It has been extremely hot and dry and windy. Too hot and windy even for the beach. The wind whips up the sand and it gets in your mouth and eyes. The tourist seasoned is over and the yachts have all gone, so Portsmouth is quiet and Prince Rupert's Bay is almost empty. They tell me it wasn't a good season, no one made enough money to carry them through to the next season. When they come into the Bar they count their change and decide if they can have French fries with their chicken. If they can have a beer or a shot of 'bush' rum too, though, is never a question!
I have been spending less time at CALLS. My little work at the Fisheries is easy. I did apply for a job at Ross but didn't get it, so still no income! I have been painting; watercolours, seascapes, river scapes, mountains. I spend my time at either the Indian River Bar chatting with Ma Zoa, and Gregory, or at the Sagittarius 2 Reggae Bar and Grill in Portsmouth. (Face book Sagittarius 2 Reggae Bar and Grill, check it out). I treat these spots as a pub, rather than a bar. I have some good friends among the white women at Ross as well as among the locals. And there is McDowell, who has his own life, but is with me here often.
I love my little apartment. McDowell calls it 'the palace', which it definitely is not. But it is safe and it usually works! I have taken over a corner of this veranda for potted plants; my 'garden.' .At this very moment I am on the veranda, the sun is going down so it is cooling off. I just fed the birds a dish of sugar (little chirpy banana quits and bull finches).
A character called Fly is bicycling by, no hands, at a ferocious speed with a full case of coke on his head...and here comes Rickrack from the farm with his cutlass in one hand, sack of dasheen on his head, and in bare feet. Someone is frying fish for supper. The mangoes are coming into their peak so everyone walks around sucking on the big pit; everyone has a mango in their mouth all the time. I still cannot tell one mango from the other. There is a whole culture around mangoes.
Right now life is good. I am old enough to know this can change in a flash so I enjoy the moment...including the too loud music, the noisy chickens settling down and roosting in the mango trees for the night, the baby across the way crying, people calling out to each other, wuzup?, wha'app'ning? Where u goeen? U cool? long time I dough see u.