I'm not dancing on my own, of course, but with gorgeous George, eldest son of one of the island's sugar plantation families. We came across him when he stopped off at our hotel for Sunday lunch with a few friends. One minute Jane and I were sitting at the next table gossiping about some friend in the City and wondering why these fair-skinned boys were talking like rastas, and the next George had leant over to us and asked in terribly polite public-school accents whether he overheard us say we worked in the City.
It turns out he's taking a year off after Eton and before university where he's going to do a business degree, so he's terribly keen to hear about City life. When his friends leave, he stays, saying he hopes we don't mind him bothering us. "Darling," murmurs Jane so softly only I can hear, "if you keep gazing at my friend like that, she'll soon be bothering you back."
So we spend the afternoon sitting by the pool while George asks us what it's like working in finance. The strange thing is that, because Jane and I are no longer bone-deep tired, we remember the good things: being able to afford to buy a flat, meals out, taxis, beautiful clothes, champagne, opera tickets, fabulous holidays. In short, never having to fret about funds at all. "Even the bank wants to lend me money now that I don't need it," I say.
On the other hand, as we point out, it's lucky we're sill here this week. Last week we were hunting for MTV and accidentally caught BBC World television, so we knew the stock markets had gone loopy. We thought we might have to rush back to work, but by the time I got through to the office everything was fine again. Anyway, Rory said, if the last crash was anything to go by, all any of us would have been doing was pricing everything so outrageously only a lunatic would go ahead and deal or, better still, not answering the phone at all.
Well, says George, he's glad we're here, and do we want to go out with him and some friends tonight? Which is how we come to be at the Coconut Cove. The top local soca band, Meltdown, have been on stage for the past hour. Jane's somewhere in the mass of bodies with Tom, one of George's friends, and I'm dancing hip-to-hip (you can't dance to soca any other way) with the boy himself. Even better, there's no chance of being pestered by those obnoxious futures traders Darren and Bobby, who are also staying at our hotel. This place is far too... local for them.
And then I see them: arms flailing, bodies twitching, no sense of rhythm, the unmistakable signs of Englishmen dancing. Even worse, they see me and George and start to struggle through the crowd towards us. I'd like to say that I've nothing against Darren and Bobby, but it wouldn't be true. I can't bear the pair of them, and Jane and I have spent most of our waking hours trying to avoid them. It's not hard; you can find out where they've gone by following the trail their knuckles leave in the dust. Added to that, they're so used to making themselves heard in the pit that they're incapable of talking at normal volume, so you can hear them a mile off.
These shouted, alcohol-fuelled conversations are either about girls they've slept with (though they don't phrase it like that), or unfunny plays on "life" and Liffe. It's as if someone has told them that there's one joke that hasn't been made about that, and they're hoping to find it by a process of elimination. Hmm, says Jane, the missing links looking for the missing pun.
So I'm not in the least surprised when Darren finally reaches me across the dance floor and says "Life, eh. Here's to the future," before passing out at my feet. Well, that's Liffe for you ...Reuse content