America, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Ireland

Five republics to escape the Platinum Jubilee

And continuin our series, and because we’re not all pliant subjects, here are five republics to escape the Platinum Jubilee.

There are 159 republic in the world and only 43 sovereignty ikstates with monarchies. Go figure.

Vive La Republique

The new Emperor: Emmanuel Macron

 

France: Mais oui, there were republics before the French, only they shout Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité a little louder.

So much so that the French are onto their fifth since We the First in 1792, followed we should remember by Emperor Napoleon.

And there is more than a touch of the regal about the French President’s official residence, the Élysée Palace in Paree.

The Battle Hymn

Mr President: Issy Conway, George Washington and the Pres’s right-hand man

America: And some 16 years before the then-royalist French helped the colonies form mthe Republic.

George Washington and his Vice-President John Adams had discussed how the new Pres should be addressed.

Adams had leant towards His Excellence but Washington insisted on just Mr President.

And he rejected his pal jGeneral Lafayette’s idea to erect an ornate monument in DC to him complete with horses.

Instead he had an obelisk, the Washington Monument installed instead. Pure class.

Italy’s republics

The holy of holies. At the end of the Francigena in Rome

Rome: Now La Citta Eterna is credited as the cradle of Republics although Athens might have something to say about that.

We all associate Classical Rome, of course, with the Caesars, but the Republic ran Rome’s affairs from 509BC to 27BC.

While the lyCaesars looked down from their plinths from 46BC-476AD.

YNow I was more a Latin student than a maths expert but that seems roughly the same and the Republic won out in the end.

The Irish Republic

On a pedestal: With Charles Stewart Parnell in Co. Wicklow

Ireland: And because the Free State didn’t scream self-determination (OK, it was a bit more complicated) they became a republic in 1949.

They had formed an ya constitution in 1937 with an elected non-executive president before breaking with the crown in 1949.

After a fractured relationship in the 60-odd years after the Irish brought back the Queen… but only for a visit in 2011.

Barbados, the new Republic

Barbados: And on November 30, 2021, Barbados took the momentous decision to replace the uQueen with a Bajan, President Sandra Mason.

Y the After 396 years, although Barbados had taken the first step with independence in 1966… and I even saw the seal in the Archive Offices.

The date, November 30, was arbitrary but in my wee country it is our national day, named for St Andrew, our patron saint.

Just returned from a third visit to Barbados I reacquainted myself with our joint heritage which includes a region of the island called Scotland. I

We sang Scots and Soca songs, ceilidhed and jumped and toasted the Barbados republic with rum and whisky.

My reason for going, well I didn’t need one, but it was to celebrate the renewal of the Barbados Celtic Festival.

And thought dreamily of a Scotland having their day one day.

U

Countries

Turtles’ backs are protected but ours are not

And because turtles‘ backs are protected but ours are not…

Then we are at the mercy of the sun.

And the damage it can do to us when we’re out swimming after them.

Swimwear: And a shell

And when we get out of the sea and back onto our Cool Runnings catamaran off Barbados.

It’s something non-locals all know to their cost.

I’ll scratch my back

Sore point: So do it yourself

Now if you’re travelling by yourself.

Or are too shy to ask the other members of your party to apply it, then you’re on your own.

And when the rum is available at the free bar, the food is good and the company even better, then you can forget yourself.

Of course the easy answer and the one that will be dished out to you when you get home is DON’T!

And your loved ones are right.

It would help, of course, if we had swivel heads.

Like Clunk from Wacky Races and Stop The Pigeon.

Lifesavers

Give it stick: The spatula

But we have the next best thing…

The back lotion applicator which is the subject of our latest Holidos and Dont’s offering today.

Now, isn’t it always the case that we only find out about these lifesavers when we get home.

Like my old boss Donald who told me this, on my return from a Moroccan trip half the man I was before I left.

I should have taken Imodium with me.

And so with my back tingling, sore to the touch, and redder than a ripe tomato I fell upon the back lotion applicator online.

Now I’ll check out my pharmacies on my daily constitutional.

In the hope of unearthing a self-back applier.

And I am even ready to go further afield than North Berwick and into the Big Smoke. of Edinburgh if required.

And wriggle in my train seat (and that’s not just at the cost of the return ticket) if I can find what I want in town.

Feeling drowsy?

Unmasked: Covid and tanlines

I got back from Barbados, and its Celtic Festival negotiated a long-haul overnight flight in a tight seat and a domestic connection.

Of course it didn’t help either that I was right back into work, in my seat in front of my terminal.

I have since discovered that drowsiness is a side-effect of sunburn/sunstroke.

Now here was me thinking it was lack of sleep from my travels…

And the lack of excitement in the stories I was editing.

Super spatula

Food for thought: Cool Runnings

Now until I do get the magic applicator then I’ll make do with what is around the house.

And having already got a lashing for putting a wet towel in the laundry basket I’ve gone scouring in the kitchen cupboards… a foreign land to me.

I only found a spatula (no, me neither).

I must have picked up at a travel event.. from the good people who represent Salt Lake City.

And all of this because turtles’ backs are protected but ours are not.

 

 

Caribbean, Countries

Scotch on the rocks on Barbados

No, I haven’t fallen in a gutter this time, though it is Scotch on the rocks on Barbados.

The Scotch is, of course, of the golden variety and it is displayed out on the tables of the Tapas restaurant on Hastings’ boardwalk.

Glen Moray, Glenfarclas, Highland Park et al… and yes, our favourite smoky Islay whiskies, with Ardbeg out on show.

Water of life

My week of partying (sorry, research) is ending with whisky and toasts as all Scottish occasions should do.

And the toast of Bim these past few days has been Jeana and her band on the rum, the Scottish Rock Ceilidh group Bahookie.

A force of nature, she has spearheaded the Barbados Celtic Festival which is back with a trumpet (and bagpipes) blast after Covid.

Her voice is naturally hoarse, the only cure for which I would suggest is whisky.

And whisky with an ‘e’

Great puddin’: And the haggis

There is whiskey too, of the Irish variety in Teelings, as the Celtic Festival encompasses the Emerald Isle, Wales, Nova Scotia…

And all points in between.

And, no I don’t take my Scotch on the rocks, and prefer it with just a wee drap of water to explode the flavour.

Tapas Restaurant is something of a misnomer as it serves Bajan and international cuisine, and the best of it.

But not in the multiple minor dishes of a Spanish tapas.

Although I wasn’t about to question the charming owner Franco.

Nips and neeps

Up on the Boardwalk: And not falling over yet

For the days that are in it, Tapas has put on a Scottish menu choice to accompany its usual fare.

And out of patriotic duty I order the haggis, neeps and tatties.

Whether I’d not left enough for the main or not, after my calamari (mulligatawny soup would have been too heavy) I struggled.

And I left the haggis dish in pretty much the same beautifully layered form I found it.

I resisted too the temptation to show off to my Irish and Welsh friends how a haggis should be addressed.

I guess I feared Welsh Corrie (or Corriebean as she is now self-styled) would react at the mention of sonsie faces.

It means attractive… honestly!

The Parting Glass

The gang: With driver supreme Andre

It is also a Celtic tradition, usually for funerals but increasingly on other occasions now, to sing the Parting Glass.

‘So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be to you all.’

This is our parting too… old friends on our trip and new.

But as Barbados Soca legend King Bubba would say…

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

 

Caribbean, Countries

Turtle transformation in Barbados

Well, if they can don shell suits why can’t we wear jackets. A turtle transformation in Barbados.

From my previous trips to Bim.

The first dip in the water saw me guzzle the Caribbean and the second only a little better.

When I did meet me Mr and Mrs Turtle my rum breath sent them swimming off.

Off and Running

A bit touchy: The turtles

This time I came better prepared and that was entirely down to the good folk of Cool Runnings.

Yes, the catamaran company which channels the great underdog story of the Jamaican Olympics bobsleigh team.

So who better to make a proper snorkeller out of me?

Where the Jordanians failed at the Red Sea, or more accurately they didn’t have a chance with because of my hairy lip.

The whiskers block the nostrils passage you see, which is why you rarely see cats snorkelling.

Rock solid crew

Boat party: On Cool Runnings

 

This time though my rock solid crew adjusted my snorkel for greater ease and pumped up a life vest for me.

And I was off floating to my old pals… with the help of a crew member and his rubber ring which I held.

I managed to get within touching distance of de turtles only to be cut up by a fellow snorkeller.

Well cut on the catamaran with rum punch from the open bar by late morning I was ready for more.

A shipwreck.

No, not me but the hulk on the sea bed where schools of fish love to explore.

Coming up for air

Jumping: On Cool Runnings

And while I was gazing downwards Mr Turtle was playing up periscope by the boat.

Preferably for the bread the crew were chucking to lure them in.

If the turtles are the stars of the sea then the rock solid crew are the stars on the boat.

Cheers: With Michael and Corrie

And they are there not just to lubricate you with booze and fill bellies with fish cutters, chicken and, of course, macaroni and cheese.

Cool Runnings gives us a master class in dancing and in jig time we’re cool running from one side of the boat to the other.

And all this before 12 noon. Turtle transformation in Barbados.

 

 

Caribbean, Countries

Caribbean chuffed

Whoo, whoo… I’m Caribbean chuffed that I’m driving the steam train to St Nicholas Abbey for rum.

I’ve been writing all week about how we Scots are in with de bricks in Barbados.

And they are under our feet at the Abbey distillery with the names of the Scots families and the locations from where they came.

But first we’ve got to get there… and that means catching the steam train.

Tracks of history

The rail thing: On the Heritage Railway

The Heritage Railway has surprisingly only been about since 2018.

But the history of railways as our Footsteps guide Ronnie (remember him from earlier in the week) dates back 150 years.

Twenty-four miles long, it boasted 98 bridges and ran from 1883-1937 from Bridgetown to Belleplaine.

And Ronnie’s grandfather got suited and booted to work the rails.

Class act

Put your back into it: The Wheel

He tells us that there were three classes of passengers on the rails.

And that you were quickly reminded of what that meant when third class meant having to push up the incline.

Now I think we’re all class, and we all got out to turn the table on the Heritage Museum up to St Nicholas Abbey.

And we all also got to pull the rope by the boiler (as if it wasn’t warm enough already).

Though we’re not calling out anybody here for shrieking, Welsh Corrie.

Abbey days

Window to another world: On the train

Along the winding journey of life I’ll return to the Heritage Railway and St Nicholas Abbey.

And obvs Barbados where I’ve already jumped at Crop Over and swum with turtles.

And ceilidhed at the Barbados Celtic Festival

Where we learned more about the railway and Abbey history from the family from an old  cine camera video.

In a clipped narration which brought to mind Mr Cholmondley-Warner from Harry Endield and Chums.

For now I’m just Caribbean Chuffed to be here.

 

 

 

 

 

Caribbean, Countries, UK

Bajan Scotland in the sun

They came to be known as Red Legs, the Scots who populated Barbados and made it Bajan Scotland in the sun.

Today it’s known on the Bajan map as the Scotland region and would that the weather in the Old Country ever reached 29C.

Caledonian Caribbean

Bravely? Well, there’s a reason why Bajans, including the Red Legs descendants, wear boardies and not tweed cloth skirts.

Again, the Band on the Rum, Jeana and her merry men of the Scots trad band, have been leading the way.

They will bravely parade today in their kilts in Independence Square.

Bravely? Well, there’s a reason why Bajans, including the Red Legs descendants, wear boardies and not tweed cloth skirts.

As the most visible, and loudest, contingent who have gathered for the Barbados Celtic Festival.

They will bravely parade today in their kilts in Independence Square.

Bravely? Well, there’s a reason why Bajans, including the Red Legs descendants, wear boardies and not tweed cloth skirts.

Again, the Band on the Rum, Jeana and her merry men of the Scots trad band, have been leading the way.

With the dancin’, with the drinkin’.

Show us your Bahookie

Bajan leader: With Errol Barrow, Father of Barbados

We bump into them again (de feet can’t stop dancin’) at Oistins, the Friday night fish market hang-out in the south coast.

And we’ll join them for the after-party after today’s Celtic Festival showpiece.

Scots have strong links and history throughout the Caribbean.

At both ends of the spectrum, the rulers and the ruled.

You see them at The Garrison on Dalkeith Street where the military held off the pesky French and the more deserving locals.

And you see them on the rolls at the Archivy headquarters.

But best of all you see them on parade blowing their bags in Independence Square.

Ceilidh’s aye

And as a band on the rum, Jeana and her Merry Men, the rock ceilidh band Bahookie (it’s Scots for arse).

Puttin’ on a ceilidh at Blakey’s on the beach in Hastings… all in Bajan tartan kilts.

The Scots are putting fresh imprints on Barbados and the Bajans are following in our Gay Gordons footsteps.

The children are also being taught to perform dances to the Scots lullaby Ally Bally Be.

Whatever of our challenging past this is what Barbados looks like in 2022

Bajan Scotland in the sun.

 

 

 

This week in Barbados the Scots are taking over the whole island.

As the most visible, and loudest, contingent who have gathered for the Barbados Celtic Festival.

They will bravely parade today in their kilts in Independence Square.

Bravely? Well, there’s a reason why Bajans, including the Red Legs descendants, wear boardies and not tweed cloth skirts.

Again, the Band on the Rum, Jeana and her merry men of the Scots trad band, have been leading the way.

With the dancin’, with the drinkin’.

Show us your Bahookie

Bajan leader: With Errol Barrow, Father of Barbados

We bump into them again (de feet can’t stop dancin’) at Oistins, the Friday night fish market hang-out in the south coast.

And we’ll join them for the after-party after today’s Celtic Festival showpiece.

Scots have strong links and history throughout the Caribbean.

At both ends of the spectrum, the rulers and the ruled.

You see them at The Garrison on Dalkeith Street where the military held off the pesky French and the more deserving locals.

And you see them on the rolls at the Archivy headquarters.

But best of all you see them on parade blowing their bags in Independence Square.

Ceilidh’s aye

And as a band on the rum, Jeana and her Merry Men, the rock ceilidh band Bahookie (it’s Scots for arse).

Puttin’ on a ceilidh at Blakey’s on the beach in Hastings… all in Bajan tartan kilts.

The Scots are putting fresh imprints on Barbados and the Bajans are following in our Gay Gordons footsteps.

The children are also being taught to perform dances to the Scots lullaby Ally Bally Be.

Whatever of our challenging past this is what Barbados looks like in 2022

Bajan Scotland in the sun.

 

 

 

They will bravely parade today in their kilts in Independence Square.

Bravely? Well, there’s a reason why Bajans, including the Red Legs descendants, wear boardies and not tweed cloth skirts.

Again, the Band on the Rum, Jeana and her merry men of the Scots trad band, have been leading the way.

With the dancin’, with the drinkin’.

Show us your Bahookie

Bajan leader: With Errol Barrow, Father of Barbados

We bump into them again (de feet can’t stop dancin’) at Oistins, the Friday night fish market hang-out in the south coast.

And we’ll join them for the after-party after today’s Celtic Festival showpiece.

Scots have strong links and history throughout the Caribbean.

At both ends of the spectrum, the rulers and the ruled.

You see them at The Garrison on Dalkeith Street where the military held off the pesky French and the more deserving locals.

And you see them on the rolls at the Archivy headquarters.

But best of all you see them on parade blowing their bags in Independence Square.

Ceilidh’s aye

And as a band on the rum, Jeana and her Merry Men, the rock ceilidh band Bahookie (it’s Scots for arse).

Puttin’ on a ceilidh at Blakey’s on the beach in Hastings… all in Bajan tartan kilts.

The Scots are putting fresh imprints on Barbados and the Bajans are following in our Gay Gordons footsteps.

The children are also being taught to perform dances to the Scots lullaby Ally Bally Be.

Whatever of our challenging past this is what Barbados looks like in 2022

Bajan Scotland in the sun.

 

 

 

This week in Barbados the Scots are taking over the whole island.

As the most visible, and loudest, contingent who have gathered for the Barbados Celtic Festival.

They will bravely parade today in their kilts in Independence Square.

Bravely? Well, there’s a reason why Bajans, including the Red Legs descendants, wear boardies and not tweed cloth skirts.

Again, the Band on the Rum, Jeana and her merry men of the Scots trad band, have been leading the way.

With the dancin’, with the drinkin’.

Show us your Bahookie

Bajan leader: With Errol Barrow, Father of Barbados

We bump into them again (de feet can’t stop dancin’) at Oistins, the Friday night fish market hang-out in the south coast.

And we’ll join them for the after-party after today’s Celtic Festival showpiece.

Scots have strong links and history throughout the Caribbean.

At both ends of the spectrum, the rulers and the ruled.

You see them at The Garrison on Dalkeith Street where the military held off the pesky French and the more deserving locals.

And you see them on the rolls at the Archivy headquarters.

But best of all you see them on parade blowing their bags in Independence Square.

Ceilidh’s aye

And as a band on the rum, Jeana and her Merry Men, the rock ceilidh band Bahookie (it’s Scots for arse).

Puttin’ on a ceilidh at Blakey’s on the beach in Hastings… all in Bajan tartan kilts.

The Scots are putting fresh imprints on Barbados and the Bajans are following in our Gay Gordons footsteps.

The children are also being taught to perform dances to the Scots lullaby Ally Bally Be.

Whatever of our challenging past this is what Barbados looks like in 2022

Bajan Scotland in the sun.

 

 

 

As the most visible, and loudest, contingent who have gathered for the Barbados Celtic Festival.

They will bravely parade today in their kilts in Independence Square.

Bravely? Well, there’s a reason why Bajans, including the Red Legs descendants, wear boardies and not tweed cloth skirts.

Again, the Band on the Rum, Jeana and her merry men of the Scots trad band, have been leading the way.

With the dancin’, with the drinkin’.

Show us your Bahookie