So, as our day-to-day activity will not have you spontaneously combust with excitement, and trying to write a frequent, witty and interesting blog is an absolute blag, I have decided that weekly updates are enough for all concerned. To do things regularly, on time, and in a formal fashion, is just not the Bajan way and in this heat, just plain rude. So, with that in mind and from this day forth, I will be keeping a fashionably late, informal, weekly at best, blog. When in Rome, or what it feels like in this case, when in Rum…
It does seem that currently (whilst we very slowly acclimatise) a fair portion of work time is actually spent on rearranging the fan in order to hit all contours of our rapidly vaporising bodies. It sounds like an easy task, but lord knows it isn’t. It’s all about making the logistics work. Dan overheats at the drop of a Fedora Trilby Rollable Straw Sun Hat, so he needs a fair bit of breeze to keep him going, but because I prefer him to sit further down the table so he can’t see me on the occasional youtube/facebook skive, which makes for much time wasted on the positioning of the fan. Yesterday, however, was too mind-numbingly hot and stormy to waste on a good old fashioned fan-fight, so instead we sat next to each other and surfed the breeze together. It took us some time to reach that decision, which is a bit depressing in given how simple it is, but I put any lack of good judgment down to the heat these days.
Aside from fan fights and the constant call of the Caribbean sea, we are getting some good work done and hope to launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) on the Google Play App Store by the end of this forth coming week. It isn’t anything tremendously pioneering, rather more our first small foray into working remotely, and together, on a project. Dan is completing work on the backend, whilst I concentrate on the marketing of the app, the design, the features and copy and keeping up with youtube (it will not watch itself).
It will first launch in MVP form so that we can further develop the app based on user feedback and start integrating second stage features. As well as no doubt dropping some wee hints on the Facebook as to liftoff, any pictures taken from The Fish Pot also alludes to the fact that it has launched. We are denying ourselves going to our favourite restaurant until our first product is in the app store, so, as you can imagine, we are pretty desperate not to push back on that deadline.
In other work, I drove over to meet the team at The Hope Animal Sanctuary in St.John on the east coast of the island. I was a bit nervous of what to expect to be honest, as I can’t stand cruelty to any life form that cannot defend itself, and sadly most animals are neglected pretty badly over here, mostly down to lack of education. The sanctuary however, turned out to be an assortment of stunning views across the Atlantic and a few decent acres of land for the pups and kitties to run around in. The animals seemed in good health and are clearly well cared for. There were no aggressive dogs and a lot of work goes into rehabilitating the animals so they can be rehomed after a strong vetting process.
Predominantly run by expat Brits (who seem to have their hands in other ventures on the island making headway for some networking for us), the sanctuary is home to both abandoned dogs and cats alike and is branching out into boarding as a money-spinner to support itself. The sanctuary’s crew seem like pretty good badgers and I have a new mate in the form of Vicky. She lives just down the road from us in Holetown, so we will car share at the beginning of the day and bar share at the end of it. I start on Wednesday and in next week’s blog, I will divulge some gosh darn it flipping incredible news (I love my new found family friendly lingo) on their Christmas fundraiser and just WHO will be making a guest appearance. I’ve over-egged the excitement pudding many times in the past, but not this time!
Life in general:
We arrived into Mullins Bay, our home for the winter, on Thursday morning and was met by Joan, both our landlady and neighbour. We have been chatting to her for the last few months quite regularly and getting ideas of how to live well on the island, what to ship and general bloody good banter. In the flesh, Joan lived up to the warm, motherly, and inviting persona we chatted with on email.
Upon arrival, and after a hasty tour of our new home, we were ushered upstairs to have lunch with her and another neighbour, Maureen, an expat who has lived on the island for 35 years. It was a feast for at least 15 people but with only 3 invitees, and we, given the lack of food in our house, took advantage of the readily available produce in this one. There was chicken roasted in Bajan spice, vegetable cous cous, a variety of salads and cheese, garden fresh potatoes cooked in garlic and butter (see you later hip bones), all washed down with a stunning Malbec. Joan likes wine and has someone who imports the good stuff in for her at mates rates, so Joan is a keeper. It was the warmest of welcomes on the sunniest of days.
I made some brownies on Thursday as a treat for Dan and Joan. Currently they are my only friends close by, so consequently I like to keep them onside. Home baking is a charming idea in theory, but the practicality of cooking in a similar temperature that the cookies require to bake, does not lend itself to a relaxing and enjoyable experience. I meant to deliver the cookies freshly baked to Joan, but ended up with such heat exhaustion that on completion I could do little more than lie on the floor and watch Two and a Half Men (the premise of which I still don’t understand; who are the guys, who does the kid belong to and why are people laughing at it?). I caught Joan the next morning, and dragged her out of the shower to come downstairs wearing only a towel to collect her winnings. Which by then had solidified over night in the heat into one giant, brown cookie lump.
The gardener came yesterday and did a nice little number on the lawn and cleaned the pool (we are a good 3 mins walk from the beach so clearly need somewhere closer to cool down…). It was incredibly stormy as he worked and the air was thick with electricity, but he just kept waving his electric strimmer around like he just didn’t care. Good for him. I admire a ballsy gardener. Also he may have been drunk, which I admire in anyone.
The garden is a rustic, sprawling haven and a fusion of the Mediterranean and Caribbean, with many secluded areas in which to hide out and rest (very useful after fan-fights have gotten nasty) and a swimming pool. There is a gas BBQ, which I would normally be outraged by, but in this heat it’s all about getting things done speedily and efficiently. You can’t keep getting your sweat on.
One final note, before calling time on this week and heading to the beach, I was dutifully keeping up with the UK’s parliamentary shenanigans (I like to keep abreast of happenings back home in case asked by locals, and I can look like I know what I’m talking about) and picked up on Cameron’s rousing defence of Britain being called a ‘small island.’ It abruptly brought me to get over not using ‘Notes from a Small Island’ as my title and that Bill should absolutely keep that careless title for himself…
Some snaps of the new gaff and our beach…