I was chatting to daughter 1 about partner and I’s cheeky little trip to St Lucia. “I wonder what will happen in St Lucia?” I said. “You might come back pregnant, she replied.
Oh, the teenage brain! Actually, now I’m here, I may just not want to come back at all. Holidays really are so important, aren’t they? Whether it’s a caravan in the pissing rain in Wales, or an island in the Caribbean. Life is all about living for the next change of scene. Of course St Lucia would win over Wales, but to be honest, Wales is usually more my price range and so when St Lucia fell in to our laps, thanks to a lovely friend offering us use of his villa, we just felt that we couldn’t say , ‘no’.
This meant getting on a plane and facing my fear of flying. So I tanked myself up on gin and wine and snoozed along to my hypnotherapy recording, that takes me to a place that I feel safe. Funnily enough, I wasn’t thinking about the house I had left with Granny B in charge, where two girls had mocks and there was a week of train strikes. No, my safe place was hot and sunny and there wasn’t a kid or a train in sight.
There are, however, plenty of stray dog, horses and goats wandering around St Lucia, so my maternal instincts were still able to be amply satisfied. St Lucia is not your polished, 5 * island – thank goodness. It is still real and the cruise ships that sail in and out, have to conform to the island and happily, not the other way around. I adore its rustic nature. Driving through the shanty town out of the airport, immediately gave me the buzz that I feel in Asia. The dead dog in the road was sad, but unsurprising and the road wound along the coast and then through the rain forest, before bringing us to the posh end of the island, known as the Cap Estate. We had to have the obligatory laugh at an advert we saw en route. The drink is called: Climax and the strap line read: ‘have you climaxed yet?’ Accompanied by a picture of a happy couple. As if to top this, we saw a truck belonging to a haulage firm called: Rocker’s. With a name like that you’d need to be confident you could live up to it. I reckon they were, as in large letters under their name all along the side of the lorry was written: ‘We haul what our competitor talk, shit.’ That’s St Lucia, baby!
As I was unpacking, I did wonder why I had brought so many pants with me for an 8 day holiday. I haven’t wasted precious time counting, but safe to say that I reckon I could piss myself twice a day for a month and still be ok. As partner unpacked he noticed that his lip salve stated on the packaging that it was fine for nipples. Always good to know, but not something I’ve ever had to give a thought, as I’m rather a prude deep down. On top of that, I wouldn’t want to give Malcolm, our host, reason to throw us out of his villa. Even everything tucked in to a bikini 2 weeks after the Christmas binge could be a step too far. I’m spending so much time sucking in this holiday, I may at some point spontaneously invert.
The great thing about having Malcolm around, apart from his gorgeous looks and electric personality, is that he can take us straight to the best bits of the island. The guys on the beach who generally want you to sell your grandmother to buy some piece of tat made from beach debris, appear to be his long lost mates. A deserted beach last night for a rum punch sun downer, just hit the holiday spot. It’s the beach where Amy Winehouse used to hang out and I can certainly see why. I have realised that rum punch is going to be the death of me this holiday, as it tastes no different to a strawberry fruit shoot and has a similar effect as giving about 5 of those to your 4 year old. When daughter 1 was a baby, I always remember a friend of mine who already had a toddler, saying to me: whatever you do, never, ever give her a strawberry flavour fruit shoot. Then some bastard of a mother gave her one at a party and the rest of my day was wasted as I chased a delirious child around in circles, whilst 9 months pregnant. The thing is, they ply you with the punch on every tourist trip you go on in St Lucia, like the pirate ship sunset tour we are going on tonight. I think I’ll be ok as long as I keep going on it without more than an hour’s break at any point for the next 7 days. I am slightly concerned about the crash at the end and should apologise now to my children, as they may come home from school next Wednesday actually wanting to speak to me for a change and could find me lying with a bag of peas on my forehead muttering something about a bloke dressed as a pirate making me do it.
Amy Winehouse’s favourite beach: Cas en Bas, Cotton Bay