January 10, 2015
Happy 95th, Mom! I hope the heavenly hosts are treating you well!
We have the great pleasure of having Nana with us. Nana is Susan’s mother, the original owner of the Taj from the seventies. Nana is one month shy of her ninety-eighth birthday and we are in awe of her. Although her hearing aid does not serve her as well as she would like, she is able to share her wit and wisdom, swims back and forth across the pool and is enjoying reading The Rosie Project, almost ready for its sequel. I have always said I would like to live long, as long as I live well. Nana is a fabulous inspiration.
I think perhaps being young and carefree is not as good as being old and carefree. The former do not realize their good fortune while those of us who are older recognize how very lucky we are! Of course we are only as old as we think we are, as Mom was fond of saying, and as long as I don’t look in the mirror, I continue to believe I am a few decades younger than I really am.
Another ‘momism’ was that we should always cover ourselves when we lay down, for fear of taking a chill, regardless of the season. Here in Montserrat, there really is no need. Our skin suffices as a covering. Much as I enjoy our changing Canadian seasons, it is pure bliss when the only clothing decisions I have to make are which bathing suit to wear. That decision is really quite simple: I don the dry one. No need for layers of clothing, woolen socks and boots.
The Taj is fully open on the ocean side with no windows, doors nor screens. The sea breeze makes music with the palms and flows in and out of the arches cooling us as we relax in the shade watching the multi blue layers of the sea and the drifting clouds. Last night we stretched out in corpse pose on the deck, not noticing the hardness of the glazed clay tiles as we spotted constellations and planets.
We were contentedly full from our Isles Burger and fries from the Yacht Club beach bar, a twenty minute walk away. This bar is a new addition on the beach at the entrance to the Belham Valley where once there was a golf club. The golf course is well buried under volcanic mud and now quickly growing up in sprawling greenery. The bar is run by a couple of Aussies who came to Montserrat fairly recently and were so charmed that they stayed. Located as it is at the mouth of the valley in the runway from the volcano, it could be a risky business, but it is a sign that someone thinks life is moving forward.
The hamburger buns were freshly made in the bar’s bread oven. The fries were handcut and the servings very generous. It is a good thing we walked back from the bar to begin the digestive process. The return walk, aided by flashlights, was slow as we had to keep stopping for the cars headed for the bar to pass. In spite of no sign to point the way, many customers find their way to the Yacht Club bar.
This morning we drove to the Hilltop Restaurant inland above St Peter’s. As well as a museum to display photos about Montserrat and Sir George Martin’s Air Studio, it is an art gallery for local artists. We had waffles with bowls of fruit toppings from which to choose as well as maple and chocolate syrups, nuts and whipped cream. The cappuccinos came with the delicious waffles. Life is good!