I’ve been thinking where and how to share my guest posts at Women Who Live on Rocks here on the blog, and since I’m blogging about the quirks of island living, it occurs to me that my Antigua and Barbuda pages is the ideal location. So here goes.
Excerpt from Distinguishing ‘Summer’ in the Tropics, posted summer 2017:
‘As I write this, I am sitting on my back porch, somewhere between mango season and Carnival season. To the uninitiated, the blue skies above and warm day cooled by the trade winds suggest summer. But this is an island in the tropics – it’s always summer; so, we have other ways to mark the passage of time. Growing up in Antigua, the so-called “summer” has been the season to raid the mango tree and eat more than our share of the sweetest thing ever (a blessing and a curse, this devilishly beguiling fruit). We even have a festival for it in Antigua and have for about 12 years. These days, it’s actually the Mango and Pineapple Fest (Antigua Black Pineapple reportedly being one of the sweetest in the world) but, as every mango lover knows, the mango is the star attraction. It’s a mango-palooza with takeaways including mango trees (so you can plant your own), mango delicacies (sweet and savoury), and, of course, the mango itself. There’s also a culinary arts and mixology competition where chefs and bartenders vie to create winning recipes.’ READ the full post.
Excerpted from How to Predict Rain in the Caribbean, posted March 2018:
I can count on two fingers the number of times I’ve attended that most (British) Caribbean of past times: cricket. Both times, we were hit with rain. This more recent time (okay, both times), I was really just there for the lime. Lime, that most purely Caribbean of pastimes; it goes by different names in different places, but in Antigua we call it a lime; it involves more than one person shooting the breeze, usually with some kind of spirit involved – beer, rum, take your pick, and high spirits, and laughter, of course.
And so it was at this cricket match, lounging on the grass, a cup of something rum-like in my hand, noshing on some peanuts, vaguely aware amidst the laughter and conversation that there were men running up and down a pitch, pausing to celebrate for whichever team was Antigua or Antigua-adjacent (because I may not be a cricket fan, but I always stan for Antigua and Barbuda). It was a good time, a good lime, and every now and again the music would cut in, and a good time would be made even better.
But rain is bad-minded. Bad-minded: Caribbean for, “Why can’t you let people live?!” Rain doesn’t like to see people outside having fun, not when it can rain on their parade. Soon, we were scampering for cover, crowded under the meager tents, waiting. (At least we weren’t the slickered guys whose job it was to stand in the downpour to make sure the covered pitch didn’t get wet; I hope they’re paid well.) We were waiting instead of leaving because we might not know when rain is coming, but we do know it won’t stay long. Usually, we can count on rain’s little show to be a passing shower.
But sometimes we’re wrong. READ the full post.