Friday, 30 November 2012

Happy Independence Barbados!!

Happy Independence Barbados, my island home!!
Today we celebrate 46 years of Independence.
Back in the year 1966, the island of Barbados relinquished its dependence on England, and became an independent state.
That was back on November 30, 1966.

My mum told me that she bundled both me and my brother up that night and headed to The Garrison Savannah for the lowering of the Union Jack.  A historic and magical moment.
At the stroke of midnight, on a rainy night, the Barbados flag was raised for the first time as the National Anthem was played for the first time.
It was a momentous occasion, and many of the older folk still speak of it with fond memories.
Me, I can't remember being there no matter how I try.

I am a proud Barbadian (Bajan), and I LOVE my island home. I will therefore share with you a few details about our island symbols.

We have a Coat of Arms. The Coat of Arms carries the motto "Pride and Industry".

The Golden Shield of the Arms carries two Pride of Barbados flowers (the National Flower) and the Bearded Fig Tree (Ficus Citrifolia) which was common on the island at the time of its settlement. On either side of the shield are the supporters -- on the right (dexter) is a dolphin symbolic of the fishing industry and on the left (sinister) is a Pelican. There was once a small island named Pelican Island which existed off Barbados and which was incorporated into the Deep Water Harbour development. Above the shield is a helmet and mantling and on a wreath is the arm and hand of a Barbadian holding two crossed pieces of sugar cane symbolic of the sugar industry. This is a saltire cross, the cross upon which St. Andrew was crucified. November 30th is St. Andrews Day.

We have a National Anthem.
The National Anthem
 In plenty and in time of need
When this fair land was young
Our brave forefathers sowed the seed
From which our pride is sprung,
A pride that makes no wanton boast
Of what it has withstood
That binds our hearts from coast to coast--
The pride of nationhood.

We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own.
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great,
Strict guardians of our heritage,
Firm craftsmen in our fate.
The Lord has been the people's guide
For past three hundred years.
With him still on the people's side
We have no doubts or fears.
Upward and onward we shall go,
Inspired, exulting, free,
And greater will our nation grow
In strength and unity.

The National Anthem was composed by Mr.C. Van Roland Edwards, and the lyrics were written by Mr. Irving Burgie, a renowned Barbadian / American composer.

We have a National Flag.
The National Flag

The National Flag was designed by Mr. Grantley Prescod, secondary school master. The Flag of Barbados is composed of three equal vertical panels -- the outer panels of ultramarine and the centre panel of gold. A broken trident in black is in the centre of the flag.The flag is depicted as follows: Blue for the sea and sky of Barbados; Gold for the sand of its beaches. The symbol in the centre panel is the Trident of the Mythical sea god, Neptune. The shaft of the Trident is broken indicating Barbados' break with its historical and constitutional ties as a former colony.

We have a National Pledge written by Mr.Lester Vaughan, a renowned educator.
The National Pledge
I Pledge allegiance to my country Barbados and to my flag,
to uphold and defend their honour,
and by my living, to do credit to my nation, wherever I go.

We have a National Flower - The Pride of Barbados.

The National Flower of Barbados, is the Pride of Barbados (Dwarf Poinciana or Flower Fence). It is a shrub and is a member of the Legume family. The Pride of Barbados blooms most of the year.

To celebrate our Independence, we make a local delicacy called conkies, which is a mixture of grated pumpkin, coconut, sweet potato and corn flour with added spices and raisins and cherries and steamed in banana leaves.
This year I am not making conkies, so I have loaned my big conkie pot to a friend who will indulge me with a few when she is finished.

Happy Happy Independence Barbados!!!!  I love you!!! 

Monday, 26 November 2012


 "Mums" loved roses, especially red ones

This afternoon, I received the sad news that my mother-in-law had passed.
She was the most loving, caring, hard working, selfless, down-to-earth and laughter-filled person that I have ever known.
Even though her son and I were divorced many years ago, I still remained quite close to her, especially after my own mum died.
She was like  a mother to me, and that's why I called her "Mums".
We had a close bond that folks on the outside looking in could never fathom....."Isn't she your ex-mother-in-law" they would ask?
"No, she is my mother-in-law." " She will always be my mother-in-law."
It was always me that she wanted to accompany her to her doctor's visits. We always felt comfortable with each easy to enjoy each others company. No pretenses were necessary.
We went to church together, and also to other events where she would always introduce me to her friends as "my daughter-in-law", "one of the nice ones", and then she would start to laugh.
After her illness started to consume her, she was placed in an elderly hospice for her medical care.
That is how I ended up with her bow wow Brownie.
I had no idea that when I saw him looking into the dining room a few hours before lunch, when I repeatedly called his name, and he kept focused on something he was seeing there, but yet he just kept looking at the same spot, with his head on a side in a quizzical manner.
He was trance-like, and then he gave a slight bark, and advanced a bit, but then he just lied down and put his head on his paws.....I had no idea then that she was here saying goodbye.
I am going to miss her. I am going to miss talking and laughing with her.
I am going to miss all the goodies that she made, and encouraged me to eat.  "You eat like a bird," she would tell me laughing at me. A laugh that made her entire body shake, a true spirited laugh.
"Mums" you taught me a whole lot about being a true woman, just by being you.
Thank you for helping me to raise my daughter from a newborn to a young lady.
Thank you for always being there for me. 
Thank you for all the sage advice that you gave me over the years. I will always treasure it.
Thank you for being you. I love you. I'm going to miss you.

All Breeds Championship Dog Show 2012

Yesterday, Sunday, was a beautiful day, a beautiful day indeed, moreso because I attended The Barbados Kennel Club's third annual All Breeds Championship Dog Show held at Waterford Woods.
It was the first time that Mr.Paul Harding (UK) was going to be judging in Barbados, and I thought I would go along and extend a warm  dog-lover welcome to our shores.
He had the task of judging 15 breeds of dogs in  Championship, Utility, and Working groups.
Need I say here, that I was looking forward to a lovely day surrounded by man's best friends and dog lovers like myself, and it turned out to be one of the loveliest days ever.

Waterford Woods is home to The Barbados Kennel Club.

Waterford Woods
One of the last remaining indigenous wooded areas on the island

With old old trees that have weathered many storms...even the termites know they have a safe haven here

The Judges Table

Mr. Paul Harding (UK) the head judge

Trophies, cups and plaques to be won

The sponsor for the event - Roberts Manufacturing....locally produced dog and animal feed company

Crowds keeping cool under the tents
Food stall
Pet transportation was available

Let's get this party started.....

Red ribbon won!!!

Inspection table for the small breeds.

Best of Breed and Best Locally Bred won the red ribbon

Golden Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers

Irish Setters

Red Irish setter

"Bandit" the Beagle won first prize in his category
Much to the surprise of his owner..."I can't believe that "Bandit" won!  We're gonna have to take the judge to dinner!"
Obviously the name "Bandit" was not given lightly.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Japanese Akitas

French Bulldog

Japanese Shiba Inu

Miniature  Schnauzer

Let's have a look shall we........

Tibetan Terrier

Needless to say, I could not stay for the afternoon half, and therefore departed after the morning's judging was over.
I had to get home to give you know who his lunch.
He immediately knew that I had been out with other dogs. He gave me the once over, sniffing me thoroughly, and then decided that I was okay.  I guess he was too hungry to make a fuss.

Most of my dogs over the years have been small mixed breeds, but I do enjoy viewing pedigree dogs on show.  

You already know who is the star champion of my show....

 Brownie my Numero Uno

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