During our stay with Si's wonderful auntie Pattie and uncle Rod (big shout out!) we were introduced to a lady called Jenny. She'd lived on the island for 14 years, and had a house high up on a hill amidst her seven acres of land. We first met Jenny whilst she was doing a farmers market on the beach; selling her fruits and veggies and to-die-for homemade juices.
We were invited to go and judge(!) a chocolate making competition at her house one Sunday - obviously we didn't take much persuading! Everyone had told us how amazing her place was, and it did not disappoint! My jaw was on the floor from the moment we arrived, and we were like excitable kids in a sweet shop when she encouraged us to go and explore.
The house was constructed just one year before hurricane Ivan devastated the island, but as it was made by a boat builder, it was one of the very few to have a roof remaining after Ivan swept through. It is painted the most wonderful vibrant combination of pinks and greens, and this colour scheme prevails throughout with lashings of textures, prints and dark furniture adding to the rich interior. The furniture, much of which was taken out with her, appears as though it will only look better with age and wear. The louvre doors all the way around Jenny's home are fixed open; she lives amongst nature entirely and sleeps in her dreamy four poster bed looking out over her land.
|The main living space|
|Part of the porch, with views to the bedroom|
A woman after my own heart, animals come very highly in her life and she surrounds herself with them. Affiliated with the island's dog rescue charity, she has seven dogs, rehomes rescued chickens and gives them a new life so they become happy, free-range egg-laying chickens once again. There are two donkeys, a pig called Pricilla as a recent addition, birds nest in decorations and old handbags that adorn the walls and bats sleep in the eaves - it really is as Jenny says; "open to anyone who wants to stop by".
|Hermione, the lady of the house|
|Pricilla the pig. Oink|
|The new recruits|
|Birds nesting in a decorative wreath|
Jenny lives what appears to be an idilic and self sufficient life, living off the fat of the land. Everything grows so quickly there that she now has 2 staff to help her around the garden and house. The mangos from her trees are incredible, wild garlic grows on the balcony that emits the best smell when you lean on it, cinnamon, star and passion fruits, soursop and bananas surround the house, just to mention a few. Precilla had choffed her way through the latest harvest of sweet potatoes just days before, but of course she is forgiven. Walking around the garden with Jenny you have to steal yourself from dreaming about this being your destiny.
Jenny's latest juice combination contains mango and passion fruit, with a spot ginger and a dash of lime for a hot and sour kick, it goes tremendously well with rum and a sprinkling of nutmeg on top...a bit too well!
|Wax apples from the garden - yum|
For lunch everyone brought a dish and as the BBQ sizzled and smoked, our mouths watered over the heavenly melange of flavours and smells. Jenny steamed white fish on a bed of mango, chilli and lime and for desert her entry to the chocolate competition was Grenadan chocolate covered guava cheese. It was no contest and we are definitely making these at home...when we have a kitchen.
I'll sign off with a simple quote I came across in a West Indian interior style book, I think it's such a lovely mantra for your home, and one that definitely relates to Jenny's way of life;
"Let the wind dance through your room and the moon be your candlelight".
Maybe, just maybe, one day we can truly embrace this.