Rainbows of incongruity

Wondering what it’s like to be a builder, baker, farmer, WWOOF host, and part-time employee all at once? Well here’s just a small section of my to-do list including everything from fixing tools and my car, to plastering a ceiling and finding our next WWOOF volunteers for the winter season. Never a dull moment, and certainly never a restful moment! My eyes resent being forced to focus this dull Saturday morning…


To my great relief, the heat of summer is passing at last, and the nights are rapidly cooling to the mid 70’s. The days are still hot and sticky though, with frequent rain storms turning everything into a huge sea of mud and threatening to wash the fresh plaster from the walls of the Nid! Nonetheless, we’re very nearly finished with the outside plaster, and will soon be struggling with plastering the ceiling and the inside of the loft dome. On which note, any cement/stucco spraying equipment available for rent/borrow on St Croix? Any leads would be most helpful.

Just a tiny corner left on the interior front wall.
Inside the loft.
Outside the loft and bathroom.
Reaching far on rickety scaffolding. Haven’t fallen off yet!
First layer.

Wednesday was an unpleasantly wet bake day, so after dropping my week’s goodies off at the Locally Grown market, Julie and I headed out for a shopping trip and to wander around a little – something that I rarely take the time to do. Through fresh eyes I saw how bizarre some of our local stores are–glass swans and china angels among the brightly coloured plasticware and cleaning products–and how incongruous the chain stores such as Kmart and Home Depot are with our small-island lives; churning endless plastic nonsense and products entirely incompatible with our climate and environment into the hands of our island’s inhabitants. It’s easy to become used to these presences on the island, and indeed, I cannot say that I don’t take advantage of their (sometimes) lower prices and (occasionally) greater range of products than I could otherwise obtain on-island. However, I’m glad to be reminded of the fact that they don’t really fit here–perhaps not into the island, and certainly not into my vision of a sustainable future, on an individual or island-wide scale. Our next stop, the cruise ship pier, is similarly incongruous with our sleepy little town of F’sted. Hosting all of about 1 ship in every 10 days, on average, it takes up a large part of the waterfront and is mainly used as a promenade and fishing/swimming platform. It had been some time since I’d walked out the pier in daylight, but the walk proved well worth the soaking afforded by a rainstorm, in order to catch sight of a gorgeous double-rainbow arching above the entirety of F’sted; the fort, the promenade along Strand Street, the old Customs House, the Frederiksted Hotel, all the way down to the old fish market.


A tiny glimpse of rainbow from the picturesque courtyard behind Polly’s in F’sted – complete with “gingerbread” trim on the porch roofs.

Well, it’s an overcast and uninspiring afternoon, so I shall now leave you for the week. With a little recovery time this weekend, I hope to jump into next week running full-tilt so as to report much progress on the building and everything else by next weekend! Meanwhile I’m looking forward to cooking a scrumptious dinner of Indian food tomorrow evening, and sending the last of the spare chicks home to Cruzan Gardens, where they will live in great style in a coop nearly as large as my house!

Don’t forget to place your orders for Wednesday baking, and the next Saturday baking on October 11th. All Nidulari products apart from the sourdough bread are also available at the new Cruzan Gardens Farmstore, come check it out! If you’re interested in being able to pick up bread orders at Cruzan Gardens on Wednesday afternoons, please contact me, as I am happy to make that happen as a permanent arrangement – it could be a convenient mid-island pickup location for some of you East-enders.


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