June is possibly my favourite month to be in Antigua – apart from the heat which is a bit heavy and oppressive. It’s my favourite because June means an abundance of glorious mangos – which I just can’t stop eating! – and a frenzy of wild, splashes of glorious, vivid red all over the place. The flamboyants are in bloom! And I absolutely love them.
Not only are to be found in the countryside, but in the villages, too, and even in the capital, St John’s. These extraordinarily beautiful trees adorn the gardens of many town houses, the edges of pavements in busy thoroughfares and even tower over the walls of Government House.
I first came to Antigua in July 2003 and I remember the drive from VC Bird Airport to the Jolly Beach Resort so clearly because the sheer magnificence and grandeur and colour of the flamboyants gave a wonderful first impression of the island. And this stayed with me so much so that I planted a tiny flamboyant in the northwestern corner of the garden a couple of years ago. It’s now about eight ft tall and hopefully will be in full bloom within the next week or so.
Now, whisper it; the internet has been connected for the last 48-hours without interruption. Could it finally be fixed? I was getting uptight on Sunday as I was trying to watch the Final of the Aegon Championship from Queens Club. It’s one of my favourite tournaments and I have some great memories of being there with the Daughter. During the first two sets the connection kept slipping, usually for the final points of a game! But then lo and behold! For the third, very exciting set it righted itself and has behaved since then. This meant I could also see Barry Gibb at Glastonbury, which was beyond brilliant, and then, after a dip in the pool and dinner……(drumroll)……Poldark! Oooh! I AM enjoying that! Except Geoffrey Charles who has aged about five years since last series and takes precocious to another level. I love Aiden Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson, of course I do. Who couldn’t? And Beatie Edney and Caroline Blakistone. And the addition of the eye candy provided by Demelza’s brothers (Tom York and Harry Richardson) is most welcome. But for me Jack Farthing as arch-baddie George Warleggan steals the show. 👏👏👏
My only complaint is that they killed off Uncle Ray played by my secret crush of many Midsomer Murders years, John Nettles. 😢
It hasn’t only been the flamboyants that have had a frenzy; l’ve had a bit of a writing one. One very exciting project I can’t tell you about yet; two manuscripts to a publisher (although trying to get them to acknowledge receipt has been an exercise in the futile) and great leaps and bounds with my cosy mystery. It’s served to take my mind off the sale of Avocado Cottage falling through. I have great faith, though, that a sale is imminent. I keep visualising handing over the keys to someone who in return gives me a big, fat cheque.