We left the the dry desert in the dust and returned to our sanctuary in the humid tropics, and a few updates are in order.
DEATH IN PARADISE FILMING AT LA TRAMONTANE: Within a week of our return to life in paradise, a scene for Season 7, Episode 7 of the successful BBC series, Death in Paradise, was filmed at our very own La Tramontane. We never realized how much time, coordination and effort go into a mere 60 seconds of air time. As the landscaping around the pool was not yet complete, DIP carpenters installed a wood floor for access over our muddy front yard the day before filming. The evening before filming, the Honoré Police car and several huge trucks filled with equipment were deposited onto our driveway. Generators were plugged into our garage outlets to charge and power cameras and other electronics, but drew so much power that our electricity kept tripping. So, for the sake of entertainment, we forewent air conditioning that night. The next day, more equipment and a mass of people began arriving at 7:00 am . Pool furniture was arranged on the deck, the dinner table was dressed, a green room was set up for the actors, work spaces were created for producers, directors, and camera operators, and the garage was transformed into a break and lunch room. After 12 long hours at La Tramontane, weeks in planning and clean up afterwards, 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 things like this and remedied it, so we arrived to a beautiful pool that needed some finishing touches (such as 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, Mademoiselle Rocher Leroux, is twice the size as before. At first she didn’t recognize us and stayed 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. 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 (fka College Matouba), 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 fish recipes.
Last but not least, we hosted very important guests at La Tramontane…two of my former French au pairs who lived with us in Arizona 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 miss them already.