We’re spending the day at Eaon and Nancy’s house. They have an amazing house near to us. Lulu and I first came here to do our first-aid training. We came in the house that day and held our breaths. A house! A proper beautiful, Barbadian vaulted ceiling, enormous kitchen, tv room house.
Not just that. It’s a house with a pool. This means it’s a place to have a pool party. Since Eaon runs a dive business – fixing and servicing dive gear, plus teaching the odd course, we see and speak to him quite regularly.
A week ago we asked if we could come over for a little pool party. There’s nothing like inviting yourself round. Luckily, Eaon didn’t mind. His partner, Nancy is a teaching medical doctor at one of the medical universities here in Barbados. We ran it past Nancy too. She said she also didn’t mind. Job done. We’re coming.
Eaon called us this morning, an hour or so before we were due to leave (the taxi was arranged) and asked if we were still coming.
We said, ‘Uh, yeah. You sure you’re still good?’
Eaon said yep, no worries. We looked at each other and shrugged. If you’re going to live in a beautiful house like this, you are going to get guests. Saturday, Sunday etc. Plus, Jack made hummus and I baked banana bread.
Eaon has one of the most amazing life stories. He is a Jason Bourne of sorts. Bit of Maverick thrown in. Besides living a quiet life now, he tells the odd story. Almost thirty years of first, NATO military aircraft pilot and then, Special Forces in Sub-Saharan Africa will do that to a person.
Eaon has some incredibly haunting stories. I imagine some of them are I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you stories. Good thing we brought hummus and banana bread.
Some were practically-based. For example, we heard how best to land an F/A-18 Hornet on an American aircraft carrier conducting NATO missions in the Indian Ocean. When landing, the aim to catch the third of the four cables to hook you back on. Anything else and you either die – or get ribbed by, well, everyone on the carrier.
And landing on an aircraft carrier is counter-intuitive. I knew it! You come and just as you catch the big hook, you go nose down and hard throttle up. This is in case you don’t catch the hook and you need to quickly abort and take off again.
Alongside the amazing stories, Jack and Delph practised their dive skills in the pool. Then a bird’s nest fell out of the tree in the garden. Just like that. We went to investigate. Two tiny, newly-hatched baby birds lay on the tarmac. One egg still remained in the nest.
I got a piece of kitchen towel and scooped up the baby birds. Their hearts were beating through their paper-thin chests. Put them back in the nest and Eaon placed the nest back up in the tree. The parents – sparrow type birds – hovered nearby. An Antillean-crested hummingbird hovered around too. As small as a salt shaker.