Why work from homers are buying in Barbados

Life in the world’s newest republic is sweet. It’s peak season in Barbados, and another wave of Covid hasn’t stopped the rum sundowners flowing on the Caribbean island’s sugar-sand beaches. Given half the chance, many of us might well prefer to spend January wafting between beachfront restaurants and sun loungers, as the packed front-end of planes heading there during December have proved. Many of the island’s predominantly British holiday home owners have been heading to their properties on the West Coast of the island – and there will be no doubt a few villas changing hands too. ‘In the early stages of the pandemic there were a few nervous owners worrying whether

Will the end of monarchy in Barbados spark a chain reaction?

As of this week, the Queen is down to 15 thrones, after the royal standard was lowered in Barbados in the early hours of Tuesday morning. A presidential flag now flies there. Elizabeth II still remains, by some margin, the host with the most in terms of square miles per head of state. Presidents Xi, Biden and Putin do not come close to the Queen of Canada, Australia and Papua New Guinea plus a chunk of Antarctica, little old Britain and all the rest of her realms and territories. Depending on how much ocean you include, she remains Sovereign of somewhere between an eighth and a sixth of the Earth’s

China’s growing influence over the Commonwealth’s armies

On Monday in the city of Bridgetown, Prince Charles will be forced to witness the spectacle of Barbados officially becoming a republic as it removes the Queen as its head of state. The former British colony became independent in 1966, but last year the country’s Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that the country would have its own president, though it will remain a member of the Commonwealth. The decision appears to have been influenced to some degree by China’s activities. Barbados has signed up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), while an office to facilitate investment in Barbados has opened in Beijing. Prime Minister Mia Mottley calls President Xi ‘very

Did I give Russ Abbot Covid?

For the past few weeks there’s been a 7 p.m. curfew in Barbados as part of what the government calls a ‘national pause’ (lockdown, essentially). I’m actually grateful because it’s been manic lately. The excitement started with the visit of Captain Sir Tom Moore in December. I was commissioned by a golfing group called the ‘Sandy Lane Swingers’ to write and perform a song, ‘Marching on to Victory’, at a charity lunch. It’s a jaunty tune, composed by my co-writer Jeremy Limb, with a singalong at the end. Captain Tom joined in, waving his napkin in the air. As an encore I sang a verse of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’