Barbados and Me
Great Banter. Great Place. Great Company. Great People. Great Trip.
Aaaarrgh 4 am alarm clock going off. Time to get up and get ready to get through to Glasgow Airport for my 7:45 am flight. Didn’t help that I stayed up to watch the Groves vs. Degale fight the night before. Great result for Groves by the way.
Made it to the airport about 5:45 (found out later that Tom the producer was absolutely bricking it as he thought I was going to miss the flight because I wasn’t answering my phone). Going through security me, julyan and tom got a laugh at the usual arseholes that go to the airport with their football strips on, fannies! Flight to Gatwick was the usual and landed with a few hours to kill before the big flight over Barbados.
Going through our second boarding we found out that we got an upgrade to business class on our flight (Yaldy, could not believe it) A 3 course meal, several complimentary grolsch made the 7 and a ½ hour flight bearable, especially when we figured out that we could get our seats all the way down.
Got met by Alison from the Barbados Tourist Authority at the airport, we could see her assets before we seen our names on the sign. Then met Chris our driver for the week and he got us laughing with his very first line, “I don’t do Plant and I love Jesus”, his banter and knowledge of the island was second to none.
Our hotel is right on the West Coast of the island called Waves, we looked a bit out of place as it was an all inclusive couples hotel, we got a cheeky wee rum punch as a welcome. Then we got our rooms, I managed to get one of the honeymoon suites (King Size Bed, bathroom, shower room, 2 couches and a massive balcony) the lads got a room to share. The banter quietened down after this announcement. Had a quick change then managed to meet up with the guys for tea, nobody spoke during dinner we were all that tired. Had a quick Banks (that’s a beer, not rhyming slang for anything) then headed up to bed. Managed to fall asleep even thought the hotels entertainment that night was a “singer” who was murdering Marvin Gaye’s ‘sexual healing’. It was 10pm I had been up 22 hours.
Woke up at 5.30 am wide-awake, not settled into the time zone and it was pretty bright. Found out the sunrises and sunsets in Barbados at 6.30 am and 6.30 pm respectively. Went downstairs for breakfast; cannae beat sausages and bacon in 25 c heat.
Went down on the beach, as we wanted to film a ‘link’. Was basically me walking along the beach and talking about how I was going to cook some Haggis for the bajans (locals). Before we could even film Wendell approached us. “Guys I can get you Bob Marley or Charlie Chaplin. It wasnae even 8:30. His finishing line was “Remember I’m your cousin” Every time I did the impression I sounded more Irish than bajun.
Filmed the link then we went into the kitchen to cook Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with a bajan twist. Chef Max who was really good to give us access to the kitchens and some ingredients. He tasted it and thought it was Swiss Bliss. Then we filmed vox pops with the staff and guests at the hotel, it went down well with everyone then we met the Barbados Nigella “mmmn that’s delicious, mmmmn” the hilarious thing was she was about 65 and had 3 teeth.
Drove around with GoPro camera fixed to the windscreen that would pick up shots of Barbados and significant landmarks. Got to film at the Kensington Oval, we got in no bother and even got to film another link on the pitch. Tom and me were hyper as were cricket fans, julyan wasnae really bothered.
Chris then took us in to the centre of Bridgetown so we could film the opening links for the whole trip, we did a link on the bridge then seen the war monument and got to have a look at all the Scottish surnames on there. We shot at the nelson’s statue, independence arch and square. Finished filming and got back to the hotel about 5.30, went in the Jacuzzi and pool. Beats a 5.30-pint any day of the week.
Had some tea, I opted for Flying Fish Gougons to start and a Pepper Pot (Braised Beef, Lamb, Pork and Chicken) with rice. It was absolutely brilliant and was great to eat traditional bajun dishes.
After tea we filmed making cocktails with Maureen the bar manageress. I got shown to make 3 cocktails and had a wee bit too much fun tasting them, my favourite was the Bob Marley (Grenadine, OJ, Blue Courseau and Rum) After a couple of takes was a bit drunk. Had a beer to celebrate the end of our first day filming and went to bed it was 10pm.
“Got up” at 6 am, still on uk time I think. Went down and had a cheeky wee breakfast and a chat about the day ahead. We were getting picked up for the Cool Running’s at 9, so I had 30 mins to apply about 4 types of sun lotions. We were filming the vts out of sync so if I got sunburnt it would make things really difficult to edit. So I had Factor 50, SPF 10 (10hr protection), then and a liberal spray of Factor 15.
Got on the bus to cool runnings, so it was basically 2 Catamarans side by side. The one we were on had Scottish Bunting and a saltire flying proudly. Had to do a link to camera and dive in the sea, as julyan was the only one filming, I had to do it twice to get two different angles. It was hard enough holding enough my stomach once. The second time I dived in, when I was swimming back up the surface my foot hit something. I thought the water was 20ft deep so it could not be any coral or that, I looked down I had sconned a sea turtle. Don’t worry animal lovers it was going in the top corner. I put a snorkel on a done a few underwater swims with the fishes for the camera.
On the boat I met and interviewed Andy who was from Falkirk but he moved out here 11 years ago and he is now president of the Scottish Barbados Society. He gave us a load of info on Barbados and was a great guy. We had to film a few links much to the bemusement of the other people. Me and Eddie (skipper of the boat) were dancing to James Brown and they got me doing a titanic pose on the front of the boat. Eddie and the rest of the crew were all good guys and we got some great scran on the boat. The only downside was that I had to witness a pished up 6ft 6-piper pole dancing on the boat. By the way polis are on jet skis out here so they rode along the catamaran.
Once we got back to the hotel we managed to secure an interview and performance with Eddi Reader. Did not really know who she was, but met her and read her biog. She was brilliant, really nice and her performance was brilliant. We only have 1 camera so she done the performance 3 times, each time she nailed and julyan could get all the angles, views and perspectives for the edit. We ended up having dinner with Denise who was on her own, she was great banter and we had a good laugh. After dinner we stayed for the hotel entertainment, it was a 3 piece Drag Act and for some reason I got a shout out at the start of their set. I reckon the lads set me up but they assured me it was not them. Half way through the 3rd song, 1 of them came over and kissed me on the cheek. After that I realised it was time for me to leg it. It was 9:50 anyway and I was still not in the right time zone.
7.30 am Breakfast and we were away to get shots of the sugarcane fields and all the harvesting. Then oddly enough started filming with Daisy, a local cow. Next up a visit to the Mount Gay Rum distillery where we got a guided tour of Sherri and got to taste a selection of their rums. Was pretty drunk after tasting they rums, as we had to film me tasting them 2/3 times to get all the angles/perspectives etc.
We then went to Bridgetown Fish Market where the rums kicked in big time, took me at least 10/12 attempts to get my one link to camera. After I nailed it, done a wee cheeky wee dance and then I got them laughing by shouting, “ya get me” in my shite bajan accent. Bought 6 flying fish for the BBQ later.
We got a wee cheeky wee lunch break so I went for another dip in the pool, mintit. Max set up the BBQ down at the jetty with the waves hotel in the background it was 34c and I had to go into the hotel kitchen to try and find all the garnish to go alongside the fish. Again we had to film the dish in entirety twice. Got stopped by a local who told me it was wrong to cook flying fish on the bbq, then he let his 2 big devil dugs shite all over the beach. Cheers pal.
After that we had a 10 min turnaround to get changed to head over to Jujus (remoter beach side bar, that remote even chris had to ask directions). Filmed a few generic links that could be used, and then watched the sun set it was like our very own ‘Café Del Mar’ moment. Sat on the beach with a banks and took 10 mins to reflect on how brilliant the trip had been so far, and how happy, helpful and outgoing the bajan people were. Took a few photos of the view: breathtaking.
Had our last dinner on the trip and we met Denise again, she reckoned we were not from the hour and I was a ‘secret millionaire’. I should be so lucky.
Early rise on the last day, got last minute confirmation that we could meet Prof. Henry Fraser but it had to be 8am at his house. He was a nice guy and had a wealth of knowledge. This helped get our point across about the Celtic connection to Barbados.
After that Chris took us to the Scotland district, it was absolutely stunning and Julyan managed to get loads of shots to use to edit in to all the VT’s throughout the week. Then we went to Bathsheba, which is right on the Atlantic Ocean, and the nearest mainland is East Africa. Tom went to a bar to get a couple of drinks as it was nearing 40c, he got offered cocaine he refused as it was 10.30 so then the guy offered him a hooker. He refused that as well by the way Cathy.
Went up to cherry tree hill and got a shot of the last working windmill, and got a view all over Scotland district it reminded me of home, absolutely stunning. Went back to Bridgetown to do the finishing piece and the last shot of the trip. It was a Rap, filming on the 4 day shoot was over. It has been the best trip of my life in so many ways (work wise, educationally) and cant wait to see what the edited finished work looks like. Tom and Julyan have been brilliant, they have both been good sounding boards, gave me loads of advice on doing the presenting/interviewing/links to camera. Can’t thank the two of them enough, especially for taking a punt on me and giving me this gig. It was hard going for the 4 days but the reality is that i'm one lucky guy to get the opportunity and really thankful to the pair of them.
Great Banter. Great Place. Great Company. Great People. Great Trip.
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