Spent on the abundant shores of Sooke, B.C., our honeymoon was as rich and succulent as a fig enjoyed in perfect ripeness right off of the tree. Here are a few moments caught on my Canon 5Dmiii. xo
A magical Summer weekend at the cottage with Bacon and Cat caught on 35mm. xo
It was a glorious return to the cottage after 100 days of quarantine in the hot, noisy city. A dragonfly blessed Tasha’s boobs (obviously) and Kaiyah convinced Ocean to jump off the dock for her first time! Of course, it was impossible to stop her after she got over her fear. This lake heals the soul. xo
Purchase a print of my ‘Pomona Stands, Goddess of Fruit’ or another wonderful photo by a talented Canadian photographer at https://photostonourish.com/ for $150 with all proceeds going to support Food Banks Canada. xo
I am honored to share this nomination for The Goddess Array photography series for the Fine Art Photography Award in the Professional Nudes category. The Fine Art Photography Awards are issued out of their London headquarters. Here is a bit more about the institution in their own words:
Fine Art Photography Awards is one of the largest award giving bodies for a community of artists ushering an era of new trends in the world of photography. Created in 2014, this competition is a melting pot for people where passion, interest, sense of beauty and openness to diversity in photography collide in intergalactic proportions. At Fine Art Photography, we seek to find artists and unique souls who breathe and live for creativity—where we provide a platform of promotion and support in their pursuit of self-realization and development. Since the beginning of the competition, our jurors have thoroughly reviewed and evaluated hundreds of photographs from dozens of different categories. Owing to the phenomenal trust coming from participants all over the world, within just a span of few short years, we have catapulted to a pedestal alongside the most important and highly prestigious artistic photography contests of this era.
This morning Connie and I took Jenny to the Nassau airport as our little adventure came to a close. With feelings of warmth and a pang of melancholy that it was over we embraced and sent Jenny homeward. My flight was in a couple of days. Connie’s husband Joe, their three kids, and another family of four were arriving the next day.
When Connie and I got back to the house I got a notification on my computer from Find My Phone with an exact GPS location of where it was. I was elated! I called the Bahamas Police right away. An Inspector Burroughs in full regalia showed up with his deputy and they made a big show of taking down the coordinates. I hand wrote the list of all our valuables that had been stolen that were, in all likelihood, with my phone and gave it to the inspector. He said they would go check out the address and get back to us. I could not believe our luck! There was a chance at justice!
I started to read the local news stories of the week and discovered that the night after our robbery police had shot and killed a suspected armed robber/rapist on our street. They had a warrant for his arrest as he had been caught with one of the stolen Rolex watches from the Atlantis store. When they pulled him over he drew fire but the cops got him first. That is what was happening outside our home here the night after our robbery. Remember when we got scared and ran inside and saw police lights out front later on? Always trust your instincts! They are almost always right on the money.
Spooked with this new news, Connie and I closed up the house, storm shutters and all and awaited a call back from the police. As the sun set on the day I decided to call them back myself. It was Friday evening. The officer who answered said that Inspector Burroughs had gone home at 5PM and would be back in on Monday morning. I inquired if he knew if anyone had been to the address in question. He didn’t know. He asked me to send him a photo of the coordinates from my phone (!) and I lost my shit. In a crying fit I screamed over the phone that I had made it very simple to solve the crime if only someone had bothered to go to the address and look around. He hung up on me. I gave up. Connie and I ordered a feast of Chinese food delivery and watched Ru Paul’s Drag Race until we felt better. Connie’s family and friends arrived the next day and we spent some quality time together until my departure home.
At the end of the day, I am so grateful that none of us got hurt. I am grateful that Connie’s kids weren’t with us. I know that the robbers needed our stuff more then we did and I hope it helped them and their families out of a tough spot. I am grateful that I got to see seven countries in the month before Corona Virus shut down the world. As soon as I got home, school got cancelled, the government orders to stay home were all over the news, the cruise industry collapsed, and the world as we knew it would be forever changed. We got Jake home from Brussels the same day they closed the borders there. We are all safe and sound, thank God. The shock from the robbery quickly subsided as this global pandemic inflicted so much suffering and change upon the world that our little brush with death seems miniscule in comparison. And life goes on. I hope you are all well and good. Thank you for reading. Writing this diary and sharing it with you has helped me to heal. xo
We got a call from our pal Delroy the next morning inviting us out for a night on the town. He would pick us up at 8PM. With our evening to look forward to we set out on the jitney for another island adventure.
Love Beach is tucked away down a secret staircase off of Compass Point resort. Because of its hidden entrance it is often empty. An entire stretch of pristine white sand and turquoise ocean all to ourselves. We felt safe and free. We stretched our muscles in the sun, floating around, feeling the divine weightlessness that comes with salt water submersion. I was so full of gratitude for the friendship of these two incredible women. This trip is just the most recent chapter in the evolution of us. It is the scariest chapter, but not the craziest. I look forward to reminiscing about all of it when we are old and grey. Hopefully, our love for each other will only have grown. Long friendships are rare and so special. There is no one else in the world I would rather have had a near death experience with. For all the shock and terror, we handled ourselves calmly and efficiently and managed to come out the otherside unscathed but for a bit of residual PTSD. Connie and Jenny, my ride or die babes for life.
Back at the house Delroy and his friend arrived right on time. They drove us over to Lyford Cay, the very wealthy, very private end of the island that Prince Andrew, Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey and Robert DeNiro have all enjoyed. The gated community on steroids was in the news just before we arrived because Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard was just busted for using his oceanview mansion there to run a sex traffiking ring. We pulled up the long dirt road to Philosopher’s Smokehouse, an outdoor party complex with twinkly lights, picnic tables, a cute DJ, and what smelled like delicious BBQ. Under the sweetest protection of our generous friends we wiled the night away dancing until we dropped. I made a gorgeous new friend who looked like a Bahamian Queen. Her name was Cornelia and she had been Nygard’s personal assistant until the week prior. I was dying to hear stories, but we parted ways with promises to get in touch for a brunch that never happened. Connie, Jenny and I stumbled back into the house for a nightcap on the upstairs patio. Everything was alright.
I called the cops first thing in the morning to inquire about the police activity on the block the night before. They assured me it wasn’t related to our robbery. The news of the passengers stuck in quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan was a headline. We brushed off our feelings of fear and discomfort determined to have an incredible day. The glorious tropical sun was shining all our troubles away.
We got ourselves decked out in swimsuits and sunscreen and hopped on the jitney. The bus driver was blasting Kenny G. classics really getting us in the mood for a wonderful day. We hopped off at the ferry docks and took the boat across to Paradise Island where we tried to sneak into the epic mega resort Atlantis. We have done this before without any problems, but the security was TIGHT! Crime has risen significantly in the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian decimated many residents’ livelihood in 2019. The Rolex store at Atlantis had fallen victim to an armed robbery the week prior. So we hoofed it to the public part of Paradise Island unattractively titled Cabbage Beach. Don’t let the name fool you though because this is one of the most beautiful, pristine beaches in the world. The water is clear turquoise and the perfect temperature; just cool enough to be refreshing. We indulged in rum drinks in coconuts and sunned our skin from white as Canadian snow to lobster red. My old pal Randy manifested and offered to roll us a spliff. The vibe was chill, at last. Perfect, actually. Ahhhhh yas. Toes curling in the sand, hair in salt waves, and skin bronzed. We made it. It felt like we had another chance at life. But a life without fear of death. Liberated. And no fucks given. I was enjoying this new attitude.
We taxied back to Nassau and scored a comfy cabana at Bikini Bar on Junkanoo Beach where we immediately ordered conch fritters and bottomless Bahama Mamas as we watched the sun set. A flea-ridden stray beach dog sat with us and acted as our guard dog as twilight fell. The four enormous cruise ships docked on Paradise Island shipped out one at a time. We imagined the cruise ship scene; everyone showered and dressed for dinner on board as the monstrosity head back out to sea. Connie would be on one of those with her family the next week if her passport arrived in time. The manager of Bikini Bar sent us a round of drinks on the house and offered to get us a cab home. He also gave us his reggae album. What lucky girls!
I woke up the morning after the robbery with all four of my limbs in pins and needles. Maybe I was so shocked my blood slowed down? I’m not sure, but it was very odd. Connie was right beside me, still wide awake. Jenny was downstairs starfished on the back patio having a coffee and smoking a cigarette in the sun. We called our local pal Delroy and told him the story. He was floored and kindly arranged a driver to take us to the Canadian Consulate. Our driver’s name was Maurice, and he was an angel. He drove us to the back parking lot of a run down strip mall where a tattered Canadian flag hung askew from the second story of shops. Pretty ghetto right off the bat.
There were two dumpy Canadian women working at the consulate where they enjoy the casual working hours of 9am to noon, Monday to Friday. We were there to get Connie a passport. She had piggybacked a work trip on a cruise ship out of Fort Lauderdale directly from Nassau. The consulate woman offered Connie one option; she could issue Connie a one way pass back to Montreal and she could get a new passport there. We were unimpressed and thought there must be another option. Connie decided to give the High Commissioner in Kingston, Jamaica (the closest Canadian Embassy) a call and sure enough, there was another option. They could issue Connie a one year passport and get it to her in time for her departure to Florida in five days. Brilliant! No thanks to the consulate lady. It was nearing noon and the consulate lady played sorry to tell us the closest and cheapest passport photo spot was a twenty minute drive away and $50USD. She sent us on our way telling us to come by with the photos tomorrow morning, but then we may not make the DHL boat to Jamaica with the documents in time. As Connie was filling out her paperwork, I went outside with Jenny and Maurice for some fresh air. We gazed across the street and there was a sign “Roger D. Photo Studio, Passport Photos Done While You Wait $20!” I ran to get Connie as it seemed our luck was changing. The consulate women agreed to wait twenty minutes so we wouldn’t have to hitchhike back to the consulate in the morning and we went over to Roger D’s Photo Studio.
Now Roger D. turned out to be the best photographer in the Bahamas, if the many accolades hanging on his wall account for anything. His studio is full of his gorgeous wedding photos and impressive antique cameras. He said, “Welcome home!” warmly when we entered. He told us to wait just a moment while he readied his studio for Connie’s passport shoot. He fired up his lighting set-up and put on a Billie Holiday record. The mood was romantic and sweet. He had Connie giving all kinds of looks until he was completely spent, at which point Jenny and I burst into a standing ovation. Roger D., our hero!
We waltzed back to the consulate with the coveted passport photos. The ladies were super annoyed now to be working past noon, but we had them, thank goodness. As we were waiting for all the paperwork to be done, I perused the pamphlets section of the office and came across a stack of Roger D. business cards. The swines! They were willing to send us on a wild goose chase after surviving an armed robbery because they needed to get home to watch their kids’ swimming lessons or some shit! I was pissed. But we still needed these lazy slags so I suppressed my anger. In yet another misstep, they sent us to the DHL office to ship the documents to Jamaica after charging Connie close to $500USD for a new passport and a lost passport fee. Rude! What if we had no access to money? What if we didn’t have Maurice’s help and couldn’t get around?
Anyway, we went to DHL and shipped off the documents. Maurice drove us there and then took us home. We were so grateful for his help. We still needed to get some cash, a Blackberry phone charger, and Connie’s medicine. So we set out on foot to The Caves, a shopping centre down the street. We took some photos on the walk in an effort at normalcy. Since Jenny was the only one of us with access to money she agreed to be our sugar momma for the trip and we promised to pay her back upon our return home, bless her heart. We managed to get cash out of the liquor store ATM, but no luck on the charger or perscription. We called a cab from the liquor store and spent the next hour and a half visiting all the pharmacies on the island to no avail. We got a charger though. In the end it was a $70 cab ride. Ouch!
Back at the house again, the sun was setting and we proceeded to get drunk. We closed up the first floor of the house, storm shutters and all, which was now a necessity, and hung out on the second floor balcony, which had a great view of the street in front of the house and the ocean beyond that. We felt good up there from our vantage point, until a car cruised by us slowly and pulled into the neighbours driveway. I got spooked and we ran inside and locked up the whole house. Like three Rapunzels we drank the night away trying our best to laugh about it all. Just as we were going to bed I noticed police lights across the street. I planned to call the cops about it in the morning. We were exhausted…