Blog

December 10, 2018

How to Cure a Cold with White Rum

It's December, you've got a cold and you've tried all the usual remedies, and nothing seems to work. What do you do? My personal recommendation is that you keep a bottle of white rum for medicinal purposes. That's right, you really can cure a cold with white rum*. Read on to find out how. Jamaica, land of wood and water is...

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Rasta Man Jamaica
November 22, 2017

10 Things You Should Know About Rastas

I've met some of the kindest, most welcoming and peaceful people to walk the planet since moving to Jamaica - and they happen to be Rastas. Which got me thinking about Rastafarianism. What is it all about? It is much more than a religion, it's a social movement, a cultural expression- a way of life. Here are 10 Things You Should Know...

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San San Beach, Portland, Jamaica
August 16, 2017

San San Beach

Visit Beautiful San San Beach on Jamaica's North Coast

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Jamaican art - Barrington Watson
July 12, 2017

How To Buy Jamaican Art

There is an active art scene in Jamaica, but you have to look for it.  It isn’t underground, it just isn’t well publicised.  There are regular public auctions at which it is possible to buy original works by the nation’s greatest artists – not something that’s possible in many countries.  Jamaica often seems like a village where everyone knows everyone...

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Lyndsey Kilifin Mango Harvest
June 21, 2017

When di fruit dem a ripe an drop

Our house here in Kingston has 3 mango trees in the garden, each one about 20 metres high. Not just any three trees but each one a different type of mango. One is number 11, one Bombay and the third the prized Juliet mango. We had won the mango lottery and didn't know we'd bought a ticket.  So I inevitably...

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June 6, 2016

(Not) Going out Kingston style

Recently, a friend came to visit us from Paris and we were determined to show him a good time. I planned an action packed itinerary of Jamaican culture, beaches and as much rum and jerk as this Frenchman could handle. After getting back from one sun-filled day at San-San on the other side of the island, our friend, who is...

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June 3, 2016

Help at Homestead Girls Home

The Homestead Girls Home in Stony Hill, Kingston is a state-operated children's home for girls.  Taking girls aged between 12 and 18 deemed in need of care and protection, those in conflict with the law, and psychotic children. The words of the Child Development Agency - not mine. It does look a bit like a state penitentiary than a children's home with all the grilles...

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May 19, 2016

Just hustling for a dollar

Being hustled by road side beggars and young guys who insist on cleaning your car window screen as you wait at traffic lights is normal practice in Kingston. Everyone has to make living. You pay, get your window screen mopped with a dirty sponge and move along.  But street hustling can turn violent very quickly. Sometimes, you find yourself playing mediator...

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Eating Out in Jamaica
May 10, 2016

Soon Come…

Eating out in Jamaica can be a funny experience.  My friend and I booked in advance, arrived early, and still waited forever.  But at least the service was friendly and the food delicious.  I guess it's all about having the right attitude.  As I collected my Jamaican bezzie for a bank holiday lunch outing, I commented that in true Jamaican...

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March 1, 2016

Talking About My Jamaican Life

The Internet is a funny old thing. There you are, sitting around, minding your own business, reading exiting travel blogs, hoping one day you too will have more than your mum and her neighbour as your primary audience. Not that I'm complaining mum or Barbara from number 3. Though, discovering you're the only expat blogging about goat poo and public exorcisms can...

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February 27, 2016

6 Funny Jamaican Proverbs (and how to use in conversation)

I love Jamaican Patois, it's expressive, colourful and to a foreigner often confusing. When I first moved to Kingston, if anyone spoke to me in Patois, they'd get a blank stare or I'd respond (usually in a loud voice - because that makes people understand you better) asking them to repeat. Now almost two years later, I like to think I've...

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February 2, 2016

Forget Kim Kardashian…a general election broke our internet

Picking up some milk on the way home from the airport last week, I was greeted by scenes of people running through the streets shouting, 'chicken, chicken, chicken' clutching small pieces of paper as they waved their arms frantically in the air. People were being mowed down and trampled on; like when Primark Oxford Street opened. Hoards of people gathered to purchase...

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January 6, 2016

An Early Morning Public Exorcism

My favourite start to the day is waking up to the sound of dawn birdsong outside my window; or to the gentle sound of the waves lapping the seashore. My least favourite it transpires, is to wake up with a  possessed sounding Regan MacNeil wannabe, performing a variation of the Haka at the end of my bed. A feel the devil in ya, tormenting ya,playing wit ya, the female voice screams...

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December 26, 2015

Finding Jesus in a Jamaican Church

Ever since we moved to Jamaica, I've wanted to attend a gospel church service. On Sundays I hear a sermon broadcast via a rusty old mini-van that drives up and down our road, spreading the mobile word of the Lord via megaphone. I'd asked some Jamaican friends to take me but everyone always seemed to have a better way to...

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December 7, 2015

11 Things I’ve Learnt After One Year Living in Jamaica

If a Jamaican asked you to bring a couple of apples and you brought two, they likely wouldn't be very happy with you. Or they'd think you were being a bit mean or even stupid. Thing is Jamaicans really don't like using the word 'two' because of the connotations attached to this little number for them. Trying to understand how...

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November 16, 2015

Parlez Patois: My Top 5

Entertain yourself, and anyone listening for that matter!  Try out these introductory Jamaican patois phrases.  With some practice, you might make yourself understood.  Master these and you can go on to the more advanced stuff. Personally, i gave up ages ago.  It's a bit like my French - I understand more than I speak, and i'm happy with that.

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November 9, 2015

Just One Pattie, Give it to Me

    Since moving to Jamaica I have fallen in love with patties to the point that I'm on first name terms with the staff at my local pattie shop. Which can be embarrassing especially when they shout during the lunchtime rush ' why yuh back mi say you had 2 patties already'. I can't help myself, the crispy pastry, the delicious...

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October 22, 2015

Day 5 without water and I have failed the drought test

Over dinner with friends recently, we complained about the lack of any decent places in Jamaica to buy things - quality food and clothes included. If you need to shop, fly to the land of abundance - Miami. After an hour of needless complaining we put our first world problems into perspective. We wake up in paradise every day and...

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October 13, 2015

You’re Jamaican when: You can’t go out in rain

The rain has been falling here faster than any wet bank holiday weekend in Blighty and the Jamaica landscape has once again been transformed from parched and barren to green and lush. The problem with rain is that if you go out in it, you'll likely get wet and this is a problem for many. I find my gardener asleep...

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September 2, 2015

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours

Neighbours, we all need good ones; someone to wave a cheery hello, to sign for your Amazon parcel or if you're my neighbours in Kingston, to throw a rocket propelled shoe at as they fix their pile of crap car to a Kylie mix tape at 2am. Our neighbours are rather unique in that they are squatters, camped out in...

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September 2, 2015

You’re Jamaican when: You can’t go out in rain

The rain has been falling here faster than any wet bank holiday weekend in Blighty and the Jamaica landscape has once again been transformed from parched and barren to green and lush. The problem with rain is that if you go out in it, you'll likely get wet and this is a problem for many. I find my gardener asleep...

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August 14, 2015

I avoid a carjacking whilst listening to Arthur’s Theme

It's only just gone 8pm when I leave Juicy Patties, the Jamaican equivalent of the Cornish Pasty shop, I pop the paper bag of artery hardening treats on the passenger seat and set off home. Arthur's Theme is playing and I'm singing along happily and loudly, I decide not to run the almost red traffic light as I'm busy lamenting Arthur Bach's peril...

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July 29, 2015

Hiking the Blue Mountain Peak.

I'm sat in a taxi straddling a pair of giant speakers, with Mariah Carey blasting out between my legs, as we wind our way precariously from Mavis Bank, through the Blue Mountains to Whitfield Hall, the road is narrow and the drop steep. The taxi driver speeds along, as everyone in the taxi screams when it looks like we might veer...

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July 24, 2015

Never smothered yourself in coconut oil? You’ve obviously never lived

What's that smell? my husband says sniffing the air, as I climb into bed. What smell? I say, also sniffing the air. For a moment, I'm worried my husband is going to find out in some horrific way that I keep letting the dog on the bed. Or more accurately on his side of the bed. But I am safe. Like...

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April 13, 2015

Lady in a sequinned dress

As I walk down South Beach (or SoBe as the locals call it, which is sorta like a tropical version of Soho but more fancy), I smile smugly to myself. I'm in Miami baby! Beautiful young things roller blade past me like bronzed gods on tiny wheels. I'm suddenly aware I'm perspiring a little bit, no actually a lot. I'm melting....

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March 9, 2015

I’m used as a pillow on a flight to Trinidad

  Eh, Miss, dat yuh suitcase blocking mi space? It takes a few minutes and a prod on the arm with a newspaper to understand that the question is directed at me. I look up and it is my suitcase in the overhead locker, above my seat the woman is referring too. Yes, that's my bag I respond. Mi can't get...

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