Paradise Lost 3

Good Friday,April 14th.

Gerry went to Kingston with Daddy, I took a bike ride into TB,stopped at Myra’s for a cold one, continued up to post office for mail, won’t do that again with the bike, its a mile up hill, temp at 33c,
hot & wet (sweat).
Coasted back down and had lunch at Miss July’s, headed back, stopped for a couple of cold ones at Myra’s, while there bought few veg, green pepper, cucumber, tomato’s, garden eggs, white yam, got home and cooked up a stir fry with lots of lobster meat, every meal seems to involve Red Stripe, use it in cooking has well has drinking.

I think its a good job I love to cook, it was a career for a lot of years, if you can’t cook here, you spend lots of $ on eating out. Also there are so many exotic ways to prepare food on this planet, one just has to try them all.

Gerry got back about 8:30 from Kingston, we did not get a charge off the wind turbine so it was an early night. Gerry brought a message from Jude saying they might bring the students down to camp.

April 15th.

Did some easy fishing, sea too sandy got nowt!

Gerry went into TB to see Daddy, they came back and took me into TB, they had to fix a pump for Lillian, shoulda known, Jamaica Mon, no problem mon, who does all the work, now I know why they came and got me.
About half way through they both left, I finished fixing the pump, went into the house to see if it was working, there’s Gerry sitting back with a beer, Jamaica Mon.
I guess I’ll learn, and do it fast.

Daddy had taken off, so after a couple of Red Stripe, lillian fed Gerry & I lunch, lots of vegies & a huge pile of bar-b-qued pork chops, I wondered who else was coming, but it was just us.
With lunch 3-4 Red Stripe (oh no), then a nice white wine, finished off with with a sweet Jackfruit, it is like dipping your fingers into honey & molasses, it is soooo.. good.
Then there was coffee and brandy.
Never in my life have I drank so much alcohol and I never seem to feel it, that isn’t a complaint by the way.
Lillian Brooks is an older English lady from Yorkshire, she has this excellent guest house in TB.

Whenever I visited she fed me huge meals & booze, we had wonderful conversations about everything in the universe.

(I came back to Jamaica a year later & looked after her place while she visited in Kenya & England)

Phoned Jude from there, found out she and Hal are bringing the kids down Monday, Tuesday to camp at Gerry’s.

Jude and Hal leave for the Frozen Chosen, Da Cold North Mon, Canada, in a week, ( bummer), but then someone has to stay here and look after things.

Have I being here a week yet??

April 16th, Easter Sunday.

Lucky old sun was up at 5 am, but not me awoke at 6:30 am, must be part of becoming Jamaican ?

Took dogs for our morning swim, not much traffic on the sea, couple of fishing boats, then the water taxi to Black River, picked burrs out of Pluto (dog), Gerry writing a letter to Betty ( wife in Canada ) so Jude can mail it from home, did a wash.
( laundry is done by hand in a big zinc tub, you leave them to soak overnight, next day you rinse them a a few times then hang them out, the only thing is that the line has to be hidden from the road and any people, because you are supposed to hire someone to do it, not do it yourself, got some strange customs !! )

By the time I’d had breakfast & done chores it was 10:30 am.
Biked into TB ,stopped to visit & had a couple of RS at Myra’s, went on to Lillian’s, she gave me lunch, cooked a Turbot, usual drinks & sweets!.
Ended up talking for 4 hrs, back home, suprise surprise, in the driveway are 9 cars of one description or another, 15 Jamaicans, but no Gerry, turns out they are old friends of Gerry’s from Kingston, 6 men are officers in the Coast Guard, they have wives and kids with them.
What to do, so I invited them in, well I opened the door and they were everywhere, the teens were into everything, one good think, they had brought their own Red Stripe and also enough for us.

2 hours later Gerry got home, had being off with Daddy, so all in all it was quite a day, they all left about 9 pm and I was out for the count.
Lillian mentioned she wants to go visit her son in Kenya, he works with some aid group, anyway she wondered if I would be interested in looking after the place for 6 months, mmmmmm I’ll have to think about it mmmmmmm OK.

April 17th, Easter Monday.

5:15 am, sea calm, touch of cloud on horizon, chores, sit around 7 talk few RS, slow easy day, wind picked up mid-afternoon nice breeze so should get a charge pin batteries today.

Jude, Hal and the kids arrive about 5 pm and set up tents on beach, Gerry and I went down for hotdogs, after supper the kids headed to TB for a dance.
( the village is 4 miles away, and you can hear the music like its next door, one chap has speakers that are 3’ wide and 10’ high, when you drive by its hard to keep the car on the road, its like hitting a solid wall of sound.)

The grown-ups stayed and drank & talked till about 1 am, then we thought we should go get the kids

Everybody went for a swim at about 3 am, full moon, calm, wonderful, water 84’ then we all crashed.

April 18th.

Up at 6:25, wonder why lol, chores, swim, folks came up for pancakes and maple syrup about 8 am.

Because Jude & Hal had a van the four of us made a run to Black River for beer, rum, wine and groceries, because we have no refrigeration at the house all our food except for fruit & veg is either dry powders, canned or bottled, we use lots of corned beef , lunch meats etc and the water here is all drinkable.

Lillian had invited all 4 0f us for lunch, on the way back we stopped at the Chinaman’s for s couple, then drove straight through to Lillian’s, great lunch, good visit then back to the house went swimming, took pics, packed the vans and said our goodbyes, I won’t see these folks again for a few months, they head back to Canada on Thursday, although Jude plans to come down for 7 weeks in the summer, still that’s not till July, I’ll miss her!1

Be an early night

Wed. April 19th

Back when I ended up fixing the pump for Lillian, I found some pipe that needed replacing, so we ordered it from Black River, they get it from Kingston and at the same time we ordered a couple of yards of marl ( kind of a pulverized coral mixed with cement), the marl was for building the beach steps.

Gerry tells me not to expect fast deliveryon the marl, but I figured how long could it take ( Canadian thinking ), turns out it took 3 months. “Ya Mon”.

Daddy & Gerry went to Mo Bay ( Montego Bay ) to pick up some folks at the airport, I went tp Lillian’s to check the pump, seems to be working, stayed a couple of hours, she fed me a second breakfast + refreshments!!
Came back home, took the dogs for a swim, burrs out of Pluto, relaxed and read, wrote in journal.

Bit of excitement in the evening, Moonshine ( another dog ) had 7 pups, looked to be doing well.

Late night…

April 20th.

Going to Santa Cruz market with Lillian today, Jude, Hal and the kids leave today for the Great White North, will miss her, be good to see her in July.

Lillian picked me up about 9 am, I met her driver Milton, Lillian does not drive herself, but has a young chap drive her wherever she wants to go, he lives about 10 miles away, I think he gets a friend to drive him down or takes a bus.

First stop at John’s for a brew, then on to Black River, go to bank, picked up the pipe I needed, then up to Santa Cruz, not much at the market, too early in the season, picked up a few veg, groceries, meat ( pork chops & goat ).

Went visiting, met Eric, English chap who married a Jamaican girl, the house is really cool, it is built of wood, very early tongue & groove, and was built in 1715, owned by an English family, it was in the family until 1945 when they decided to go back home.
When they left they signed the deed over to a house slave, the house and holdings, + 270 acres, still owned by the slaves descendants. They grow cotton, bananas and mangos.

Drove the back way to Treasure Beach, through Mountainside & Barbary, very scenic route, got to the house, Lillian and Milton came in for refreshments, I’m going over to fix the plumbing at Lillian’s tomorrow.

Friday 21st.

Went to Lillian’s and fixed pipe, shut off water main at road, needed to fill air tank, takes awhile, have to pump water up from cellar.

Most Jamaicans have a water tank on the roof, made of concrete, holds about 500 gallons, all the water used in the house comes from the “air tank”its called an air tank for the simple reason its up in the air!, its all gravity feed, it also catches whatever rain we get.
Other than rain, water has to be pumped up, the cellar of Lillian’s villa is a HUGE holding tank, looks like a good sized swimming pool, its about 20’ X 30’ X 6’ deep, all the surfaces are painted white, the water is pumped up from the road into it, and then from there to the roof, quite the process.

Sometimes there is no water coming through, it means we have to walk the road until we find the break, the water line just runs along the ground, no reason to bury it, no chance of frost here. So when someone wants water, they just break the pipe and help themselves, we always have lots of T joints and taps with us, so we just fix the pipe with a tap, we try to get people to let us know when they need a connection, but they seldom listen, and I’m starting to feel like I work for the Jamaican Public Works……

Installed a new shut off for water main at house, saves going down to road, fixed a couple of lamps, course Lillian always makes sure I’m fed and watered.

How long have I being here!, seems a hell of a lot longer than 2 weeks!!!!!!

Good day, early night.

stay tuned

Paradise Lost 3


Marmora, Canada

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