And we’re back.
I was hoping to blog from Barbados but our internet connectivity was seriously flaky over there. In the first hotel, you had to sit on a chair outside the hotel office in the baking heat to get a signal, and even when you did, the connection was so slow it was painful. In the house we stayed at for the second part of the trip, there were two internet options. The first was sitting in the living room in the main house, which felt rather uncomfortable as it was right next to the bedroom of the owners. The second was sitting on a bench under a mahogany tree in a certain part of the grounds near our room – not advisable when raining – and again the connection was either painfully slow or broken. So I decided to take life at more of a Bajan (that’s the Barbadian word for, well, Barbadian) pace and not bother with the blog while I was out there.
I won’t go into the details of the accommodation – you can read about that in Ursula’s article in the Daily Mail when it comes out (probably in January). Suffice it to say that the house we stayed in was like nowhere we’ve ever been before, and at $3900 a night, never will again. The first night was like a scene from a James Bond film. There we were, sat on a terrace high above the Caribbean sea, sipping mango daiquiris, in an exotic mansion with stunningly beautiful grounds. Around the dinner table were: the rich property owner, his German wife, the world renowned doctor, the Michelin-starred chef and his pregnant Italian wife, the jet-setting tree surgeon who had smuggled his chainsaw in his hand-luggage, and…wait for it…the American Ambassador. We’d just got off a transatlantic flight after waking up at 5 in the morning to get to Gatwick, so it was all a bit blurry and surreal. And there we were, two ordinary, north London, middle class, working parents of small children. To say we weren’t exactly with our kind of people would be a little bit of an understatement. Later in the week, we had the pleasure of the PR bunny daughter of a famous French actress, a couple of elderly, gay, German art collectors, a former actress and film producer who has now decided to take up addiction counselling, an ambition-free toff who decided to set up a dog rescue centre in Barbados who was able to do so by dint of being the daughter of a former actress and film producer… Ugh.
Still…shouldn’t moan. The first few days were in a much more down-to-earth hotel, much more our kind of thing, and we didn’t have to talk to anyone if we didn’t want to, apart from Graham, the hotel manager, who was absolutely lovely. We spent the bulk of those days, sleeping, eating, swimming, and more sleeping. It was wonderful. I had afternoon naps for the first time since I was a student. I drank lots of rum (poor Ursula couldn’t because of the babies), ate lots of great food, and had an all-round good time. It must be said that part of our suffering in the second part of the trip was due to the fact that, after four days, we started getting to the point where we had had enough of being without the children. The first few days were lovely and peaceful, but we started to miss the terribly about half way through.
I’m writing this while sipping on a homemade rum punch, my drink of choice while I was in Barbados. We brought a heck of a lot of rum back with us, but they’re not going to last very long at this rate!
There’s lots of news on the loft – I’ll post about that tomorrow.