You know what they say, ‘when life gives you lemons…’

I get bored by the cheesy snippets of Fridge Magnet Wisdom that circulate the internet tirelessly. No Fridge Magnets here – no fridge.

Equally the myriad stupidly annoying Funny Bumper Stickers: My Other Car Is A…; My Karma Ran Over Your Dogma; Obamanos; MILF references – all of them; My Dog This or That.

The dumbest bumper sticker – Namaste. The divine in me recognizes the divine in you. So feel the love, please, while I cut you up aggressively while on the phone sipping a latte cos I’m late to my Bikram class, fucker!

Great sentiment, poor placement.

Which is much how I felt about Pirate Camp last week when everything went all lemony for a minute and I had just Had Enough.

I’m going to stick with the lemon thing, even though it’s stupid because, well, the stupid in me recognizes the stupid in you. Sometimes stupid rules ok!

This week, after returning from a brief, but particularly enjoyable 5 day trip to the United States, staying in hotels, dining out in DC, tramping round museums and then visiting with family in climate-controlled comfort, we came back to the following:

A car that stunk thanks to a glass pyrex container full of scrambled egg (yup!) that we had half eaten on the ferry the morning we left and then forgotten about in the trunk. There were maggots – Maggots!

photo 1-3Coco’s second birthday and party, which was wonderful and delightful, as only your own child’s birthday can be. It was a jewel of a day preceding the news that Tropical Storm Bertha was on her way to us.

A day deciding what and how to decamp, watching forecasts and assessing risk.

A day bringing down the day camp area. We left up the Soulpad, which incidentally fared AWESOMELY in the wind and rain that came; but our plan entailed taking down the kitchen and living areas, distmantling the play tent, and stowing away the toys and delicates up at the house. We took down our tarp roofs, putting pallets all over the kitchen floor, placing on them what we weren’t bringing up to the house, and then covering the whole area with copious tarpage before lashing it all down with ropes.

Then, after a somewhat shockingly aggressive wet and blowy start that lasted about 20 minutes, it rained and blew gusts for the rest of the day, much like a crappy wintery day in England. Nothing dramatic at all. Which is obviously a good thing.

We were in the house, so remained dry. The house didn’t. So we had some water management on our hands but it was altogether pretty fun and movietastic, with pizza and tea, left-over chocolate birthday cake and the feeling that we were camping out, oddly.

Then came the following day.

And the avoidance.

Then the next, and the meltdown.

Up went the tarps anew. And somehow flappier and holier than before, and more tarpy feeling, strangely…

Out came the random stuff that had been stored under tarp, some of it damp and stinky. Most of it fine and dandy.

But then, for some reason came the overwhelming and deparate feeling that this was all a massive bunch of f*@#ing lemons, and, no, I did NOT want to make F*&@#ING LEMONDADE, darnit. I wanted climate controlled sleeping quarters, a whirlpool tub, clean carpet under my feet, a dishwasher, a maid, electric lights to see by in the evening and a TV room I can shove my kids in when they get on my nerves.


But, no, in an amazing fit of blind insanity, we had chosen to raise our kids under a plastic bag, with a cold-water hose, some shitty solar lanterns and a propane double-burner stove that now, of course, just ran out of gas.


It was ugly actually. We made our stupid lemonade. We put things back together. But, if I am honest – and I can be nothing if not – all I could feel was a deep sense of hostility towards myself and my situation.

Then I had a chat with myself in the office. I watched my monkey mind be the ridiculously self-destructive tw@t that it is. I talked things through a little with my husband, I called my mother, took the kids to the library and drank a coffee while reading aloud children’s fiction and playing with wooden blocks.

Then I went to the beach.

photo 2-4Then we all went to the beach. We snorkeled with Parrot Fish, Tang, Snapper, Butterfly Fish, violet sea fans and Green Turtles.

We explored rock pools and followed crabs, jumped off rocks and tickled coy sea anemones.

I watched my son dive down and slip through the turquoise waters like a gilded dolphin.

I was blown open watching my children, naked, wild, and free while the sun’s rays soaked into my skin and my crabbiness side-stepped the hell away (almost) entirely.

It was gone by the end of the night, after spending the late afternoon with friends, struck down by a mind-splitting, defragmenting, son of a migraine; and then a nap while said friends watched my kids; and then an evening stretching out with the same friends, eating and sharing and laughing and connecting.

Talking about the way you live with people who actually Get It, and who live by their own version of similar principles, simply cannot be beaten in the social stakes. It is the best thing. It is co-creative, inspiring, deeply supportive and truly synergistic.

So, by the end of the day – Boom!

Crisis averted.

The mind is a wacky thing.

And that’s kind of how I feel about lemons. Ok, you get lemons, you make lemonade. Lemons are good. They are rich in vitamin C. They can re-alkalize the body, they aid the digestion, clear the palate. They’re good for you. But lemonade sucks without sweetness.

You have to add a little honey.

Otherwise you’re just sucking on a lemon in a glass. It tastes too bitter and it makes you make weird faces.

Homespun wisdom abounds – I think we need a fridge!

So that is how I personally survived my own minor meltdown under a plastic bag – by deciding to have a good attitude again. And by having put up said plastic bag on a tiny tropical island.

All the frustrations that come with all the joys of living outdoors and so close to – nay WITH – Mother Nature, are rendered so massively irrelevant by a rebalancing dip in the Caribbean with your loved ones and a good meal with good people.

  • By the way:
  • My Other Tent Is a Stylish and Ergonomically Pleasing Luxury Canvas Erection;
  • My Other Car Is a Canoe;
  • My Soulpad Ran Over Your IPad.

If you Can See This You’re Too Close.



Go Outside. Namaste ;)


We moved.

I am not going to go into they whys and wherefores of our decision to leave Pirate Camp, and Culebra at this point, partly because I have not finished processing our departure from the beautiful teeny island that was our home for a year.

Writing often helps me find clarity but, on this occasion, after sitting at my keyboard for a good 45 minutes, I have written nothing that I would wish to share publicly. So I shan’t. And, for now, you shall have to wonder.

It’s nothing so heavy, mainly rain, rain and heat.

And a little boy who wanted to live in a house again.

And the need for more playtime together.

And exhaustion.

And the feeling that we were kind of outsiders, and that we needed more than that.

Drenched from a 3-day torrential downpour, we packed hurriedly, spent one final (for now) night in the Soulpad in damp beds (no leaks in the tent, just damp, condensed moisture in the air), and left the next morning on the first ferry.

As Justin pulled our car up the ramp: dogs, cats, bin-liners full of damp cloth, clothes and toys; our suitcases, and some food all rammed into the back seats and trunk, I walked onto the ferry with the hand of a small child in each of my own, and tears suddenly stung my eyes.

We sat – the four of us the only passengers on deck, as it was damp and still a tad yucky – holding hands for the entire journey, excited, nostalgic, looking forward together. The sweetness of a completely new, uncharted, unforeseen and unknowable chapter unfolding as we headed on…

It was entirely based on gut instinct, intuition and gravitational pull that we chose to drive to Rincon, in western Puerto Rico.

And here we are.

Landing was bumpy. Straight out of the woods and a rainstorm, into a concrete, itty-bitty, nondescript, suburban style blah of a house, in a small housing development behind a supermarket.

With electricity!

And running water!

And a stove!

And the supermarket sells organic food!

And gluten-free products!

And we are down the road from a fabulous Farmers’ Market, where we have already met some wonderful people, made some goaty contacts, bought bags of deliciousness, talked gardens, essential oils, manure and homeschooling.

We have rented this house for a month and have several places to look at this week and next.

We will be headed back to Culebra over the next week or so to finish closing down the remainder of camp, make some proper farewells, and to decide what to do with the ducks, who are currently still on the property, fed and watered.

If we find the right place, I would like to bring them. But Elizabeth is our foster duck, so we will have to ask her mum what she wants us to do.

photo(1)It feels like the forces of nature and of our own natures are working with us.

It feels good.

Both shockingly different, and not different at all – still just us, being us. It’s good.

And still beautiful. We are surrounded by varied beaches, forest, tropical lushness, waterfalls, horseback riding, surfing. Inventuresploring opportunities abound.

And the play goes on.

This evening, at significant o’clock past bedtime, I overheard Ziggy say to Justin: ‘Come on Daddy, you have to come and do this, the main reason we needed a house is so I can practice my mad ninja skills and not get my hands dirty’.

Pirate Ninjas are in the hood – watch out Rincon.

We come in peace.