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The Old Man

I have heard the old folks refer to the mountain as the Old Man and say that when he takes his hat off the night will be cold. When there is no clouds, and no haze, the air becomes crisp and there is a slight chill as the wind comes down from a high blue sky. In these conditions the horizon becomes very clear, like it is the edge of the world that is just within our reach. The other islands seem to come a bit closer, too, like gathering friends.

Looking to the mountain I see clearly the frayed fronds of the faraway palms and giant ferns in a jagged relief of green against the sky. The mountain seems unreal in its improbable perfection, like the backdrop of a Hollywood set. But, in just one minute, the sky changes; the mountain is lost. Clouds come lower, past palm trees, and surround the house. With this comes the smell of the earth, the smell of iron and vegetation. The horizon is gone and the rain comes loudly down.

Just as suddenly, it is over. The deafening sound of hard rain on the galvanized roof stops. Long arms of sunlight break through the clouds, the Old Man returns to stand above us. The thinning storm clouds that hid him turn to dragon shaped wisps. My children run to me, soaking wet but excited to have been caught in the rain. I tell them the Old Man played a trick on them, watch out when he changes his hat.

Come and join me in keeping the Old Man company.

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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