Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kevin, Irene, Andrew & Jocelyn

This might have been the last summer that Kevin, Irene and the children were able to spend a couple weeks out on Trunk Island. Kevin has been going to the island every summer since he was born, and before that, his father and brothers used to go to the main house during the war years and throughout the 40s with their family. Each winter, when they would gaze across the water from the Aquarium and could see the island, Andrew and Jocelyn always ask the same question Kevin asked of his parents - "how long until summer?" For this family, Trunk island is what summer is all about. It is about innocent fun with no tvs, computer games or play stations. It is old fashioned fun where they have friends over every day, summing until it gets dark, and then swimming some more. Spending time in the boat, scaring each other as it gets dark down the winding leafy paths, fishing, barbeques, staying up late and using up all the sun warmed water at the outdoor shower so those after only have the cold water. That is Trunk Island and that is what summer means to this family.

The island is magical and one can imagine just how life was like in old Bermuda, before electricity and the amenities of modern day life. The little beaches offer hours of entertainment to the children and the secret winding paths that lead all over the island give the two a sense of independence now that they know their way around.

Andrew and Jocelyn are so very different in many ways, but in some ways, they are quite similar. They are both quiet, shy, soft spoke and sensitive children. They love to be with their friends and aim to please.

Andrew is more the compromiser who doesn't want conflict of any sort. He doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body, though can still be very competitive when he is in the mood. He is extremely inquisitive and loves science.

Jocelyn is a born competitor and loves to win and is not so keen on losing! She wants things done her way or not at all and carries herself very confidently, albeit quietly. She adores her big brother and as he father puts it, "worships the ground he walks on!"

The main house on the island is where another family live, but they were kind enough to invite the kids over for a little play on the hammock on the terrace while I was there - such fun. These friends who live in the big house have said that they never want to hear that the children have been told they can't go somewhere on the island so the kids have taken full advantage of this and wander between the two houses. Andrew has already decided that when he is able, he would like to buy both houses himself!

This palmetto forest is one of the last naturally occurring endemic Bermuda palmetto stands remaining in Bermuda. Kevin spent his childhood running and hiding up there and now his children are making similar memories. It may look like just any other set of trees, but if you stand there for a moment, you can truly see how different they are and how much they stand out from everything else - they epitomise Bermuda's natural beauty.

The cottage where the family stays is so magical. It is very basic and full of charm. Kevin tells mad stories of when he was a child and what went on between those walls and I imagine his own children might tell similar stories to their children.

This is the darling outdoor shower - aren't the plastic rubbish bags hilarious at an attempt at privacy?

When the family is out on Trunk Island, they spend most of their time at the beach or in the water. The kids are part of the beach and build sand sculptures and furniture, castles and tunnels. They chase the crabs in the shallows, keep a look out for the turtles that feed off the beach and watch the Longtails fly in to feed their chicks. They have grown from babies sitting on the water's edge to confident swimmers with masks and snorkels diving down to collect bottles from the sea floor.

Thank you Kevin, Irene, Andrew and Jocelyn for sharing your magical island with me. It is such a special place and you have shared so many incredible times out there. I do hope this wasn't your last summer out there, but if it was, thank you for inviting me to document your enchanting summers. xxx

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