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- East Coast Today.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 21:24:12 -0400
Good evening everyone,
           Unable to tell you what the weather was like here on the west coast today.
We have spent the day helping friends clear their plot over on the east coast.
Before they picked us up to go over to Rosalie it was a nice morning. Sun shining ,
slight breeze, sea looked fairly calm and blue.  Our friends collected us at 7. 30 am,
and off we all went. The sun shone all the way across the island.
           It was a pretty good day over at Rosalie. A good deal cooler over on that side
of the island, but the sun stayed with us . Which was good , because we managed to
get through quite a bit of work. Our friends are clearing 2. 94 acres and its tough
going for a couple old fogies, who are only used to sitting around and just plodding
along at our own pace. Think we managed to keep up, unfortunately my back started
to give me some jip in the afternoon. The hot pools may have a customer.
         Finally stated to rain just has we were leaving, which must have been about
5. /  5.30pm.  not to sure of the time, ( never wear a watch ) it seems to get darker
quicker over there. By the time we reached the middle of the island at Pond Casse,
it was lashing down. It stayed with us all the way back.
         Now we are sitting on the front balcony having a well earned Kubili ( we think we
earned it anyway ) the rain has stopped and the sky is a little cloudy, but can see a few
stars. The breeze is warm. A good sign ? The ground here is at saturation point.  All the
plants, trees etc are back to green. The grass is growing at an alarming rate again.
           Well I'm off for a refill.  You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Mothers Day
  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 09:03:04 -0500
We had the most wonderful day yesterday weather wise, the sun shone, we got the lawn cut with our overhauled lawn mower.  We had guests and enjoyed a lovely tea party in our garden.  We got all the deck chairs out and placed them under the shade of our tree, we then made up the table on the lawn, it was just so lovely.  We all had to go swim in the river before we had tea.  The river was gorgeous, the water was warm and the river running deep so everyone was diving and jumping off the big rock into the cool water.  We also played water football which was a laugh.

Today I woke up real early and so with Jaco Ladd got my running shoes on, took the puppy on the lead and headed out for a good strong walk.  What an interesting trek; I had four different young men in their vehicles stop and wish me a very, very happy Mothers Day, having really lovely conversations with everyone.  I felt so happy, the fact that I have never had any children so have not been a Mother did not matter.  The Dominicans are friendly and very respectful; it made me feel very much at home.  All we can say is thank you for making us so welcome in this wonderous land.

It is a showery day so far but I think we could maybe go to the beach later for a bit of a lime and a dive or two.

- Apologises.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 13:50:00 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
          My deepest and sincere apologises for the confusion this morning over
Guadeloupe and Martinique.  I can only blame it on the unearthly hour that I was
up, but still had my eyes shut.
         My sympathies do go to the people of Martinique, and my apologies to the
people of Guadeloupe for any upset I may have inadvertently caused.

- Clarification-4 dead as floods and landslides hit Martinique
  • From: Conan Shillingford <nichs at hotmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 14:55:05 +0000
Greetings to All!
                      Its been a while since I've posted, but I needed to add this clarification to Tommiegirl's post. Jean Claude's report from Guadeloupe was concerning the island of Martinique and not Guadeloupe. Jean Claude probably attempted to use his best English by writing -Martinica (Martinique). Also, I do hope that everyone is coping with these periods of rain deluge as best as they can. Indeed, a lot of the islands have been experiencing very inclement weather. Let's hope this is not a worrisome omen for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, May the Good Lord be Merciful to us all!
*Below follows a news report (10 hours ago) concerning the flooding disaster in Martinique from Monday evening:
4 dead as floods and landslides hit Martinique
Associated Press
2009-05-06 10:06 AM
Torrential rains on the Caribbean island of Martinique have flooded towns and touched off landslides. Four people are reported dead.

An estimated 300 millimeters (12 inches) of rain fell in some areas in just a few hours beginning Monday night. About 80 percent of the island's schools were closed. Some 20,000 households lost power, but only about 2,000 clients remain without lights.

Martinique's appointed leader, Ange Mancini, says emergency crews are helping people affected and the situation is slowly improving.

The island is still recovering from a month-long strike that paralyzed the economy earlier this year.

 Site: http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=940577&lang=eng_news

My prayers extend to all the families in Martinique who have lost loved ones and for all the lives that have been lost that they may all inherit a final place of refreshment,
Blessings to all!

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- Turn Off the Taps.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 07:46:59 -0400
Good morning everyone,
           Hey, someones forgot to turn the taps off upstairs. Would the last
person to use them go turn them off. 
           The rain beating down on the roof again woke me bright and early.
Water is gushing down the gully like a river. I did clean them out yesterday,
so it is running away a good deal faster this morning. Hardly any breeze.
Sea is dark grey again.
            Checked the local meteorological site, no severe weather warnings.
Maybe I'm wrong but it seems pretty severe out there to me. A couple of local
villages in the south of the island, have had flooded roads and gully's that
are unable to cope. Now have to be on the alert for landslides. With this amount
of rain we are bound to get them. Some of our roads run right along side some
pretty sheer cliff faces. Danger being falling rocks and boulders. Even when it's
dry, they are a bit nerve wracking to drive past. 
             So sorry to read of the deaths and problems Guadeloupe has already
suffered due to the rain.  I always feel so sorry for the people who work hard
and save all the year to have their 2 weeks in the Caribbean and end up getting this.
Problem with this particular island is there is not much to do inside. We are an
island for hikers, snorkeling, etc. In this kind of weather, the natural beauty of this
island cannot really be seen.  Like my neighbour said to me yesterday,
  The weather is sure vexed with the Caribbean.   Lets hope it will pass quickly
for all you guys waiting to get to the beaches.
          I'm off for my other coffee, watch the rain.  You all stay safe.
 Anything happens will let you know.

- Water.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 09:02:31 -0400
Good morning everyone,
           I was exhausted when I went to bed last night and thought that nothing
would wake me. Not even one of our volcanoes going bang, I was that tired.
How wrong I could be.  At some point in the early hours, the rain came with
a vengeance.  The noise on the roof, which is galvanize, sounded like we had
Irish clog dancer's up there. It really hammered down. Then I could hear this
strange rushing type of noise. There was so much water it was rushing down 
the gully at the side of the house like a river. A job to be done today is clear the
gully. The rain barrel is once again now full.
          This morning is grey, very overcast, No glimmer of blue.  More rain on
it's way.  Windy, I can see the coconut palms swaying around.  Sea, is dark
grey and looks a bit angry. There is a light brown patch, which usually means
heavy run off from the rivers.  Well at least I can see it this morning, I couldn't
yesterday with the rain.  Yesterday turned into a reasonable day, so perhaps
today will improve.
           We now have only enough bananas left to last us through the week.
Still got to find a use for the grapefruits. Guess it's grapefruit jam / jellie, and
         Ahhh well I'm gonna go get another coffee, look at that grey view.
            You all take care.   Anything happens will let you know.

  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 06:19:06 -0500
The weekend overall was not that wonderful, we had a great deal of showers with not many sunny patches.  The river this morning is the highest we have seen it for a long time which means the rain has been heavy all over the island.

We get rain every day in some part of the island because of the tall mountains but it is pretty unusual to for the whole island to be totally covered in cloud.  Looking at the weather pattern out there it looks like rain is spread around the Caribbean and they are having very bad weather in Puerto Rico with warnings of flash floods.

May is upon us. Soon we will be in the hurricane season and we'll be looking out for each other.  Yesterday the weather was really heavy and humid. Jaco Ladd looked out and said we should be watchful of thunder and lightning. These two forces of Nature play havoc with communications and fry the modems and routers, even the computers if not disconnected - we lost 3 wireless modems to lightning last season; this becomes very expensive!

It is a day for me to go to town; even though it will be a crazy place today after the holiday, at least it won't be too hot!

- Banana's
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 4 May 2009 09:02:22 -0400
Good morning everyone,
          Typical  English bank holiday weather here today, wet & windy.
Shame really, because there are several events going on around the
island to celebrate may day. 
          Where we are situated, the sky is thick with dull, heavy looking
grey cloud. Not a speck of blue to be seen anywhere.  It is raining
heavily, and the breeze is picking up. Keep hearing the haunted house
sound.  The sea is grey, and is disappearing into the rain. From the
back balcony, the view is just one large grey blob.  O well it could all be
different later.  
       I was given a whole stalk of bananas, the only problem with that is
they all want to turn ripe at the same time. How fast can we eat. I was also
given about 15 lovely pink grapefruits. So yesterday I set about tackling
the problem. Banana cake, Banana bread, Banana chutney, Banana &
grapefruit jellie, and the list goes on.  Bit worried that we may end up
being a little slim  ( which we could both do with ) slightly bent, with a
bright yellow skin.  I have managed to whittle them down to one hand .
today it will be Banana sandwiches and Banana daiquiri's ( the last one
sounds good ).  Yep, I do cook with them when they are green, but there
was just so many of them, I lost the battle.  Couldn't even give them away,
everybody's got banana's and they keep trying to give us more.
            Sun has just made it's first attempt to beat back the cloud. Time
for another coffee,go see if my view is back.
       You all have good day.  Stay safe.  Anything happens will let you know.

  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 1 May 2009 06:15:09 -0500
It has been consistently raining most of the week.  The temperature in the valley is chilly, misty and damp, oh for the sunshine.  Jaco Ladd and I feel that our vegetables and flowers have had enough of a soaking the water tank is full and overflowing we now need the sun.  Looking out on the morning so far it does not look like we will get much let up today, the cloud is hanging low over the river.

Up to now our garden has produced over a hundred pounds of hot peppers and made us some money in return, the bushes are still delivering more peppers oh for those who love their hot sauce!  One of the reasons we grow hot peppers is to prevent the slugs eating our vegetables, slugs do not like hot peppers at all and tend to stay away, this is a good organic way of keeping the balance in the garden.

Our birds are having a wonderful time at the moment with their babies, we are watching in awe as they are encouriging the fledglings into the sky to fly.  Preening them chatting away all the while it is very charming to observe and be a part of.

Today we are going to go to Dominica Health and Wellness Symposym that is being held from, 12 - 6 pm; the entry is free of charge, it is going to be very interesting, with many demonstrations, talks and entertaining presentations. This is being held at the PSU building in Valley Road, Nr Roseau for anyone who wants to heighten their awareness of what the good life is all about. .

- Wet Today.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 19:58:21 -0400
Good evening everyone,
           We have had a very grey, extremely wet, cool day here on the
west coast today.  A tiny glimmer of sun thank goodness, just enough
to warm our water for showers this evening.  Sea looked dark and
rough. Not at all inviting.  Not much breeze. 
            The mozzies are out in full force.  Found one little blighter
hiding in the bedroom.  Thought  I would miss him if he hid on the
back of a dark brown door. Did I have news for him.
          Still no sign of the black pepper pot. Think that may have gone
on a permanent walk about.  Shopping tomorrow for a new one.
         Had a great girlie day in town with my friend.  Just wandering
and browsing. Taking our time, no rush. Spending money, which is my
favourite hobby. Well that's when we have got it.  My friends children
are visiting the island over the next 2 weeks, so I know she is gonna
be real busy. Hope they have a real good time like our daughter and
family did. 
         My neighbour has now gone back to Canada. My garden has
doubled it's size again overnight.  Really must deal with it as soon as
the rain stops.
        This evening is cool,  fairly clear, calm, no breeze still. The rain's
stopped for awhile. No doubt there will be some more during the night.
         I'm off to check the ice. Watch a film. Enjoy the evening.
           You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.
   P. S.   
             Lot's of Very Best Wishes Mr C.   Shame we could not be with
you for such a momentous occasion.  Geee,    HMMM   OO6 yrs old.   LOVE YA.  X.

- Wet, Sunny, and Borrowers.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 26 Apr 2009 19:37:13 -0400
Good evening everyone,
          The day started out very wet. Lots of rain, which the plants of all
descriptions are extremely grateful for. You could almost hear them sighing
with relief.  Then lo and behold the sun came out. I was working in the
garden, and it became so hot it was burning my feet. Had to give up and
retreat inside the house. Not much of a breeze. An occasional gust of wind.
Due to the heavy rainfall, we watched the sea change colour. It becomes quite
fascinating to watch it go from that sparkly blue to muddy old brown from the
run off from the rivers.
         O. K.  so I have to finally admit the borrowers have moved into the house.
I don't mind them in the least, but they take so long in returning things to me.
I have been waiting patiently for at least a week now for the return of my pot of
black pepper.  I have checked every cupboard, drawer etc. No sign of it.
Cannot think for the life of me what they would be doing with a whole pot of
black pepper. I'm sure they will return it eventually. In the meantime I will have
to go buy some more. It's something I must have in the kitchen.
         The new rose opened fully this morning.  Totally gorgeous.  Knew it was
a good buy.
         This evening is warm and clear.  All is good.
   I'm off to top up with some ice, relax enjoy the evening. Watch a film.
      You all take care. Anything happens out there will let you know.

- Rain and Roses.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2009 17:17:04 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
           Well we have some really good heavy downpours of rain.
Starting last night and through today on and off.  Sky is grey, not
a patch of blue to be seen. Sea reflecting the sky, but it looks
flat and calm.  Humidity feels high. That's sure to bring out the
vampire's.  Not much in the way of breeze. I'm looking at my
neighbours coconut trees while writing and they are perfectly still.
Just had another shower of rain. The plants are loving it, so am I,
no hosepipe out tonight.
           Market day today. We have a guy in the market who sells
plants. Hubby always groans, and the guy always smiles, when he
sees me heading for him. I'm about to spend the weekly shopping
money on more plants. Today I bought a beautiful rose bush. Deep
red, with the most delicious smell.  Reminded me of the ones I had
In the garden back in England. Just had to have it. Carrying it back
to the car, people were stopping me to admire it. Always feel it was
worth every cent when complete strangers do that.
           More heavy rain, and the sky is becoming very dark. Can see
more rain heading for us, it can be seen clearly coming down from
the mountain. O well I did ask for some more.
           I'm off for a coffee, and watch the rain give the plants fresh life.
            You all take care.  Anything happens will let you know.

- Hot, Windy and Quiet.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 14:47:23 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
           86f in the shade. Warming up a bit more everyday.  Have
some really ominous looking clouds drifting across the ridge on
the east side.  Rain is needed desperately. The trees, plants etc
all wilting and turning brown. We also have had a few bush fires
around the island. West coast gets quite a few of them.  A good
strong, gusty wind today.  Sea looks a little choppy, white caps
amongst the zillion diamonds out there.
          Two new kids on the block. Very young female finches vying
for the territory that has been vacated.
          Hung out some washing and by the time I got to the end of
the line, I had to go back to the beginning. All dry. That's a plus
for living in the Carib. No tumble dryer.
          Well I'm off to hang the next load out.  Then time for a nice
cold drink and enjoy the rest of the day. It is so quiet, not even the
dog who barks 24/7 is out today.
               You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Warming up Nicely.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 16:05:50 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
          Wow the last two days have been so hot.  Today the temperature on the
back balcony is reading 83f and that is in the shade.  Sky that fantastic shade
of baby blue. Sea looks just so lovely. Pale blue, with a zillion diamonds
sparkling in the sun.  Very breezy, with some good strong gusts.  Not a rain
cloud to be seen. Looks like its the hosepipe for the garden later.
          Yesterday was just has good. Group of us went to Mero beach for a
barbie.  There we all were, dragging food , drink boxes, barbie, chairs, everything
except the kitchen sink across burning hot sand. Although we all had flip flops
and sandals on,a few of us were hopping around a bit. Hot sand going in between
the toes is a little uncomfortable to say the least.  Still another good day had by all,
and when we took the time to look round, from the food and drink, we all knew why
we are here. Gorgeous.
        I'm not one for going in the sea much, but even I took a dip yesterday. The
water looked just so inviting, and I also needed to cool down a bit. On the way home
we were lucky enough to spot a couple of flying fish, and a Osprey come up out of
the Layou river with his catch. Yep definitely a good day.
       Lazy day today, to hot for the garden. Staying in the shade today.
            I'm off to find a nice cold Kubili and enjoy the rest of the day.
            You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Hot Day.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 19:43:26 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                     Jeez it's been hot today. Still up in the 80s f  here on the west
coast. Not complaining, but the earth sure could do with a drink again. Lot's
of shades of browns instead of greens.
                      Humidity feels high, but that may be because of closing the
door, trying to drown out the dog that's been barking for 24/7 for the last 3 days.
Not that it's been left to fend for it's self for the last 3 days. The owners are there,
they just ignore it's constant barking. Doesn't seem to bother them that their dog
is an annoyance to their neighbours.
              The day has been stunning. Cool breezes, blue skies, sea calm and
a stunning turquoise colour sparkling in the sun. Makes you glad your alive to see it.
               Been looking at some of the paintings that have been put on. Wish I
had that talent. Some of them are just so good. My talent lies in making cushion
covers and scrunchies for my hair, that's about it. Still my friends appreciate their
covers, and I have a good selection of scrunchies made from the scraps.
                This evening is warm, calm, clear and noisy. Ah well, thats the price.
                 I'm off to top up on ice. Watch a movie and enjoy the evening.
                   You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- No Finch
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 09:21:01 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Nothing much to say about yesterday, except it was
another gorgeous day. 
        This morning here on the west coast is humid, dull,
and grey. Not much breeze, making it feel hot and sticky.
Even at 9am. Had a couple of brief showers of rain during
the night and early this morning. Not enough to get rid of
the humidity though. Sky is dull and covered in thick cloud.
Sea is calm, but is that battleship grey colour. Still, the rest
of the day could be beautiful. That's all part of the fun.
        On a sad note, we have finally had to concede to our
resident finch having gone. It's been almost a week now with
no sign of him. He would normally be sitting outside waiting
for the door to open, screeching that we are late opening up.
Or no crumbs left on the floor for him. Dodging him has he
flies in and out of the house all day. Being very territorial we
have to assume he has gone to that big birds nest. He had been
with us for 4 years, and was quite tame for a wild bird. He is and
will be missed.
         Sun is making it's first attempt of the morning.
I'm off for another coffee. Check out the view. You all take care.
Anything happens will let you know.

- Easter
  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 06:58:17 -0500
The weather is definitely showery with some sunshine!

Yesterday we had a fun time as we had a young man come to the garden
with a bag full of some sort of snail and river crabs to sell!  I am a
bit squeamish and don't fancy boiling live crabs; I know lots of
people who would have snapped them up.  I think I will have to
overcome my squeamishness and try to do this in future as we are very
partial to crab meat.  Jaco Ladd was a little put out that I had
turned such sweet meat down!!

We took off to Mero beach yesterday afternoon to see some folks.  It
is so funny because on the way to the beach we pass a very, very,
large idle digger that has been made another use of - it's now a
washing line!  It's hilarious; we have been watching this for the last
few weeks - this very expensive piece of equipment being utilized
purely to dry washing on.  I shall take my camera next time to let
everyone see this rustic phenomenon!

Here is one of my latest portraits. It's a lovely lady from the Carib
territory, someone with a penchant for local art bought this painting
from me recently  which is great!

It has the makings of a fine day today, fingers crossed.

Attachment: P1040592.JPG
Description: JPEG image

- Happy, Smiley Day.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Apr 2009 22:32:29 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         A beautiful day here on the west coast. Brilliant sunshine. Had only one
light downpour of rain at about  2.30pm. Enough to give the plants a quick drink.
Sea calm, lovely shade of blue, sparkling in the sun. Light breeze. Another
beautiful day.
     This evening is a bit humid and the mozzie's are out. Breeze has died right
down.  Sky clear.  Can see a million stars up there tonight.  Another beautiful
evening. Apart from the mozzie's, which are driving me crazy while I'm trying
to write this.
     Roseau market was in full swing today. Abundance of food. 99/per cent
fresh and straight from the farmer.  Lots of smiley faces, think that might have
something to do with it being a holiday weekend. Everyone seemed so happy
today. It was a pleasure to go shopping today. Hubby doesn't think so, says
he feels like a pack mule. He ends up carrying all the groceries, and the food
is so good, I just can't resist buying loads. He doesn't mind eating it though.
    O well, I'm off. Just heard the tinkle of fresh ice going into the glass.
          You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- 2 Great Presents.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 18:11:01 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
                        well not such a nice afternoon, in fact not such
a nice day. A lot of rain has fallen over the last 24 hrs.  O well
I did ask for a bit more water, but not this much. The sky is a dull
grey. The sea looks dark and a bit on the rough side. Not much
of a breeze, making it feel very humid. The sky is getting darker
has I write.Looks like some pretty heavy rain coming soon.
         One of my neighbours has some lovely big tortoise's in her
garden. Which I have always admired. Yesterday she sent round
to me 2 eggs, which I guess she means for me to hatch and not fry.
Apparently the eggs were laid this week. I have followed all the
instructions and have now got to have patience. I have never tried
this before, should be an interesting experiment. So if anyone out
there has hatched tortoises from eggs and can give me any useful
info I would be extremely grateful. Especially on feeding hatchlings.
       Today we finally collected a parcel sent by the daughter. The
daughter, had a calender made for us. Photo's of her and the boys,
that were taken while they were on holiday here last year. It bought
back some really good memories and laughter. Just such a fantastic
idea. Love it.   So I have had two very unusual presents.              
       Well it's almost Kubili time, so I'm off to have a nice cold beer.
           You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Talking Day.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2009 22:18:12 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         What a totally stunning beautiful day we have had.
Sun shone all day, with hardly a cloud in sight. Sky that
gorgeous blue. Sea calm and sparkly.  Light breeze, just
enough to make the palm leaves rustle. 
       This evening, is one of those beautiful Caribbean evenings.
Clear sky, stars twinkling brightly. Moon large and bright,
giving the palms a dusting of what looks like frost on their
leaves. Sea looks calm and has a silvery shine. It's days
and nights like this I know why we are here.
        We have had good company with us all day. Hubby
and friend unfortunately were working. Friend and I just lazed
around and talked, and talked, and talked.  Wonder that I have
any voice left, still the ice is helping.  A good day.
         I'm off to enjoy the rest of the evening and the ice that has
just been topped up.  You all take care. Anything happens will
let you know.

- It's Rained.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2009 09:14:36 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         and it is a beautiful morning.  Sky is that delightful powder blue with
little white fluffy clouds, floating around up there. A nice breeze. The sea
is just a little darker than I normally like it. But hey who's complaining.
Mind you, it was like this yesterday morning, then down came the rain.
        It's rained on and off now for the last two days, and it was badly
needed.  The garden barrel is full to brimming.  Even with the amount
of rain we have had, below the surface of the top soil the earth is still
rock hard.  So a little more water wouldn't go amiss.
       Think I will get out in the garden for awhile today. I'm digging holes
again.  Taking up the north side of the garden. I'm going to try my
veggie patch there. It's cooler and wetter. If my veggies don't grow there
it's back to the market. 
      I'm off to get my next coffee, look at the view for awhile. Enjoy the day.
               You all take care.  Anything happens will let you know.

- Horse Riding in Dominica
  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 07:46:37 -0500
The weather here is dry and beautiful, we get the occasional rain over
night and perfect bright days.  The garden is loving the weather and
our flowers are so pretty; the jasmine smells delicious at night
especially.  The birds are extra busy feeding their babies, everything
is flourishing, so it is great to watch all of this going on whilst
feeling like a minute part of nature.

Yesterday I had a wonderful time.  I went riding with Jasmine and her
friend Lynton who have five beautiful horses.  Jasmine lives just
outside Portsmouth on the road to Calibishie at Brandy Manor.  The
location is fantastic; she has her stables and home right by the

We went for a two hour hack along the old sugar railway line following
and crossing the river.  We only crossed the main road once, otherwise
were riding in the beautifull countryside of Dominica.  I highly
recommend anyone who visits or lives in Dominica, that enjoys riding,
to go to Jasmine for their equestrian adventures.  Jasmine is a highly
qualified riding instructor having competed and ridden sucessfully all
over England.  Jasmine wants particularly to teach children and adults
to ride.  The horses are beautifully behaved, quiet in every way and
very well looked after.

Jasmines telephone number is 1 767 235 4871

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- Water at Last.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 08:43:42 -0400
Good morning everyone,
                    RAIN AT LAST.   It's been raining on and off most of the night,
and it is still raining. It looks pretty grey and grim out there, but I don't care.
Just so pleased to have this drop of rain. The garden water barrel is now full
again.  Not much in the way of breeze, and it is fairly humid. Which will bring
out the vampires in droves. Sea looks calm and blue though, despite the grey
sky.  Still it could all be different later today.  Had a quick peek at the sat pic's
and more sunshine looks like it is heading our way. Nothing guaranteed though.
           One of our local farmers has bought his bull back to chomp down the
grass on the empty plot behind us. That's a plus, it opens up the view downstairs.
A lovely little cat has put in an appearance on the empty plot. That will help keep
the mice and rats at bay.  The cat is very shy though.  Watches me with great
care, get to close, and it's gone.
          Yep, sun's just made its first attempt of the morning.
Well I'm off to have my other coffee, look at the view, even if it is grey. Listen to
the bull chomping at the grass.  All is peaceful in my little piece of paradise.
          You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Lack of Water.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 19:40:21 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                              we sure could do with a little drop of rain here on the west coast.
Had to water the garden again. Must be over a month now that we have had no significant
rain. Ground is like concrete. Problem is that our local water company keep turning our
water off over the weekends. Now having to rely on the water barrel, which I think is now
3/4 empty.  No showers tonight.  Good job we are going over to our friends place at
Rosalie tomorrow. River bath will be in order.
            The day has been extremely hot again.  A nice breeze kicked in for awhile.
Seems to have died down for this evening though.  The little vampires are gonna be out
in force.   Well that's the price we pay.
            Market day today,  tons and tons of some of the best fruit and veggies you could
ever wish to see.   All at very good prices.   Healthy eating is not an option here.  Almost
everything is organically grown.  I do try to buy locally grown produce whenever possible.
Prefer If I can to buy from the local farmers, they work so hard to produce the food, and
it's so tasty. Taste like it did when I was a child. Gee that's a long time ago.
                       Well I'm off to make some sandwiches, no water for cooking tonight.
   You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Pond Casse & Giraudel.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2009 11:16:15 -0400
Good morning everyone,
       What a change in the weather overnight. This morning is dull
and a thick grey cloud is hanging over us. Have had a couple of
very light showers, but not enough to give the plants a drink. It does
look like more rain is on the way though. A nice light breeze, keeping
the humidity down making it nice and comfortable. The sea looks a bit
rough and is that delightful shade of battleship grey. This would be a
good day to work in the garden, but once again we have to go into town.
Still on days like this it's much more pleasant.
       Yesterday we spent the day with friends up at Pond Casse. It's
rain forest area. Cool and fresh, and yes it rained while we were there.
Quite heavy at times. Made a nice change from being baked. We then
went to Giraudel. I like this area. Not quite so far inland, but again cool
and fresh. it seems that whatever is planted just grows. It really is the
garden of Dominica. The flowers growing wild along the hedges are
stunningly beautiful. Just masses and masses of them.
       O well I'm off to get ready for town. Sun just made a feeble attempt.
            You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Mistake.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 23:18:34 -0400
Yep, spotted it.  Should have been COOL.  Sorryeee.

- Hot, Dry, Fun Day.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 23:14:13 -0400
Good evening everyone,
      Well we have had another beautiful day.  Brilliant sunshine and
blue, blue sky.  Calm and blue, blue sea.   Slightest of breezes. We
have had no rain worth mentioning for almost a month now.  Careme
weather my neighbour calls it.  The earth is like concrete. Bushes and 
trees turning brown, plants wilting. 
     Although it was very hot today we just had to go into town.  Glad
we did.  We just kept on meeting up with friends. So what do you do
when its hot and dry. Yep, go find a nice call shady bar with an ice
cold drink.  Normally we would be in and out of town fast, somehow
we managed to spend the whole day in town. It turned into a real
good fun day.
     Yesterday I could barely move after our trek on Sunday. Feeling
better today. ( it could have something to do with the Kubilis drunk today)
   I'm off to turn on the bedroom fan. This evening is very warm and
humid. No breeze at all now.  A nice coffee will go down well. Up early
to go visiting the same friends we have spent all day with.  What a
crazy fun life.
      You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Middleham Falls & the Intrepid Trio.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 10:07:48 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Well the sky is that lovely powder blue,  little white wispy clouds
floating around.  Very slight breeze.  Sea palest of blues, looking
flat and calm. The Royal Star clipper parked right outside the back
door. What a beautiful sight.  Temp is already up to 79f / 26c.
  Noticed it becoming just a little more humid during the nights.
Had our first mozzie trapped in the bedroom last night. Zinged my ears
all night.
     Yesterday a group of us went off to Middleham Falls. 45 min's and an
easy trek the books say. Yes it is, providing, 1) your between the ages of
8 and 20.  2)  a serious hiker.  3)  very, very fit.  4) A MOUNTAIN GOAT.
1 hour and 30 min's later, after  1) climbing half way up a mountain.
2) scrabbling over wet slippery boulders. 3) wading through streams.
4) balancing on wet, spongy logs, you reach the falls. I'm not really sure
how I managed to get roped into this, but I think it was to help the guys
get ready for the assault on Boiling Lake.  By the time we arrived at the falls
I was totally exhausted and a tad bit grumpy, which gave everyone a good
laugh. Seriously though it was fun, and the falls are very pretty. Just make
sure if your going up there to take a good supply of drink, and a some
     If anyone else suggests going on a trek, I'm staying home and doing
the garden. Heaven only knows how I'm gonna feel by tomorrow. Think
it's gonna be a trip to the hot sulphur pools, for my poor old back and legs.
     I'm off to have another coffee, relax, which I do best. Take in the view.
Try and get over the shock of  trekking.
           You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Spectacular Sunsets
  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 06:30:26 -0500
Summer is definitely coming, our sunsets are coming back, it is
magical to look out from our deck in the evenings having a sundowner
to watch the magic of colour and movement in the sky.

I had great fun on Friday taking 23lbs of hot peppers that we had
grown in the garden to town to sell.  My intention was to sell the
peppers in the market, however, I went to have my hair cut and met a
lady in the hairdressers who makes hot pepper sauce to sell.  I got my
sale straight away no bother!  It was really fun the first thing we
have grown and sold!

It is a lovely day here today and a friend of ours is leaving
Dominica; she has been here for two months, the time has literally
flown by.  I think a trip to the beach is a must.

I have a new hobby and taken up painting so thought I would let you
all have a look at my rasta friend, it's fun having a dabble, I only
painted at school.

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- Watukubuli National Trail - Debate by students
  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2009 10:02:28 -0400
For us in the lush valley of Layou, a few rainless days in a row is an anomaly and to be breezeless?- almost unheard of; but that is the position of now and the domestic water levels are dropping. Thank heavens for the pristine ravine close by, a veritable source of pure water that we pump into the various holding tanks, whilst the super pure stuff we drink comes from an underground spring that emerges through a rock fissure on our land. Self sufficent or what?.....
....but I can't cut my own hair.....
.so a trip to Salisbury every month is the norm to be crimped by the talented Presella in her cosy salon. She often has the radio on in the background and as strands of hair were ricoshetting from her scissors I heard part of a debate about the Watukubuli National Trail (WNT), conducted by various teams of young students from local schools. A pros and cons platform about the sustainable development of this project that initially was mooted in 2006.

Although one could write reams the basics are simple: The WNT is a joining up of established trails and eco tourist sites heading from north to south Dominica, approximately 115 miles in length divided into 14 or so segments that can be accessed easily from well manicured points. Along the way there will be many money making opportunities for local communities. The project is expected to be completed year end 2009.

The debate itself was conducted in rat-a-tat delivery style, with not many stumbled upon words - some may say at too high a speed - but not enough pauses to digest what the speaker had just said. A Denzil Washington film called 'The Debate' sums up exactly what I'm alluding to.

For all that, the conclusion from the Madam Moderator in the school debate wasn't the most important thing. Evidently, the project manager Mrs Yvanette Baron-George who gave an overview of the debate proceedings felt that although the selected teams had presented their points in a lucid fashion, not enough research by any of the students as to the potential of the WNT had been carried out.

There you have it.

For more on theWNT check out http://www.dominica2day.com/Community/progress-made-on-the-waitukubuli-national-trail.html and various kindred sites.

Jaco ladd out.

- Adventures of the Intrepid Trio.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 09:33:01 -0400
Good morning everyone,
          Looks to be another glorious day here on the west coast.
Sky that beautiful blue. Sea deep deep blue, and calm. Just the
slightest of breezes, enough to keep it comfortable.  All is well.
      Have had to water the garden a couple days. Earth turning
to concrete.
      The guys from the group of friends have decided to take on
Boiling Lake. O my.  My best wishes go with them. It's not an easy
climb. Somewhere around a 8 hour trek.  To get themselves ready
they are doing some easier treks and building up to it. Off they
went yesterday on a local short trek through what we affectionately
call the jungle. Hubby rang from the middle of this trek, and I could
hear lots of laughter. Apparently the more intrepid of the trio thought
he had found a banyan tree he could play Tarzan from. Unfortunately
for T it was just ordinary vine growing. He ended up crashing to the
ground, entangled in vine.  Boys will be boys. Judging by the laughter
they all enjoyed their little trek, and the beers went down well when
they arrived back. Well it's gonna be interesting to see how they all
feel today.  Even more interesting will be the gradual build up to the
      Oops some dark clouds drifting across.  I'm off for another
coffee, check out the view before I tackle the garden. Changing
some of the plants.
            You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Returning to the UK
  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 09:49:24 -0500
The weather over the last week has changed a great deal.  We feel that our dry weather has come upon us, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the garden looks beautiful.

Our friend Claire went back to Cornwall on Thursday.  Claire had a wonderful time she was a great guest, got stuck in and became one of our family.  The memories she will go home with about Dominica, is firstly she kept asking where the tourists were, every time we came around a corner or near a beach, it made us laugh because we said well you are only really aware of visitors to the island on the beaches when the cruise ships dock.  Dominica is about hiking and exploring the trails, falls, hot springs and other exciting places like Syndicate to watch parrots, not forgetting whale watching on the ocean.  So many things to do and see.  Yet, totally unspoilt.

The other thing that is really charming and very wonderful is the fact that children are children here.  The children walk to school everyday, some several miles, they are given lifts as well as there are few school buses.  A child is still a child, playing games, having fun, all dressed in their smart uniforms the girls with their ribbons and clips beautifully arranged in their hair.  Luckily these children can still play freely, there is no fear for the children from the outside world.  This is such a beautiful country long may it last, lucky this land is free unlike so many other countries in the world especially where Claire comes from the UK.  The UK is known - not surprisingly - as 'the land of though shalt not'; neverending rules, regulations and big brother watching you, very, very sad.

Claire will be returning to our bit of paradise here on Earth.

- Been on Holiday.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 08:26:45 -0400
Good morning everyone,
        A nice bright, breezy morning it is.  Sun is just making it's
way up over the ridge at the front of the house. Not a cloud to be
seen. Sky is that lovely blue.  Sea looks a dark blue. Not that
sparkly blue I like so much. It does look fairly calm out there though.
Breezy out there this morning. Have had a couple of fairly strong
gusts. Can hear it making that haunted house sound. Finally have
had to water the garden. We have had no serious rain for well
over a week now. The trees and grass on the surrounding hillsides
are now turning brown.
      We spent a couple of days at the only all inclusive hotel on the
island. Sunset Beach Hotel, at Batali Bay. The ride up showed us
the lack of serious rain water. Everything looks dry and scrubby.
The hotel, although small is very nice. Exceptionally clean. It is owned
and run by a Belgian couple. Everyone was helpful, friendly and pleasant.
The beach is one of our pebbly, stony one's. Not a lot of sand. The sand
is dark. Not quite black but not that white golden colour you other islands
have. The good thing was, no one touting along the beach. Had it pretty
much to ourselves all day. Very relaxing, doing not a lot, which we are
good at. Our neighbours thought it strange that we were holidaying on
island, But it was nice to get away from the house for a bit and be pampered.
When we realized we had forgotten something, a short trip back to
collect it.
      Well I'm off for another coffee. Look at the view. Seems it may be
a nice day for some gardening. That's the only problem with going away.
The pesky weeds think they can move back in. Gardner's are not allowed
         You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2009 10:54:49 -0500
The weather in Dominica has been really quite pleasant over the last few days.  Plenty of sunshine and warm breezes just right for a visit to the beach or the river.

Jaco Ladd and I have not written for a while because we have been so busy.  I have a friend from Cornwall staying with me at the moment for two weeks.  My friend Claire has known me since I was 11 years old.................(can I remember that long ago eeek!)  We have lived in the Caribbean for 20 years and she has just made it out here.

It is great seeing the island through Claire's eyes as she just keeps saying she can't get over the beauty of the island.  The fact that it is so laid back, so green, everywhere we go and look there is something new to see.  We met the guy who regularly cycles down the valley with either a pumpkin or a bag of coconuts perched on his head.  This is really extraodinary to see, his balance is amazing.  The man is a rasta so has a hat perched on top of his locks, the locks stick out from the side of the hat giving the impression of a St. Trinians school girl.  The hat obviously gives traction to whatever he is carrying on his head.  The only problem we can see is that if he goes over a bump how does he keep his precarious load perched on his head...................only in Dominica!

We spent an afternoon in the hot pools in Wotton Waven, that is so relaxing if you are ever a bad sleeper I highly recommend a swim in the hot tubs, we slept the whole night through going to bed really early.

We are off to the beach today to get some of those lovely sunny rays.

Everything on the weather front seems good for the weekend although the ocean may be a little rough.

- Freebie.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2009 19:47:39 -0400
Good evening everyone,
      Funny old day today. Thick heavy cloud. Couple light showers.
Light breeze which made it feel a bit chilly.  Sun made a few attempts
but the cloud won the day. A good day for the garden really.
Unfortunately the house needed doing again. Spiders moving back in.
Spiders and cockroaches are a definite no no. Will tolerate most creepy
crawlies, but not those.
     Anyone coming to Dominica or thinking of doing so, pick yourself up
a free booklet on Dominica Food and Drink.  Interesting read.  This
can also be ordered on line. 
It gives a list of places to eat and drink. Plus some facts about Dominica.
Also some recipes. Quite good for a freebie.
     Well I'm off to chill the glasses. You all have a good evening. Take care.
Anything happens will let you know.

- Bout Sable Bay.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 10:35:40 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         it is a nice morning here on the west coast. Bright and clear.
Sun is out, and not to hot yet. Little light showers of rain. Sky is
that powder blue, but we do have some grey clouds coming over
the ridge from the east. Ahh well hopefully they will float on bye.
Winds died right down, not even a breeze this morning. Sea is
flat and calm, and reflecting the sky, which is making it that amazing
blue. Looks like its going to be a beautiful Caribbean day.
       We went across to the east side of island over the weekend.
A couple of our friends live on that side of the island, so we had a
BBQ on  the beach at Bout Sable bay. This is a small bay, but very
dramatic. The rolling waves of the Atlantic. Sheer cliffs dropping
straight into the sea. Stunning scenery all around. Bout Sable beach
consists of black sand. When I say black, I mean BLACK. It is really
fine sand, but the colour makes you feel like your walking on charcoal.
Has the evening crept up on us we built a campfire. This attracted other
people who had spotted the fire while driving past. The beer and the rum
flowed and a good time was had by all.
       O dear, I've been rattling on and now it's raining. Those clouds I
mentioned are now over the house. Never mind the gardens grateful.
Rain is getting heavier, and a breeze has kicked in. No wait, the sun is
back out again. Looks like it might be a more, yes it is , no its not day.
I'm off for a coffee, look at the view. So you all take care, whatever your
doing today. Anything happens will let you know.

- Beatiful Day.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 20:25:22 -0400
Good evening everyone,
       What a totally glorious day we have had today.
Bright blue sky. Sun shining. Little white puffy clouds. Sea that
beautiful sparkly blue. Slight welcoming breezes. No other word
for it except GORGEOUS.
         Just a tiny effort at some rain earlier. Bit like someone
flicking water at you. The weathers been pretty good all week.
So the garden would welcome a shower. The strong gusty winds
we were having have died down.
       Carnival went along nicely with no troubles. Shame that there
were incidents around the island to spoil it. Tuesdays parade  I
personally felt was a bit of a let down, compared to last year.
A small group of us met up, found a good viewing spot, which just
happened to be a pretty good bar, and a good time was had by all.
       This evening is clear, warm, still that nice cool breeze every
now and again, and calm. I'm off to enjoy it. The ice is melting.
You all have a great evening and take care. Anything happens will
let you know.

- Party's Started.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 09:00:03 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Yesterday the rain pretty much stayed away, one light shower
late afternoon and that was it, but it sure was windy.
          This morning is bright and clear. Sun is shining. Sky a stunning
blue already.  Sea looks a bit rough still, and is a very dark blue. Still
breezy with strong gusts every now and again. The wind was so strong
the other day, how resident finch was almost blown under the sofa. He
was on the floor looking for crumbs, when this huge gust came through
the house. We were surprised not to see claw marks in the floor, where
he attempted not to get blown away. Watched him slide right across the
room, scrabbling with his tiny feet trying to get a hold.
       The party for carnival is getting into full swing. We can hear the noise
from Roseau up at the house. The party started last night and will go through
to this evening. Tomorrow is the big parade. Which is colourful and fun.
Planning to go into town to watch the parade with a group of friends, so
hoping the weather improves.
       Just had a very light shower of rain while writing this. A couple of
dark grey clouds now drifting across. Hmmm.
         Well you all take care. I'm off for another coffee,look at the view
and listen to the music coming from town. Anything happens will let
you know.

- Wet & Wild.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 08:08:09 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         What a change in the weather overnight.
We have had some really stunningly beautiful days here on the west coast.
Then we got up to a cool, wet, windy day yesterday. It appears to be very
much the same today.  Raining quite hard and heavy. Sky, overcast and
grey. A warnings been put out by the local met office of dangerous seas.
So you guys out there fishing, go with care. Expected swells along the
North, East and West coast of 4 / 5 mts . Anyone thinking of going for a
sea bath or swimming also take care. Met office advising of strong
       Went along to the Sea Lounge last night. It is a small French run
bar and restaurant. Just before the village of Loubiere on the west coast rd.
Vincent the chef, can do remarkable things with food. Gill runs the bar, and
makes sure you have a nice relaxed, pleasant evening. Musics good too.
Nothing to loud, so that you have to end up shouting to be heard. All very
easy and relaxed. Just the way we like it. Will certainly be going back.
    Was planning to go to market this morning in Roseau, but it really isn't
nice out there. Think there is enough in the cupboards to keep us going for
a couple days. If not, to bad, could do with a bit of weight loss, but going
out there really does not appeal this morning.
       Well you all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2009 12:36:58 -0500
Today is winter rain, rain, rain, chilly weather. Today is just the day for staying home and snuggling up.  Luckily, town is not on the cards today for either of us. The valley is traffic empty, so one can only surmise that the cruise ship clientele are frolicking on another piece of paradise.

Bread is baking in the oven, hot vegetable soup on the cooker.  A dough cake rising and pork cooking for dinner in the slow cooker.  Sometimes there is nothing better than just chilling out and being cozy, a little movie maybe? Slumdog Millionaire was something else recently and 'Changeling' in the wings later.

 Canines et.al. are intertwined on their mats enjoying the warmth from each other and wondering where that pork feast is going - well dream on!

Having said that we are hopeful the sun will shine tomorrow - of course it will - yesterday could not have been nicer, a beautiful Caribbean day!  It is February so the fair weather should soon be upon us. Carnival is in the departure lounge and there is a lot of activity simmering, something bright, entertaining, colourful and fun to look forward to.

- Grey Day
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2009 09:51:47 -0400
Good morning everyone,
       We have had another couple of really glorious days,
but we are now back to the rain. It started again late last
night and it is still falling. The sun is making feeble attempts
to break through the cloud. The reflection from the clouds
is making the sea look grey. Light breeze.
    Such a shame, our friends parents arrived yesterday,
and their first day in the Caribbean is very wet. Still a lot
better than what they have left behind in England. Snow,
snow and more snow. Total chaos over there, roads,
schools, offices etc closed. people trapped in their cars
overnight. Not fun.
     Aaahhh well, I'm off for my coffee which hubby's kindly
made for me, look at the grey view, and hope the sun
gets  through at sometime today.
            You all take care.  Anything happens will let you know.

- Windyyyy
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2009 10:33:27 -0400
Good morning everyone,
      We have had a couple of real nice Caribbean days here on the west
coast.  Sun shining, blue sky, calm, blue sea.  Nice light breezes thrown
in for good measure. Few sprinkles of rain in the night, enough to keep
things growing and looking green.
      Last night the wind picked up speed, with some fairly strong gusts
through the night. This morning feels a lot cooler. Wind still gusting strongly.
There are a couple of very nice yachts anchored and they are swinging
around all over the place. Glad I'm not on em. I like my feet on terr'afir'ma
thank you.  Sky, not so blue, some big dark grey clouds up there. Sun is
doing it,s best to get out from behind them, not being very successful
though. Sea, looks dark and rough.  Expect we will have some more rain
before the morning is over. Still, I'd rather the rain than what England is
getting. Snow and a lot of it. The daughter says it is freezing, but the boys
are enjoying it.  The son in Canada says they had 25cm fall in one night,
on top of what they already had. Bbrrrrrr. Another thing not for me.
   Dominica is now gearing up for carnival. Let the fun begin.
    Well I'm off to have my coffee, look at the view, enjoy the peace and
quiet while it lasts.
      You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Christmas Again.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 09:54:33 -0400
Good morning everyone,
    We had a glorious day here yesterday on the west coast.
A beautiful Caribbean day. Sun, bright blue sky, palms
swaying gently in a light breeze. 
       Also received all our Christmas cards. Thinking of putting
the dec's back up and having Christmas all over again.
      This morning is a little different. Breeze is picking up a bit.
More rain, although it is only very light showers. Sky not so
blue, plenty of cloud cover. Sea, that looks a bit grey and
     A quick peek at the sat pic's and it  doesn't look good for a
few more days yet. Still no having to water the garden for awhile.
     I'm off to have another coffee, look at the view. Then get
ready for a trip to the dentist.  AAAAArrrrrrrgggggg.
              You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Bright and Breezy.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 11:01:32 -0400
Good morning everyone,
     and a lovely bright, breezy morning it is. We have had plenty of rain over the
last few weeks.  Last night was the grandaddy of it all.  Did it rain, boy it sure did.
On and off all night long, then at about 4.30am a tremendous deluge of water
was poured onto us. The rain thundered down for a good 15 min's. Goodness
knows where the ground has put it all. Its already at saturation point.
        Well This morning is a great deal better than it has been.  Sky is that nice
baby blue, Not many clouds about.  Sea, blue and sparkly.  Nice breeze, with the
extra odd gust thrown in for good measure.
        It would be a nice day to get out of the house today, but the roads are going
to be jammed. We have 6 cruise ships in. All those sight seeing trips taking place.
Think it may be a good day to stay here, and just sit back, relax, and do a little whale
watching.  Good day to go help in the neighbours garden. So I just may go do that.
It's great retirement. Do your own thing.
      Hubby's just made me another coffee, so I'm off, take 5, enjoy the view.
              You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 07:26:57 -0500
My goodness what a great deal of rain Dominica has had for the last few weeks.  We are literally water logged; when we walk on our lawn we squelch, enough is enough!  The main thing is that it is warm and when we leave the valley it is often sunny in another part of the island so we have a reprieve from time to time.

The thing we love though is seeing all the locals picking large leaves and using them as umbrellas, they are really affective and very attractive, definitely a fashion item!

Our friend Frank visits us regularly with his amazing local golden yolked eggs, I know we have talked about them before but I can't get over their deep golden colour, when making sponge cakes or plain cakes the cakes come out a fabulous hue and taste wonderful.  At the moment I am in a baking frenzy busy making stews, soups, bread, dough, cakes and anything else that keeps us warm.  Having the oven on is a plus and at night we are warm and cozy watching movies and definitely drinking hot toddies!  Their definitely is a climate change; could it be that it will be necessary for us to use the coal pot to sit around and get warm by in future years? Perish the thought.

Is that just a little bit of sunshine peeking through the clouds?

- Cold Tonight.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 20:01:26 -0400
Good evening everyone,
      It's cooldddd this evening, well that's what it feels like here on the
west coast.  We are usually to be found still in shorts and skimpy tops
at this time of the evening. Not tonight though. T shirts and long skirt for
me ( Hubby insisted on wearing trousers ).  Could even end up with a
woollie before the evening is over.
      We have had plenty of rain here for the last couple days. The Roseau
river is in full flood. Not very nice, washing down thick mud, which we can
see from the house being washed out to sea.  Sky grey, with large dark grey
clouds. Sea looks most uninviting, dark and rough.  Breeze is giving that
chill factor. 
    The garden is at saturation point. I have been trying to make a herb garden,
but with the amount of water we are having, not having a lot of success. The
earth is just sticking to together in large muddy clumps, Doesn't matter how
much grit I have put in to dry and break it up.
     Aaahhhh well that's the price we pay.  It is not often we have this kind of
weather. Cold, wet and miserable.
      I'm off to enjoy the evening anyway, but I think I will dispense with the ice
this evening.  More a warm toddy night.
         You all take care. Anything happens out there will let you know.

- Will it Rain ???
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 12:06:58 -0400
Good morning everyone,
       Yesterday we had a really beautiful day. The sun beat down all day. Sky was that
lovely shade of baby blue. Sea sparkling in the sun.  Not a cloud in sight.  A light cooling
breeze every now and again. Totally beautiful day.  Then late in the night the rains came.
Quite heavy in the early hours. Could hear it drumming on the roof.
     This morning is a different story.  It's not really made up it's mind what it wants to do.
We have some fairly big grey clouds floating around, blocking the sun. The breeze has
picked up, and feels chilly. Some heavy showers. Sea looks dark, and uninviting.
      Reading Kate's piece this morning made us laugh. We have a friend who's made a
tangerine launcher. We took it with us to the beach on sunday, but unfortunately someone
( no names ) had broken it.  Ahh the things that amuse us now, just simple pleasures.
      One of our local farmers has left one of his cows on the empty plot behind the house.
The cows been with us for about a week, and has done a terrific job of clearing the grass
and weeds that were growing.  Shame about the pong though, but good free manure, and
a lot better than 15ft or more of grass. We now have a good view downstairs as well as up.
              Well I'm off to have another coffee, enjoy that view.
   You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Wet Today
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 20:01:51 -0400
Good evening everyone,
       been a bit wet here on the west coast today.  A little sunshine,
but mostly rain. Some pretty big grey clouds floating around for
most of the day. Sea, well that was a bit of a mix, grey and cold
looking, with white caps rolling in one minute, then it was flat and
that lovely sparkly blue the next. Some nice big bright rainbows.
Light breeze.
         Our Dutch friends have left. Hopefully to return in a few months,
and to start building their house.
         Been fairly busy today, tidying up and moving dust around.
Thinking about tackling the washing tomorrow. Operative word being
thinking, if the weather improves I'll head for the garden instead. With
all the rain over the last couple days, the weeds are setting up home
          Our resident finch is being pursued by two young ladies. He
seems to prefer the younger of the two. Hmmmm.
          This evening is quite chilly.  Still raining on and off. Just light
showers. The breeze is picking up a bit and making it feel pretty cool.
Might have to go put on a woollie.
          Well I'm off to enjoy the evening, chill the glasses, settle down
with a film. You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Dangerous River
  • From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 09:01:38 -0400
Well the weather here in the valley is distinctly wet, wet, wet with some very intermittent sunshine.  Today looks no different but we hope that the sun does decide to shine.  The valley seems to have different weather to the rest of the island.  If we decide we have had too much wet weather then we go to Mero beach which is about 10 minutes away from us and it can be absolutely beautiful there, yet, wet here so it is definitely worth the trip.

We take our three dogs for a walk each afternoon into the country which runs alongside the Layou river; we trek about 3 miles through beautiful countryside, covered with forest, bananas, dasheen and other edible delights.  We meet the farmers and crew and seemingly have got to know everyone quite well.  The other day we ventured forth and it was so wet and muddy the dogs were filthy at the end of the walk.  We decided to take them into the shallow part of the river to wash them off before going home.  The father dog, Sinbad decided to run to the deep part of the river and take a drink, well he fell in!  This was not a good idea at all, the part he fell into is way out of his depth and ours, he was struggling to get a grip on the rock and it was futile.  I then decided to run to the bit of the river that I might be able to cross to get the dogs attention so he would swim down to me!  So I plunged into the river fully clothed, the river was not quite flash flood but going really swiftly because of all the rain - yes, it was very wet and really cold.  Clothes, as you know, are heavy when they get wet; I managed to get in the sight of Sinbad and started to shout at him.  He was having none of it, he knew which side of his bone was buttered and headed in the opposite direction where luckily, gallant Jaco Ladd lay flat on the rocks and managed, with awkward balance, to fish Sinbad out.  By now I was really soaked and staggered out of the river, so pleased that the dog was OK.  We came home, had hot showers and a drop of the distilled nectar coloured liquid to revive us.

We now know not to take the dogs near the river when it is running so high; it is not until one has a near fright that one realizes the dangerous proximity between safety and foolishness, a lesson learned with a very lucky outcome this time.  We have great respect for the river.

- Beach Days
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 23:24:44 -0400
good evening everyone,
         What a great day we had yesterday.  A group of us got together
to say goodbye to our dutch friends . We decided to go for a barbie on
the beach.  The weather was brilliant. Sun, fun and rum. Doesn't get any
better than that.  Started to rain just when we were packing everything
 away, so no complaints.
        Another good day today. A couple of light showers through out the
day. Nice breeze.
       This evening, a couple of heavy downpours, nothing to serious. Just
enough breeze to keep it comfy. All is quiet and peaceful. 
           Off to finish whats left in the glass before the ice melts.
       You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Weather Improvement.
  • From: Tom Fullbrook <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 20:13:47 -0400
Good evening everyone,
       Funny old day here on the west coast today. Some rain, nothing to
heavy. Light breeze, not the winds we were having.  Grey sky, lot of
big dark clouds floating on by. Sea a very dark blue, but looked reasonably
calm out there, compared to the other day, no white caps that I could see.
Sun, well that did the best it could, nice and warm anyway, if nothing else.
      This evening the rain has held off and the breeze is very light. Not so
many big dark clouds tonight. Can see the stars and a few planets. Which
is nice.
      Now hoping the weather will improve a bit more for Sunday. Our friends
from Holland will be leaving next week, so a group of us are getting together
to have a barbie on the beach on Sunday. To wish them Bonn voyage, till they
can get back to this little piece of paradise in a couple of months time. 
       So I'm off to chill the bottle, relax and enjoy the evening.  Up early
tomorrow. Market day. Need some fresh veggies. The fridge is bare.
           You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Windy, Wet, & Cool.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2009 20:30:47 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         Jeez, o what a night ( write a song about that ) last night.  Torrential
rain most of the night here on the west coast. The ground is at saturation
point. Large muddy puddles fill the garden. The wind howled through the
gap between us and the neighbour. Haunted house stuff.  Chairs on the
balcony took flying lessons again.
         This morning it was still very windy. The rain eased off though, with
just a few scattered showers through out the day.  Our friends went out
diving, I thought they were bonkers going out, but it gave me the chance
to look after their delightful little dog for the day. She is such a sweetie.
Just adorable little thing.
       The evening is seeing the wind getting a little stronger again, with
more rain. Some very big dark clouds up there  blotting out the stars.
 It feels pretty chilly this evening, even so, something with ice in it
always goes down well. 
             You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Cool and Wet.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 08:50:17 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         A wet, cool, breezy morning it is.  We have had plenty of
rain over the last three days, here on the west coast.  The sun
is making very feeble attempts to break through, but it just
doesn't seem to have its heart in it. The sky is dull grey and the
sea is that horrible battle ship colour. Looks pretty rough out
there today. The breeze is picking up, with some strong gusts
from time to time. Today could be a good day for working in
the garden.  It also gives some of the most beautiful clear, bright
rainbows ever to be seen.
          Our resident finch is now screeching at me from the kitchen,
because he is unable to find any spare crumbs. For something
so small, he sure can make a lot of noise. I'm off to feed him, so he
will shut up. Have another coffee myself and listen to the rain on the
galvanised roof.
         You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2009 09:23:16 -0500
We are having real winter morning and evenings!  In the valley we have been experiencing lots of showers with beautiful sunny periods bringing the most magnificent rainbows, one which is across the bottom of the garden.  We really wish there was a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.  Today looks like it is going to rain a lot, I have to go to town this afternoon so hope the weather perks up for my trip.

We know that Europe is having an extremely cold winter and here it is lovely to have a hot stew or soup at night, curl up warm and watch a good movie.  Speaking of the TV we do not have television in the valley so we have not watched a TV programme for a very long time, this means no advertisements we have to say we do not miss this at all.  We can watch a lot of news on the computer and listen to the radio through the computer.  Technology is amazing when you think of it.  We have no radio signal in the valley so are very, very lucky to be able to access the high speed internet.  Most people take these things for granted but not us we truly appreciate what we have every day.   

Reading Miss Mermaid this morning makes us rather envious of the Italian restaurant she can dine in.  We have to make our own Italian food which is OK.  This is one of the things that we miss on Dominica the different cuisines and choice of eating places these are extremely limited here.  People tend to entertain in their homes and do not go out very much only on a Friday or Saturday night.  Having said that we are picking oranges, grapefruits, plantains, bananas and passion fruit off the trees on our land, enjoying eating these sumptuous fruits this is a fantastic privilege we are so blessed as we will never starve here in Dominica.

We hope everyone has a great weekend.

- Good Days.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 18:31:47 -0400
Good evening everyone,
          We have had some really beautiful days here on the west coast.
A small smattering of light showers, cool breezes. Only one good
downpour of rain, and most of that was through the night. The garden
was ever so grateful.
          Have had several days of whale watching from the balcony.
We also managed to spot them before the guys on the boats.  It's
great watching.
        Trip into Roseau today. Something we are not to keen on doing.
Try to get in and out as fast as possible. Not a lot of success with our
shopping trip today.  Unable to get 4 out of the 5 things we wanted to
do and get. O well that's the price we pay for living in a little bit of paradise.
We did manage to get the fridge restocked with beers. Nothing like a cold
Kubili, after a long day.
        The evening is lovely. No breeze. The frogs are singing and the dogs
are doing their best to stay in tune with them.
         I'm off for that cold Kubili.  You all take care.  Anything happens
will let you know.

- January 2009
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2009 11:02:48 -0500
Well we have winter since yesterday when it did nothing but rain, rain and rain, today is grey and very, very windy, I am out on our deck in a jacket with socks on!  Yes very sexy attire in the Caribbean.  The night time is really cold way down to 64 degrees so it is snuggle up under the covers time.  We are so lucky as we chose to have UPVC windows that open outwards as wide as the whole opening of the window letting all the air in then will shut tight when it is rainy and windy.  This ensures that we do not have any damp in the cottage, we keep warm and dry.

It has been a strange holiday as we have had another long weekend with Merchants day on Friday which is a tradition here in Dominica all the stores close but the Banks still open.  Now we have the weekend which will hopefully improve with the sun trying to peep through the clouds, the wind though is relentless.

It is so funny when it rains like it did yesterday because many of the locals walk a lot on the roads and we see people with makeshift umbrellas which are just a large Tannia leaf; indeed the leaves are a fabulous colour mix of green shades and seem to work perfectly keeping the rain off those lean muscular bodies, mostly bared to the waist and more often than not ,the men walk barefoot, it is really quite a sight, like it must have been through the centuries, time standing still.  On that note!

Another year is over.

We would like to wish everyone a very Happy, healthy, prosperous New Year hoping that hurricane season 2009 is a very mild one.

  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2009 11:09:20 -0400
Good morning everyone,
      Have had some real nice days here on the west coast this week,
and today looks to be another one.
       Blue everywhere you look. Sky and sea, with a nice breeze thrown
in for good measure.
       Yesterday we sat looking out our favourite view, and we were lucky
enough to spot a whale out there. Even before the guys on the whale
watch boats. It is just so good to be able to open your back door and
see these magnificent creatures.
       So I'm off for a cup of coffee,  and enjoy the start of the year.
    Would like to wish all and everyone a very, very
            HAPPY NEW YEAR.
  Hope you all stay safe and well in this year, and that
it is a bright and prosperous year for you all.
 p.s.   All best wishes for the year  Mr& Mrs  C.   Mr& Mrs L .  Mr& Mrs T.

- Still Fragile.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2008 21:19:51 -0400
Good evening everyone,
        A beautiful day here on the west coast. Brilliant sunshine,
blue, blue sky with odd little puffy clouds floating bye, early this
morning, gusty wind, which died down to a light breeze. By
midday it had become to hot to sit on the back balcony, had to
use the front one for shade.
     Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. We had a fun time
with friends on boxing day, they arrived early afternoon and
left somewhere around 7am on the 27th. So I guess they all
had a good time. Still feeling a little fragile around the edges.
     This evening is bright and clear. Zillions of stars to be seen.
It feels fairly warm. No breeze.
          I'm off to fill the glasses, and clink some ice.
    You all take care. Enjoy the evening. Anything happens will let you know.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2008 10:48:21 -0500
What strange weather we have had over the holiday!  We have had more than our fair share of rain.  It is as if the heavens have decided to open and bless us with lots of showers, gusty wind and intermittent sunshine.  Also this is accompanied by beautiful rainbows, when coming up the valley yesterday we must have seen seven different rainbows over the river, very beautiful and amazing.

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas as we did - our first Christmas in our Dominican home. as last year - our first year here - we were asked to a friends house so it was great to revel in the valley.  We had the usual turkey, Christmas pudding and some wonderful Stilton cheese that our friends procured for us from Antigua. Bootylicious!

We hear there is a shortage of eggs on the island so we are keeping in touch with a farmer friend who has local bantam chickens.  These chickens are organically fed and seem to be laying in profusion; they are the best eggs we have ever tasted.  The yolks of the eggs are golden, rich and flavoursome, beyond sublime. So, as you can imagine, breakfast is more of an event than a tuck in.

Today is really chilly, it is a day for resting so I think I shall put an old family favourite movie, snuggle up and watch this waiting to have turkey soup and homemade bread for lunch avec a little Mersault, just right for a day like this!

  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2008 10:10:45 -0400
Good morning everyone,
       Beautiful bright and very very windy morning. So cooling.
Sea a dark blue, and very choppy.  Sky bright blue with lots of
fluffy white clouds.  Some rain.  Big beautiful rainbows.
   Lunch cooking, opened my favourite coffee,( from England)
which I have been saving for today. Christmas present to me.
 I'm off to have another cup. Sit, relax and have a good day.
     You all take care. Have a great day. All the best for everyone.

- Pretty Windy.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2008 09:39:49 -0400
Good morning everyone,
      What a windy night we have had. The wind howling down the side
of the house, sounded real spooky. Like something from one of those
old horror films. Heavy rain beating at the windows.
      This morning is pretty much the same, very windy, grey skies,
heavy rain on and off, sea grey and looks rough, sun trying hard to
break through. Have the biggest and most beautiful rainbow I have
seen for sometime, stretching out across the sea. Colours so bright.
So even on not so nice days there is something beautiful to look at.
      Went into Roseau town yesterday, what with the last minute shopping,
and the cruise ship people, the place was bursting at the seams. It was
fun though. Everyone happy and smiling.  Still no eggs though. Finally
got back home, to find half my guests for boxing day sitting in the house.
Spent several hours laughing and chatting, goodness knows what we will
have to talk about on boxing day. I'm sure we will think of something. All
good fun. Luckily one of my guests says she can supply a dozen eggs.
Great. We can now give Miss Mermaids egg nog a try.
        Wow, wind really picking up speed out there. 
 I'm off to have another coffee, look at those fantastic rainbows that are
still out there.
       You all take care. Have a good day. Anything happens will let you know.
                       SEASONS GREETINGS.

- No Eggs
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2008 20:25:06 -0400
Good evening everyone,
      What a glorious day we have had here on the west coast.
Bright sunshine, blue skies, blue sea, Slight breeze, just enough
to make it o so comfortable, people smiling and enough time to
stop and chat. Aaahhhhh so lovely.
      My only complaint, would love to try Miss Mermaids egg nog,
but there doesn't seem to be any eggs on the island. Searched
high and low, nothing, Why ? Is there anyone out there who can
tell me whats happened to the laying chickens ?  Have we ate
them all ?
      This evening is cool and calm. The breeze seems to have
died down. The sky is clear and you can see a zillion stars.
I love this island. It's way of life. The people who are so kind.
        Everyone have a great evening. I'm off to chill the glasses
and enjoy my evening.
     You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.
                    SEASONS GREETINGS

- Lovely Days.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2008 09:56:56 -0400
Good morning everyone,
and a beautiful morning it is. The whole weeks been lovely.
Cool mornings, plenty of sun, no rain, slight breezes, sky
powder blue, sea calm and that pretty sparkly blue, evenings
cool, sometimes a bit chilly in the early hours, but hey who's
complaining, not me that's for sure. Especially when I read
from the son, ( lives in Newfoundland ) that they have just
had 6 / 7 inches of snow, and it is down to 6c. He loves the
cold, I'm sure he was swapped, the rest of the family are all
sun lovers. Strange.
       Had the first of the christmas parties last night. A good
time was had by all. Came back to the house with friends,
when they left dawn was just about to break. No doubt I will
zonk out later today.
       So I'm off to have my 2cnd coffee, relax, take in the view,
and just enjoy my day.
         You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Lot Warmer Today
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2008 14:53:22 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
        The temp back up into the 80s this afternoon. Sun shining, sky powder blue,
sea looking lovely, calm, blue and sparkly. Light breeze. 
        Had some heavy rain through the night and early this morning. Garden
breathing a sigh of relief. Have a B. B Q to go to later today, in aid of one of our
local schools. Hopefully the sun will now stay with us for the rest of the weekend,
have another B.B.Q. on the beach tomorrow. In aid of us and friends having a nice
relaxing day.
        I'm off to check round the garden, those pesky weeds will be growing at an
alarming rate.  I was once told that there is no such thing has a weed. They are just
uncultivated flowers. A nice way to look at them pesky weeds.
           You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2008 07:45:57 -0500
We have had three days of rainy weather and today looks like no change.  Looking on the weather sites everything looks clear.  Dominica does tend to have her own weather system.  I was in Portsmouth and Calibishie yesterday, the weather was mainly sunny with the odd shower, when I hit the Layou valley it was pouring with rain and had apparently been raining all day.

We have four dogs with us at the moment as our friends have gone to Puerto Rico to do some Christmas shopping and left their dog Lily with us who is one of our puppies.  The rain does not help as we have muddy paws all over the deck makes for lots of cleaning.  Still the dog family are having a wonderful time together, it is fascinating watching them interact it took 24 hours for Lily to be totally accepted back into the fold, now they are all snuggled up together on their mats.  The weather is really cool and like Tommie girl we also have solar heating for the water, so at the moment very cool chilly quick showers in and out!

Dominica does not import real Christmas trees so one either has to buy a lifelike synthetic one; be a tad imaginitive and pick some greenery - dress it up and voila!.  We have opted for this type as it results in less mess  I have to say it really looks very decorative. We are getting ready for the Christmas round of parties and Yuletide limin' -, should be a lot of fun..

Cool nights are with us, very refreshing and makes for good snuggling and cuddling up under the douvet.

- Chilly Days.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2008 20:12:59 -0400
Good evening everyone,
       Yesterday and today, both wet, cloudy, chilly. Hardly any sun,
which is not good when your water is heated by solar power. Cool,
cool showers. It is how fast can you shower and get out again into
some warmth.
       This evening is cool and wet. no breeze.
     Still, not being able to spend to much time in the garden, gave me
the opportunity to put up a few decorations. Make the house look a
bit more festive. 
    Turning the fans off during the night now. Far to cold.
 So I'm off to have a long cool glass of something,  (a hot toddy would
be better,) think I'll just leave the ice out.
       You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Busy, Busy Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 19:47:46 -0400
Good evening everyone,
        A cool cloudy day here on the west coast.  Some rain, just enough
to give the plants a long awaited drink. Slight breeze. Not as windy as
last night. Where it was strong enough to move the balcony chairs.
Just enough today to keep it nice and cool.
      Not that we have seen much of the outside world today. Been busy
little bees inside the house today.  Friends coming over for Christmas,
so I thought I had better start doing something about the spider population.
Well what really prompted me to get on with controlling the spiders, was the
biggest spider I have seen for sometime, came scampering into the house.
Then promptly disappeared, not sure where it went. Have had all the furniture
out. Curtains down. No sign of it. I just know its gonna wait till I'm in bed, about
to doze off, and it's gonna run across the ceiling, laughing at me.
        This evening is still cool and cloudy. Temp down to 70f . Chilly. No breeze .
           So I'm off to chill the glasses, watch a good film, and enjoy the rest of the
evening. Spider or not.
                You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Is It a Bug, Is It a !!!
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2008 08:48:38 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         a cool morning I might add. Just had a peek at the temp. It is 70f. The sun
has finally put in an appearance, so expect it will start warming up soon. Nice
bright morning though.Sky that lovely shade of powder blue. Sea sparkling blue,
flat and calm. Couple guys out fishing.  No breeze.  Total silence, except for the
one kingbird singing for all his worth. Just lovely.
         A tiny, tiny baby finch flew into the room. Did not realize at first that it was
a baby bird, thought, blimey that's a big bug, just getting ready to run ( I'm afraid
of bugs, especially spiders ) when I realized it a was bird. So did my good deed
for the day. Caught and put back out into the big wide world.
       I'm off to have another coffee, enjoy my view, the peace and quiet, you all
have a good day. Take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Road Repaired.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 17:20:35 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
       What a stunningly beautiful day we have had here on the west coast.
Sun, sun, sun.  Sky bright blue with not a cloud in sight. Sea flat and calm,
sparkly blue. Odd little breeze every now and again. Just lovely.
        Shame about the electric. Darn things been off for about 5 hours. Still
slightly better than last weekend. Nothing for 9 hours . We must have the most
up to date and advanced  electric system in the whole world. Every time it goes
off, it's for up grading we are told. Just a shame they cannot get it to work. O
well guess it's a small price to pay. When you have days like today.
       Although it is now late afternoon, that old sun is still beating down.
    We have had some road repairs done in our street. Not all the road, just the
worst potholes have been filled in. We have a really nice guy living in our street.
He has organized a residents committee, gets everyone involved, raises money
for things like filling in potholes, keeping the grass verges cut.  It all helps. Hopefully
no one will drive over the cement until it's set. Hmmmm, we shall see.
       Well I'm off to put the kettle on. Have a coffee, look at that view.  Been just
plain lazy today.
        You all take care. Anything exciting happens will let you know.

- Cool Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2008 11:47:20 -0400
Good morning everyone,
        A little dull and overcast this morning, very fine showers, a slight
cool breeze. Sun is making attempts to get out from behind the clouds.
Sea is battle ship grey. Not nice. Temp dropped to 70f last night at
around 11.30. Even colder in the early hours of the morning. Brrrrr,
time to get those woolies out.
       Still I am sparing a thought for poor old England. Who now have
SNOW falling and causing chaos on the roads.
        Friends living further inland reported the temp down to about 67f
on monday night. Thats cold.
     Today looks like a good gardening day. Have a couple of new plants
to go in. No idea what they are, but they look pretty. So I'm off to have
another coffee and enjoy the rest of my day in my little piece of paradise.
            You all take care. Anything exciting happens will let you know.

- Had Some Busy Days.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2008 20:00:27 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         Thanks for the concern Lisette, all is fine, just been soooo  busy.
Well the first thing to say is we hope everyone is well after such a hectic
season, and those islands who got more than their fair share of water are
now drying out. Lets hope nothing more coming along now and it's all over
for the next 6 months, but old mother nature can always throw a few
surprises at us.
      The days here on the west coast have been gorgeous. Plenty of sun.
slight breezes. Ahhh just lovely. Temperature has dropped a bit. Early hours
of the morning I'm to be found trying to snuggle further under the bed covers.
Somewhere around 4.30am is when I seem to notice the chill the most.
     This morning was a little overcast. Slight breeze.
      Had a lovely start to my day. Opened the door on to my favourite view,
and there anchored, right opposite the house, in all her glory, was the
Royal Clipper. From the Star clipper cruises. One stunning, beautiful sight.
Set me up for the rest of the day. Which turned out to be just lovely. Pottered
around in the garden. Took everything slow and easy. Neighbours going
past saying hello. O I love this island.
     Little rain this evening. Nothing to heavy though. Just enough to keep the
plants happy.
     So I'm off to enjoy the rest of the evening. Chill the glasses, settle down to
a good film. 
     Christmas is on it's way.  Another time of year that I think is just great fun.
The other half thinks its all humbug. Still likes to get a prezzie though. Hmmm.
    Anyway you all take care. Anything exciting happens will let you all know.

- The End of Hurrican Season for another year
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2008 08:00:23 -0500
The temperature has dropped considerably below 70 degrees in the last two days.  This is beautiful weather for us, the mornings and evenings are cool the days at the moment bright and sunny.  I am even dreaming in bed that I am in the UK in the snow!  To be honest Jaco Ladd and I have been away from the UK for so many years we have luckily not had to endure cold weather at all.  Miss Mermaid fainted when she had ice cold water poured on her head after a good hike up a hill.  If this had happened in the UK she probably would have been a popsicle and not be here to tell the tale!

Talking of tales, my friend Ceclily reminded me that when we went to visit the hot sulphur springs at Screws nr .Watton Waven, we encountered a  fabulous blue toilet seat, porcelain and all, sitting right there in the middle of the road.  Traffic was avoiding this delicately. We had to laugh because all it needed was a person to sit upon the throne and the picture would be complete, (I did hear later that a couple of hikers did exactly that and uploaded the video to You Tube, but as yet there's no trace on the site!)  How on earth this happened to get in the road one can only imagine, that's taking a domestic tiff a bit too far,methinks. but only in Dominica.

We hope Tommie girl is OK as we have not seen her posting lately and enjoy reading her take on life in Dominica.  One thing is for sure we both put our foots on the accelarator when going beneath the cliffs on the west coast road and both love chilling out in the thermal pools which are scattered around Dominica.  Glasses of wine and rum punch are also a necessary part of a successful lime..

The hurricane season has been dreadful and I think all the islands have been affected one way or another, Hurricane Omar in particular caught Dominica by surprise quickly battering our coastline and roads; needless to say a great deal of damage incurred.  We are very aware of the death, destruction and misery caused in Haiti, Cuba, DR, Turks & Caicos and latterly Caman Brac. The only spirit lifter is when the correspondents write to all telling us the power's back, or the Net's working or the shops are trading, etc. plus that the community are pulling together as one.

Here's to a successful winter season and hopefully a sedated storm season for 2009.

- The Weekend Cometh
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 14:19:19 -0400

With the weather action a  a little subdued as of late, certainly around the Dom environs - today has moisture and Soleil in profusion throughout the valley - one may find an extra moment this weekend to digest a longer posting; a little shenanigan that took place on our patch a little while back :


Living in a country setting – to a city denizen at least – can remain a distant wish over many years of summing up the pros and cons of whichever lifestyle you feel the most comfortable with. Having all the services, conveniences, streetlights and ease of urban commute remains a deep rooted warmth that many would not give up, even for the rustic purity of fresh air, more space and fewer vehicles clogging the highways. Some of us though have thrown caution to the big winds, made the move to the remote environs and as they say in 'street cred' "Bring it on, 'mon'- bring it on!"


Our setting in the mid-upper Layou Valley of Dominica is virtually neighbourless with views that centre upon many tree-line levels, a backcloth of verdant cliffs and a picturesque winding road that provides us with a quick access to whatever social intercourse one needs without sacrificing one iota of privacy.  


Though remote, we have always felt safe in this area and 'tuned in' with the locals. How strange then late in the evening a little while ago - as I was battling with a Windward Islands version of 'Montezuma's Revenge' sur le John and the dogs were in their loudest chorus - my better half shouted - as if she was on the downhill descent from a roller coaster - that 'Someone's climbing up the telegraph pole with a torch! Do something!!' I replied, 'In my state, wondrous one, I'm doing something at a great rate and fixed to the spot. Improvise, will you?!'

Well, eventually I emerged from the bathroom to a mildly sarcastic 'Well, here's my hero now.' The dogs were not impressed with me either, but seemed to have downsized their excitement somewhat.


Outside was blacker than liquorice, even the stars were in remission and whatever was upsetting the peace had disappeared. So I just stared at what was scantily possible to discern, thinking out loud as to what sort of a 'torches and a telegraph pole' mystery was about to unfold.


Dawn arrived uneventfully and bathed the surroundings in a fissure of light, you know, the sort of illumination that artists have difficulty in trying to reproduce? Some would say: A valley of prisms no less.



 I focused upon the telegraph pole, the one with the torch issues and noticed some baling twine hanging down from the cables that span the highway to the other pole, maybe 25ft or so across. A large torch battery was attached to the twine and appeared to have been slung over the telephone and electric wires and then pulled on tight. No matter how I pulled on the twine I couldn't budge the contraption and started to puzzle over the motive for such a stupid move. Mmm… The gardener was fully paid up; no fall-outs with anyone and we always give lifts to people we know. The 'novellist' mind took over and I imagined that someone wanted us to lose our utilities for whatever reason in a reckless manner. Just picture the scene: If the hanging nylon twine snagged itself to metalwork on a passing container truck, the cables – and maybe the pole – could be dragged in its wake, totally oblivious to the driver. Scareee!


I gave a friend a call in St. Joseph and in turn he called by with a friend to take a look-see. A lot of possibilities were considered, from pranks to retribution, and a few more imponderables - not for this posting - but one of the guys who spoke for the first time since he arrived nailed it, 'You got manicou hunters , 'mon. Dis is the only place on dis road where cables cross from one side to de other. Manicou, dey no like crossin' de road, so dey up de pole, tread de cables and get over safe. Mon wid de torch shine up, see de manicou, sling over de battery and twine, pull hard and try to shake de manicou off. Wid luck it's Splat!    Tomorrow brekfist, huh?'



For those who haven't a clue what I'm talking about, a Manicou is an elusive kind of opossum; a timid rodent-like creature that grows to 2ft or more and is considered a delicacy - albeit an acquired taste.


So I won't be surprised one of these fine days to have some guy, or gal, at the door peddling a skinned version of the above and – if he or she is down on their luck – putting a donation in the pocket as you do. But as for a gourmet delight, I really don't think so!

- Totally Still
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 07:16:04 -0500
Today is amazing, the sun is shining, there is not a rustle of a leaf or the sway of a tree, it is as if the place is suspended like a magical world, a picture postcard almost, a moment in time.

Living in the country has it's ups and downs, mostly ups.  Lately though our neighbouring farmer has not visited us for at least 6 weeks.  We were so used to his visiting with sometimes a dozen bantam eggs for us to buy, fresh from his home grown hens running about his yard.  We became extremely worried and telephoned his daughter to make sure that farmer Frank was OK.

Yesterday morning we had a very welcome visit from Frank, our dogs were very excited as they really like our gentle friend.  We were very happy to see him as well.  It turns out that his hens have not been laying so he did not visit us in case he disappointed us without bringing the eggs!  We now know Frank will visit more often just to come and pass the time of day with us.  Also the local Dominicans who travel on the back of trucks regularly to get to their farms to work have had a big shock as the fare to take the ride has gone up by a dollar.  This might not seem a lot to many people but the wages in Dominica are not upscale so this has caused the locals quite an upset.  The recession is hitting Dominica like every where else in the world, it is sad, lets hope things pick up much quicker than has been forecasted.

I am off on a very long trip today, to Calibishie, Portsmouth, Roseau and home, many miles and several hours in the vehicle.  All in a good cause.

- Christmas Winds
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 09:07:40 -0500
In Dominica over the last two or three days we have had near gale force winds up here in the Layou Valley. 

It is really very refreshing a great temperature, not so good for some of the plants though.  My friend up the road has been rejoicing because she told me emphatically that we are having the Christmas winds!   Well at the moment I feel we are far away from Christmas so am a bit puzzled by the thought that Christmas is here sooner than usual!  It is still very windy today but very sunny.

We have been looking at the photo's of Cayman Brac and are so sad because it looks like everyone on the island has been hurt by Hurricane Paloma.  Our hearts go out to everyone on the island, it must be so difficult living through the aftermath of that devastating hurricane.  We sincerely hope that there is a great deal of help at hand.

- Landslide.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2008 12:20:33 -0400
Good  afternoon everyone,
    Seems there has been a major landslide over on the east coast of the island.
Being cleared promptly due to it being on one of our main roads across the island.
No reports of any injuries thank goodness.
    Rain has eased a little. Sun doing its very best to get through. Breeze picking up.
   One of the more unfortunate things about this lovely island is we do often get some
nasty landslides, due to heavy rain. Some of what looks like small pretty mountains,
and hills, are just made up of loose tarish. There are a few places along the main
sea road where they overhang quite precariously. After a good downpour, if your
driving past one of these tarish mountains, it's a good idea to put your foot to the metal
and get out from under it. Fast.  Boulders and rocks can and do slide down at an
alarming speed. One of our friends was extremely lucky awhile back, that she only had
her car wiped out and not her with it.  Also having a good many rivers and streams across
the island, flooding is also a problem, but it is the landslides that cause the most.
       Hope everyone stays safe. You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Raining Again.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2008 09:00:34 -0400
Good morning everyone,
        Really not so good. Torrential downpours going on most
of the night and are still with us. Every few min's another wave
of rain is battering on the roof. It is heavy enough to make it
a white out. Unable to see my lovely view. Ahhh well, that's the
joys. A nice cooling breeze kicked in late yesterday evening,
but seems to have died out now. It was quite chilly in the night,
had to get under a bed cover. Time for something a little more
warmer me thinks.
        Plenty of those nasty little vampire critters about. Doesn't
seem to matter what I do to deter them. I always wake up in the
mornings with new lumps and bumps. Does anyone know if they
are actually good for anything ? except making our lives a misery.
      The sun is making it's first attempt at breaking through, but
looking at the sat pic's, seems that we have a good deal of rain
heading this way.
       I'm off to have another coffee, try to see my view while I can.
In between the rain waves, will try and get into the garden to try
and save my poor gladioli which have taken a battering.
         You all stay safe. Anything happens will let you know.

- Gorgeous Sunshine
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 07:37:00 -0500
It looks like the start of a beautiful day.  We hope so as our friends are visiting us from the UK, it is the first time they have visited Dominica.  Like most visitors to the Nature Isle, they are amazed at the beauty, lushness, variety of the colours of the plants and of course the amazing rivers and waterfalls.

After visiting our home and having a tour of the garden plus forest trails we went to the Layou River for a swim then onto Sunset Bay Beach Club for a lobster lunch which was delicious.  Like Tommie Girl our favourite beach is Mero.  We were surprised to see that Omar has uncovered a very strong wall there that must have been put up as a defence against the sea.  There are steps down to the beach.  The sea though has pushed on further into the bay, although, we are sure the beach will come back.  The water yesterday was absolutely beautiful, calm, crystal clear and delightfully warm, we stayed in the sea a long time before returning to the valley.

Today we are taking our friends to the sulphur pools at Trafalgar which are a wonderful way of easing one's aches and pains.  So relaxing, especially if you are being served a good rum punch, while enjoying a dip.

It is a really strange thing but I seem to be the only one who noticed the earthquake, I did have the branches of the tree in the drive to support the experience!  Oh well it is not everyone who has the earth move for them!

We have been reading about the damage sustained in Cayman Brac, we have watched the video and our hearts go out to those on the island; it is very sad to see the destruction and the obvious misery of the people. Even though their appears to be a wonderful community spirit there, we hope that they receive good help from their Government in putting their lives back together.

- Clear Night.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 20:09:19 -0400
Good evening everyone,
          another beautiful day here on the west coast. A little rain early this morning.
Sun has been with us most of the day. Couple of thick heavy clouds late afternoon.
Lovely cooling breeze.  One light shower this afternoon. Perfect day for working
in the garden.  Finally managed to get some plants in that have been sitting in pots
for sometime. Not sure how my back will be tomorrow. This could be a trip to the
sulphur pools.
          Never felt anything here Lisette. Neighbours have not mentioned it either.
We must have all slept right on through the earth moving.
          This evening is clear and bright. The moon is so bright, it gives the plants and
trees the appearance of having frost on them. The stars are clear and bright. It is a
beautiful evening . Slight breeze, which is helping to keep it cool.
            Hope everyone is safe and well, who were in the path of  Paloma.
     I'm off to have a long cool glass of something that has a lot of ice in it.
You all take care. Stay safe. Anything happens will let you know.


- Earthquake
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 07:13:26 -0500
Well in the early hours of the morning whilst asleep the earth did move and woke me up.  We had I think a big earthquake, branches from one of our trees came to earth.  Jaco Ladd slept through the whole quake but it was really quite scary.  I shall have to check this out and see who else felt the force or whether it was just bad in our valley.  I have just telephoned my neighbour and she slept through, didn't hear the commotion. 

The weather today is very beautiful sunny and warm.  We are feeling very upset for all who suffered in Hurricane Paloma!  We hope that people get their lives back together on those islands quickly..

- Another Great Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2008 12:39:25 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
         Do hope everyone is safe and well on Little Cayman, Cayman Brac
and Cuba. 
          Here on the west coast the morning is a little dull, some big dark
clouds lurking around up there. Quick look at the sat pic's seem to show
some rain heading towards us again.  Slight breeze which is keeping it
cool. Yesterday evening we noticed the chill setting in. Better get that
blanket out. Sea is a pretty blue, and looks calm. Few little yachts out.
        Have reached another of those big O's today. Hubby asked if there
was anything I wanted or would like. I Thought about it real hard. This
morning I was laying in the hammock, watching the sea, listening to the
birds and the guy with the strimmer. Sun playing peek a boo with the clouds.
Wearing a stunning sparkly pair of Jimmy Choo sandals. The daughter
bought them with her on her visit, for today. What else does a girl need.
I have got it all. What a great life.
         Hopefully heading towards Champagne Beach later today. Do a bit
of snorkeling.  The sun is really trying hard to get out from those clouds.
       I'm off to have a coffee and look at that view again.
You all take care and stay safe. Anything happens will let you know.

- Raining Again.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 08:49:13 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Not sure about the good. We are getting a real drenching
here on the west coast this morning. Yesterday morning was the
same, but by the afternoon it had cleared and it turned into a
beautiful day. Lets hope the same thing happens today. The sky
is full of large dark grey clouds, not a break anywhere. Sea is
grey, but looks to be fairly calm. No breeze, but it feels cool this
morning. That I don't mind, have to go into Roseau today. All those
narrow streets, traffic, and people  ( cruise ship in ) tend to make
it just short of a bakers oven.
        The rain held back over the weekend for the music fest. All the
activties are now over, exhausted is a good word. So much was
crammed into 2 weeks, when we have a whole year to celebrate.
Offically  Reunion Year doesn't end till the 31st of Dec, so I'm sure
there will be more partying before it does.
        Well the rains eased, sky is brightening, couple little yachts out
there ( so nice to see the yachts back ).  I'm off to have another coffee
enjoy the view while I can, before the next deluge.
      You all take care, stay safe, especially those in the path of Paloma.
Poor Haiti, they really don't need any more water.
     Anything happens  will let you know.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2008 07:17:37 -0500
What a gorgeous day so far.  We have been very lucky over the Creole festival long weekend.  It is the last day of the holiday today and it looks like it will be a wonderful day for partying.  Many Dominicans will be visiting the rivers and the beach, in great partying mode.

We are amazed at the fireflies who are committing mass suicide in our cottage!  Every night we are having more and more of these flies being attracted by our lights.  This morning we had literally hundreds of dead bodies all over the floor and I have had to get the hoover out for a very thorough clean up job.

It looks like the hurricane season is really going to come to a gentle close, we hope so.

 Jaco Ladd and Lass are staying home to make their Christmas cake!  We are going to be ahead of the game this year.  We could actually visit the river for a swim later as well.

- Festival Time.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2008 09:52:44 -0400
Good morning everyone,
       Well the Reunion and independence festivities are well and
truly under way. Last week we had creole in the park, unfortunately
it rained quite heavy. This fest is held in the Botanical grd's, on the
cricket area. (sacrilege ) Which is at the bottom of a small slope.
By the end of a good wet day, it is reminiscent of Glastonbury fest.
For those who don't know Glastonbury, it is guaranteed to rain. The
whole place turns into a sea of mud. Being on the wrong side of
some of the bigger O's, (hubby says we are on the lemming hill,
cheerful soul )  being covered in mud just does not appeal anymore.
Even if it is supposed to be good for the skin.
      We have now gone into the music fest. This started on Friday night
and runs through to 6am tomorrow morning. It is for the real die hard's.
The rain has eased for this, just a few little light showers, but it is held
in the stadium. At least you can get cover. So to the powers to be, why
not hold all these fest's in the stadium. All the facilities are there, it's huge,
it's DRY.
      Monday is independence day, Tues is community day. You need
a holiday just to have a rest from all the activities, but it is all great fun.
We are even having the carnival parade again, for those who were not
here in February.
      This morning is a little dull, But the sun keeps peeking through. The
sky is baby blue, when the grey clouds drift on bye. Had a sprinkling of
showers. Nice little breeze. Sea looks a bit grey. Yacht's are now coming
back. Adds to that view. Which I'm off to enjoy, before going down to
collect our creole breakfasts from the local church.
           You all take care. Have a great and safe day. Anything happens
will let you know.

- More Rain.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 09:37:45 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Plenty of rain here on the west coast yesterday. Which is a shame
because this week we have the creole in the park festivities going on.
People put such a lot of effort into this, and along comes the rain. Also
had a cruise ship come in yesterday, so the festivities really should have
been well attended, but people will not leave the ship to walk around in the
wet. Not when they have all they need on board.
          This morning it's a little bit of rain, little bit of sun. The sky is a dull
blue, and so is the sea. Very slight breeze, and I mean slight, almost non
existent. Feels humid, and sticky. The sun is making another attempt to
get through, but I feel we will have another day like yesterday. More rain
then sun. O well good for the garden, which was in dire need of a drink.
      Our guests are from England, not sure what they expected from this
island. It was when they said it's very dark out there of a night is there a
mini cab service we can ring. O dear, they have no idea of the kind of
island this is. After we had stopped laughing, suggested they might want
to hire a vehicle. They are gonna need it to see this island.
         While writing it has started to brighten up, the sky is back to that
lovely shade of blue, sea sparkling. I'm off for another coffee and to enjoy
the view while it lasts.
            You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <lisette at caribbeanlandandproperty.com>
  • Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 07:07:10 -0500

Jaco Ladd and I apologize to our readers for not posting enough on Stormcarib.  We have had many letters and actually bumped into returning Dominicans asking us to write more again.  So we now will try to do so.

I am very late in putting these photographs on the website for you to see the damage caused by Omar at Coulabistrie which is a village on the west coast of the island. This coast was hit really badly and a lot of damage has been done to the roads and beaches.  Our favourite beach, Mero has lost its sand base which is a sad sight.  The beach will eventually come back but this will take time.  So at the moment we are swimming in the river everyday which is very refreshing and clear as crystal. 

Dominica is in full Creole Festival swing.  The whole island is alive with many returning Dominicans.  Town is vibrant with colourful flags and many people wearing their Creole outfits which are amazingly bright and pretty to look at. 

We have been joining in with the festivities. On Friday we went to a lunch for our firm CLP at Papillote Hotel at Trafalgar Falls, it took us three quarters of an hour to get through town!  There was a big ceremony all day in the stadium which is situated in the city.  The smells of all the different vendors selling barbecue chicken, fish and even hot dogs, very inviting.  It took us another threequarters of an hour to get out.

The weather has been incredibly settled, lots of sunshine, bringing blue sky's with white puffy clouds!

We have been having a really lovely time sitting out in the garden at night looking up at the stars and the true milky way.  There has not bee a cloud in the sky at night so the stars are just amazingly in abundance with trails between them of light, just amazing.  We don't have pollution in Dominica as there are very few vehicles, we certainly don't get cars going past us at night.  We are so lucky. <<...>> <<...>> <<...>>

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- Potholes.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 13:20:05 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
         Yesterday was another lovely day here on the west coast,
well that was until late afternoon. Just getting ready to leave to go
to a BBQ and wouldn't you know it, the heavens opened. Still it
didn't last long, about 15 min's. The sun came back out, and we
had a great afternoon and evening at the BBQ.
       Mainly bright and sunny today. Light showers. Not much
breeze. Feels very humid. Sea, calm.
        Have been having a moan about the potholes in the roads
getting bigger by the day. Well just had a read of the island news
on the net. Hmmmmm, we now have potholes in the airport
runway. Apparently a light aircraft went down one on tues, while
preparing for take off and got stuck. The pilot increased the throttle
to get out of the hole, and because he was facing the runway ( has
you do for take off ) the extra thrust from the engines, blew out the
the lounge area windows. ( Honest I'm not making this up.)
Unfortunately 3 people were cut by flying glass, but they patched them
up and got them on their flight in time.
        They are certainly gonna remember their time in Dominica.
   Well you all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Beautiful Days are Back.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 08:25:04 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         We have had a couple of real beautiful days here on the
west coast. Today looks like it is going to be another beautiful
Good days to get in the garden and deal with those pesky weeds,
that grow in abundance. Just wish I could get the veggies to grow
at the same rate. My little veggie plot is a sad and dismal affair.
Nothing wants to grow and when it does the slugs eat it.
       This morning is bright and clear. Sun is up. Sky is bright
blue with a few little wispy white clouds. Sea is bright blue and o so
calm. No breeze.
       Would be a lovely day for the beach, but we have guests
arriving for creole week. Apt needs to be scrubbed out, I have that
pleasant job to do.
       Well I'm off to enjoy my coffee, look at that stunning view,
before getting stuck in to the cleaning. Lovely.
            You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Stunning Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2008 23:47:25 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         We have had a stunningly beautiful day here on the west coast.
Brilliant sunshine all day. That beautiful baby blue sky. Sea, calm and
o so blue. A slight puff of breeze every now and again, just enough to
keep it cool. Ahhhhhhh it feels so good to have the sun on your skin
       The clean up operations are still underway. Road works seem to
be the major priority. Scots Head to the south suffered badly with Omar.
     Where we live on the west coast, we got off very lightly indeed. No
major problems that I have seen or heard of. Just the usual, holes in the
roads are bigger. Flooding of basement apartments.
       This evening the sky is clear, stars shining brightly. Slight breeze.
Frogs singing their little hearts out, bless em.  Few dogs barking at
nothing, ( o well, that's the price. ) 
         The ice in my glass has almost melted, so I'm off to finish whats
left before it turns to water. Anything happens here will let you know.
             You all take care.

- Clean Up Started.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2008 23:44:30 -0400
Good evening everyone,
        Took a trip into town this morning to pick up some fresh fruit and veg
at the market.  The bay front was so loaded with sand that had been washed
in from Omar, it was like walking on a beach. Several small buisness's that
are located in basements had been flooded. The firebrigade were out
pumping out water and washing the sand away. The ferry terminal is damaged,
but not beyond repair. Roof ripped off, offices and passenger terminal flooded.
Shame the sea surge missed the K. F. C. food containers that had just been
thrown all over the place. Fishing boats that are supposedly in a safe area took
a battering. Rocks and debris on the roads, but the work to clean up is in progress.
The holes in the roads are bigger.
           Such a shame because this year Dominica is celerbrating it's birthday of
30yrs of Independance. There are a lot of people who are coming back to the
island for this event, plus the creole festival. A good many of these people will be
coming in by ferryboat. Lets hope they have it all up and running in time.
At least one cruise ship has been turned away due to damage at the docking
area. This is really money that this island cannot afford to lose. Hopefully everything
will be ready in time for both the creole fest, independance celeb, and the start of
the tourist season.
          Today was  a beautiful day. We have had a couple of light showers through
out the day and this evening. It is very humid. Not much breeze. The sat pic's
show us having a few clear days ahead.
    I'm off to finish whats in the glass. You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Back to Normal ?
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2008 09:22:01 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         What a beautiful morning it is to.
Sun is up and out, sky is back to it's baby blue, sea looks calm
and is a lovely sparkly blue again. No wind, Just odd little puffs
of breeze. All back to normal.  ( Whatever normal is.? )
         Hope to get out and about today. Will report on any serious
damage. The road I live in suffered nothing more than a couple of
downed trees. Only 1 of my plants took a battering.  Although
some of the road has washed away a bit, but it was slowly
being eroded anyway. Nothing new there concerning roads.
     Ahhhh well that's the price you pay.
I'm off to have another coffee and look at the pretty sparkly sea.
          You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- All Calm Now.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 23:36:08 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         What a wet and wild morning we had here on the west coast.
The rain finally started to ease off at approx 3.30pm and we had at
least an hour of relative calm. Then we got another dose. Omar
saying goodbye. It only lasted for roughly 20 min's then all over.
We had power all through the storm this morning, then just has I
was about to send in a report, yep you got it, the power went off.
    Sea is rough. We can hear it crashing onto the shore. It can get
quite noisy. Rocks and pebbles being thrown around. Where we live
we do not have those long golden sand beaches. Some people were
evacuated from their beach front homes due to flooding. Hotels along
the beach front were awash. Lot of debris on the roads. Fallen trees
and rocks.Have not heard of any serious injuries. So hopefully
everyone is safe and well.  A lot of our fishermen have lost their boats
and equipment. We saw possibly 2 being swept out to sea.
           This evening is calm. No rain, thunder or lightening, and hardly
any breeze. If it wasn't for all the damage and destruction, you would
not know we have had a storm go through.
          Do hope all the other islands have fared o k , and that there have
been no serious injuries to anyone.
         Just got to get ready for the mozzie explosion. Little beasts have
been at me all evening. I'll get my own back, with my favourite perfume.
Anything with deet in it will do just fine for me. Liberal dose of Raid all over.
        You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 13:32:27 -0500
Dominica has been taken by surprise.  The ground swells on the coast have and are causing considerable damage.  Roseau has been flooded badly, the Royal Bank of Canada has been under water and many other businesses have affected by rising and still rising saline sludge.

We here in the valley are safe and sound.  The rain started a 5 a.m. this morning and has continued all day.  We have had thunder and lightning off and on.  At this moment in time we are having gale force winds with high gusts and much rain.  We have the doors closed and are warm and safe inside.

Portsmouth is apparently a big mess with flooding, the west coast has been hit very hard by the ocean and is continuing to be hit.  Nobody should get in a vehicle to drive anywhere.  The sea roads are in some places impassable and the cliffs are unsafe with boulders falling on the road.  Some houses on the ocean front have been totally destroyed, there are rescue workers helping in the distressed areas. 

Omar is going to turn out to be a very costly hurricane throughout the islands.  The fishermen here will have been badly hit as there are many boats that have been sunk.  Dominica has been taken by surprise!

We hope all our other colleagues in the other islands are safe.

As a PS: 99.9% of the weather that hits the Layou valley comes from the east - today, the traffic has totally been from the west and it's been a weird trip seeing thick mist go uphill, everything else has a topsy turvy feel to it.

- Update.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 11:35:40 -0400
Hi everyone,
    Still have electric, Listening to the radio. Seems the whole of the west coast has been affected
along the beach front. From the Portsmouth in the north to Scots Head in the south from the storm
surge from Omar.
         stay safe.

- Just Been Smacked.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 10:54:51 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Plenty of rain, gusty wind, thunder and lightening.
Sea swells up to 12ft.  The area of Pottersfield and Fond Cole
on the west coast have been hit bad. These areas are small
fishing communities. A lot of small boats and equipment have
been washed out to sea. The small shacks built on the beach to
house the boats have all been swept away. Lots of debris swept
out to sea. We watched the debris being swept past. It included
telegraph poles, trees and a fishing boat.  The weather advisory
this morning said no sever weather would affect the island.
   Someone didn't look out their window this morning.
One person reported with slight injuries, trying to get his boat out
of the water. Ross universerty closed. Govt asking that shops and
buisness's close for the day.
      The jetty for the cruise ships at Roseau has been damaged.
The ferry terminal has been damaged.
            Hope everyone is safe and well. Any more devolopment
will let you know.

- Hurricane season seems to be going out with a bang
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2008 07:08:21 -0500
Omar, wow, coming back to get the northern Leeward islands. Some of the correspondents in the potential path of O have mentioned the anguish of not knowing whether they are going to get a major hit or not - we can empathise with them after being through at least 7 hurricanes.  We feel for our friends in Antigua and the other islands of course.  At the moment it does not look that it will build too much but I would imagine there is going to be a great deal of rain and flooding.  It is so near the end of the hurricane season it really does not seem fair. 

We had a gorgeous day here yesterday and managed to get the lawn mowed which was a feat in itself.  The garden could not be any greener, we have been planting more vegetables in the hope that we get a very good crop later on. 

On our morning walks and the Jaco Ladd run it is really fun seeing the trucks go by with all the workers sitting in the back, all dressed in their colourful clothes shouting and laughing loudly with each other on their way for a day of sweat and toil, this happens rain or shine.  Most of the truck riders have got to know us now so they all wave and shout encouragement as we exercise with the dogs!  The dogs often take off to chase an unsuspecting aguti or manicou - they even play with the crabs that scuttle sideways off the road to get out of harm's way.  I am sure a pinch on the dogs nose by one of their claws would soon deter their adventuresome spirit.

We will be watching the weather for the next few days, amid prayers for those in the direct path of Omar, hoping that the storm loses strength and does not do too much damage.  Also everyone stays safe.

- Breezy Evening
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2008 19:38:54 -0400
Good evening every one,
        To all in the path of Omar stay safe.
We have been out on the back balcony watching the light show. Which
seems to be coming from the Sth / Sthwst. Way out at sea  Also had a
couple of big flashes from the Nth. The Nth ones seem to have moved on.
Haven't seen anything from there for about 1/2 hour.  The one coming
from the Sth, Sthwst, looks to be very slow moving. ( just had a quick check )
and it is still out there. Now almost directly in line with the house, the back
of the house faces west.
      We have had another nice day here on the west coast. Plenty of sun,
slight breeze. had some rain at about 4pm, the wind started to pick up.
It is now starting to feel quite cool. No thunder that we can hear. The rain
has stopped.  It is very breezy as I write. I have both the back and front
doors open and things have started to fly around. Just had to chase some
paperwork across the balcony. 
       You guys out there take care and stay safe. Anything happens here
will let you know.

- Nice Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 23:22:39 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         We have had a real nice day here on the west coast. A fair
amount of sunshine. With only a few dark clouds looming over us.
No rain. Nice breeze picked up for awhile.
          This evening is completely different. Only the odd breeze.
Temperature feels like it's dropped a little. More rain, which started
about 9pm. lasted for about 11/2 hours. Fairly heavy. No thunder
or lightening. It is very quiet. No dogs barking. Frogs do not seem
to be singing so loud this evening.
           Everyone in the path of 15 go with care and stay safe.
           I'm off to finish whats left in the glass before the ice melts.
             You  all take care, anything happens will let you know.

- Rain Easing Off.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 09:45:42 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         The rain finally stopped at about 6pm yesterday evening here
on the west coast. No thunder and lightening. Quite cool.
Nearly thought I would have to put on a woollie for the evening,it was
that cool. Around 7.30pm the wind kicked in. Became very breezy
for about an hour. Then it just died. It warmed up a little towards the
later part of the evening. The rain held off for the rest of the evening.
Only light showers throughout the night. No thunder or lightening.
         This morning is still grey, but seems a little brighter. Still no
breeze. Just light showers every now and again.
       See on the sat pic's that 97 has now gone to high probability,
but still on track to head north, and the upper winds are helping to keep
it under control.
       Just been nearly run down by one of the resident finches. Who is
now screeching at me from the kitchen, because there are no crumbs
for him. For such a small bird the noise is deafening. It,s a daily game
with him, see how close he can zoom in on me and how much noise he
can make.
       I'm off to chase the little blighter out, have another coffee, watch the
day getting brighter. Hopefully might get some sun today.
         You all take care, anything happens will let you know.

- Sometimes, Friday Nights Catch You Out!
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2008 12:40:57 -0400
For those that relish T.G.I.F. - and the partying that goes with it - be understanding; the Nature God is totally indifferent. Hence the wrath that was unleashed upon the central Layou Valley last night resulting in heavy electric fireworks in the form of forked lightning and a Lord of the Rings type of thunder that would have shook even the most inebriated souls from their beds. And did everyone unplug their internet modems from the wall? I fear not, according to the 'Help me' calls that I received. After being hit three times lately, losing cordless phones, wireless routers and an A/V receiver to boot, I'm very vigilant when it comes to unhooking any cable with a plug at the end of it. How can you see what's comin' at ya if you're netless?
Awoke to a dawn that was reminiscent of Conan Doyle's 'Lost World' with a mist everywhere that blanketed the cliffs and ravines so much so that I veered off the road a few times during my rain assisted run much to the delight of the fresh water crabs doing the Lambeth Walk through the sodden ditch network.
Thankfully, Manicou Drop, the piece of shattered road that has been redeemed is now passable in a fashion, but too many heavy trucks, plus the rain could render it unusable in a day or so. Beware!
Layou River is a few feet above normal, papaya and bananas in profusion, 2008 Reunion in the departure lounge and share options to most people I know means 'from a hand of plantain, how many do I get?'

JL out.

- More Rain.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2008 08:56:06 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Don't think we felt the earthquake here, what we did feel
in the very early hours was the thunder. We had been out with
friends last night so was very tired and I could be mistaken.
      During the early hours we had some huge bright flashes
of lightening. Then the thunder rumbled right across the top of
the house. All the glass in the windows rattled. Then the rain
started, and it is still raining.  Not even a glimmer of blue sky up
there. Just a very big grey blanket of rain. Peeking at the sat pic's
it looks like we are gonna be wet for most of this weekend. We
are under that mess somewhere if your looking for us.
        Had intended to go to the market this morning, but I hate
going when there is this much water. The place develops huge
puddles. If they all joined up we could have a nice big paddling pool.
      This morning apart from the rain, it is calm. Not a breath of wind.
It doesn't feel quite so humid. Nice and cool.  The sea is grey and
looks a little choppy.
        Keeping an eye on 97. Hopefully it will not develope into
anything serious for all our sakes,and all we will get is a lot more rain.
Although we really don't need any more water, I would rather that
than one of those nasty H's.
             I'm off to have another coffee and look at the miserable view.
          You all take care, anything happens will let you know.

- Some Storm.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2008 20:15:28 -0400
Good evening everyone,
        Not sure where it came from, but boy that was some storm this
afternoon. There I was chatting away to a cuz in England when there
was this almighty crack on top of the house.  Lightening. sending out
sparks in all directions. It was some show. Nature saying  "Don't mess
with me babe ".   Torrential downpour all in a matter of seconds it
seemed. The garden was floating. Sorry for any spelling mistakes, but
it all happened so quick never had time to check.
       The elecktricky stayed on, that was a nice surprise. We might
loose the water tomorrow. That sometimes happens when we have a
good downpour. All in the name of safety of course. Fill some bottles
just in case.
    The day started out great, sun, blue, blue sky, sea calm. Then
WHAM take that. Rest of the day nice. Back to sun, blue, blue sky,
calm sea.   We do have a lightening show going on, but it seems to be
well over to the southeast.  Well see what the rest of the evening brings.
       You all take care, anything exciting happens will let you know.
  Off to open a very cold bottle that's been waiting all day.

- Storm overhead
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2008 14:44:44 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
    Wowwie  do we have a thunder and lightening storm going on at the moment.
It is right overhead.  probably lose the electric in a minuet.  Seems to be heading
north.  Torrential rain.  Gonna sign off in case the power goes. Will update later.

- Cool Morning.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2008 07:19:00 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Yesterday we had a beautiful day here on the west coast.
Sun shone all day. Couple little wispy clouds just lazily floating
around. No breeze. Sea calm and flat, so flat and calm we could
see the clouds being mirrored. It really was lovely.
           Then we had to go into Roseau.
It's hot in town at the best of times, yesterday we baked. Still it
was good fun. Bumped into several people we haven't seen for
awhile and caught up with the gossip. 
           The evening we had thunder and a great light show. No
rain. No breeze. Plenty of mozzies. Had to put on my favourite
perfume. Consists of, Deep Woods, Off, anything I can find
with Deet in it, plus liberal amounts of Raid. Smells gorgeous.
          This morning is quiet and cool. The sun is due to come
up over the ridge soon. ( Hopefully )  Slight breeze. Sea, looks
a bit dark this morning. Some pretty big grey clouds up there.
      I'm off to have another coffee, look at the view. If the
weather holds will head for Soufriere for a hot sulphur bath today.
Does wonders for these old bones. The sun's just come up over 
the ridge.
        You all take care, anything happens will let you know.

- Manicou Drop Makeover
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 12:13:56 -0400
After almost 14 months of being a crumbling paved structure, the indispensable arterial highway that cuts through the picturesque Layou Valley is now undergoing 'major heart surgery'. Since the ravages of Hurricane Dean in August 2007, the stretch of this road affectionately known by the human denizens as 'Manicou Drop' and ignored by the manicou themselves, has stood up to the rigours of hard and heavy traffic whilst existing only on a thin crust of trusty tarmacadam.

The sheer force and weight of ravine water through Dean eliminated the subsoil underneath the road and subsequent erosion since then has left a very shaky surface for the size of vehicles - mainly in the construction field - that in most cases have to reach the central roundabout of Pond Casse. No imagination needed: Ready Mix concrete trucks, 40ft containers, earth moving gear as in Catapillar D8's, D'9's - and Yimiashebackupu's or whatever that stuff from Barbados is called, no matter what, the road held steady!
 Whether or not the road crew are on bonus or whatever a reverse penalty clause is called, progress on the first day - some of it in torrential rain - has been impressive.

Concrete 4ft circular pipes now hug the ravine with no flow impeded and the men in hard hats expect to complete by Tuesday; if not it's an extra 10 miles for us to get eggs, etc. - but the Valley is enveloped in motorised silence so no complaints.

The pics are only a small reflection of the action.

Jaco Ladd out.

Attachment: Manicou drop 009.jpg
Description: JPEG image

Attachment: Manicou drop 019.jpg
Description: JPEG image

- Miserable Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2008 20:26:35 -0400
Good evening everyone,
        What a miserable day it's been.  Rain, and more rain.
Dull and grey.  Thunder and lightening.  Hardly any breeze.
More rain.
         Didn't have to find an excuse not to go into Roseau.
The rain did it for us anyway. No fun going to the market in
the kind of weather we have had here all day.  Going to have
to live on air for a couple days. Looking at the sat pic's it looks
like we are going to be a bit wet for awhile.  If we were still not
walking about in shorts I'd think we were in England.  Seems
they are in for a wet time has well. Plenty mozzie's and
noseeums about tonight.
       The evening is cool and wet. Not much breeze.
            You all take care and if anything other than more rain
happens I will let you know.

- Raining.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2008 07:53:21 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         What a wet night. Lots and lots of heavy rainfall. Great light show.
Very little thunder. Hardly any breeze. Another mozzie explosion soon
I expect. 
         Managed to get my immediate neighbours garden dealt with before
she returns today.Yesterday was a good day for the garden. Overcast
and warm. Must have lost 5lbs just sweating it out. By the time I went to
bed I felt exhausted. Head hit the pillow and zonk gone. Never heard
another thing for the rest of the night.
        This morning it is grey and wet. Getting light showers, no breeze.
Feels humid and sticky. Sea is silvery instead of that pretty blue. Looks
a little choppy out there. No fishing boats out there, just the small tug boat
pulling in one of the barges.
         Trying to think of a good excuse not to have to go into Roseau today,
but needs must, nothing left in the fridge. Looks like we are gonna get wet.
           I'm off to enjoy my coffee and the view before the trek into town.
                You all take care and if anything happens will let you know.

- Weeding Time.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2008 08:46:02 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Have woken to a lovely morning again.  Just a little duller
than yesterday but lovely all the same.  Sky, is baby blue, with
a couple of dark clouds, floating around up there. Sea, calm
and flat. Slight breeze. All is peaceful. The only noise, the King
bird up on his favourite perch. Singing his little heart out for all
he is worth.  We have had light showers of rain on and off over
the last 2 days. Looks very much like it will be the same today.
         Met some new people who have come to live here
yesterday while out shopping.  That's always nice. Like meeting
new people. I hope they enjoy Dominica as much as we do.
Can think of no better place to bring up your children. 
         My neighbour is back on saturday. Have to go attack her
garden, so that she doesn't open her door sunday morning to weeds.
Which have grown at an alarming rate, due to all the rain. Strange
that, flowers, bushes, ect struggle to grow and survive. Weeds
just grow and grow.
         Well I'm off to enjoy my coffee, look at that view.
                you all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Nameless storms can be just as scary!
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2008 11:16:22 -0400
Today - so far - is a Layou Valley superlative for "Le Sol est brille". A wonderful day for light +  moisture = growth; the lawn is an inch higher than this time yesterday...honest!?

Yesterday, had little comparison. A trip to Portsmouth and environs was scheduled a week ago to view some interesting acreage located at Tane Tane and Savanna Paille, a little to the north-west of the town. The client, a Californian sweetheart and a big fan of the Caribbees, seemed suitably impressed by the views over Prince Rupert and Douglas Bays, so e mail surveys were arranged, etc. and our attentions turned to the oncoming black cloud mass from the Guadeloupe channel. We made it to the SUV before the deluge struck and it was headlights all the way to victuals at the Tomato Bistro at Picard (give it a try). Ride out the storm, or so we thought - 90 mins. later still enveloped in darkness and water everywhere.
Eventually, we headed out down south like two wet ferrets, expecting some respite but realizing we were just in tandem with the downpour and the conditions were worsening FAST!
Between Bioche and Coulibistrie, in the murkiness, things got rather hairy as the 50 feet cliffs either side of the road were releasing cascades of water which in turn were dislodging rocks on to the highway below. With oncoming traffic approaching us at snail pace, there was no room to manouvre from one's line should the boulder have your name on it - either side, so the comments inside our transport are not for this page.
At St. Joseph things brightened up somewhat only to deteriorate into an abyss through the mid Layou Valley resulting in headlights everywhere. Jaco Banc estate and the anxious dog brood were a welcome sight, I can affirm!

All together with this suitable refrain: "I drove through the valley on a storm with no name......"

- Wet Evening.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 22:53:41 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         Well it's been another beautiful day here on the west coast.
Sun shining, slight cooling breeze, sea calm. Had a little rain late
         This evening is a different story, thunder, lightening, bit gusty,
and a lot of rain. Torrential rain at approx 9.30pm.  Came at all angles.
The front balcony soaked, forgot about the seat cushions out there,
oops, can wring the water out of them. Everything calmed down for
an hour, then another deluge hit. All is quiet and peaceful now. Just
the frogs singing. Lets hope that is all for the rest of the night.
         I'm off to finish whats in the glass before any more ice melts.
You all take care, anything happens will let you know.

- Another Beautiful Morning.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 08:20:36 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         and what a lovely morning it is.  Sky, baby blue again,
sea flat and calm. Sun shining. No breeze. Glorious.
        Yesterday was pretty much the same, except for a
couple of dark clouds every now and again. It was so nice
we went to Soufriere, had a lovely 2 hours soaking in the
hot sulphur pool. Great. No pulling the plug and topping up
with hot water. Hot water always available. Not another soul
there. Bliss.
        Light show late evening way out to sea.
    So I'm off to enjoy my coffee and the view. You all take
care. Even more if your in the path of that monster rain cloud.
       Anything happens will let you know.

- Bright, Beautiful Morning.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 08:54:59 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         yesterday we woke to a gorgeous day. Nice gentle breeze, sun
shone all day, with not one dark cloud up there.
         Seems today is going to be very much the same. The sky is that
lovely shade of baby blue, very light breeze, sea flat and calm.
         Yesterday we took a nice slow, easy walk. Just to say hello to
some of the neighbours and to see how they fared through all the
wind and rain. The only damage is 6 fairly large trees are down. A
little flooding in some basements. Nothing serious that can not be
dealt with fairly quick.
          The grass, bushes and plants that were flattened have all sprung
upright again. Nature is great. If we could only just learn to leave it
alone, it would take care of itself and us with it.
          To everyone in the path of this monster rain cloud, take care.
A quick peek at the sat pic's and it looks like more to follow.For us now on
the west coast it is a beautiful morning. So I'm off to enjoy another coffee,
and look at that pretty blue sparkly sea.
           You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.
   P. S.   Hi, Mr & Mrs C.  You hiding from us. ?

- Nice Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 23:31:01 -0400
Good evening everyone,
      Woke to a bright and very breezy morning.  No rain all day.
Thank goodness. Not sure the ground could soak up any more.
I really do hope it bypasses Haiti, Cuba,ect. goes out to open water
and breaks up. I'm sure those people can do without any more
water being poured on them.
       It turned fairly warm here on the west coast, Aaarrrggg.
MOZZIE explosion. Can feel the little devils having a nibble
while I write.
       The wind died down, all calm and peaceful. O yeah.
About 9 / 9.30pm the lightening started. Great show. Looks
fantastic over the ridge. No thunder.  Just knew there was some
more water coming though. 10pm it started. Pretty heavy stuff.
Must have lasted for about 20 min's.
       It is now all peaceful again, except for the frog who is trying
to find himself a lady friend. He has been out at the back of the
house calling most of the day. He has not had one lady answer.
    Well I'm off to replenish the glass. You all take care.
Extra care please with the flash flooding. Anything happens will
let you know.
p.s.   Congrats to Mr & Mrs L, & Debbie.
            Radio 4, that's sad.  Is Gabriel still alive.?

- Autumnal weather
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 12:10:17 -0500
Well for the last three days we've had rain, rain and more rain.  The amazing thing with the downpours is the cool, cool and more cool!  The temperature has plummeted and has made us feel  really comfortable.  If we in the Caribbean had four noticeable seasons like they do in Europe then this would be our Autumn no doubt; the funny thing is it came so suddenly - a respite that was truly needed.

The bird life around the cottage is just amazing! All the baby birds have lived this year - so no surprise then that there has been a serious lack of hawk activity.  Our surroundings are a veritable social whirl for the birds and their families who all seem to interact by sitting on the same branch or other vegetation, then having a noisy squawking chat until they move merrily on their way.

We have one bird however, who does not seem to fit in but is very happy to be the odd one out in the garden.  This wonderful avian who we feel is very much a large baby, has long yellow legs with big feet, a squat body speckled brown like a English thrush; she or he has a long yellow beak and is about the same size as a parrot.  We feel this bird belongs to the heron family.  It is really funny to watch as she is clumpy and is very voiciferous. Takes absolutely no notice of the dogs, seems to like following Jaco Ladd around the garden.

I think we shall venture to the beach this afternoon, a change from forest trails and manicou debris, get a swim in the sea and meet some friends, other than, of course, the feathered kind!

- Wet Today.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2008 23:48:55 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         Did I say more water was due, because we sure did get some.
About 10am the wind started to blow, making the most awful howling
sound and then came the rain. The back garden turned into a swimming
pool, and the rain kept coming. We have a 10ft wide well covered
balcony at the back of the house. The rain and wind managed to push
us back 8ft. We gave up and watched from the shelter of the door.
Unable to see the sea, the grass was flattened along with some of my
plants. One of our resident finches came in for shelter, looking a bit
wet and sorry for himself.  It finally died down after about 11. 30am.
A  quick look at the total rainfall for this month for the west coast and we have
had just over 8 inc's. Think it all fell today and ended up in my garden.
        O well, It was desperately needed on this side of the island.  Just hope
it blows it's self out. The last place this needs to head for is Haiti, Cuba and
everywhere else that was hit by Hannah and Ike.
The afternoon was cool, cloudy, breezy and grey. It was like being
back in England on a summers day. Had a little thunder late in the day.
couple of lightening flashes way out at sea.
        The wind is kicking up again has I write, no more rain yet though.
No thunder. Turned a bit warmer.  Looking at the sat pic's, it seems we
are in for some more rain. Still some pretty mean looking blobs out there.
        Not heard of any serious damage being done in this area, so that's good.
Even the electricity has stayed on.  All day.
Well I'm off to finish what's left in the wine glass, listen to the wind blowing through
the grass and trees.
            You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.
  P. S.    Thanks MR & MRS C.   His mum was not happy about that red shirt.

- OOOOPs 36 yrs
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 20:52:21 -0400
Good evening everyone,
        Well what to say of the last 2 days,  Hmmmmm, wet, very wet, still we needed it.
It's rained constantly for the last 2 days here on the west coast. Had a short break
from the rain while friends were visiting, but the wind made up for the lack  of water.
Thought at one point we were going to lose one of our friends over the balcony. A
huge gust of wind tore through the house and out onto the balcony. Scary stuff.
     This evening it is quiet and calm. Hardly any breeze. The rain has stopped for
awhile. Quick peek at the sat pic's and it looks like more water is due.
    If anyone is looking for Dominica, we are under that huge blob.
 Realised today that we had been married 36yrs tues just gone. Had 2 extra Kubili's
to celebrate,  3 days late. O well never mind, remembered eventually.
    Off to open something cold, pour into a long tall glass and carry on celebrating.
            You all take care, anything happens will let you know.

- Cool, windy and wet
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 12:03:20 -0500
We have woken up to a very windy wet day, an uninvited depression is
upon us.  We have to say though that it is welcome.  The garden and
our water cistern were in need of replenishment.

Last night was truly amazing, sitting on our deck having supper we
were given the best lightning display we have seen since we moved to
Dominica.  It was just like a firework event!  The sky above the
cliffs were lit up by the most amazing forked version of the bolt,
which must have been leagues away over the sea.  The cliff where the
Layou river runs blocks the view of the coast;  it was really
wonderous - a bit eerie as there was no thunder just the sky lit up.
This lasted for about an hour.

All the dogs are curled up keeping cozy and warm.  I am baking bread
and thankfully am at home with Jaco Ladd today.............

Yeh! and don't I know it - whilst trying to concoct my Neopolitan
tomato sauce with an arrabiata kick, the (my) kitchen space has been
repeatedly invaded by herself tossing flour like transient talcum
powder, so much so that the fresh basil leaves now look like snow
dusted tundra grass - nevertheless plod on and thank the Nature God
for the respite in storm fury.

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- Cook In Time.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 09:04:27 -0400
Good morning everyone,
 A beautiful morning it is too. The sky is that stunning shade of blue,
the sea is flat and calm, not even a slight wisp of a breeze. Seems
we are in for another hot day. Going to enjoy it while it lasts. See
we have nasty things creeping across the pond again. We could do
with a little drop of rain. Not to much though thank you.
       My neighbour very kindly bought over some of his plantains for
us last night. 2 huge hands of them. We will be eating them for at
least a week. Everyday. Unable to give any away, everyone got some
he had so many. O well recipe books out. Time for a cook in.
      I'm off to enjoy my coffee, look at that view, all is peaceful.
Anything happens will let you know, you all take care.

- Update
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <lisette at caribbeanlandandproperty.com>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 08:40:30 -0500
We have woken up to a beautiful bright sunny day.  It really does feel
like one of those lazy Sundays, which I am hoping it is for us.  The
large puppy 'Tippy' who will be one year old next month is lying at my
feet and the little birds are chirping at me on the table demanding some
food for their breakfast!  They can be very noisy which is what they are
being at the moment!

We, at the present time are blessed with great valley weather, glorious
days and fabulous nights with wonderful sunsets.  I have attached a
couple of photo's of one glorious sunset taken the night before last.

We are now coming into the second half of the hurricane season, which
one presumes is the downside, hopefully there will not be so much
activity but one can never tell as the force of weather on Earth is to a
large extent very much in the lap of the Gods.

It has been a tragic season so far; we are so sad for those islands
especially Haiti and Turks and Caicos which have been so badly damaged
and have taken a heavy loss of life.  Living on our wondrous planet is
so upredictable, we have to take one day at a time and enjoy every
minute.  This is definitely a day to relax put one's feet up and chill

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- WOW, it's Hot.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 14:54:50 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
         Yesterday and today HOT, HOT, HOT again.
Slight breeze. Early this morning we had a good downpour, then the sun came
out and stayed. While writing I can hear thunder out at sea, but it sounds a
long way off. The sky and sea are the most incredible blue. The sea looks flat
and calm.
         Went into Roseau market very early today,  to try and beat the heat. Think
most of the island had the same idea. Hustle and bustle. Busy, busy today. A
lovely selection of fresh fruit and veggies to be had today. 
         Saw on the U.S. news that people who opted to stay through Ike are now
screaming for someone to go get them out. Risking other peoples lives because
they wanted to play hero. Stupid and selfish.
        I'm off to have a cup of coffee, look at that pretty blue sparkly sea, enjoy
 the peace and quiet.
            You all take care, anything happens will let you know.

- Lovely Morning.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 08:28:34 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         To all those still in the path of Ike, please take care and stay safe.
          Yesterday was hot, hot, hot here on the west coast. No breeze. Thought I
might get back into the garden, to finish tidying up. No chance. So hot you could
feel your skin prickling with the heat. I had some metal hair clips in, and they
warmed up nicely. Ouch.
         This morning at about 7 the sound of rain woke me. It was coming down
like a white sheet. Must have lasted for a good 20min's. The waterfall feature in my
neighbours garden was impressive. While writing the sun is out, the sky is a delightful
shade of blue, the sea is calm. No breeze.
         I'm off to have another coffee, look at that lovely view and listen to the birds.
All is peaceful.
          You all take care, anything happens will let you know.
            Karen, think the dugout canoe would make a great feature in the garden.
             Think it looks great.  Did you have any feed back on it ?

- Calm.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 09:12:11 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Pleased to read everyone safe on T&C and no serious injuries. Hope the same
will apply to Cuba and Haiti. 
         Yesterday was dry but dull, windy with some strong gusts here on the west coast.
This morning is bright and calm. The sun is shining and the sea looks flat and calm. That
lovely shade of blue. What a difference a day makes ( write a song about that ).
         Should have gone into Roseau yesterday, but it really was a good day for getting in
the garden. It's been so neglected over the last several weeks. The weeds are fighting back.
I'm off to enjoy my coffee, look at the pretty blue sea, listen to the quiet.
         You all take care. Anything happens will let you know.

- Stay Safe.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 22:53:03 -0400
Good evening everyone,
        Our best wishes go to all those on the T & C I who have just been hit by Ike, and to those on
Cuba and Haiti, who are either getting hit or about to. Keep safe, stay safe.  Picked up Britain's
Capital Gold radio station for a short while, the news broadcast said that a ship with supplies is
 being sent to the T & C. Unfortunately that was all that was said. Nothing to say when it would arrive.
So for all those in need we hope not to long for it to get to you.
         Had plenty of rain here on the west coast over the last 2 days. No thunder, no lightening. This
morning it was windy. Melville airport was saying gusts up to 35km/h. With the gusts and the rain it
was just enough to knock 2 of my neighbours plantain trees over. The devastation of 125 mp/h winds
just doesn't bare thinking about.
         To all those people out there who have never had the experience of a hurricane and the damage
it causes,  I hope you never do.
          This evening is warm and wet. Still raining has I write.  Plenty of mozzies about tonight.  The
paquati (  itchy vine) is growing again at an alarming rate.
          I'm off to get some sleep, Roseau tomorrow, gotta pay the bills.
          You all stay safe. Anything happens will let you know.

- Ike and the Ones That Follow
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 11:03:46 -0500
We are so sad to hear of the terrible destruction that Turks and Caicos has just been through with Hurricane Ike.  We just pray that things are not as bad as we are hearing.  The most important thing is to survive, whether soaking wet or blown asunder just to still be on the planet.

People from countries that don't experience hurricanes, tornadoes or typhoons really have no idea what one goes through.  Whenever there is a hurricane in the area or approaching everything is still; the air is sucked up into the oncoming hurricane - this is how she or he operates (depending on the alphabetical names of the season) to build up the power effect that defines the strength any given storm.

Most people each year stock up - or should stock up - food, batteries, torches, oil lamps, first aid kit everything that is needed.  One gets to be an old hand at this.

The worst thing is having battened down being totally prepared as much as one can.  It is then a waiting game; when that hurricane makes landfall then you just start praying.  We have always blocked our windows and so the vision of what is happening outside is totally impaired.  It is the constant noise that gets on one's nerves; you hear crashing, banging,   In hurricane Luis, which is the worst hurricane we have experienced, the palm tree in the garden was totally bowed to the ground with the force of the wind.  When the eye goes over it is as if it is a beautiful sunny day.  One is lulled into thinking that the hurricane has passed.  Oh no, that hurricane is far worse when the eye goes by. The wind is whipped in totally the other direction, your building is once more battered with what one imagines is hell,s full wrath!  Water always manages to seep in, there is nothing dry in the home.  When the hurricane is passed and you feel safe to go outside then your eyes fall on the destruction created within hours.  Roofs off buildings, electric wires hanging down in the road, a wall out of the hotel next door, looks as if it was cut out and there is a bed an chair hanging out of the hole.  The beaches devastated, coral and dead fish all washed ashore, the colour of the sea a muddy yucky hue.  There is no electricity, no water, no nothing.  The humidity is appalling, you can't even get a cold drink.  Your clothes are damp, your home, if still standing battered and saline wet.  There is nowhere to go and be comfortable. 

The affect it has on each person is telling; the stress, of not experiencing normality and not actually knowing when it will ever come back.  The worry of how your friends and people in general have faired.  You know there is always someone much worse off, so you go out and you try to help people who need it.  You cook for them, clean up for them, wipe their tears  and are there to comfort.  Doing this actually helps de-stress  yourself as you feel you are being useful.

The other thing I forgot to mention is that the landscape looks as if there was never a green bush or leaf on a tree.  It looks like there has been an incredible fire.  Also the flies then seem to come in droves, you smell the decaying rotten vegetation, there is no escaping this.

We are so sad for those who have experienced this in the season so far, especially Haiti, the DR' Jamaica, Cuba and now Turks and Caicos. 

We have chosen to live in this hemisphere and so expect to go through this each year.  However, some people born and raised in their country do not have a choice and that is so hard.

God bless everyone.  We are here in spirit for you.

- Canon Balls
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 08:01:05 -0500
It has been a few days since we have posted on the website.  The weather here has been generally really hot and oppressive, very sticky and we have had the odd thunder and lightning storms.  Luckily we have not had any lightning strikes on the house since Cable & Wireless has fixed our box on the outside of our wall.  Great, this means no wireless modems have been broken and we are still online.

It really is a very active hurricane season so far - gosh!.  We hope here in Dominica that they keep passing us by.  We also hope that other islands don't have any more bad hurricanes either this season, fingers crossed.

In the last week we have been watching our baby birds in the garden progressing in their ability to fly with their parents; watching the adults staying close by, giving them encouragement and stuff.  It is so fun being part of their growing up process as everything takes place very close to the cottage.

Tippy, our puppy seems to have given up on giving chase to the baby birds and things are very peaceful.  I think it is definitely a day for a visit to the river for a swim!  Another sweltering day in valley paradise.

- The power of flash flooding
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 10:23:57 -0400
With the Caribbean ablaze re: tropical activity - including Hurricane Gustav the 'Mother of all storms' as the unfortunate souls in New Orleans have dubbed it - it's a blessing that the Windward Isles are relatively in calm waters, but nobody is holding their breath.
Surprising then that in Dominica yesterday the Layou river had arguably it's biggest volume of flood water since Hurricane Dean visited these shores last August. In less than half an hour, the water which was clear and inviting in the lower Layou valley had risen by 4ft, very silty and the current speed seemed akin to that of Ferrari lava without the heat. Yet there was no heavy rain in the area mmm...? Logs and debris with a high damage potential whizzed by so much so that driving the ajacent road was not a trip for fickle folk. One local guy in a tree wearing his novelist hat was convinced that the Miracle Lake had broken through the cliff wall, but most Dominicans know that if that ever happened there would be no road, no conversation, no tree and probably no me! The Layou river rises in the centre of the island, way up high with an amazingly large catchment area and flows westward to the sea at Hillsborough.

I can't imagine what it's been like in Haiti and the DR these past weeks with the amount of rain they've had, but I can attest to danger in a  Dominican way.

Enjoy every day.

- Raining.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 12:28:23 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
         Hope all in the path of Gustav and Hannah are safe and well.
Please stay that way.
        This morning here on the west coast we have had heavy rains. It
 has been raining on and off for some hours now. No thunder, no
 lightening, cool breeze blowing, still feels hot and sticky. The Roseau
 river is up high. We can see the mud being washed out to sea. Yuk.
 With each heavy downpour we have a small waterfall feature from our
 neighbours garden, has the water rushes down the gully. The sun is
 making  attempts between each downpour. My glory Lillie's have been
 battered to the ground.
          The family left yesterday for England. Lots of tears at the airport.
 Hopefully they will come back to Dominica again soon. They loved the
 island and it's people as much as we do. We all had such a good time.
        The sun is now out in all it's glory and it is very hot again.
 We are going to have a nice relaxed quiet weekend.  I'm off to enjoy a
cup of coffee, take in the view. Anything happens will let you know.
          You all take care.

- Last Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 08:59:45 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         A quick peek at the sat pic's and it sure looks pretty busy out there.
Yesterday was dull, grey, humid, no breeze.  Rain arrived here on the
west coast just before 7pm last night. A real good downpour which we
were in need of. Thunder and lightening joined in, trouble was it only lasted
for about 10 min's. The rest of the evening turned hot and humid again, with
plenty of mozzies about. 
        We all went to the beach again, the boys just love being there. On the
way home we stopped off at one of our favorite spots. There is a small jetty
and a gas station. Lot of the local guys use it to fill up their boats. We
watched the most appalling dump your garbage in the sea we have ever seen.
Diesel, plastic bottles, ect. Someone forgot to tell these guys that this is
supposed to be the nature island of the caribbean. Other than that we all had
a really great day again. We are now down to our last day. I'm really not
looking forward to tomorrow.
         This morning is a little dull and humid. Still no breeze. I'm off to
have a look at the view, enjoy my coffee before the gang arrive.
       Everyone take care, stay safe. Anything happens will let you know.

- Time Almost Up.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 00:06:10 -0400
Good morning everyone,
        Hope everyone who's been hit by Gustav and is being hit and in his
path are all safe and well. Stay safe and well. Just hope that he blows
away soon for you guys.
        Yesterday evening we had some thunder and lightening here on the
west coast. Nothing to serious and it did not last for to long. The boys
loved the light show and were disappointed when it just blew over. No rain,
no breeze.
        Today was incredibly hot. Still no breeze. Hot and humid and still is.
We are now down to our last 2 days. The family flying back to England
friday. Just cannot believe that 7 weeks have gone. We have had so much
fun. We all trooped into Roseau today, the daughter was determined to see
the one and only cruise ship still coming here dock. Goodness knows why,
but that's what she wanted to see. This was our 3rd attempt and we made it.
She had a great view, sitting on the bay front having her hair braided
watching the ship. Then everyone coming off the ship looking at her having
her hair done. People videoing and taking photo's. She wasn't expecting that.
Think she enjoyed the attention really. The young girl doing her hair was
pleased, drummed up trade for her.
       Well I'm off to get some sleep, busy day again tomorrow, running out
of time now.
        Once again, hope all are safe. You all take real good care.
Anything happens here will let you know.  

- Still Raining.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2008 12:47:41 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
         We have had plenty of rain over the last couple of days. No thunder or
lightening. This morning a nice gusty, cooling breeze has kicked in. Still getting
some light showers, the sun is still shining though. The garden is very grateful
for the rain. It was beginning to look a bit like a desert garden. Everything
struggling except the weeds.
         Yesterday was the daughters birthday and she opted to go back to
Champagne Beach for the day. Her and the eldest boy are really into the
snorkeling bit now. We had a couple of heavy downpours while there, but
most of the day was lovely. Made her a mango birthday cake, probably the
strangest birthday cake she has ever had, but at least she had a cake.
Everyone ate it anyway and I'm not the best cake maker in the world. My cakes
usually leave a bit to be desired. Reminds me of the time I made a Christmas
cake, that was so bad we gave it full funeral rites and buried it in the back yard.
Something akin to a block of concrete. It's probably still there, couldn't see it
breaking down to quick.
          I'm off to enjoy the breeze. Check out the garden, see whats survived.
                 You all take care.  Anything happens will let you know.

- Blustery Day
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2008 11:38:16 -0500
This morning was so close, Jaco Ladd had a tough run back up the hills, hardly any fresh air to fill his lungs.  It is now noon and the wind has kicked up coming in gusts across the lawn making the bamboo click and sigh as it sways back and forth.

We have been having a great time in the mornings at breakfast watching our family of Dr. Nicholls birds in their favourite tree.  The two babies one of which we rescued (stayed overnight in the cottage after Tippy had captured it in her mouth) all preening and cleaning each other while making their weird calling sounds to each other.  It is really fascinating because they have a regime just like we humans. They  tend to plan things and have certain routine habits - an engaging, wonderful little family. 

Their nest is in the bamboo by the cottage, they have a habit of going for the same trees at similar times of each day.  We feel they watch over us in a way, maybe they feel safe in the bounds of our garden.  It is certainly a delight that they stay so close to us.

This afternoon I am going to Watton Waven to laze in the fabulous hot sulphur pools, just great for relaxing in with a really potent local rum punch!  Just another day in Dominica.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:31:41 -0500
What terrible weather we have had over the last two days!  Here in the valley we have had a great deal of rain.  The worse thing was that our cottage was struck by lightning, even though we had all the switches on the plugs off and the telephone line out of the wall.  We lost our modem, the internet card on the computer and the phones got frazzled.  Not good at all!

It is the second time this has happened to us so we must do something to divert the lightning.  I really hate lightning but it must love me!

Today is now sunny with a fabulous wind blowing to keep the temperature very good.  I got my eggs this morning, brought to me by Frank our neighbour from the garden next door.  I just love our egg delivery, in a plastic bag, the best eggs we have ever had a golden yellow yolk, really great.  Once again we are feasting ourselves on avocados, breadfruit, passion fruit and veg in the garden.  Can't be bad.  We also have the internet back, new modem!  What would we do without the Net?.

Great win for Jamaica, go Bolt, go!

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 11:06:40 -0500

- Rain at Last.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 10:03:57 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Sorry to hear of the deaths due to Fay on Haiti.
         Congratulations to Jamaica, for a terrific performance in the Olympics.
         We have had some good downpours at last, the rain started on tuesday.
Yesterday started dull and humid. We took the family down to one of the rivers,
so they could see how after just a small amount of rain just how fast and deep
they flow. In a very short space of time.  Took a picnic with us. Thought we
could make a stop at Rodney's Rock, the government have made this a project
site. Good snorkeling.  No beach really, all boulders and pebbles, But the boys
like this. They look for little pools and crabs amongst the boulders. Sorry but
no way could you have a picnic there. People have left some of the most
unbelivable filth. The whole family were shocked and saddened at the state of
the place. Even the guys who are working on the project are leaving roofing,
wood, nails ect on the sealine.
        Back to Mero, the boys were soon joined by several local children and a
fun afternoon was had by all.
        Some really good downpours during the night. No thunder or lighting though.
This morning is bright, clear and warm. Little humid, no breeze. Sea looks just a
bit to grey for me. Still watching the east, lot of ugly looking stuff out there.
        Sun is making it's breakthrough, I'm off to enjoy my coffee and the view,
all is quiet and peaceful.
               You all take care, anything happens will let you know.

- Lazy Days.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 09:55:17 -0400
Good Morning Everyone,
        The last 2 days have been brilliant sunshine, bright blue skies, calm, flat seas,
much to the boys delight, slightly humid evenings with very little breeze.
        Last 2 days are have been lazy days. I like lazy days, get a chance to
recharge the batteries.  A trip into Roseau market first thing Saturday morning for
fresh fruit and veggies. A cup of coffee at one of the little cafes, back to the house,
siesta. Sunday is usually our laziest day. We go nowhere and try to do as little as
possible.  Yesterday was extremely hot, not a soul about, no noise, Ahhh lovely.
        Had a sprinkling of rain last night, but not enough to water the garden well.
        This morning is just a little dull, but the sky and sea are still that lovely shade of
blue. Not much breeze.  I'm off to have another coffee before the gang arrives, enjoy
the peace and the view. Think I will take the boys guava picking, my neighbour keeps
asking me to go round with the boys and help ourselves. She as an abundance of guava
and cannot reach them all, so the boys being natural tree climbers, they should be able
to reach the high ones. Which I'm sure she is hoping for.
         Well off for that coffee and if anything happens will let you all know.

- Hurricane DEAN ---A Year down the road!
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 16:53:42 -0400
Without, but having to use the 'F' word, Tropical Storm Fay looks likely to continue the mischief around Jamaica and environs to the west and counting; we all endorse good wishes and safe harbour to the battered ones unfortunately in it's path.
A good time perhaps to reflect upon a year ago to the date that we in Dominica - not forgetting Martinique and St Lucia - had the 8 to 10 hours of anguish through the passing of Hurricane Dean, not I may say a memorable blow to the ones that didn't get it but the gentle scars are still there for the ones that did.
It's well known that Dean was not a structural menace, many buildings came through it totally unscathed, but the rub is that when Nature hurts Nature, sometimes the damage is permanent and even ugly. Evidence of multi landslips are still in full view, certainly around the Layou Valley, Imperial Highway and many too-numerous-to-mention tourist spots. Raw rock, not pleasant to the eye that nothing in growing mode can adhere to - almost like AV bikes et.al. have had there get-togethers on these surfaces for the last 20 years and are licking their lips at the prospect of another lick or two.
Roots of big trees are bare and possibly brittle; one can only hope that the fabulous growing rate in Dominica will strengthen the vulnerable forest giants so that generations to come will identify with everything that's come before.
Some rivers have become shallower, many ravines are now wider and deeper, funny old game isn't it?  River tubing is still fun in the right places, so some things remain the same.

With a little bit of luck and a shepherd's crook we might get a full harvest of avocado after 2007 when the Jolly Green Giant  blew it away and  gobbled it all up himself.

And as we say in times of potential turmoil: "May your God go with you"

Snooze time  for Jaco Ladd.

- East Coast Trip.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 08:17:16 -0500
Good Morning Everyone,
         Hope everyone who has been hit or is in the path of 92L is safe and well and stays
that way.  We have had just a few light showers over the last couple days. Most of them
were through the night. Wednesday night a fairly heavy downpour at about 3am. Nothing
substantial. The days have been hot and humid, not much breeze either. Yesterday morning
thought we may get a bit of rain, had some very large dark grey clouds above. by 9am they
had floated on by.
         Yesterday we had one of our local bus guys take all the family for a trip. We did the
east coast, which is very dramatic scenery. The coast line is sheer cliffs and rocky, crashing
waves from the Atlantic. There are a few golden beaches along the east side, but the sea can
be quite dangerous. Lots of undercurrent. Not suitable for the boys to play in unfortunately.
We had a good visit to the Carib Territory. Ended up going to Kalinago Barana Aut'e which
is a traditional Kalinago village. Watched the ladies weaving baskets, which they sell across
the island. It is an interesting place to visit, shows a way of life that is long gone.  The sun
stayed with us all day again.
          The evening was warm and clear, slight spatter of rain about 8pm. It has rained through
the night again, but just so tired never heard a thing.
           This morning the sun is out, the sky and sea are a delightful shade of blue. A slight
breeze kicking up. Still watching the east. Nasty things out there and lots of them looking at the
sat pic's. I'm off to have another coffee and enjoy the peace while it lasts.
            You all take care, anything exciting happens will let you know.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 14:25:10 -0500
It looks like we could get some weather coming in tonight, there is a great big splodge en route  . Today, though started rainy and is now gorgeous sunshine, a cool breeze blowing, ideal conditions for taking a river bath.

Each morning Jaco Ladd runs three miles and I try to get out of bed and walk a couple of miles with the puppy on the lead.  This morning was no exception.  On the way down we pass the Frenchman's banana shed which has a couple of guys living there in the week.  They are good neighbours; this morning I said 'hello' and one of the men told me, that his - so I thought -  coat was bitten by our father dog.  I apologized and asked if I could have it mended or replace it!  Well he said, 'no he (Sinbad ) Daddy dog bit the goat'!  I said, 'oh I'm really sorry is the goat alright'? 'Yes', he said but I don't want him doing that again'.  I explained I couldn't tie him up or keep him in and that this used to be his home before he decided to come and stay with us. 

Well we chatted about it for a while and came to an agreement.  On the way back up the hill from my walk I passed our spring which comes from an underground labrynth and is 'stylo grande', acceptable nectar for Hades and his mystical buddies no doubt!.  My friend waved goodbye and stood there, avec another ami, lathered with soap and stark naked as the day they were born.  I tried to avert my eyes but surprise! surprise! was not wholly able to.  I had a giggle all the way back to the cottage! The long and short of it - no pun intended - I suppose is that's just nature and living in the country, deep in Dominica.

- Glass of Champagne Anyone.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 07:42:02 -0500
Good Morning Everyone,
         Sizzle, Sizzle for the last couple days again, no rain till yesterday
afternoon. Then we had quiet a heavy downpour which lasted all of 15 min's.
Still better than nothing. The sun came back out and it was straight back to
sizzling. A very slight breeze.
         Yesterday was an excellent day. One of the family is suffering from a
bad back, ( not me, granny is still getting out there ).  Best thing we could
think of was a dip in the hot mineral pools up at Soufriere. Off we trooped,
and what a lovely experience. Sitting in water warm enough to be a bath,
under a forest canopy. Just so relaxing. We all felt so much better for it.
Next stop, Champagne Beach. Not one of your lovely golden sandy ones,
very rocky, and pebbly but worth it. The water is warm, oh so clear and clean,
you can see the bubbles coming up from the fissures in the rocks from the
volcano, ( hence the name, it's like being in a giant champagne glass. ) All
kinds of wonderful marine life, which can be seen so clearly. Even sitting at
the edge of the water, you can see the small fish darting around, and their
colours. We all had a real good time.
         Seems it rained through the night, never heard a thing. This morning is
dull, overcast, with some showers, no breeze, very humid. Pleased to see 92L
moving away, will 93L do the same ? but we all know to keep on watching, take
nothing for granted in this season.
        I'm off to enjoy a coffee, look at the view, then a trip into Roseau.
            You all take care, anything happens I'll let you all know.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2008 07:50:54 -0500
The weather has been really perfect the last couple of days, sunshine most of the day, then a lot of rain all night.  This keeps the cistern full, the vegetables and the flowers growing in abundance; speaking of which we are enjoying the most amazing crop of avocados, luckily we have four avocado trees and they don't all ripen at the same time which is lucky for us.  Impossible to eat them all so we give the majority to our friends and neighbours.

The day before yesterday there was a terrible commotion in the garden; there were four Dr Nicholls birds and a pair of white fronted sparrow-like birds who live in the avocado tree dive bombing our puppy Tippy.  To our  horror she was carrying a large baby Dr. Nicholls bird in her mouth.  I jumped off our deck ran to Tippy and got the baby bird from her mouth!  Luckily the baby bird was not damaged in anyway.  I brought her into the house in my cupped hands and let the warmth revive her.  Well this big baby bird was amazing! I found a large plastic container to put her in a hot water bottle to rest her on, got out a syringe that I keep for worming the dogs, then set to feeding her with sugar water and later soft dog food mixed with water.  The morning came the baby bird was alive and definitely wanting to get back to it's parents.  Off I went and put the bird in the tree near to the cottage.  Big mistake -  the puppy got the baby again, luckily it did not harm the bird.  Jaco Ladd then took charge and popped the baby bird way up in the Christophene tree.  We are so glad to report that the baby bird is still alive and being looked after by it's parents.

Watching nature is amazing because when we go out in the garden anywhere near where the family live we have no problem, on the other hand if Tippy goes anywhere near the family - including the two birds living in the avocado tree next to our cottage - the dive bombing of the puppy starts.

It is just fantastic watching nature all around us; it is as if we have moulded ourselves into the forest life.  We are woken up each morning by a Blue Heron who lives near the ravine at the back of the cottage and through the day, many different squawks, squeals and thuds add to the background entertainment!

Stormwise, it looks like there is a lot of messy weather coming across the Atlantic that we shall be watching closely.

- Boeri (Boring) Lake.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2008 23:30:53 -0500
Good Evening Everyone,
         Yesterday was hot, very hot here on the west coast. We all went up to Boeri Lake, ( the boys are calling it
Boring Lake, )  It was cool and fresh up there. Quite a trek though, but everyone made it. We slipped and slid over
boulders, and down a muddy track, nearly lost the the little one through the vegetation, down the side of the mountain.
Grandad to the rescue there. We were filthy by the time we reached the lake. Only to find more boulders all round
the lake, which we had to climb over before we could even dip our toes. That's when granny gave up, found a comfy
boulder and refused to go any further and was not looking forward to the return trip. By the time we got back to the car
we were exhausted and just needed a really cold Kubili. We all agreed it is one place we have no wish to go to again.
         This morning was hot, went into Roseau market, one of the boys came with us, and the heat soon started to take
it's toll on him. By the time we got back to the house the heat was incredible. Not even a mouse stirred today. Everyone
and everything stayed inside or in the shade. No barking dogs, no children out playing, no birds, nothing. We have had
a couple of very light showers this evening. A slight breeze, which is warm. It is still hot and humid. A quick peek at the
sat pic's and it it looks like clear skies. Unless we have rain tonight looks like another hot one tomorrow. ( Yahooo, I can
hear the pitter patter of rain. )  
         I'm off to get some sleep, which is sorely needed. I know I'm not going to hear a thing tonight, whatever happens.
                    You all take care.

- Cabrits , to the top.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 21:50:59 -0500
Good evening Everyone,
         Yesterday was a bit dull and overcast. Thought we were in for some rain,but not
 a drop fell all morning. We all went to The Cabrits, to see the fort there. One of our local
historians. and a whole crew of other people, have done a fantastic job of reconstruction.
Thought it a great idea to go all the way to the very top. Nobody tells you though that it
takes about an hour to get up there, along a tiny tree rooted, boulder strewn track. 3/4
of the way up, puffing and panting, legs screaming for a rest, the heavens opened and
the wind blew hard enough to make it feel like you were going nowhere. I'm sure it wasn't
my idea to go up there. Even our little one almost made it, but declared, with about a
hundred metres to go, no further and simply refused to budge. Still the rest of us did go
on up in relays, while looking after the little one, who by now had found some tiny land
crabs and was more interested in them, than looking at some old cannon and views. We
then all trooped off to Purple Turtle beach and spent the rest of the afternoon there.
Much to the boys delight. Just one small shower, we were all wet anyway. The rest of the
evening was cool and calm.
          This morning the sun was back out and it's been hot here on the west coast. No
breeze. Had a bit of a lazy day, lunch and swimming at one of the local hotels. The
evening is cool, fairly clear, ( few very dark clouds up there ) and calm.
         Had a lovely message from one of our readers, thank you Patrick. You should
come back sometime. Been a lot of changes I expect, but it is still just as beautiful.
          Well I'm off to have a well earned cold glass of something with lots of ice.
              You all take care, I want nothing exciting to happen except sleep.

- Wet Days.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 06:46:32 -0500
Good morning everyone,
         Yesterday turned cool, dull, and very wet. Rained for most of the day here
on the west coast, plus thunder and lightening, the rain followed through the night,
and is still coming down. No sign of sun at all, just a thick blanket of grey cloud
hanging over us. No breeze either. Still this being the Caribbean anything could
happen and we could all be slowly roasting this afternoon.
          Took the boys down to Roseau bay front yesterday regardless of the rain,
to watch the only cruise ship that calls at Dominica in this season docking. They
have never been so close to one of the big ships, and were unaware of the sheer
size of them. We all trooped off to our favourite spot for the afternoon, the rain
held off for awhile, the eldest got lessons from one of the local children on spear
fishing. Several of the local children came over and played with the younger ones.
Would'nt it be lovely if the whole world could stay like children, they make friends
so easily, religion, class, colour, no politics,just does'nt come into it. The grownup
world needs to step back and just watch and learn from our children.
         Hopefully it will brighten up a bit today, were planning a trip north, going to
Cabrits, to see the fort then back to Purple Turtle beach.
                     You all take care, anything exciting happens today will let you know.

- Abundance of Fruits
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2008 07:22:36 -0500
The August Bank Holiday weather here has been fantastic, lots of sunshine with a great breeze.  We have been bathing in the river as it is definitely cooler than the sea. 

On holidays people go to the rivers and yesterday was no exception.  The part of the river we live very close to is where the swing bridge was swept away in hurricane David.  The river here is wide and deep, there is a great rock for diving or jumping off into the cool waters.  The Wacky rollers who take tourists down the river in tubes and canoes use this spot to start their tour.  In the winter months with the cruise ships utilizing this facility it can become a bit congested.  Tubing is a great way of seeing the river from a different perspective, we have not had this adventure yet, but are putting it on our to do list!

We can't get over the fact that fruit is in such abundance in this country.  Most mornings we have a bowl of fruit which consists of papaya, bananas, pineapple, sugar apple and yogurt.  Sugar apple is just wonderful it tastes like a fruit version of custard, it is creamy and rich and smooth; we are growing it in the garden.  The avocados are in abundance and starting to fall ripe off the trees.  We really could be totally self sufficient if we wanted to be vegetarian which we of course we don't.  The dogs are amazing because they are forever turning up with bunches of bananas, papaya and coconuts full of rich milk.  We literally have food dropped at our door.  It truly is amazing.  We thank our blessings.

Once again we had a lot of rain in the night, which was fortuitous as we planted a load of lettuce in the garden yesterday.  It seems to rain every night and be sunny all day the conditions could not be better for growing.  We feel we live in a paradise, literally the garden of Eden.

- Good Days.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 08:47:00 -0500
Good Morning Everyone,
         Another stunning day here yesterday on the west coast, it became very, very hot by mid afternoon.
For all the rain we had over the last couple days, the ground turned to concrete in a short few hours.
Evening was warm and clear, no breeze.
          Today looks like it will also be another stunning day. Sky and sea that lovely shade of blue, nice
gentle breeze making the palms, plantain trees and grass shiver. A couple of fluffy white clouds lazily
drifting by.  Paradise. 
          We left the family to care for themselves yesterday and did a little tidying up around the garden.
They called in and said they had all had a great day again, took the boys to one of the local beaches,
then went down to Scots Head. This is a small strip of land leading out to the headland, (a fort once
stood here, but it's now mostly slipped into the sea, shame. ) On one side of the strip you have the
Atlantic and on the other side you have the Caribbean Sea, one side rough, the other side smooth.
It is a popular place for divers and snorkelers.
          Not sure what we will be doing today, but I have no doubt that it will involve water and swimming.
We are trying to get the 3 yr old swimming before their return to England.
         All is very quiet and peaceful, another coffee, enjoy the view before the gang arrive.
               You all take care, anything happens I'll let you know.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 2 Aug 2008 12:43:05 -0400
We have had some rough days starting on Thursday.  Thunder and
lightning most of the day and through the night.  We decided to take
the day off on Thursday which was really pleasant, chilled out and
watched some movies.  I baked bread, made soup and other cozy things
for the day.

Friday was still very overcast, today the sun has started to shine,
the whole place looks pristine.

We are in the process of making a fence along the garden by the road
side to keep our dogs from running out into the traffic.  We had
thought about proper wire fencing but decided on using the saplings in
the forest instead giving a truly rustic canine defence set up.

The fence really seems to work so hopefully we will keep the dogs safe
from themselves.

Jaco Ladd and I went out on Tuesday to Delices which is on the
Atlantic coast, it is a beautiful part of Dominica, very wild with
mostly pebble beaches.  We went to Jungle Bay for lunch which was
delicious; on the way home we took photographs. The first five are
from the trip; the last one is of our dog family. Mum with very large
baby on her tummy and dad curled up next to them.  Still can't get
over watching them interacting.  They could teach some human families
how to behave; there is definitely a pecking order, some irritability
but no rudeness!

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- Hmmm, Shooting Stars.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 2 Aug 2008 08:08:08 -0500
Good morning everyone,
         Yesterday was dull and wet here on the west coast, lots of small showers.
By late afternoon it did dry up a bit, not much sun though, lot of low cloud. The rain
held off for the drum night down at the bay front. It started to rain again at about
10.30pm. A good substantial downpour.  Odd showers throughout the night. Not
much wind about.  This morning is fairly bright, clear, little humid.  See 98L / 99L
still not made it's mind up. Is this going to be the year of "yes I will, no i won't,
perhaps i will". Keeping everyone on their toes.
          Thanks  Bonbini for the info on the meteor shower, the boys have been spotting
them. " look nan, another shooting star". Wondered about how come they were
seeing so many.  Thought they were really seeing firefly bugs, but did'nt want to spoil
things for them. Now I know, I can tell them what they are seeing. Thanks again.
        The sea is back to it's normal pretty blue, so I'm off to enjoy another coffee and
watch the guys fishing, while all is still quiet and peaceful.
                    You all take care, anything happens I'll let you know.

- Wet, Wet, Wet.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 15:37:40 -0500
Good afternoon everyone,
         Not normal for me to do 2 messages in one day, just had a quick peek
at the sat pic's, 98L seems to have broken up, no predictions for anything for
the next 48 hrs. Good news. Having a real wet, blustery day here.  The  Roseau
river is in flood, mud coming down and being washed out to sea for several
miles. A brown sea does'nt look very nice. The sat pic's also show a very large
blob hanging over us, hopefully it will be blown out to sea fast, especially for those
having carnivals, fests, ect.
            You all take care.

- Rain at Last.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 07:46:48 -0500
Good morning everyone,
         Rain, we have had rain, yahooo. Had a substantial downpour yesterday,enough
to keep the plants happy for awhile. Plenty of sheet lighting last night, no thunder, no
rain with it. This morning is grey, cloudy and humid. Looks like we are in for some
more rain, going on the sat pic's it could go on for a few days, not complaining at all.
It is so needed. 98L still floating around out there, deciding what it wants to do, just had
a quick check, and the predictions are saying it's breaking up. Good, but still needs watching.
          Even though it was raining we all went off to check out some beaches on the east coast
yesterday. The daughter wanted to see some particular beaches, that she had read about in the
guide books. We hired a local bus driver, who was simply great, even showed us a real secret
beach, even the boys were impressed. Have hopefully remembered the land marks, so we can
go again.  ( I can hear thunder rolling while writing this ).  Talk about luck, the rain held off
every time we hit a beach, finally ended up on Purple Turtle beach, which is great for the kids.
Shallow, clean, water like glass.  (  It is now raining ).  Another great day had by all.
             Going for another coffee, watch that liquid gold coming down.
      You all take care, anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

- Hot Again.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2008 08:34:29 -0500
Good morning everyone,
         Another stunning morning, bright blue sky, blue, blue sea, no breeze. Already
hot,hot,hot. Had one small shower last night at about 9.30. We could have had the
storm of the century last night, but I would never have heard it. Totally exhausted.
          The tiny little pinpricks I noticed a couple days back, are now another Tropical
Wave just coming off the west Africa coast. No predictions yet for it to turn into anything
else, thank goodness.
          We had another great day yesterday, up at Freshwater Lake. Cool and peaceful.
So high up, you can walk through the clouds, the boys thought this was just so cool.
They were a bit disappointed when told no swimming in the lake. Still we stopped on the
way home, at one of our favourite spots, so they could have a their daily swim. Unfortunately
the eldest one must have found the only jelly fish for miles. Only just brushed the top of his
shoulder with one tentacle, but it's enough. Not put him off though. Half hour later he was
back in the water.
          Well I'm off to get another coffee, sit and look at that pretty blue sea, watch the guys
out there fishing. Anything exciting happens I'll let you all know. You all take care.
      So sad to read about the English couple on Antigua. We have had some lovely times
on this island. Met some real nice people. This kind of thing, is not good for the any of the
islands, so I hope who ever did it is caught fast.

- To The Lake Today.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2008 07:56:11 -0500
Good morning everyone,
         Had another 2 beautiful days. Saturday was fairly busy, market day. The family wanted to
take a walk round Roseau, which became very hot. We headed for one of our favourite little spots,
close to a safe swimming area, let the boys cool off.  Sunday, pure laziness, pottered around in
the garden, it's been sadly neglected since the family arrived.
         This morning is cloudy and cool here on the west coast, still no rain. Slight breeze.The tiny
little pinpricks I noticed coming off the African coast have now grown to a considerable size.
Hopefully all it will be is some much needed rain.
           The sun is trying to fight it's way through the clouds. We are all off to Freshwater Lake.
So lets hope the sun wins today. It can be pretty cool and wet up there.
           One last coffee before we go.  You all have a good day.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2008 08:53:26 -0500
We have a change in the weather; it rained virtually all night, fantastic! Our cistern is nearly full again and the garden is smiling and heaving a sigh of relief.  Isn't is typical? We watered  the whole garden last night.  This is quite a feat as the garden is at least 1 and a half acres; this however, must have ensured that it rained.  The temperature today is really lovely, sunny with a cool breeze, great growing weather.

The dogs never cease to amaze us.  Tippy the puppy has never had to fend for herself yet her instinct is to forage for food.  I suppose it is because her parents were strays and had to live off the land.  Tippys new delicacy is the same as ours - avocados. They are just coming ripe and we have four trees; luckily one of the trees gets ripe before the other three, however you can't eat all the avocados at once and they are very difficult to freeze!

Before we lived in the Caribbean the avocado pears we used to get in the UK were really small, I suppose they came from California or Florida.  Well, the pears in Dominica are enormous they are the size - definitely - of two tennis balls, the flesh is gorgeous. There is nothing quite like picking a ripe avocado off a tree, peeling it and devouring it with relish.  I have many recipes for avocados so Jaco Ladd and I are glad the season has started.

Just another wondrousl reason for living in Dominica.

- The Boys Love Water.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 22:25:36 -0500
Good evening everyone,
          Another glorious day here on the west coast, did think that we were in for some
rain early this morning, some pretty dark clouds rolled over us. Good time to pop into
town and do a quick shop, I hate going into town when it is hot, feels like you can't breathe.
Well the clouds rolled on past, the sun came out, not a hint of rain, Shopping done in
double quick time, Hot, hot, hot, you could fry eggs on the top of the car. 
          Considering the boys don't like being out at sea on boats, they are showing a real
love of water, we took them down for more swimming today, I'm convinced by the time they
have to go back to England they will have grown gills and fins, they played for nearly 6 hours,
and complained when we got them out of the water because it was getting dark.
          Just need to finish whats left in the glass, and I'm off to get some much needed sleep,
we are all off to Emerald Pool tomorrow, more swimming, they will be the cleanest kid's on
          While writing this it's started to become quite humid, no breeze, feels hot and clammy,
perhaps some much needed rain is on it's way.
                 You all take care, just gonna sleep right on through anything exciting.

- Another Brilliant Family Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 22:50:11 -0500
Good evening everyone,
         Hope all you guys in Texas are safe and well, hopefully not to much damage
from Dolly. Am I just being paranoid or is there something else trying to creep off
the coast of Africa, just looked at the sat pic's to check on the tropical wave that came
off the Cape Verde islands and is now in the Eastern Atlantic, hmmm, hopefully me being
paranoid, but I'm now looking at some tiny, tiny little white pinpricks. Perhaps it's just
a good old bit of cloud with some much needed rain, the west coast could sure do with some.
         We have all had a really great day again, we went down to the Layou river, had a
picnic, let the boys swim in beautiful crystal clear water, it was running a bit fast for the
3yr old, so nanny made some shallow pools at the waters edge, I shifted a couple ton of
rock, so that he could paddle safe, Ahhhhggggg my back and leg muscles are now in need
of some physio and a hot mineral bath. O well that's love for you. We had about 2 drops of
rain fall on us all day, totally brilliant day had by all. Other families arrived and thought the rock
pools were a great idea for the little ones. When we left the pools were still being put to good use,
so my effort was worth it. I'm gonna sleep well tonight.
           Just going to finish whats in a long tall glass and off to sleep. Don't think anything exciting
will wake me either.
         You all take care.

- D's
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 16:54:07 -0500
Hot, hot, hot, what amazing weather we are having.  Here in the valley the temperature has been nearly in the 90's, luckily for us though we have our awnings that keep the sun off the deck and keep our house degrees cooler.  Our friends on the west coast could probably do with our drop arm and retractable awnings, in a variety of fantastic colours.  The sun tends to beam full into the houses on the west coast, where it can be so dry with no breeze, we are so glad we live in the valley.

Some of the folks here in Dominica have been telling us that we will not have a hurricane this year as the D's have passed and all the hurricanes that have come to these shores, have started with the letter D, David being the worst one in 1979.  Jaco Ladd and I so hope that this is the case.  If we had a crystal ball we would definitely be looking in it now!

We have just have a great shower of rain, which has cooled everything down the frogs are starting to do their evening coral stint.  I think we will retire with a sundowner..........but not before.......................

Many Dominicans will tell you that the "Rainy Season" is between June & December as a ball-park assumption, others will proffer that if it wasn't for tropical wave activity - and worse - the months of June through September could be likened to the dry conditions that occur in April and May. If the last three weeks are anything to go by, the latter statement holds water if you get my drift?

- Lazy Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 21:50:42 -0500
Good evening everyone,
         Today was hot, hot, hot,  and very lazy.  Had a little trip to a local supermarket to top
up on food, the boys can sure eat.  Just lazed around and slept for the rest of the day,
shame we cannot buy energy in the supermarket, sure could do with some. If we could buy
energy, price would be no object. Age is taking it's toll.
         Today, hot, no breeze, have had to resort to the hosepipe, plants looking a bit sad.
Still something nasty sneaking off the African coast, that will need a close watch, hopefully
it will not develop into anything serious. Glad to read from all you guys on Jamaica and the
Caymans that all is well.
               I'm off to bed, sleep is needed, people visiting tomorrow.
                         You all take care, anything exciting happens during the night i'll probably sleep through it.

- Another Good Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 21:31:04 -0500
Good evening everyone,
         Another beautiful day here on the west coast, sun shining, very light breeze now and again.
Been sitting out on the balcony this evening enjoying a nice cold wine, some pretty big black clouds
up there. If it does rain I will be thankful, the garden could certainly do with it, if not than it's the
hosepipe tomorrow.
         Pleased to read that all is well on Jamaica and the Caymans. Just had a quick look at the sat
pic's, hmmm, something nasty still sneaking off the African coast. Hopefully it will just stay has a few
scattered rain clouds.
         The dive fest at Soufriere was not what we all expected. The boys had a great time on the beach
though and the  weather was excellent. The idiot award goes to the guy in the speed boat, who ruined
the Carib Canoe race and did not care that a lot of children were in the water playing. Other than that
another good day had by all. Going to have a lazy day tomorrow.
              I'm off to finish what's left in the glass, you all take care, anything happens I'll let you know.

- Magnificent Rivers
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <lisette at caribbeanlandandproperty.com>
  • Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:46:13 -0500
The weather is really hot and sticky.  It has been like this for the
last two days and nothing seems to be different today.  We were lucky
and got some rain in the night which of course is great for the growing
process in the garden.

Dominica has the most fabulous rivers, the delicacy from the river are
the kray fish which we are only allowed to eat and catch once a year
which is the month of November, as they are a protected species.  The
kray fish look like lobster, the taste though is sweet and very tender,
I prefer the kray fish to lobster.  The cooking time is the essence,
just cook them in boiling water until they turn red take them out let
them cool and prepare them how you want to.  Goodness I've never wished
the time away before but I would love to have some Kray fish for lunch,
if that were the case it would be November and we would not be having to
watch out too much for hurricanes.

Let's hope our friends in Jamaica and the Caymans are OK.  It is
definitely a river bath day today.    

I have put some photographs of the Sisserou falls which are off the main
road from Ponte Casse to Marigot.  A good spot for tourists to stop have
some local juice and a swim in the river.

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- 2 Excellent Days
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2008 22:07:30 -0500
Good evening everyone,
         Hope everyone in Jamaica, and The Cayman's are all safe and well. Lets hope
that Cristobal decides to move away and head somewhere where it cannot do any
damage. See Bertha is not giving in so easily, still skulking around out there.
           Yesterday was a brilliant day here on the west coast, we all went to the Botanic
Grd's. The boys found the Banyan tree, they all turned into Indiana Jones's. We all managed
to climb Jacks Steps, even the 3 year old. These steps lead right up to Morne Bruce and are
quite steep and slippery. We cheated a bit coming down, we followed the road. A good day
had by all.
         This morning was bright and hot again, bright blue sky, little white puffy clouds, the sun
shining. So it was a great day for whale watching. Our daughter and family went off on a local
whale watch trip. Hmmm, turns out the boys are not sailors. Still apart from the eldest one, who
had a real rough trip, think they had a fairly good time. Several whales and lots of dolphins
spotted. Asked  the eldest if he would like to go on a fishing trip, the answer was a resounding
no thanks.
          The evening is warm and calm, slight breeze every now and again.
              I'm off to bed, busy day tomorrow, going to the dive fest at Soufriere. the boys can get
back on the beach and have fun.
               You all take care, if anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

- Nice Bright Morning.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 10:30:36 -0500
Good morning everyone,
         At about 5 min's to 8 yesterday evening, the heavens opened and down came the rain,
it lasted a good 10 min,s. I'm going to try and make a water gauge, part of my garden as a small
wall round it, that area filled right up, only a couple flashes of lightening, no thunder. It eased off
and the family got ready to make a mad dash to thier apt, yep, down it came again. But it did not
last long, couple gusts of wind and that was it.
         This morning is bright and a little breezy, had one small shower.
         We are now all of to the Botanical grd's, let the boys have some space and let out the steam.
               You all take care, if anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

- Gusty Night.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 08:33:41 -0500
Good morning everyone,
         Nice to see 94L is moving on fairly rapidly, last night we had some pretty heavy rain
and some very strong gusty wind, here on the WEST coast. The chairs left on the balcony
flapped thier arms and went flying again. This morning is a little dull, wet, breezy and sunny.
Just had a look at the sat pics, nice big something coming off Africa again.
         Not feeling quite so tired now, had a real good nights sleep, but think I may have to go
to Soufriere and have hot mineral bath, all that climbing over rocks and wading through water
pools, AAAAhhhhhh my poor old back. Granny feeling her age this morning.
          I'm off to relaxxx, have another coffee, check out the view.
                 You all take care, if anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

- Sucker Fish to 94L
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 08:10:03 -0400
94L may be history in this neck of the woods, but the Nature Isle - certainly the Layou Valley - felt a good blow last night and morning light revealed an array of fallen banana plants and a mash-up of large branches across the roadways that could be a precursor of things to come.This heavy weather could have been riding on the back of the 'yet to be a depression' 94L

Due to the landslips of the 2007 storm season, many trees in the valley have lost the soil around their roots and some are definitely in tottering mode. One mega gust in the right direction could leave the area looking like an overworked sawmill! The ravines too are gushing on max - sometimes when the water force is really intense, it cuts a new course for the ravine and should this happen to a waterway that is a land boundary, someone ends up gaining square footage and obviously someone else loses.

Just passed mid-July and it feels like a ton of stuff has already happened.

Jaco Ladd - me gone.

- Dim or What
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 17:10:15 -0500
Good afternoon everyone,
         Jeez I'm so worn out from today I've even forgotten where we live, It should read west coast. Dhuuu.
Probably thinking about going over to the east coast,  DIM.
         Sorry for the confusion.

- Brilliant Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 17:03:18 -0500
Good afternoon everyone,
         Light showers this morning here on the east coast, nothing to serious.
         Decided to take the family up to Tralfalgar Falls then on to the Papillote Wilderness Retreat,
being a keen gardner, I just love these kind of places, I wander around in a daze just taking in the
sheer beauty of the all the trees, bushes and flowers. I tend to go off in to my own little world,
wondering how I can get some of those stunning rain forest plants to grow in my hot little patch.
We all had a fantastic day again, scrambling over rocks and wading through hot water, then cold
water. The boys really enjoyed being in the forest and went looking for Dinasours, which I had
convinced them were still roaming around. Naughty Nanny. The sun shone all day for us.
Arrived back at the house just in time again, down came the rain, have a little bit of a breeze but it
feels very humid.
          I'm off to have a well earned rest, nice little siesta I think is called for. Completly worn out.
                   You all take care and if anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

- A Great Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 08:28:39 -0500
Good morning everyone,
         Well we decided to go for it, rain or not. Off to the beach we all went. just could not keep
putting the boys off. It was still raining when we arrived at Mero Beach,but the boys didn't care.
Pretty heavy surf for Mero, it is normally calm. And still the rain came down. Thought we would
stick with it for an hour, give the boys some space and let off some steam. Then the sun came out
and we had a fantastic day. The best bit was we had the whole beach, and I mean the whole beach
all to ourselves, all day. Not another soul stepped onto the beach till about 3pm, and they only stayed
for half hour. Finally called it a day at about 4pm, and down came the rain again. Good timing.
         Pleased to hear that no serious injuries, on Bermuda so far, and that Bertha is moving on.
         This morning is bright, but we are still having some light showers, slight breeze. Watching 94L
with interest. Will make sure the family are prepared as well.
          I'm off to look at that pretty blue sea, finish my coffee, then take my daughter into Roseau.
                  You all take care and if anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

- Wet and Sunny Today.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 07:46:57 -0500
Good morning everyone,
         It started to rain at about 7pm last night, carried on through the night, had some
fairly heavy showers in the early hours, and the rain has only just stopped. The sun is
doing it's best to beat the clouds back. Not sure who is going to win today.
         Still the garden is thankful.  It was begining to look a bit thirsty. I have a Papirus
growing, and it really being a river plant it needs an awfull lot to drink.
          Was planning to take the family to Mero Beach today, the boys have asked constantly
since they arrived about the beach, so lets hope the sun wins the battle.
         See Bertha is finally on the move again, hope everyone stays safe on Bermuda.
                You all take care, anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

- Family Being Cooked.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 17:29:19 -0500
Good afternoon everyone,
         Yesterdays weather was a bit of a shock to the family, HOT, HOT, HOT. Felt like we were being
slowly roasted here on the west coast. We went into Roseau, with our daughter, to shop at the market
and get some fresh fruit and veg. Watched her slowly wilting, and getting redder and redder. Poor girl
is the only one being attacked by the mozzies. Will have to try and track down some Neem, which some
one suggested to me a while back, see if that helps.
          It did rain a little during the night, fairly cool and dull early this morning. No breeze again. The sun
managed to break through and it's been very hot and humid again most of the day.
          See Bertha is still trying to make up her mind what it is she would like to do. Now we have 94L to
watch for. Looks like it's gonna be a pretty busy watch and wait to see what happens this season.
          Well I'm off to have a nice cold bottle of our local brew, Kubuli, made from the water of the island.
The water here is cool, clear, and clean, you can actually drink it straight from the streams, it is that clean.
           You all take good care out there, and if anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 11:53:18 -0500
Dominica is experiencing wonderful weather.  Last night it rained a little which was great for the garden. Today we have a gorgeous sunny day with a light breeze blowing on our deck.  The weather for the past week has been just fabulous.  One would never know there is a hurricane that could kiss or hit Bermuda on Monday, with the conditions of the weather here.  However, there is an ominous looking blob that could turn into a nasty tropical storm or hurricane lurking in the Atlantic; we will have to watch this very carefully in the next few days.

The weather has been really lovely for swimming in the river.  Yesterday we took the dogs to the Layou waterway and gave them a welcome shampoo.  We were not sure quite what our dog family thought of the ablutions but they are all very clean and are shining brightly today, Canine Diamonds one could say.  Tippy is so much better; we are so thankful she is stable and seems healthy.

Our thoughts go out to our friends and all of those in Bermuda.  Last year in August we experienced here in Dominica the ominous Hurricane Dean.  The season seems to be hotting up early which is not at all a good sign.

- Hot and Humid
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 18:48:26 -0500
Good evening everyone,
         I really do hope that Bertha bye passes Bermuda, just swings round and stays well out at sea.
         The family all arrived safe and sound on Wednesday. So they have now been with us for
2 days, we are exhausted already, the boys are 9, 6, and 3. Gives some idea why we are exhausted. 
         We had 2 flashes of lightening and 2 rolls of thunder here on the west coast last night, and that
was it for the rest of the evening. It's been very hot and humid today and it still is. No breeze, no rain.
It looks fairly clear out there for a couple days at least, looks like beach weather.
             I'm off to find something cold that will fit in a nice long glass, with plenty of ice.
                      You all take care, especially all on Bermuda.
                       Anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

- So Excited
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 22:27:23 -0500
Good evening everyone,
         We have had a beautiful day here on the west coast, became a little humid late afternoon,
with some big thick dark clouds at around 4. 30 pm. Looked like we were in for some heavy showers,
but no they just passed on bye.  It is still pretty humid this evening.
         Real pleased to see Bertha heading out to sea, just hope that no ships, or any other boat runs
into her.
         Well the family should be with us early evening tomorrow. Just so excited to be seeing them.
 The best bit is that we have them for 7 weeks. So pleased that our daughter decided to spend the
whole of the childrens school holiday with us, so we have plenty of time to get to know our grandchildren
          I'm off to finish whats left in the glass.  
             You all take care,anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

- A Good Day
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 22:40:47 -0500
Good evening everyone,
         Just so pleased to see Bertha moving away from us, really hoping that she does not hit land at any point.
         Now down to 2 days before the family arrive. Just so worried that they would get caught up in Bertha.
So looking forward to seeing our daughter and grandchildren, waited a long time for this visit.
         Today has been really lovely here on the West coast, plenty of sunshine, a few light showers. Nothing to heavy
though. This evening is cool, with plenty of mozzies about.
          The Ponciana trees are in full bloom here, stunning. Most of my neighbours call them Flambouyants because
they are so showy.  We have two real beauties opposite one of our local hotels, the taxi guy's have built little seats
underneath one of them, and they take shade while waiting for a fare. They look so cool and comfy sitting there.
They always get up and come over to say hello, and ask how we are, when we go past.
 Well I'm off to finish what's left in a long tall glass, If anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.
                      You all take good care out there.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <lisette at caribbeanlandandproperty.com>
  • Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 09:45:27 -0500
Bertha looks as if she is making her mind up to maybe touch Bermuda.  A
friend of ours who live in Bermuda told us earlier in the year that one
of their trees was flourishing which they felt was not a good omen for
the hurricane season.  I so hope that she is wrong.  We will all be
watching out for our friends in Bermuda.

Today is gorgeous we had lots of rain in the night and now fantastic
sunshine with a cool breeze.

We have an article that some Dominican friends of ours have written
because of our puppy Tippy's fate.  We would also like to thank everyone
who has written to us giving us their support and kindness for the puppy
who is gaining strength day by day.

We have put in a couple of pictures of Tippy when she was so ill, her
Mum and Jaco ladd giving her lots of loving attention.  We are sure this
helped her full recovery.

Here is the article:-

I have read sadly about labourers in Asian fields in third world
countries like Pakistan, Malaysia, Vietnam and many others who use
deadly pesticides on a daily basis to spray on different types of crops
to kill pests.

30,000 women have been discovered alone in Malaysia who use these killer
poisons and the stories of their painful diseases most often cancer, is

Gramazone which is paraquat, is top of the table of the most dangerous
of these herbicides and is totally banned in Europe and North America
because it is a known carcinogenic.

So it was a shock when a friend's dog became very ill last week and the
vet told us that it was Gramazone poisoning. He gave the dog a 20%
chance of survival. Gramazone, he told us, attacks the organs and they
fail one by one. Often it can take three days but the end is inevitable.
We could'nt understand why the dog would have eaten something covered in
a nasty pesticide.

The vet explained that one of the many banana farmers in the area would
have sprayed his 'garden' recently, and all the dog needed to do was a
get a little on her coat or paws, and licked it off. Young Tippy, the
sick dog, could even just have breathed in the particles borne on the
air. The vet knew a great deal about how animals, not just dogs, died of
Gramazone poisoning, experience gained through far too many accidental

It's true, I do see farmers spraying their fields with protective
clothing, not proper suits, just long sleeved shirts and jeans and a
thin mask. So this is a known contact poison.

In Guadeloupe which is a French Departement, (a Province of France) the
farmers continue to use Gramazone illegally. Its use is banned in France
but in the islands that ban is harder to police, and the use of
pesticides is deeply engrained in decades of banana agriculture.

Professor Belpomme, a Parisian cancer specialist said: "The tests we
carried out on pesticides show there is a health disaster in the
Caribbean. The word is not too strong. Martinique and Guadeloupe have
literally been poisoned," he told Le Parisien newspaper. The French
islands use kepone another dangerous poison along with paraquat, and
this has entered the groundwater system.
On June 23rd EU agricultural ministers proposed yet another tightening
up of the use of pesticides in Europe, and even more bans to be imposed.
What is most interesting is that according to the new
regulations...."Under the new arrangements, professional consumers and
producers of plant protection products will have to keep records of the
use of pesticides."

The banana farmers of the Eastern Caribbean don't as a rule see a doctor
when feeling sick. They tend to 'take a bush tea', an infusion of one of
the many medicinal herbs growing wild in the countryside.
But if the animals are dying in such numbers, what about the families,
especially the children, who live and work within the environs of the '
banana gardens'?

These pesticides are brought in by the tons through the Ministries of
Agriculture and a few commercial importers, on all of the islands, and
distributed to the farmers. Bananas, in order to be sold to European
markets, have to be of a certain standard. Standards dictated by large
British supermarket chains. It seems to me, that the farmers, who are
probaby also the losers in the middle of this commercial chain, deserve
to be given a choice. Surely they have earned this right? Especially for
the sake of their children.

There is a happy ending to this story. Tippy, miraculously and thanks to
the vet, is fully recovered and running around the garden again, with as
much life and exuberance as ever.

But, one is sadly aware, that she is one of the lucky ones!

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- Cool days
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2008 08:20:42 -0500
Dominica has been having very temperate weather, lots of showers, cool breezes and sunshine.  This has been for the last two days, today looks a like there will be more rain than sunshine. 

The first real storm seems to be brewing aways off us at the moment, we pray Bertha continues on her way, veers away from all of the islands and gets lost in the Atlantic.  It looks like there is some messy stuff coming behind her though.

We have had a very difficult few days our puppy Tippy ate poison, we are not sure how she consumed this but we are very lucky to have her alive, it was touch and go as we nearly lost her twice.  Unfortunately the banana farmers use Gramazone and another poisons to kill the grass and weeds around the banana plants.  Tippy with her love for bananas we think just may have picked up some poison somehow from her wanderings.  One of the reasons we feel Tippy survived is because of her mothers constant attention, licking her, cuddling up to her to keep her warm and of course our input of love.  It is truly amazing watching the family interacting, Tippy's dad Sinbad kept a vigilant watch, at night we made sure there were no drafts around the puppy and would wake up through the night to check on her.  Lying on one side of Tippy was Mindy her Mum the other Sinbad her dad keeping her warm and watching over her.  We are so lucky to have such lovely dogs, they bark and protect us, also giving us their trust.  Jaco Ladd has a lovely story to tell on the dogs and the land.  We have recently put up a long bamboo pole as a barrier (gate) at the beginning of our property to keep out any unwanted visitors, making a clear boundary.  One of our neighbours said to Jaco Ladd well that is a very good idea 'mon, so jokingly Jaco Ladd said 'it's to keep the dogs in', our friend rubbed his head and said 'ugh but they can jump over that'! 

We really hope one day that the Dominican farmers will stop using these highly toxic poisons on the banana farms and go organic.  We have organic vegetables and love to be free of poisonous sprays.

We are going to take it easy today but are keeping a good eye on Bertha.

- Wet Day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2008 19:30:02 -0500
Good evening everyone,
         Plenty of rain on and off all day here on the west coast, with some cooling breezes thrown in,
still feels hot though.
         Watching Bertha and 93 with interest. 
         Just want all the kid's to get here safe, just have'nt seen them for so  long.  We have been looking
forward to them coming over for nearly a year now. Once they are here the rest we can deal with.
          The bananaquits have given up with the rose bush, and have moved to my neighbours mango tree,
a lot safer.
           Well I'm off for a nice glass of cold wine and to watch Cracker.
           Everyone have a real good evening and all take care. If anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

- Hello to all.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2008 08:47:24 -0500
Good morning everyone,
         Finally back after 5 weeks. Nice to be here.
We managed to get some nasty little virus into the computer, and it just flatly refused to let any messages
in or out. We had to compelety clear out everything and start again.
         Then we decided to go off on a caribbean holiday. Friends from England were holidaying over on
Antigua, so we thought we would join them. Made a nice change and it was great to meet up with our friends.
         We are now gettiing ready for a family visit. Our daughter and family will be joining us from next week,
....for 7 weeks..    Really looking forward to seeing them all.  Just hope that horrible thing coming off the African
coast gives up and dies, so that we can all have a real good time.
          A pair of bananaquits have taken up residence in one of my rose bushes. Hmm, bit worring, seem to be
very low down and we have a lot of cat's in the area. Hopefully the thorns will deter the cat's.
         This morning is bright, clear, hot and breezy. Very breezy.
         I'm off to put the kettle on, cup of coffee and enjoy the view.
         You all take care and if anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 11:30:10 -0500
What a gorgeous day today, the weather over the last couple of days has been so pleasant, the odd shower but mostly sun with a wonderful breeze.

I am sitting on the deck working looking out over the garden which is amazingly green, the flowers are all growing really well and are so colourful.  We now have our gardener, who had gone on walk about, back.  We are happy and so is he.  We also have another gardener who is fantastic as he loves to weed so we are getting our vegetables planted and hopefully will have lots of variety of vegetables to enjoy in a few months time

I have been working hard and also staying close to home except when I walk with the puppy on the lead in the mornings for my daily exercise.  I have to say that nobody has accosted me lately with amorous requests, this is a decidedly good thing as Jaco Ladd is my mate!

It looks like we could be getting some rain tomorrow.  We are just keeping our fingers crossed that those hurricanes stay away from us in the Caribbean for a long time to come!

- Wet Saturday
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2008 08:32:15 -0500
We had a really lovely day yesterday, the odd shower but lots of sunshine.  Today it looks like we are going to have rain, rain and more rain.  The temperature is a little chilly, the frogs that usually sing at night are singing as if they are in a choir, obviously enjoying the weather.  All the dogs are lying curled up around my feet.  It is a day for being lazy, baking, just chilling and liming at home.  I have also got some good movies to watch.

It is interesting to note about the yacht sinking in Tortola.  Jaco Ladd and I love to go sailing on our friends yacht.  We have always felt very safe on the yacht and never really considered that the yacht would capsize.  Luckily the captain of the yacht we sail with is a good sailor with lots of experience.  It must have been very frightening for the three young men who managed to sink the yacht, in, as it states under three minutes!

Definitely today is not a day for venturing on the ocean.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 11:29:53 -0500
The weather has been really wet and extremely windy for the last three days.  We lost our internet on Thursday the night of the storm.  Cable and Wireless are working frantically to restore our area.  Apparently lightening damaged the wireless at Ponte Casse.  It is really weird not being on line!  I have to come to my patient friend and use her facilities.

It is definitely more like winter than summer and there still looks like there is quite a lot of rough weather to come.  Still it makes me feel like baking so am making loads of bread which freezes well.

Speaking of bread, I had to go and get some eggs from our friend in the Layou Valley.  On coming out I encountered a Rasta who I give lifts to sometimes as he has a garden above us.  The Rasta, who is very tall and skinny, has very long skinny locks, obviously, has an aversion to the dentist as he has bad front teeth plus his fly was open; gave me a large smile, said he had heard that I needed a lover, he is extremely good at this and when would I like him to service me!  Well I nearly dropped my bag of eggs!  I have been in Dominica one year and three months and had never encountered anything so bold.  I could not be angry or upset,  I just stood there with my mouth open, as he pressed his telephone number firmly in my hand and said ring me!  The thing that made me laugh was if I really needed a lover I think I would choose someone who at least looked after their teeth. 

I declined the offer and went back to Jaco Ladd with my eggs in tact and my sense of humour,  Jaco Ladd had a good laugh as well.  Dominica has many wonderful things to offer, just another day in our wonderful stormy paradise island.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 15:59:18 -0500
What a dreadful night!  I am really terrified of lightening, last night that is exactly what we had to put up with all night.  Thunder clapping loudly around the cottage and rain pounding on the roof with no let up. The lightening kept lighting up the sky like a fire work display.  Sleep, we got no sleep last night so hope to get some tonight, fingers crossed.

The rain has stopped our internet working.  Cable and Wireless have been working on the problem for us very kindly today and hope to have it fixed by tomorrow.  I have come to a friends house to post this message for everyone out there in Stormcarib land.

This system seems to be over the Caribbean as a whole so I am sure others have been experiencing the same storms we have.  We have had rain most of the day, plus the odd thunder and lightening.  It seems to be letting up now. 

Hopefully I will be back on line tomorrow care of Cable and Wireless.  Good luck to all the other islands with the tropical depression.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2008 07:29:02 -0500
Yesterday was absolutely beautiful, today looks like it will be the same, not a cloud in the sky a great breeze, everything is looking green and the flowers colourful.  It is one of those days it is good to be alive.  It looks like the weather is going to stay clear for the next day or two.

I like to take the puppy for a walk on the lead in the mornings for my exercise.  Well, this morning was no exception we came across a very dead boa-constrictor!  Tippy did a leap in the air and a squeal as if to say 'what is that'!  I have to say I felt sorry for the snake.  I am not a particular snake lover, however bao-constrictors do nobody any harm and keep the rat population in check.  So I tend to mourn dead one's. 

Dominica luckily does not have any poisonous snakes, the snakes we have tend to only do good so as long as I do not trip over them or have to come in close contact we can live happily side by side so to speak!

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2008 08:04:19 -0500
The last couple of days we have been affected by an Atlantic tropical wave that has brought with it lot's of rain and cloud, 

We have to be vigilant from now on and I will try to post a lot more notices about the weather we are having in Dominica.  Rain at this time for us here is great as it is planting time and definitely growing time.  We actually need a new gardener which is annoying but necessary.  Jaco Ladd and I just can't do to much in the garden unfortunately.  Our gardener who has been with us for three years has saved up and bought himself a vehicle so he is now moving on to other things!  So anyone out there who knows of a good vegetable gardener please send them along to us up the Layou Valley

- Potential tropical disturbance...
  • From: nichs Shilling <nichs at hotmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 16:40:43 +0000
Greetings to All!
                      (Its been a while since posting but its always great to contribute to the Stormcarib family)
-Things continue to be sunny and warm if not hot at times on the more than balmy west coast of Dominica. However, the Nature Island of the Caribbean has been serving up the most heavenly of breezes for the past few days. Today is no exception and the breeze is possibly stronger -so the heat is managebable enough, thank the Good Lord.
On to more interesting weather -it seems that Lisa and the TnT correspondents could be in for some squally weather if the current system holds together just east of Trinidad and Tobago labelled as Invest 91 on Wunderground's web site. Hopefully it will bring the much needed rain and cool temperatures not just to Trinidad but to the rest of the island chain as well.
Be safe all and God's blesssings throughout this hurricane season!

Explore the seven wonders of the world Learn more!

- Pup goes BANanAS
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2008 10:54:07 -0500
It might well be hurricane season, but our weather in Dominica is
glorious.  Sunny days and rainy nights, just what the nature doctor
ordered for growing all things.

Our avocado trees, mango and fruit trees in general are overladen with
fruit.  It looks like the avocado season is going to be early.  Last
year we hardly had any 'pears' to eat because hurricane Dean visited
us, huffed and puffed and blew them all down!  There is nothing quite
like picking a very large avocado off the tree peeling it, admiring
its symmetry and eating it straight away.   Really scrumptious.

This brings to mind our puppy Tippy who is always getting bananas and
eating them.  We have enclosed photo's of her favourite pasttime.  It
must be just as great for animals to eat fresh fruit off the tree as
it is for us.  It is amazing that her instincts come into play, as to
our knowledge, nobody taught Tippy to eat bananas, it just came
Bee-wee easy.

We are just keeping our fingers crossed that the weather down the line
stays  temperate and hospitable; who klnows? just maybe the experts
will be proved wrong!

Have a great day! from us in Dominica, the nature Island of the Caribbean!

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- Rain's Symphony and Tympani!
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 12:30:39 -0400
With possibly Dominica's first real heavy rain of the hurricane season - so far - passing abruptly through the mid and upper Layou valley over the last twelve hours, it occurred to me that since April was nicely moist and May its usual bright and dry self, I'd forgotten what a good downpour sounded like. Even though 5.30am is running time - and the dogs don't let me forget it! - it was daunting to gaze at a view-less morn that did not seem in anyway beckoning. Just a little wait and a bluish 'window' appeared above, the clan was on its way. Within a few hundred yards the cacophony above began and remained. For those that don't live near a few square miles of forest canopy, you can be forgiven for not experiencing the sound that heavy rain makes when it strikes massive breadfruit, banana and tannia leaves, all with a slightly different timbre and intensity - much like a Mother Nature tympani, where a little difference in leaf circumference makes your 'note' sound higher or lower. Add to this the ubiquitous galavanize sheds - we'll call these the cymbals - that are scattered around the plantations, then the orchestra is on a roll.
Of course, with extended periods of dryness, paved roads amass a great deal of rubber residue and with rain, calling it slippery is being under modest - Sinbad, the lead Bee-Wee mutt did a great take-off of Bambi with a four paw spin that landed him almost into a quadrille of fresh water crabs that obviously thought the canines were definitely out of their depth. Soon after, a pick-up truck carrying 'banana carers' huddled under a yellow tarp stopped to drop off a guy in the deluge. Being so close I could pick out the mumble grumble in Patois of a covered disgruntled worker, the essence I think went like this: 'Lesroy! How much are we being paid for today? It's before six and I be soaked already!'
Thanks to Jaco Lass for allowing me some space on her domain. In closing, something that actually happened in a Roseau pharmacy yesterday as I was shopping for some truffle flavoured shampoo. A young guy, about 25 I guess, asked a lady assistant - maybe mid 60's and smiling : " I want some Viagra." he says," I'm told I don't need a prescription."  "Oh!" she replies "You'll have to go across to 4D, they sell all the farming stuff there."
The look on his face was priceless.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 27 May 2008 06:55:31 -0500
Three more days to the start of the hurricane season.  The weather
here could not be better, beautiful sunny days, lots of rain at night!

One thing we notice is that Dominica definitely has seasons just like
we used to see in the UK.  In Antigua we could only tell the
difference in the countryside by the flamboyant trees arriving
throughout the summer.  Here in Dominica the trees shed their leaves
in the winter, to the extent that we thought our avocado trees were
dying when their leaves shrivelled and fell to the ground.  Then
spring came and the flowers came on the trees and now they are in full
bloom with the fruit visable.

Everything now is green and fabulous looking just like a pristine
jewel.  I should have to say this is so in our valley, not so though
on the mid-west coast where things tend to dry to a crisp.

We put in a few photo's today, one of which is of some summer flowers
abounding in our garden.

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- Swift Fest
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 24 May 2008 07:33:22 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         We had a good downpour through most of the night, it feels so much
cooler this morning. The morning is bright and fresh. The rain has bought
out quite a few bug's, the swifts are still about having a real good fest this
morning. Couple of very dark cloud's lurking around but the sun is doing it's
best to beat them back.
        All is quiet and peaceful. I'm off to enjoy another coffee and watch the
swifts partying and enjoying their early morning fest.
               If anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.
                       You all take care


- It's Rained.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 07:43:44 -0400
Good morning everyone,
          A little rain here on the west coast at last, not a lot but every little helps.
           I'm sure I heard all the plant's and tree's sigh with relief.
          This morning there are a few cloud's about, but it's pretty bright and
fresh smelling out there. All is quiet and peaceful, the garbage guy's have been,
everyone gone off to work or school so I'm gonna go have my coffee and look at
that pretty blue sparkly sea, listen to the bird's, relax and enjoy.
           If anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.
                   You all take care.


  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 10:37:20 -0500
Today in Dominica we are having sunny periods with showers, which ever way around you want to put it!  The temperature is lovely and cool here in the valley.  We are having our garden landscaped today by several gardeners.  We need a little guidance on certain plants and flowers, where they would look best so get the experts to give some help, we would love to have one of the prettiest gardens in our lovely valley!

Having said that at 6.15 a.m., the dogs started barking, outside was a tall thin gentleman carrying a clear plastic bag, holding it high in the air a ways, away from himself.  On approaching the bag, I saw a large whippy tail one end glinting eyes and teeth the other, the rest of the body was skinned and it was lying in a pool of blood!  I asked exactly what he wanted me to do?  He said,  'put it in your fridge!'  I said,  'no way!  I don't want to eat a manicu!'  He said, 'no it is not for you, it is for Paul!'  So I said, 'who is Paul?'  He said, 'you know Paul down the road!'  I said, 'no, no, no,  I can't possibly have that thing in my fridge!'  Well the man smiled, thank goodness, he probably thought that crazy white woman!  I did not care!  Wow, what a thing to wake up to!  Manicu is apparently a gourmet meal so I think I should have been much more enthusiastic!

Only in Dominica.  We shall be eating vegetarian tonight...........................................

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 15 May 2008 06:22:37 -0500
We are having wonderful weather here at the moment, glorious sunny days, heavy dew in the mornings, we are getting short of water in the tank because we are having to make sure the plants are watered and will probably have to fill the tank from the ravine.  We are so lucky to have a ravine with constant running water at the back of our cottage.  This means we never run dry as they say!

Yesterday I went to the river close by us with a friend who had never visited Dominica before they were totally amazed at the beauty!  The white frothy water cascading down into a big pool deep enough to dive in.  We took the plunge having a great time sitting between the rocks the water swirling around us giving us a natural jacuzzi all in one! 

So much goes on by the river side many Dominicans do their washing on the river drying their clothes on the rocks, this has been going on for generations.  Yesterday was no exception Hariet from St. Joseph had brought her washing and coal pot for cooking on making a day by the river.  We often take natural shampoo made in Dominica and wash our hair in the river the water is clear, clean and fresh, it is great for the skin and hair. 

We are so spoiled having the choice of the ocean or the river to cool of and chill out in, way to go Dominica the Nature Island of the Caribbean!

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 09:29:02 -0500
Wow, it seems a long time since we posted on Stormcarib.  Life goes on at a pace seemingly unabashed; before one knows it the week has gone.  Time waits for no man!

We have been having really hot weather with no rain until last night when it poured!  We are so glad as we had been out watering the garden through early evening, obviously a hint to the Rain God who obliged on cue!, Now of course, the plants and lawn are looking extremely green and happy.

It is another Bank Holiday Monday, two in the last week, Labour & Whit - it is good though as it is giving me time to catch up on all my e mails to friends.

We have two of our pups back for the week - pup watch meets wrecker ball - this means we have five dogs asleep on our deck.  The pups have grown bigger than their mum, yet, who is in charge still? Mum.  It is really fascinating watching the family interact, each dog knows it's place and limitations, the parents are definitely in charge.  When one looks around at the world today we see human children literally getting away with murder and dreadful behaviour.  The family system has broken down with parents not doing their job - obviously not in all cases but in a worrisome percentage.  The animal kingdom is so much wiser than us mere homo sapiens. 

Well it will soon be June and we will all be back on hurricane watch; let us hope that the prediction for extreme weather does not come to fruition and we mere mortals get away with a whisper not a clout!

- Update
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 07:55:20 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         The last couple of day's have been very bright, hot, muggy
and a bit breezy here on the west coast. This morning's dawned
bright and clear again. Lovely blue sky and sea. It is still very
humid. The breeze we were getting has died down.
           I'm off to enjoy another cup of coffee and watch the boat's
out there on that lovely blue sea.
           If anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.
                   You all take care.


- Hazy Day
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 22:55:52 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         A warm humid day, hardly any breeze and yes we have had The Haze
here on the west coast. First noticed it at about 7.30am while I was out on
the balcony looking out at the sea, looked very much like a thick mist, we went
into Roseau and from there we can see Morne Anglais and surrounding
mountain's, first glance we thought they were covered in rain cloud's but when we
checked later to see if it had cleared they were still there. Really weird. We
wondered if it had anything to do with the volcanic eruption at Patagonia. No
doubt there will be someone out there who will tell us.
           The evening is humid and very warm.
            I'm off to finish my wine and enjoy what is left of the evening.
                      You all take care.


  P.S.    Have started stocking up ready for you all know what, we bought the rum today.

- It's Rained.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 23:21:53 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         Well the garden has been given a good soaking, The rain started
late yesterday afternoon here on the west coast and followed into today.
Good day for gardening, shower's and sun.
         This evening is warm and dry with just a hint of a breeze.
         I'm off to enjoy the rest of the evening before the ice cube's melt.
               You all take care.


  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 12:45:53 -0500
We know it is a holiday!  We have lovely rain, rain and more rain so the beach and river will be pretty soggy for partying today!

We went and bought a huge load of flower plants for the garden on Friday so this rain is just right to encourage them to grow and be beautiful.  It is great growing vegetables for our table, also wonderful to have room for lots of flowers too.  We also take a machete and a sack when we go visiting our friends houses so that we can procure various cuttings to bring home and plant.

One of the things we have discovered since living here is that tea can be made from most plants such as basil, rosemary, thyme and varieties of bush.  Mainly these teas are good for one's health and address different ailments that we may have, or, if we feel so inclined, we can drink it any time.  Dominicans have an instinct about how to treat most illnesses with herbs, the old remedies often being much better than modern day pills.

Our neighbour Sobo has so much information about what we should pick, how to make different concoctions to keep us healthy, he is also a great guru as to the weather, what to plant and when to plant it - we feel truly blessed.

- Grey Today
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 4 May 2008 07:40:13 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Finally some rain arrived on Friday, on the only day we decided to go out for a drive.
         Still, we had a really good day, we went up to Miracle Lake and it really is up. It is
so high up on the mountain it makes your ear's pop, like being in a plane.
         Saturday we were back to sun, warm breeze, blue sky.
         This morning it is a little dull and overcast, light breeze, the sea is grey. The sun is
making a valiant attempt to beat the cloud's back.
           I'm off to have a coffee and look at the grey sea. If anything exciting happens I'll
let you all know.
                           You all take care.


- Update.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 09:08:08 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Still no rain. Yesterday was a little dull and cloudy, today is
beautiful, bright blue sky, sun shining, light breeze.
         Heard a nice little story, ferry coming over from Martinique
last Thursday, the crew spotted a pod of whale's, so the captain
slowed down, turned the ferry round and slowly circled for 20
minuet's giving his passenger's a free whale watch trip. Give
the man a round of applause.
        All is quiet, everyone gone to work or school, I'm off to
enjoy it while it lasts.
              You all take care.


  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 09:48:58 -0500
We were complaining how wet it was not long ago, now all we can say is it is dry, dry, dry, time to get the water pump out and transfer water into our cistern and onto our plants from the ravine!  Luckily, we have a ravine that runs all the time, pristine, clean water which is a blessing.

We are so lucky because we have drop arm awnings on our deck which keep our cottage so cool, as the sun comes onto the property so we drop the awnings and have constant shade, they also protect us from the rain.  We sell different types of retractable and vertical drop awnings; we have them custom made in Antigua and professionally fit them.  I think this is particularly good for properties on the Dominican West Coast; the sun in the summer can be so hot and on the buildings most of the day.  It is a great commodity and adds value to  one's property.

Today we think is river bath day,  We have to cool out for sure.  A balmy Sunday off which is unusual for me!  Just going to enjoy the day and probably attack the wine cellar!

Our telephone number if anyone is interested in our awnings is 1 (767) 449 1123 or 1 (767) 265 3339.

- Waiting for water
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2008 15:00:35 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
         Today is overcast and breezy, still very humid. The sea is quite
choppy and grey. Still no rain though. It did make a half hearted attempt
at rain in the very early hour's of this morning, but nothing worth noting.
The garden is now beginning to suffer, leaves turning yellow, ground
almost like concrete.  Hosepipe time i think. Guaranteed to rain then.
          My next door neighbour left to go back home to Canada today,
my garden has just doubled in size. Hopefully I can keep everything
alive for her till she gets back in October.
           Well we are off out tonight with friend's , so nice early shower
little siesta and we will be raring to go.
                    You all take care.


- Quick Update.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2008 07:51:29 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         A fairly dull morning here on the west coast, little breezy, lot of cloud,
very warm though. At about 6.30am it made an attempt at rain. The sun is
doing it's very best, so it's anyone's guess at what today will bring.
        See on the satellite pic's we could be in for some rain, still it is needed,
the garden is real thirsty. If we don't get any rain today it will have to be the
hosepipe this evening.
        Everyone's gone to work or school, silence, I'm off to enjoy it while it
           You all take care.


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