October 2008

One of the things Julie & I have come to love in our neighborhood are the chicken & other animals that roam free.  For regular readers of this blog, as well as any guests that have stayed at my place in the 21 months we have lived here, you all know the special place that Niko, the neighborhood dog, had in our hearts.

Not long after we moved to Cayman, Niko started “joining” us for walks along with our own dog Aipa.  Either we would walk by his place and he would follow us or more recently he would lie outside our front door until we came out.  Just this week, Niko spent two days with us due to very heavy rain ; we let him stay on our back (covered) porch so that we would stay dry.  Also, a few times a week, Niko would follow Julie to the gym (a 10-12 minute walk) and would wait patiently outside the door until she finished about 1h later. He would then walk back home with her where he would be rewarded with treats.

Julian, Niko’s owner, came over this morning with the terrible news.  Niko was lying lifeless on the side of the street, very close to our place.   He had joined us for our nightly walk the previous evening and we know he went home afterward.  We presume that early in the morning, as he often does, he was coming over to our place when he was struck by (presumably) a car.

Here is a picture of Niko coming to our place wagging his tail!

Niko attacking a crab

On a hot day, sharing the cold floor and a/c with Aipa.

When Julie & I were in Canada a few weeks ago, we went to the wedding a childhood friend of mine and I was one on the best men 🙂

Well, fast forward 10 days and my buddy was getting off a cruise ship for the day with his new bride Caroline!  Only a few hours in Cayman, where to take them?  Such an easy question to answer : Stingray City.

Here is my friend Pascal ; obviously enjoying the boat ride.

His wife Caroline (left) and my wife Julie! Lucky guys we are! 🙂

In the water at Stingray City.  Notice that I am gently holding a very large stingray. After so many visits, I have gotten quite good at handling them.  They are so gentle ; you just let them float on your arms, making sure they are always in the water.  This one stayed a good 5-7 minutes with me.  Considering all the rain we have had recently, we were really lucky to have such great weather.

Not a great sunset, but great colors on Seven Mile beach.

Today from my office!  It basically rained all day.  There is a tropical depression in Central America ; we are getting a small part of it.

Lots of guests coming up in the next few months!  Stay tuned.   Also, hurricane season is almost over ; our hurrican shutters are 2/3 down.  Many homes still have them up, on an almost daily basis you can see them coming down from house to house. Oh … and its getting cooler!  YAY.   Compared to the steamy months of August & September, the last 10 days or so have been great ; high 20’s, not too hot and no 24/7 A/C.

I was gone from Cayman for just over two weeks.  Of course, before leaving, the house was in top shape and outside was taken care of ; hedges trimmed, grass cut, etc.

Well, during those two weeks it rained a lot and it was hot.  What happens then?  Things grow like mad.

Here are two pictures of my front lawn after two weeks of being unattended.  Usually its cut nice and short.  Now its a mess and needs to be cut ASAP … as soon as it stops raining and dries up a bit.

To give you an idea of the rain we are having, here is one episode we had this morning.  Its been like this on and off pretty much all day.  This afternoon it was nice and sunny so we went to do some errands.  When we got to the cash register at the supermarket, I looked outside and noticed it had started to rain like mad again.  Store clerks were escorting clients to their cars with large umbrellas.  However, 5 minutes later it stopped just as quickly as it started.

No hurricanes in sight.  Looks like the season may be over for us … lets hope!

Last week I had the  privilege to go for a few days to Malta.

First things first ; for those not familiar with Malta (I was not …), it is located southeast of Sicily & Italy.

Malta was fabulous! For anyone who is a history buff like myself, Malta has a large amount of it.  From the Ottoman empire, to Napoleon and the Second world war, Malta’s strategic location in the Mediterranean has made it an important location for centuries. 

Here is yours truly in Valetta, overlooking the harbour.

Here, my childhood friend Mathieu and his GF Lydia joined me for a few days.  They had planned a trip to Italy and made a “detour” to Malta when I told them I would be there for a few days for a conference. It was great to spend a bit of time with them even though most of the time I had my conference to attend.  How many childhood friends do you have who would take an extra plane to come and see you for one day or so?

Another view of this amazing place out towards the ocean.

The place where Napoleon stayed in the late 1700’s when the French took over.

St-John’s Co-cathedral.  WOW is all I can say.  This church has gotta be one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

I am now in Canada with Julie for a few days, returning to Cayman this week-end.  I miss my pets!!! I am also glad that there were no storms during our time outside of Cayman.  The shutters were all up & ready for a storm, but I greatly prefer that nothing at all happened. Looks like the season is coming to a close.  There is still October, but from what I saw last year and been told, after mid-october, its pretty much over.