Howling at the Moon

Written by: ANGELA COLEBY

 

We live next to a National Trust building in the middle of the island and before we moved in, we thought that the only noise we would have to encounter in this fairly isolated area would be the coaches of Hawaiian-clad cruise ship visitors from time to time. Thankfully, they are normally in and out within 15 minutes and the tours seem to stop by 4pm, so we didn’t think it would be an issue and went forward with the lease.

When the keys to our new abode were handed over to us by the landlord, he happened to mention a monthly event that he thought we should be aware of. He said that every Friday closest to the full moon, there would be howling. Yes, you read that right – howling. Thinking this was just an odd exaggeration (he was British too, after all, so we assumed he had a similar sense of humour to us), we just laughed it off, took the keys, and didn’t give it another thought.

Then came our first full moon in the new house.

Angela house full moon_WWLOR

On the first Friday nearest the full moon, we were sitting outside watching the sunset and sipping reasonably-sized glasses of rum. All was peaceful as usual, life was good, and we settled into the evening with the fading light. Suddenly, cars started to gather outside and people began flocking to the National Trust site. We weren’t used to seeing any nighttime activity, so we were immediately intrigued, particularly when we spotted a couple of men in what we thought was fancy dress (costumed, for you Americans).

Suddenly, the sounds of drums and trumpets echoed around us as the sun disappeared on the horizon. Meh, we thought and continued on with our rum, assuming that it was simply the start of yet another island function. We went on with our evening.

Then, about 30 to 40 minutes later, the sound of people howling echoed throughout the night sky, startling us to our core and sending our cats running for their lives.

As it turns out, our landlord was not kidding around. This monthly event, appropriately known as “The Howling”, gives people an opportunity to gather together for drinks, mingling, and – you guessed it – howling at the moon as they see its ascent. The men we thought were in fancy dress were actually in a very old traditional uniform and were the ones playing the drums and trumpets. They do this as the sun sets with the howlers starting their nighttime chorus when they see the moon. The main surprise though? Not a werewolf in sight!

full moon Barbados_WWLOR

Every month, this madness occurs. Though I find it rather amusing, I’m always grateful that it does not go on until the early hours of the morning, nor does it involve any ritual sacrifice. Just a happy crowd of wine-drinking and canapé-munching howlers.

I must say, when we moved here, I never could have anticipated such a cultural quirk. I’ve lived in a lot of places and seen a lot of crazy things, but this one is most definitely a first. Is it the island, or just us and our canny ability to find the crazy and eccentric wherever we go?

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Angela Coleby

About Angela Coleby

Barbados is the second expat experience for Angela, as she had previously lived in Dubai for 5 years. Although she is more than acclimatized to the heat of Barbados after the heat of the desert, she is still in a state of shock over the lack of shopping malls. After becoming used to skating, watching skiers whilst sipping a cocktail, looking at a massive aquarium, or visiting the state of the art cinema in a super-sized Dubai mall, she has had to retire her shopping "diva", only allowing her back out for annual visits to the UK when an extra suitcase is mandatory.

Angela's expat jaunts are a result of being a "trailing spouse" and being dragged from one lovely location to another. How she copes is still a mystery to her friends and there is talk amongst them of setting up a charity to support her hard life. She soldiers on in true British fashion, with a stiff upper lip as she sips another rum whilst watching the sunset or walking on the beach. She is truly a brave soldier.

She is an avid food blogger which keeps her busy and stops the full on crazy from settling in. If you hear a loud British swear in the vegetable section of a local supermarket, it will be her, gasping at the cost of cauliflower. As a creator of low carb and gluten-free recipes, she had an initial struggle to find all the ingredients she needed for her cooking. This resulted in her setting up the Barbados Gluten Free website ( www.barbadosglutenfree.com/)as a guide for all those living on and visiting the island. She did the 6 hour drive in research just for you! When a geeky girl is bored, she sets up a website.

The best thing about living on the island is that she finally has the opportunity to have a couple of dogs. Although she already had two cats (which came out with her), she could never really have dogs back in London or Dubai, as she was working full time. Now that she "works from home", she has adopted two dogs from the Ark Animal Shelter and a cat she found scavenging in her bins. A lovely long beach walk with her girls is the best start and end to the day! For more of Angela's island adventures, check out her blog, www.anotherrumpunch.com/.

CURRENT ROCK OF RESIDENCE: Barbados

ISLAND GIRL SINCE: 2013

ORIGINALLY HAILS FROM: London, UK

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6 thoughts on “Howling at the Moon

  1. Your biography is very humorous, too!

    Maybe we will make moon-howling a new tradition on our rock — in another section of the island from where I live, of course!

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