Today our RNA tree is adorned with Judy Astley's Grenadian Angel....
My favourite tree ornament isn’t a very old one. She’s a black angel dolly from Grenada and we’ve only had her for four years.
Jon and I are very boring about holidays. Every year we end up, in late November, at the same hotel on the island of Grenada, meeting and having a great sunny time with the same bunch of people.
On our first visit we went to a small shopping mall and discovered a gallery called Art Grenada where we both fell in love with the vibrant naïve paintings of Canute Caliste (http://tinyurl.com/bnbbyqq)who lived on the nearby island of Carriacou. The gallery owner was called Richard. He was the thinnest, most unhealthy-looking speciment of humanity we’d ever seen but his enthusiasm and knowledge of Caribbean art was tremendous. Gradually, thanks to Richard, our Caliste painting collection grew and a gallery visit was a high point of each holiday.
In 2004, Hurricane Ivan devastated the whole of Grenada and it was three years till we returned. The shopping mall was still there but the Art Grenada premises were now empty. In a gift shop next door I asked about Richard. ‘Oh he passed away.’ The lady told me sadly, ‘He wasn’t well for a long time.’ I knew him only through those annual visits but his death made me terribly sad. I thanked the lady and, with Richard very much in mind, I bought this Christmas angel from her and took her home.
You can follow Judy on Twitter here.
And her latest book is available from the the 5th January....