As so often happens on vacation, you’re in the same hotel as someone who you don’t really get chatting to until the last day. On my last day in Punta Gorda, a guy asked about the the baseball cap I was wearing (replica 1901 Cincinnati Reds). Got chatting with him and his wife, Cubs fans and producers of radio documentaries for NPR. He and his pals take trips to old minor league ballparks, so we had a nice wee chat about that.
After leaving Punta Gorda, it was a swift 90 minute journey north to a wee village called Maya Beach on the peninsula of Placencia in the Stann Creek district. Placencia is pretty much a few hundred feet of beach either side of a road. On the western side is a lagoon, on the eastern side, the Caribbean Sea. Ever since those damn pirate films, I’ve pronounced the name of the sea, Ca-RIBB-ean, not the way I was taught to say it, Carib-BE-an. Fuck you, Johnny Depp. (But not fuck you Keira Knightley, although, come to think of it, take the harsh tone of those words, and, y’know, yes please.)
Dumped my bag in the room, opened the clips, stuck one arm in the top, rooted around like I was artificially inseminating a cow, eventually found my swimming costume. Before dashing out to the sea to have a flap around, I stood by the water having a smoke. Wondered what I could use as an ash can while I’m here so I don’t litter the beach with fag ends, and, as the mind is wont to do, I suddenly started thinking about the ash can outside a bar in Bellingham called Cap Hansen’s. A nice wee place, a place I got drunk several times, and a key place in the relationship with my ex. And also, I presume, punningly named after a racist baseball player, Cap Anson. (It amuses me a little that there’s all the talk about if players who took performance enhancing drugs can get in the Hall of Fame, yet someone who was kinda instrumental in setting up racial segregation in baseball is in the Hall of Fame.)
A relaxing day ensued. All topped off with what most relaxing days yards away from the lapping sounds of the Caribbean should end with: watching a replay of the whole of the 1976 FA Cup final between Southampton and Manchester United.