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Saturday, September 30, 2017

SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE ROCK!


Stirling Castle (courtesy Pixabay)

“Sons and Daughters of The Rock” - this statement refers to my birthplace, Stirling. On one of my visits there, I was delighted to be informed by the waitress in a little cafĂ© that I am “a Daughter of The Rock!”, having been born in Stirling. Apparently, at one time anyone born in Stirling was a son or daughter of “The Rock”, the rock being the steep and rugged crag that Stirling Castle was built on.

However, from 2011 on Stirling women in labour have had to deliver their babies at the Forth Valley Royal hospital in Larbert, near Falkirk, and apart from home births there have sadly been no more “Sons and Daughters of The Rock”.

Gordon, the lead male protagonist in my novel “Love at Sunset”, is a “Son of The Rock”! Much of Gordon and Violet’s Scottish adventures take place in the Stirling area. “Love at Sunset” is also set in The Bahamas. I had fun bouncing my characters back and forwards across “the pond”!




Thursday, September 28, 2017

WINDSOR SCHOOLS FOUNDER & DIRECTOR IS TODAY'S PUNCH WOMAN IN ACTION!


Here is my latest “Woman in Action” article that appears in “The Punch” on page 15 today about Lisa McCartney, Founder and Director of Windsor Preparatory School at Old Fort and Windsor High School at Albany. The Punch features an outstanding local woman in their “Woman in Action” column every Thursday, with my articles usually appearing every other Thursday.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

HURRICANES MARIA AND LEE HEADING FOR SCOTLAND!

Scotland is now expecting a visit from hurricanes Maria and Lee on Sunday after they combine while crossing the Atlantic! According to the "Daily Record", weather in the Scottish islands will be worse than their mainland.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

HURRICANE IRMA ARTICLE NOW ONLINE

I now have the link to my Hurricane Irma article that appeared in The Stirling Observer print edition on Friday, September 22nd, 2017.  As The Stirling Observer no longer has a dedicated website, their content is posted on The Daily Record's website. According to Wikipaedia, the Daily Record is the leading news brand in Scotland with a total audience of 3.1 million (rising to 3.4 million including the Sunday Mail).

I’m hoping that my article will help a little with Hurricane Irma’s relief efforts. I was born in Stirling, Scotland, so that’s why they have referred to me as a “Stirling Journalist and Author”! 

TODAY'S WISDOM KEY BY TANYA R. TAYLOR




Here is another of bestselling Bahamian author Tanya R Taylor’s remarkable and usually very timely “Wisdom Keys”. You can read over a hundred of these valuable Wisdom Keys in her book “Wisdom Keys for Life”, available on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback! “Wisdom Keys for Life” is a handy guide of more than one hundred thought-provoking nuggets to give you daily inspiration and help you through life's most difficult moments.





Monday, September 25, 2017

NEIGHBOURS HELPING NEIGHBOURS AFTER HURRICANE MARIA

The Bahamas is coming to the aid of students in Dominica displaced by Hurricane Maria, with plans to let them attend schools here.

Friday, September 22, 2017

HURRICANE IRMA IN STIRLING OBSERVER


Last week I received an email from the Senior Reporter at The Stirling Observer (a few of my articles have been previously published by this Scottish newspaper). She asked if I would like to write a piece for The Stirling Observer about my experience with Hurricane Irma, “particularly as it might be a chance for you to put out a ‘call’ to people here [Scotland] on how they can perhaps support efforts out there, what is needed, what the best way to give their support might be (cash or kind, what charities or organizations to go through etc.)” She said sometimes it’s better to ask people on the ground what is needed.

I wrote the article and sent it in to them. Above is a copy of the article published in The Stirling Observer today. I had also sent photos which were kindly supplied by international-award winning Bahamian photographer Eric Rose and Yontalay Bowe, Photographer for the Office of The Prime Minister of The Bahamas. Unfortunately, the newspaper only had room for one of Yontalay’s photos, but they hope to publish some more next week.

The Stirling Observer’s content is posted on The Daily Record's website. According to Wikipaedia, the Daily Record is the leading news brand in Scotland with a total audience of 3.1 million (rising to 3.4 million including the Sunday Mail). I’m hoping that my article will help a little with Hurricane Irma’s relief funds.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

WOMAN IN ACTION SHANAM CLARKE JUGGLES TWO JOBS!



This is my latest “Woman in Action” article that appears in “The Punch” on page 15 today about Shanam "Keisha" Clarke, who juggles two busy jobs, one at “Dunkin Donuts” and the other at “Club One Fitness Centre”. The Punch features an outstanding local woman in their “Woman in Action” column every Thursday, with my articles usually appearing every other Thursday.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

HURRICANE IRMA GONE!

Roof repaired after Hurricane Matthew has some shingles
missing after lesser winds from Hurricane Irma (not a good roof job!)

I’ve marked myself “safe during Hurricane Irma” on Facebook, a great facility that they offer!

Thankfully, Hurricane Irma took a western path away from New Providence, so we had quite moderate winds last night (perhaps 25 – 35 m.p.h.) and just light rain. We went to sleep around midnight and when we awoke everything was quiet. We are experiencing wind gusts from time to time, but Hurricane Irma has gone!

Unfortunately, the Southeastern Bahamas received the full brunt of Hurricane Irma. It has been reported on ZNS news that there are downed power lines, shingles blown off and sadly some homes lost, but there have been no injuries or loss of life. The "All Clear" has been given for those islands.

Long Island in the Central Bahamas has reported that their electricity is being restored throughout the island already!

The “All Clear” has now been given for New Providence, Abaco, Eleuthera and The Berry Islands, but “Hurricane Warnings” are still in effect for Andros, Bimini and Grand Bahama. Our power where we live in Nassau didn’t go off at all during the threat of Irma.

The Lynden Pindling International Airport reports no damage and that they will resume operations tomorrow.

Hurricane Irma is now pounding Cuba and forecast to head for Florida. We pray that the U.S. will be spared like most of The Bahamas has been.

Friday, September 8, 2017

HURRICANE BETSY VERSUS HURRICANE IRMA!



We are ready for Hurricane Irma! Our shutters are installed and we have stocked up with water and food to last us a few days.

Around this time fifty-two years’ ago Hurricane Betsy pounded Nassau. I had just arrived here on my journey “around the world”!

As a young woman, sharing an apartment with three other girls above the Verdant Gardens Coffee Shop, Dowdeswell Street, it was all very exciting to me! Our landlord had battened up the apartment, but left the bathroom window so we could see out of it. I remember balancing on the bathtub during the storm and watching a large roof flap on a tall building at the top of Collins Avenue!

Two guys the girls and I knew offered to camp out in our front room and “protect” us. Instead, they consumed a whole bottle of rum and passed out on the living room floor!

I believe Hurricane Betsy passed over Nassau on Tuesday, September 6th, 1965 (at 135 m.p.h. according to an online source). I met Erskine a week and a half later on Friday, September 17th, when a friend of his brought him to our apartment to meet us. We started dating the next day and he introduced me to his parents and some of his sisters about a week later on his birthday.

Hurricane Irma is a much more dangerous hurricane than Betsy was, but fortunately, it is travelling WNW of Nassau and we should only get tropical storm force winds here. Those in the South Eastern Bahamas have not been so lucky. We are waiting for news from those Family Islands and pray that they have not had any injuries or deaths. Most of the residents were evacuated to Nassau from those islands a couple of days ago, because Hurricane Irma was a Cat 5, said to be the largest hurricane to ever affect the Atlantic region.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

HURRICANE IRMA A POTENTIAL THREAT TO THE BAHAMAS

A gas station in Nassau, Bahamas, after Hurricane Matthew

We’re praying we won’t get Hurricane Irma which could possibly affect us within a week. If we do, Erskine says we’ll check into a hotel this time to ride out the storm! I don’t know if we really will, but we did stay in the Nassau Beach Hotel once during a hurricane. We parked our car in the hotel parking lot and when we emerged after the storm, our car had almost been crushed by a fallen light pole! It was stuck there for a while until the pole was moved.

Here's a recent article in The Tribune about Hurricane Irma: Hurricane Irma is a Potential Threat to The Bahamas

This is what I wrote at the time of Hurricane Matthew, which hit The Bahamas in October, 2016. My article was published in the Tribune, Nassau, and Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser, England.

HURRICANE MATTHEW GOES DOWN IN HISTORY

It was like an evil force determined to get through our walls and blow us and everything inside our Nassau home out into the elements. Hurricane Matthew pounded at our southern house wall and tore around the other sides of the building like a mad thing. The steel panels over our windows flexed frantically with the constant beating by the heavy rain and winds.

The first leak in the ceiling started in a weak spot, where there had been a leak in a previous storm. We rushed to get a bucket. Then, one by one, more leaks spurted from above us. We used up all of our pots to catch the streams of water and then started pulling out baking dishes.

The night before, I’d grabbed some of our family photos, memorabilia of nostalgic value, passports and important documents, and stuffed them into three small suitcases. I’d heard too many tales of families losing irreplaceable items in a natural disaster. I wanted to be ready if we had to evacuate. I’d also covered electronics, boxes we had in storage, and other objects with large plastic garbage bags. We still moved some of the items out of the way in case of a possible ceiling collapse.

We listened to a local radio station, but advisories didn’t seem to be up to date. Later it was reported in local newspapers that Nassau’s Meteorology department had problems with their radar equipment in the storm and they also had to be evacuated.

I attempted to follow the path of Matthew on my phone, having added a week’s data, but the internet was slow and online reports often conflicted with each other. Our sons in a nearby location kept us informed whenever they found a reliable advisory.

Our power company exercised a controlled shut down across the island. The city water supply went off from time to time, but we had saved water in the bathtub. With an electric stove, we couldn’t cook anything, so we ate leftovers, bread, fruit and cereal. Later, the ice that we had made in freezer bags to preserve the refrigerated food melted and we had to throw away the remainder of the perishables.

After Hurricane Matthew stormed away from here, looking for more victims to wreak havoc on, we ventured out of our apartment. We were not surprised to see the trail of destruction Matthew left behind. Many of our roof tiles had blown off, which had caused the leaks, but some people actually lost their roofs.

Now we are waiting until the long lines at the gas pumps die down, so we can top up our gas. There are also scores of residents anxiously queuing for cooked food at fast food restaurants and ice is currently a precious commodity. Empty shelves in food stores await fresh supplies. All of this can be tolerated though. Of paramount importance is that we have had no loss of lives here due to Hurricane Matthew, except sadly when a man died from a heart attack while he was securing his home.

Our electric supply was restored yesterday afternoon after fifty-six hours of being without power. Then it went off again for a few more hours today. However, we are very fortunate. There are many residents across the island whose power is not on yet, due to downed power lines or flooding. And some homes are still flooded in low lying areas. Others are badly damaged by the storm surge, which raged in from the ocean.

The Bahamas and its people are resilient though. They will rebuild their lives and in decades to come old Bahamians will tell their grandchildren about Hurricane Matthew, the devastating hurricane of October 2016.

(Written October, 2016)