Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Rocky Island Picture Show - Part Three

There were rocks we used to climb and play on when we were kids. There was one at the end of of Trunk Bay. It would be located in the foreground of this picture but is not visible.

We kids called it Mush and Porridge Rock. How, why it got that name I have no idea. It was probably a good six or seven feet tall.

At high tide the water swirling around it was deep enough that we could jump off it. But we did more than just jump.

We had a game. We took turns being "it." Whoever was it called out the jump that had to be made. It went like this, "Mush and porridge, cannon ball!" And everyone would have to do a cannon ball. Then the next person would say something like, "Mush and porridge, dancing girl!" And you'd have to see how many can-can kicks you could do before you hit the water. Then it might be "Mush and porridge, belly flop!" Or "Mush and porridge, do the twist!" Or "Mush and porridge, sit like an Indian!" The object was to see how many different ways we could jump off the rock before we ran out of ideas. The first person who repeated him/herself was "the looser."

There is up at Gifft Hill a huge massive tumble of giant stones. It is hidden in the bush. The stones are like a huge cairn and form a cave. One slab-like rock is the floor. On either side of the bottom slab are boulders taller than a man. Resting on top of them, at an angle, is another huge slab. Imagine a clam, it has that kind of shape. The cave formed isn't all that big, but still, it's a cave. Our neighbor Old Man Heber Thomas told us slaves who had escaped into the bush (called maroons) used to hide out there.

It was easy to imagine. The rock cave, though uncomfortable, would have provided some shelter from rain and storms. Down the steep hill-side, not all that far away, is the ghut my sister and I explored that has water in it year round. Maroons would have had access to the water. They could even have grown a few food plants. Near the cave we found an iron hoe used by the slaves in the fields with a genip tree growing through the place where the wooden handle would have been. If the tree has survived I suspect that hoe has been completely encased. I seem to remember there being a aura about the place of people, of things having happened there.

On the North Shore Road of St. John is a large volcanic granite boulder called Easter Rock. Legend has it that early every Easter morning it climbs down the hill and takes a bath in the sea. But you have to up very early, and it happens so fast (faster than the blink of an eye) you can miss the event. In fact no one has ever seen Easter Rock go down to the sea for a sea bath, except the one person who first told the story. But that was so long ago no one remembers the name of the person who saw it happen.

Then there's Carvel Rock, probably named after its resemblance to a caravelle or carvel, a type of ship in the 1700s and 1800s. It's a huge mass of rock, 67 feet tall and 65 yards wide.

Carvel Rock is our family headstone. My grandmother and father are out there. Next year my sister Erva and I will put Mom (who died in April) out there as well. When it's our turn we both plan to be out there too. We'll be with good company, Dr. Oppenheimer and his wife Kitty are out there along with several other people we know.

No flowers needed, no grave up-keep, no concern that someone might come along and vandalize your headstone.

A giant natural cairn.

It'll be there for a long, long time.

Friday is Blog Action Day. The topic is WATER, that wonderful mysterious substance that makes up about two thirds of our bodies and covers about two thirds of our planet. (Coincidence?) So far there 3,224 bloggers registered in 122 countries, with a combined readership of over 25,000,000 people. (That's twenty-five MILLION!) The White House and the UK Foreign Office will also be participating. Come and join me in this world wide GIANT BLOGGING EXPERIMENT. You can register here. It's painless, I promise.


  1. Blog Action day sounds insane!!! What are you doing? Just talking about WATER? How cool to be involved in something SO BIG! Hmm... I think I might be crazy enough to join in with you, if I had more information.

    As far as the rest of the blog post, your photos are spectacular and what amazing memories you have of all the rocks!!! Super special, not to mention the images of the water is spectacular! What a beautiful place to rest when everyone passes on!

  2. What a gorgeous, gorgeous place for kids to grow up.

    I'm very nervous about Friday. For reasons I'm even too nervous to divulge, this topic scares the livin' daylights out of me.

  3. Beautiful descriptions as always. I like the image of the tree growing up through the hoe.

  4. You grew up in paradise. Imaginations can run wild there, whether you're a kid or an adult.

    I love that your whole family will rest at sea. Beautiful.

  5. I love your pictures and stories. I'm fascinating by interesting rocks and how wind and weather shapes them.

  6. Wow, I want to switch childhoods with you. "Mush and porridge, SWITCH!" :)

  7. Wow, that's beautiful. I'd love that to be my final resting place - it's so natural.

  8. As always your childhood memories are precious, something to have forever. Like that giant rock and all that it signifies.

  9. Wow, I love your island! What a lovely final resting place, that would a wonderful view for eternity. ;)

    And I shall pop along to check out Blog Action day. It sounds huge!


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!