Settling in

It’s around 5 weeks now since we arrived on Carriacou and we have been wrestling with the local phone and internet company FLOW since we arrived to get an internet connection installed at our small apartment. Despite numerous promises of “next week” we still are reliant on local bars for getting any connection to the wider world – but such is life on a small Caribbean island. We actually head over to Grenada for week on Monday so are hoping that FLOW will be ready to install us on our return – fingers crossed!

We have settled into our (very) small apartment fronting Tyrell Bay. Aside from the excitement of finally arriving back on our new home island and seeing the house build in person for the first time, I’ll gloss over the immediate trauma of arriving here which as now faded in the memory – suffice to say much cleaning took place (and a few tears were shed (by me, not Martin!), perhaps not helped by jet lag) before we felt comfortable unpacking and settling in. However we are now at home in our little place and whilst living together in one room can occasionally cause some angst, on the whole, life is good!

Progress with the build over the month we have now been on Carriacou is more easily illustrated by the picture series below than described in words and which takes us close to the first floor pour of concrete for the slab schedule for tomorrow (17th November). Martin has gone up to the site most days to make sure all is going to plan, usually late in the day when the men have knocked off, and it is marginally cooler. I tend to stay at home to grapple with sourcing ingredients and turning them into some sort of acceptable evening meal in my rather limited kitchen! Last week saw me make naan breads from source for the first time ever, to accompany our Friday night curry – and I was quite proud of the result!

Excitement has consisted of:
1) Arrival of blue barrels shipped out from England – the first 2 were predominantly Martin’s tools, so my excitement was greater at the arrival of the third given it contained such delights as more books, coffee, Yorkshire tea (other teas are available!!), hair dye (don’t talk to me about my hair) and various packet foods to make my nightly cooking marginally easier.
2) Fresh fish with food miles of approx 100 yards, provided by our good friend Boldo

3) All Saints night – a lovely occasion where families reunite from around the world at the gravesides of loved ones, and light candles, sprinkle rum, water and generally reconnect with one another. 1st November proved to be the perfect evening without wind or rain and the sight of the graveyard at the end of the evening lit by hundreds of candles and the sound of lots of families chatting away was magical. We were pleased to be able to light a candle for Barba at his graveside, where the stone will be laid at a later date. The evening was rounded off with traditional Big Drum music and dance.

4) Rufus – our local vegetable supplier, opening his new fashion emporium across the road from his vegetable stand!

Aside from these momentous events, we spend time reading, watching our very small tv to keep abreast of world events (when the tv decides to work!), swimming and drinking fairly copious quantities of rum!

Next week’s trip to Grenada should prove action packed with plans to see our solicitor, buy a car, look at emergency medical possibilities (not that we have any at the moment) and source kitchens and bathrooms to see if we can get these locally or need to ship them over from the UK.

We feel we have made some good steps at integrating ourselves into the community, and now know many more people – although names do escape us from time to time. Everyone greets us with a friendly wave.

So far there is merciful little evidence of any build up to Christmas other than the adverts we see on the tv which seem far removed from the life we are currently living!