Blue Friday

Last couple of days been a whirlwind. We rented a car – by chance on Black Friday. Turns out Martinique gets excited about Black Friday too.

The roads here are impeccable – dual carriageways, signs, roundabouts with sculptures placed inside them. Cars too with proper French licence plates. We are in France – except we just sailed from St Lucia. How does that work?

I don’t know, but starting to go with the flow with this political geography. Yesterday, driving, we were zipping along – remember we are driving a car now! Some of those turns definitely incorporated windage into them.

The air conditioning was on and the French radio was playing. We were passing fields of sugar cane – just before we go to Carrefour to buy goat’s cheese and then Decathlon to stock up on sun rashies.

Pinch me. Handy though since Delph’s rashie fell victim to the wind last week. I hung it out at night on the railing. Pegs and rashie were never seen again – as if her rashie taken by a wind shark.

Driving was damn comfortable. We don’t often get to do island tours ourselves. We headed to a dive shop we’d heard might sell us a steel dive tank. We’ve had four aboard since we left Wales, but unfortunately one was completely corroded when we came back.

The rest of the Caribbean uses aluminium dive tanks. Aluminium is less likely to corrode but are heavier and more cumbersome to carry round. We figured this dive store was worth a try.

They did have steelies, but not for sale. They had a nice, smallish aluminium tank in stock though. Burnished silver. We walked around the store in awe, watched with some bemusement by the staff. They had everything! It was wonderful just to browse.

Well, the girls were dicking around of course. They never behave well in stores. Other children are so mature and eager to appear so. My two? They’ve only just stopped chasing each other with supermarket trolleys. And they’re 14 and 12. Personally, I point the finger at the younger kid. She’s always been able to wind up the older one with that naughty glint in her eye.

I did get them to try on snorkelling fins, before they retreated into the changing room with my phone. At least they were quiet in there. In the meantime, I went to find Jack.

One of the dive staff was busy hand-making him a Caribbean lobster catcher. After his time in Mustique with only his bare hands, this loop was hopefully going to help. Except on a breath of air, he’d need something fast and efficient. Jack was looking for a spike. Jan was trying to persuade him against stabbing.

‘It makes the lobsters taste bad.’

I chuckled to myself. Of course that’s what a Frenchman would say.

But he rustled up a self-closing looping stick to prove it. He’d only just made a prototype version the day before – a good coincidence for us.

As we sidled up to the till – the girls by now relegated to the hot car like dogs with opposable thumbs, we mentioned the magic words: Black Friday.

The dive shop owner smiled at us slowly. ‘Of course. But we don’t call it black. We call it Blue Friday.’

Aha. Blue Friday.

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