Monday, 6 December 2010

The Cottage

After 5 years of thinking about it, we've broken ground and are well on our way to completing Butler's Cottage. It's a one bedroom open plan space with a living and kitchen area and bathroom. It's been built far enough away from the House for privacy but close enough for ease of access. The Cottage will comfortably fit 2 adults and 2 children. Combining that with Butler's House, we will be able to accommodate 6 adults and 4 children. The House and Cottage will be let out together to ensure that guests continue to have the property to themselves. The Cottage will be available to rent along with the House from June 1, 2011. If interested, please email me with your dates (

Mr. Lescott's crew have done such a tremendous job. Everything is built to perfection. I wish we had more craftsmen like them in England.

Here's the groundbreaking with Tim and
Mr. Lescott on hand.

That was in September.

The roof was put on last week.

Ram has begun painting...

...And soon this will be the view you can have!...

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Our Neighbourhood

The lane in front of Butler's House was once the island's Main Road, bustling with activity from dawn to dusk. It's now a quiet village lane, dotted with charming chattel houses, whose beginnings certainly pre-date my birth.

Homes that can easily be dismantled or moved, chattel houses were much favoured by plantation workers who could literally take their homes with them when leaving a job.

A lane leading to the sea...

A local watering hole...

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Love Dove's

Two Love Dove's (Mourning Doves) joined us this week on the front veranda, building what looks to be their first home together. Like most new couples, they've had their share of spats...strutting around with one wing and battling it out. Then one sits atop the other and all seems well...

They've been having some difficulty building the nest with twigs falling through the cracks.

We haven't seen them all day; I fear they're searching for better accommodations. Here's a pic of one caught while surveying the property!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Whale Watching from Butler's

We had front row seats to a spectacular show today. Humpback whales are now making their way past Nevis and we have fabulous views from our front veranda. Their annual trek past Nevis takes place from January through April during their courtship and mating rituals.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Resident Crab

Apparently, we have a resident crab who calls home the top of our drive.

I caught first glimpse of him last November when we were clearing up the tree trimmings...

There have been other sightings since then by guests...all in the same place. This is either a land crab or hermit crab, also known as a soldier crab. Based on where this one lives, he's probably a hermit crab. They are scavengers, feeding on dead leaves and branches, adding essential ingredients and helping the environment, according to local expert Jim Johnson.

Regardless of its contributions, we may have to start charging rent soon!

Agricultural Show

Sadly, we missed this year's Agricultural Show. Now in its 16th year, we went for the first time last year with neighbour Rodwick Griffiths.

It's held in March and promotes the value of local agriculture to further developing and strengthening Nevis' economy. For us, it was just a great way to get closer to Nevis.

Last year we consumed an abundance of gorgeous food--so much to choose from. Even had my first lesson from a Nevisian on getting served when one among many. Just push through and be bold. Otherwise, you'll go hungry...

We were surrounded by beautiful faces....

and glorious home grown fruit and veg....

with entertainment provided by some very enthusiastic dancers from the local schools.

Hopefully, we'll make it next year...

Cattle Grazing & Ghaut Exploring

This is how all of the surrounding Butler's House property looked when Tim and I first bought the place in 2005.

Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined that as recently as 30-40 years ago, the land Butler's House sits on was cleared and cattle could be seen grazing on the terraces above the house. But, it's true as we were told by neighbour Dennis Small. What a site that must have been...

So now we know that Butler's fertile ground has not only reaped cotton and indigo, it also has sustained animals... beyond just the insatiable green monkeys.
Add to that the chicken coop once located in the cellar and a whole new picture of Butler's emerges...

At one time, Butler's also boasted a land filled with luscious mango trees, many located around the ghaut that Tim is standing in (with machette at the ready) on the western edge of the property.

Our plan is to tidy the area up a bit to let more light in, bringing back those once prolific mango trees and, to carve out an interesting and easy to navigate path to the top of our boundary and beyond, up the mountain.