Monthly Archives: April 2021

Blacktip Island Designer Creates Island-Themed Feng Shui

Washed-ashore debris is central to the island-themed décor local interior designer Paloma Fairlead calls her new ‘funky shui’ look. (photo courtesy of Paloma Fairlead)

A Blacktip Island interior designer Wednesday unveiled a new decorative esthetic combining Taoist principles for harmonious living with locally-sourced decorating elements.

“It’s a riff on classical feng shui,” Paloma Fairlead said. “Feng shui, literally, means ‘wind’ and ‘water,’ and Blacktip’s got plenty of both. I took the principles of feng shui and gave them a Blacktip twist. It’s a natural fit. I’m calling it ‘funky shui.’

“Using local items and sensibilities is the quickest way to bring harmony into your island home,” Fairlead said. “Instead of a ‘bagua’ map of energy areas, we use a ‘wah gwan’ map to channel island energies.”

Clients praised the move.

“I was dubious at first, when Paloma was going on about five elements and a commanding position and not having plants with pointy leaves and whatnot,” Wendy Beaufort said. “But now that the renovation’s complete, it’s stunning. Words truly fail me.

“Paloma tacked some washed-up black coral all over one wall, then scattered some sea beans and swaths of ghost nets on the other side of the room, and I felt the tension wash right out of me,” Beaufort said. “It smells a bit gamey, but that’s part of the feel, Paloma says.”

Some residents dismissed the newfound esthetic.

“Frankly, it looks like Paloma simply threw some beach rubbish on the walls,” Reg Gurnard said. “I’m all for using local products, and I wish Paloma the best, but I’m not in a hurry to decorate my home with washed up shoes and bits of broken plastic. I guess if that’s your vibe, though, have at it.

“What’s most striking is the sheer stench of it,” Gurnard said. “‘Funk’ is an apt descriptor for that wall of smell. Some of the decorations are still alive. Or were recently.”

Fairlead defended the design’s aromatic aspects.

“Funky shui is designed to engage all five senses,” she said. “Smell is an important aspect to that. We do live on a small island, after all. Bringing that sea smell inside makes one feel more integrated with the land and the sea.

“It may seem odd at first, but it creates a very peaceful environment,” Fairlead said. “I have clients lining up, and quite the long waiting list.”

Eager clients agreed.

“I’m on the list, but I couldn’t wait to have a taste of funky shui,” Herring Frye said. “I tried a DIY project with dried turtle grass and sea fans in my living room, and the energy levels are just night-and-day different. I feel so much more positive and energized. I can’t wait until Paloma can do my house in full and I can get the complete effect.”

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Happy Wednesday!

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Blacktip Island Weather

Sunday, April 4, 2021
Temperature: 77
Humidity 62%
Precipitation – Not today

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Possible Thylacine Sighting Has Blacktip Island Residents Abuzz

A photo a Blacktip Island hiker captured Thursday, showing what he claims is an extinct Tasmanian tiger. (photo courtesy of Lee Helm)

A pair of Blacktip Island residents exploring the small Caribbean island’s rugged interior Thursday captured an image of what they claim is a long-thought-extinct thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger.

“We was out in the bush, looking for ghost orchids, when all of a sudden this thing just exploded out of the bushes,” Lee Helm said. “Me and Alison barely spotted it before it bolted off through that thick underbrush. Just had time to get the one photo, but it’s definitely a Tasmanian tiger. Nothing else it could be.

“There’s been reports of them popping up all over the world lately,” Helm said. “Just a matter of time before one came to Blacktip. They’re a migratory species, you know.”

Alison Diesel corroborated the story.

“It was plain as the nose on my face,” she said. “I only wish people’d stop saying it was spotted. It had stripes. Duh. And if there’s one, you know there’s more. That tangley brush on the bluff is the perfect place for them to hide. There’s plenty to eat, too, with iguanas and the landfill chickens.”

The island’s scientific community questioned the sighting.

“There are no records of any thylacines outside Tasmania for nearly 100 years,” wildlife biologist Fozzy Kritter said. “They’ve been extinct since the 1930s. And Tasmania’s an island on the other side of the globe. How would they migrate? Build a raft? There’s also been no verified thylacine sightings, or bones or skulls found, anywhere between Tasmania and here. I don’t know what Lee and Alison were smoking. Or photographed. It was probably a feral cat. In the photo, I mean.”

Helm and Diesel stood by their claims.

“Fozzy’s just hacked he didn’t see it first,” Diesel said. “And of course it didn’t build a raft. That makes zero sense. It hopped on a cargo ship. All kinds of exotic animals get here that way.

“Thylacines are quite clever,” Helm said. “Why do you reckon there’s none left in Tasmania? They knew folks were hunting them and hid in shipping containers. The next time this container was opened was here on Blacktip. No great mystery. And it’s not a Tasmanian tiger anymore. This is a Blacktip Tiger now.”

Diesel said the pair have launched plans to further substantiate their claim.

“We set up trail cameras all through that patch of jungle, and around the dump,” she said. “Only photos we got so far, though, were of Dermott Bottoms and James Conlee crawling on all fours, both drunk as skunks.

“We’re building live-capture traps, too,” she said. “Big enough to catch a tiger, but let the cats and iguanas and what-have-yous slip out.”

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