We are sweating again in the humid tropics after six weeks of sweltering in the dry desert heat, and a few updates are in order:
DEATH IN PARADISE FILMING AT LA TRAMONTANE: Before we flew back to Gwada, we were contacted by Jon and Rebecca, the location managers for Death in Paradise, inquiring as to whether they could film a scene at La Tramontane for Season 7, Episode 7 within one week after our return. It would be a dinner party hosted by one of the suspects, we were soon to find out. The lawn was not ready, but we did as much as we could. The day before filming, Death in Paradise carpenters installed a wood floor for access over the mud. The night before the filming (between 9:30 pm and 11:00 pm), enormous trucks filled with equipment and the police car were delivered onto our driveway and security personnel stayed all night to keep watch. The trucks were plugged into our garage outlets to charge cameras and other electronics, but drew so much power that our electricity kept tripping. So, we forewent the air conditioning that night for the sake of entertainment. The next day, more equipment and a mass of people started arriving at 7:00 am to do their designated jobs. There were people switching out pool patio furniture and dressing the dinner table, others setting up the garage as a lunch buffet, a few organizing a green room for the actors and various crew members unloading furniture and heavy equipment to arrange work spaces for the directors and camera operators. After 12 long hours at La Tramontane, weeks in the planning and cleaning to follow, there might be about 5 minutes of play time in the episode. These people work hard.
POOL UPDATE: Pascal and his team managed the installation of the stone deck tile and wall façades during our hiatus, but only after being turned down by three different tile layers. Who wants predictable problems when there are enough unanticipated mishaps around here to keep anyone on their toes? Things happen on this island that I couldn’t even dream of. For instance, heavy rains in the days before filling up the pool caused algae blooms in the city tap water. As a result, Pascal awoke the morning after the hose was dropped in only to discover a green, mossy lagoon where there should have been a pool of crystal clear water. He is accustomed to stuff like this and remedied it. So, when we arrived, the pool just needed finishing touches like soil and rock for the future lawn below and potted plants to prevent guests from falling off the front of the deck. Our sincere appreciation goes out to our mason, Kleber and his core team (Wilner and Ludovic), our pool builder, Fabrice of Concept d’O Piscines, Pascal and his tile and stone wizards, our electrician extraordinaire, Philippe, our plumber, Jommy, and many others who delivered rocks, gravel and soil and came on site with tractors and bobcats that came way too close to the pool walls.
FAMILY AND SPECIAL VISITORS FROM FRANCE: Our kitten, Madame Rocher Leroux, is twice the size as before. At first she didn’t recognize us and stayed down below with Marie-Paul, but after daily bribing with freshly caught fish that Bob prepares on the skillet with love, Roux is reintegrating herself back into the family. We had her spayed as this place definitely doesn’t need more cats running amok. Rex is doing fine and has been escaping out the front gate to visit Paola, Bruno and Puzzone. Unfortunately, Paola and Bruno’s white German Shepard, Ginetto, passed away in July. May he rest in peace.
Brynn is ready to get back to classes at her middle school, College Félix Aladin Flémin, after receiving top marks last semester, including a Certificate of Excellence. While really unfair to the others, I am proud to say that she received the highest score in the class in English. As for Bob, it’s the usual. Grueling days digging dirt, planting plants, clearing out the jungle invading our paths, refinishing furniture, and preparing new dishes with the fresh tuna, mahi-mahi and wahoo we pick up from Stanley and Mimi at the fish market. After numerous times waiting in line for the fresh catch of the day only to have it run out before our turn, we figured out the system. We have Stanley on speed dial now and find out what is on the boat en route to the Marché aux Poissons and reserve our fish before we drive over to the market.
Last but not least, we hosted very important guests at La Tramontane…two of my former French au pairs from Arizona who are considered part of my family came to visit: Julia, who flew from Lyon and lived with us in 2013-2014, and Melissa, who flew from Strasbourg and lived with us in 2014-2015. They met in Paris and, voilà, arrived together. We loved having them and miss them already.