Bracegirdle: Stags,
Monkeys & Black Birds

Comment and Analysis | 19th March 2013

Barbados Gallery

No Hollywood mention today (oops!) but as the heading suggests today’s edition of ‘Tales from Barbados’ has a bit of a natural history feel about it.

I pride myself on being able to identify a replica football shirt at a hundred paces but thought I was seeing things when the gardener at our resort appeared to be wearing a Mansfield Town shirt.

Quick as a flash – or an elderly Galapagos tortoise at least – I went to inspect and true enough, as the picture proves, I was right.

“They are called....black birds, she said, giving me a withering look, as if I were an idiot."

Audy informed me that last year some very nice folks from Mansfield came out here and kindly gave him a Stags home top. Naturally delighted, he stayed in touch and they recently came out again and brought him this blue away number.

Aren’t there some nice folks about?

There’s one or two dodgy ones as well. Walking to the nearby shop, a local ‘gentleman’ slowed his rusting motor-vehicle alongside me and asked politely, “Smoke Ganja man?”

Obviously looks are deceiving because he appeared somewhat surprised when I turned down his generous offer.

I can report that the Barbados green monkeys do still exist though. They descended upon us in their numbers yesterday morning – tumbling, climbing, playing and teasing. I talked enough about them enough last year but this is ‘yer real live actual wildlife we’re talkin’ about ‘ere’ and it’s brilliant to watch.

I’m so pleased that there were lots of them and all of the Notts support group here had the chance to see and photograph these wonderful creatures because I’m sure they were thinking I had been pulling their legs.

A couple of extra fans turned up to watch our match against Northants. Matthew and Elizabeth are here on honeymoon -  as far as I could gather Matthew originates from Bingham and is a friend of Tom Paterson, the Operations Manager at Trent Bridge, who had presumably made a belter of a speech at the wedding and told them to come and watch us whilst they were on the island.

I tactfully congratulated Matthew on setting the ground rules early on in married life by bringing his bride to watch Notts play. I think Elizabeth was still smiling at that point!

Congratulations to them both anyway.

Back to my nature theme. Everyone is entitled to make a mistake but to make the same mistake twice is stupidity.

There are some slender, small black birds here on the island. Quite pretty and quite unusual. I asked a waitress what ‘those black birds were called’.

“They are called....black birds,” she said, giving me a withering look, as if I were an idiot.

Then I remembered – I had asked the same question to somebody last year as well – and got the same answer back!

I hope your St Patrick’s Day went well. Mine was spent at the Kensington Oval watching Nottinghamshire win the Barbados T20 Cup – there is enough green in the kit for it to qualify as an Irish success I guess, so I tried to order a drink of the black stuff to celebrate.

Funnily enough, everybody just laughed at me. Here you have a choice of drinks, it’s Banks Beer or Mount Gay Rum.

So I had both – cheers!

tunbridge wells

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