I see there has been some controversy over the latest changes to the cast of Death in Paradise. I came to this rather late and am catching up on old series before I watch the latest. It is a bit of a guilty pleasure and I know it is not necessarily fine art, and it is annoying that you can never work out the culprit, but it is escapism. Part of the reason I find it enjoyable is because it reminds me of a couple of visits I made, many, many years ago, to the British Virgin Islands, Tortola in particular. No, I was not avoiding tax, and it was not quite a holiday so I didn’t turn up on a yacht. I spent most of the days walking around with my head in bushes. As I have been transferring slides to digital, I found a set of photos and I hope you will agree, if you are a Death in Paradise fan, that there is a similarity.
Although the name Tortola is of Dutch origin, the name Virgin Islands dates back to Christopher Columbus who named them after the 11,000 of the 5th century martyr St Ursula. Blackbeard and Captain Kidd were apparently the first residents. Although Tortola is the largest and most populated of the British Virgin Islands, the population is not huge – about 23,000, and the main town is Road Town. I liked it for the un-touristy feel although cruise ships are regular visitors.
Sugar Cane Bay (I think) was the playground of the rich, with many fine yachts, and I fondly remember drinking Pusser’s Painkillers here. This is a cocktail, rather like a Pina Colada but with orange too and a sprinkle of nutmeg, made with Pusser’s rum. You order a 2, 3 or 4, rather like John Innes compost, according to how many fluid ounces of rum you want in it! Pusser’s rum is the rum that the Royal Navy gave to crews until ‘Black Tot Day’ on July 31 1970 when the Admiralty ended the daily ration.