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The sound of doors

The sound of closing doors chimes the passage of time in an old house, it marks the weather of our day. When the library door slams shut it means the westerlies have risen, they are the winds that blew the sugar trade, and Europe and Africa to the Americas. When the cupboard doors blow open it means the weather has changed, the winds clocking to the south and blowing up off the Caribbean Sea, bringing hot air and thunder.

The sound I remember the most was my mother’s leaving her bedroom, her door pulling to, the click of the old brass latch and the sounds of her heels on the steps as she descended the stairwell to the second door that opened into the sitting room where we welcome our guests.

For over three hundred years this house has been a gathering place, and when the house is quiet, I sit in the great room and imagine the conversations that have been held through the centuries. I imagine the walls can talk and if I am still enough I can hear them.

December marks the return of the Christmas winds and the holiday buzz; and the New Year comes with new faces and old friends. Growing up in a hotel, mother always told us that the world comes to our doors. It’s only the wind that ever knocks, guests come and go like friends. So I am always listening, interpreting the sounds of the winds and guests arriving.

And always at this time of year, I imagine I hear my mother’s footsteps coming down from her room to wish us all Happy New Year.

Caribbean Strong – Nevis

Nevis was very fortunate, we suffered minimal damage. The ancient saman tree in the town square was blown over, a few other trees have been lost and our beaches have been strangely rearranged but it is nothing that can’t be repaired with time and tide. With village names like Hardtimes and Burden Pasture, Nevis has known many challenges.We are not strangers to the storm.

Don’t You Agree?

After a trip away, I’ve just returned to these sweet charms of Nevis, the warmth of hospitality and the embrace of friends.

My Nevis Perspective

The best way to survive as a hotelier on a remote island with difficult logistics is with patience and a sense of humor.

Hermitage Newsletter December Edition

Interestingly, a celebrity magazine shoot shared the property with a crew of geothermal miners. We can’t say which group was the more tantalizing and filled us with anxious delight at the possibility of unearthing a deeply hidden treasure.

Experience of the Caribbean

Some days are clear Caribbean skies and placid, turquoise, clear seas that reflect the frigate birds and passing clouds; some days are faded yellow from the Sahara dust that drifts across the Atlantic, some days are rain, hard bullet-like tropical rain...

Covered in vines

There are little wooden houses on the island of Nevis and many are covered in vines. They were built 100 hundred years ago, in a tradition that was handed from master carpenter to apprentice, one generation to the next. Their beams are pegged together with...

The Pink House History

My mother lives in a Pink House, the house that we built for her mother, my grandmother, who we called Muzzy.

The Ocean’s View

Where the water meets the shore is the edge of the world, either in the rough collision of waves against rocks that tells the story of resistance and erosion or in the soft lapping and gentle wash that dresses the sand, with a fringe of foam like lace. The...

Leave Her As She Is

Over coffee in the mornings he spoke about it, at the bar in the evenings he promised to restore it. 

Summer days

The summer time is true to the heart of island living, with fewer tourists and expats, the buzz of visitors subsides. The days are longer and the nights are cool and refreshing. We spend more time in the evenings sitting outside, and I find myself looking...

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