31 December 2012

Happy New Year!


















I just want to wish each and everyone of you who finds your
way to our little blog dot on the globe a very Happy New Year
for 2013! It is always a pleasure to find you were here with us.
I felt that I had had a difficult time during 2012, as I am sure
many of you did also, but yesterday Chookooloonks gave me
a gift of perspective which completely altered my view and
made me realise just how wonderful 2012 really was!
If you took any photographs during 2012 then you too can
experience this by visiting her blog. It may bring a tear or two,
but I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
The very wonderful T also surprised me with a gift today,
a hand carved fish he made to bring a smile to the face of a
Piscean who sometimes swims too deep.
I leave you in the safe hands of Mr Paul Weller xxx            


30 December 2012

Chavela Vargas: No Soy de Aqui, Ni Soy de Alla.


I'm not from here, nor from there
I have no age, nor future
And being happy is the color of my identity

We come to the end of 'another year' but what if
this one is the last? Not in a morbid way or with
regret but, in the words of Maurice Sendak
live your life live your life live your life

Craft in America

Rarely do we get to watch art or craft programs on television.
T subscribes to the sports channels, being an avid cricket and
football fan and we have a basic package that brings us various
'reality' TV shows, CNN, God, cartoons, local 'news' and 
advertisements that exhort us to purchase products unavailable
here. However, currently showing on Channel 44, PBS, is
Craft in America. Wonderful. Catch it while you can!
One never knows when our cable provider will decide we
have seen enough and take it off without warning, as recently
experienced with the final episode of Survivor Philippines!


31 October 2012

Of Samhain, All Hallows and All Souls

At this time of year I yearn for the damp darkening days of autumn, ancestral rituals and rites.
The strong tug of deep Celtic roots demand acknowledgement and rightly so. To deny where one comes from sometimes seems essential to survival in a foreign land but, on special occasions such as tonight, it is very necessary to return in some way. So I sneaked the pumpkin from the yard and carved it quickly before T came home, not that he minded but ... Now I think of sweet chestnuts and how breadnut taste similar when roasted. Apples are absent but the feeling is the same. You can read about Samhain here, if you would like to.  Tomorrow we will clean the graves of T's ancestors for All Souls, plant flowers and light candles For now, I place the lantern in the window and glimpse the thin veil between worlds .
Of course we need a little music to bring to this night and I can think of nothing more wonderful than.........

I forbid you maidens all that wear gold in your hair
To travel to Carterhaugh for young Tam Lin is there
None that go by Carterhaugh but they leave him a pledge
Either their mantles of green or else their maidenhead
Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee
And she's gone to Carterhaugh as fast as go can she
She'd not pulled a double rose, a rose but only two
When up there came young Tam Lin, says "Lady, pull no more"
"And why come you to Carterhaugh without command from me?"
"I'll come and go", young Janet said, "and ask no leave of thee"

Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee
And she's gone to her father as fast as go can she
Well, up then spoke her father dear and he spoke meek and mild
"Oh, and alas, Janet," he said, "I think you go with child"
"Well, if that be so," Janet said, "myself shall bear the blame
There's not a knight in all your hall shall get the baby's name”
For if my love were an earthly knight as he is an elfin grey
I'd not change my own true love for any knight you have"


Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee
And she's gone to Carterhaugh as fast as go can she
"Oh, tell to me, Tam Lin," she said, "why came you here to dwell?"
"The Queen of Faeries caught me when from my horse I fell
And at the end of seven years she pays a tithe to Hell
I so fair and full of flesh and feared it be myself
But tonight is Hallowe'en and the faerie folk ride
Those that would their true love win at Miles Cross they must buy
First let past the horses black and then let past the brown
Quickly run to the white steed and pull the rider down
For I'll ride on the white steed, the nearest to the town
For I was an earthly knight, they give me that renown
Oh, they will turn me in your arms to a newt or a snake
But hold me tight and fear not, I am your baby's father
And they will turn me in your arms into a lion bold
But hold me tight and fear not and you will love your child
And they will turn me in your arms into a naked knight
But cloak me in your mantle and keep me out of sight"

In the middle of the night she heard the bridle ring
She heeded what he did say and young Tam Lin did win
Then up spoke the Faerie Queen, an angry queen was she
”Woe betide her ill-fought face, an I'll death may she die”
"Oh, had I known, Tam Lin," she said, "what this night I did see
I'd have looked him in the eyes and turned him to a tree”

30 October 2012

Full Moon

The Full Moon in Taurus taken from our front step last night, how beautiful she is, bathing us all in her special light. All our thoughts are with those who were affected by the life changing tides that accompanied Hurricane Sandy. Mystic Mama gives us some insights into how we can best use the energy from this particular moon.

29 October 2012

Walk.

Back in June, I damaged my foot and, with the exception of the occasional bus ride to town to pay bills etc, I have stayed home. The foot was maintained in various states of elevation, therapy- both hot and cold,- a plaster cast, heated soft candle mixed with aloes and camphor massage, then wrapped in a black plastic bag for two days (courtesy of T's sister who has recently returned from vet school) nerve and bone tonic together with more than a few incantations, prayers and a tiny bag of 'protection', just to be on the safe side. I was really disappointed at my lack of stoicism and bravery and somewhat surprised by my overwhelming thoughts of gloom and doom! T, needless to say, rallied to the situation with endless enthusiasm and kindness, providing every need, much love, understanding and more besides. So, perhaps you can imagine my delight at being able to 'make the rounds' around Cornell yesterday! It is an easy walk, on the old estate road, that takes you up past Annandale Falls and, instead of continuing up to the dam and the forestry, you take a left by the big mango tree, just before Kool Nursery. Now the road climbs a little higher before you reach Cornell. Here, before hurricane Ivan, was full of nutmeg trees, a very cool and shady place with the foliage so dense that it was dark even on a sunny day. We were pleased to see a lot of replanting and new growth. The track levels out  now and then drops down through Mango and back into the village of Willis.


T has his breakfast as we take a five just after taking the left turn for Cornell. These stainless bowls are great by the way, they come with a plastic seal lid, from Bargain House in town, $20e.c. for a set of  5. I drink ice water and relish in the foliage and peace and quiet.


Cornell is more or less as I remember it but trees are being planted and the land nurtured.





......and I would like to stay here a while but
we continue on around the corner where we can see.....The Sea!

There is something missing from our walk, no Beres or Xena. We decided to leave them at home on this our first venture out together since The Foot, but it is strange being here without them. I think T thought he may have to carry me home, but all was well and he waited for me patiently as I foraged around with my nose in the bush that I have missed for so long.





On the way back down the hill to home, T told me all about La Diablesse
 
(This video is of the truly wonderful Richardo Keens-Douglas telling his La Diablesse story )
and how this is her toothbrush.

A frisson, a shiver of something as we walk past the plant and on down the hill and then, with a skip in my step and a happy, happy heart, home. Thank you to everyone who made me well again. I am so grateful.






9 October 2012

Calabash






During a recent downpour a 'boli' came floating down the drain. T, knowing a gift when he sees one, brought it home for me. Having been at a bit of a loose end all  morning the unexpected arrival of a 'found thing' lifted my spirits no end. Not being able to find my hack saw, T's electric jigsaw came to mind. Having drawn the circle I wanted to cut and made the initial incision  into which to slide the blade , cutting the hole was a piece of cake. The boli must have been adrift for a while as the exposed innards were a black mush. I meant to take a photograph of this stage but they didn't smell too good and I was a bit hasty in disposing of them, jettisoning them from out of the studio window to a shady spot where hopefully the seeds will sprout.(More likely than it sounds, most everything pelted from a window seems to grow, - lime pips,avocadoseeds, papaya,blackeyepeas,passion fruit- all have sprung happily to life from where they have landed, as opposed to all carefully cultured and nurtured attempts which, more often than not, fail miserably.) I digress. The inside of the shell needed a good scrape with a spoon and then it sat in a sink of full of water with a bit of bleach overnight. I'd been reading about the Amazon recently and with this in mind and the tribal connections to river and Anaconda, the design took shape. A friend had given me some lino cutting tools a while ago,(lino.... does it still exist?) and they worked well, providing texture and preventing me from being too careful and precious. This took most of the day, such fun and I was pleased with how it came out, especially the negative space which I hadn't thought about at all. The idea was to make a salt holder, one that requires putting your hand into the mouth of the beast. On reflection, I wasn't too sure how T would react to this. There are no poisonous varieties in Grenada but historically, Grenadians do not like serpents. Over time, we have come to an understanding, regarding all those that slither on their bellies.T is now able to resist the urge to exterminate them on sight and I am able to not be so dismissive about his cultural feelings towards them.
 Now all that is required is to sand it  and let it sit a while so it can tell me whether to paint it some, add shells, seeds, beads or just let the natural patina develop as it dries and matures. T likes it.

8 October 2012

El Diablito and the Book of Possibilities


I started working on some ideas for a still life painting this morning.  I like planning things out in a sketchbook. Using watercolour and with no particular discipline or end result in mind at this stage, I usually stick on some music, (it was The Incredible String Band today) and dive in to see what happens. It's a lovely feeling, there is no pressure or expectation as the water and paint mingle freely. I am besotted with the combination of Paynes Grey and Burnt Sienna, oranges with crimson, deep blues and emerald green. El Diablito, who believes that my work table is his, came to see what was going on and lend a paw. I imagine he'll work his way into the painting too.

Incredible String Band ~ October Song

2 October 2012

Burning Bush

What do you do
on those days
when the universe
appears to conspire
against you?
When hopes, dreams,
desires and the
best of intentions
are frustrated
at every turn?

T burns bush.!




18 September 2012

Surprise!




 





I am not good in the mornings. I am not one of those bouncy,happy, chatty, jump out of bed and straight away carpe deum types. I surface slowly, dragged from a world that is as reluctant to let me go as I am to leave.Coffee helps, as does bird song and the dark before dawn and the stillness of a day not yet begun by anyone. I have written morning pages for years now. I have volumes of mostly illegible, subconscious scribbling interspersed with patterns and ideas and sketches. A soup of stuff that flows in these early hours unrestrained by 'the critic' or the dollar. The ritual done, I get out of bed, make it and wander downstairs to the kitchen, where T will be with more coffee and porridge.......and this particular morning...Angel Trumpets to start the day!

26 August 2012

Bistro

In the heart of the city
on a cloudless,
sun hot,
breeze free day,
we slipped through
the arch
on Young Street,
behind the museum.

Passion fruit
was the juice
of the day,
sipped to a serenade
of national folk music
being rehearsed
behind
these doors.
The aroma of
a sumptuous feast,

escaping the
proprietor's
inner sanctum,

enveloped us.

Spellbound,
with the scent
of culinary alchemy,
we sated our thirst
with one last swallow.

The unseen musicians
dispersed,
giving us
a timely cue
to leave,
the way we had come.

24 July 2012

It's been a busy time for 'T', what with one thing and another.
Beres the Wonderdog, still believing that he can fly, cut his foot on a broken bottle requiring a visit to the GSPCA for stitches.








 That same week, we both enjoyed the view from the waiting area, outside the plaster room at the general hospital, having discovered that pulled ligaments do not heal themselves.






Both Beres and I are doing fine.
We love you . xxx

4 July 2012

Full Moon

I see the moon
and the moon sees me
under the shade of
the breadfruit tree,
please let the light
that shines on me
shine on the ones
I love.

15 June 2012

Tribal War

There are no pictures, no record of what just happened, outside the front door, right here, in the road. No image of the thin boy with the little goatee beard who retrieved his "sharpen on both sides till it gleam  thinthin" cutlass, from the bush below the pole by next door's house, as cool as you like, after the POlice van pick up one suspect and move on, after the pick up pass and a woman's voice plead "Officer, let us pass we have four who get chop inside here" and the POlice move and let them drive down to the hospital. (A place where they can't cure your cancer but they well know how to handle chopping and unexpected amputations.) No video of them 20 or so ninja who appear from nowhere, after the POlice pass, from behind and out of  Miss UG's gap, giggling and running, strangers, not from inside of here.There is no soundtrack of the Village voices raised in anger, frustration, hurt and disbelief at what they just witnessed when the POlice come. Willis Big Red won the football match 4-1. Beaulieau lose and, pre armed, don't like that and run riot, after dark. The  Crossroads where it start, bottle pelt and thing. .They move on, cutlass, blade shining, they run into shop and chop up old lady playing' all fours' with she friend and them, small school child, who mother send her, on an errand, to the same shop for something, get a chop on she hand that she need for exam. They rage continue chop and run in by Andy the barber, chop the man who make balusters, until they bounce up with the police outside our door, where M16 rule and they run and hide in the dark and the shadow, only dogs that betray them and the POlice, SSU, RRU, CID Central, hold who they find, together with all from up here who now have axe to grind. We run from room to veranda for a better view, lights off, door locked but still, the need to see, adrenaline filled urge to witness and yet not. Is a movie, we in it and it just start.

30 May 2012

Xena The Weather Dog



Xena, trusty hound and constant companion, knows a thing or two. Storm Carib might well have something on their radar but once Xena makes her move beneath the kitchen sink, (a feat now performed with some difficulty as she's not so nimble as before), a weather is coming for sure.

29 May 2012

25 May 2012

21 May 2012

Happy Monday

We started the day in Corn Buck. It has been a long time since we went up together with lunch and a purpose. The weather was kind, no rain, and a cloud filtered sun . T had begun work up there already and invited me to join him 'just to see'.







I saw










and set to, freeing stones. There is something delightful about cutting this bush, there are no monetary rewards, no fanfares or applause but once free of vine and vegetation, the stones stand for something that I cannot explain other than to say it matters.







T took the opportunity to wash the dogs' bedding in the river, spreading them out to dry on warm river stones, which have totally different personalities from the ones in the bush.






Once home I did my share and washed the white things, a task
divided into manageable bites by frequent internet visits and refreshments  between rinses, combined with some lively music to maintain the momentum.






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