Folks in Trinidad seem to fall into two categories when it comes to Carnival. Those that play and those that leave the island. This year, at least, Castaway fell into the latter category, and with hindsight given the crime statistics for the week, it seems to have been a wise course of action. Initially, like good European tradition dictates, we intended to use the February school holidays for winter sports. For a number of reasons, slovenly planning among them, that did not work out and so an opportunity was presented to discover another Caribbean island – this time, St Lucia. Continue reading “Mad Dogs and Dutchmen Go Out in the Midday Sun”
Some readers may know of the Handsome Dutchman’s passion, some might say obsession, for cycling. This obsession was not made clear to Castaway in the early days. Although some glimpses of it existed, my Official Dutch Friend who acts as adviser on all matters Netherlands-related for many years now assured Castaway it was normal and not indicative of anything unusual. Continue reading “Please, Mr Postman!”
Of all the things that we are confronted with in Trinidad, buying petrol would not be expected to be the most challenging or entertaining. After a full six months of driving, it remains both. Continue reading “Fist Bumps with Odd People”
As might be expected, after 10 months in the Caribbean, Castaway and the Handsome Dutchman have returned to Europe for the festive season. We left sunshine, cocktails and our barbecue behind. We found our down-filled winter coats at the back of the wardrobe and realised that we had left all our hats, scarves and gloves in Aberdeen so we would have to travel without them and retrieve them on arrival. Certainly, they have been needed while we are here. Continue reading “Return to the Frozen North”
It was another gloriously balmy evening – surprisingly few insects and the temperature just right. Not so cold that we sought out a sweater and warm enough that the breeze reaching our hilltop terrace was still very welcome. Having acquired a gas canister and converted our European inlet for an US one, thanks to some help from Mummy and Daddy Castaway on their recent visit, we were barbecuing for the second time that week. We were thinking of snow-bound Northern hemisphere folks while finishing off a bottle of red wine after dinner. A tough life, but someone has to do it… Continue reading “Like a Bat Out of…”
It has been Christmas in Trinidad since about the middle of September. Since then, decorations are everywhere and the radio only plays Christmas-themed tunes (only not ones you have ever heard of). We are giving it all our effort despite the climate but when it is this hot, something just does not feel right.
Although The Handsome Dutchman and Castaway have an overwhelming number of things in common – so much, in fact, that we can create a sort of reinforcing and sometimes dangerous echo effect with each other – there are still some areas where the Scottish-Dutch cultural divide cannot be breached.