Cowering Chicken, Humming Bird

Published: May 15th 2011
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I was joined for breakfast today by a humming bird. Whilst I munched a tasty scrambled eggs on toast he supped elegantly as he buzzed at the special feeder a few feet away. I'm not sure he was totally appreciative of my company but I was very happy to see him. Meanwhile, without my knowledge or prior agreement a third party joined in breakfast taking a drink from my left ankle. Bloody mosquitos and their bloody breakfasts.

After the breakfast party I went for a walk down the hill to see the sea. Margaret warned me that the return journey would be very uphill but I took it on all the same. The sun was shining through the greyness at last so it was a pleasant bright stroll down the quiet roads taking in all the bright flowers and all sorts of birds I'd not seen before. A special type of kestrel, a big black bird, more humming birds, an aggressive looking Thrasher (thrush) and plenty of Egrets. On the beach I was given a graceful fly-by by a local pelican. There are plenty of chickens around which is always encouraging, but I noticed how timid they are here, as soon as they saw me the skedaddled or just cowered in the grass. Perhaps they are wild chickens as the chickens I know are far less bothered about human activity. Or perhaps I just don't have the right approach for chickens in Montserrat.

The sea was warm but I only went up to my ankles (what was left of them after the mosquito had taken its fill). The sand is volcanic grey so the sea isn't as blue as those idyllic Caribbean scenes, but apparently there is another beach with the white sands so I'll try to check that one out. It was still very exotic though with washed up coconuts and strange pods of seeds.

After the beach there was indeed a strenuous and sweat-inducing walk back up to the house - but I needed a bit of a stretch after all the sitting on the plane yesterday.

For lunch there were a few guests and I met Carol and Cedric Osborne. Carol helps Margaret with the running of Olveston House. Also there was the island's Governor, Adrian Davis and we were joined by a couple other local residents, so it was quite a gathering. We sat on the veranda enjoying pleasant conversation, excellent food (I had a delicious tuna steak) and a torrential downpour.

Tomorrow I am meeting the Minister of Culture in the morning and I hope to be able to explore the island a bit. Today has been fairly quiet, being a Sunday everyone is at rest and I'm acclimatising but there should be more happening tomorrow. I'm definitely getting a nice feel for the people and the place though and it's all very positive, perhaps the weather could perk up a bit though. Having said that the rain seems to have brought the frog chorus out in full song, so perhaps I might go frog spotting. I'd love to see a tree frog.

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16th May 2011

Sounds lush
Hey....sounds like it's all very relaxed...great! What about the jet-lag...or you not feeling it? Is it a comfortable place to stay? Did you bring your uke/mandolin? Get to go to any gigs?? Loads of love from here...where it's also cloudy but not tropical. xxxx n
18th May 2011

Hi sis, The jet lag hasn't been much of a problem, I just wake up very early and go to bed rather early, but during the day I'm fine. I've got my mandolin and have been doing some playing. Will take it along to the groups I'm going to see this afternoon. Cxx

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