Friday, 23 July 2021

My smiling place.

Dear Friends,

I stumble 'pon a video the other night about a' unusual study. The psychiatry department of Harvard Medical School been doing a study about what makes a good life. 

Yes, I know, that ain't unusual. Every talk and she tv show does have discussions about this.

But this Harvard study is different. Nobody else do one like it, as far as I know.

For 75 years, since they make that TED talk video...I guess it would be 80 years now...they choose a little over 700 men, and they look into everything in their lives.

You can check it out here, if you want: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KkKuTCFvzI

What the study discover didn't surprise me.

For some time, after I go back home to my lovely native land, I been doing this study in me own way, on me self, and on people around me.  Me conscious self recognise what me heart did already know. The healthy relationships we build, the community we create with caring people...that is the secret to a good life.

A couple o' years before moving home, while still living in The Island, me and a friend had a discussion about it. 

I did tell she that being around family does make me happy. She say that family can be abusive, and, instead of blood family, you can build a family with friends. I say, friends alone ain't enough. And so we went, back and forth.

Truth is, both of we is right. Family sure can have some toxic people. And friends ain't always enough.

The series that I working on, starting from the home, is me study on this. Instead of presenting it like essay though, I try to show it, paint pictures with me words.


In me mind, I got  a list of things I want always in me smiling place:

Good health.

Healthy relationships.

A rich community life.

Books.

Art.

Music.

A garden to work in.

Fruit. 

Veggies.

Bed.

Roof over me head.

Nature.

What is your list, dear Friends? What do you need in your smiling place?

And what you do when you' loved one(s) drive you up the wall and 'round the bend?

Stay safe, stay healthy and happy.

Plenty lurve, neena xx.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Dancing by the window.

Dear Friends,

Y'all ever feel you' insides dancin' for no reason? 

Sometimes, walkin' late afternoon under trees with Ma, where the coolin' sunlight stream through branches, and decorate we faces like gold ribbon, I do a li'l jig, a quick step, one foot in front, hop.

I want to skitter like them leaves on the asphalt road, twirlin' when the wind blow, I want to spin like that one leaf hanging on a cobweb string. I want to be that thin drizzly-rain doin' that shiverin'-quiverin' in the wind like a Sufi song.

This morning, I peep through the window, spy a butterfly waftin' by, past the pecan tree.

I speed outside, trot across the damp grass to peek at them pecan nuts.

Back in the house, and I feel that dancin' thing trippin' and twirlin' within. 

As I sit down here to write a li'l hello, I play a song, Sajda, from the film, My Name is Khan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7p1f1Ojetc

Me memory-mind do a flip, kerry me to me apartment by the sea, in me lovely native land. See me there, standing at me big-wide window, staring at the black-night-sea swayin', and me spirit flow like the water, rockin' to the tabla and the raags.

I must go cook lunch now. Have a sweet day, lovely Friends. Take care of you.

Plenty lurve, neena xx

P.S. Here is some more inside-dancin' memories straight from Big Ole Home By De Sea:

A strange light in me room…

a dull, silver glow,

lighting a path through the east window,

across me bed, to the floor.

On the edges of the light-path,

I can see me bookshelf in the soft gloom,

me guitar against the shelf,

a chair with magazines,

the clear plastic bins with craft.

I open the windows

and the breeze lift them curtains in a dance.

And something inside me start to dance,

a moon-breeze dance.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Would you go to a place like this?

Dear Friends and Travellers,

This is one heck of a trip to a' exotic place for just $1.99!!


Smashwords got a Summer/Winter Sale 'til the end o' July, and I taking part in it. Join me in South America, nah? - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1000769

Yes, I know, I know. Plenty book lovers prefer to read paper-books. But!! If you read news and articles online, or blogs...I guarantee this book is wayyyyy easier to read. I format it with oodles o' space between each episode.

The space make you feel like you shooting de breeze, like you gyaffing...chatting...with friends.

Speaking o' friends...if you really ain't want to, or can't, read the book online, how about gifting it to a friend...to friends? Check out how gifting works: https://www.smashwords.com/about/gifts

Happy travels! Stay safe. Plenty lurrrve, neena xxx.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Up to the abandoned railway line I go.

Dear Friends and Care-Givers Everywhere,

This is something they don't talk about in the movies. It ain't hip. It ain't cool. There ain't no romance.

After the pandemic gone, there won't be cafes and restaurants for some, no travels to exotic lands. No selfies to show off to envying pals and strangers ooogling, Whaa, beautiful, oh wow.

When the pandemic done, there gon be men and women, still at home, fulfilling the needs of our elderlies, struggling to understand what it must be like for them, why they do and say the things they do and say, what is causing that unhealable sharp pain in they spirit, why some o' them give up.

Instead o' trekking up hills that flaunt they white scarf-mist like lovely ladies, we gon be here down below, trying to pull wesselves up from the land running deplete.

I feel like me writerly-self shrivel and fall to the ground. 

It is love that make me stay, right here on the ground, waiting for the rain. It is love that make me try to refresh meself, right here on the ground.

And right here, on this foreign ground, I pick meself up, go for early morning walk to the lake after the rain from the night before. The breeze full o' the promise rain, it beating a song. 

This morning, I walk the other way, under the tree with the jasmine perfume, to the big plot o' land with a glorious fragrance from somewhere else that I can't remember. I hope them folks who live across that plot o' land full o' bush don't think I crazy when I stop to smile and inhale in the morning light. 

Towards the abandoned railway line I go, I stare along the rail and smile some more.

One day, I gon get a car, I gon pack up food, and Ma painkillers and back brace, and me and she gon go to the sea. 

Friday, 18 June 2021

English ain't the only language: Boonga is the real thing!

Dear Friends & Foodies!

How de doodie?

Yesterday, Sis mention that she want to buy crab meat. Then she say, "Tang's Bakery useta make the best stuffed crab backs!"

Tang's useta fry the crab meat with plenty seasoning...onion, garlic, shallot, that sort of thing. (What a treat for we the young ones, sitting on the wooden stools in the shop, eating one stuffed crab back each. Ma was well-versed in the art of finding tasty snacks for children).

Now, I with me wicked self tell Ma and Sis, "They musta find some fish that taste like crab and cook that and serve it."

"No," Ma say. "They take out the crab meat, especially from the boonga, that had plenty."


We can never talk about crab without me remembering. "Crab and boulanger curry!" I announce.(Boulanger, also known as baigan).



Every Saturday when Ma cook that, we kitchen useta be pack-up with all of we teenagers...cousins and friends...around the pink table. The noise and the laughter make the roof vibrate. 

To this day, we still talk about that curry and use the local names.

I mention this 'cause some people from we lovely native land suffer from such deep shame, they would never-ever use the words boonga, baigan or boulanger. I ain't know what they would say instead of boonga. But baigan or boulanger would be aubergine. 

Wot a shame to be so ashamed of words!

I bet you any bet, if famous cooks and artists and writers did come to we home, they woulda take much delight in learning the local words! I think musicians especially woulda love the riddim of boonga an' boulanger or baigan.

Bon apetit, me hearties.

Plenty lurve, neena. xxx.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

I know how cats think.

Mah dear Friends, I want to confess plain and straight up...some o' the suburbia in this here developed territory can surely numb you skull and dull you' brain. 

Lawn after lawn after yawn.

Row upon row of windows and doors and roof and walls cut with a cookie-cutter.

Good thing I got cat-genes. Y'know how, to a cat, everything is up for inspection?

Come, lemme show you what I mean.

See this here?



What you see?

Look, Ma say, somebody can take this and make coconut broom.

Now, what you imagine when you hear coconut broom?

My friends, it is a good tool of shame.  If you broom somebody with it, if you hit them with you' broom, ohhhh the shame, especially if anybody witness the brooming.

You can condemn a girl you dislike to unmarried-life with a broom too. Sweep she feet with it, she gon never marry.

One more thing. You can chase ol' higue, that vampire, from you' home. Beat she with you' broom.

Oh, wait a sec. One more. Wave the broom over a body possessed by bad spirit to do a li'l exorcising.

Me and Ma, we stop and consider this branch. We joke about dragging it home and making the broom. But only to sweep the rooms with, okay? I promise.

Lemme show you some other fascinating things we see.





Now, imagine what a cat would think about if he see all o' these, eh?

Long story short, me friends, is that, most of life is mundane. Even if you's a thrill-seeker, a super-model, a rich man, wealthy woman, super-star burning bright, you got to face the mundane-ity of existence some time or the other. 


The secret, me friends, is to be a cat. 

I hope you have a day loaded with lovely things to explore. 

Plenty lurve, neena, xxx.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Guyana and London again.

Dear Friends and Fellow Travellers,

When we wuz teens, my mother decide that she 2 daughters must see something of the world. She take me and me sister off to London, then to Canada. Even though it rain most of the whole darn time in London, we did see some marvelous sights. Canada been cold and brown, but we had a fairly good time. I got some happy memories.

Over the years, Ma return to London a few times by sheself, visiting me big brother and he li'l family in England. 

Every now and then, she would say to me, We gon go to London again.

And these days now, away from she lovely native land, she does say too, I gon go to Guyana again. 

She does talk, with longing in she voice, about the people we gon visit, and how we gon go to the seawall, sit in the morning sun and watch the light play on the waves. We gon go to the Pegasus Hotel, nestle under the  trees and drink coconut water. We gon...

I write with sorrow down to me core, that the pain in Ma back is worse. All she can do is rest.

She is craving to go outdoors, catch the beauty and fill she spirit with the sunlight, watch leaves skitter, and flowers flutter. 

Look, some o' the places we been walking here in Florider.

One bleak Saturday afternoon, it was oh so wonderful, strolling with Ma, and dreaming.


Freezing cold, but the sun was bright and we were happy.


One sunny afternoon, cool breeze. We stopped to look at everything.

The bike lane was the most magical place of all. Oh, the things we saw!


The moss! We would describe it as curtain, as hair, as beard.

The birds are not afraid of people.
But, in a hurry, they would not slow down for us.

Ma is resting now.

The veggies and fruit delivery is here, so I got to wash them, clean the fridge, pack them away.

Ahhh, the never-ending routine of daily life, of pain and longing.

But, as we say, Once there's life, there's hope. 

And gratitude. We got food and bed, books and music and films, soap and water, bread and jam and tea, and all kinds of wonderful blessings that we take for granted.

Cheerio for now, my dears.

Plenty loooove, stay safe and happy, neena xxx.