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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winter Sunshine!

I can't believe that it's the middle of February already.
My resolutions have all gone astray.
After all the bad weather of snow and ice,
(I have never seen Ireland look as pretty as on our drive to Galway for Christmas)

.........wind and rain,burst water pipes, the excitement of Christmas quickly turned into dreary, sunless January.
with the aid of 100,000 airmiles about to be lost....saved over what seems like several lifetimes,
we finally cashed them in and flew to Martinique for some winter sunshine.
Turned out to be a great choice...being French it is in the European Union and uses Euro..great!
Martinique conjours up so many names in my head, so many areas I have never been to..

The Caribbean
West Indies,
Windward Islands 

 I spotted a bracelet tatted by God's Kid in my Coral reef thread.
A lovely design by Dawn McLaughlin.
She calls it Wandering Blooms, but in my thread it looks so like tropical waves to me.
I LOVE to see what people make with my thread. 

Martinique is not too touristy, we stayed in a stunning spot overlooking the Atlantic side of the island.
Our room was huge furnished in French Creole style with and enormous 4 poster bed.The view from the balcony was splendid, a complete panorama of islands.

Highly recommended.
The main crops of Martinique are Vanilla mmm! Bananas....each bunch inside a blue plastic bag?
and Sugar Cane.
'Twas the sugar cane that was the most fascinating as it is used not for sugar production but for making RUM!
There are almost a dozen distilleries on the island and each can be visited!
We only got to see 4 but each one was so different.
Martinique rum is called 'Agricultural Rum' and is different from 'Industrial Rum' made elsewhere in that it is made from whole fresh sugar cane. Other rums are made from molasses left over from sugar production.
One distillery lies at the foot of a last erupted in 1902, you can read about it if you enlarge the display photo.
This one had a water wheel to drive the crushing machinery.
another had its own windmill.....
.....yet another showed a wonderful creole homestead...
Ahaa so this is similar to our bed in the Hotel
I was interested in the beautiful beadspread....
a tape lace.
Each distillery told the history of Rum Distillation from the transport of the sugar cane from the fields
weighing, crushing and after 24 hrs the fermentation and distillation begins.
Sorry I could go on about this all day....and then there was the tasting.....mmm, my favourite was a Orange Rum liquer called Shrubb.
needless to say our suitcase was a little heavy.

Back at the Hotel we had a tame Anolis lizard that came to share our biscuits.
He had to stay behind but we did come back with more Geckos! surprise surprise!
Well we had finally found a home for the Gecko that I brought back from Spain....isn't it wonderful when that happens and it's no longer classed as 'clutter'.
It found it's home on a beam in our upstairs lounge and now will be joined by...
...and our favourite...
The last two are 3D made of metal in Haiti, maybe of recycled cans.
They are all about a foot long.

Oh...did I tat while I was light was too poor at night...well that's my excuse....I took a break but am getting back into it now as I hopefully return to normal!
More tatting coming soon.


  1. I'm so jealous!!!!! I wondered why we hadn't heard from you in a while. I'm glad you got to have such a wonderful time!

  2. Looks like you had a wonderful tropical vacation!
    What a surprise to see such a fancy bedspread in a hotel. It's a very pretty design.

  3. Lucky you!!

    Thanks so much for sharing - I really enjoyed the photos and commentary!

    Oh, and thanks for conspiring with IsDihara on her chocolove and HDT Giftaway!!

  4. Martinique looks like a wonderful place to visit in the winter! I'm glad to see more geckos. Somehow, they remind me of spring!

  5. Thanks Miranda, a great time but I did manage to start with a sore throat on the flight out and had a cough all thro' the holiday..but that's life.

    Hi Yarnplayer..sorry if I mislead you, the bedspread was on the bed at the distillery.I love the tropics even if it is too hot for me nowadays.

    Thanks Lily, It was/is my pleasure to conspire with IsDihara.

    Thanks Diane, yes geckos remind me of sunshine too.It was lovely to see the anolids,almost as agile as geckos.This one was so cute.

  6. I was just wondering yesterday where you were! Wonderful trip - I want to go! Our snow is down to the last few white patches and I hope then it's gone for good! I'm so tired of bundling up and weighing a ton more. Hope you're good and refreshed now! You know...rum is my favorite liquor. :-)

  7. I really enjoyed your descriptions of Martinique. It looks beautiful, I would have loved to see it. Isn't it the island of Antoinette in Wild Sargasso Sea?
    I have often wondered why rhum from Martinique is called "agricultural" and at last I know. Here we often buy "Dillon", was that one of the distilleries you visited?

  8. Hi Gina, I will drink some rum and think of you, how's that!

    Hi Snowy, no we didn't visit Dillon I think we had been to that area before we got into rum mode! We were given Dillon Planters Punch on the flights tho,yummy.
    We went to La Mauny, DePaz at the foot of the volcano,Trois Rivieres and Habitation Clement which was near where we stayed..that one seems to be the most likely to be found elsewhere. My Shrubb is made by them. I had never heard of agricultural rum before.

  9. So very good to see your post and to know the reason for your absence.

    I finally got around to reading it all and enjoying the photographs - it is all so warm and sunny - ah, I am envious!

    Your lodgings look so inviting and I do like the cookie and lizard shot!
    ♥ Fox : )

  10. Hi Fox, from where I an sitting now...brrr...I am envious too!


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