Today we enjoyed a rare day to ourselves. We were in the lab for a few hours, and then hit the beach. Seeking refuge from the sun under some local foliage, I lathered myself in sunscreen, much to the mirth of everyone else. Sian rarely trusts me to do this. I invariably miss something – somewhere and end up with what I affectionately call ‘comedy burn’ which basically makes me look like an albino leopard that has lost an epic, decade-long, game of slaps. I go very, very red in the patches I miss.
Determined not to fall folly to my usual rooky-(ness?!), I went all out. Liberal and relentless – I was determined not to burn today…well at least not from the sun…
Sian kindly took a picture. Those of you easily offended by pasty, overweight Brits, you may wish to look away now…
Happy that I was lubed up to the max, and impenetrable to the sun’s evil burning ways, we went for a swim and the obligatory game of catch. For anyone that doesn’t know, I love catch. The beach was invented for catch. We developed opposable thumbs for catch. And Sian, bless her, always obliges my need to throw an inflated projectile until I get bored. Or injured.
Today was awesome, and we had FUN. For one reason or another I convinced James we needed to take a stunning picture of us emerging from the water…Halle Berry style in that Bond movie (not a huge fan – sorry!)
I, again, feel obliged to re-iterate the above disclaimer…
….As you can see from both the pictures, and reading back – my tone, it was a silly, silly day. But it is always important to forget about work and have fun every now and then.
After more shenanigans and a few rum punches, we headed down to Oistins, with our new ‘proper’ camera (POST TO COME) with the view to get a bite to eat and soak up some Bajan culture. Sian’s friends Jenny and Tom have been out for the last twelve days, and it has been great to show and see so much of the local touristy stuff that we normally miss out on. We are, however, not strangers to Oistins. It is a ‘local fish fry’ that was initially started every week by the wives of the fisherman who would bring in their haul. The food is awesome, the beer is cheap, and the atmosphere of it all is friendly and excited. It is great fun.
The only trouble is, it only really ‘happens’ on a Friday. Sian and I were aware of this, but we were locked in the hotel for a flood watch last night and Tom has a guide book that said there were some stalls open on a Saturday too, so we took the chance and went down. We got some great food, but there was only a fraction of the stalls open and the place was dead quiet…except for our arch nemesis in tourist hangouts…the dreaded karaoke.
But it was great for the guys to see it, and it was actually really nice to be able to walk around without having to get your elbows out. I got some rather cool shots of the locals playing dominoes too which was a bonus, and the evening was lovely and cool.
I always enjoy seeing the local traditions and cultural nuances of the places we go – and this is definitely no exception…but much like the beautiful and peaceful cannabis-inspired reggae of the 60s and 70’s from the Caribbean slowly changed to the overtly aggressive and violent cocaine-fuelled ragga of the 80’s, so too has the demeanor of dominoes.
These guys are violent.
There is no placement about it. You slam your piece down, as hard as you possibly can, and curse. Seriously, that’s apparently how it’s done in Oistins, girl or boy it’s hardcore. I loved it.
You can see the dominoes taking air from the somewhat aggressive gentleman's last move.
As a final cherry on the cake, we wandered round to what Sian and I affectionately call ‘culture corner’. On a Friday, it is full of wonderful old couples – people in their 60s, 70s and 80s, in all their finery – three piece suits and trilby hats. They play 30s ballads and ballroom, and they all dance the night away – if you’re lucky (or you’re my boss, Gary) you may just get swept up by an old bird who wants to show you a thing or two – but unfortunately we got there to see it was empty, with a DJ playing Rihanna’s greatest hits.
But, today was our day off, and day of fun, so fortunately this guy came out and threw some shapes for us.