“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”……..

Having returned from our 3000 mile roadtrip of the southern US we have hurled ourselves into getting settled as residents of Lichfield and preparing to head off to Carriacou in 3 weeks time.

Whilst this blog is not about our holiday, I must mention a few highlights.  The greatest of these was seeing the eclipse which to use the native vocabulary was “awesome”.  Viewed from a lovely vineyard in southern Illinois it also resulted in one of those strange coincidences which makes you realise how small the world is.  Through a casual reference on Facebook it transpired that a relative of mine in Orkney knew a couple who lived next door to the vineyard!  It was wonderful to meet writer Laura Benedict and her husband Pinckney.  Laura kindly gave me, and signed, one of her books – I am enjoying reading ‘Bliss House’, Laura, if you read this!

Other highlights included seeing Nile Rodgers in Nashville (supporting, but much better than (in our opinion)) Earth Wind and Fire) sitting on a porch in hot and steamy Natchez overlooking the mighty Mississippi and imagining I was Scarlett O’Hara,  enjoying the beauty of Savannah and taking the steamboat out of New Orleans whilst eating brunch and listening to jazz.  But I digress – back to the purpose of this blog ………..

Regular reports and photos from Sky show us that the house is progressing well and he tells us he’ll be up to the first floor by the time we arrive.

We’ve had lots of people asking if the project  has been affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria but fortunately  Grenada has been untouched and we hope it stays that way, whilst having huge sympathy for those islands devastated by the violent weather.  Grenada sits well south in the Caribbean and the worst of the hurricane systems usually (but not always) steer a course north of there.  In 2004 the islands were badly affected by Hurricane Ivan – I am sure Morgan Freeman was not the only person to help to rebuild Grenada but his recipe book serves also to give me ideas for what I may be cooking out there!  We were pleased to hear from Sky that, following Ivan, all the houses he had built remained standing!

Shortly after returning from our holiday we were shocked and saddened to hear that Barba (John Gabriel), from whom we bought our land, had passed away suddenly.  He was a much liked and respected member of the community on Carriacou and will leave a huge void in the lives of many.  We shall miss him enormously.  Had it not been for him it is likely that our venture would not have come about at all and we hope our new house, when built, would have met with his approval and will be some small tribute to him.

It will therefore be with mixture of sadness and excitement that we will arrive on Carriacou 3 weeks today and see how our new home is taking shape first hand.

RIP Barba