Category Archives: Daily Life in the Caribbean

Maintaining an Idyllic Caribbean Garden

Caribbean Garden's foliage

Caribbean Garden’s foliage

So, you are living the dream with your house in the Caribbean and are loving life from a luxurious pool deck overlooking turquoise waters – well that’s the idea our friends outside of the Caribbean will always have!

However, reality can be slightly different and we do have to worry about the maintenance of our gardens, gutters, cars etc, like everyone else.  In the Caribbean whether you are an avid gardener or not, the surrounds of your home have to be kept neat and tidy otherwise it will quickly become a nightmare of vines and new species of bugs. So, here are a few ways that you can keep your garden in tip-top shape without over working and leaving ample time for enjoying the Caribbean sunshine. Continue reading

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The Importance of Effective Household Plumbing

Bahamas Villa Photo Credit : Caribbean Land and Property

Bahamas Villa
Photo Credit : Caribbean Land and Property

According to the Caribbean Environment Programme, the effective management of wastewater is a huge challenge in the Wider Caribbean Region with up to 85% of untreated wastewater currently being discharged in rivers, bays and seas.

While current and prospective home owners can do very little about larger sources of waste like, factories and refineries we can certainly make a big difference by controlling our domestic sewage.
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Caribbean Water Cisterns

Grenada roof with guttering.

Grenada roof with guttering.
Photo Credit : Caribbean Land & Property

The cistern system utilised in the Caribbean is one of the most innovative and cost effective ways of capturing and storing large quantities of fresh rain water.

For the everyday Caribbean home owners, the cistern is merely an addition to the house. But, in fact, when we examine the secret life of a cistern – its appreciation is deepened and this multifaceted, pivotal part of every Caribbean homes’s functionality becomes simply – a blessing! Many islands experience water shortages during periods of low rainfall or unexpected water interruptions from the local water boards and then – old faithful, heroically, steps in and saves the day or even weeks!
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Why You Should Be Thinking About a Timber Frame Home

Caribbean Villa's Timber balcony

Caribbean Villa’s Timber balcony

Let’s face it, living anywhere in the Caribbean is a dream come true, so why compromise your lifestyle with a house that is less than perfect?

Opting for a timber frame home will not only be as breathtaking as the island its built on, but it also has several other benefits that other style houses can’t compete with. Continue reading

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Five Ways To Trim Your Caribbean Villa’s Utility Costs

Five Ways To Trim Your Caribbean Villa’s Utility Costs

clp-blogWe are  all familiar with the evolution of Caribbean Villas and how comfort in the villas, during the summer, have changed. The older designs have huge wooden windows and doors which allow air and light freely inside – they also allow the ever changing, wide range of Caribbean moths which come out to play during summer nights. The more modern villas, those constructed over the last 10 years have catered to cool indoor air circulation with the windows and doors shut. This modern method is called air-conditioning and while it can prevent the un-welcomed winged friends, it can also be quite costly! Continue reading

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Feng Shui your Caribbean Home

Feng Shui your Caribbean Home

feng-shui-your-home-100

Our Carib ancestors idea of a little feng shui in the home or in ceremonial structures like the traditional carbet, would be the ‘Zemi’ or iconic representations of their many Gods and spirits. Essential ones like the Gods of food, weather, wealth and health would be carefully placed to enhance the space and its creative energy, or represented on portraits or carvings on interior and exterior finishes including chairs, tables, pillars and eating utensils like the Calabash bowls.

Zemi God

Most of this living space art tradition is now lost sadly, but any modern Caribbean home could and perhaps should pay a little homage to the peoples who were here before us with a small benign weather icon outside on the verandah or wealth Zemi over the front door!

Some people are worried about living in older houses as they are conscious of the spiritual energy of previous owners, this includes the arrangement of the furniture, and also the garden space beyond the walls of your home.
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Life’s a Garden in Dominica

Life’s a garden in Dominica!

Violet Delphiniums.

Violet Delphiniums. in an island garden.

Life’s a garden in Dominica!  On other less mountainous Caribbean islands, life is more of a beach!

Dominica’s mountains reach up to nearly 5,000 feet and are habitually topped with rain-giving clouds, which keep the rivers full with more than twice as much rainfall as any other Caribbean island.

Anything and everything grows in Dominica soil, from avocado to aubergine, from breadfruit to broccoli, from cashews to carrots, its an a-z market gardeners’ paradise!

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Recycling Caribbean Cars to Make Roads

Recycling Caribbean Cars and Trucks to make Roads

We don’t do enough recycling in the islands, for very good economic reasons that I cannot dispute.  In recycling, economies of scale are paramount, and in small communities its an insurmountable problem.

Nevertheless there are several recycling companies that we have found in the region and we are looking for more to compile a complete list.  One in Trinidad does takes scrap metal, which is my particular concern, especially with regards to old cars and trucks.

burnt-out-car

Recycling Caribbean Cars to Make Roads

I have a theory that if we filled all the potholes in our Caribbean roads with the abandoned wrecks that line them, we could kill two birds with one recycle, so to speak!

It is only a theory!  A civil engineer would tell me, don’t be silly!   Combining several completely different construction materials like concrete, asphalt and various metals needs serious levels of engineering,  and it has to be done right.  My reply would be ..but it cannot be worse than it is now!

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World Maritime Day Celebrating Caribbean Shipping

World Maritime Day – Celebrating Caribbean Ports and Shipping

World Maritime Day - Celebrating Caribbean Ports and Shipping

World Maritime Day –

It is World Maritime Day today, which brings together 168 UN Member States and three associate members.

Its also a day to celebrate all maritime services, ports and shipping!

The Caribbean islands are a maritime peoples whose cultures and histories have all been entirely shaped by the ocean that encloses, separates and but also brings them together.

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Agouti The Celebrity Gene

Agouti The Celebrity Gene turns Cat into Tabby

The lowly Caribbean Agouti, which always gets to my growing broccoli before I do, turns out to be a big cheese in the science of genetics!  In future I will have more respect whilst planning ways to prevent them using my vegetable garden like their own!

Agouti the celebrity gene

Agouti the celebrity gene: An agouti munching on a guava

The Agouti gene which governs banding and spotting on mammals is so-called after the dark unusual fur colouring, (brown streaked with grey)  found on the genus Dasyproctidae.  The genus covers a large group of about 12 different types of South American rodents, known to us more commonly as the Agouti.

Back to the gene; some cats are tabby because of the Agouti Gene, some horses are bays, and some dogs have sable and tan points, all to do with recessive and dominant genes!  Tigers, leopards and zebras are all effected by it and the list goes on.

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