Thursday, 5 July 2012

A taste of the country

We don't celebrate July 4th US Independence here on the island, but some do.  I understand that US citizens stationed here feel duty-bound to celebrate. I have no problem with this.  However what I do have a problem with is the extremely LOUD fireworks display on the beach last night.
Had no prior knowledge of the celebrations, so therefore scared the bejingles out of Brownie and I who had both turned in for the night and sleeping soundly. Scared awake so violently, my poor boy jumped up and knocked the glass top patio table right over. Needless to say all the pottery items adorning the table are now no more, broken to smithereens.
I myself literally fell off the couch where I had dozed off. Muttering loudly I made sure Brownie was okay, although he was trembling like a leaf. Took a while to calm him down again.
After that I found it hard to fall asleep again, even after migrating to my bed, and when I did, it was not a deep peaceful sleep.
Awoke this morning and decided a nice drive into the country was in order. I remembered that there was an auction sale at a plantation house in the country, and that was where I headed.

Cart road through the fields
Lovely scenic country roads with the smell of fresh manure made me feel light headed.  Many plantations with neatly furrowed land, and crops ready to be harvested.  The air decidedly cooler as I crossed the boundary of one parish into the other. OOH then the best thing happened...on the radio one of my favourite Earth Wind & Fire tunes.  Singing at the top of my voice, I rounded a corner and saw this....

Old Bulkeley Sugar Factory 
On an island whose main crop was sugar cane, there is only one sole operating sugar cane factory. Most plantations like Bulkeley have been divided up and sold as housing plots.
What a darn shame.  Sugar was exported along with sea island cotton, and now we import sugar from a nearby territory. What sugar is produced on the island is sold mostly to the overseas market.

Sitting all forlorn and empty

The equipment shed

I am saddened to see the deterioration of the factory buildings. In its heyday, this was "the" factory.

Driving onward, I passed several more plantations and then I came across this....
Old time road marker

Next I passed Kendal Plantation with some very solemn faced workers weeding the outer boundaries. No whistling while you work here.
Kendal has a lovely duck pond, with several ducks swimming around and relaxing on the banks.

Kendal Plantation

Driving onward, I finally arrived at my destination.....Cliff Plantation where the auction sale was being held. I spent  a nice morning meeting up with some of my regular auction buddies, and eating some local Bajan dishes provided by a great cook who shows up at every auction sale with her great tasting fare. The auctioneer is one of my favourites...he is an animated  character, and can make the guards at Buckingham Palace laugh I am sure. I did not buy anything if that is what you are wondering. The bidding wars were in high gear when I left.
There was a large white van blocking me, so I asked the assisant to announce to the driver that he was blocking me from leaving. The auctioneer's assistant "Bad Boy" who is a character in his own right announced "that the driver with the big white van should go to his vehicle immediately since it had just been hit by another driver."  The driver ran out of the auction quickly and started to inspect his vehicle, I sweetly told him, "I am ready to leave, can you please move your vehicle?" He was not very enthused at the ploy used, but it worked...if not he would have dilly dallied for a while longer before coming to move his van.
On my way home, headed back to the city suburbs, I passed a wayside rum shop with this outside.....

The bike in a bubble

This was a pleasant surprise, since I would have expected to see this in the city, but here it was parked very neatly alongside the old bicycle way out in the country. Do you think they were talking to each other?
The owner came out to greet me when he saw me taking the photo of his "ride."
Love the's always so nice to get away every so often.


  1. Fascinating. I had no idea that the sugar industry had declined like that in Barbados. The rum shop looks a bit, well, er rum. Oh and shame about the breakages. I hope they weren't too sentimentally important.

  2. Rum shops can be found all over the island. Locals (especially men) hang out here on a regular basis playing dominoes or just shooting the breeze. Politics and cricket being the main conversations.
    The pottery ornaments were not of a sentimental value, so no love lost there.


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