Monday 15th August 2022
Today we arrived on the island of St. Lucia after a smooth flight from Gatwick. Just a couple of mishaps since leaving home – (1) I left my travelling clothes and sunhat on the back seat of Tom’s car when he dropped us at the hotel on Sunday night . He is officially the best son in the world as he insisted on turning around and bringing them to me despite it adding 2 hours to his journey! Love you Tom and (2) I left my phone charger in the hotel room! Could have been worse I guess.
The house-owner, Jay … known locally as the Doc … met us at the airport and we had a jolly chatty ride back to his house – he really is a jolly and extremely chatty chap. Having left a parched UK, St. Lucia seemed so green and luscious with prettily coloured houses – we immediately fell in love with it. We are staying in the south of the island which is not a tourist area, so life here is interestingly simple and we’re living amongst local Lucian folk. We took all this in on the 20 minute journey to Doc’s house, culminating in a drive down a long overgrown path till we reached the gates … and there the splendour of his magnificent house and grounds. Jaw-dropping, even the photos we had seen had not done it justice.
We had a tour of the house, met the cats and met Jack, Jay’s friend visiting from the USA. Jack is a well-built Italian New Yorker (with a dodgy background!) but a sweet guy … and his meatballs and pasta were delicious. After lots of chat and explanations about the house-sitting requirements we hit the sack at a reasonable hour.
When Steve and I were finally alone we couldn’t help but laugh at the enormity of what we’ve taken on. The house is even more remote than we imagined, there’s a fair amount of chores and nothing simple in terms of reaching amenities. It’s hot, humid and the house has no air-conditioning! But besides all that, it is going to be our biggest adventure to date and we’re well up for it.
Tuesday 16th August 2022
Quite a fitful night between the heat and the new night noises that I’m sure we’ll become accustomed to (a selection of crickets, beetles, frogs and birds). But we woke up relatively fresh all the same. Steve set out at 6.45am to attempt a run – he managed a three mile hot, humid and hilly run – jury’s out on whether or not this will be repeated. I got up early and headed for the pool instead – right outside our bedroom we have the most gorgeous swimming pool with perfect temperature – this is where I’ll be mostly hanging out for the next 5 weeks.
After breakfast Jay drove us out for a local tour and shopping expedition. We are not going to have a car while we’re here so wanted to take the opportunity to stock up while we had the Doc and his car. So, first stop … the liquor store!! Numerous cases of beer and wine later we moved on to the supermarket – I always love this experience in a new country. Jay was on hand to give us tips about what and what not to buy … mostly imported food sadly and some very expensive. We decided to ‘invest’ in some fresh milk but thinking this will be a one off. Stocked up well on groceries though as it’s an hour’s drive away. Hoping to rely on local stores from now on. Stopped at our nearest (walkable) fruit stall on the way back and purchased all she had on offer which was bananas, tomatoes and cucumber … it’s going to be an interesting diet.
In the afternoon, Steve had his sit on lawnmower lesson and took to it like a pro. Jay then showed us around the ‘yard’ as he calls it – two acres of luscious garden and fruit trees. The gardener will apparently bring us ripe fruit twice a week – lemons, limes, mangoes, wax apples, coconut and we can help ourselves to thyme, rosemary and even paracetamol plant!
As it was Jay and Jack’s last night, they wanted to treat us to dinner out at a local Caribbean restaurant – ‘Mama Tilly’s’ in Laborie Village. What an experience, Mama Tilly was hilarious and the food tasty and plentiful – pork, chicken, tuna, salads, rice and potatoes, rounded off with homemade rum and raisin ice-cream. There’s no menu, it’s just what she happens to have that day. And plenty of beer and rum consumed.
Wednesday 17th August 2022
Jay and Jack left this morning for the USA and we are now officially alone – yikes!! Daunting and exciting all mixed together. Sure we’ll get into a routine of chores, leisure and local exploration soon. We have two beautiful cats to look after – Tabby and Bebe plus the Doc’s estate.
Today we’ve fully unpacked and basically taken over the joint. A lot of relaxation, swimming, and reading this afternoon. I’m sat on the veranda blogging now, overlooking gorgeousness and feeling SO lucky to have this opportunity. Steve in the meantime is having a nap!!
Big first night alone tonight, we’ll lock ourselves in tightly once it gets dark. We’re cooking chicken curry, tucking into some wine (it’s dead expensive here too so a treat) and later we’re going to have a play around with the jukebox. As many of you know … the Roses love to kitchen dance!!
Missing you all. Wish you were here xx