I will return to Guadeloupe on Thursday, and then back to Antigua at the weekend. The Sandals resort is vile. There, I have said it. And I speak as someone who has been to Rhyl. You simply can't begin to imagine the vulgarity, the klischeehaft (as naughty old Himmler had it), the sheer wankiness of it. What is this "luxury" they speak of? There is a whiff of Jeyes fluid about the place that negates any splendour. And the clientele! It's to cry, believe me. All ex-Borscht Belt, all friends of Madoff, all verzweifelt ("my wife and I were happy for 25 years: and then we met"). Mr and Mrs Nexwee are the best examples. I will not leave the compound, preferring to allow the hazy sunlight to vulcanise my leathery old peau and to scarf down Ti Punch. The Nexwees, by contrast, go on excursions and are solemnly rooked by the natives along the way. Before I left, Mrs Nexwee went by coach to the German Village and asked me to accompany her. I have been to more German villages than our present Pope, so I courteously declined and advised her against it, but she was deaf to my entreaties. She was taken to a loathsome delicatessen called The Best of my Wurst and bought me an enormous Bierschinken, which I have to say I admired in spite of myself. Wrapped in tight netting, and bronzed through air-drying, I dangled the thing in front of Numb as a kind of talisman. His response need not be reproduced here.
I miss home. I have had news of the expenses scandal, and of Speaker Martin forcing a by-election, and feel there may be hope for Maroon in his home city. I can almost see him on the stump. I also pine for my fave rave TV show, namely Come Dine With Me. I have applied twice. On the first occasion my proposed menu was turned down for being "too Fascist" (Rahmsuppeschlossfrauen Art, followed by Gefullter Pragerschinken with Traum des Herzens for pudding) and my second attempt was blown out for "not being Fascist enough" (veal soup with motsa balls, Kasenockerl with Montpelier butter and hot beets, Matzos Kloese). To combat the gloom I visited the administrative buildings at Grand Bourg today, and admired the public architecture. There are several statues, each a solid block of yellowish stone. The figures are allegorical and represent hygiene, euthanasia, atomic energy, compulsory education and compulsory insurance. They were erected in 1950, but they seem all too contemporary.
Let me know you are out there.