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 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."


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.


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

Y'all take care for now,

neena xxx