Toodleoooo for naowwww, neena, xxx.
Wednesday, 29 December 2021
Tuesday, 14 December 2021
My Dear Friends, Book Lovers, Nature Lovers, Food Lovers, Culture Lovers, Travel Lovers, Language Lovers,
December 16 2020, I launch me 1st book in the Guyana series: Big Ole Home By De Sea.
I suspect de book baffle some people.
Here is a li'l truth about de book (with more like it to come).
I like to stretch rules creatively. To experiment.
I didn't want to write a book that, as they say in the writing world, is "plot driven".
I want you to feel as if you wander off the beaten track, get lost, and I invite you in to gyaff...talk...whole day and night. Kill mosquitoes. Eat (not necessarily mosquitoes). Drink (not necessarily maskita blood. Or human blood - we ain't old huiges).
I serve you slices o' life - salty, sweet, vile.
I throw snap shots at you. Show you skits. "Mind videos". You hear mutterings, musings, laughter.
You watch we dreaming. Lounging. Longing. You witness mother and daughter learning to live in harmony, and grassroots-people mingling with money-people.
In de book, you "hear" we raw, unedited (even though I work me tail off to sculpt the words).
De book is still a' e-book. Starting Friday, December 17, to the end of New Year's Day, it is on a Smashwords sale binge.
If y'all buy this book, y'all can join me on me yacht...which I plan to buy from sales of this book. (Read about the yacht in de book).
Well, even if you don't like to read e-books, you can get 2, 3 e-books for friends. Tell them how much you love them, and you know this book gon warm them and keep them happy in the freezing cold winter months.
You can get it for them right here:
Look on the right hand side. See the "Give as a gift" link?
Much love, neena xxx.
P.S. I got plenty life-jackets, don't worry.
Sunday, 12 December 2021
My dear Friends,
Y'all ever hear about the gyal who take photos of she sad bed-life? And the next thing you know, the pikcha of the bed, or the bed itself, I ain't know which one, sell for a million or more.
I did laugh until I enlightened meself further, because, you know, that is the reason why creatives do what they do...they talk to we in different ways, open we eyes and mind to aspects about life we tend to ignore.
The installation bring to light depression, women private life, and it break the stereotypes of how women live. What could make a woman fall this hard that she can't get up?
As some of you know, I got a deep fascination for bed.
I can't see a bed without thinking how privileged we are to have a safe place to lay weself down when we sick and tired or just want to relax.
I think about them broken human beings on cold concrete, a cardboard for they bed.
And refugees. I think about refugees every single day. The old folks and children, women and men, in tents, in the freezing cold.
Every morning, if I grumble to meself that I got to tidy up the mess I create when I shed blankets, tee-shirts, pyjamas, that I use during the night to keep warm, I remember those who would long for this again, this soft, warm chaos that they can smooth out to make a haven. I promise meself to find a way to help them, one day.
|So many pillows!!|
This weekend, I been staying in bed because I feeling the effects of vaccine number three.
I want to sleep so bad.
Take care, stay safe, and count your beautiful blessings, neena xx.
Wednesday, 8 December 2021
My Dear Friends,
Good morning from De Home Front.
Weather warming up nice-nice, like civilised people.
Speaking of people...ever notice how some people can stay ten hours in de baat'room? What they got that is so dirty, to bathe so long? How much dirt a body can have if they ain't a farmer, any kinda outdoor worker?
T'ree (3) people in my fam'ily is very guilty. I ain't calling names. One nephew does read newspaper cartoons. Another nephew does have he phone-radio on; whenever I pass by outside, I do a li'l jig to them tinny-tinny songs blaring out.
Then there is one brother who does sing Rolling Stones at the top o' he lungs. To this day, I can't see a red door without thinking that somebody, counting colours and dreaming about brown sugar, want to paint the door black.
Another Person...oh, that is four in all...she who name I ain't calling but we know she as Mummy...say that she does take long 'cause she old and slow. Well, that mean she been old and slow from the day I born.
Anyway, the baat'room news.
Every week, I scrub the baat'room shine like glass, step outside to admire it. But, this week, I decide that scrubbing take up too much precious time. I could be writing instead. The only solution to keep it clean is to not use it.
"Don't use de baat'room," I announce to Mummy.
"What I must use then?" she ask.
"De hose in de garden to bathe. And dig a hole for de toilet!"
Speaking of holes. Last night, I poke the baat'room snake down the sink hole.
I don't know if you know about the baat'room snake, Dear Friends.
It is the most wonderfullous invention in The Whole Wide World. Better than sliced bread. The only thing it ain't better than is the Internet, but it sure come close to.
The Baat'room Snake (which deserve capital letters to the name, come to think of it) is a flat, long, tough plastic strip with jagged edges.
Last night, I shuuve it down the pipe of the sink.
My Dear Friends!
If y'all see what I haul out like treasures from the deep blue!
All the things that Mauby Dick ever did swaller. Y'know Mauby Dick, that whale that Ahab the Arab been hunting? Funny how they name the whale Mauby Dick. Mauby is a delicious bitter-sweet drink from my lovely native land.
Anyway, I got two skeletons dripping with confusion and conspiracy; a ship, dark with age and algae; and hanging on the the jagged edges of the Snake was all the muck and chaos and pandemonium of the east and west.
Ohhhhh, Me Dear Friends.
If y'all only know how I quiver with delight when the sink let the water down and then belch. It was a beautiful belch. Loud with satisfaction, like a man after he done eat daal and rice and curry.
Anyway, daz all for today. I planning a newsletter about Books.
I gone to do the laundry. Goodness knows what fanstastical things I gon find.
Have fun, stay safe, plenty love, neena. xx
Friday, 26 November 2021
This road we call Life is much like some o' them city roads in me lovely native land.
We drop to the bottom o' the world. (That is how I know the earth ain't flat...but that is a story for another day).
Drag weself up, cussing the hole, sighing, relieve we only got a couple o' bruises.
Me, like a proper 3rd world person, understand that this is how Life go. I know too that I am far mo' lucky than many, many, many of me dear country people.
One-one time though, something in me does break. Lawd, it gon cost money to fix.
Spirit get like wet stick. Not a spark.
It is then, me dear Friends, I remember, full force, why creative people was put along the way, on this road. When that song, that music, float to we; when we stop to peer at books, to gaze at the art and listen to poetry; when we take time to watch them dance, we feel the spark rekindle in we.
That is what this Walcott poem, which a Trini friend send to me some time back, do for me.
Walcott, from the Caribbean, does make me heart sing.
Despite all we problems, (which he capture in he writing), he find ways to celebrate we.
I love the Caribbean, the sounds, the sights, the smell o' food cooking, we resilience, the kindness I experience.
As a writer, I want to show you, dear readers, lovers of books and songs and art, who we are as women in me part o' the world. I want to show you the ludicrous, the playful, the broken, the happy, the poetry in we daily, mundane lives.
I want to fling open we windows, we doors, we hearts. I want to show you things them newspapers and magasines in Big Countries would hardly tell you about we (they tend to mostly describe we as poor, needy, suffering). I want to show you that we is people of hope, longing, with beautiful dreams too.
Welcome, my dear beloved Friends. Much love, neena. xx
P.S. Listening to the queen of music from South Africa right now:
Tuesday, 16 November 2021
My dear Friends,
It so cold in this here part of Florider where my mother is, I hide under the bed, and even the Monster that does live there snuggle up to me to keep warm up. Not that I can offer much body warmth, me being so small in size. You can tell how desperate for heat Monster was.
Anyway, all this closeness lead to cameraderie, and the next thing you know, me and Monster had a long and hearty discussion about climate.
I say, "Boy, this C ain't for Celcius. It is C&^U@*S*S."
Monster ask, "But what about when the weather gets hot?"
I say, "Then it is x degrees Charming. Anything below 23 is C&^U@*S*S."
Monster ask, "What do you think about the COP26 talks?"
I turn me nose up so high, I hit me head on the bed-bottom (it is a low bed we was hiding under). Monster try to console me and rub me injured head. I had to pretend to calm down real fast at that. Imagine that hand on you' head. If I did only stay upset, Monster woulda continue trying to calm me.
"Them men at COP26 is like a pack o' sweet man," I blurt out.
Monster give me a hard cut-eye...what they call "side eye" in the US. I start to shiver, wondering if Monster was getting ideas about me.
The silence hang heavy for minutes, 'til Monster bust out, "What do you mean by sweet man? How can you call those mealy-mouthed, mincing, malingering garumphs sweet men?"
"Sweet man. Them is a pack o' sweet man," I correct Monster. "In Proper Creolese, we don't reeeeally do plural. The word before does tell you if it is one, or one more than one."
"You mean more than one," Monster say.
Shees. What a nitpicking creature. "Whatever! A sweet man is the man who does come to a woman with plenty lies. Ow dahling, how you can believe I got another woman? Babes, me sweet sapodilla-gyal, give me a li'l chuuups, a li'l kiss, nah? Look at this pretty necklace I bring for you. And the woman does believe. And all this time, the sweet man got 2, 3 woman...women...plus wife."
"Yes!! Yes!!" Monster shout-out with great excitement. "I know those sweet men! I've heard them whilst hiding under beds all over the world."
"So why you never bite they ankles, eh? Why you just stick under beds, scaring innocent women and children?"
A pause. Then out o' the blues, Monster start one weeping and wailing. Place so cold, the eye water pouring from Monster turn to ice.
I couldn't take this nonsense anymore. I speed out from me hiding place and dive under me damp, cold blanket, which is what I shoulda do in the very first place. Y'see? That is how illogical this cold weather make me.
I trying to dress warm and think warm thoughts. Look FIVE THINGS (idea I borrow from Joey) that cheering me.
|Hat, a gift from my sister. |
Scrunchie, bought from a pavement vendor in my lovely, native land.
|Cousin Lis gave me these recently.|
|Sunlight in my mother's bedroom, in her home before she moved here.|
|Sunlight in my room last week.|
|My 10 yr. old nephew wore these twice, outgrew them.|
Now, they're mine, and my feet ain't growing, thank goodness.
I got to go and cook lunch now, Friends. Stay warm and dry, and eat hearty. Plenty love, neena xx.
Friday, 5 November 2021
Hellurrrrr (as Madea would say), Hellurrrrr my Dear Friends,
I did so want to blog from Nov. 4 - 7 about peace, but this pain in me teeth wouldn't even let me bite a hot biscuit.
Had to look for dentist in the boonies where my mother live, and while waiting for the appointed date, I killing the pain with pain killer.
All o' this got me thinking how stress can proper sabotage peace on we insides, and before we can say Oh Lawd oh, we act as though badness take hold. I don't know about other people, I ain't like when that happen.
So, I put on me hat and I been about looking for things to amuse me, to soothe me spirits.
Wha'....You don't believe? Is true!
Laughter and peace got a tight connection.I know, I know, The Intellectuals mightn't agree. They think that Examination of The Miserable Self is the only way.
|An old photo of this Miserable Character I found on a wall: The Peeled Paint Grouch.|
Some o' The Intellectuals even useta scoff at Tyler Perry, the creator of Madea, for he type o' humour.
But he calmly tell the story of a woman who write to he and say how, at one time in she life, she did hit a very low point, so low, she been thinking that she didn't want to live anymore. By chance, she watch a bootleg Madea movie. She laugh so hard, she decide she want to live.
Anyway, I feeling a li'l peckish...hungry-ish. I going to see what is in the kitchen. Have a lovely weekend. Plenty love, neena xx.
|The watermelon laughed and laughed.|
Thursday, 4 November 2021
The international Woman Scream Festival (Grito de Mujer) in its 12th edition, and in support of the initiatives of the Action Coalitions for Generation Equality of UN Women for the next years, makes a formal invitation to institutions, members and nonmembers, to join the cause as volunteer events coordinators, for the festival’s global cultural chain next March, 2022. This season, paying a tribute to aboriginal women and women ancestors under the motto "Origin". Woman Scream 2022 will be a call to remember native women, whose cultures persist over time in several countries and who still suffer continuous abuses, in absence of laws that promote the validation of their rights. It is also a tribute to the women whose lineage, courage and strength, since ancient times, have been forerunners of the collective dream, towards a life free from women violence and equal women's rights.
See more here:
Saturday, 23 October 2021
My dear Friends and Fellow Explorers,
See me here...the sea-water is deep-deep blue, the sky is a light-hue, and gentle warm-ness sliding all over me skin as I float, I peep open me eyes, and sun and water make rainbows on me eyelashes.
Birds wheelin' and callin' far above and they music and the song of the lapping of the waves mingle with the soft reggae on the beach.
Under a tree, fish frying in a pan, steaming in another, johnny-cakes frying, and bammy...thick round cassava bread...steaming. Me belly cuss me, grumbling to me that she hungry.
Ahhh, me dear Friends and Fellow Explorers...
...here me is, in me room, not gone nowhere.
I don't feel sad though cos I been everywhere, me mind carrying me anywhere I want to go, free, exploring the world through music again.
The music was the rain, I feel like a drought done and now ideas drop from me like water from the source, first in trickles then they gather and flow into the stream, to the river, to the sea of me.
And above me, inside o' me, is a bird in the blue in warm sunshine, wheelin' and callin'.
Stay well and feel free, dear Friends and Fellow Explorers,
Plenty lurve, neena xx.
P.S. Look two post-cards from another time and place when I been exploring. Hope you like.
Monday, 4 October 2021
Good day, my dear Friends!
In my lovely native land, Heritage Month done.
I wait 'til it finish to share these that I find around my sister home in Florider.
Cos we should remember, celebrate, after the day or month gone.
|Place mat that I call The Sun Mat.|
|Hand-woven basket, now old, stained.|
|A small detail.|
|What would you do with this basket?|
|One more basket.|
With Ma in Florider, what a hectic month! She turn 85! Imagine that! Eighty! Five! What a month. Visitors traipse in, pre-birthday, post-birthday, on weekends, with perfume, clothes, a plant, flowers, fruit.
|GUESS WHAT CAME IN THIS!!|
We eat, we gyaff...chat heartily...with fambly, laugh loud like fishwife, slap table-top like raucous man.
For 2 days this weekend, I vacuum and wipe the house.
|I thought it said: |
ONE HEAVY DUTY CLEANING WIFE!
No lie! After all o' this, I feel a li'l frazzled, out o' me creative routine!
Got to make me list and refresh meself again, creative wise.
I turn to songs, photos, music, books, comedy, art, blogs.
Thank you, all you creative people everywhere. Thank you everyone of you who share you' love for nature, healing, beauty, art.
You are beautiful.
I love you all.
Monday, 20 September 2021
Hello my Friends,
Them is from the legends and lores of the Amerindians, the First People, of my lovely native land. Them stories is some of the most fantastic, revving up we imagination, colouring we dark nights.
Sad to say, most o' we, the non-Amerindian citizens, don't know half o' them stories even though, every September, we celebrate Heritage Month. We hold a' exhibition of the Amerindian people craft in one place in town. On social media, they share photos of hot looking, nubile Amerindian girls, or those with mixed Amerindian heritage, in traditional wear.
I could be wrong but I think we slowly discarding we lores for imperial cultures.
When Halloween come, citizens with money gon be wearing fancy costumes, posing for the media. This gon eventually trickle down to them with less money. How many gon think this is the ideal?
Here is what I did write about it some time back, including it in me book.
That snake skin in the gutter, strangely enough, remind me of something from me past, flowing in me present - stories from ancestors in me blood, and legends from me country that plenty folks here almost forget, that children don’t know now.
As soon as me mother say that them snakes in the yard like me, the story of the strangest marriage wriggle-out from me memory.
It is the story of the Amerindian girl who did marry a camoudie, a snake that does wrap around man or animal; it can squeeze the life outta you and swallow you wholesale.
The girl, a’ beautiful Arawak girl, refuse plenty-plenty suitors. Then one day, a handsome young man arrive with horses dress-up with gold. He ask permission from she father for she. Right away, the girl say Yes.
Wedding day was glitter and gold, the groom bring a dress of golden threads for he bride. After the wedding, they set off for the groom home. On the way, he embrace he wife and...
...the wedding-wagon turn into a pond, and the horses dissolve into water which fill the pond...and the groom turn into a camoudie.
The girl swim and swim ‘round and ‘round to get away but the camoudie grabble she and wrap around she.
The snake skin in we gutter remind me of something else too, that I observe in we lovely native land. Instead of adding we stories to the grand history of man, to help illustrate the story of man, we-the-people is shedding we tales, leaving them to decay while we absorb only them foreign ones now. While I...
...I dream of we stories flowing in we veins, grandparents passing them on, teachers teaching them along with foreign tales. And poets, writers would refer to them along with Apollo, Cassandra, Persephone and others.
How about you, dear friends? How you feel about legends and stories from you' part o' the world?
Have a great day, filling and nourishing.
Plenty love, neena xxx.
Saturday, 11 September 2021
My dear Friends,
I ain't no photographer, it is just me phone-camera that I use always. I take pics to remind me of happy places, and, sometimes, weird-ridiculous things. Me pics is visual notes for me, for later.
So, when I show you them pikchas of what I take last week, please bear in mind that they gon look like some normal place to you. But, to me, when I look months later, I can feel again the warm breeze and sunlight on me skin, and hear the cicadas in the bush. I can smell the sweet grass crushing under me feet. I remember the peace.
|At the very top, wildness let loose.|
|At the top, looking towards tamed life, wildness behind me.|
|Down again, close to the road.|
It late now, Friends, I falling asleep as if Sandman throw extra zzzzsand.
See you tomorrow.
As the Arab proverb go, May you wake up to good news.
Plenty lurve, neena xx.
Tuesday, 31 August 2021
My dear Friends,
You lay you'self down on a hillock, and the sun and the wind is warm like them days of childhood when we useta run barefoot in pasture.
Trees at the top of the hillock, trees in pairs, here and there.
Under one tree, herbs in pots, the wind send light fragrance towards you.
When it get too hot out there, you step into the patio...I call it verandah...with mosquito screen all around. In the verandah, plants lush like jungle surround you, nestlin' on tables, fah-lourishin' in big pots on the stone floor.
Close you' eyes and feel the humid heat and pretend you back in South America. Aiye Dios mio, gracias for this loveliness.
Me and Ma house-sitting, Dear Friends, in this place.
Me cousin got to go to a conference and she, being carer for she 70-year old sister, couldn't find nobody to stay with she sister. Blame covid.
The sister, nickname Daisy, is a "special needs" person. Daisy does look at you with intelligent eyes, understanding what you say, and the only problem is when she decide she ain't wearing she hearing aids. Then you got to talk loud for them cicadas outside to hear. She does reply with a slight slur-speech in perfect Creolese.
On Sunday, me brother and sister-in-law and nephew come to pick we up to see he friend not far from here. Daisy, fresh from she shower, been trendy with dangly earrings and pretty dress, she short white hair comb down flat.
Me sister-in-law say that, pre-covid, if they in the area, they does pick up Daisy and take she wherever they going to. Unfortunately, they live 3 hours away.
Yesterday, as mid-morning silence settle over we, Ma napping, I looking after some business-papers, I peep through this here wide window to see what Daisy doing in the verandah.
She sitting at a small table, fingers moving delicate like she weaving air and thoughts. She been doing a jigsaw puzzle.
The whole world been in this little pleasure, sorting and finding and putting in place, one piece o' colour next to another piece.
I watch for a good while. Ma rise from she nap. She ask, What Daisy doing? And I tell she what I see.
Later, I look at the jigsaw picture. It was a popular Disney princess, 48-piece puzzle.
"People like Daisy come into we life for extra-special reasons," I tell me mother.
Right now, the two o' them peeling garlic in the verandah.
I must go cook lunch now, Dear Friends.
Have a lovely day, filling you' spirit with peace and joy.
Plenty lurrrve, neena xx.
Sunday, 22 August 2021
No, no, me dear Friends and Comrades in a conniption,
I ain't living in a vacuum.
I been vacuuming the rooms. Busting dust.
Two days doing dat.
I lift horse, cow, turn chairs, and haul out dat dust like Superwoman.
De dust in de room, you couldn't see it. But in the vacuum container, it grow fat like a lazy grey cat. If you coulda seen dis dust! (Why, by de way, house-dust is always grey? I never see green house-dust. Or pink. Or pupple. Or even brown).
Whenever I cleaning house, I does get philsophical.
I been thinking how we get fooled that life is supposed to be wonderful 100% of the time. We become like spoilt children. Protesting and screaming. We want we fun and we want it naoooow. Imagine, if all o' we did do like New Zealand and Taiwan - wait a li'l bit, ease up on de demands, stop wanting only for weself, this problem woulda disappear quick like magician doing a trick.
I been thinking, if all capable bodies had a vacuum or a broom...imagine...
...well, okay, yes, that is true...some folks, no matter what, they would stay permanently vexed...
|Me on a hot day, vex like a mad cow.|
...but y'never know...they too mighta calm down and hear the riddim of things.
|De riddim of t'ings.|
|When you hear de riddim of t'ings, you start to sing.|
You never know.
You never know.
Have a lovely week, dear friends. I hope you can stand under a tree (where there ain't no birdies 'cause they drop a kinda blessing you don't really want), and listen.
Plenty lurve, neena xx
Saturday, 14 August 2021
My dear Friends,
August 1 was a happy day...a sad day of remembering...throughout the Caribbean.
That was the day when African people who been enslaved by the British Empire was freed. (Every year, when this day come around, my mind does try to imagine how the Africans then did feel when they hear about Freedom).
I ain't know what everybody back home do this year to celebrate though...y'know, with covid about.
Holiday is the one day in my lovely native land when the streets empty. Everybody gone to creek, in the park, in back dam. Cooking, eating, gyaffing...chatting...laughing. Deprive them of every form of likker, and they still would enjoy time out of this world.
Here in Florider the streets empty every day. One or two people walkin' they dog. Been like this even pre-covid.
To be honest, I am real glad people staying home. Bleddy delta virus running rampage up and down in Florider. If I encounter anybody walking they dog, they cross the street and greet me hello in a very friendly manner.
The other day, late afternoon, I walk in the brilin' hot sun up to the lake. The heat leave me feeling drugged, like slumberin'-mellow. That night, I bade in warm water, I put on a long cotton nightie, crawl in bed with book. The next thing I know, morning peeping through the window.
I must go now and make lunch.
Have a lovely weekend, everybody. Stay safe and healthy and happy no matter who trouble up.
Plenty luuuuve, neena xx
|My lovely native land. One road where you don't find a lot of people!!|
Friday, 6 August 2021
Oh my morderrr!
The dream I had last night come straight from the jaws o' hell!!
I think the ooman who useta live here is trying to haunt me. She must be jellis o' me.
The grapevine say she was evil and vile.
The grapevine say she was the epitome of malignant maleficence. She ain't dead, but she badniss linger like a long-living malingerer.
The grapevine say she husband so scared o' she, he scared to leave she.
Anyway, despite the dream, I had sound sleep. I wake up with pep in me step. Sun bright. Time to work on Book Two. I put on Bollywood songs.
Suddenly! People! See me here! On stage, lights bright like supernova or whateva.
I am Ashwarya Rai out-shaking Shakira, nahi-nahi, no-no, I am Bollywood Babe.
I knock de dholak, tump de tabla, roll out dem raagas like pro.
The crowd gone wild, screaming, throwing theyself at the stage.
Shah Rukh, King of Bollywood with the gorgeous dark eyes, join me.
Security had to climb up on one another shoulders to hold up the roof.
The shaking and tumping was so hard, the stage wobble...
Learn this, lovely ones...bed ain't a place to dance on.
Mwah, mwah, blowin' kisses, blowing kisses to my fans.
I gone to work on Book Two.
Have a luverly weekend.
Plenty lurve, neena xx.
P.S. I gon campaign for supermarkets and hardware and electronic stores and malls to start playing Happy Bollywood songs. Lads and Lasses gon magically change clothes 3, 4 times, and they gon frolic and flirt around displays.
Friday, 30 July 2021
Bed is the most wonderful piece o' furniture ever invented.
In the village, we the children jump six feet high on it like it was we trampoline, we roll like barrel, and big brother tickle we and we giggle and 'holler stop stop, out of breath.
And in we big ole home in we seaside town, bed was where we play cards and Monopoly, read books. As we move into we teens, me and me gyal-friends gossip and discuss make-up, clothes and boys.
Me high-school friend strum me guitar on me bed and sing with the voice of siren out at sea, haunting, beautiful melody. Everybody at home thought it was the radio.
I make gifts sitting on me bed, and every single essay, from high-school through uni, I write on me bed.
In me apartment by the ocean, I lay on me bed with the wide-windows open on a Friday afternoon after I spend the day making the floor shine, furniture dust-free, bathroom clean, me done bathe and belly full. I watch the sky, listen to the waves splashai against the seawall, fall away and splashai again.
Sadly, sadly, I had to leave the sea-breezy apartment, but I move to another surrounded by trees. Me landlord leave the best bed in the world. Firm but not tough.
Lock down in the land because of covid, I hang the mosquito net in the afternoons after lunch, and listen to the trees and BBC radio dramas. I watch Ottmar Liebert perform live guitar via the Internet as the night fold 'round, windows close to shut out the crickets-cacophony, electric-fan blowing to keep me cool, mosquito net fluffing like cloud in the fan-breeze.
Lunch time now. I must rise from this here bed and cook.
The other day, I see a photo of a man taking breakfast for he wife in bed.
Nahi. No. Non. Nyet. Nao with the squiggly thing over the "a" which is Portuguese for No.
One day, I might tell you about the Saturday afternoon nap. Nothing dramatical, only simple and sweet and innocent.
Stay safe and happy, dear lovely friends, neena xx.
Friday, 23 July 2021
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:
A rich community life.
A garden to work in.
Roof over me head.
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
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.
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
Dear Friends and Travellers,
This is one heck of a trip to a' exotic place for just $1.99!!
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.
Happy travels! Stay safe. Plenty lurrrve, neena xxx.
Wednesday, 23 June 2021
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
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
Wednesday, 9 June 2021
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.