England in the Caribbean – 30th January 2019

One of my lifetime ambitions is to go a cruise. One of those with multiple restaurants and a large gym to make space for the next meal. One on which there is always a bar or a coffee shop open, any time of the day. Hopefully it will happen one day, but at least I now have an understanding of how it might feel.

From the independent splendour of Holder’s House in Barbados, a beautifully restored Plantation Headquarters in which breakfast was served at an agreed time but other meals and drinks were organised by ourselves, the St.James Club in Antigua is the diametric opposite.

This is, if not the ultimate ‘all-inclusive’ resort, then pretty close to it. I assume it is the landed version of a cruise ship with five restaurants, a proper coffee shop and seven or eight bars, one of which is a (very good) burger bar.

It’s only been 24 hours, ‘till now, so the concept (and reality) of the ‘all-inclusive’ experience will take time to land. Last night the ‘theme’ at the main restaurant was Italian. In coming nights there will be Curry, Asian and Mediterranean, and ‘Grill Fest’.

Today was what most people would describe as a day off, and with good reason. Having over-indulged on pasta last night, I skipped breakfast (having been scared away from the breakfast room by the sight of Americans pouring mugs of syrup onto pancakes…)  and made extensive use of the excellent gym.

 

It was not entirely a day off. Funny how a 20-minute interview can consume so much of a day. Former England captain, Nasser Hussain, has spent much of the last few months recording a five-part documentary series on Kevin Pietersen. Sky do brilliant work in this department but even Sachin Tendulkar only merited a four-part series.


Nasser has already flown to Durban and traveled to ’Maritzburg and Nottingham – and far beyond – so the production is coming to a close. So what from me? Always work on the basis that every 30 minutes recording time is worth three minutes broadcast time. It was about ‘quotas’ and ‘texts’. Despite the ocean lapping at your heels and at least two of the four restaurants offering banana cake and coffee or toasted Paninis, it felt like serious work. Hopefully it came out alright.

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