Improvements at the lovely La Tramontane are progressing. Construction of the swimming pool has begun and fencing is being installed along the property boundary. Rex is frustrated as he can no longer pop up to our neighbors, Fred and Nico, and beg for food on their veranda while they host five course meals for their vacationers…nor can he continue to go below to visit Bruno, Paola and Puzzone and bark at their hotel guests.
Island life continues as expected (which really means don’t expect things to go as expected), and we still learn new tidbits of information on a daily basis that have only limited relevancy and importance elsewhere. For example, it is imperative to do a mosquito check inside your mosquito net before you go to sleep. And, it is a good idea to leave your leather shoes at home when moving to the tropics…they mold. On the predictable side, I still suffer from certain disabilities when it comes to driving. The other week, I sort of knocked off our rear view mirror when I veered a bit too far to the right because a sugar cane truck was barreling down the road towards me. I can’t seem to avoid miscellaneous volcanic rocks in the yard and kind of side swiped the front bumper last week, although I can’t remember when or where it happened.
On a positive note, we are pleased with how easy it has been to get construction materials. Visits to the wood depot and gravel repository have been fruitful. Last week, Bob and I took a trip to the town quarry to get some stepping stones for the pool and garden.
Other than his inability to roam the neighborhood, Rex is doing well and continues to live flea free. He loves to eat the mosquitoes that buzz around his head and has meals fit for a king (including Bob’s grilled chicken). And, in addition to our resident iguana, we have a new “pensionnaire” at Tramontane. Brynn recently found a kitten sitting in the front yard on a rocher (which means “rock” in English). So, we named her Mademoiselle Rocher Leroux…or “Roux” for short. Although Bob’s previous firm stance was that he would never ever allow us to have a cat, Rox has clearly changed his mind…and it took all of 10 minutes. Moreover, the majority of people around here have adopted at least one cat who has wandered onto their property hungry and homeless. We are just doing our civic duty.
My closest friend, Bethany, and her daughter, Skylar, visited us for a week. With the exception of my bad driving, I think they had a great time. We went snorkeling and ziplining, and also visited the mammal park and La Grivelière coffee plantation. We had massages on the veranda and dined at a couple of great restaurants – La Savane in Deshaies and the restaurant at Le Rayon Vert in Ferry. To top it all off, they brought me a new set of matching blue polka dot pajamas!
The BBC television series, Death in Paradise, is filmed in Guadeloupe and mostly in our commune of Deshaies. They set up filming in late spring and stay until the fall, I am told. Two weeks ago, I saw men putting up the sign, “Honoré Police,” on the building the show uses for the police station and we noticed that the inspector’s shack has already been reinstalled on Perle Beach. The film crew reportedly asked twice in the past to film a scene at La Tramontane. Maybe it will happen this season. In any event, it’s a great series and is available on Netflix!
If you have noticed something new about Bob (aside from his new found love for tank tops), it might just be his fabulous new buzz cut. We hired Franky, coiffeur extraordinaire and barber to the stars (including the Death in Paradise cast), to style Bob’s doo. Franky even makes house calls and stays afterwards for Ti Punch!