Slowing Down

I’m in Speightstown, Barbados for a couple of weeks, to relax, enjoy visiting a new place and to write.

So far the fascination of watching the view from the balcony over the Caribbean, and the not so distant horizon, has proved to be the most time consuming of my activities.  The first couple of days were stormy, and we could clearly see the approaching rain clouds as blocks of grey in the sky advanced towards us.  Sometimes it was possible to see both brilliant sunshine and blue sky at one angle, juxtaposed with near black clouds at another.

Now the storm has blown through we have hot, sunny weather, which is all the more appreciated because now I know it is not guaranteed.

It’s warm, and the short walk into town to the shops and the market stalls is more than enough to raise more perspiration than is mentionable in polite company.  I realised yesterday, as I was strolling back to the flat after a break in a bar for a cooling lemonade (and no, that is not a euphemism), a 5 litre bottle of water in each hand, that even after such a short stay I had adopted the slow rolling gait of the local people.  No-one is in a hurry.  Why rush? What ever it is will wait until you get there, and, I guess, on a small island, there’s a limit to the distances you can go.

I have been enjoying trying fruit and vegetable from the stalls set up in the streets each day.  Some of them I recognise, although they might be bigger, smaller or generally a bit less uniformly shiny than we usually have in the UK; tiny limes vital to squeeze over enormous papaya, smooth perfectly ripe avocados and piles of okra and squash and pumpkin of various hues.

The lady stallholders ask you if you want the fruit to be ripe for today or tomorrow and then spend some time selecting the right one from their display for you.  I’ve also tortured a couple of them with questions on how things should be cooked, but have learnt that most things can be steamed, fried or cooked with rice.  So we are experimenting (and googling on the internet for recipes).

So far so good.

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