic of Shannon Rudolph. If you live in Hawaii and want to know what current legislative bills impact justice or the…

Jugglers For Peace – Nicaragua 1988

“Political theatre is common in Europe and South America, so why not in the U.S.A? Judging by the demand for the “Juggler for peace” buttons and the support for the Renegade Jugglers antinuclear presentation, we seem to know what kind of world we want to live in. But what are we doing to help achieve…

Jugglers For Peace – Nicaragua 1987

“They’ve killed Ben” said Nancy Levidow as she opened the door for us, sobbing profusely with tears pouring down her face. It was April 28th 1987, Sean Minnock and I had just arrived in San Francisco en route for a peace tour of Central America. Nancy was on the phone talking with the distraught mother of…

Circus artwork by John Keeler

What’s a circus without colour? We have been most fortunate that costumes and clothes, props and posters, stage sets and signs, buildings and banners and even vehicles have been the canvas for the artwork of John Keeler. Luckily, unlike most artists, he didn’t need surfaces to be flat and could paint pretty much anything. John…

Hawaiian Vaudeville Juggling Festivals

Produced by: It was 1985, Juggling Festivals were new, there was only the International Jugglers Association and maybe a handful of others worldwide and I was at my first. It was in the tropical paradise of Puna on the island of Hawaii and I was the organiser! I had no idea that I had launched…

Bellyacres – Interns

“I started by cutting, cooking, dehydrating and making flour out of breadfruit, then burned my hands and face with ghost pepper residue as I cleaned out the dehydrator. Once recovered from that trauma, I helped construct a new solar panel roof and almost fell to my death from an unstable ladder. The next day I…

Sustainable living in 1950’s U.K.

I recently explained to my daughter that sustainability isn’t new …. it was how people lived when I was a kid growing up in the U.K. We never ever used the word ‘sustainable’ it was just what we did to survive and thrive. I was born in Croydon, just after WWII ended, in a house my…

Dave Finnigan – My juggling guru

“He’s cheapened the art”, “His products are mediocre”, “How dare he share our skills with everyone” argued the detractors of Dave’s controversial movement to popularise juggling. Who ever knew that professional and expert jugglers would feel threatened by an academic novice juggler on a mission to spread the joy of juggling with the world? Known…

Living a sustainable lifestyle

I have to admit I’m struggling. Life here in the U.K. is relatively easy compared to Hawaii but it’s so far from sustainable, it’s scary! Most of the population continue living like the party will never end. They listen to the government rhetoric about climate change trusting everything will be taken care of while being…

Veterans Day

Guest Blog by Dena Ellis Today I salute all American veterans for putting their lives on the line for the dream of freedom.  But that dream has become a nightmare for many. Shackled to student loans, mortgages, credit card payments, crippling medical bills, and the never ending plethora of enticing products and services seductively lapdancing…

Hawaiian Musicians for Sovereignty.

While Queen Lili‘uokalani was imprisoned for eight months at ‘Iolani Palace after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893, she described composing music as a “a gift of nature” More than a century ago her song “Aloha ‘Oe” became one of the first from Hawai’i to achieve recognition outside of the Islands. Today, it remains…

Kupuna – Auntie Emily

It was late July, I was struggling to breathe, feverish and fatigued. Covid had hit me hard. I barely got out of bed for three weeks and was too exhausted to communicate much with anyone. The phone rang and somehow I found the energy and inspiration to answer. It was Kupuna Auntie Emily calling from…

The Sage of Seaview – Graybeard

Graybeard (aka Greybeard and Phillip Drew) was wise, extremely humble and old. He was venerated for his experience, calm judgment and wisdom. He was a problem solver, a spiritual man and the master of simplicity. He walked his talk and was the definitive Sage of Seaview. It was a great loss when he left us for…

9/11 – I Will Never Forget

A guest blog post by Dena Smith Ellis 20 Years 💝 I remember that day as if it were yesterday. Like most people, I still remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. I was working as a telecommunications operator at Commerce Insurance Company in Webster, Massachusetts. It was one of three jobs…

Overcoming adversity- Mr Shannon Hassard

I only cry watching a certain type of movie. It’s when that special someone with the renegade spirit overcomes tremendous adversity to succeed beyond the wildest dreams other mere mortals. I can’t stop it, the tears just flow from my eyes as I witness heroic acts: David overcoming Goliath, Joan of Arc leading the French…

Sacred land protector – Pua Case

“Aloha mai kakou, If you would just take a moment to pause from your busy day and think about the most sacred place that you are connected to, the place that brings you peace and accepts your prayers, very likely the place where your grandparents and their parents once prayed, the place you would safeguard…

Romantic love – Julie

Bathed in the glowing of your letter  My smile won’t go  Tears start  Smile grows  I clutch my pen and my fingers play my lips  They assure themselves  Yes this is me, yes this is she  Mon couer  I am such a romantic, it would sicken most  Graham, much fear I have  Am I so…

American Indian Movement – Clyde

I’ve worked with children my whole life because I believe that they are our most valuable resource and the world’s best hope for a better, brighter future – or any future at all. On my travels I’ve met others who share this view but few as passionate as Clyde Bellecourt. Clyde Bellecourt was born in…

Seaview Estates-The S.P.A.C.E. saga Part 3 – Cease and Desist

The ‘War against S.P.A.C.E.’ was waged by Scott Wills and a mere handful of residents who made persistent pernicious complaints with the County Planning Department. They destroyed a beautiful manifestation of a social circus vision that had been evolving since 1987. Scott only lived on Seaview Estates for a little over three years yet his…

Seaview Estates-The S.P.A.C.E. saga Part 2 Community building

The opening of S.P.A.C.E. in November 2007 happened at the worst possible time for organizations like ours but the silver lining was that it forced us to become less financially dependent upon private donations and grant funding. The financial crisis caused us to abandon the business plan we had created in 2000 and pursue strictly…

Trumped and Dumped

Living without legal documentation in Hawaii for 36 years was not an easy or comfortable reality for me. I exhausted many efforts to rectify the situation over the years but each lawyer I consulted told me it was futile due to a loophole in the system that I was stuck in. As a result, my…

Lytton B.C. and Gertie – 2021 and 1977

A guest blog by Martin Barnett Lytton, BC Canada has been in the news lately for two reasons: 1. It registered the hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada on 29 June 2021, at a toasty 49.6 C (122 F) 2: it burned down the following day, razing 90% of the structures and killing two people.…

Workers Co-operatives – Jim Dyck

“After waking from a brief nap mum realized the bed was wet, and, being naive about her water breaking, she thought she had peed. She was embarrassed to call the nurse, but when she pulled back the sheets I was already on my way. It was a ten minute birth and over before Dr. Rigg…

Immigration Man

“Won’t you let me in, immigration man – I won’t toe your line today – I can’t see it anyway – Here I am with my immigration form – It’s big enough to keep me warm when a cold wind’s coming – So go where you will as long as you think you can -…

Children in Care – Larry

(Larry’s name has been changed.) £1,200,000 ($1,630,000) is a lot of money. It’s the cost of four average homes in the U.K. or four years at University for thirty three students or the amount needed to support a family of four for 26 years. It’s also how much one Local Authority has spent to provide…

Seaview Estates – The S.P.A.C.E. saga Part 1- Planning and construction

It all began with the vision that our juggling group shared when we purchased Bellyacres in 1987. I understood that founding our two tax exempt organizations imposed a moral duty to serve our local community. My approach to fulfilling this obligation was the creation of a performance arts facility and organising twenty-five years of HICCUP…

“The Amazing One-Man Band” – Bosco

“This is for all you heavy breathers out there,” says Bosco. He then asks everyone in the audience to take two breaths in and two breaths out, rhythmically and rapidly. It’s hard, but he usually gets a couple of dozen “heavy breathers” cruising on the ecstasy of the natural breath. “Don’t try this at home,”…

Ringmaster Tristan Graham

“Gooday, mate!” I heard as a young lad strode brashly up the steps of my house. Ordained with hippie dreadlocks, a didgeerie doo, and a bursting backpack he wore a big broad smile. Offering his hand with a solid shake Tristan, from way down under, made his grand entrance. I had a habit of rejecting…

Drunk driver victim – Ted

Our Bellyacres community kitchen holds lots of stories. Interesting characters of all sexes and ages have eaten at the rustic table, sat on the broken couches and sung along with tunes played on battered guitars. Ted arrived in the fall of 2007 and graced our lives with his youthful spirit for less than four years…

Lava flows in Puna- Hawaii

“In the secret hour before dawn half naked figures appear in the shadows. Flickering flames light their faces. Their skin glows with an eerie red light as they dip the tips of sticks into a primordial river of fire, igniting them. Then, twirling their flaming torches in wild rhythm, they paint streaks of bright light…

Waldo and Woodhead – Masters of Mayhem!

To watch Mark “Woody” Keppel on stage is to see a maestro at work. Woodhead has been described as “unpredictable, hilarious, charming and above all exceedingly talented. He throws himself, sometimes literally, with reckless abandon into his character and you would never guess that he froze on stage in his very first public appearance. With…

Birth of a Workers Co-operative

Following a five thousand mile trip from the Caribbean, Martin and I arrived in Victoria, British Colombia. Fresh off the ferry, we drove our little blue bug Gertie directly to a friend’s house were we crashed until we discovered 1280 Walnut Street. Two eligible bright British blokes were apparently a good fit for the alluring…

A Case of Unrequited Love – Jilly

Many decades ago I ended my relationship with Jilly and experienced a full year of her intense angst dealing with unrequited love. It was terribly painful, especially for her, but taught me some valuable lessons about love. Jilly told me,  “Oh well! perhaps you should use what you learned with me to make your future…

Summer Camp Psychodrama

Journal Entry – August 10th 1975: After last nights horrific events, I’ve finally decided that I need to blow the whistle on this insanity. I spoke privately—in whispers—to Greg, Deb, Liz and Joe. I told them I was going to the sheriff but I was worried he wouldn’t believe me after his recent visit and…

Seaview Estates – A Disputable Deeper Dive

“To live cohesively is almost a fantasy and we ought to know it starts with humbling our egos.” —Nahko Bear Following my last story of Seaview Estates, Kealoha Ward commented on Facebook that I left out an important part of the history, “Because Graham doesn’t want people to know he is often a full on…

Scouting for Boys or scouting for sex?

Fifty-eight years ago the Scoutmaster who had taught Edward Pittson skills like how to use a compass and light a campfire said he was going to teach twelve year old Edward about sex. The Scoutmaster invited him to his house and asked him to lay on the bed. The man assured the boy he had…

Seaview Estates – a bit more history

Seaview Estates is a rich and colourful community with a vibrant and controversial history. I lived there from March 1987 until January 2015 and these are some of my memories. Over thirty years I witnessed lots of comings and goings. Owners, renters, spectulators and squatters have all passed through. Some left after a short time…

H.I.C.C.U.P. circus – The Wild Ones

In 2007 when Ari, Marcellus and Eli brought me on stage to juggle with them at the grand opening of our new Seaview Performing Arts Centre for Education it was a sweet surprise and one of the highlights of my circus career. I have a particularly strong affinity for these three young men. They were…

Mr Renegade Juggling

The crowd was roaring – a real belly aching laughter, the kind that hurts your gut. On stage the street performer was beating the security guard mercilessly, but harmlessly, with a styrofoam sword. It was 1986 and I was at the 39th International Jugglers Festival in San Jose, California where the Butterfly Man was climaxing…

Covid and my mum

My mum turns ninety years old on March 21st and the big family reunion party we had planned has become another COVID casualty – although it won’t show on the government statistics. Mum’s taking it all really well, but this virus year has been a huge test of her resilience. She’s been totally confined to…

Story Book Theatre – Uncle Mark Jeffers

“Ok, Everybody .. . . Attention! . . . Feet Together!. . Ready for an adventure in Harmony & Melody?” Two humpback whales—a mother and calf—magically appear in a Kauai preschool after ‘migrating’ around the Hawaiian island chain. Each year since 2012, ‘Captain’ Mark Jeffers of Storybook Theatre has toured with the whales visiting nearly…

Cheryl, Cayenne and Carla

In the U.S.A. well over half of all mothers are single – double the amount in the U.K. – and the number is rising. This percentage is even higher on the Big Island of Hawaii where I lived with three separate families headed by super empowered single moms. I’ve loved the children of all my…

Deva – the divine

Lower Puna was an amazing place to live and I feel really fortunate to have moved to live in Kapoho in 1984. I became part of a hippie/rainbow family/Grateful Dead inspired tribe who taught me much about permaculture, guerrilla growing, eco and off grid living, love and life and new age values. We were a…

St. Lucia expat – Martin

“You need to meet Martin” said headteacher Sue after I completed a few days teaching at St Lucia’s Tapion school. So, I called this bloke and discovered his wife Alison and daughter Naomi were away in England. He invited me to his plantation style house, overlooking beautiful Rodney Bay, and was snoring on the couch…

Pirate – Ed ‘Edge’ Horvat

Two dark eyes peered up at me from the deck of Tiki Schooner before a broad smile broke the tension. I had just met Edge. I was on the island of Bequai, with a visa about to expire, and signed on as a Tiki crew member so that I could avoid deportation. Over the next…

Artist Activist – Tomas Belsky

‘Twasn’t Merely Happenstance Nor ChanceThese Two Poets Crossed Life PathsBelsky and VanceThe Traveler, A Mid-Age Tex-Georgia FellowThe Elder, A Sage New Jersey Aloha’nBelsky Bellowed A Hilo, HI HelloVance, The Younger, Performed Mic-FreeFilled With Big City Hunger, HeSpewed Sonic Almost-EbonicsBought Belsky’s Beautiful BookAbout This “Upside Down” World Be FreeBack Home He Had A Look-See, HVAnd Knew…

Monkeyman – Benji Marantz

Walking through downtown Waikiki in Honolulu, one balmy tropical evening, I was drawn like a moth to the crowd circling a Burger King joint. I discovered they weren’t there looking for a big whopper deal when a blaze of fire burst above their heads. It was a street performer and as I elbowed my way…

A child of the ’60’s

What is your idea of a dream music concert? As a British teen in 1965 mine would have been something like this: First, I’d book the Rolling Stones performing some rhythm and blues favourites like “Pain in My Heart” and “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love.” I’d also invite some other contemporary bands like the Moody Blues, Georgie…

Stanley the Clown (aka Don)

The party was peaking and the dancing was wild when the clown in the middle casually smiled exposing what looked like a tiny dragon wriggling on his tongue. Stanley’s mouth quickly closed again leaving his audience staring in disbelief. What was that we all wondered? It couldn’t possibly be a real live creature, or could…

Rock Star – Bobby D

If there was an award for the person who has attended the most parties on the Hawaiian islands over the last forty years I guarantee my friend Bobby D would win hands down. I spent one Thanksgiving day with him and we visited three separate celebrations while, on any regular weekend, he’s likely to be…

Mr Bamboo – Leimana Pelton

“Did you see that coast guard helicopter cruising the surfline?” said Leimana as he carried his board up the beach. Henrik and Slump, who’d been in the water with him, were humbled. They’d started the surf session with Leimana but the Hawaiian waves had totally worn them both out. Then, after waiting more that two…

Albert Bennett and Sons Ltd.

When Alan Bennett died on Halloween Night my mum’s shrinking circle of family and close friends took a big hit. He was mum’s nearest and dearest cousin, and we visited him often. Alan introduced my mum to my dad when she was thirteen and has been constantly in her life. Due to Covid19 my mum…

Happy hippy family folk – Karolyn and Craig

“It’s the largest and best coordinated nonpolitical, nondenominational, nonorganization of like-minded individuals on the planet.” The Rainbow Family Gathering blew my mind, first in West Virginia and then in Washington State. It’s an annual hippy gathering that’s been happening since Woodstock. It’s values are love, peace, non-violence, environmentalism, non-consumerism, non-commercialism, volunteerism, respect for others and…

San Blas Islands – Kuna Indians

Can you imagine a place where babies don’t cry? Well I got to live for three weeks with the Kuna Indians, the indigenous people of San Blas, and never once heard a baby cry even though there were family huts, full of babies, all around me. Instead I heard mothers singing sweet lullabies in the…

Volcano Island Honey Guru

Can honey make the world a better place? If I was asked that question before living on the Big Island I would most likely have replied “what drugs are you taking?” Since then I’ve witnessed the work of my friend Richard with his Volcano Island Honey Company and seen how the hippy values of a…

Uncle Robert Keli’iho-omalu

“Aloha my brother” he pronounced as he placed a sweet smelling Maile lei around my neck at my surprise 64th birthday party. It was a highlight of my life to have had this great man open his heart and his family to me as he did. I was honoured again on February 15th 2015 to…

Tapion School – St. Lucia

“Tremble, shake, shake. I wonder what that new teacher is like? Nothing to worry about he’s a harmless old English sheepdog……. From that first day we have been perfect friends and together we do lots of things like going on hikes, and camping and we climbed the Pitons together and the school has benefited from…

Haystack (aka Chainsaw)

Fun permeated our whole world in Hawaii’s Volcano Circus. At an early potluck dinner in our rustic kitchen, a young hippy girl introduced herself to one of our members saying “Hi, I’m Rainbow Starchild and this is my sister, Dolphin Crystal. Who are you?” He didn’t miss a beat and replied, “I’m Chainsaw. Good meeting…

Henrik Bothe (aka Neonman)

By the time I realised the whirlpool had taken control of my kayak I was flapping in the frigid ice cold water. I quickly bobbed to the surface like a seal gasping for air. A vice grip hand reached out, grabbed me and helped me crawl back aboard. My hero was Henrik and there’s no-one…

World’s First Cannabis Minister – Reverend Roger Christie

“God, that’s great! Please show me the blessings in this situation … and hurry! I am safe, I am loved and all is well.” Sitting in a cell in the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii only four steel doors and three sets of X-ray machines separate you from friends, family and pristine beaches but…

Wilbur, Ricky and two jackasses

All four were wearisome, weak and often rather wobbly. At 27 and 29 years old Wilbur and Ricky were far from the typical getaway horses real outlaws would ride. Yet, apparently that was how they were perceived by a certain couple of pathetic local ‘Punatics’. While that term is commonly used around the Big Island…

Lorn Douglas (aka R.U.Kidding )

Ever tried eating ice cream with chopsticks? Probably not. I doubt if Asian people even attempt such a feat but for my friend Lorn it’s perfectly normal because he is not. He is a personal hero of mine – in a real renegade way – for his chopstick abilities along with many other quirky talents…

Seaview Estates – neighbours

Pistol shots rang out in the moonlit night. Aimed at the truck, they ricocheted and it was later claimed they grazed the head of a young joy rider. It had been a mellow Sunday in rural Seaview until the raucous reveller and his friends began driving doughnuts, loudly and aggressively, scarring deep ruts in the…

Hawaiian Activist – Moani Akaka

She was small in stature but mighty in spirit. Her passionate and poignant speeches brought tears of rage, inspiring her audiences to action. She totally exemplified Rosa Parks’ belief that ‘it is better to protest than to accept injustice’. In the struggle for Hawaiian Rights, few, if any, have fought longer and harder than Moanike’ala…

Martin Barnett – St. Lucia to Canada

“You need to meet Martin” said headteacher Sue after I completed a few days teaching at St Lucia’s Tapion school. So, I called this bloke and discovered his wife Alison and daughter Naomi were away in England. He invited me to his house, overlooking beautiful Rodney Bay, and was snoring on the couch when I…

Beatles first sound engineer

Adrian Barber “I nearly died that day,” shouted Adrian, with anger in his voice and a finger pointed to the chairman. He was testifying at a public meeting before the Environmental Protection Agency who were considering a new geothermal drilling permit application in lower Puna, Hawaii. Adrian described how he was working in a shed…

Social circus grandfather – Reg Bolton

As Irene and I pulled a limp and battered Reg to shore, and he lay gasping on the sand like a beached monk seal, I realised that I had very nearly gained international infamy by ending the career of the world leader of social circus. The Hawaiian surf almost wiped out my mentor and friend…

1000 Days at Sea – Reid Stowe

“We’re departing on a circumnavigation trip really soon, wanna join us?” my mate Reid was calling me in Hawaii. After hoping for this opportunity for years, I dropped everything – my girlfriend, my house, my work, my friends – and flew off, eager for the trip of a lifetime. It was late February 1986 when I…

Queen of Glastonbury Festival Arabella Churchill

Looking out on Glastonbury Tor and Chalice Hill as the rooster crowed one bright morning, Arabella wrote me a note. “What a night that was! Thank God we were all OK. In retrospect, the whole shipwreck was a very positive experience for me. One of the deals I made that night was that if I…

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