Tuesday, March 30, 2010



The buildings of English Harbour are discreetly restored and well planted with flowers. And the blossoms bring the hummers. Got a nice shot with my new toy a Nikon with a 24 x zoom.


Watched a pair of Yorkshire boys row into English harbour today. Lots of people to greet them and their first proper food for 83 days awaited them on shore. Watching them reeling about as they tried to find their land legs took me back to trying to walk into customs in Fort de France after our 30 day transatlantic.

Chatted to a few other rowers including a father and son team and Lia Ditton a 29 year old professional sailor and artist who has completed 12 ocean crossings, 3 racing solo plus other races and deliveries spanning some 75,000 miles but all in yachts.

She stepped in at the very last second [on a whim??] as a replacement in the Canaries and barely knew Mick Birchall when they left. Mick got to know her back view pretty well by Antigua.

I was told that rowing naked while sitting on a sheepskin reduces chafe which causes open sores to form. They put some clothes on at the finish line though.

The feral children - violent, amoral, unteachable and later unemployable –but wearing school blazers struck in London with an organised gang battle leaving a young man dead. In Antigua the uniformed school children seem to be amazingly polite and well behaved.

I learned that in an Antiguan classroom the teachers word is still law and no teacher is expected to handle persistantly 'difficult' children.

Unlike the UK they are never obliged to conduct classes in which the presence of disruptive boys and girls is taken for granted.

I am glad I escaped the tyranny of the Ofstead inspections where one student ' failing to learn ' made your grade less than good. But I suppose I was lucky in teaching in a 6th form college wher students could be kicked out for misbehaving and they did not have to be there.

I know so many UK based teachers who just want to get out of the classroom.

Dangerous place England?


“No water so we wash no clothes”! That is what they said to me when I toiled up the steps of the laundry with three bags of soiled sheets soggy towels and some underwear.

Antigua has a growing shortage of water. So they just turn off the supply to some areas. However the golf courses are staying nice and green somehow even though there has been a long dry spell.

Anybody got some handwash soap?


  1. School Children in India were amazing. Polite, well dressed, they walk through paddy fields holding their bags, shoes, etc on their heads. The difference is they want to go to schoolbecause they know it is important to them.

  2. Same here school unforms worn with pride and a desire to learn not to look cool and earn status by disrupting the class.

    Friends who are in the state system and teaching sub 17 year olds where expulsion is virtually impossible are nearly all totally disallusioned and just hanging on till retirement or going early if they can swing it.