the latest -  January 2022

 

January 13th 2022

 

Only two weeks since I have last updated the site, but I have found some missing links that needed to be repaired and I thought I would add the the design thoughts section. I have collected a lot of material over the couple of years I added nothing.

 

I also want to call out two things in particular.. I owe a great thankyou for the people at rex-kralj.com for providing me four of their Mosquito Bar Stools at designers prices, which I finished my kitchen redesign with. You can see my entry here.

 

And I would like to, again, draw your attention to a great app that you can download from the Apple Ap Store called ReciMe. You can see my entry here.

 

 

January 3rd 2022

 

I had promised myself that I would update this website more often - I am not doing so well on that at the moment!

 

But then I am in a new country for me - The Bahamas, or to be more accurate, Freeport Grand Bahama (yes - without an 's') As I closed, with regrets, one aspect of my life, another lady from my past appeared, and that has led me here for now.

 

I have left the house in good hands and hope the excitement on my return last time will not be repeated. I do miss it - a lot. As I get older, I seem to get more homesick and it, MCdV, is most definitely my home. I did do my bit and put up Christmas decorations before I departed.

 

 

My first amusing thing here was the flight from Nassau to Freepost. Canada's Westjet flies directly from Toronto to there. The timing was such that we were assured we would get on the early connecting flight but once in the departures lounge, of course, there was no corresponding desk and nobody to ask. Laid-back could best describe the attitude here. In the fullness of time, it happened. Next up - 'Dunkin Donuts' I have never seen so many people buying a dozed of them before a flight - I was starting to think it was a requirement with the boarding pass. There is very obviously no franchise in or around Freeport, and the airport lounge was your last chance. Even the pilot had his dozen stuffed under his seat - delivered by the ground crew before he would leave!

 

Freeport International Air terminal does not exist. One of many structures destroyed by the hurricanes and now mired in reconstruction issues. To whom does it belong, and who has the responsibility to rebuild. Many years ago, the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) was granted a mandate to control a good part of this island. It has its own rules and tax situation and, as such, does not always agree with the national government located in Nassau.

 

There is a deepwater port on the island, and a thriving shipyard and a pharmaceutical industry, along with an amazing number of storage tanks for oil and petrol. And at the moment, not much else. The casino and hotels and service industry that supported the daily flights and cruise ships of tourists are no more. What was not damaged by the weather has fallen to Covid. Slowly, very slowly, as the ships return, there is some progress, but the glory days of the island's past, I fear, may never return. Once posh condominiums of well-off owners are being converted to Air B&B stays - again altering the dynamic of the island.

 

We have visited a number of nice places - The Flying Fish (http://www.flyingfishbahamas.com), The Dolphin Cove (https://www.dolphincovebahamas.com), The Stoned Crab (http://thestonedcrabbahamas.com) and Pier One (https://www.facebook.com/PierOneRestaurant/) all eating establishments.

 

 

Shark feeding at Pier One - 3 times each evening

 

The view from Stoned Crab

 

 

And the Stoned Crab interior

 

 

On the western end of Grand Bahama is - surprise, surprise - West End. It is apparently the capital of the island, not Freeport! It used to be the location of a high-end Resort with its own airport and golf course, but it is now a gated community with some very nice residences and a harbour for sailing and pleasure boats. As the closest point to the US, it also has a customs facility.

 

We visited there to have a Sting Ray tour with Keith Cooper of West End Ecology Tours (www.westendecologytours.com) A amazing experience with wildlife.

 

Our host Keith Cooper of West End Ecology Tours - has been doing this for fifteen years. When he arrives, the stingrays arrive!

 

 

An interesting fact - they are related to sharks! Here, the underside and his mouth.

 

 

Another interesting evening was spent listening to a jazz quartet on the island. The perfomance was limited in numbers by COVID and the location in the lobby of the former theatre - the balance of it still unrepaired from last hurricane

 

The musicianship was great!

 

       

 

 

Another event you have to try is the Fish Fry, a traditional Wednesday evening event at Smiths Point. Quite a number of native establishments are set up near the beachside, providing and an assortment of seafood, mostly fried, and some venues for dancing. We got there early, but it got crowded later in the evening.

 

    

 

 

 

And the other place we visited was Paradise Cove - Deadmans Reef (https://deadmansreef.com). An excellent place for snorkelling and seeing the local sea life and coral.

 

Below are a couple of intrepid gecko basking in the sun

 

 

And another thing . An ap that has been developed by a firend of mine in Australia and a couple of his colleagues it is called Recime. I have put some details about it on the design thoughts page. If you like cooking, and sharing recipes (like I do) check it out.

 

And that is it till the next time when I will be back in Umbria. - R