In greener times in 2012, my morning ritual was to pop my sandals on, cook up some bacon & eggs, and sit outside on the stone steps to the cottage, and this view was typical on stormy mornings that would always turn out to be sunny by early afternoon. I’d type a little of my story out on the iPad and inhale the fresh air. It didn’t suck.
Oh, I loves me the Ray Bradbury quote that makes up this blogpost subject line. I’d like to think that the four month sabbatical I took on Saba and the months around it comprise a crossroads of sorts, and after a few discussions with my closest friends, it certainly has that possibility.
It’s not that easy to get to the dropoff in this picture, due to the dense vegetation that surrounds the occupied core of Windwardside village. You have to ramble down the winding rolling Road until you get to the English Quarter (the eastern settlement side of Windwardside), where you can make some cut throughs or paths you can take OR you have to have friends in cottages perched on the tops of the cliffs, which are many, relative to the general population. Regardless, the views from virtually anywhere in Windwardside range from the benign to the spectacular, typical of this l’il island that could.
Victor is a well known face to Saban locals, hitching rides back and forth between his house in St John’s (shown here), The Bottom, and Windwardside. He’s related to Eddie Hassell of Swinging Doors back through generations, and he has an fascinating history on Saba that’s a story in itself, tangled up in dark mystery and rumors, and a long stint in a mental home (he’s been out for many years). I got the sense that the island looks after Victor in a subtle way. In all my conversations with him–and there were many–I never found him the least bit violent, odd or strange. He’s a very low key fellow, smiling and generally happy, remarkably articulate in one on one conversation, friendly, and openly talks about his past if asked. The one memory he does continue to bring up is that of a lost love he had and was engaged to marry, only to have it dissolve through events out of his control. Of course, all of this is his recollection, but I tended to believe him, as he was remarkably consistent on the details. Victor’s house sits below Thais Hill, at the start of the switchbacks that descend to The Bottom. If you visit Saba, you are almost certain to run into him…wave and say hi, and he will wave back, as so many friendly Sabans will.
As readers of my blog know, Saba has been in a drought condition for quite a while. The day I left the island, it was raining steadily on Easter Sunday, as it had the day before, some respite to the parched little Caribbean isle. I snapped my last shots from the balcony of Tricia and Michael Chammaa’s apartments in Lower Hell’s Gate, and managed to get this gorgeous and dramatic horizon.
Here’s to many more rainy days like this for my Saban friends. April showers and all that good stuff.
This is a full sized repost of this shot taken on the steep ascent to The Level, looking back down at the main strip of Windwardside. The long lens zoom shot flattens out dimensional space, and perfectly captures Saban architecture at its most charming, including the Catholic Church.
Someone always knows who the owner of a local cottage is…but not me. Still..something about this simple Saban cottage in WIndwardside typifies the lovely architecture. Enjoy. PIctures that make my quality cut are dwindling down…not much left. So enjoy these gems while you can 🙂
The title refers to an obscure pulp film from the 70’s that I recall enjoying a lot because of the rather lovely and scantily clothed ladies in it. Not on the AFI’s list of Top 100 Films, though.
Got home to San Francisco at 1:45am and woke up early today, visiting with my l’il nephew Kai, brother Doug, and wife Jen. We’ll see if the cats recognize me on pickup in the next day or two, and I’m back in the loft.
Unfathomable acronyms, part IX. YACSCASOV – Hmm, this’un sounds almost Russian or Eastern European….but it stands for Yet Another Charming Saban Cottage And Stunning Ocean View. Well, drink it in, friends, ’cause I sure am. The time is nigh, I leave tomorrow morning for San Francisco, and I’ve cherished every great moment or conversation turn on this island. C’est la vie. Life moves ceaselessly forward, and I ride the train to wherever it’ll take me. I’ll be back, l’il island…don’t know when.
T-5 and I’m headed home to San Francisco. 82 pages to the novel in progress. Scars from numerous hikes here….but happy to have’em. This cartoon-like picture of The Road leading to the English Quarter section of Windwardside has vehicles in it, which is usually a no no, but hey, it’s real life in Saba. As you can see, colors are vibrant in the village still, though they’re quite brown on the slopes, guts, and ridges below as a result of the drought. Even looking at my Dec-Jan photos of the island reminded me how dry it is here now vs how green it was in Dec. Brutal.
A simple picture (converted to watercolor) of three old Windwardside cottages, lined up neatly in a row in the foothills of Mt Scenery. Something so orderly and cool about the way these villages sit on top of the Auld Rock just appeals to me, call me crazy.
Life moves at its steady pace here on Saba as I start collecting boxes to pack, plan a few last hikes, finish up my remaining dives to say goodbye to the aquatic life, and of course, make the rounds to thank the locals, expats, and friends I’ve made along the way. Life is good.