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Showing posts from July, 2010

Adventures in the Bush - Part II

I've just had breakfast, Doubles: lightly curried chickpeas squashed between two flat, fried bakes. Yum yum. And more Eine. *sigh* I'm floating on a sea of contendedness.

Where was I? Ah yes...

We left the teak field, by continuing down the 'track'. When we'd made our way out, the Government Man rang his man at the bottom of the road. The police had arrived and were swarming around, doing police things. Rather than get caught up in that circus, because we had nothing useful to add, we kept going.

The 'track' eventually became a 'road' that led through several 'villages', I suspect hamlets are a better description. We past Moruga. We had travelled so far south we could see the sea through the coconut trees. My brother and his friend agreed to part company, his friend would drop off the two field workers and we would return the Government Man. More driving. It took about an hour to get there.

Yesterday, I saw parts of rural Trinidad I'd never…

Adventures in The Bush

Long time readers will know of my well-earned reputation as a woman who loves being horizontal. Dawn comes and goes before I willingly leave the warmth and comfort of my bed. I am not an early riser.

Yesterday, I went on an Adventure with my brother to look at a teak field. Very exciting in more ways than one; except I had to be up at 3.55. That's AM, as in the morning. As in it's fucking dark outside. As I stood by the gate, waiting for my brother to reverse out his gold landrover I thought to myself: at that time of the morning, the virtuous and villans are safely tucked up in bed. I was wrong.

Firstly, let me introduce you to the trusty steed: the gold Landrover. My brother has 3 and this is the star of his fleet. It is the youngest, a sprightly 23 years old and has been modified so that the back will tip up and dump it's load at your feet. It has all modcons - a cranky airconditioning and an old car radio. It is very comfortable and as proved yesterday morning as we hurt…

Mango, Mango, Mango, Mango, Mangooooo

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Yesterday, my brother and SIL took us all to the Mango Festival hosted by the University of the West Indies Agriculture Field Office. I didn't have any expectations one way or another, so I was happy with the experience. My niece was fighting off a cold and could hardly speak, so after we parked up I offered her a piggy-back. At 5, she's a heavy little thing and it's hot. But it meant she wasn't getting pushed past, or walk. There were stalls promoting mango products: cosmetics, foods, preserves & chutneys and stationery. There wasn't very much to see in all honesty. There was also a stall promoting the benefits of wheatgrass which I avoided like an STD. As I've got older, my disbelief in 'wonder' ingredients and alternative treatments like wheatgrass, coconut oil, green tea has fallen disproportionately. Anything that promotes 'natural' products gets more than a sceptical look. Natural is not better than man-made people. It's not automatic…

All Change

Last weekend in the Bush, I was getting fed up of my hair. It had got quite long and swung past my shoulder blades. While I'm in Trinidad, I kept it up off my neck in various versions of pony-tails. In 38'C, the mass of hair on the top of my head was getting more than I wanted. Also, with the humidity and the lack of my usual styling routine (I didn't travel with my hair drier) it had turned into bush. My nephew and I were talking about hair cuts and I decided there and then, it would have to go.

I have been going to the same hairdresser in Norwich for the last 14 years. He must be the only straight male hairdresser in Norwich. I keep going back to him because he cuts hair fantastically well, but also because of his kindness. When I was a student and then improverished, he would cut and colour my hair for model prices. Also, when I had 'company' courtesy of my small Boy, he would check my hair without any fuss. There are some who have thrown me out of their chairs i…

Condolences

My heart goes out to Ms Boxer, who has said goodbye to her dad after a period of illness.

In many ways, I am walking the path she has trod so bravely and with good humour despite everything.

Please call in and leave her hugs, today and in the coming days. In my experience, the first few days of bereavement are always a bit weird, after the weird period things can get hard. So, keep popping by.

Sparkly Things

My mother loved jewelry. Proper jewellery. With large rocks. She could go through her jewellery box and each piece would have a story: given to her by her parents, her boyfriends, her husbands (she was married twice, to Father #1 and then to Pops). Buying her own jewellery would have been an insult to her feminine allure.

I also love sparkly things, but she and I differ quite radically.

Silver is my precious metal of choice. I am actually quite fussy about what I wear. I only wear one ring on what is technically my 'status' ring finger. It's a small silver band of leaves. I got it after a particularly messy relationship. It signifies my on-going commitment to my self-improvement, so I don't ever have to re-live that awful experience. It's my commitment to my well-being and to fulfilling relationships. By and large, I continue to live up to that. The decisions I make are generally informed and when things go south, I have only myself to blame.

Apart from that ring, I …

Mush

Describes perfectly the state of my brain.

Had a fantastic time in The Bush. Lots of mosquitos and interesting wildlife. A praying mantis stood guard on the wall over my bed. Obviously thought my virtue needed protecting. Could have saved her the bother. My virtue is a dim and distant memory. Thank goodness.

My brother has two donkeys on his estate. Proton and Ashmini. They are so funny. Every time I went to have a smoke, they'd come and join me, snuffling my arms and fingers. I'd crouch down on the driveway and hear their gentle clop-clop and then there would be a tickle on the back of my neck. They never bit me, but did they did try to eat my dress a couple of times.

There's a beach nearby and we'd pile into the landrover and go for a swim. My arms are brown, my legs less so. I suppose that's simply because I tend to keep them covered either in a long dress or jeans. I'm not a huge fan of sea swimming, but the water was so calm and warm, it was fantastic.

On Sund…

Off to the Bush

I'm clutching my cup of coffee, trying to get my act together. I watched the rain falling on the distant hills as I had my first smoke. I can smell it in the air. Tropical rain is something different to the polite British drizzle. Because of the topography, and the fact we live in a valley. It's possible to stand outside, to hear and see the rain falling, rushing towards you, before the first drops hit your head. I love this time of year, even though it means less sunshine.

I've got to pack. We're off to my brother's little piece of Heaven. We're off to The Bush.

I've no internet, so do try and behave while I'm gone.

Rainy Season

It's interesting being back in Trinidad in a different season. From June to December is the official rainy season. After an intensely dry season which saw the hills ablaze with forest fires, the rainy season brings with it relief and more misery. Relief in that the earth and plants are crying out for rain, but without the vegetation to hold the soil, the rain washes away the precious topsoil (which tends not to be very deep in the tropics anyway) and there is the real risk of mud slides.

Small, still puddles of water are breeding grounds for mosquitos. And my goodness they are vicious. In April, I could get away with a casual slathering after each shower, now if I don't re-apply every 2 hours, I look like a dot-to-dot picture. Very unattractive and itchy to say the least. Of course there's also the risk of a nasty tropical disease called dengue.

It's still mango season and I've got my eye on several large avocados growing in my brother's garden. I'm told we&#…

Going to the Dark Side

One of the goals I set myself this summer was to become fit and strong. I wasn't particularly worried about my weight, even though it's been fluctuating, I figured if I was fitter and more active, it would settle down. Of course, once I got the phone call (last week, bloody hell), it kind of screwed my plans a bit.

Until I remembered my SIL was a yoga convert. I did ante-natal yoga and quite liked it, but my leanings tended to be more martial arts rather than yoga. But I've been putting off joining a class, procrastinating doing my exercise dvds and ignoring the olympic sized swimming pool just up the road. I bought a skipping rope which was duly packed and when I arrived I made the mistake of telling my SIL.

She took me for a walk round the neighbourhood on Thursday. Bearing in mind, Trinidad has steep hills, I'm deeply unfit and I smoke, I revelled in the fact that when we finished I did not require the attention of a paramedic, nor did I resort to Father #1's oxyg…

Arrival

The Great Ursus, his lovely and Boy saw me off at Norwich Bus Station at 00:30 Wednesday morning. National Express is certainly an experience. The coach trip was as expected: endless, uncomfortable and occasionally entertaining. My advice to you, should you ever need to travel by coach is to book. Several people rocked up to the stops at stupid o'clock and got in the driver's face because they hadn't booked tickets, or enough seats for their party and decided that the fact that the coach was booked solid and he didn't have the seats for them was his fault. I don't see their logic, but what do I know? Apparently, theirs was a trip of a life-time and they wouldn't make their flight. Quite. At 3 am, he was far more professional and polite than I would have been. But given that I'd been awake since 6.30 the previous morning, I was cold and uncomfortable, perhaps it's not surprising. Gatwick was Gatwick. Filled with hurrying passengers, stressed staff and se…

Update

I chickened out. I called for reinforcements. The Petite Ursus came, held my hand as I searched for the bits of paper. I had a long hard think and prioritised my bureacracy. I found the most important bit and have dealt with my Car Tax. The other...well, I'll deal with it when I get back. There's nothing I can do about it now. And no, Mago there's no jail time associated with that one.

Blogger seems to be eating comments at the moment. Please keep commenting. I get them on e-mail and your kind messages are wonderful for me to read as my spirit starts to flag.

Doing Today, What Should Have Been Done 3 Months Ago

If only procrastination were an Olympic sport. I'd win the gold medal.

I have to get back to Trinidad. I'm being delivered to the bus station at half past midnight tonight, by the Great Ursus and his Lovely. Blessings upon their heads for their stalwart support and love.

There are at least 3 piles of paper in my house that I've been ignoring. I have to find 2 pieces of paper. If I don't find them the British government is likely to get very, very stroppy with with me. I've been ignoring the job for some time now. But as I can't take 3 piles of paper with me to Trinidad, if I don't do the job now, it isn't going to get done until September when I get back. By which time there will be a new pile of paper to ignore.

Administration is an interesting dilema for me. If it's not mine, I can do it, no problem. Indeed, many of my monthly paychecks in the past have required me to be organised and efficient in the moving of paper around. When it comes to my own …

The World's Most Boring Ad

This has got to be the World's Most Boring Ad. I feel my brain shutting down every time it comes on. I'm left to speculate whether this actress was directed to look as if the last time she had Earth Shattering Sex, was half way through the last century or whether she's like that normally.Can you imagine a director saying 'No love, there's too much animation in your expression. I want you to think of your tax return as you read the autocue.'If she's that way normally, he'll be saying 'Think of having sex with your husband.'Also, do these people actually read the scripts? Do they understand what they're saying? "Pure gold lead finish." What does that mean? Alchemists have been trying to turn lead into gold for centuries with no success (apart from getting high on the fumes). It's either gold or lead. I suspect what they mean is some child in a developing country, getting high on the paint fumes, brushed the out dated coin with go…