The Holidays in Mustique: You Gotta Be a Kid, by Mary Wells



Photo Courtesy of Mary Wells

Our Gypsy has found a few square miles of heaven on earth, where the big thinking stays away for the holidays.


It’s true – Mustique is full of people who have thought their way to great successes. But they turn those brain cells off when they hit Macaroni Beach, a stretch on the West Indian private island of Mustique, in the Grenadines. To read the story of Mary’s wonderful history with Mustique, click here.

There is something Harry Potter in the air that makes everybody young in Mustique. Even though there are mammoth yachts swaying in the currents of Mustique Bay, the owners are on the beach painting tee shirts and singing Italian songs or diving through waves. For these few days, nobody is thinking about the money spent to get economies back on track or if we should be investing yet another round. Nobody is worried about Chinese finance. Nobody is talking about mini-tablets – or why advertisers don’t understand the seductive intimacy of the Web vs. television. Nobody is worried about water except about how big the waves are. Nobody is complaining about the messy security at the airlines. Nobody is worried about Botox or hamburger e-coli or who can bring back those lovely Madoff results – and replace those horrible losses.


Nobody has an eye out for “names” either, like Mick Jagger and L’Wren Scott or Tommy Hilfiger or Bill Gates or Bryan Adams or Tom Ford, and nobody gives a woof about who is on Larry Ellison’s and David Geffen’s boat or who is at Lawrence Stroll’s gorgeous house. That’s St. Bart’s stuff and St. Tropez stuff. Mustique is not for name collectors. It is where you find some of your misspent youth. It’s a replacement for a face-lift. It’s so fairy-tale you can almost feel years dropping off. You feel sweet. You smell sweet. You think sweet. There is the occasional fight, but it is childish.

Mornings you walk the green hills and flatten your tummy and firm your thighs before taking on the waves. Evenings you spend dancing like a teenager. This New Year’s Eve, the band remembered the funky “Oops Upside Your Head” from the ’70s and, as expected, we danced to it sitting on the floor in rows and “rowing” right and left, laughing until our ribs hurt too much to go on. It’s an English song, but a lot of countries were sitting on that dance floor, laughing the night away while singing “Oops Upside Y0ur Head” in German, Swedish and Spanish.

And always, always in Mustique there are the breezes from the shimmering evening sea to cool you and the masses of stars at night to light your way. Always you can count on the best sleep you’ve had since you were a kid.

Colin Tennant, the 3rd Baron Glenconner, bought Mustique in 1958 with the idea that Mustique would be a happy playground for his close friends who were royalty and living on leashes. He spent a fortune and many years creating an atmosphere of fun and frolic, a never-ending house party for those friends, for example Princess Margaret – oh, they all have been here – friends caught up in life’s major responsibilities who sometimes are deeply in need of laughs and light talk and lullaby sleeping.

We celebrated Colin these holidays. We unveiled a Philip Jackson statue of him here on a small hill overlooking the island. I wasn’t sure about that statue until the veil was dropped, but there indeed stood a second Colin –Lord Glenconner, the magician who will stand on that hill reminding us that he created Mustique to cheer our spirits and deepen our friendships and insure our laughs. And, for Heaven’s sakes, to leave our worries at home and not bring them to Mustique between Christmas and New Year’s.

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