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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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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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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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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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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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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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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October 22, 2014

A Weekend in the British Virgin Islands

We've been in BVI less than 3 hours and my husband announces that we've exhausted Tortola and it's time we return to our Hotel - Lambert Beach Resort. The car almost gives up on the 'hill' approaching the resort - and each journey requires one of us to 'floor it' to make sure we don't roll backwards. Whilst the studio...

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