Friday, 19 February 2021

Free cinema in March

 My dear friends, 

If you want to know what I gon be doing in March....look!!

Woman Scream Cinema 2021 | Film Selection.

Click HERE HERE HERE to check out what's coming.

Stay safe, love, neena xx.

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Kindle.

 Dear Kindle Readers,

I hope you been able to get de book!



(Trust me, it gon take you right into a home full o'...lemme leave it up to you to decide...).

If you find it a bit difficult to download, this is what you got to do:

Click on this link here:

Big Ole Home By De Sea on Smashwords.

Just below the description of the book, you gon see: First 10% Sample.

Next to that, you gon see mobi (Kindle). Click on that box. Follow the instructions.

Tah dah.

Welcome weary wanderer! Shake off the dust of that hard world outside. Rest. Eat. Drink.

Peace and love to all. xxx neena.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Immigrant.

Hello me dear fellow travellers passing through, howdy-do?

Everything all good at home? 

Speaking of home, I think more people from Guyana live in other countries than in Guyana. 

Lemme introduce you to a 3rd Guyanese here, Shameeda, via she story. 

The Unwelcome welcome:

For about forty years, I truly forgot that by definition, I was an immigrant - until 2016, when articles on air and online reached my eyes and ears as  talk and text ranted about a wall that was being built in the southern United States to keep out immigrants. 

the word IMMIGRANT filled my head as I browsed and watched  stories flooding platforms in the media  - spilling open the horrors of capture, prison, abuse and murder -  exposing rabid responses against people who left their homes, their countries, to seek home in another place. The children's stories made me weep.

As I listened, read and watched bits, bytes and broadcasts,something began unravelling in my own self.

 My stomach churned and flopped over, in memory of that first unwelcome 'welcome' I encountered at nineteen when I left Guyana, boarded a plane for the first time and went somewhere to some place that I was going to call home - ignorant of geography and climate awaiting me on the north side of the Atlantic.
  
It was July 1, 1975.

Clutching my hand woven native basket filled with treats prepared 'back home',  I suppose I must have appeared as a co-worker later called me "FOB".  

Eyes wide open and staring everywhere, I read the brightly lit signs  "Welcome to Canada"

Smiling to myself and everyone around, I clutched some documents in my hand and followed the queue to be processed for a legal check in. 

The first stop was a man dressed in white shirt with  blue shoulder pads embossed with the words 
Service Canada. 

He took my paperwork, flipped through them, hammered a stamp on the top sheet and said 
" Don't think you can stay forever just because you have these".  Without looking at me, he pointed to the other side. 

Obediently, I walked away blissfully innocent and ignorant of a future yet to be created.

 July 8, 1976. 

It was the world of "Mad Men". 
The advertising world was aggressively advertising on a massive scale never before seen or created in the business of brand marketing. 

I found myself in an in-house agency with a million dollars to spend on buying spots for commercial advertising on television. 

On one fine summer day, two burly men dressed in grey showed up at our agency's reception desk and demanded that I come out to see them. 

Our receptionist ran inside our offices to whisper in hushed scared tones to me that "some guys wanted to see me". 

Believing that they may have been from our liaison agency, I agreed and went out to see them. As I entered the reception room, they whipped out two cards and said they were from "Immigration" and swiftly slipped themselves on either side of my body demanding  that we sit in room 'somewhere'.

Our bewildered frontdesk receptionist ran to a meeting room door and opened it. "Here, you can use this one".  Tracy, our legal secretary came out of her office and demanded to know what was going on. 

They told her they had some questions for me and needed to be in a room to do so. By this time, one was  already in the room and the other holding my elbow, steered me into the space. 

They closed the door, told me to sit. The questions began -  Who was I,  where I lived, where I came from when, how etc. etc.  This went on for about half an hour - until finally, they told me they wanted to see my identification docs.

The heavyset man with long hair,  opened the door and both escorted me back to my office area, to my desk under the amazed and curious eyes of everyone in the office.  When they saw my documents, they thanked me and left the office. 

As they left, my director walked in,her bird bright eyes crinkled " who are those two?"

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Pottering about with Gayatri.

Dear Friends & Strangers passing through,

For some time, I did want to bring me fellow-country people here for you to meet...and let them speak for theyself.

Last time, it was Lisana, artist.

Now, meet Gayatri...she leave she good-good-warm Guyana to live in that wet place, England.

.............................................

I come from the land next to the sea. We call it sea but it’s ocean really. A place of bright light and cool breezes and much noise. Noise can be cacophony and can be joyous, we had both types.




The reggae beat is instilled in me. I can’t resist it! I work to it now some 30 years since leaving home. It is the sound of my youth that gives me the vibe to work. I am a potter, my tools are the wheel and the clay, a thing I always wanted to do but only lately thought that I could do. Sometimes you don’t realise the opportunity but I have now  and as they say better late than never.




As a young woman I tread a path where I enabled a man whose destiny was always to be brilliant. We did not know it at the time but it has been a varied and always interesting path. We travelled, we brought up our children, we learnt and we lived. This man, the light of my life,  has risen to the top of his profession and is doing amazing work. But this is about me...... my mother was a housewife, she worked for us, her husband and us the children.




I am made in her mould and proud to be. She came from the land of the leprechaun and instilled in us many of the characteristics of that place. We love to laugh, repartee was our language. Wit and honour. The other side of me was my father who embraced all that and discipline. He was a man whose ancestors hailed from the subcontinent, they knew struggle and immense hard work. He did and does hard work and instilled that in us and humour and honour. Life turns out in funny ways but I won’t go into that.




These ramblings that I subject you to have been provoked out of me by my good friend. She is my friend in every way a friend should be. We always connect. She makes me laugh and vice versa. I have watched her from afar and cheered for her. Her steps towards publication. Tentative steps we both take in our separate fields.




I feel now that I understand my craft. I am the boss of the clay, it does my bidding (mostly, porcelain is another matter) and I derive immense pleasure from the creative process. I always wanted to make  vessels for food. To increase the pleasure of eating food. That special mug, bowl, plate, it’s all well and good to look at it and admire it but so much better to USE it!





But I want to go home.

Where is home? The eternal question for the migrated. My answer is both. I claim both. The tropical land formed me, the cold land is still forming me. I am not yet the fully formed person.

Are we ever that?



Monday, 11 January 2021

Postcards by Lisana.

 My dear, sweet Friends,

I did promise you all a surprise in the last blog post.

I want to introduce you to the people of my country...by letting them speak for theyself. 

So, without further blah-blah from me, here is Lisana. She is artist, living in Merica, but she is 100% Guyanese-born 'n' bred.

I hope you enjoy. xx neena.


the postcard project



Personal challenges rank high on my list of favourite things. I don’t like when people challenge me to do things because invariably, I get nervous, then overthink it and end up messing up. But challenging myself? Yes, please! Yoga everyday challenge. Setting a timer for seven minutes then seeing how fast I can unpack the dishwasher! Timing myself to see how fast I can clean my kitchen. Each year, for the past three years, I’ve challenged myself to read thirty books. I can’t increase the number until I’ve met the goal. Suffice it to say, next year the number will still be thirty.

My movie challenge is my favourite. I set the movie challenge for myself three years ago. I started with seventy. I met it. I increased it to seventy-five. This year, I need to watch eighty movies. And it’s not just any kind of movie. It’s artsy movies that make you go “hmm” and ponder it for a few days. Every now and then, a silly movie sneaks in. At first, I didn’t include them on the “Movie List” but now I let it go and do. I’ve got nine weeks left this year and twenty-three movies to go.

It was to my eternal delight when a few months ago, my sister sent our family a message. Let’s start a Postcard Challenge. We have to make postcards by hand and send them to each other and to other people we know. We can make them anyway we like – collage, painted, drawn. The only caveat is that we make each postcard ourselves.

Well! If ever there was a challenge for me, this was it! Not only was this an endeavor to help the USPS but it was going to be fun too. I told myself that I’d make postcards for all the people I communicate with regularly – family and friends.



The real challenge for me though is two-fold. First, I’m an artist and typically use larger canvases but these postcards are about the size of fourteen postage stamps. Secondly, I am not an abstract-expressionist so the challenge has been to be more spontaneous and in the moment. These postcards are so low-risk that it’s been fun pretending I am an abstract-expressionist.





The whole process has been a pleasure. Finding out the standard postcard sizes online was easy. I then measured acrylic paper to size and cut a stack. Finally, I put on some music and get started. No plan. No prior ideas of what I want to do. No postcard takes more than 20 minutes to make. Some cards are painted, while some are mixed-media. Every weekend, I make three or four postcards. Then, I lay out the finished ones and imagine who might enjoy receiving that particular card. After choosing a coloured pen (Steadler, Hi-Tec-C or Muji - my favourites), I spend a happy hour writing the postcards to those people.



While the whole project has been nothing but lovely, it didn’t compare to the pleasure of receiving handmade postcards from my mom, sissy and friends who all joined the Postcard Project as well.

 


Sunday, 3 January 2021

C is for......

 Dear every FREEZING body out there,

It is 19 degrees C in this part of Florida.

C is for Cold.

To keep warm, I sitting with me laptop on a blanket on me lap. Got me feeling like toast...daub some marmalade on me...eeee me toes feelin' chilly, make a cuppa warm tea and pour it over me like love.

Yes, I know, based on what I hear out there in the wild, I am lucky, and I should appreciate. I should think, "Ow, those long-suffering people from my own native land is freezing in New York."

(When I say New York, I mean America. Everybody know that the other name for America is really New York).

Why they leave they warm tropics, where rain water was so nice, they coulda run out with soap and do ablutions? (With clothes on, of course, we don't need a crowd rushing to see free matinee).

Oh boy.

I just get a' text from Annie back home. She say the weather a li'l chilly. 23C. I refuse to respond like my Overseas People who love to show off and say, "That is not cold. You should come to (name country with uncivilised freezing temperature) then you will see what real cold is."

Eh?

I didn't know we running a competition about where is more cold than where.

Aiiiye, I thinking about that toast and marmalade, I think I gon make some now with hot Milo or Ovaltine.

Oh!

I got a li'l surprise coming up. Watch this space.

Y'all take care for now,

neena xxx

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Welcome one and all!

 Howdy! (as Auntie M. would say!!!).

Imagine if, when travelling, you could stay in somebody else home instead of a hotel.

I do it a couple of times, in seaside towns, and y'know, it was real interesting every time. 

One colonial-era small home even had a jumbie!!! A ghost!!! Seriously! I ain't lying. It was a groaning ghost going: hhhhh hhhhhh hhhhhh. (Long story for another time).

Wasn't no fancy amenities in them homes. Plain. But super clean. Get you' own meals.

In the jumbie home, we sit in the verandah, facing the sea, with the hostess and other guests, and we gyaff...chat...before heading out to eat with some friends.

.................................................

After I return to me homeland, I useta day-dream, suppose we offer we home as a li'l stopover for foreign visitors.

All body (except murderers and teefman...thieves) woulda been welcome, though how to screen good from bad, I ain't know.

Welcome, Cowards.


Welcome, Relationship Experts.


Welcome, Environmentalists, Herbalists, Recyclists.


Welcome, Folklorists.


Welcome, Plant People.


Welcome, Ghost Hunters.


Welcome, Linguists.


Welcome, Nature-Lovers.


Welcome, Sassy Mamas.


Awwwww, waitaminnit, we can't travel these days.

Oh! Hold on! Who say you can't?

Never say never.

With one click, you can, no airplane fee, just sit in you' cosy chair at home and visit this tropical palavering place.

The book is out now, friends.

It is at:




To get it on mobi (Kindle) and other kinds o' format, please see Smashwords.

It is also free in libraries (ask for it).

I promise you hours of fun.

Welcome,

xx neena.