in

Barbados

Page 1 : Sand, The North, Wildlife Reserve, Geology and Caves
Page 2 :
Great Barbadoes Robbery, some history and Oistins
Page 3: Fish, Michael Winner, Shopping, Politics and Bridgetown
Page 4: Homosexuality, Death, Satire, Pelican Centre, Cigars and Racing




Yes, being an island there are a lot of fish to be eaten in Barbados.  Flying fish are very popular...



...holograms of the flying fish are also present within the Barbadian passport and they also feature on the roof of the Grantley Adams airport.



A dolphin fish that resembles a flying fish is present on the national coat of arms.  Personally I prefer dolphin fish to flying fish...



 ... if for no other reason than a lot of childish amusement can be had telling American tourists that you are actually eating the mammal...



To be fair dophin fish can grow quite large ... here's a picture of a man holding a big one in Costa Rica.



Barbados's fishing and hospitality industries were given a fantastic boost recently when the late Michael Winner continued almost continuously from 2007 to 2013 to claim that the liver failure that eventually killed him ...



...was entirely the fault of a particularly malignant Bajan Oyster.   

Of course he could have ordered broasted chicken and chips at Cheffette ...



... founded by a Syrian businessman named Assad John Haloute, who had migrated to Barbados in 1971 and made it one of the few places on the planet where McDonalds cant get a foothold without falling into the sea ...



...but something tells me he was too much up his own bottom for that to ever happen.  Or to quote one of Barbados's other cultural export than Rihanna (Mr Nik Coppin)...

 

Photographing Oystins market is a bit difficult as ...well, it's dark and my camera isn't great... but here's another ...




... picture anyway ...as Mrs Warboys would say.  One thing about visiting the market at
Oistins is that whoever you meet there you're bound to bump into somewhere else on the island in a week or maybe even days.  Barbados has a very small population.  284,000 people in 166 square miles.  This means even on a short stay you're bound to bump into the same people again and again and again.

I'm not saying that socially there aren't levels in Barbados society.  There are social levels in every society.  And I'm not getting drawn into whether there are more levels there than here ... But the thing about a smaller society is that it does make TV unusual.  It's difficult for Bajan presenters to display the detachment of, for example, David Dimbleby when ... .



...there's only one TV station (unless you have a dish) and everyone on it has to double up between jobs due to the smaller budgets and size of population.  Imagine Jeremy Paxman having to do Newsnight, Newsround, Breakfast Television and plug the latest wares at the local department store...



...and you may start to get the picture.  Erm... yes, that's the foundation stone of Cave Shepard - a local department in the capital Bridgetown ...



There are some interesting shops in Bridgetown...  A lot of Colombian Emeralds seem to be sold ... there's a too good to be $2 shop ...



...and there seem to be a few long dead British high street chains...



There's still a Courts...


...and also a Woolworth ...



...and all kinds of other shops.

As well as the the usual civic memorials.  On the East Side of the River stands the statue of Errol Walton Barrow ...



...national hero of Barbados.  It is undisputed that Barrow is a hero because he also has a roundabout named after him on Barbados's main highway - the ABC (or Tom Adams, Errol Barrow, and Hugh Gordon Cummins Highway).  This runs from the airport, over towards Bridgetown (but not through it) and up the West coast of the Island to Speightstown. 



You know you have made it in Barbados when you have a roundabout named after you.  Other roundabout owners include Tom Adams (2nd Prime Minister of Barbados)...,  Henry Forde (former leader of opposition), Edwy Talma (who was clever enough to have been a member both of the Barbados Labour party and the Democratic Labour Party) , Garfield Sobers (cricketer), Norman A Niles (suspected cricketer), Clyde Walcott (cricketer), Everton Weeks (cricketer), D'Arcy Scott (cricketer) and Lawrence Johnson (cricketer)




Bishop Dr Marlon Husbands explains why taking all your kit off in public
may not end in a roundabout being named after you


From which you may have correctly surmised that there is no Rhianna roundabout yet and that cricketers are far more important in Barabdos than politicians.



That said Errol Barrow does still get and Independence Square and is widely remembered for his disbelief in both Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga and Santa Claus.   His successor Tom Adams of the Barbados Labour Party conversely ...



... was a big fan of Regan and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and encouraged Regan in Operation Urgent Fury to topple General Hudson who had decided to make himself in charge of Grenada after Bernard Conrad murdered 7 of the rather Communist Cabinet.



...after a short battle Grenada was made erm ... "not communist".   This did not meet with universal applause particularly down the United Nations as it's a violation of the Principles of National Self Determination (invented by the Americans - see here) which it and it's doomed predecessor the League of Nations were formed to protect.

After a vote of 108 in favour to 9 (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, El Salvador, Israel, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United States) voting against, with 27 abstentions, the United Nations General Assembly adopted General Assembly Resolution 38/7 which

"deeply deplores the armed intervention in Grenada, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of that State".

Asked if this had upset him at all Ronald Regan responded philosophically that:



Fair point.  After all what does National Self Determination matter when you can have a roundabout, an airport, a finance center and a $100 note.



While the episode didn't seen to upset Regan at all it's possible it took a toll on Adams as in 1985 he died of a heart attack at the official residence.  Is it me or is there a direct correlation between violating the Principles of National Self Determination and heart conditions?  Then again no less than 3 Bajan PMs have died in the job ... so ...?  Adams was succeeded Bernard St John his deputy who lost the upcoming election to Errol Barrow who's Democratic Labour Party then took power back.  Barrow also collapsed and died on the job - having served just over a year (aged 67) - and his deputy Lloyd Erskine Sandiford took over.  He didn't get a roundabout.  They'd all been taken by cricketers by then.



Some suburban roads... they're usually quite well maintained.
Beware though there are no drink drive laws in Barbados - political excuses range from "this is what the tourist trade wants" to "what does it matter if some children get run over?"
Lots of busses and taxis but beware - some drivers like a drinky.

The OECS is sort of the Caribbean version of the EU ...or do I mean NATO... or something?  In order to make life more confusing there are actually three political alliances  all with overlapping areas of responsibility allowing for everyone to have a good argument....



...how would UKIP cope...? 



Peter Staverly of Croydon UKIP
and Karl Samuda of the Jamaica Labour Party
explain why the grass is always greener
outside the current political and economic union


We'll leave it up to Owen Arthur to explain how being a member of CARICOM (the Carribean Community) involves relinquishing some sovereignty...



"Each participating state exercises sovereignty and discretion over the implementation of decisions reached at the regional level. There has been no provision for the conferment of executive authority to supranational bodies to carry out decision pertaining to the creation of a regional economy.... devolution of executive authority to supranational bodies.... Proposals to that effect are now before the leadership of the region in the form of a task force report on regional governance. Its adoption is critical,” Arthur stressed.

One of the roundabouts now hosts the statue of Bussa...



...although it's difficult to get close up to him without getting run over.  Bussa is the slave who led the 1816 uprising against the British.  This did not go very well in the short term as Bussa and a lot of other slaves were killed ...but it sparked a wave of rebellions across the Carribean including one in Guyana in 1823 and Jamaica in 1831-32 ... and was part of the beginning of the end of the slave trade.   Bussa and Barrow are two of Barbados's 10 National heros... who you can see on the building in the background here...



The others are Sarah Ann Gill (1795–1866), Samuel Jackman Prescod (1806–1871), Dr. Charles Duncan O'Neal (1879–1936),  Clement Osbourne Payne (1904–1941), Sir Grantley Herbert Adams (1898–1987), Sir Hugh Worrell Springer (1913–1994), Sir Garfield St. Auburn Sobers (1936– ) and Sir Frank Leslie Walcott (1916–1998)

In the foreground of one of the shots above you can see the war memorial.  And just visible behind that is the fountain to piped water in Bridgetown...



...not far from these is Bridgetown's own Nelson's Column ... built around the same time and for the same political reasons as the London one...



Okay I may have simplified Bajan and Caribbean history a bit above for entertainment purposes but if you want a sensible analysis you can always visit the Barbados Museum...




...or read the Nation or Advocate newspapers.  Or tune into Brass Tacks on the Voice of Barbados... which is a bit like LBC only people get to talk for 20 minutes at a go rather than 2.  The Museum covers the history of Barbados from pre-colonial times up to the present day and has a big tree, a bit of the the moon, reconstruction colonial rooms, slave chains and real tombstones...