Christmas & New Year Diary

Wow, I have had such a different Christmas and New Year here in the West Indies (aka Windies), different from the Chirstmas’s I have known over the last 10 years in the snowy European Alps. Different, yet magical too.

I thought it would be fun to do a diary-style post about what I got up to during my short break. So here goes, in no particular order as it is a somewhat jumbled memory!

Christmas is about family and I was really happy to have my sister come and stay, all the way from Switzerland, during the holidays. She is our first visitor from our old home and somehow it makes life here a little more real to have someone dear to experience it with us.

I was able to make her turmeric tea to feel good after the long journey and to have lengthy chats to appreciate her fresh mindset to revive my own, sometimes stagnant, one. I find that talking to trusted friends and sharing doubts, fears and ideas allows you to accept them and move forward.

We went on a marvellous Kayak and Snorkel Tour on the East coast (based out of Stingray City but managed independently) to this utterly ridiculous beach paradise of Bird Island.

Kayak Tour to Bird Island
Just stunning. And we had Rum Punch here, can you believe it?

I stopped checking the bedsheets every night for lurking tarantulas and worrying about dengue fever. Each day I take a few deep breaths, breathing out my fear and worry, and breathing in courage and positivity.

I started to do a new exercise programme that makes me feel GREAT! I can do it at home without any special equipment so it is perfect: I’ll update you on some before and after shots in a few months ….. Shaun T’s Insanity Beachbody workout (as with the Juice Diet, I’m sticking to it as well as I can fit into my schedule and every little bit helps. I’m not going to beat myself up about missing a day or two here and there).

We had really special sunset drinks at the utterly divine Sheer Rocks restaurant.

Sunset at Sheer Rocks, Antigua
Sunset at Sheer Rocks, Antigua

We accumulated a new dog for her retirement to hang out with Surf Dog.

Santa arrived in a Search and Rescue Speedboat (ABSAR), which I have to admit, was pretty darn cool. Although he looked pretty warm and confessed that he was confused as to which pole he was at:

Santa by Speedboat
Santa by Speedboat

I built a creepy Sandman / Sand-it on Dickenson Beach, to replace the snowmen that our mountain pals are building right now! I know I was supposed to be building Queen Elsa, but my talents evidently lie elsewhere.

Sand-it, Antigua

We celebrated a traditional Christmas with a gorgeous family walk and cuddle at Galleon Beach followed by a roast turkey and most of the trimmings.

I missed my Mum and Dad a lot and thought about Christmas in Ireland and crispy, frosty mornings (through rose tinted glasses I know ‘cos it was raining and soggy in Ireland on the 25th), but thank goodness for Skype and the wonderful internet that brings us all close together.

Art courtesy of my sister!


I saw the sun set on 2015 and made a wish for 2016. Then unfortunately my daughter fell into a cactus and the moment was shrouded in screaming hysteria.

Last sunset 2015
Sunset on 2015
Sunset from Shirley Heights over English Harbour on the 31st December 2015
Sunset from Shirley Heights over English Harbour on the 31st December 2015

I danced in Nelson’s Dockyard at New Year with my sister.

And on New Year’s day we took a walk and my sister took me to the edge of my dangerzone and empowered me for 2016.

Feeling brave for 2016

Surf dog Ricky in all of his awesomeness was Officially Named ‘Coolest Dog on the Planet’ by some passing tourists on Half Moon Beach.

Surf Dog Ricky
Surf Dog Ricky
Dachshund on the Run
Dachshund on the Run

I watched this man, unflinching in his quest, never doubting his foothold on the slippery rocks and realised that that is how we should all move forwards into the New Year – know What you are doing, Why you are doing it and Do it without fear.

Fisherman, Pillars of Hercules, Antigua WI
Fisherman, Pillars of Hercules, Antigua WI

There were many other wonderful moments, but through it all I counted my blessings, loved my family and prayed for the future of our truly amazing planet, that has allowed me to enjoy such mindboggling adventures from the cold of the winter mountains to the endless summer of the tropics and the changing faces of different cultures and religions that have made me feel welcome in this journey.

Wishing you all an epic 2016.

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