30 August 2007

For your delight...

Just so you know, I have added two new features to the blog.

The first feature is 'Weather'. Having explored the 'cut and paste' options, I thought it would be more fun to show you a picture of what the weather is actually doing, outside our house. For those of you who check out the official weather forecast for Grenada, don't be surprised if our weather appears to be totally different. It often is. Point Salines, although a mere 9? miles away, often enjoys sunny skies with a slight breeze whilst, up here in the hills, we might be experiencing torrential rain and roof rattling gusts of wind.








The second feature, Painter's Progress, is just that. You will be able to see 'the work', as, when and how, it progresses. The series that I'm working on at the moment focuses on isolated images of flora and fauna, a constant source of inspiration. I am often to be found with my nose to a tree trunk, root or branch, compulsively drawn to the design, colours and wonders of nature. Both of these features also serve as an incentive to get me up and about early and to 'get on with it'. If you scroll down, they can be found just below 'those that sustain.... etc'.
I hope that you enjoy them.

28 August 2007

Reality


This post
is for
those of
you





who may
be slightly
envious
of my
exotic
blogging
location.
Whilst you
may envisage
the elegance of my sarong,
wafting seductively in the cooling breeze,







the reality
is,


somewhat
different.

27 August 2007

Babylon

The other day, a Woman from away, who has lived here for some time now and is beginning to think she know everything, but, really she don't know nothing, was cleaning her house from top to bottom. The Woman hate housework so she save it all up to do on a Saturday. She live in a small house so she almost finish, when she hear a loud voice calling from the road outside .


" Hello." "Hello." "HellO O O."


It was a Woman's voice.



The Woman in the House, peep below the curtain that hanging in the doorway.



She see a Large Woman in a large green combat uniform, standing in the road , just in front of a little white van, with the word,



POLICE,



written on it.



Now, where this Woman comes from, if the Police come to your door, it means one of two things;



either somebody dead or they come for you.



She try to smile and say 'good morning' in a nice, 'I innocent,' kind of way, but Large Woman barely allows her to draw breath before she start firing a whole set of questions at her.

LW: "Where your Husband is? He there?"

WIH: "Err" while she thinking, " Oh no, I know the boss short change my Husband yesterday, but he never said nothing 'bout cuffing him)

LW: " Is he in the garden down there?" (gesticulating in the general direction of the garden with her chin.)

WIH: "Err" (she is not accustomed to being interrogated and how Large Woman know where the garden is anyway? Someone must have talked.)

LW: "Does he have his phone with him?"

WIH: "Err, hold on a while"

Pulling herself together and grateful for the suggestion, the Woman In the House goes upstairs to call him, being very glad to see the freshly made bed and the tidy state of the house that fully reflects the honesty of its' law abiding residents.

She calls she Husband.

The phone sings, resoundingly, from his pants pocket which he has left hanging on the bedstead before going to the garden.

She goes back outside.

WIH: "No, ha ha,"( she giggles nervously)," he doesn't have his phone with him."

LW: ( without smiling)" Well, when he come, tell him we going up the road to come back"

and, so saying, Large Woman gets back into the little white van which disappears around the corner, on its' way up the road.

What to do? What to do? The Woman In the House is thinking.
If she call she Husband from the garden now, everyone will know what she calling him for, even though she feels sure that it must be a case of mistaken identity, what if he do something that he just didn't tell her about yet?

"What to do? What to do?"

She goes back to shining the stove. She sweeps and mops the kitchen floor and, while she is standing in the front of the house, waiting for the floor to dry, she see she Husband coming up from the garden.

He smiling and joking with the neighbours like there's all the time in the world.

Just as he reach the house and she open she mouth to tell him what happen , the little van, with POLICE written on the side, comes back down, from up the road, and parks right by their gap.

She go and hide in the kitchen and shines the shining stove.

She can hear Husband talking to Large Woman as if they good friend. Now, she hear how the Police sometimes play 'nice' to get people to talk and she try to catch his eye from behind the curtain to warn him, but he too busy 'makin' joke.'

She continue shining the stove.

Next thing she know, Large Woman and Husband are in the yard behind the house having heated discussion. She glance out of the side window just in time to see Uniformed officer passing round the house to the back yard, closely followed by a Plain Clothes detective, that she glimpses from the next side window, now they surrounded. The discussion in the yard get louder and she can hear Large Woman saying "Yea, there, that one." and Husband saying "No, no, they is young still" and the Woman In the House thinkin 'Oh, no, what them children next door do ?"

Now the backyard is full of POLICE.

After some time, when everyone talking at once, and a lot of thumping noises,
so that the Woman In the House can't make out what anyone saying, she see 'Plain Clothes' passing back up, past the same side window, carrying two big plastic bag, which he take and he put in the little white POLICE van.

"Evidence. Oh shit, shit shit" the Woman In the House thinks, wondering what lawyer to call.

Large Woman, Uniform and Plainclothes all get back in the little white van.
They laughing and joking with Husband and thanking him.

"Oh no, It's worse than I thought. Husband must be INFORMER" thinks the Woman In the House.

She Husband enters the kitchen, smiling.

H: "Wadda you?" seeing the sour expression on Wifey's face.
WIH:"What happen? What the POLICE want?

Hearing the panic in Wifey's voice, Husband laugh out loud.

H: "And they accustomed passing for breadfruit?"

26 August 2007

Thank you.







Sitting
in the
shade
of a
sun kissed
veranda


















savouring, sumptuous sustenance,















exhilarated by liberating, sea spray, laughter,















lapping, languorous, barefoot lingering,



rejuvenated,


by the


soothing balm


of
friendship.

24 August 2007

Distractions,Frustrations and Irritations

The day
started out
well enough,
up from bed,
bathed and
dressed, in
clothes that
I feel
relaxed in,



I headed

downstairs to begin the preliminary sketches for the paintings.

I was vaguely aware that T seemed preoccupied with something, as he headed up the road to buy some plants from the nursery, but creativity was calling and 'my mind was far'.


He
announced
his return
in a
flurry
of activity,
mumbling
lists of all
that needed
doing in the
garden,





whilst I
was busy


debating
whether to
photograph
the pawpaw,
or eat it.

At this point
I should
explain to
all the sensible,
practical,
responsible,
hard working
people,
who live
in
' the real world',

that

under no
circumstances
should you
even try to
have a conversation
with those that inhabit that 'other' world, when they are clearly residing there, at that particular moment. To do so, not only disturbs their equilibrium but is also physically painful for them, when forced to make a sudden return to the 'real' world and can result in an unexpectedly and -totally out of proportion to the event,- volatile response. Unfortunately I hadn't explained this to T.

We spent the morning in the garden that needs so much work doing on it.

It was depressing.



All my intentions

of organic farming

seem to be

thwarted in

the tropics,

pests, disease

and fungus

have no respect

for

my

high

ideals.


Having weeded and uprooted and T forked his fury into the land of heavy clay, we came back to the house for some lunch and he called his boss to see what time to collect his wages for the work he had done over the last two weeks. T is a carpenter. The conversation went something like this;



T; Yea, what time to meet you ?

Boss; " I still waitin' on de 'oman fo' de money "

T; "O.K. then"



I wish I could say that this is the first time that this has happened, but it isn't. T is 'blue vex'.

Does he tell the boss how 'blue vex' he is? No, not yet, but he well upset.


I am
reading this
book
and feel
saddened that
not a lot
seems to have
changed for
those
in
construction.







Boss calls back;

Boss: "Where you is now?"
T: ( getting into clothes straight from shower, without drying his skin) ,
"I comin'."

T jumps on passing bus and is off to town to 'give trouble'.

So, whole day I was wondering why T was 'in a bad moon', now I know, he was worried about whether or not the 'Boss' would pay him. T is a lovely person. He is hard working and loves to help. He doesn't 'scheme work' , is honest, kind and strong. He has been taken advantage of one too many times. He is not the only one. This happens all of the time. So called 'contractors' get paid a lump sum for a job, take all the money and then refuse to pay their workers.

'Boss' has gone when T gets to town in 10 minutes.

22 August 2007

Rock a bye baby

Staring out of the window, at nothing in particular, my eye focuses on this little thing of beauty.




It's even prettier
underneath.
Does anyone
know who
the
ex resident
may
have been?
Hopefully, the nest had been flown before it was relocated from the bread fruit tree to the yard.

21 August 2007

Aesthetics and Surprises

This is the view from the studio window, - only slightly marred by T's, I have to say, highly effective solution to stopping the windows from 'blamming' in the breeze!Naturally, this is only temporary as he will need his level in work.

I am sitting, patiently, waiting for the new tin of paint to arrive. T has very kindly bought me a replacement in town this morning, on his way to work, and has sent it up on a bus. He paid the driver $2.50 E.C. to ensure its' safe arrival but the driver must have forgotten to drop it off, as I just saw the bus leaving the village , on its' next trip. T was a bit vexed when I called him to make sure that I had got the right bus, (they all have names, I think this one is called 'God's Blessing" -yes, quite.)
Anyway, I just thought I'd pop downstairs to check on something, and, sure enough, T had come up with another solution to the window problem!


Obviously,
the clamp isn't
quite as
effective as
the level,
but still....


No bus as yet, perfect sunny day, I should be in the garden planting out.......
3 hours later and still no bus and I'll just have to stay here at the computer having fun, sorry, that should read 'working really hard,' reading other peoples' blogs, sorry, 'doing research', because I don't want to miss it when it does pass!


Hurray!
'God's Blessing'
has returned
and not only
brought me
my white paint









but new
water boots!

Thanks T.
xxx

20 August 2007

Unexpected pleasures


It isn't always possible to buy the things you may need or want here. For example, last week onions were 'scarce', next week it could be brown sugar or, God forbid, my favourite red wine. Today, however, was one of those special days, when the much used phrase here "if you see it, buy it" - in other words, because it won't be there next week, was particularly apt!
I couldn't resist!


White, right? Wrong!

Good,

I have returned from town, having successfully completed 99% of the scheduled tasks, despite the torrential rain and making the decision to get off one bus in the terminal because the driver appeared to be so drunk he could barely stand and had to lean on the side of his vehicle for support! (Ironically, the name of the bus appeared to be 'No Limit'!) Indeed!

Having reached home safely and had a bite to eat, Crix and cheese -a staple-, I headed with a light skip in my step, to the 'studio', to prime the boards ready for painting. On opening the tin I was a little disconcerted to find the paint looking a little dull but decided that it must just need a good stir;





I checked the label to see if I had bought the wrong colour;



and stirred some more;



No, cement grey just won't work, and , for those artists amongst you, I know I am cutting corners by not using acrylic primer but these are intended to be 'fun and affordable" items and not for posterity! Admittedly, not much 'fun' so far!

Priorities


On the
edge of
creativity
my soul
smiles,
to
suppress
it
is
cruel
and
hurtful
so why
must I go to town? Unavoidable obligations and necessary
chores for daily existence, gnaw and distract and demand
attention.

19 August 2007

My Space


So here is
my 'real'
blogspot!
I like this
little
space
in what
T calls
'the hall'.
how grand, and I call the 'living room'. It is in the upstairs
of our house,facing the road and I like it up here, instead
of in the 'studio' ha ha, downstairs, because while I'm
doing this, I'm able to share it with T while he watches
the footie! (soccer for those uninitiated amongst you!)
So what does your space look like?

17 August 2007

Dean

There
are
some
things
in
life
that you can never prepare for.

Even if you have packed everything you possess in plastic
bags, moved to a 'safe' place, stored your 3 buckets
of water and have enough tinned goods to feed an army,
turned off the current, bought candles and kerosene,
secured all livestock, trimmed trees,
stocked up on medication, brought in the veranda
furniture, topped up your cell phone and finally found
your birth certificate, passport etc.

and given that you live in a house with solid walls, hurricane clips
holding down the roof and are up in the hills, not close to the sea,
in an area where there are never any landslides and the river
won't wash your house away, even if you did all of this in plenty
of time, or you actually keep all of these things ready, just in case,

none of the above,
nothing,
can prepare anyone
for the
gut wrenching, heart pounding, nerve stretching
fear
that grips
at the approach of this indescribable,
relentless,
unforgiving

energy.


(I don't mean to scare,
although, in my wickedest moments
I would quite like to see one particular
'Tropical Update' presenter from the Weather Channel
removed from the saccharine smiles studio
and into the eye of the storm.)

14 August 2007

Carnival


Today is the last day of Carnival.
We have spent most of the holiday
at home and played a 'fast' mass
from the comfort of the veranda!

('Fast' here means when you're
minding other people's business)

We also went up to the 'other' garden where we lived for
almost a year and helped T's father bring down some fig.
This garden is outside the village, higher up from the waterfalls.

To get to it you leave the road and cross the river over the large stones.
When we lived there, about 5 years ago, the river used to come down
so heavily after the rain fell, that it wasn't always possible to cross but
these days there seems to be less water. I think Ivan brought down so much silt
and trees that the course has changed. Even so, after all the rain we have had
recently, there should be more water in the river, global warming maybe or,
perhaps the water authority are taking more water from the dam higher up,
to feed all the new development in the south of the island. Who knows.

We lived in a little shed or juppa that we originally built as a weekend retreat
weather shelter but, when the rent on where we were staying got too high
and knowing how much my 'husband to be', was missing his land, I suggested
that we try and live up there.
Now, I am blessed with a husband
who loves to please me,
I know,
I can't believe it either but it's true
and I didn't realise that people here
don't usually live in their gardens
but work in them and then go home,
so when I made this suggestion T
just went along with it and kept whatever
reservations he may have had, to himself!

So there we stayed in our little shed that
we built from ply and galvanise and whatever else we could beg or borrow.
It measured 8' x 6' and we cooked on a 3 stone fireside, bathed and washed in the river, entertained in the evenings by candlelight, yes, we even had visitors, left for work in business clothes and water boots and basically had the time of our lives.

Alll was brought to an abrupt end by this little monster,
and all trace is, almost, erased by
Ivan.
Suffice to say, our Carnival time
in this special place was spent with
knowing looks and secret smiles!




On our return to the village we
were just in time to see the
'shortknee' mass. I am not sure
of the origins of this mass
(and would love to hear from anyone who is),
but it is my favourite,
fabulously costumed
masqueraders chant and
stomp to make the bells around their
ankles jangle, the mirrors on their
costumes glitter, as they tell a story
within a story, a little scary,
but never threatening.
They carry talcum powder to
shower you with, in the event that you don't have any
food or drink to give them !





Carnival was nice this year.

1 August 2007

Starting out

This is the first week of the new work. It has been both delightful and insightful. Doing something one enjoys doesn't feel like work at all!


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