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  • Writer's pictureHummingbird Retreat

Week 1

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

Welcome to my blog where I will share our journey of creating the Hummingbird Retreat house and also my discoveries about Grenada as I get to know this beautiful island. I hope to write weekly and each post will have three sections-

  1. ‘Wildlife Wonders’ describing a different animal or plant each week

  2. ‘Grenadian Gifts’ such as places to visit, food or cultural discoveries I make on the way

  3. An update and reflections of my life here as we set up Hummingbird Retreat house.

Wildlife Wonders- Bronze Anole

This is an island that offers so many wonderful ways to connect with nature and there are numerous beautiful and interesting animals and plants to share with you. However, I want to begin by introducing a friendly but timid visitor that I have already had on our balcony. This is the bronze anole (or sometimes called a bush anole or ‘wall lizard’). For those of you who are familiar with the TV series ‘Death in Paradise’ you will know the computer generated lizard called Harry who keeps the detective company at his beach house. Thankfully my new companion is real rather than a computer animation, though this makes it harder to photograph him though I did manage to get the photo above. However perhaps over time Larry, as I’ve named him (or it could be a Lucy) will get used to me. Larry is about 20cms long which is the usual sort of length for these lizards and sometimes their tails can be longer than their bodies. They are great to have around the place because they like to eat mosquitos, flies and other insects. When I last saw Larry he was a grey colour with dark brown speckles though they are like chameleons in that they can change colour to green or brown.

Grenadian Gifts – The view from our balcony

I arrived last Tuesday evening and I have wanted to unpack and sort things out in my new home, in the Hummingbird Retreat house, rather than venturing far. So I have mainly stayed at home and enjoyed the view. As we are on the North East corner of the island, the coastline is more wild and rugged here because the wilder Atlantic sea meets the calmer Caribbean Sea. You can hear the waves at the Retreat house which is a beautiful sound to fall asleep to. There are yachts and fishing boats passing and as I write this post a helicopter has just flown by. It is perhaps the local coast guard or maybe a tourist flight viewing neighbouring islands or a celebrity passing by. The island on the right in the photo is Sandy Island and on the left is Green Island. Just around the headland is Sugar Loaf Island and further out to sea is a large rock which is called London Bridge. In the distance to the left of the photo you can just make out the island of Carriacou which is where my husband, Hosten, was born and where some of his family still are. Sugar Loaf Island is privately owned with a house on the island. Sandy Island and Green Island are uninhabited and local boat owners can take tourists over for those wanting to have a day on a deserted Caribbean island.

Reflections from the Retreat

Having stayed in the house a few times before, it has quickly felt like home. Usually I have just been here for a few weeks and so I have felt the deadline to get things done before returning to the UK. Whereas now I know I can take my time and do things gradually and I feel a sense of peace being here.

The previous owners of the house were American and so all the electric sockets were American style and they had left a few kitchen appliances which was great to be able to use when we came to stay for holidays. However we had asked our friend and electrician to convert the house back to UK sockets, which are also the predominant style used in Grenada. This will be great when all my UK belongings arrive by container. However I forgot that this house improvement meant that I couldn’t use any of the appliances that are already here. So despite being organised by bringing tea bags and milk powder for my first morning brew, I discovered that I had an American kettle and a UK socket that no longer matched! There’s a reminder here of how some things that worked for us when we came for holidays will no longer work as a resident here. As I transition from being a visitor to living here, there will be expectations, goals and ways of living that need to change; there will be a letting go of certain expectations of how things are done and changes in ways of living as I develop my life here. So like my USA kettle in my newly wired kitchen, I might not feel I belong so well at first but hopefully with time I will find where I best fit.

Thankfully my local friends here have been great and they bought me a new UK kettle so that I could enjoy my long awaited mug of tea. They also provided a welcome basket of fruit and flowers, some of which was from our garden, as well as food in our fridge. Another welcome was being visited by some of my husband’s family. It was great to spend time with them, picking fruit from the garden and having fish and chips on Bathway beach. So this first week has felt positive and welcoming. Let’s see what next week brings….

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