Continued from PART I

See PART 1 at
See PART 2 at
See PART 3 at

Alison and her husband Colin rented an apartment across the road from my Luck Hill house.  And they asked me to join them on the Board of BVI Special Olympics, which I did for a few years.  Alison used to teach sailing to some of the special needs children.   Anyway, for those of you who love animals, this is a heart-breaking story about the hurricane's impact on horses in particular- just to add to the heart-breaking stories about the impact on humans.  ( Alison and Colin are both Brits - but have lived here for years. )
2 Cat 5 Hurricanes take away everything that we worked so hard to create.
The below was written over the past few weeks and feels like old news in many ways. I have not yet looked at an image of the Funny Farm before it lost its sense of humour and everything else that s…


A view from our new sundeck.
Another technological innovation I've worked out, namely how to get pictures from my camera to my e-mail. I still need to know how to get them from the I phone and the I pad to the computer (hint, hint). This is a view of Roadtown from our new sundeck. An alternative title would be "A view of what used to be the floor of our bedroom". The door was placed there by our workers in case we wanted to reuse it. The "new sundeck" was completely cleared for us by Irma. Nice view though, eh? Pity it leaks.

And now for something completely different.

Saw the German-Doc this morning. The good news is that he doesn't think I have any new spinal damage. The bad news is that he says no new damage (to L12 - the Twelfth Thoracic vertebra) was possible because it was so mashed up in the 1973 car crash that it couldn't get any worse. Hmmm. But he has recommended that I see another specialist next week and perhaps get an MRI or an NMR, or some such thing.. In the mean time I keep on with the various pills and creams, and have to work out how to get the diesel from the five gallon can into the the generator without lifting it up. For those of you bursting with advice. There are no other gas cans of any sort or size left for sale on the island. But I do have  a plan B that i'll be trying later today (says he, mysteriously).

To conclude, here's a picture of mashed up yachts at Manuel Reef, Sea Cows Bay. Lots of dollars gone in a blink of Irma's eye.


Yesterday was actually pretty nice.  For a time we sat on our deck and caught some rays. Pretended that we were normal people in a tropical paradise. Mr. Mangel (an odd little Guyanese guy) and Pippa (an English woman who works for our contractor) came over and assessed all of the detritus we have littered around, in order to give us a bid to remove it. We then went to Luck Hill and did the same thing. God knows where all this stuff will go, as 80% of the buildings on Tortola have damage. Some of them more than us. Above my pay grade. Then we caught a few more rays and thought about "how things used to be". Wasn't there a song........


It turns out that putting diesel in our lifesaving generator has been a major problem for me. We were having to do it once or twice a day and that was causing my Irmered back to get worse. We were going to the Riteway (supermarket) parking lot and leaving the car. Then I'd walk to the gas station to get the diesel. Maybe 200 yards. Car entry to "DPs" was restricted as there were long gas lines. I'd fill the "cans" and then hike back to the car. Usually one can, sometimes two. About fifty pounds a can I suppose. Then we'd drive home and carry the cans up a couple of flights of stairs (in order to hide them from looters). When the generator needed filling I'd carry them downstairs. Then I had to take all of the strapping off of the generator doors, lift the can up, and fill it. (The strapping is there as the doors blew off the generator during Irma. I found them down the road apiece.) What we do now is drive into the gas station. Get the gas jockey (or diesel jockey) to fill the can, and then con somebody into putting it into the back of the Jeep. Then we get home and fill five or six water bottles up with gas, and then put this in the generator. One gallon doesn't seem to hurt my back to much - although the German doctor "tut tutted" about it (or whatever a tut tut is in German). He didn't offer to come over and help though.

Last night we had a tropical wave pass through (actually it is still passing through). I use to like TWs as they filled our cisterns. but now, as we have no guttering left, they are not very popular. We awoke this morning to find we had a very flooded bedroom. Again. Remember that there is no longer a master suite above "Ali's bedroom", nor a roof over the space outside. And as luck would have it, the building tilts about two degrees to the east, which means all of the (several inches of) rain flowed eastward and fell off of the roof (actually our ex master bedroom floor). It then flowed down the east side of Ali's Bedroom over our entry door and then under the door and into the bedroom/bathroom. Oh Joy. I was vexed. We had put lots of large towels down, but they just slowed the progress  of the water a little. So I cleaned up, and then we had breakfast and thought. I had a couple of ideas, but didn't see  how we could execute my plans. And then, lo and behold, Jerry pitched up. He is a neighbour from Luck Hill who also is trying to deal with his Irmered houses. So we discussed some ideas and then he put them into action. (I should mention that he is, I think, 81 y.o.) "We" took a long 2 by 4, some bubble wrap and some concrete blocks up onto the "roof" and built a dam above the door. To divert the flood away from the entrance. It seems to be working. He is coming back later to help me fix our gutter so that we can capture some of this water. Elaine and I then gorilla-taped some plastic sheeting onto the door in order to divert any remaining flood water away from the entry point at the bottom of the door. It seems to be working also. It is good to have friends. Meanwhile Ron and Kenrick (of contractor fame) are going over to Luck Hill to work on waterproofing that place and replacing the gutters. Maybe some clouds do have silver linings.

Fig Two: ALI's ROOM. The "Xs" are broken windows.
The leaky door is in between the two blue concrete beams.
The two blue concrete beams used to support a roof.
The brown piece of wood used to support a roof.
The mess in the middle, central park, was once a nice garden.
The blue on the right is our blown-up third bedroom/office.
You can see the remains  of some of our trees at the back. ~ John

Ali's bedroom - now ours - on the left - with the blue walls and broken windows.
So just to be clear our master bedroom and bathroom was directly above Ali's bedroom.
So all that empty space and blue sky is where our bedroom was, and we and Eddy were
until everything - walls, contents, fixtures and us - got swept out.   ~ Elaine

Fig Three: The brown plastic thing used to contain cleaning materials.
It landed over my head when I was down in what I call my grave, after I was blown out of the bedroom.
I may keep the thing as it probably saved my life.
After it landed on top of my head, all sorts of debris rained upon it (and thus not on my head).
Despite this protection I still sustained some damage and for a couple of weeks
could not complete a sentence, or remember what I was going to say next.
Yes, I know, but this was worse than usual.
Concussion I guess, or many small concussions.
For what it is worth, I seem to be back to normal now.
Quiz night might  still be problem though.

Well that's it for today. Thanks to everybody who has sent nice messages. Thanks to everybody who has offered us shelter. Maybe one day you'll find us on your doorstep. Forgive me if I don't remember you name. I'm off to read a book on my Kindle App on my I Pad. Thanks again Ali.



Another picture of the damage and destruction.
• The green building on the left is our kitchen - essentially intact and rain-proof.  Just two tiny cracks on the glass on the door, and one very tiny leak - that only leaks in very very heavy rain, and then it is only a spoonful or two
• The pink building on the right is our living room.  The two sets of main doors were blown open during the second eye-wall, and there was a lot of water and wind damage.  There were two leaks.  One has been fixed.  The other is fairly minor.  This is where we huddled, holding the doors shut, during the latter part of Irma, after we had crawled  down from our "graves" behind the blue building on the far left.
• The blue  building on the left is where Ali's bedroom is, and ours was above that.  When we crawled down from our "graves" we had to go left behind the blue bedroom building on the left, down two sets of stairs, and along the corridor between the kitchen and Ali's bedroom, and on to the living room.
• The other blur building in the middle is the office cum third bedroom, with a cistern below it.  You can see that part of the office was ripped off.  We had to have our contractor board up the opening after the hurricane, to prevent further damage.

I will send another email shortly with the "before" picture.

P.S.  If you have any difficulty getting an email through to us at our surfbvi account - please use my back-up account


Here's a "before" picture.   You will see:
• the section of the office that no longer exists ( middle building)
• on the left - top, you can just see a bit of our master bedroom - a peach colour - which ain't there any more
• a roof between the office buidling and the other bedroom building - which covered an outside dining area.  This was ripped off.

After this picture was taken we had another roof over the outside dining area between the kitchen and living room.  This was also ripped apart.  Both this roof and the other roof had hurricane clips on them.

That's about it for now folks.  It is raining again!!!!!  Enough!!  We had 2 tropical waves past week, followed by another day of rain. We had another tropical wave which started on Saturday evening and went through to last evening.  And now we are having more rain - tons of it.   And the ironic thing is that most of our gutters are gone - as they are for many, many other folks - so we can't even benefit by getting full cisterns.  And not only that - but at our Luck Hill house, we rely solely on cistern water. ( We have access to town water at our curent house, but we have not got it back yet, since the hurricanes.)  So we may have to truck water in to fill our Luck Hill cisterns ----- BUT -- the huge Cable & Wireless, next door to my property, was damaged and blown over by Irma.  It lies decoratively across the road - and unfortunately at a height that might not allow a water truck to drive under to get to my house!!  Jeepers - the challenges never end.


We got some much needed sunshine today - which helped to boost our spirits..... and helped me  remind myself that while John and I have suffered incredible trauma, and huge damage to our houses, which will totally reset our future -- and change our lives, and leave us who knows where - maybe in a much poorer financial situation, we are still way better off than so many folks here.  There are so many people who have lost their homes, their jobs, are living in shelters, or living in a house or apartment with 7 of their best friends, plus 7 cats or dogs - and mostly without power, generator, water etc.   Lots of folks don't have cisterns - and so rely on town water, and right now, town water is not flowing in many places - except of course where there are burst pipes, and it is flowing where it should not be.

Given all of this, one of the things that has become apparent to me in the last few days, is that there is a huge demand for being able to do one's laundry at laundrettes  because of the lack of power, and water, and people having so many clothes that were "Irmared" and they need to wash them and wash them and wash them, to get all the mud and grime out.  Well, I don't think Tortola for one has many laundrettes.   I remember one in West End and one in East End, and we have one new one in Manuel Reef (where Gene's restaurant is for those of you who know Tortola)  So we have learned from Pippa and Gene, that what has happened is that all those folks who do not have laundry facilities have to make an appointment to get their laundry done!  Imagine!! This is like making an appointment to get your hair done - except this one won't be at the time you want.  And even then, they are only allowed to do one load at the appointed time!!  Think about it folks!!  If you are a family of four, maybe one of you is working and so cannot go to the laundry at the appointed time .  Just a nightmare!!

Meanwhile I am getting better at managing food.  But again we are way better off than most.  We have a generator to give us a few hours of power a day. (There is a funny post circulating on-line that cites various changes in life when you are in this situation.  The first one is "You poop and shower when the generator is on"  Very true.

But again we are lucky in that we have an old fridge outdoors - that I am now using to store food in  the freezer - and it keeps much better - I think I have almost got ice-cubes.

So I am getting better at the food management and cooking thing in this situation.  And we did have normal Elaine meals the last couple of nights - and tonight.  But on another note - Riteway ran out of the regular milk about a week ago.  So we progressed to Lactose-free milk. (Could not quite go for the Lactaid - or whatever it is called.)  Then Riteway ran out of that.  So then I progressed to the Soy Milk - vanilla.  Hmmmm.  OK - sort of - but it is without dairy, gluten, and various other things.  Sort of like non-alcoholic beer or wine -- what's the point!!  But it was OK with cereal and coffee. Probably better than what my mum had to put up with during and post-war, with the rations, which I remember.

That's it for now.  I feel as if I should have an unsubscribe button at this point for those of you who are tired of these frequent bulletins.  But just hit delete - I'll never know.  Thanks for all the support.
Love,  Elaine

18th October 2017 ~ A day in the life.

We generally are up by seven a.m. Mostly because of the daylight, but also because we are “early to bed” as we have no electricity. It’s still a bit strange waking up in Ali’s room. In theory it is as large as our old, late lamented, master, but the configuration is quite different and there is not nearly as much “wardrobe space”. As our clothing has diminished by nearly half, and a lot of the rest may still be dumped, this is not the problem it might have been. We have had two dry nights in a row now which is nice as it means that my first job is not mopping up from the various leaks.

Elaine goes down to get breakfast ready as I finish my exercises. Can’t do all of these, as my back is still too bad. The plan for today includes going to (the private) Bougainvillea Clinic (aka “The Purple Palace”) to see a new doc. Fortunately with our new “National Health” programme most of the costs of this are covered. I then go to start the generator for our two hours of morning power. It starts and then stops. I try twice more. An oil pressure problem (says the onboard computer) which leads to a John and Elaine depression problem. The generator is really the heart of our existence at present. It’s four years old, but has always been “temperamental”. At $15,000 a pop we won’t be buying another. They just weren’t designed for continual use, I’m told. Christine and Kim have just purchased a small gas/petrol generator as their diesel one won’t work properly. I call Brian, our Zimbabwean generator guy, and a friend. His words do not make me feel good. But he will come around asap. The day is already into Plan B.

A few minutes later I get a call from Mark, one of our remaining Luck Hill renters, who is not paying rent for October as he is helping with the reconstruction. He is a bit “type A” and few people can reach his high standards. Including me. And virtually anyone else. He tells me tales of what the workers are doing, or rather not doing well enough, at Luck Hill. To be fair he is probably right, but this is not the First World, and sometimes you have to live with it. At least we have a worker there  --  an improvement over previous weeks. And I don’t want to scare them off. Whenever Mark calls I debate whether to answer the phone as it is usually not good news.

Our other two renters are moving out at the end of October. Despite the loss of income Elaine is pleased about this, for reasons I won’t, for legal reasons, put in an email. We are hoping to get a short-term replacement for them but no joy yet. As we have also lost Cane Cottage (literally) our income stream is a bit precarious. So it goes.

After Brian pitches up we are off downtown. We have to get insurance for Oran’s car, now it is our car. I’d forgotten about this and we have been driving it illegally. We have to get a new windscreen for our Jeep as well as a new passenger window. Probably not today as they will need ordering in. We have many black bags of what used to be clothing, to go to the dumpster. We have other bags for the Red Cross. We have some other clothes we are taking to a dry-cleaners for an opinion. As you will recall all of our clothes went walkabout (flyabout?) during Irma. If they landed in the wrong place and then spent soggy days there before recovery, they got stained. So can they be rejuvenated? -- we’ll see. My “summer suit” that was going to be worn at Ali’s wedding falls into this category. Well, the jacket does. We never found the trousers. We have lots of clothes that are 95% good, with one had stain in a very obvious place. I suppose downsizing does have some advantages.

I will also go to KRS, our mailing service that brings stuff from Yankeeland. My new glasses were on their way here (via US Mail) when Irma and Maria hit us and St. John (USVI). They have just reopened. Supposedly my specs were delivered a month ago. I am currently using very old ones as my previous best ones were lost during Irma. I am not confident.

We will also go by Riteway (food store) and Clarence Thomas and Drakes’ (hardware stores) to see what has pitched up lately. We also have to get more diesel for the generator-which-may-not-work. We also have to try to convince one company to go to Luck Hill to clean a couch, and another to clean some area rugs. Elaine has to go to Tortola Express and find out why her new laptop has disappeared en route to Tortola. Once again, I am short of confidence. They will probably feel the jobs are too small to bother.

When we return, if I have any energy left I will try to start cleaning up. It’s hard to get into this. When I have breakfast, I look out of the kitchen door at an area I call “Georges South”. It is across the Ridge Road from Georges North. There are some large belonger-owned apartments, and a big hill, that make up my view. I visualize my day as going to that hill and digging at it with a spoon until it is all gone. So far I have dug very little. There are a lot of people who think that many of the belongers will just abandon their apartments to the Banks. In the short run this would be good for us, when we try to rent our Luck Hill spaces. But in the long run a whole load of abandoned buildings around the island will not be good thing. Every silver lining has a cloud.

Then it will be dinner and bed. Hopefully the generator will be working again. If so I’ll do some laundry and charge the various batteries. If not……doesn’t bear thinking about right now. I’d better stop this dismal drivel and conserve this battery at least.


P.S. I told you not to read it didn’t I?An update to this  is our generator is fixed - but my new laptop is still lost.  Elaine

To follow up on John's email - Wednesday  was a rotten day

• generator would not start - so no shower for me
• my jeep would not start properly
• Tortola Express has denied all knowledge of my new Dell laptop having been delivered to their office in Miami - for shipment here - I can't help but think - looting in Miami???    And of course I had to deal with a ditsy woman on the phone for about two hours - and still she did not seem to get it.   Why is it that most of the Ditsy people in the world that I come into contact with - are women!!!   OK - so there will be a Chapter in my book for ditsy woman.
• we were led to believe that the public works department were going to clear a lot of our rubble on Wednesday  - so we waited and waited  - did not happen.
• Christine and Kim called and told us that their generator had stopped working - and the part they needed was not on-island - so they have ordered it.   So they made the sensible decision to buy a back-up generator.....
• ... which led me to talk through the fact with John that we may be without power until Christmas at the very earliest.  Think about it folks - 90% of the utility poles are demolished as are the power lines ..... and we don't have enough electricians on-island - let alone enough poles.
• Anyway, we went out Wednesday  afternoon and bought a back-up portable gas generator --  just as back up to the back-up. $1030.    Did not really want to spend that kind of money - but felt it was wise, both to give us a back-up if we have a problem with our main generator, and to give us an additional source of power for other jobs during the day.

But late Wednesday. Brian our generator guy came over and found it was just a loose wire on the generator , which he fixed.  Given that we all have a few loose wires since Irma, I think it's certainly understandable that our generator had one as wel!!

Yesterday was a bit better day.  We got the jeep fixed.   We also got a cleaning service over to Luck Hill to clean, disinfect and deodorize a 4 seater sofa that was messed up in the hurricane.   With Kim's help, John got the gas generator going - although on their first few tries they could not get it going.  They had read the manual - but suddenly realized they had not registered that you had to press Start!!!!  Anyway we tested that it worked by using the toaster to make a celebratory round of toast!!

After running our various errands yesterday we came home to find that the public works department had been to clear a good chunk of the debris in the front garden.  THat was the good news. The bad news was they made a hell of a mess of the front garden, and also left lots of small pieces of debris all over our parking spot and the road. So we had to then go and sweep and shoverl up the mess.  But at least they saved us about $1000, but not having to hire a private contractor to do it.

We went to Bougainvillea Clinic to see if we could get an appointment for John to see the spinal doc - but he continues to be elusive - and the staff do not know when he will be coming in next.  But we got his card, so will try calling.  But John's back has improved to the point he can stand up straight now - although he had to get another set of meds to help with the pain....

And my new laptop's whereabouts continue to be unknown.   I had to send ditsy woman all kinds of additional info from Amazon to send to the Tortola Express Miami office.  She later emailed me to say that if they can't find it, they will work with Amazon to get me a refund or a replacement.  Not the preferred outcome, as it means a further delay in getting the laptop - but better than nothing.

The good news is that it is sunny today, and it looks like we should have pretty god weather for a week or so.

It's a public holiday here today - St. Ursula day - our patron saint and the reason we are called the Virgin Islands.   That's it for now folks.  Elaine

October 20: Subject: Just to bring home the horror of hurricane Irma....

... John and I are rumoured to have had one of the worst nightmare experiences with Irma on Tortola - an accolade we could well do without.  Everyone we meet has their own story.  They are all nightmares.  We have not met anyone yet who did not experience damage to their property and huge trauma.    We meet up with people and just hug and say "how did you fare?" and "are your OK?"   I ask John this last question about 5-6 times a day.

And we meet some folks and you can see they are just dazed - as they have lost everything - or most things.  They just stare into space.  John calls it the thousand yard stare.  We probably did the same in the early days as well - when we just had the sense that we had lost everything - and how could we start to put our life back together, and have enough money to live on etc.etc. - and at our grand old age.

And, as I have said there are many more worse off than we are.

We made some small progress at Luck Hill today.  Mr. Bojangles as I call him was up there with a crew of 3 younger guys to get rid of the remnants of Cane Cottage - sorry Oran, and Michelle and Clint - as well as other debris. We saved what we could.  The good news might be that much of the John Dory fish that Carl and I bought a gazillion years ago in Ireland - might have survived.  But it's a long story.

Meanwhile - just to try to convey the horror and trauma of Irma - here's a story from Cayman Compass - from our friend Kyrie Caulfield.  Kyrie is Irish, and his wife Charlotte ( Chuck) is a Brit.  Lovely young couple who rented my downstairs apartment at Luck Hill a few years ago - before they had children.

Here's their nightmare story.

That's it for tonight folks.  Thanks for all the support, love, messages, etc.  Will be a while before we can get around to replying and thanking each of you individually.

October 21: .. had a better day today:

• blue sky and sun shining
• two sail boats out in the harbour - first time we have seen any sailboats or other pleasure craft plying the waters around the islands, since Irma
• Orlando, our electrician got the hot water going again in our office bathroom - thanks in large part to John having noticed that when the public works department cleared a lot of our debris, while we were out the other day, they severed a wire or some-such - hence our lack of hot water last night
• Orlando also found we have a faulty breaker, which was why our main generator went off last night - at which point we were despairing again.  Anyway, our main generator is now working again.
• John started work with his spoon this morning, while I was out negotiating the god-awful roads, and drivers , and joining the hordes in the main grocery store and the hardware stores.  Anyway, he got three five gallon bucketfuls - or is that buckets full -  of  crap which he took to the dumpster - and is planning on  getting 3 buckets every day.
• Our gardener has agreed to come next week and take the rest of the stuff that the public works folks did not take from our front garden.
• My trustee Blackberry Classic, which survived two days in the rain and mud after having been blown out of our bedroom along with us,  is showing signs that she has had enough.  I don't blame her.  She was an absolute life-saver for us in the early days after Irma - allowing us to email everyone etc. - despite her two missing keys.  But she is not always responding to touch now e.g. I can't always receive calls.  But she has done her duty, and then some.   So I am "grandmothering" her - I will keep her forever though.  And I just ordered a new Blackberry Classic today - as well as a new Kindle Paperwhite, as my old Kindle died.
• John and I are starting to sort out our priorities for repairing/rebuilding.   We have agreed that  Luck Hill is  the priority - so we can get the rental income back up.  And the repairs there are in many respects easier then here ( assuming we can get all the necessary contractors/workers who we need.  And some work is already underway there. So we are going to focus on that this coming week.
• And tomorrow, Christine and Kim have asked us to join them for brunch at the Tamarind Club - which will be very nice.

And on a different note - and I had not even told John this......  I am a lapsed Catholic - got annoyed with the Church when they took so long to annul my first marriage.  But for years I have carried around a set of rosary beads in my handbag, and take it with me wherever I go.  Over the years it lost the cross and a few beads, but I still carried it.  And one of the last things I did before I was flung out of bedroom and bathroom, was make sure to have it in my pocket.  Since Irma, I have continued to carry it with me in my pocket - but a few days ago I misplaced it - so was a bit distraught.  But John just brought some laundry in from the dryer - and lo and behold there was my even more wrecked - but clean - rosemary beads.  They too will be part of my life forever.

That's it folks.   I am sure we have many, many hard days ahead - but I think we have turned a little bit of a corner today.  Again - thanks for all the love and support -  it really does help us tremendously- and is much appreciated.


October 22

An orchestra of chainsaws.

Big day today. Mr. Mangel and his guys are coming to bonsai and clear our trees. I was very proud of our little oasis in the wilderness. The standard thing here is to clear cut the gardens. Regularly. The women next door has a guy with a weed eater in about every two days. This, of course, causes erosion problems. The previous owners of HC had planted a variety of nice trees. Flamboyant, Pipal, Persian Silk, Australian pine, Coconut and a few others. Looked good – an oasis as I said – but not so great in a Force X hurricane. It will take all day I expect (they did one more day a couple of weeks back). Mr. Mangel is Guyanese as is his crew. They work very hard. We have successfully employed many Guyanese over the years. Psychologically this is BIG too, as it marks the end of the clearing up stage after Irma. Then we can start advancing -- back to where we were two months ago. I guess that is not really an advance, but it feels like it. Mangel and his crew cleared the debris from LH earlier in the week, and some other work is going on there.

I had my best “back day” since Irma yesterday. I assume the inflammation has gone down, but the pain and happy pills also help. Elaine is doing well also (physically). In fact, we seem almost normal if you don’t look too closely. We are even going out for a normal brunch with Kim and Christine. To an expat hangout called the Tamarind Club. The owner has got it mostly back to normal (sans the Full English Breakfast), although her daughter has given up with life here and has gone back to the States. It will be a long time before we find out who is really left on Tortola. We are hoping to employ some of her workers to clean our living room next week. We are just too bloody old and tired to do it ourselves. I gave it a once over vacuum a few weeks back but the inside walls are still covered in shredded leaves, as are our belongings. I hope our knick knacks have survived, but I can’t test my trains out at present. My Lancaster is in one piece and my Catalina flying boat is missing a strut. Needs some gluing too. Some day. Just don’t know where to start. It’s funny to see what survived the hurricane and what was wrecked. Several of our art works bit the dust and yet other things weren’t touched. The two sets of doors that were blown open are in bad shape and will no doubt get replaced in time.

I began to work on the clearing up of the outside of HC yesterday. I filled three 5 gallon paint cans with rubble and plan to do that most days now. It’s amazing how much rubble there is. Millions of little bits of concrete and plaster, and more glass (I swear) than we ever had in the house. I’ll never get it all. And at my present pace it will take months. But I guess it keeps me out of trouble. We won’t do much of the “big stuff” here until LH is rentable again. Two of our LH tenants are moving out at the end of the month and then Mark will take over the top half. At reduced rent until everything is fixed. Probably no power there for another six months. And that means no pool. The internet is iffy and the shutters need a lot of repairs before next year’s hurricane season. The bottom half needs new drywalling, some new doors and a lot of TLC. Cane Cottage will not be replaced.

Oran’s “Paddy Wagon” is running ok although it needs a new left wing mirror. It could do with some TLC too. The Jeep is a bit iffy and goes back in next week. It needs a new wing mirror too. These are often a problem as people drive down the middle of the road at you and then swerve off at the last second. Sometimes their timing is off.
Well that’s it for now. Gotta go and watch the bonsai-ing.

Elaine's recommendations for Cat 7 hurricane-proof products...

1. First and foremost the Made in Canada - Blackberry Classic.  But be sure to get it with the very solid leather wrap-around case!  Nothing else will protect it as well as that.  Don't opt for just the screen protector. or the thin slide-in case.  You need real protection for this babe in a Cat 7 hurricane.    Should last for two days of - well let's just say - a bit of inclement weather - lying around in grubby, muddy ground - and with more rain to follow.  But wait two days - just dust off the leaves and mud - and OK - the babe may have  lost a couple of keys  over those last two days - but  who hasn't lost  something with  a cat 7.  But turn her on - and she is good to go!!!

2. Second is the Breville Smart Oven.    If you are not familiar with the Smart Oven she  toasts (both bread and bagels), she bakes, roasts, broils, warms, does pizza, and many other things - except laundry.  But you guessed it - she is smart because she can withstand a 50 feet hurl out of your bedroom in a cat 7 hurricane and land  in  your next door neighbour's garden - and she still works!!  OK- so she was a little bent out of shape --  aren't we all.  And I think the fact that she  landed in Father Walter's house next door - our  Catholic priest - really had nothing to do with it.  (I mean he wasn't even here saying his our fathers and hail mary's with his rosary beads)

3. Third we have a Marc Jacob's wrist watch  - with it's leather strap.  Well in this case, the lady had a very slender wrist, so had to opt for the leather strap.  Buy nonetheless the Marc Jacobs  which is not reported to be water-proof did his job throughout the hurricanes.  And he is still doing his job - although the straps have naturally given way after the seven weeks.  So - a great watch for everyone - but just try to do a metal strap.  But the lady now has it on a chain around her neck - upside down - so she can still see the time.

4. Fourth we have Denver Hayes  Blue Jeans.  The only damage they suffered was a small hole on the rear end when our customer  was crawling/slithering down stairs laden with wood and mails.    So - just wear dark underwear.

5. And fifth - the piece de resistance.   Beautiful Freya Lingerie  - reportedly made for the slightly larger figure.  Sadly, our client's husband reported that his wife's lingerie was under a bit of stress - and was a bit Freyed....   but  we are not sure whether Father Walter may have found some extra nickers in his garden!

6. And today we (as in the Royal we) put  our Char- Broil Barbecue back together again - very bent out of shape, as we all are, and having lost lot of screws, as we all have - and I am doing the barbecue in about  two minutes.

Love,  Elaine


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