Mopelia, day seven, Happy Birthday Alize!
24 October 2020
Russ Whitford | weather a little cloudy, going bike riding.
Day seven, September 25.
I started the morning working on more Mahogany boxes. Lisa suggested I make two boxed for Anuk and Alize to decorate with shells, like Lisa does. It is more fun to make something when you have a person in mind to give it to. Anouk rowed over in her dinghy, asking if we could help her clean a tarnished chain with a pearl pendant. She wanted to give it to Alize for her birthday. Lisa tried soaking in vinegar and a few other chemicals.
While soaking, Anuk became interested in my woodworking. She wanted to know all about it and pitched in to help as I was finishing up the second box. I was just chiseling out the dovetail joints and we fitted the box together. After measuring for the plywood top and bottom, we cut the pieces and beveled the edges. Trial fit, then we glued it together.
The first box was glued up the previous day. We marked the box for cutting the lid off and carefully sawed along the line. This is the most precise part of box making. Then we drilled for the magnetic latch and rope hinges. The rope hinges are my invention because we ran out of brass hinges. three mm line is glued into the back of the box and pulled tight through the lid. They work well but care must be taken so the lid and box line up properly. If it is off a bit, sanding the sides even the box/lid joint.
We completed the box. Anuk asked if I could teach her and Alize to do all the steps and learn dovetailing joints. Looks like I have two more students. The chain wasn't coming clean so Lisa and Anuk dinghied to 2K where Kaia made a braided necklace for the pearl pendant.
Tonight was the birthday party for Alize (14) at Marcello and Adrienne's house. There were 14 for dinner around their large table. But first, we played some beach games similar to Kubbe and the French favorite, Petonk, similar to Bocce.
The table was piled high with lobster, coconut crab, fish cakes, rice, cous cous salad, poisson cru, sourdough bread and lively conversation. Napkins are never used at meals. I have a hard time with this and sneak some in my pocket. I don't like my beard and hands dripping with food but no one else seems to mind. All was delicious and there was plenty. But before we dug in, Marcello gave a short speech, thanking us for joining them and appreciating our friendship. He then murmured a prayer. His voice and rhythm of the Polynesian language projected a mystical, spiritual tone over our gathered community.