Friday, 29 February 2008

Charm III

Life has been busy recently. I have had the good fortune to have been commissioned by several different editors to write articles about a range of subjects over the last couple of weeks. This has been very interesting as I have been able to meet and chat with a diverse range of individuals. I think this is a perk of the writer’s job. What could be better than to be able to talk to talented people about what they do best and why they do it?

So I have met cake and pie makers, artists, gardeners, sailing enthusiasts and philanthropists, music makers and teachers and have tried to capture the essence of what drives them to do what they do.

Tomorrow I will be privileged to be a guest on board Charm III, a 1928, 50’ Alden Schooner, which has been rebuilt on Sandy Ground beach, here on Anguilla. This race winning Schooner is currently being used to raise funds for the Youth Sailing Club’s endeavour to send 6 young sailors from Anguilla to St Thomas, for the 2008 Scotiabank Caribbean International Optimist Regatta in June. This is a historic event for Anguilla as, despite Sailing being its National Sport, it will be the first time that sailors from Anguilla will be competing internationally. Charm III will be plying the waters around Anguilla’s northern shores on fundraising cruises which take in some of the delights of this Caribbean gem. I am covering the first cruise for a series of articles I am writing for The Anguillian newspaper, which are focusing on various aspects of the Anguilla Sailing Association and Anguilla Youth Sailing Club.

I am really looking forward to the day and to speaking with Richard West, the craft’s owner, and with the crew, who are all members of the Youth Sailing Club’s Race Team. I hope to get some wonderful photos to illustrate the article too.

If you are interested in sailing on Charm III, please call +264 235 8200 or +264 584 3826.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

A New Service For Penny's Blog!

I have added FeedBurner to my blog as you can see.

I have been concerned for a while as I did not know how many people, if any, were actually reading what I write on this blog. I have asked readers several times to make comments but so few people can be bothered that the idea seems to have floundered. Then I discovered FeedBurner and readers can now subscribe to the blog. They can now regularly read what is happening in my world. A good idea all around I hope!

Let me know if you have any problems with the feed or if it does not work when you have subscribed. Fingers crossed all will go well.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today it is my father's 71st birthday.

He is in England and I am here on Anguilla. I hope he has a really nice day.

Happy Birthday Dad!


Guess what I did today? Apart from the usual, write up an interview and download photos? I signed up for a Facebook account! I bet you did not guess that!

My son has mentioned that I should have one on and off for ages. So, today, I took the plunge.

So far there is not a lot on it. My trademark floppy hat photo of course and a few snippets of information but not a lot else. Over time I will see what I can put on there but for now, as a novice, I am quietly pleased with myself for actually getting it all to work!

Monday, 25 February 2008

'Anguilla Botanicals' by Jo-Anne Mason

Meet Jo-Anne Mason, artist extraordinare!

Jo-Anne has just opened her first art exhibition for ten years at the Savannah Gallery in the Old Valley, Anguilla. The exhibition, 'Anguilla Botanicals,' comprises the first twenty five pictures in an on-going series of pencil images, which will eventually be used to illustrate a book on flora on Anguilla.

At the opening on 23 February, which I covered for The Anguillian newspaper, the gallery was thronged with eagerly expectant art lovers. Praise for the work was unanimous and the first nine sales were made on the day. Proceeds from the sales will finance the publishing of the book.

Jo-Anne's exhibition marks the latest incarnation of this talented lady. Constantly setting herself new challenges, she strives for success and it usually pays off. Thus, she has invented equine equipment and accessories, sculpted, painted, written books and is a consummate graphic artist. This latest venture is the first in a new medium.

'Anguilla Botanicals' is an on-going exhibition. For more information on this fascinating show visit:

DJ Richie

Life has been a bit busy recently; lots of interviewing and meeting people.
Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I love talking to people and interviewing respondents is one of my favourite joys as a writer.

I recently had the good fortune to be asked to write about a local DJ, here on island. DJ Richie is something of a legend on Anguilla. A consummate showman, he has loved the attention I, and my commissioning magazine, have given him.

What hasn't this gentleman done in his fifty-something years? A banjo and guitar player, a Calypsonian, Song Writer, DJ, Driving Instructor and famous Cake Maker, he seems to have the midas touch in that he is good at all he strives to do.

It was a pleasure to work with him. The article is due out in Anguilla Life magazine later this year.

The photo shows DJ Richie in unaccustomed pose - taking tea at our interview.

Trinidad Carnival

Trinidad Carnival is known world wide as a bright, brash, blitz of creative colour and costume, a wonderous world where melodious music meets inventive imagination.

Here are some shots of this year's event. From the top:
Fantastic Body (Art!), Luscious Ladies on Carnival Tuesday, I don't reckon much on this baby's chances with these two looking after her! Dirty Mas on J'Ouvert Monday, You never know what colour you are going to end up!
The next Trinidad Carnival is 23-24 February 2009. Be there or be square!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Distinguished Guest Speakers at ACOCI AGM!

The Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd., (ACOCI) held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 31 January 2008.

The guest speakers were Melinda Goddard (on left in the picture) and Luesette Howell.

Melinda, long time supporter of the Chamber and Principal of ClienTell® Consulting, LLC, presented the Anguilla Business Survey Results.

Luesette Howell, the Senior Specialist for Employers' Activities at the International Labour Organization, Sub Regional Office for the Caribbean, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, pointed out that, “if we don’t get our business right, we will be right out of business.” Commenting on the awards given to some of the ACOCI personnel, she said, “it is the people that make the business work, they are the back bones.”

ACOCI was extremely fortunate to have the services of these two distinguished speakers.

NBA Tops Anguilla Business Survey!

It's official! The National Bank of Anguilla is the Best Business on Anguilla.

Melinda Goddard, the Principal of ClienTell® Consulting, LLC, undertook the Anguilla Business Survey for the fourth consecutive year on behalf of the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In her report, presented at the Chamber's Annual General Meeting at the Overlook Restaurant, South Hill, Anguilla, she outlined how Anguillian business leaders see the economy and the challenges of managing their companies, while contributing to the economy of the island.

The top businesses on the island all demonstrated best practices from which other businesses could learn. These included reliable, consistent, polite service, professionalism, flexibility and staff who were well trained and knowledgable.

The top businesses 2007 were as follows:

National Bank of Anguilla in first place, followed by:

Caribbean Commercial Bank


JW Proctor

Ashley and Sons

Cable and Wireless

Caribbean Cable Communications

Essential Office Supplies

Best Buy Supermarket

ABF Services

Cap Juluca

The photograph shows, from left to right, Calvin Bartlett, ACOCI Executive Director, E. Valentine Banks, Chief Executive Officer of the National Bank of Anguilla, and John Benjamin, President of ACOCI.

Penny Wins Outstanding Achievement Award!

At the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry Limited Annual General Meeting on Thursday 31 January 2008, I was presented with an Award for Outstanding Achievement for writing and editing the Chamber's publication, ACOCI Connection. I was very happy to receive the award and thank ACOCI very much for the honour. The photo shows me with ACOCI President, John Benjamin.