Overheard in the band

Technically, playing mas is a group activity, but don’t you sometimes wonder about the individual conversations that take place as the band members make their way up the road?


“These rhinestones – and those other things better not fall off my face before I get there”.


“We reach yet?”


“Where the hell the rest of them people gone?”


*singing* “I need to walk away really fast from this half dressed guy behind me… ”


“Um, no… not that funny”


“I mean, ‘really?'”


“If he think he go’n’ rub up on me he lie”


“This blasted zit had to show up now!”


“This is my T-shirt”


“Who cares about her T-shirt? LOOK at my hair!


“A who dat?”


I didn’t quite catch what she said, but that joke was “sweeeet”.


Things Antiguan and Barbudan

Last week there was a showcase of items that are produced by some of the people who live in Antigua and Barbuda. Dubbed “Things Antiguan and Barbudan” this Expo brought together a number of producers whose wares varied from food items to soft furnishings, and from furniture to art. Some exhibitors are part of Antigua’s cottage industry, while others actually export their items regionally.

It was a good opportunity to see what others are doing and to determine how far your company is from where you want it to be, eventually.

Here are photos of some of the exhibitors. The last is the outfit that I’m associated with. This company is co-owned by my sister and sells products that are 100% natural. Do look us up on Facebook at Natura Health and Healing.

20150616_121645-1The ladies who weave these bags say they’re at their busiest in the month’s leading up to our Independence celebrations. I bought this bag for my daughter.

20150612_150849 I saw these cupcakes on Facebook. They’re even prettier in person and taste just as good.


I wanted to see if these cushions were as comfortable as they looked – but I didn’t think that they’d have appreciated me asking.


A purveyor of teas, spices, dried fruit and more, Granma Aki has been in the business for a bit. I’m loving her new labels.


Cedar’s Pottery is the name of this business that works with ceramics and wood.


These beans bags from a company called Lazy Bones are made from recycled polystyrene, and are incredibly comfortable. They also make apparel and beer.


The coffee smells wafting from not one, but two stalls made me want to have a cup – and I don’t drink coffee.


African print outfits are immensely popular now. I couldn’t resist fingering the fine work.


And here we are. From cough rubs to healing creams, mosquito repellants to pain free sprays, Natura uses nature’s gifts to heal whatever ails you.


Please take a card.

Best In Show

Me. At a dog show. Who would have thought that would ever happen? It’s no Westminister, but I thought I’d take our Cupcake to see what amounts to a local talent show and beauty contest for canines.

This diva didn’t want her picture taken.

This dog didn't want her picture taken

This Mastiff Akita Mix accepts hugs from kids but you should have seen him taking his owner for a walk.


We missed the agility and obedience competition, but we put Cupcake through her paces anyway. Her score? We don’t judge.

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Walking back and forth with the eggs… and the dogs. They were surprisingly obedient.

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This dog’s owner entered her in the best costume competition. You get one guess.

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These two don’t look all that interested in the goings-on.

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This gorgeous Akita mix named Silas was entered in the “Cutest Dog” competition. His owners told me that he was very obedient – he pretty much ate on command.


I turned my back and Cupcake gains an admirer.


A little much?

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I called this one “Scrappy”. I think you can see why.

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Here’s my vote for the cutest dog…


…But we’re getting Cupcake ready for the win next year.


It’s a little chilly in here

The temperature dropped by a couple of degrees  when I told my daughter that I wanted to save my money for something else, instead of purchasing the snow that they were selling – but she just wouldn’t “let it go”.

Last weekend I took the kids to see a local school production of Frozen. The Island Academy International School usually chooses a popular story (or in this case), a blockbuster movie to showcase the talents of their students and the abilities of local artists.

The costuming is usually the thing that I like the most.

They're a little overdressed but...
They’re a little overdressed for our weather but…

Most of the original characters were there, like Sven – the dog-acting reindeer, but they took a few liberties like…

Olaf and Oona breaking into a lovely duet
Olaf and Oona breaking into a lovely duet

…marrying off Olaf to a snowgirl named Oona…

Flake, Floe, Flurry and Firn
Flake, Floe, Flurry and Firn

….and adding a couple of sprites who busied themselves doing whatever it is that sprites do.

Elsa in full "let it go" mode
Elsa in full “let it go” mode

Elsa didn’t really need to sing anything given the support she received from her choristers in the audience.

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But I think Anna stole the show with her eternal optimism and very pretty voice.

Singing "that song" one last time
Singing “that song” one last time

As they always do, the school’s play writers add in a few current references (think Miley Cyrus), that may not play the same way a year or two from now – but by then they’ll be on to another story.

Have You Ever Seen A Pink Mongoose?

Every year, The Pink Mongoose has a “Christmas in September” sale.

The window display of one of my favourite shops
The window display of one of my favourite shops

Debbie Smith, part owner and manager of this very special store admits that Christmas is her favourite time of year, so it’s probably an excuse to get her awesomely decorated trees up early.

A close up of one of several trees on display
A close up of one of several trees on display

The commercial side of Christmas seems to get earlier every year but this shop that is all about the beauty of Christmas can easily get away with it. The trees come down when the month ends but they’re back up again before the end of November.

This is the only white I want on my Caribbean tree
This is my kind of white Christmas

A Christmas Shop conceived by Smith (when it was no longer convenient to conduct business from her home), saw her fashioning wreaths and handmade decorations for a wider cross section of Antiguans. They were such a hit that to this day she visits homes and businesses to decorate their trees. And nobody wants “ordinary” anymore.

My tree sorta looks like this one - if I squint really hard
My tree sorta looks like this one – if I squint really hard

The name Pink Mongoose, came from the former owners who wanted to be different when coming up with a moniker because frankly, no one’s ever seen a pink mongoose. The original store, with Smith’s mother as the owner,  started as a tourist shop selling T-shirts and souvenirs. It’s come a long way since then.


Sometime in the 1980’s, the trinkets were replaced with shoes, bags, hats and accessories, and the “Christmas Shop” merged with this one to become the shop that has become the go-to place for head-to-toe adornment for women – and to a lesser extent – their homes, at Christmas.


Debbie says she’s inspired by lots of things, including people and cars. Even a junkyard has yielded the idea for a display. I’ll have to find out which of these emerged from looking at a couple of rusting body parts.

Is there a partridge in this tree?
Is there a partridge in this tree?


Going Green

Green Island that is.


One of a couple of much smaller offshore islands surrounding Antigua, it’s uninhabited except for some birds and some very tame lizards.


Leaving from Emerald Cove in the eastern section of the island, a motorboat ride got us there in about fifteen minutes.


It was a beautiful day to be out on the water…


…but I waited until I got closer to shore to get into it.


Cruising is all well and good, but I was eager to get to my destination…


….where beach activities abounded. There was volleyball…


… And there was cricket


… And there was doing nothing at all.

We look like we belong here…


But here are a couple of the true local inhabitants…


This lizard was kind enough to come into the light


This one was happy to pose while we took a picture


This soldier crab came out to play a little later


But eventually we had to make our way back to the mainland- sea spray included.