Sunday, 20 November 2022

Inside and out.

Hello me dear friends, it is a cool, grey Sunday in me mother new dwelling place. 

Rain drizzling...no, wait...rain falling, like proper falling. Not in sheets but I can hear it outside me window going splickety on concrete. The modern, generic battery-clock on the wall sound as if it marching through time slow-slow, like it is old, wearing heavy boots that go tick...tick...tick...

This is the kinda weather where we should be drinking hot chocolate and reading trashy magazines or rosemantic books.

I think I might do just that, haha, I got some ancient rosemantic books that an auntie send to me mother who refuse to read them. She busy reading Gogol and Omar Khayam and regaling me about them. What a thing, eh? I go to uni to study literature, and I emerge wanting to feed me mind with candy floss and sugar.

Anyway, me dears, before I go, lemme show you a few photos of what I been up to.

I stroll around the back yard.



I cut a piece o' dry banana leaf and doodle on it.


I pack away books on the windowsill.




I set up a cosy li'l space to hide away and write when I need total isolation. Welcome to me casbah.


Yesterday, me sister visit and bring these for me. Aiyyyye, me feet feel the love the whole o' last night.




This morning, I peek through the curtain and notice this for the first time.


Imagine that! Two weeks here and I only now notice this. 

Is as if we sometimes need the greyness of rain approaching to see colour.

Maybe it is a good sign.

Have a creative week and eat well. Take care o' you. Plenty lurve, neena.

Sunday, 13 November 2022

Choices.

My dear friends, and any passers by...


...phew.

This is a small, tired puff of phew.

Here me is, one week since I move with me mother to the sunny side o’ Florider, most o’ me puff poofed outta me.

Me dears, I decide if mama want to move again, I ain’t twitching a muscle again. I gon pay somebody to pack, unpack, repack. I ain’t care if I got to sell me toenails to pay.

As for me, I finally learning that other people choices ain’t got to be mine. 

It gon sound selfish but I putting me health first. Me creative writing, and writing as a business, is a priority too. (That is a story for another day.)

I realise this, friends...caring for others don’t mean sacrificing we-self, suffocating we-self, sealing up we dream in a box and shoving it into the back of a cupboard, taking it out to play with it every now and then, putting it away for a few days more with grief in we heart.

We must, we should, find a way to turn we dream into a garden.

Take care of you. Eat well. Think about this, if you can’t take care of you, how you gon take care of them who need you? Wishing you sweet dreams and plenty energy and love,  neena. 

Sunday, 6 November 2022

On the move.

My lovely friends and everyone travelling through…

We travelling too. 

I been packing boxes for days but it feel like months. Mum going to a new home…she going to live with she second son, me Florida brother. I guess I could leave she there but she need help with so many things, and he and he wife got they business to run…I ain’t got it in me heart to say, “Awright, I gone.”

Me friends, I am egg-zausted. Like broke-egg leave out in the sun, I feel like I am burn-out. Aiy yai yai. 

Hopefully, it is a place where I can meet plenty artists, writers, musicians. Weeee. I am excited. 

See you soon.

Home? Where is is home?

Take care of you, rest, eat good food. Plenty love, neena. 

Friday, 21 October 2022

That happy place.

My lovely friends & dear visitors passing through,

I been thinking, I got a roof over me head, food in me belly, songs in me ears and me heart. 

Ahhh yes, I line-up all me cliches to remind me that I gon push through and get to where I want to be creatively.

When life knock me with a glitch, I does hibernate into meself and fret. But after a day or two, I does uncurl outta meself and let the sunshine spread energy into me.

It was this habit that help me when I leave the gorgeous Island, that jewel of the Caribbean, to return home to me poor li'l native land (which they say was one o' the poorest countries for a long stretch o' time). 

At home, I realise this: if poor people, the unfortunate ones, can rise above hard circumstances, who is me, with a much better life, to keep meself from rising above tough situations?

For quite a few years, I been thinking about this, scribbling me thoughts in a note pad. This Sunday gone, I share them on Substack.

This is what I write, with the title: It ain't paradise, but it can be damn nice.

How you do, nah? (As we would say in my lovely native land.)

I’m gearing up for the paper version of book one. Soon after that will come book two, also based on life in Guyana. You will meet more characters and, on occasion, you’ll come upon situations which, hmmm, let me say: some of it ain’t pretty.

I’m caught between those people who like to believe that we dwell in paradise and those who swear it’s a blazing little hell. After moving back home, I spent the first year fighting that heat, literally and figuratively - El NiƱo and plenty hot-up feelings…vexation and disappointment. As time passed, I experienced moments, days, of utter bliss, then the sufferings of those I’m close to would pull me back to a sad reality.

Returning home humbled me and taught me stuff (I gag at the word “lessons”) that I’d love to share with you.

Celebrate what you already have. If you're pushing mud out of the yard, when you pause to rest for a minute, listen to the wind; see the sparkles of light in the small pools of water at your feet.

Sit with the people who clean, the maids, the janitors, the gardeners, eat with them, talk. Walk with the poor, look and learn from them. Observe how they deal with troubles, and how they laugh despite their sorrows. Dry their tears by helping them in any way you can. One smile from you can lift the downcast spirit of another.

Life is exactly what you're living right now. It can be horribly, achingly dull, but it can be exciting even in its dullness...or maybe it can’t be, eh? You may never go travelling across the seas to exotic destinations. But this here, what you have right now, is your opportunity to carve and groove, draw and colour and forge delicate art with the heat.

I going now to catch a li'l stroll in the afternoon light, me friends. Take care of you, keep sharing the beauty that you encounter, the humour, the play, the art you make. Plenty love, neena.


Monday, 10 October 2022

Life.

Dear Friends and Visitors passing by,

I wake up feeling happy with all me hopes and plans shining in me head like dew on the sunrise-grass.

I go for me walk and I chat with the older neighbour I meet out there, 93 years old he is. I come home and, before breakfast, some news drop into me lap like scalding tea.

To realise that you ain't of much consequence to the people (plural) you care about the most can cause a pain you can't describe.

Take me lesson, dear friends, learn from what I am going through. Never give everything to everyone. Money. Time. Care. Give whatever you can, but always, and remember this...always save something for yourself. Because, whatever you give, don't expect to receive it again. 

That ain't being selfish. It is taking care of you.

I must find a way to soothe this burn, heal meself. And I must set out for this rocky path that lay ahead, this steep, winding trail with the sharp stones.

Take care of you, plenty lurve, neena.

Sunday, 2 October 2022

Visiting you.

My lovely Blogging Friends,

Instead o' writing today, I going an' visit you' blogs. Recent events had me in a li'l tizzy and writing is the last thing I want to do.

See you on de blog. xx neena.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Eighty six.

My lovely friends, visitors passing through,

Me mother, the great book-gobbler (eating more books than bookworms) turn a new page on Thursday. She turn 86 years old, as we would say.


Me sister had a small party, seven o' we, which was just the right number o' people to make enough noise laughing and talking and eating a nice Guyanese-style lunch. 

Y'know we got to have curry, right? And daal and rice. And chicken that me sister cook in a special Guyanese-style, and pumpkin and I don't remember what else. Me head feel fat with post-lunch syndrome today, pardon me if I don't remember the entire menu.

J., the neighbour across the road who love me mother plenty, visit too, and bring cupcakes.

Me mother receive mo' gifts than I ever get in years. Nightgowns and shoes and sandals and clothes. A tangerine scented candle. Chocolates (which I, the food-police, making sure she ain't lay she hands on every day).

I can't believe that she who was only 68 the year before I start that ol' Guyana blog is now 86.

She mouth useta be so hot. Like pepper...she had a wit that would burn like pepper...and now look!


 That was in Georgetown, in we lovely native land. Trekking back and forth, to and from the courthouse, them street vendors get to know she well.

Now, most days, in the mornings, in she new and foreign land, you gon find she strolling on the street outside she home, chatting with the friendly Mericans, or puttering about in the garden even while she fighting severe back pain. Or you gon find she in a corner of a room reading. 


When she reading, she don't hold back. I does get a running commentary about the cruelty, the goodness of the characters. Or I would get a run-down of the plot. Lawd help me if I don't...do NOT...want the plot-reveal. 

If the book is funny, she gon laugh out loud-loud-loud. I especially remember one night, when she been in she 70s, she reading and hollering with laughs.

"What tickle you so, man?" I ask.

This, she say,


If I go for walks with she, or we sit on the front porch, and she see something that remind she of a poem, she reel out the quote like magician pulling ribbon from the mouth. 

Musta been the colour of the sky that remind she of this one afternoon:



Y'know, me friends, because me mother love books so much, I think it is most fitting that she-self should be in books too. And here she is, featuring in the very first book that I write:

Well, dear friends, it is 4:16 pm now. Or, as we say in my lovely native land, 16 hours, 16. 

Day almost done. I gon go for me walk and make a small dinner for me mother.

I hope you keeping well, eating well, taking good care of you too.

Plenty lurve, neena.