'Damit (sic), Just as I got my room how I want it and now another huricane (sic) is coming,' writes my little niece from the Cayman Islands as I am clearing up last night's dinner party. Hurricane Dean is not forecast to hit the island until tomorrow but it seems very strange that as I get ready to go blackberrrying here in France, where there is blue (ish) sky and a pleasant breeze, my brother and his family are battening down the hatches and stocking up on bottled water in the Caribbean. Or at least that's what I hope they are doing. My brother has a very relaxed attitude to danger. Until hurricane Ivan swept away the beach outside his apartment and deposited tons of debris in the swimming pool when it hit Grand Cayman in 2004, he had always made a point of ignoring hurricane warnings.
On hearing of hurricane Dean, brother No 2 phoned immediately to offer him the use of his vacant apartment in NY but it was already too late to book a flight off the island. Most people with any sense, it seems, left at the first hint of the 'H' word fearing not just the 145 km per hour winds but the aftermath - phone lines and electricity supplies down, unstable buildings etc Hurricane Dean sounds quite serious - the people of Jamaica have been badly hit - but I'm hoping that it will somehow bypass the Caymans tomorrow, as they are only just recovering from the last hit.