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C is for Children

Published 02/06/2013 by julierkendrick

I imagine you are thinking that this blog post will be about my 4 boys and how wonderful they are and how much I love them etc etc…. WRONG!

Don’t misunderstand me, all of the above is true but I am feeling the need to have a rant about other peoples kids.  I have heard many times, people say “I really can’t stand other peoples kids”, well I have to say I sympathise with them. Generally I feel the same. Now obviously my friends have kids and they are lovely, for the most part (ha ha ha sorry friends) but there seem to be so many parents that have no idea how to bring up their offspring.

Working in Waterstones brings me into contact with children and their parents on a daily basis and regardless of how they behave I have to be polite and helpful. But believe me some of these kids, and parents push my buttons.

So, here is a list of my pets hates in ranting format:

1. Kids that don’t say “Thank You”. As obvious as this is it still really irks me. A child will come to the till and give me their book and the money and I have a little chat with them about what they have chosen and then when the transaction is complete I hand over the bag. I expect to be thanked for this but 95% of the time the kid takes the bag and walks off. What tends to make this worse is that the parent invariably says nothing to the child. They usually thank me themselves but I don’t want thanks from them. They have send their child up to buy the book and they look on proudly as Johnny/Jenny gives the money over and takes their purchase but they haven’t taught them how to complete the process with a polite ‘Thank you’.  Much to my colleagues amusement I have taken to holding on to the bag whilst the child tries to wrestle it from my grasp as I wait for the thanks I am due. Some kids, cotton on and say it but others just looks dumbly at the parents who look dumbly back at me until I give up and let them have the damn bag.

2. Kids that say “I want”. This one again falls into the category of manners. It’s not just the words ‘I want’ that bother me so much as the demanding nature in which they are expressed. “I want that Gruffalo”, “I want 2 books” and the worst, “I want more money”. Whenever I hear these words I look at the parents and hope that they will firmly but quietly tell their child that these demands will not be tolerated and that “May I have” is a much better way of expressing ones wishes. Yeah, that almost never happens. What does happen is one of two things. Either the parent gives in and the child is presented with said Gruffalo, books, money or the child is completely ignored by the parent and continues to repeat “I want….. I want….” ad infinitum. It takes all of my will not to march up to the child and give them a lesson in manners that hopefully the parent will learn from too.

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3. Screaming toddlers. Now I know that toddlers can be a nightmare. I know that they have no sense of spacial awareness. I know that they have no social skills. I can accept all of these things with a sigh and a smile. What I cannot bear, though, are toddlers that just screech for apparently no reason. Kids between the ages of 18 months and 3 years tend to have the highest pitched voices and can scream louder than Janet Lee in Psycho. Why, why, why do they do this? What do they hope to achieve by bursting the ear drums of everyone within a half mile radius? I have taken to glaring at the child to try and encourage them to shut up; and I have a very scary glare. If that doesn’t work then I glare at the parents. But then I realise that these are probably the parents who will end up giving in to the child in a few years once it starts in with the “I want…..” routine.

4. Destructive brats. I don’t know about you, but I taught my children not to touch when they went into shops. Our children’s section is bright and colourful and of course invites kids from 0-17 to explore so I don’t expect the no touching rule to apply here. I do, however, expect the no mindless destruction rule to apply. We have a spinner for Mr Men books so that they can all be easily seen. I have lost count of the times that a destructive brat has spun the display so fast the books fly off. Not the worst of crimes, I grant you, but once again the parent from hell steps in to make the situation just peachy. They pull the child away leaving the books all over the floor, sometimes even treading on them as they leave. (Excuse me while I hyperventilate a little). I have even heard parents say “Don’t worry about putting them back, the lady will do it for you.” What the hell??? I did not clear up after my own kids when they were deliberately messy, I made them do it. I am certainly not going to do it for some spoilt brat who thinks it’s OK to tread on books. My colleague, Della, who runs the kids section has her work cut out for her every day. She spends most of her time putting books back where they belong and straightening bent pages. Don’t even get me started on the problems we have during half term.

5. Nose pickers. Bogies are disgusting I think we are all agreed. Kids pick their noses, we are still agreed. But please please please tell me why they feel the need to wipe them on something that is not a tissue. I’ve seen bogies being wiped on our display tables, chairs and even on a book that the kids was holding at the time. It was this particular child’s parent I told that she was wiping her nose products on our merchandise. The mother smiled and said “Yes, she does it all the time.” Unbelievable. The only saving grace was that she bought the book. Urgh!

6. Smelly teenagers. It’s not just small kids that drive me insane, teenagers that don’t wash test my patience too. Teenagers are bags of hormones and sweating is a prerequisite to growing up but it is the parents job to inform their young adult that they need to pay attention to their personal hygiene. There now, that wasn’t difficult was it? Apparently that doesn’t generally happen in these kids’ households. The other thing about teenagers is that they tend to hang around in large groups. This at least triples the smell and I am surprised that there is not a grey cloud above their heads like there was over Pig Pen in the Peanuts comics. When these youngsters wander in to the shop I want to formally introduce them to a bar of soap or a roll on deodorant at the very least but instead, when they leave, I spray the shop with polish to restore the lovely book shop smell.

Pig Pen

Pig Pen

I have found compiling this list quite therapeutic. I am sure you all think I’m a grumpy old cow now and yes, at times I am but is it so wrong to expect children to behave when they are in public? And when they don’t is it too much to expect the parents to deal with them effectively?

I, of course invite your comments below but please don’t pick your nose when you type them.

Until next time.

Julie 🙂

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B is for Books

Published 26/05/2013 by julierkendrick

Continuing the A-Z theme, B is unsurprisingly for Books.

Being as passionate as I am about writing, it obviously follows that I am just as passionate about books, A is for Author has already laid testament to that fact.

Working in a book shop is the most amazing job for me and I am extremely lucky that I work in one of the best. Being surrounded by brand spanking new, pristine books with their crisp pages and intoxicating smell is a joy I get to experience for about 20 hours every single week. I have had many jobs from being a driving instructor to a police officer but I have to say that this is by far my most favourite. I love it when our daily delivery arrives and I get to rummage through the big totes full of books to see if any new releases have been sent, and of course keeping one or two (or three) aside for myself.

The Best Book Shop

The Best Book Shop

There is, of course, a down side to working with books….. oh yes there really is.

Firstly, most of my wages end up going in the till. 😦

There is also the very minor matter of having no more room for books in my house. Of course I bought a Kindle, and I love it, but there is no substitute for the real thing.

I have persuaded my long suffering book widower to fill our spare room with shelves because I have made a radical decision. I will only keep books that I haven’t read. (Excuse me while I have a few palpitations here). Now that may not seem radical to you but when you have been reading for nearly 40 years and have still got most of the books you started reading at 6, you have a slight storage problem. When I told Trevor my plan I could see he was genuinely pleased that books would be leaving our house but, as he knows me so well he knows they have also continued to arrive in their droves. My ‘to read’ list is huge and this isn’t a metaphorical list. Oh no. I actually buy the books I want to read even though I haven’t read the last 200 I bought.

A small sample of my 'to read' books

A small sample of my ‘to read’ books

Anyway, my latest project was to get my books organised. A very exciting job.  I piled all of the unread ones on my bed and got one of my many many notepads (another addiction, but we’ll leave that one for now) and labelled the pages A-Z. I then entered each book, alphabetically by author until every single one was recorded.

OK, so what is the point? Aha! that is the ingeniousness of this plan. When you have as many books on your ‘to read’ list as I do, you can imagine that I invariably forget what I have already got. How then can I add books unless I have an organised record of each one? See… genius.

Just don’t tell Trevor.

My book bible

My book bible

 

Catch ya later – Julie 🙂

Caribbean Chronicles – Part Eight

Published 01/05/2013 by julierkendrick

It was our last day at sea and as we woke we took stock of our view out of our window and tried to commit the beautiful blue sea and sky to memory. It really was going to be a bittersweet day. The last one on the boat, the last day spent with the Perrymans and the last day of relaxation in paradise.

After breakfast I wandered round the boat with my camera taking pictures of everything I could so that I would never forget it all. The theatre where we watched so many wonderful shows, the different bars and staff members. The ornate decor and of course our room number. This is a little ritual I have whenever I stay anywhere I always take a photo of my room door so I can remember the number. Weird I know but hey we all have our foibles.

Suite 1278

Suite 1278

Beautiful Lift lobby

Beautiful Lift lobby

We had arranged to meet the Perrymans on the deck for a last sunbathing/rum guzzling session, however when I walked out on deck it was so so windy the sun loungers were flying all over the place. People were fighting against the wind and books and magazines were spinning around like little mini tornadoes.  It was still sunny though and the die hard sun worshipers were steadfastly hanging on to their beds, their faces turned to the rays. I struggled along the

deck to the back end (no idea what this is called) and found a little area where they was no mad wind and waited for the others to turn up and find me. After an hour of reading alone I got bored and decided to brave the elements and try to find everyone.  By the time I found them, down the other end of the ship clinging to their beds, I was tired from battling the wind and gratefully sat down.  I had been sitting for no more than 2 minutes when I heard someone exclaim “Bloody hell look at that”. We all turned towards the sound of the voice to see an enormous black cloud coming our way pretty quickly. Before we could get inside the cloud passed over the ship, dumping its watery contents everywhere and carried on its merry way. Soaked but laughing we went back inside to change and had our rum guzzling session in the sports bar instead.

Dinner that night was a really sad affair, the waiters all came and said goodbye and sang their last song. We had some photos taken to mark the occasion and then Diane told me she had bought me a little gift to remind me of her. I was touched until I opened it and saw she had bought me a monkey toothpick holder. Laughing I promised that I would keep it on my dining table always. I have done just that and I am looking at it as I type.

The Monkey Toothpick Holder

The Monkey Toothpick Holder

The next day dawned as beautifully as ever and we were in Puerto Rico again. We sadly went down to breakfast and ate our final meal. At 10am we left the ship for the last time and started our long long journey home. Puerto Rico to JFK, New York and from there to Heathrow.  No problems flight wise other than the fact that on the journey to Heathrow we were flying at night and the plane was only about 1/3 full. This was great until I decided to lie down on a row of 5 seats to sleep. I had just dozed off when I was rudely woken by a girl in her 20’s telling me to move. She said that as she had sat at the end seat first she should be able to lie down. I pointed out that when I had chosen her row she was fast sleep in her chair sitting upright. Anyway the upshot of it was that I refused to move and she spent the next hour kicking me until I told her to bugger off. After that she left me alone but I never did go back to sleep.

Arriving back in London we retrieved our luggage and went outside to catch the bus to the car park. Stupidly I was wearing only a thin dress and nearly had a heart attack when we left the airport to a temperature of approx 2 degrees.

3 hours later we were home. Sad but full of amazing memories. The welcome we received from our two dogs was enough to put the smiles back on our faces.

So that is the end of Caribbean Chronicles. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed reliving it.

I have no other holidays planned just yet but do have a new plan for my blogs. April was A-Z month and although I don’t want to write a blog every day each time I do the subject will begin with the next letter of the alphabet. I think that will definitely prove to be a challenge with some letters.

Until then, toodles.

Julie 🙂

Caribbean Chronicles – Part Seven

Published 08/04/2013 by julierkendrick

Well, we are coming to the end of our amazing holiday of a lifetime. Only 2 more islands to go. The first of these was Aruba, another of my favourite places due to the vibrant colours and happy people. The weather didn’t hurt either.

We had tried to book an excursion on a boat where there was a rope swing out into the sea and scuba diving but unfortunately we got in too late and the tour was full. However later we went ashore for a little bit of shopping and what turned out to be an ice cream extravaganza.

We met up with the Perrymans after lunch and decided to have a mooch around the shops and stalls ashore. There were so many wares on display outside it was difficult to tell which shop they belonged to and there were times when there was no assistant in the shop we were in because they were taking money in another shop for the owner there. A very strange but trusting way of doing business.

Trevor & Sam in the wide streets of Aruba

Trevor & Sam in the wide streets of Aruba

First of all we went into a shop that sold alcohol and much to our delight they had rum in every flavour imaginable  (including our favourite tipple, cherry) at a ridiculously cheap price.  Needless to say we stocked up and then realised that we would have to carry about 12 bottles with us. The shop assistant kindly let us leave the drink there until we were ready to board the boat. So off we went, in the blistering heat along the main road where covered stalls had set out their stock. Everything from coloured flowers pots and fridge magnets to pieces of furniture made from gnarled varnished wood. Lots and lots of t-shirts, dresses and bra tops were on display but oddly enough none of them had any shorts for boys which is what I was after.

Trevor had wandered off and came back looking very excited. He told us to follow him and led us round the corner to an amazing ice cream emporium called Lecca Lecca. Although I am not a mad lover of ice cream there was no way I could resist the bright colours of all the different flavours. All seven of us rushed in and up to the counter to see what they had to offer. So many flavours, rum and raisin, orange sherbert, chocolate chip (white and milk), pineapple, mint, mango, coffee, tiramisu, bubblegum, cookies and cream and even carrot sorbet. I really could go on. There were sprinkles, nuts, sweets and sauces to add if you wished too. Just remembering this fabulous shop is making my mouth water.

So Many Flavours

So Many Flavours

Oreo Cookie Ice Cream

Oreo Cookie Ice Cream

Once we had had our fill we wandered back out into the heat and carried on shopping. Aruba is so lively and probably the most modern island we visited. The streets appeared to be newly paved and the shops fronts were pretty ornate. The roads were wide and busy with cars and buses and Caribbean music was being pumped out of shops and stalls alike. It really was a place where you could indulge all your senses.

After a few purchases we made our way back to the boat for pre-dinner drinks, not forgetting to collect our rum. I was sorry to leave Aruba and would have liked another day there. But, the next day we were in Curacao and, much to Sams delight had a date with some dolphins.

Conversely, Curacao was the island that I liked the least. It was very run down and unkempt and seemed dowdy in comparison to Aruba and Barbados where bright colours and music were all pervading. The people didn’t look as happy that we were there and our welcome onto the island was all but nonexistent. But, we were going to play with dolphins so we put that to one side and looked forward to the trip.

After a bus ride of about 20 minutes we pulled into a park and were let out, with strict instructions to be back in 3 hours.  We were then separated into group and led into a theatre where we were shown a safety video. After a bit of hanging around we were taken outside to see the dolphins and their trainers.  We were then split into smaller groups and assigned a particular marine mammal. Ours was called Buscoo and had a broken fin from getting caught in a boats propeller when she was out in the open sea. We waited around some more and finally we met Buscoo’s trainer and got into the water. We stood in a line on a ledge about waist-deep in the water and Buscoo swam past us so we could stroke and tickle her. The trainer got her to do some tricks and gave us the commands she recognised so that she would clap her fins on our command.  After about 15 minutes a photographer came along and took photos of us kissing the dolphin and some of her kissing us, a weird experience being kissed by a fish. (Yes, I know a dolphin is not a fish, but it certainly felt fishy when she kissed me).

Once we left the water we still had about 45 minutes to wander around and look at the other water creatures in display pools and then just before we departed we watched a dolphin show where all the inhabitants got to show off their skills. It was a great experience, one that Sam will treasure forever I hope.

DSCN0552

Buscoo

Happy and tired we boarded our bus back to the boat.  That night at dinner we felt a little sad that we were now at the end of our cruise and we were on our way back to Puerto Rico to begin our mammoth journey home.

Next time, our last day at sea and trip back to Blighty.

Arrr ye be walkin the plank

Julie 🙂

Caribbean Chronicles – Part Six

Published 05/04/2013 by julierkendrick

Well hello there my loyal followers. Once again I apologise for the hugely long gap between posts but upon returning the to snowy UK I felt quite despondent and not in the mood to write about my fabulous holiday. Then just this week I had an operation (which I am sure I will be posting about soon) and now I am finally back in the writing saddle and ready to tell you more about the beautiful Caribbean.

So, let me start by saying I hate monkeys. I mean really detest them. I don’t like their deceptively cute faces, their human-like grabbing hands and the one with the big pink bums just freak me out completely.

What has this got to do with my tales? Well read on and you will be enlightened.

After the passenger swap at Puerto Rico we set sail for St Thomas where we visited a little butterfly farm.  I love butterflies but these were a little disappointing as there only seemed to be a few species there. Nevertheless it was a nice little interlude and we ran back to the boat just as we got hit by a brief downpour. The turn in the weather meant I could go back to the cabin and read (and sleep) the afternoon away.

At The Butterfly Farm

At The Butterfly Farm

The next morning we arrived in St Kitts, which as it turned out was one of my favourite islands. I had booked Trevor on a cooking excursion where he went to a manor house and learnt to cook the Caribbean way. He was very excited to get going and so were Sam and I as we were going to a fabulous beach where we would have lunch and play in the sea.

We left the boat and walked to the  meeting point where I realised that I had forgotten my sunglasses and my book. Luckily we had time for me to run (!) back and get them. Running is not my forte and running in 40 degree heat is torturous but I made it just in time to get on the bus and off we went.

St Kitts is an up and coming island where tourist resorts are expanding very quickly. It is a beautiful place with amazing views and cute little mountainside houses.  The tropical weather just tops it off. The roads are typically unkempt though and whiplash is always a risk, but we got to our destination safely and alighted the bus onto a strip of white sandy beach complete with loungers, parasols and restaurant.

The best lounger ever.

The best lounger ever.

Suddenly, beside me, Sam became very excited, jumping up and down and pointing. Following his excited gaze I was dismayed to see a man holding…… yes you guessed it a monkey. But not just a monkey. A monkey wearing a NAPPY.  Urgh!! I shuddered but of course the man had seen Sam’s excitement and was making his way towards us.  “$5  for a photo with the monkey” he informs us. I wanted to tell him I’d give him $50 to bugger off but Sam’s pleading face stopped me. I told the guy that I had no money but I’d let Sam hold the monkey (again I say Urgh!!). The guy agreed and passed the offending creature to my son. Once he looked away I quickly snapped a couple of photos of my own, for free, and instructed Sam to give it back.  Thankfully the man took it away and I relaxed. For all of a minute. To my left I saw someone else approaching us. Another man with a nappy wearing primate. Ah maaan! not again. I made my distaste perfectly clear by vigorously shaking my head and indicating for them to back away. To give them credit, they didn’t push themselves onto us at all and quite happily moved on to the next monkey loving weirdos.

Sam and the offending monkey (Urgh!)

Sam and the offending monkey (Urgh!)

Sam was happy and ran off to play in the sea. I found an amazing lounger and settled down with my book. After a gorgeous lunch and a little bit more monkey-avoidance we boarded the bus for a bumpy ride back to the boat.

Trevor was already back and told us of his cooking prowess and when Sam told him about the monkeys I am sure I saw Trevor laughing behind his hands, but I may have been mistaken.

So St Kitts slowly disappeared behind us as we sailed off towards Aruba.

Until next time my salty sea dogs.

 

Julie 🙂

 

 

 

Caribbean Chronicles – Part Five

Published 27/02/2013 by julierkendrick

Sorry for the long gap between posts, loads been happening but anyway to continue the story.

The next day was Barbados. Sam and I had been looking forward to this island especially as we were going to swim with turtles later that morning. My boy was full of confidence now that he had walked underwater with a huge helmet on his head and he couldn’t wait to get going.

The day was blisteringly hot so I ordered Trevor to cover up completely and stay out of the sun as the colour of his body was still reminiscent of an uncooked salmon. We walked into the port terminal and picked up the tour bus which drove us a short way to a 5* catamaran crewed by 5 lively guys. Loud music was played, rum punch was poured and we were off to swim with turtles.  After about an hour the boat stopped and we were issued with snorkel gear and given a quick lesson on how to use it. Then we all gingerly climbed into the perfect blue waters. Having never snorkeled before I found it hard to keep the tube in my mouth and breathe normally without gallons of salty water pouring down my throat. After a while I got the hang of it and happily swam around looking at the beautiful coloured fish, completely different to the ones we had seen in St Maarten.

Trevor snorkeling

Trevor snorkeling

I looked around and saw that Sam had taken to snorkeling like a duck to water (cliche intended). He was swimming next to his dad happily but for those of you who know Sam know that he cannot stop talking, so was constantly spitting out the tube and mouthfuls of water in order to tell us where we should be looking.  The crew had also jumped in the water and was throwing out bits of bread and before we knew it we were surrounded by huge sea turtles.  They joined us and swam alongside us as if we were all the same species. Occasionally one would bump me and I’d turn to say sorry (as any good Brit would do) before reaching out to stroke his hard shell. We swam for about an hour all told and then be climbed back on board the catamaran. The captain, a craggy faced man called John called Sam up to the helm and let him drive the boat home.  It was a great day, one that Sam will certainly never forget. We had an underwater camera that we used but I have yet to have the photos developed so fingers crossed there will be some great pics for you to see soon.

Captain Sam

Captain Sam

Meeting our new friends for pre-dinner drinks, a great meal and then post dinner drinks was becoming a habit we could fast get used to. Diane had burnt her nose quite badly and endured constant teasing from me about the lovely scab and when we had our photo taken at the meal I promised I would buy the picture just so I could have a lasting memory of her hooter for future amusement.  Everyone seemed to be miffed that for some reason I was the only one going brown while everyone else turned varying shades of pink. In fact, in the photos we have commented that it looked like I have been on the cruise for months while they had only just joined.

Me looking tanned with Diane and Zoe not so much.

Me looking tanned with Diane and Zoe not so much.

That was almost the end of our first week, we just had one day at sea while we sailed back to Puerto Rico to pick up the next lot of cruisers and drop most of the current lot off.  We had decided that we would use this day as a day of rest (ha ha) and to work on our tans. Obviously this was to include copious amount of cherry rum and cocktails of the day but that goes without saying by now.

In the afternoon I had my spa appointment. This was an aromatherapy relaxation pod, a half hour treatment in an enclosed pod where you relax and afterwards feel as if you have had 3 hours sleep. Marvellous. I was imagining being taken to a quiet room filled with aromatic oils where beautiful music was being piped through the walls and where I could close my eyes and drift away for a lovely rejuvenating half hour.  However, as seems to have become the norm, I was completely wrong as I was taken down into the gym where a large pod that looked a little like a flight simulator was positioned in the middle of the floor. I was instructed to get in and then it was closed, albeit my head was sticking out the end. Then after 5 minutes of trying to find the right button to press the instructor flashed me a blindingly white smile and said, “Now Mrs Julie, just relax. I be back soon.” Off he went and the pod burst into life. Well that’s not entirely true. The seat became warm and puffs of hot air were blown up and down my body. There were no gorgeous smells and the pumping of the gym music was all I could hear along with the grunts of over developed males lifting weights the size of cannonballs. Half an hour later, the pod had fizzled out and the instructor was nowhere to be seen. I lay there for a few minutes until boredom started to set in and I started to feel a little foolish with my head hanging out the end of a flight simulator smiling at the gym goers as they passed by.  In the end I called out “Hello” a few times and sure enough, Mr Bleached Teeth released me from my prison. “You, like?” He asked. I didn’t really know what to say so I just nodded and mumbled something incoherent. He seemed happy enough and shook my hand vigorously as I left saying loudly “Thank you Mrs Julie. you come soon back”.

So, week one was over. But fear not my salty friends there is much more fun to be had in week two.

Next time we hit St Thomas and St Kitts where I face yet another fear but this time lose dismally.

Anchors aweigh pirates.

Julie 🙂

Caribbean Chronicles – Part Four

Published 20/02/2013 by julierkendrick

The next day, as was now the norm, we arrived in our next port at 8am. This time we were in Antigua. As it was so warm and we didn’t have any excursions planned we decided to wander around the ship and sunbathe for a while. Even though we had been aboard for 5 days there were still places unexplored. We found Johnny Rockets diner, which reminded me of my time in New York with Belcanto when Paige and I had Oreo cookie milkshakes and danced with the chefs. Sam was very happy to find a kids arcade and of course I hunted out the spa where Trevor booked me a strange experience in a pod (more on that later).

Afterwards we went back to our room, where Fernando, our stateroom attendant had made up our room and left us his usual towel sculpture. There we changed into swimwear and went back up on deck 12 to catch some Antiguan rays. As per usual Trevor burnt himself to a crisp while I browned nicely. Sam and I went for a dip in one of the pools and found that it was a salt water pool. It is quite amusing to watch me in a salt water pool because, as I have natural buoyancy in the form of my boobs I can’t sink and struggle to stay upright. After fighting the sodium for a while I gave up and went back to my book.

A towel sculpture

A towel sculpture

A while later we ventured off the boat, which we had now started to call home and went into Antigua. If you’ve ever been there you may remember it being a very noisy vibrant place. Lots of people talking to each other in very loud voices that you could be mistaken for thinking everyone is arguing but of course they are not they just talk at high decibels. We were offered watches, taxis, rum, and other objects and services as we walked along the promenade. It was when we came to a lady offering hair braids that I decided to partake.  $60 and 40 odd braids later I was done and although I was grateful for the hair being off my face, they bloody hurt and I felt like I’d had a bad face-lift. But I was determined to keep them in for at least a few days.

Beinf

Being braided

On the way back we found a duty free shop and bought some flavoured rum, Black Cherry (which was soon to become my favourite tipple) and Mango. Disappointingly though, it was taken off us on the way back into the boat and kept until we leave as they don’t allow people to bring their own alcohol on board (a cheeky way of getting more money out of you by making you buy their drinks).

At dinner that night Trevor’s face got redder and redder and he felt sicker by the minute so he went to bed straight after while me and Sam went to watch the ice show on board. As we settled down to the sleep the boat rocked us gently as we sailed off towards St Lucia.

The next day was Valentine’s Day and I was woken up by my husband with breakfast in bed, a cute card and some roses. The fact that we were in St Lucia on this day was special to us because it was where we came on honeymoon, so being there again, ten years later on Valentine’s Day was a lovely coincidence.

St Lucia

St Lucia

We had an excursion planned for the afternoon, whale and dolphin watching. Although we had swum with dolphins before, none of us had seen a whale in its natural habitat and camera at the ready we jumped on the boat and took our seats. The crew told us that the trip they had done earlier in the day had yielded sights of dolphins and whales in the distance so they planned to travel to that location so we could catch a glimpse also. Three hours later we arrived back at the harbour not having seen even a fin or a tail of the beautiful water mammals. We were a little disappointed but we had enjoyed the trip and the beautiful scenery.

Later that evening we joined our new friends, Diane and Glen and their kids Darryl and Zoe for dinner and Trevor had made the unfortunate choice of wearing a red t-shirt which set off the colour of his face nicely. Much merriment ensued and a great valentine’s night was had by all.

Come back next time for tales of Barbados, turtles and a sea day.

Pieces of eight me hearties.

Julie 🙂