We are a small, happy family of four. My husband, a baby, a dog and me. My husband works on a yacht. A large, luxury megayacht which tends to be based in some fairly fabulous places. The thing is, where the boat goes, we go! When she was was just eight weeks old our daughter, Coco, boarded her first trans-Atlantic flight and since then we haven't stopped. This is a blog of our rather unusual yet adventurous life. No two days are the same.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sussex University Reunion

Sweet Potato Gratin is in the oven, baby is asleep, power is back on, washing is hung out (I love being in the tropics and being able to dry washing outside, overnight!) Mother-in-Law is downstairs doing a crossword and I have the chance to blog... bliss.
The finger, you'll be pleased to know, is much less painful. On Tuesday I had my first dressing change with Jonathan and it was complete agony. As well as the dressing being changed, silver nitrate (I think that's what it is called, usually used to get rid of warts) is painted along the cut edge to literally burn the skin away so it doesn't re-grow over the nail. So, so, SO painful! It ached all day and I went to sleep dreading today's appointment. It was nowhere near as bad as expected though, thank goodness.
Yesterday I took Grandma Flowerpot off for a real tourist drive around the island. We started at the fabulous Shirley Heights. Sitting above English Harbour, this was the site of the old Fort Shirley put in place to protect the Navel Shipyard in the 18th Century. The views are just stunning, you simply can't beat them. To the east it is just Atlantic ocean all the way to Africa. There are cross Atlantic rowers coming into English Harbour almost daily at the moment and when you see the vastness of this expanse of water you realize the immensity of the feat they undertake.
The islands roads leave a lot to be desired and after a good forty minutes of fairly expert pot-hole dodging on my part, we stopped at La Perla for lunch. This luxury resort is tucked away at the end of a long unmade track, so unmade that I am sure most people turn around, thinking they have taken a wrong turn. The restaurant is set around an amazing infinity pool which Grandma and Coco enjoyed after the meal.
More driving, more pot-holes and we finished the day at the village of Parham, Antigua's first ever port. Although it was close to St John's, you felt like you were in the middle of nowhere and definitely off the usual tourist trail. It felt like real Antigua and also, strangely, a bit like Cornwall!? St Peter's Church is a huge, dilapidated wooden structure on top of a hill in the middle of the village. We went up to have a look and were pleasantly surprised to discover that the interior of the building was far from dilapidated. It was light and airy with a ceiling that looked the the frame of an old wooden ship. Speaking to the church warden, he proudly filled us in on the service schedule and invited us to join them on Easter Sunday for their two hour communion... we'll see! Unbelievably though, we discovered that he went to Sussex University (same as me) to study and graduated in the 1980's. I know it's a cliche but... what a small world!
Angus is home tomorrow... yippee... and then he is in Antigua until the end of the season. I can't believe we are even talking about the end of the season but it will be here before we know it. Until then, there is more swimming to be done, more beaches to explore and coconut ice-cream to be found!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bloody Finger

So the finger saga continues. For those of you who don't know how it began, it happened like this...
Two months ago, when Coco and I first arrived in Antigua for the start of our travels, we were dropping Angus at work one sunny morning (actually I seem to remember it was raining slightly) and the task of assembling the buggy, as featured in our blog title, fell on yours truly. Although I have successfully managed this duty for the previous six months, on this particular morning, my fingers got in the way and the buggy ate the tip of my ring finger.
Luckily it was still attached (just) and the brilliant Jonathan at ABSAR managed to sew it back on for me. It was a nightmare though having to look after Coco one handed. Angus was flat out at work so I really was having to cope alone. Since then, although the wound has healed well, I have had several infections due to the nail regrowing INTO my finger.
However, today I saw a surgeon who has managed to cut away some of the finger so that the nail can grow out again. It feels like, after two months, I am back to square one. Bandaged up again, burning pain, daily dressing changes and, most importantly, no swimming!
Hopefully though, this is it. I will now fully recover and this will be an end to the whole sorry tale.
Fingers crossed!
On a happier note, Ranger won the St Barths Bucket and Angus should be home with us in a matter of days... yippee!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Oh no…. this is turning into one of those hundreds of half filled diaries that I have in the drawer beside my bed. I will be doing so well, adding a short little insert every day or so and then suddenly two weeks go by. I keep putting it off and the next thing is it has been two months. By then I have left it too long to simply pick up where I left off and so eventually I’ll start a new one. Well I don’t want to start a new blog, I like this one, so I need to be more focused.
In my defense, since I last wrote I have moved our little family back to Antigua and then had Mum and Peter to stay for a couple of weeks. So I haven’t simply been lying idly on the beach not doing anything. In fact we have done so much I don’t know where to begin!
* A dream come true… cantering along a white sand of Rendezvous Beach with the ocean spray hitting my cheeks. It didn’t end there; we whipped off the saddles and rode the horses out into the Caribbean Sea for a cooling swim. It was one of the most fabulous experiences of my life, especially as I was able to share it with Mums. 

* Time with Gabe, I’m so glad he was able to get holiday so we could all be together for a while.
* A night out! Only the third time I have been out since having Coco. I have lost my stamina though, I was home by midnight and I’d moved onto soft drinks half way through the evening. I didn’t even manage to last until the dancing!
* Jet skis! I am not a jet ski fan, in fact I have always been one of those people who tuts and shakes their head at the ‘idiots’ hooning around disturbing the peace. Well, I have now been an ‘idiot’ and hooned! I wouldn’t do it again in a hurry but I did bloody love it. I realize I am a bit of a speed freak.
* St John’s, what a pleasant surprise. I have avoided it in the past but we decided to have a tourist day and see the cathedral, Redliffe Quay and the fruit and veg market. I am so glad we did, it was so interesting and well worth the visit. I will definitely be taking our other visitors there and hope to get involved with helping raise some funds to restore the cathedral.
* Betty’s Hope sugar mill was a humbling experience and certainly didn’t make me proud to be British. The accounts of the mill during the time of slavery were shocking and sickening. Who on earth did we think we were?
* Coco’s daily changes, especially the new food throwing phase. It is annoyingly messy but very funny. Why use a spoon when you can shove everything into your mouth using your hands?!

*My first Mother’s Day was perfect. The only thing that would have made it complete would have been if Angus had been there but other than that it was just perfect. A morning walk and coffee (juice for me, I don’t drink coffee) followed by a delicious lunch at Harmony Hall. The day finished at Half Moon Bay with a swim in the ocean and a final gossip with Mum before her holiday came to an end.

These are just a few of the highlights, there have been so many! Along with a multitude of beaches, walks, swims, cocktails, meals… the list goes on. However, we have still managed to save some things for next time! Hopefully this was the first of many trips Mum and Peter will make to Antigua.
It has now been over two weeks since we left Angus in America and we are very ready to have him home. The last I heard, the boat was just north of Haiti so it won’t be long before it docks in St Maarten and Angus can hot foot it straight to Antigua to spend a few days with us before going back to work. Coco and I are counting down the hours until his arrival.