No Run Is a Bad Run

Today I am blogging about my running. Yes I run. I run to lose weight and to keep mentally and emotionally balanced. I run in the foothills of Jamaica’s Blue Mountain & John Crow Mountains National Park. Nothing beats rising at dawn and running up and down these mountains slopes, as I did for this morning’s 8 km.

First run of 2021

That’s the ideal situation. The fact is, between October to December I ran a grand total of 6 km (and that was on Tuesday). This is a substantial decline compared to May to September, when I ran over 330 km. The highpoint was the seven weeks in May/June when I ran a total of 167 km after I got the all-clear from my cardiologist (that’s another story).

Why the decline? As we all know, 2020 was a very unsettling year. Running helped me to face the challenges, and when I was running I was coping. I was on top of my teaching and my PhD research. I was a happier, less stressed person.

Then September came with a spike in the COVID-19 numbers in Jamaica. This resulted in all classes being taught online, and paused my PhD research. I had to readjust and figure out how to teach four different photography courses online, which left no time for research. I found myself in a vicious cycle. I was too mentally and physically exhausted to run, but because I was not running I remained mentally and physically exhausted. And of course, I gained all of the weight that I lost in summer.

Fast forward to the Christmas break. Thank God I have been able to get some rest, and I have run twice this week. My times are down from my peak of last year, but I’m glad that I’m back at it. After all, based on what I intend to achieve in 2021, running is an integral part of my physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Who knows, I might continue to share my progress – watch this space.

Thank You God (of Photography)

 My journey isn’t the typical journey,

When you think of “A Photographer”.


When you think of “A Photographer”

You think of having a studio, 

You think of working for a newspaper,

You think of shooting weddings.

My journey isn’t the typical journey.


I have been blessed because of Photography.


I have travelled to Europe, Asia and Africa.

I have covered disasters, famine and civil war.

I have exhibited in Russia.

I have presented papers in Barbados and Cyprus.

I have mentored, motivated and inspired countless young Jamaicans.

And more…


I went to Austria to test-drive BMWs.

I went to Bonn to represent Jamaica and witness Jamaica.

I went to China for my Masters.

I went to Delhi to learn about heritage conservation.

I went to the East Midlands to learn to teach.

And more….


I have been blessed because of Photography.


Who has blessed me?

The God of Photography.


Who led me:

From Finance to Photography

From Media to Academia

From Meadowbrook to Mexico


The God of All.

Thank you.

Ephesians 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Birding at River Breeze

I’ve always enjoyed photographing birds, although I don’t consider myself a “bird photographer”. This is because I lack both the patience and specialized equipment required to excel in this type of photography. However, for over 10 years I have owned a small cottage in the community buffer zone of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park (BJCMNP) a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The BJCMNP was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a mixed property in 2015 for its natural and cultural heritage. One of the reasons for this is the large variety of birds that can be found in these mountains.

A Red-Billed Streamer-tail Hummingbird, nestled in a Blue Mahoe Flower. February 2019.

River Breeze Cottage is located in the community of Cascade at an altitude of 700 metres above sea level and is located in the vicinity of Hardwar Gap which is a popular bird-watching site. This results in a large variety of both endemic species and migrant species on the property, which is less than an acre in size. On a wet and rainy Monday, Dr. Suzanne Davis of the Institute of Jamaica was able to identify over 24 species in less than three hours.

Jamaican Woodpecker. February 2019.
Vervain Hummingbird. August 2019. 

These included the ubiquitious Red-Billed Streamer-tailed hummingbird, an endemic species that is the national bird of Jamaica. Also present is Jamaica’s smallest hummingbird, the Vervain Hummingbird. Other endemics include the Jamaican Tody, the Jamaican Woodpecker, the Jamaican Euphoria, the Jamaican Spindalis and the White-Chinned Thrush. In the distance I saw a Chestnut-Bellied Cuckoo, and Suzanne was able to identify  the Yellow-Shouldered Grassquit  by its birdsong. These birds are found only in Jamaica, and I am blessed to be able to view them in my small patch of paradise. 

Black-Throated Blue Warbler. December 2009

Smooth-Billed Ani. December 2016

Apart from the endemics, Jamaica receives migrant species during both the winter and summer months.  Among the former is the Black-Throated Blue Warbler, while the Black-Whiskered Vireo is a summer visitor. Suzanne was able to identify the latter from its characteristic bird-call, which sounds like “John-Chew-It” (hence its local name). Of course, I was totally unable to distinguish such sounds. Other birds that can be found in the garden include the Smooth-Billed Ani, the Loggerhead Kingbird, Bananaquits, the Black-Faced Grassquit, the White-Crowned Pigeon and the Rufous-Throated Solitaire. 

So, these are just a few of the birds that can be found at River Breeze Cottage. Needless to say, I believe that I will be doing more bird watching and bird photography. I’ve already bought a pair of binoculars and I might even invest in some new camera lenses. I’m not sure about acquiring the patience though…

Bananaquit. February 2019.

Sad Flycatcher. December  2009



River Breeze Cottage