One would think that an island in the Caribbean would be a soothing, soul-restoring “tropical paradise” with the only sounds the palm fronds swishing in gentle breezes, birds tweeting, the sound of the surf lapping the shore. Well, I learned long ago, while living on Bequia, to expect little of the above, and plenty of too-loud bam-bam music from dollar vans caroming around the turns of the main road below our house, several muffler-less dirt bikes being driven by yahoos from Mt. Pleasant with nothing better to do in their lives than waste gas, Cigarette boats gunning through the harbour, with absolutely no regard for speed laws, making a run for St. Vincent, people shouting and yelling for no known reason other than they like to make a lot of noise, it seems, and the overloaded ferry boats arriving on a holiday, such as today, that you can hear before seeing as they round the headland because the cargo deck is loaded to capacity with too-large speakers blaring out that same bam-bam music of the land vans, only at about 1000 times the amplification.
So, when friends say, “Lucky you, going to Bequia for 3 1/2 weeks, where you’ll have peace and quiet, and lots of time, to read and write,” I laugh. Time I have, but only because I manage to sequester myself away, in order to become reacquainted with Dennis, the cats, and our house. But peace and quiet is another thing altogether. I play my own music at higher volume than would normally be wise just to drown all the activity going on, outside of our verandah railing. It’s much, much quieter, both day and night, in my downtown apartment in Calgary – aside from the honking of over-amorous geese during the spring and the ocassional gunshot or two.
But I do have a few good places to relax and read while on Bequia, or to work on my writing, or to just lean and gaze at the view, and they’re all within easy reach of a flip of the espresso machine switch in the kitchen. Not quite as convenient as a coffee shop, since I must make my own baked goods, but fortunately I do love to bake, and can usually whip up something in short order.
Here’s the computer on the kitchen counter where I am writing to this blog right now… although I could just as easily sit out by the pool, but the glare there makes it difficult to see the screen.
And this is where I lean and gaze, and think, and figure out plots – or not…