The weekend is coming and I like to make the table pretty for any visitors that might stop by for coffee.
If you were to pop by in the morning, I would like to offer you some coffee. It is roasted right here in Antigua and I am sure you are going to love it. We can talk about the weather, Irish people love to do that. The weather here is pretty standard: it is always hot, often windy and occasionally some heavy showers. How is the weather with you?
I used to think that I couldn’t exist outside of a tropical climate. I love the flowers too much, the endless sunshine, the vibrant colours, and life beside (or on) the ocean. Now I realise that it is not the climate that is dictating my happiness but what dwells inside of me. It is self control, discipline and work/life balance. What makes you tick?
As the air heats up, I would suggest that we go for a swim. Galleon Beach is my favourite spot. Despite years teaching scuba diving, I still have a healthy fear of what might creep up behind me out of the depths. This fear is mostly from movies and much less from reality. However, here at Galleon I can swim across the bay without so much as a backward glance. There is a shelf about 5m from the shore along which you can comfortably swim – personally I choose to snorkel – and see plentiful fish life, from baby barracudas to colourful angelfish, butterfly fish, wrasse and more.
There is the most wonderful beach bar on Galleon Beach that is open for lunch: a little hidden gem called ‘The Cheeky Marlin’. We could go there for a hamburger and no frills sparling water served straight from the can with a straw and a slice of lime squished in.
You could tell me about your hopes for the future. Let’s leave our fears at home. Antigua is a place of freedom where you have a chance to open your mind and really let the creative energy sink in. I like to talk about books. I am reading a really great one today, my sister gave it to me when I visited 2 weeks ago. It is called ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s all about how living more creatively can lead us to a more enchanted life. That is why I write this blog – it is a creative space for me. It feels safe, yet at the same time I can throw myself out there to the world.
I also bought myself Sarah Waters ‘The Paying Guests’ as I travelled through London Gatwick airport last week. I couldn’t resist such good reviews from the Sunday Times and New York Times, as well as the vintage setting in 1922. If you come back next week for another coffee, I’ll tell you how it goes. What are you reading lately?
Or is reading not your thing? Do you prefer music, or art, or theatre, or ballet?
If you are still here later I will offer you an Espresso Martini. I will have to use Skullduggery’s rum from it’s namesake bar in English Harbour.
This is the home of the Espresso Martini, according to my dearly departed connoisseur friend – the infamous Cappa. If you come to Antigua, your trip should not be complete without a Skullduggery Espresso Martini. But today, I will make it for you. We can watch the sun set over the ocean and the hills, from my balcony. Every day it is beautiful. The anchor lights of the yachts moored in the bay start to blink on, and on Thursdays and Sundays we are serenaded by the calypso of Shirley Heights. The dogs will lay their heads on our feet. Perhaps we will sit in silence. Perhaps you would like to muse on our next creative project, or politics (dreary) or what we should do together tomorrow?
I want to leave you with a wonderful image of my Nana that my cousin told me about recently. My cousins lived much closer to Nana’s house in Dublin than we did. She told me that Nana used to cycle over to their house every Tuesday night with her headscarf on and an apple pie in a basket slung over the handlebars. When she got there she would do the family’s ironing and help out with the kids (there were 8 of them!). I shall treasure this image, as when you live far from home, family becomes vitally important.
Ah, dear friend, it is time to go. For you and I, we are friends who may never meet, but who share intimate thoughts and journeys over lingering hot beverages from distances once thought impassable, yet today we are connected by the click of a few buttons.
Have a happy weekend!