England in the Caribbean – 28th January 2019

Many people who don’t have lots of money tend to assume that ostentatious mansions built in places like Barbados must, somehow, involve ‘dodgy’ cash. It’s obviously a grossly unfair assumption, Just because a building might be incongruously large and lack a certain decorum, it doesn’t necessarily mean the owners have paid for it illicitly.

A popular excursion for tourists on Barbados is the “Island Safari” which involves a drive in classic game-viewing trucks to ‘view’ the famous and infamous sights and to stop off at the best beaches for a photo and a rum punch. They all pull over in front of this mansion with its three-storey Roman columns while the driver delivers an explanation on his headset microphone. Something about ‘Russian investment,’ I think – but it wasn’t clear from the other side of the road.

 

 

For Joe Root it was a welcome day to keep a low profile. The England captain fronted up to all and sundry following the four-day hiding and it was time to discuss ways in which he might have a stronger voice in team selection. I suspect the subject will be pushed into the public domain before the tour is over.

 

 

For those of us staying in Jody Kidd’s family home next to Barbados Polo Club, it was an opportunity to spend time with the parrots who live at either end of the outdoor breakfast room and to watch the weekly polo match. None of us could make head or tail of what was happening on the field, but the man commentating over the public address system more than made up for the slow pace of the action.

It is customary for polo spectators to walk onto the field between chukkas to stamp down the divots made by the horses hooves. “Come now you all,” he crooned after the first chukka. “Time to get ya pretty bums onta de field for de smood runnin of de game. And remember, if is steaming, it ent mud and don’t need stampin…”

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