Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Continuing story of the balcony and goats

Remember where we were with the balcony? It was yellow and green, but we ran out of yellow, so clever me used turmeric as that is yellow - but it turned red! So Danilo had a cunning plan. He painted it green with white stripes.

So now the balcony looked like a tennis court, or a ping pong table. By this stage I had given up caring what it looked like, and then we became aware of the nuclear missile launch by North Korea. "What on earth has that to do with our balcony?" you ask. Well here is the nuclear missile being wheeled out.

Spot the similarity?

So we had to change the floor as according to Danilo we might be mistaken for a Korean nuclear missile site. I did try explaining that geographically there was a slight difference between us and North Korea but the change had to be done. So back to red we went, and so far, red it has stayed.

Of course, the painting was done in what were brown flip flops.

Anyway balcony is now more or less finished and I love it. We just need some more furniture and plants and solar lights and it will be  perfect - until it falls down.

We do have some furniture - bar stools so that you can sit up, drink and look over the garden,

And this very interesting Dominican seat made out of the fibres in the leaves of the banana plant - so apparently it can be out in the rain. There are four depressions for people to sit in - and surprisingly it is comfortable, but you all have your backs to each other. So I assume it is for people who don't like each other, who don't want to talk to each other, or maybe it is a Whatsapp chair where people sit and chat away on their phones?

We have had a problem with El Criminal, the male goat who arrived a couple of months ago.

He would escape constantly, but would come to the back door, so I would go back to the paddock with him and prepare to open the gate, and then he would jump over the 4 foot tall barbed wire fence. When I went off on book tour, he would still escape but would make the rounds of the neighbours, eating all of their planted yuca and anything else he could find. So to save paying thousands of pesos in damages we bought more wire and increased the height of the fencing in the paddock to 6 feet tall. Did it work?

Yes, for 24 hours and then he would still escape. He would jump from a standing start - as if he had springs on his hooves. So, he had to go. Stepson number 2, Alberto came and collected him, and exchanged him for a pregnant lady goat called Chilli Pepper.

She is very cute, very tame and doesn't jump. Not sure when the baby or babies are due but it shouldn't be too long I don't think.

I hope you all had a good Christmas - here it was the traditional Dominican family Christmas with me cooking the supposedly traditional British Christmas dinner on 25th. However due to the oven not working (rats ate the insulation) we decided to have paella instead which you can cook on the top part of the stove rather than in the oven. Then a day before Christmas my  mum bought us a new stove which is fabulous but we stuck to the paella plan. Here we are all eating Christmas lunch, stepsons, dwendy, foster kids, granddaughter and of course Danilo.

Wishing you all the best for the New Year - who knows what delights (and disasters) it will have in store!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lindsay and Chivirico on tour

So off we went on book tour, Chivirico and I with 100 books in tow – some of the old one, “What About Your Saucepans? “ and some of the new one “Life After My Saucepans”.

Danilo had a case he was working on in Puerto Plata, so he was able to take us to Sosua in the car, where we set up at Midtown Bar and Restaurant.

It was lovely and we had a good corner spec where Chivirico set everything up. He was on commission of RD$50 per book sold so he was keen to make sure all went well.

The guests began to arrive although most seemed to want to see Chivirico rather than me!

And soon our little corner was full! Many of the guests were from the DR1 forum and it was great to meet them.

The food was lovely – look at the size of that prawn cocktail.

And they served amazing cheesecake.

Chivirico had never eaten cheesecake but that was quickly remedied.

What was even better is I met some new friends, lovely people and sold around 25 books.

We then moved on to Casa de Compai an amazing apartment complex owned by a friend of mine. It has recently been expanded to include 6 more beautiful one bedroomed one and a half bath apartments.

I should point out I took lots of photos to include in this blog, but Chiv was in charge of the camera and lots appear to have been inadvertently deleted!
Casa de Compai are apartments to die for. Beautifully fitted out, granite surfaces, fab beds, amazing bathrooms, piping hot water, all the mod cons you could ask for in the kitchen including full stoves with ovens, microwave, blender, coffee machine and a pool and flat screen tvs and and and... Plus the owner John Kumpel is a lovely guy as is his great dog Shadow!

Then it was off to Taberna El Conde for an amazing dinner, meeting more lovely people and selling more books. This is my favourite restaurant in Sosua - the food is to die for and it has a lovely ambiance.

The following day another friend, Meems, took Chiv off to play in the Pitch baseball batting cage in Sosua which he adored.The Pitch batting cage isa new addition to Sosua and is sponsored in part by the Pedro Martinez and Hermanos Fondacion. Not only is Pedro GOD, this is a wonderful thing for Sosua kids...and visitors.

Meanwhile I went to have my hair cut and coloured for the price of two books, by the amazing Julia who has a salon in Plaza Valentina in Sosua.

I am sure her camera is dodgy as not a wrinkle in sight but I loved the new hair cut and colour.

Then back to Midtown for a great lunch before we caught the 1.30 bus to Las Terrenas. RD$350 each which is around US$7 and a couple of dollars for the book bag and off we went on the four hour journey.  Chivirico spent the whole journey talking to the conductor (cobrador) and we talked about Christmas. He said he wanted Father Christmas to bring him a boogie which I eventually realized was a buggy. He also wanted a Samsung phone like mine – but a newer version. I explained that sometimes Santa Claus worked in mysterious ways and when we arrived in Las Terrenas, Dan was there to pick us up – in, guess what, a boogie! Chiv was beside himself and even more so when the next morning Dan took him for a long drive along the beach and even let him drive.

We spent the night at Dan and Manty’s guesthouse in Las Terrenas which is an amazing place and full of people from all over the world, mainly backpackers. It is large and feels just like home with a lovely massive terrace where people hang out, chatting, drinking, eating Manty’s amazing food, using the wifi, reading or watching TV.

We sold a couple of books there, then off to bed after Chiv had spent time with Dan.

 The next morning Chivirico hung out with Dan and I met my friend Helen for lunch and she took 15 books off my hand, buying 5 straight away and selling another 10 within 24 hours!

Then it was off to One Love Surf shack at 5pm for the final selling/signing event. Great bar/restaurant on the beach with a lovely laid back vibe and I got to sell and sign even more books and meet lots of great people. And guess what? Bahama and Harriet who came to visit a few months ago, when the baby goats were born, were there to say goodbye as they go back to the US soon. And Santa worked in mysterious ways when Bahama gave Chivirico a brand new Samsung phone. He will have to get it unlocked but I have never seen such a happy child.(Sorry it won't turn round!)

We caught the bus home at 6 am, meaning getting up at 5 am, and Chiv played with his phone all the way back. Danilo picked us up in Esperanza and by noon ish I was back in Wasp House with ecstatic dogs, cats and goats!

All in all a great time. Chivirico had a lovely time, I and he met old friends and made new ones, 61 books sold, we ate like Kings and Queens and stayed in lovely places. Now back to reality,

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Reminder I am on Spotlight Sunday tomorrow

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow I will be appearing on what is called Spotlight Sunday on a Facebook Group called We Love Memoirs. It is a lovely group of people from all around the world who enjoy reading memoirs and who also write them, although if you are a writer you cannot promote your work, apart from if you are invited to be in Spotlight Sunday. So on Sunday December 3, I will be on line on We Love Memoirs all day answering questions. People can ask whatever they like so it should be a fun day. If you want to join the page before then so you can ask me anything you like, just click the link above to join the site. We will start at 10 am Dominican time. Here are the other time zones: UK 2pm / CET 3pm / AKST 5am / PST 6am / MST 7am / CST 8am / EST 9am / AST 10am / UYT/GMT-3 11am / EET 4pm / GST/GMT+4 6pm / IST 7.30pm / MYT/GMT+8 10pm / HKT 10pm / JST 11pm / AWST 10pm / AEST 12am / ACDT 12.30am / NZDT 3am /

Following that, Chivirico and I will be getting ready for our book signing tour, starting in Sosua on Thursday 7, followed by Las Terrenas. I will post pictures the following week.

Now I must get back to sorting photographs for tomorrow to post during Spotlight Sunday. See you there!!