Tomorrow we leave Jamaica. As I write I am sitting at Strawberry Hill (another one of Kate Moss’s hang-outs, does the woman do anything but travel to Jamaica?). I am on a terrace overlooking mountains that are slowly being covered in evening mist. I have never seen such a lush landscape; the green is intense and the flowers bright yellow, pink, purple and red. My favourite ones were delicate small white ones that had blown off trees and floated in the sea at Goldeneye. It was like swimming surrounded by tiny origami swans.
From the valley below there is reggae music. Extremely loud reggae music. In France you have barking dogs wherever you go; in Jamaica you have Bob Marley. I was never really into Bob Marley, even as a young wild thing. In fact I was never really a young wild thing. As my husband pointed out when I told him I hated smoking pot as a teenager; “For someone who is so obsessed with ageing, you seem to have been middle aged for a very long time.” Perhaps I am going to go through adolescence when most women go through the menopause?
I think Jamaica is lovely but a little too groovy and laid-back for me. We met the manager of the hotel today who laughingly said “there’s no point in going 100 miles an hour, because everyone else is going at fifty”. She is over 40 and looks about 25 so obviously the stress-free attitude is a good one, but that would just really annoy me. How does anyone get anything DONE around here? Well, most of them don’t. Here is a classic example. One of the waitresses here told us her name today.
“That’s an unusual name,” said my husband, “what does it mean?”
“I don’t know,” said the waitress, who is probably in her mid-twenties. “I must find out.”
But even if I wouldn’t like to live here, I like it. The people are friendly, the rum punches good, the food delicious and the countryside stunning. Maybe by the time I’m 50 I’ll be groovy enough to really get into the swing of things.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007
I am an anxiety wreck, really. Last year, I had to do an internship, and so I conveniently ran away to New Zealand. Their laid back attitude for almost a year forced me to slow down and made a world of difference to my mental health.