Saturday, December 31, 2016


Me and Mum on one of her visits to The Bahamas
(Cape Santa Maria, Long Island, Bahamas)

This time of year always reminds me of the last time I saw my mother ten years ago. As Christmas approached, Erskine came up with the exciting suggestion that we should surprise Mum and fly to England for Christmas. She used to always visit us in The Bahamas during winters and spend Christmas and New Year with us, but those visits were sadly coming to a close as she got older.

I booked our flights, arranged for us to stay in holiday accommodation close to Mum so we wouldn’t put her out in any way, and even booked Christmas Dinner for three at a nearby hotel.

It was difficult for me to keep the secret, but once all our plans and bookings were made I called Mum to give her our surprise. I’ll never forget how happy she was and what a special Christmas and New Year that was. I am so glad we did this and am grateful to Erskine for making it possible, as three months later my dear mother passed away suddenly.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Cold, snowy days can often be as romantic as hot, sultry beaches! I remember the mistletoe we all used to try and manoeuvre our way under as giggling teenage girls at Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties! We hoped that special guy would see that we were standing beneath that little piece of greenery and he would head our way!

Mistletoe features in one of my stories in “Sunbeams from the Heart – A Collection of Twelve Romantic Short Stories”, available on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback.

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Erskine as a little boy growing up on Long Island
(with his mother and five of his sisters)

When my husband Erskine hears Jay Mitchell singing the Christmas hymn, “Christians Awake, Salute the Happy Morn” on the radio, he says the hymn always reminds him of Christmas morning as a boy.

When he was a child growing up on Long Island in the Southern Bahamas, the children would wake up early on Christmas Day while it was still dark. They had no watches or clocks on the island in those days and told time by the sun, moon and stars.

Erskine, along with his siblings and friends, would first make their way to his Auntie Mary’s house on McKenzie Hill, which was the starting point for their Christmas morning house to house visits. They were all decked out in Junkanoo masks. The masks were made by the children out of cardboard and string, and painted with berries from the cactus tree (called “prickle pear” by the islanders).

Down the hill, Cousin Edward would be in his yard, singing “Christians Awake, Salute the Happy Morn”!

The children let off fire crackers as they went around the homes. They also carried paper bags. The bags were for their neighbours to deposit candy, cake, tangerines, oranges, “benny” cake (made from sugar and sesame seeds), coconut cake, coconut tart, and pound cake. This was usually all the children received for Christmas, but they were quite happy with whatever they were given. It was a simple but contented life.

As Christmas Day comes to a close here in The Bahamas, I hope everyone reading this has had a wonderful, peaceful day and I would just like to say, "A Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Every Thursday “The Punch”, Nassau, Bahamas, features an outstanding local woman in their “Woman in action” column. Here is my WIA article in The Punch today about Bahamian Cultural Legend and internationally recognized Soprano JoAnn Callender, who is currently working on a documentary about the late Timothy Gibson, composer of The Bahamas National Anthem.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


by Fay Knowles

Christmas done comin'
Junkanooers in da shacks
Please give a dollar for
Salvation Army good acts

If you ain't gat a dollar
A quarter will do
If you ain't gat a quarter
Then God bless you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016


Seeing this bicyclist near Junkanoo Beach the other day, weaving his bike in and out of traffic, reminded me of the story Erskine told me about when he owned a bicycle in Nassau in the late fifties.

He said his bicycle was licensed according to law at that time and had a horn (you had to either put a horn or a bell on your bike then). He locked the bike up on the sidewalk of down town Bay Street with a chain attached to a post, like everyone else with bikes did and went into the Savoy Theatre to watch a movie.

When he came out of the theatre a policeman booked him for “parking a bike on a sidewalk”. The officer was from Barbados (“They never used to play!” says Erskine, meaning the policemen from Barbados were very strict!). Several other bicyclists were booked at the same time.

A summons for Erskine to appear in court was later dropped to Cole Thompson’s Pharmacy, where he worked at that time. Erskine says he was fined a few pounds sterling!

I don’t think the bicycle laws are enforced in Nassau very much these days! Of course, I'm sure members of local bicycle clubs make sure they have their bikes in good order and all rules of the road adhered to.

Saturday, December 17, 2016


At the risk of boring you with yet another post about “The Scottish Connection”, here’s the actual link to the article “My word – what a lengthy journey” on page 19 of the Tribune's “Weekend” December 16, 2016, about my new book “The Scottish Connection: A Journey Back – Mini-memoir”! My previous post just had a scanned copy of the article.

I always enjoy the Tribune’s “Weekend” supplement, as it’s full of interesting articles. It often takes me a few days to get through reading it!

Friday, December 16, 2016


“My word – what a lengthy journey”, the story of how my newly released book “The Scottish Connection” came to be, appears in The Tribune’s “Weekend” supplement today!

In “The Scottish Connection”, an illustrated mini-memoir, I share memories of my 1978 journey back to Scotland with my mother and young sons, to revisit our Scottish roots. “The Scottish Connection” contains a wealth of information - Scottish ancestry, historical facts, genealogy, comparable 1978 prices, geographical descriptions, personal anecdotes, nostalgia and precious old photos.

“The Scottish Connection: A Journey Back – Mini-memoir” is available on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback. Or special order through your favourite local bookstore.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


In this illustrated mini-memoir I share memories of my 1978 journey back to Scotland with my mother and young sons, to revisit our Scottish roots. “The Scottish Connection” contains a wealth of information - Scottish ancestry, historical facts, genealogy, comparable 1978 prices, geographical descriptions, personal anecdotes, nostalgia and precious old photos.

Click the link below to buy the e-book on Amazon.

Also available in paperback at Createspace -

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Every Thursday “The Punch”, Nassau, Bahamas, features an outstanding local woman in their “Woman in action” column. This week The Punch is running my WIA article about Simmone Bowe, Personal Development Coach, Transformational Speaker and owner/operator of Strategic Transitions, a vibrant training and coaching business.

Monday, December 5, 2016


My illustrated mini-memoir “The Scottish Connection”. This will be available as an e-book and in paperback.

Driving long distances in a short space of time throughout the United Kingdom is the norm nowadays. However, in the seventies it was often an adventure to cover the length or breadth of Britain. In this mini-memoir I share memories of my 1978 journey back to Scotland with my mother and young sons, to revisit our Scottish roots.

The Scottish Connection contains a wealth of information – Scottish ancestry, historical facts, genealogy, comparable 1978 prices, geographical descriptions, personal anecdotes, nostalgia and precious old photos.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


The Tribune’s “Weekend” issue, November 25th, features my article about Bahamian author and historian Vera Chase on page 17. Click on the following link and then zoom in to read. They edited down some of the article, probably because of space constraints. The original sent to The Tribune was longer than the version that I sent to The Punch and written from a different angle.

I enjoy reading The Tribune’s “Weekend”, as it’s always full of interesting features. 

The Tribune "Weekend" November 25, 2016, page 17 - "Passing on a Passion for Writing"

Footnote: When I worked for Town Centre Mall, Nassau, I used to write articles about events and businesses in and around the mall. Then I would submit them to our local newspapers in various forms or from different angles for each publication, e.g. short and "punchy" for The Punch; aimed at the youth for The Tribune's former "Youth Beat" column; lengthier for The Bahama Journal and The Nassau Guardian.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Every Thursday “The Punch”, Nassau, Bahamas, features an outstanding local woman in their “Woman in action” column. Here is my WIA article in The Punch today about Bahamian author and historian Vera Chase. Vera is founding member and President of The Commonwealth Writers of The Bahamas and Creator of The Pompey Project.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


This is the historic “Pink’Un” cottage (East Bay Street, Nassau, Bahamas), where famed author John Steinbeck spent some time writing in 1958. The "Pink-Un" is said to be over one hundred years old.

Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, described on her website as “author, cultural critic and historian” and her husband artist/photographer Neko Meicholas used to run their publishing company Guanima Press from the “Pink’Un”, where I once visited them. “Patty”, as I know her, is famous for her book “How To Be a True-True Bahamian (The Island Life)” (among others), which I loved and still have a copy of.

I first met the award-winning Patty, along with Joan Albury, at their marketing communications agency The Counsellors Ltd when I did some freelance writing for them.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


I had the pleasure on Tuesday of meeting in Starbucks, Melia Nassau Beach Resort, Cable Beach, with six established local authors for a chat about writing and publishing. Here’s a photo that appeared in today’s Tribune. As you can see from the scattering of books, along with coffee cups and goodie bags, we had a great time!


Every Thursday “The Punch”, Nassau, Bahamas, features an outstanding local woman in their “Woman in action” column. Here is my WIA article in The Punch today about animal lover Claire Cash, who with great dedication and hard work rescues horses and other animals from an unimaginable fate.

Monday, November 7, 2016


Released TODAY on Amazon and other online retailers as an e-book and in paperback! – CARA, the third book in the “Cornelius Saga” by bestselling Bahamian author Tanya R. Taylor. This is her fourteenth published book!

Tanya has several #1 bestsellers at, Amazon UK store and Amazon Canada. She will be releasing one more book before the end of this year – “10 Minutes Before Sleeping” on December 23rd.

Thirteen of her books so far have made Amazon Kindle's Top 100 Paid Bestsellers' List in several categories and CARA is expected to join this ranking. No wonder her books are such a success! They are gripping and so well written. She writes in various genres including: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Thrillers, Science-fiction, Mystery and Suspense.

She is currently working on a project for a world-renowned entertainer and plans to continue with ghostwriting projects next year. She has been described by American media chief Diane Morasco as a “prolific storytelling phenomenon”!


British author Patsy Collins’ latest collection of short stories “No Family Secrets” is available NOW on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback! Patsy is the author of four novels and is working on a fifth. Her short stories (500+ published to date) have appeared in a range of UK, Irish, South African, Canadian, Swedish and Australian publications. I have her excellent book of short stories “Not A Drop to Drink” and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


I was saddened to learn of the destruction by fire in the early hours of Friday, October 28th, of the wonderful old Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter, Devon. England's oldest hotel, originally a 17th century coaching inn, had become an Abode Hotel. Thankfully, there were no deaths or injuries.

My late mother worked as Head Receptionist at the Royal Clarence for many years. I remember waiting in the Cathedral Green with my grandmother while Mum applied for the job. She was very happy there.

I mention the Royal Clarence Hotel in my short story “Hocus Pocus”, which appears in “Sunbeams from the Heart – A Collection of Twelve Romantic Short Stories”.

It was announced that there are plans to rebuild the hotel.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


I managed to dig out some more old photos I had intended including in two of my blog posts – “Coming to The Bahamas” and “Easter Memories”. One is of me sight-seeing in Miami on the way to Nassau (I took a trip on a glass bottomed boat) and the other one is proof I really did catch three bone fish! Here are the links to the articles:-

Saturday, October 29, 2016


The Tribune, Nassau, Bahamas, gave my article in their Weekend edition Friday, October 28th, 2016, about internationally recognized and bestselling Bahamian author Tanya R. Taylor a full page spread! See page 8 of The Tribune – “Books”.

Tanya will be releasing CARA, the third book in her “Cornelius” saga, on November 7th. This will be her 14th book, including two combined in her “Infestation” series.

And on December 23, 2016, she will be releasing “10 Minutes before sleeping”.

Here’s the link to The Tribune article Friday, October 28, 2016:-

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Every Thursday “The Punch”, Nassau, Bahamas, features an outstanding local woman in their “Woman in action” column. Here is my WIA article in The Punch today about internationally recognized and bestselling Bahamian author Tanya R. Taylor. Tanya has been described by American media chief Diane Morasco as a “prolific storytelling phenomenon”!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Erskine spotted this soldier crab inside an entrance to Fresh Market the other day. The hurricane must have blown it in!

As a boy growing up on Long Island, Erskine says he used to look for soldier crabs in the bushes and take them in a little basket to fish with them. 

This soldier crab was lucky! Erskine took it outside and found a nice bushy area, where it crawled away.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


The Invaders playing in the old Lisbon Club on Bay Street 1965.
Left to right: the late Lorin Cartwright, 
Peter Catalano and my husband Erskine Knowles

I heard a recording yesterday on the Charles Carter radio show of the late great Brook Benton’s song “The Ties that Bind” by Bahamian legendary entertainer Marvin Henfield. Henfield’s rendering brimmed with the sensual Bahamian beat that I fell in love with when I first came to The Bahamas. I’d never heard that type of music before I arrived in Nassau. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!

Where is all that lovely Bahamian music now? Gone like Peter, Paul and Mary’s song “Where have all the flowers gone?” It should never have been allowed to practically disappear. It’s unique. Tourists loved it. Bahamians loved it. Expats loved it. Now we are subjected all the time to gangster rap, watered down reggae, hiphop…. I couldn’t even find a Bahamian CD downtown the other day as a present to send abroad.

Thankfully, radio hosts like Sir Charles Carter and Steve McKinney keep Bahamian music alive to some extent on their shows. But it should be everywhere for everyone to enjoy. Cuba and Mexico have retained their national musical identity for example (and of course countries like Scotland where I come from – oh how my heart stirs to the bagpipes!). Why couldn’t we have done the same here?

Once we met some tourists when we were out for a walk. They wanted to know where they could listen to some Bahamian music. We really had to stop and think. We suggested Junkanoo Beach and probably Atlantis.

We should have an income producing Bahamian Cultural Museum downtown, featuring our traditional Bahamian musicians (past and present), like Liverpool has for The Beatles. When we visited that Merseyside tourist attraction some years ago, we were able to go from section to section with various Beatles’ music playing and memorabilia for all to see. Live performances by traditional Bahamian musicians could take place in the Bahamian Cultural Museum from time to time.

The Bahamian Cultural Museum could also feature Bahamian artists, authors, and everything cultural that is Bahamian, with workshops. I keep suggesting this, but no one ever carries my suggestion any further. It all just keeps like the Bob Dylan song “blowing in the wind”!

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Bahamas Power and Light say they’ve restored 83% of New Providence’s power and that they still expect full restoration by the end of this week. I did hear an appeal from them earlier for home owners who have difficult access to their properties to allow their linesmen to get through, so that they can restore power to them. Apparently some residents’ gates are locked or they have dogs protecting their homes.

Some friends of ours say that they were advised by the former power company, BEC, some time ago when street lights were installed in their street, to bring their electricity connection forwards from the back of their property, which they did.

BPL also says that 65% power has been restored to North and Central Andros.


Edgehill Alumni Association Newsletter Autumn 2016 Page 8.
 Created and published by Jane Blackmore, Edgehill Alumni
Association President/Newsletter Editor and Database Secretary.

I was delighted to receive a lovely issue of The Edgehill Alumni Association Newsletter Autumn 2016, which includes my article “Hurricane Matthew goes down in history”! 

I won a place at Edgehill College, Bideford, Devon, as a day girl by virtue of having passed the “11+” exam to attend Grammar School. Edgehill College was an independent girls only boarding and day school when I was a student there, but it eventually became coeducational and then merged with Kingsley School in 2009.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Lamp post destroyed

We heard on the news today that Bahamas Power and Light has restored power to 80% of their customers on New Providence and that they expect full restoration by the end of this week. Great Harbour Cay apparently has had 90% of their power restored and North and Central Andros 50%.

Some children will sadly be without uniform after homes have been destroyed or damaged and personal belongings lost, so the Ministry of Education has asked teachers to exercise leniency with this. Also, they are trying to provide uniforms for those school children who have lost theirs.

The news announcer stated that there were thunderstorms during Hurricane Matthew. One house was hit by lightening and the roof caught fire.

I spoke to someone on Grand Bahama yesterday and he said he expects power to be restored to his office by the end of this week. Other reports are that many people on that island will have to wait weeks for restoration by the Grand Bahama Power Company.

There is so much suffering here in The Bahamas as a result of Hurricane Matthew.


The Tribune picked up my article "Hurricane Matthew goes down in History" and ran it today in their "Insight" section on page 10 as "A storm to test the resilience of Bahamians". I was delighted by the great coverage! They even mention my romantic suspense novel "Love at Sunset", stating it features a fierce hurricane hitting The Bahamas; and my book "Sunbeams from the Heart - A Collection of Twelve Romantic Short Stories".

Sunday, October 16, 2016


An earlier flooded road on New Providence Island, Bahamas 

What a day! It lashed down with rain and the wind didn’t let up either for some time. We heard it was a “trough”. A severe weather warning until 3 p.m. was issued by the Met Office, but we didn’t see it until 2 p.m. By then we had already attempted to get to church. Big mistake! Went through flooded roads and the brakes started to fail on our car. No problem. Erskine pulled over and pumped the brakes a little until it was safe to continue on.

I felt like I was in my novel “Love at Sunset”, where a fierce hurricane hits The Bahamas and Sandra’s husband has not used his best judgment, putting their children at risk! Here’s an excerpt:

“We’d better get back now.” Pete turned on the wipers and headed for home, but the wipers couldn’t move fast enough to clear the rain and debris from the windshield. He swerved to avoid fallen tree limbs on the road. And as large and heavy as his truck was, the wind wrestled wildly with it. He kept his hands firmly on the steering wheel. Then, just as they manoeuvred between bending casuarina trees on either side of the narrow road, they heard a loud crack. A large branch crashed on the truck, shattering the windscreen. The children screamed as the truck skidded out of control.

When we got back home after the service, one of the leaks had started again from the ceiling, so out came the bucket, hopefully for the last time. Our landlord is doing his best to get the roof repaired, but it can’t be that easy with the high cost of deductibles if you do have insurance, and so many roofs needing repaired right now. 


The Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser, Buckingham, England, picked up my article “Hurricane Matthew goes down in history” that I had distributed widely in a newsletter after the hurricane!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


A top heavy load making its way through remaining
flood waters along the airport boundary road, Nassau, Bahamas
(Note: NOT belonging to food stores)

New Providence’s food stores are restocking the shelves. At last we have fruit again! Bumped into a few people who are still out of power in Blair, Yellow Elder and Seabreeze.

Sadly, one lady told us that a neighbour who had made it through Hurricane Matthew, but was without power, fell asleep last night and left a candle burning. It set fire to her house. She lost everything and nearby neighbours nearly lost their homes too.

I haven’t had a chance to post here about North Andros and Grand Bahama, but they are suffering much more than most of New Providence. I will try to jot down news about those other islands as I hear it and report back here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


It was reported today that Bahamas Power and Light has restored power to over 50% of their customers on New Providence Island and that most customers here will be back on electrical supply by the end of this week. However, Grand Bahama and a large section of North Andros are still without power.

Monday, October 10, 2016


“The Tribune”, Nassau, Bahamas, reported in its “Hurricane Special Edition” Friday, October 7th, 2016, about the southern Bahamas: “ – the eye of Matthew missed most of those islands, causing minimal damage to them.” 

This was a relief. Long Island, where Erskine was born and brought up, is located in the southern Bahamas, and it was badly hit by Hurricane Joaquin a year ago.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


A Rubis gas station roof that collapsed during
Hurricane Matthew in Nassau, Bahamas 

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 had 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.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


Every Thursday The Punch, Nassau, Bahamas, features an outstanding local woman in their Woman In Action column. This week, despite Hurricane Matthew, they still produced a great issue. My Woman In Action article about Energy Fitness Bahamas proprietor Gina Smith appears on page 15.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


I thank God my family and I made it through the worst of Hurricane Matthew. It went from cat 3 to cat 4 while it was moving through New Providence island. We had sustained winds of 138 mph gusting to 167 mph! Matthew's speed has increased to 14 mph and it is heading towards the Berry Islands and Grand Bahama. We still have Tropical Storm force winds with heavy gusts and heavy rain. Our power isn't back on yet. I'm typing this with some difficulty on my phone. We are running around catching leaks! Eleven leaks so far and we are running out of receptacles! Sadly there are reports of many residents on N.P., some of whom didn't heed the warnings to evacuate, whose homes have been flooded. They are now waiting to be rescued. They are in low lying areas. My family and I are very fortunate.


5.30 a.m. Thursday October 6, 2016:

Hurricane Matthew is now 60 miles SSE of us, travelling towards us at 12 m.p.h. Category 3 at 125 m.p.h. We’re having a cup of tea before the power goes off! It should be past us within a few hours. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


6.55 p.m. Wednesday, October 5th, 2016, Nassau, Bahamas:

The wind is increasing a little now. When I opened the blinds above my computer I discovered that the guy who put the shutters up had left one panel off that window! No problem. One of our sons put it up for us.

Covered everything in our office/storage area with large garbage bags (cut them up first) in case of possible leaks. Put important documents in a plastic bag in a small suitcase and photos and other personal items in another, in case we have to evacuate in a hurry. Made a list of what else to take if such an event becomes necessary.

Boiled a supply of eggs and potatoes. Baked two days’ worth of chicken. We also have tinned green beans, a couple loaves of bread, sandwich meat, cereal, milk, juice, fruit, and of course, water. We can always have the eggs, potatoes, chicken and beans cold if the power goes off. Also filled the bathtub with water in case the water supply goes off (this can often happen when there’s a power cut).

Erskine made ice in freezer bags, to keep the fridge cool if there’s a power cut. 

So we’re all set. Now we just want Hurricane Matthew to come and go quickly!


It doesn’t seem that long ago that we would pour over a hurricane map provided in the food stores or in our newspapers and plot hurricanes by marking their progress with an x ! We would also follow the hurricane advisories on battery operated radios.

Now we receive hurricane tracking information regularly on television and via the internet. I was even able to add data to my “smart” phone, so that I can continue to use the internet throughout the hurricane “unless the whole island goes down”, the BTC technician advised me when he set it up on my phone.

We’ve come a long way, baby!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Hurricane Matthew is predicted to make a direct hit on the island of New Providence by Thursday or maybe before. At the moment it’s a Category 4 hurricane off the eastern tip of Cuba

Our shutters are up and we have sufficient food and water to last a few days. I’ve charged my Kindle in case the power goes off, so at least I’ll be able to read (of course, I do also have a bookcase full of books, but I love my Kindle). And I added data to my phone, so I’ll be able to use the internet even if Cable goes down. Also topped up my minutes (BTC are giving triple minutes today!).

Believe it or not, relatives from the U.K. vacationing in Florida flew into Nassau earlier today to spend a few days at Atlantis! Ironic when everyone else is trying to get out of here or would like to! However, our nephew hadn’t seen us for many years and his significant other had never met us. They didn’t want to miss the chance while they were vacationing so near and we were delighted to see them. They would still have had to deal with Matthew anyway if they had remained in Florida, as it’s headed that way as well. 

We picked the young couple up from the airport and brought them back to our place for a while. The plan was that they would catch a taxi from here to Atlantis, because there would be too much traffic for us coming back if we dropped them. We never dreamed there would be a problem finding a taxi! Usually they are all over the place and if you ever go downtown, you will know how taxi drivers ask you every few steps you walk along Bay Street if you want a taxi.

I tried calling a meter cab first. The dispatcher said they were shutting down, but she would try one taxi driver who might still be available. Unfortunately, that lady was stuck in traffic. Then I called a number I had written down when we chatted to a taxi driver and his wife over coffee in a cafe some time ago. Sadly he had passed away. I gave condolences and went on to the next number I had for taxis. That gentleman was also stuck in traffic!

Finally Erskine drove to a hotel. One lone taxi sat outside, the lady taxi driver looking sad with her head down. She was delighted to get a fare and our relatives went off happily with her. They should have a good time in Atlantis. If you have to be stuck somewhere in a hurricane, Atlantis  must be a good place to be stuck in! We will hopefully see them again on Saturday after the hurricane has passed by.

Now we are just waiting and watching the regular hurricane advisories. Praying too that The Bahamas will have no injuries or loss of life.

Monday, October 3, 2016


A fierce hurricane hits The Bahamas in my romantic suspense novel “Love at Sunset”! Here’s an excerpt from the novel, where Sandra’s husband has not used his best judgment and has put their children at risk:-

“We’d better get back now.” Pete turned on the wipers and headed for home, but the wipers couldn’t move fast enough to clear the rain and debris from the windshield. He swerved to avoid fallen tree limbs on the road. And as large and heavy as his truck was, the wind wrestled wildly with it. He kept his hands firmly on the steering wheel. Then, just as they manoeuvred between bending casuarina trees on either side of the narrow road, they heard a loud crack. A large branch crashed down on the truck, shattering the windscreen. The children screamed as the truck skidded out of control.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


Interim "Traveller's Restaurant" (post old "Traveller's Rest")


by Fay Knowles

(Written in a “moment of passion” on our way home
from the old "Traveller’s Rest" a few years ago!)

Sometimes I yearn for other shores
Where book stores and libraries abound
And everything is clean and tidy.
I see the litter beneath our rustling palms
And hear about another shooting…..drugs.

Then we stop to eat at Traveller’s Rest
On the western shores of Nassau city.
Waitress Iris hugs us.
A Bahamian gal greets her brothers.
Kisses them……family love.

We walk to our car on the edge of the sea -
The sea shimmering in natural night light.
The sky still red. And I want to stay.
Picture my house on top of a hill
In Long Island, Southern Bahamas.

No crime. No litter. Just peace.
Tranquillity, white beaches, blue water
Writing on my laptop
From my balcony with an ocean view.

I do not leave. I stay………..

Saturday, October 1, 2016


Cleaning up after a Tropical Storm, Nassau, Bahamas
Hurricane Matthew has turned north towards The Bahamas! This is a dangerous hurricane and all of us here should be making the necessary preparations.

I experienced my first hurricane in The Bahamas at the beginning of September, 1965. I’d just arrived in Nassau and was sharing an apartment with two English girls and an Australian girl above the Verdant Gardens Coffee Shop on Dowdeswell Street.

It was right before I met Erskine. Later I discovered he had been just down the road on Armstrong Street, helping to put up his sisters’ storm shutters!

The girls and I were excited about the prospect of going through a hurricane. Naturally, I scribbled away in my notebook, recording the experience.

Two guys that we knew (not boyfriends) offered to camp out in our apartment and be of assistance if needed. The storm became pretty rough. I stood on the edge of the bathtub to look out of the window and saw the roof of a tall building on top of Collins Avenue flapping in the wind!

Betsy actually stalled over Nassau before it went on to inflict winds of up to 147 m.p.h. on Great Abaco Island

We came out of the hurricane unscathed with no damage – no thanks to the two guys who had brought a bottle of rum with them, consumed the whole bottle and passed out on our living room floor!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Me and my Granny when she visited Nassau shortly
after our first son Gavin's birth.
My dear old Scottish granny was never happy in a city or even a town. She loved the country; in fact the deeper into the country she could be, the happier she was!

She had to have chickens clucking around her, so she could have fresh eggs for breakfast every day. And she had to have a garden, to grow her flowers and vegetables. Her thumb didn’t look green, but I know it was! She also loved budgies and her little blue budgie spoke with a Scottish accent!

She was a great cook as well. Everyone loved her thick, tasty Scottish soup. One freezing cold day I arrived on her doorstep smitten with a bad cold and cough. She put me to bed and brought me some of her hot soup. I was better in no time!

She went to live in Canada twice by ship, the first time on her own and the second along with my mother. My mother’s sister and family lived in Ontario. While she was living in Canada the second time, she came down to visit us in Nassau right after our first son Gavin was born.

But Granny never got used to living in a “concrete jungle”. She pined for a remote Scottish village and her hens and her garden. She returned to Britain both times.

Granny lived to a good old age and I know that somewhere in Heaven she is tending to her chickens and pruning her roses!

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Me participating in a fancy head dress competition on the SS Ryndam
from Southampton to Montreal, on what I thought was the first stage
of my journey "around the world"!

It was during the month of September fifty-one years ago that Erskine and I first met. I was “travelling around the world” – or at least, that is what I intended!

I had emigrated to Canada by ship, worked in Toronto as an editorial assistant for about five months, and then decided I didn’t want to go through a harsh Canadian winter. My uncle’s secretary said to me, “Why not go to The Bahamas?” I said, “The Bahamas? Where’s that?!” I got out the atlas and looked at what seemed to me to be tiny pin pricks off the coast of Florida!

At that time, being a qualified secretary, the world was my oyster. Good secretaries were in demand everywhere. I saw that The Bahamas was still British, so being British myself I thought I should be able to get a job in Nassau.

I could have gone to Freeport, Grand Bahama, which is where my uncle’s secretary had visited, but I always liked the bright lights of a city. The cheapest way I could get to Nassau was by Greyhound coach down across the U.S. from Toronto to Miami. Then I flew from Miami to Nassau, arriving that August, right before Hurricane Betsy.

Taking in the Miami sights before my flight to Nassau

I got secretarial temp work and a work permit right away. My plan was to work in Nassau for three months, and then head back to England where my family lived, for Christmas. After that I wanted to enlist a friend to join me on my trip around the world and we would work our way towards Japan. I longed to experience as many different cultures as I could.

However, I fell in love with The Bahamas and a Long Island Bahamian named Erskine Knowles. I flew back to England for Christmas that year, but I quickly returned. Erskine proposed and we were married in July. I never did make my way around the world!

Footnote: Erskine has written and recorded a song "Young Hearts", about when we first met. This song will be released at a later date.