Thursday, 17 March 2016

Then and Now

This is not my first time in Jamaica.

Almost twenty years ago, when Mr SM and I had just started 'dating', we were invited by another couple - great friends of ours - to stay with their wonderfully eccentric cousin, M.

M was an artist. He'd emigrated to Jamaica, along with a bunch of other wild young things, back in the 1970s when the lifestyle to which they'd been accustomed - living in large houses with butlers, cooks and maids - became unaffordable in England.

M lived in a fabulous Jamaican Great House, up in the hills, but he, the house and the staff were becoming increasingly decrepit. When Mr SM and I lay in bed at night we could see the stars through a hole in the roof.

Dead romantic, until it started to rain.

M was a wild and extravagant host. Over the years everyone who was anyone, from Princess Margaret to Marianne Faithfull had been to stay.

The days revolved around sitting on the terrace, drinking cocktails, planning the next meal and talking about life, the universe and everything with an endless succession of visitors, from famous reggae producers to M's various Baby Mothers.

We'd get up late, and as it was practically noon, would drink Bloody Mary's or Bucks Fizz pretty much straight away. We'd carry on drinking through the afternoon, and party into the night.

By the end of the week I was only held together by the toxins. It took me at least a week to recover - mentally and physically, and I was young back then.

Do I regret it?

Not a bit.

Would I do it again?

Hell no. It'd probably kill me. This time I'm doing Jamaica a different way.

And that's where I am in life right now.

Do I regret any of it? Not a bit. Would I do it again? Hell no, it'd probably kill me.

I'm doing it a different way now. And that's all good.

Love SM x


  1. Glad you're having a great time. Sounds like a wonderful place! A x

  2. Hey at least you have the memories (sort of). I had a lot of good times on the booze. No regrets. We're just doing it differently now and I like it!

  3. Good post - nice to hear that you're doing well

  4. Marianne Faithful. A goddess. So smart .one of my idols. That said, is she still around?

  5. This from a few years ago: 'The 60-year-old said: "I'm not prepared to be 70 and absolutely broke. I realised last year that I have no safety net at all and I'm going to have to get one.

    Still fabulous

    1. My idol too. Ballad of Lucy Jordan. One of the all time greats.

  6. OH yes!!! My goodness SM, the beauty of this blog is that it makes one NOT think about alcohol but wonderful, random, things as the fog lifts. The irony: you/ me/ people are rediscovering the sparkly magic that was felt when young and drinking, yes, it was fun and sparkley , but in retrospect it was youth and not the booze. Umm, write the book..... Please :)

  7. And it's life not the booze is what I mean ;)

  8. And in retrospect, it was only a glass or two of vino picnicking punting along the river catered by M&s. Yes an Oxford grad like you.

  9. I was older then and younger then that now.....;)