Saturday, 21 February 2009

It truly is a small world

Yesterday, having finished our two days of workshops, our group went on a bus tour of the south part of the island of Kauai, to go up to Waimea Canyon. On the way back, we made a comfort stop at a small gift shop / coffee bean stand in the middle of nowhere, to use the restrooms. I was queuing up for icecream when a girl approached me and called me by name, and said "I'm your niece". Unbelievably, my brother, his wife, and their four kids were all there, visiting from western Canada. I haven't seen my brother for 10 years, and haven't communicated with him for about 8 years (we are a dysfunctional family) and I vividly remember his proud boasting on my last visit to see him 10 years ago, that he was a tightwad and didn't believe in wasting money on holidays (they camp a lot). Yet there they all were. And what are the odds? not only that they would decide to come to Hawaii at the same time as I had flown there all the way from the UK, but to be on the same island, and to have stopped at the same little gift shop in the 15 minute window that I was there. We didn't have time to do more than exchange a few shocked words and snap some photos. I was stunned by how unfamiliar my brother looked, I think I was mentally imagining that he would look like my Dad as he got older, but he didn't at all. In fact, I think I could have walked by him on the street and not recognised him. So it was all a pretty big shock. And of course the kids are all grown up since I last saw them (two of them are way taller than me now). They all looked pretty shocked as well. I got back on my bus and felt this wave of real shock wash over me, because it was all so sudden and over so quickly.

We are now on Honolulu, and I am sitting on my hotel balcony looking out over some grotty rooftops at Waikiki beach and people surfing in as the sun goes down. The weather has stayed cool and breezy so we weren't tempted to go swimming, but at least it isn't raining here like it was (hard) on Kauai. We spent the afternoon wandering the tourist traps of the Waikiki area. Tomorrow is our free day and we are planning to get the bus to the Bishop Museum where there are some antique Hawaiian quilts as well as other artefacts. There are loads of "Hawaiian" quilts and quilted gift items in the souvenir shops, but from the poor quality of the fabric I am pretty sure most of them are from China. I enjoyed seeing authentic quilts at the show we went to on the big island. I have bought a few patterns but it would be so truly time consuming to applique an entire bed quilt.

I've bought loads of fabric. Most of it is nothing special, just stuff I liked, but I did go back to Kapaia Stitchery and bought 9 pieces of batik to make something with. Today we went to Fabric Mart in Honolulu which was all cheap stuff but I got some fun panels to make vests and stuffed toys. I also got a nice t-shirt today with a quilt pattern on it.

Sunday we will be heading for home, via San Francisco again. I'm hoping to get to Imagiknit (a great yarn shop) when we are there. I'm starting to feel that it will be nice to get home, and stop having to eat out all the time (although it is nice not to have to cook).

Oh, and I finished my first sock on the plane today. This is the Potpourri sock from 'Knitting with Hand Painted Yarn'. It's in pretty wild colours which I think are Koigu, the type of yarn which Kaffe described as 'vomit in the wind' when he was giving a lecture and talking about his new sock yarn which changes colours much more slowly. He and I were knitting in Starbucks at the airport, also one of his other friends, and Brandon was doing needlepoint, so we were like a craft corner for an hour or so. It was like a knitting group and felt very comfortable until we had to move along to the departure gate.


Penny said...

That was a very unusual co-incidence. I hope you'll be able to stay in touch.

swooze said...

I am just in utter disbelief at that meeting. You better buy a lottery ticket!

Alycia said...

What a coincidence! Maybe it was a sign that you are in a lucky spot right now???

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