Derbyshire in Barbados: Mark Eklid's tour diary
I AM a very fortunate man.
I have spent the last 27 years with the love of my life and raised two fabulous sons, I have my health and, for the last four years, I have been able to go to Barbados to watch cricket and call it work.
If you like everything to be done straight away, maybe this is not the place for you but there is so much you would like.
As I walked back to the hotel a couple of days ago, a young boy, who must have been about eight, was riding his bike in the opposite direction and, as he saw me, he pedalled harder and veered towards me.
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As he drew close, a huge smile lit up his face. He yelled "Hi!" and held out his hand for me to high-five as he passed.
It was a moment of delightful innocence. Can you imagine that happening at home? I fear not.
I like knowing that the sun is going to shine next day and the day after that. I like the palm trees full of coconuts as big as your head. I like flying fish and hot pepper sauce. I like the small blackbirds with the beady yellow eyes whose song seems to ring out from every tree and wish I could answer them.
I like the way total strangers smile at you and mean it. I like the constant tootling of bus horns for no apparent purpose. I like the way the coldness of the beer feels on the back of the throat and I like the rum punches. I really like the rum punches.
I don't like the mosquitos, though they seem quite keen on me. If I could find a spray guaranteed to keep them away – preferably one that also repels American tourists – this would indeed be paradise.