Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Padlocks and parsnips

I have been eagerly waiting for copies of my book, “What about your saucepans?" to arrive from England. It was prohibitively expensive to post them and luckily for me, a friend, Jonathan, offered to bring them back with him as he was in the UK and returning here. He purchased a new suitcase for the purpose, and also included the thing I miss most from the UK, parsnips. As soon as he landed on Dominican soil, he sent one of his Dominican employees to the bus company, Caribe Tours, and put the suitcase on the bus to me. We use buses as the postal service here. The employee called me to tell me when it would arrive.

I eagerly went to the local office of the bus company, and there was said suitcase. I could hardly contain my excitement and was desperate to open it. But the suitcase was padlocked with a small but good quality Globe padlock.

I asked the woman in the office if there was another packet with the key in. She said not. I couldn't believe Jonathan would have padlocked it. Husband said not to worry it would be easy to snap off.
Spoke to Jonathan later.  He hadn't put the padlock on. The bus company did and gave the key to the Dominican employee who had it in his pocket. The employee said no point in telling me as everyone knew the padlocks were easy to break and my husband would know that. If they are that easy to break why put the bloody thing on then, I ask myself. Why not use a tie wrap which costs a fraction of the price and easier to get off? Hey ho.  I wonder if other authors have the same issues?

The lock wouldn't actually snap off, it had to be sawn off. And there inside were my books.

And parsnips. Bliss.

I am off to Sosua to sell and sign books on Sunday, March 24 between 12 noon and 3 pm at Rocky’s Blues Bar in Sosua.  It would be lovely to meet any blog readers who can make it there.

In the meantime, back in the campo, I met one of my neighbours.

He has informed me that a donkey is the best means of transport and my friend Shirley has offered me her donkey, Bob. However Bob used to run up behind her with ears flat and mouth open and try and bite her backside so I have declined the offer even though he has since been castrated. A girl can’t take the chance with a rampant donkey.

Bob the burro

My vegetable patch is bringing me daily joy and anticipation. The cauliflowers are looking very healthy, well the leaves are and I can’t wait to see a cauliflower sprouting out of the middle. Personally I am not sure whether I would have planted them under a palm tree, but I now have dug vegetable patch two, to transplant them. No idea when they should be transplanted though, so I will need to read up on that.

The rest of the veg are all sprouting up. No one told me that water melon grow all over the place, like pumpkin or auyama so putting them in a nice little row was a waste of time. They need a massive area just for one, so they will need transplanting too.

The only seeds not doing anything are, guess what, the parsnips. I have been told they take 3-4 weeks to germinate so there is still hope. I am thinking of pouring bags of ice cubes over them so they think it is frosty, and maybe that might help.

Meg the dog continues to frustrate the cats’ attempts to get upstairs, and this is what greets me every morning. She seems to be managing to stick her head further and further through the cat flap hole.

In fact, she seems to have become addicted  to all of the cat flap holes. I put some chicken skin outside for the cats so that they could eat it in peace. It wasn't to be.

Looking forward to seeing those of you who can make it in Sosua. Next blog post will report on how it goes.


  1. sorry, but can't believe anyone would miss parsnips,,,yuck...lol...I have ordered your book from Barnes and Noble in USA (not available in Canada yet) and am anxiously awaiting it's arrival. Hopefully it will arrive before March 31, when I am planning to head to Punta Cana for a week.

    Sherry in Nova Scotia Canada

    1. Thanks Sherry for ordering the book. Hopefully it arrives so that you can read it on the beach. Have a great time in Punta Cana. And yes I miss parsnips dreadfully, nothing quite like a roast parsnip.

  2. Kindle offers a free app for either i-devices or computers. I downloaded the app on my laptop and ordered the book from amizon kindle. Jen in Nova Scotia Canada

    1. Thanks Jen for getting the book. I only recently found out about the Kindle app. It is fabulous!

  3. Wow! I see your copies of books are inside the neat silver plastic luggage. Good luck for selling them to people including Dominicans and Tourists at Sosua. I have been in there once from September 2010. I will intend to order your book on Amazon Online anytime. I will come to DR when we will meet in there for your autograph someday. :)

  4. How frustrating! To show pictures of parsnips and not to have eaten one for over two years1 If you do manage to grow some please publicize exactly. Good luck with the book. Granca.

    1. Thanks Granca. Parsnips now eaten but still not growing.