It isn't easy getting work done in a surf camp. There is a continuous stream of "interruptions", starting at 6am with the walking veggie pedlars, then a banana delivery, the building team, and neighbours keen for a cuppa. The kettle is always on and the bamboo blinds open, as every hour is ripe for a casual drop-in. The idea of work interrupting social interaction or surf is ludicrous. Tides, wind and waves are what matters; just ahead of cold beer (or frozen fruit in our case). The other expats are retired or on short stay holidays, and we wouldn't dare ask "do you mind coming back later, we're working." It just wouldn't be cricket. Or surf.
Not that we like to take the whole work thing too seriously. There aren't many offices in the world where you can conduct a meeting where both the architect and client are shirtless, and seated under a coconut palm with an ocean view. The overheads are very low, and the secretary doubles as the tea lady.
Tom's latest project is a two bedroom, two bathroom villa on an epic headland location. The owner is a young guy of Indonesian/Euro descent, who has freed himself early from the jaws of a mercantile world and joined our evolving community of surf bums. The site is 10 kilometres south of our village, and has a private beach with all day swimming pool. The landscape is wild and rough, with native scrub and sharp limestone rock instead of ordered coconuts and white sand. I love visiting, just to kick around in the leaf litter and pretend it is autumn. Sometimes I even get to hold the smart end of the tape.