Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Merry Month of May

The Very Merry Month of May is over.
I can't believe it, where did this month go?
So many things have happened that I haven't posted about but need to be documented, since this blog serves as my journal as well.
May 1st was my usual Swap and Tea Party, and wouldn't you know it, I have no photos to share, how weird is that?
The photo above is the day empty centrepiece made from microwave plates I collected from garage sales, and one was given to me by my friend whose funeral I attended recently.
I used  dessert glasses with stems between the layers and applied them with Elmer's Tac & Stik to hold them in easy to take apart for storage afterwards.
My girlfriends and I chowed down on Lemon tartlets, mini cupcakes, marshmallow pie, sandwiches, veggie samosas, coconut bread, conkies, tuna bakes, apple cobbler, and a few others that I don't remember right now.
The swap was lovely and I ended up with a few herbs for my garden, veggies, a battery operated motion sensor light, glass vases and some beautiful glass stones.

The day after the swap my tv (smart????) refused to come on, and after googling the problem I asked my techie friend to swing by and check it out.
All you need to know is that the "hidden" power button which works as the override when the remote doesn't work could not be found by yours truly...but yet there it is big and bold on the left of my friend's hand.....say nothing...I won't hear you.

Mid month, Beast was scheduled for his annual road worthy checkup at my friendly mechanic.
He may be an old boy (Beast not my mechanic) but he still works great.
Needs a new paint job and a few new parts but will still get me from point A to point B safely.
Image borrowed from Earthsky
Saturn, the ringed planet was also remarkably visible this month (22nd-23rd).
Earth passed between the planet and the sun which would have made the planet the brightest it has ever been and viewing would have been perfect all night long.
My poor telescope was so far amongst other items in storage that it was a bother to take it out, so I didn't get to see it up close.

I did have an open invitation to view at the Observatory but I just couldn't deal with the crowds.

There was also a strange day on the 27th, one I shall refer to as The Day of Flies. Had no idea where the flies were coming from or how they were getting into the kitchen since the windows are all screened.
Another girlfriend told me she had the same thing happen to her a couple of months ago.

We took a friend who is leaving the island after pursuing her studies for a year at university to dinner on Friday night....we are going to miss her.

My fat mahi mahi fish fingers with a delightful in-house tartar sauce.
We had a lovely evening.

Of course Mr. Brownbie is still ruling the roost and being a good boy.

And so we say goodbye to The Merry Month of May 2015.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

So nice we did it twice

The first plant swap that I attended with my new pals on FB Barbados Garden Lovers was such a resounding success that we had to have another one.
It was so nice that we had to do it twice!!
Today was the day for our second time around plant swap.
Held in Queens Park (I will write a post on this beautiful park soon), we met up at 9.30am.
Boy oh boy, there were much more plant enthusiasts this time around, and everyone seemed to have brought a gazillion plants to share.

Yesterday I had spent some of the day digging out more of my rogue helconias....

.....with the help of you know who.

I also cut back the Polyscias along the front wall.....
....and took those cuttings along to the plant swap as well.

Makes a beautiful hedge once it fills in.

All kinds of plants at the plant swap.

A lively group of like minded folks who were willing to not only share their plants but also tips on how to propagate and care for them.
Living in various parishes on the island, we all had some valuable nugget of information to share.
As you may imagine, I came away with lots of new babies, some of which I lost over the will be nice to have them again.
Thank you ladies!!!

This drought that we're experiencing is not helping either...I have to be very careful with all my newbies before planting them into the earth....which is parched and remains cracked and dry no matter how much you water.

I hope the rains come soon....see my crispy brown lawn in the photo above (#4) if you doubt me.

Friday, 29 May 2015

On the Other Side

It's been a long while since I attended an evening jazz concert at the Frank Collymore Hall.
Hence I found myself last Wednesday (May 20th) attending a concert by saxophonist Joseph Callender.

The early 6.15pm start meant that there was still some light about when I arrived and I was able to watch workers hustling home from work.  Not all of them went towards their parked cars though, some of them joined me on the balcony to attend the show.

Joseph Leo Callender is a saxophonist, composer and teacher.
He studied music at Christ Church Foundation Secondary School and the Barbados Community College where he earned his Associate Degree in Music.

A gifted musician no doubt, (mentored by Arturo Tappin), he held us captive for the entire performance with numbers like "September" (one of my Earth Wind & Fire favourites), "Pure Simple Bliss", "Roxy Roundabout", "On The Other Side", "Donna Lee", "My One And  Only Love", and "De Last Song". 
"On the Other Side" is his first original recorded single.
He was accompanied by his "band of friends" (The 1688 Orchestra and Collective) who played exceptionally well.
Joseph himself on Alto Sax and Flute, along with Mylon Clarke on Tenor Sax, Kweku Jelani on Trumpet, Jewel Morris on Bass, Mario Porchetta on Percussion, Keron Prescod on Trombone, Stefan Walcott on Piano and Keys, and Petra Welch on Drums blended the music so smoothly, it was relaxing and held me spellbound for the entire performance.
When veteran jazz pianist Ebe Gilkes was invited on stage to perform with Joseph, they welcomed each other like old friends, and complemented each other brilliantly during their performance.
Joseph also invited his parents on to the stage at one point, and it was endearing to hear this humble guy say "Come Mummy and Daddy, come up here with me."

The evening's performance was a fundraising effort to assist this amazingly talented artiste to pursue further studies.
It was a wonderful show, and it is one that I am not likely to ever forget.
It makes me feel so proud to see youngsters embracing the arts and doing something that they love.

Joseph is also a member of the band NJ30+ which I have written about before here.
Earlier this year, Joseph was fortunate to travel to Toronto, Canada, where he auditioned and was accepted for the Music Program at Humber College....Congrats to him.
He will be off in September on a new adventure and to follow his dream of obtaining a Master's Degree in Music.
I'm wishing him all the best in his studies.

I must give an honorary mention to the drummer Petra Welch, she was exceptionally GOOD!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

My heart aches

Dogs don't really care for cats do they?
Cats love to tease dogs don't they?
I think I've mentioned the black and white neighbourhood cat that comes by to tease BrownBerts.
He would sit on the back garden wall, and wait till Brownie saw him and then make himself very noticeable by stretching or sauntering across the wall.
He also had a habit of sitting in the middle of the street outside the front gate where he could be seen in all his glory and make Brownie go crazy with barking until I would shoo him away.
He was a nuisance but he made sure Brownie's life had some excitement every day.
Yesterday evening I heard Brownie barking and barking and barking at the front gate....I paid him no attention at first because I was gardening in the back, but when he kept going on and on and on, I decided to stop what I was doing and go and see what was happening that had him so irritated.
There by my neighbour's car, sat the black and white cat looking terrible...I think someone has thrown a chemical on him....he can hardly see and his hair is mostly gone.
People are so cruel.
This evening I saw him lying so still in the water course next to my wall, that I thought he was gone, but when I called him, he stirred.
I came inside and mixed up some meat sauce and bread and threw it over the wall for him, talking to him all the while, telling him how sorry I was that he had been ill treated.
He managed to eat and then moved away into the safety of the covered section of the water course.
I asked Brownie not to bark at him any more, he doesn't deserve it, and you don't kick a man when he's down.
I will check on Mr. Black and White Cat in the morning....I hope he makes it.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

What are you doing?

Mum, I don't understand you sometimes...what are you doing?

What are you doing?
These are my leaves...they bring me utmost joy.
I single handedly or make that single pawedly scattered them just right over the garden after they fell from the trees.
You came along and raked them and bagged them up to dispose of...why?
I love playing in the dry brown leaves...they make a rustling sound when I roll around in them.

I'm not moving from here...I won't let you take them....over my dead body.
These are my leaves!!

Monday, 25 May 2015

St. James Anglican Parish Church

Our island is blessed with a large number of beautiful old churches.

 St. James Anglican Parish Church
The Oldest Church in Barbados
Established 1628
To be a beacon radiating God's love, among all people.
St. James Anglican Parish Church is a beautiful coral stone building situated in Holetown on the west coast of the island.
It is one of the four oldest surviving churches on the island and stands on one of the oldest pieces of consecrated land on the island, also known as "God's acre."

It is located near the site of the island's first settlement of the English who arrived on February 17, 1627.  As the settlement rapidly grew, it became necessary to erect a place of worship, and so a wooden Anglican church was built in 1628.
It was later replaced by a coral stone structure in 1680 after a hurricane destroyed much of the island. When the walls of the coral stone building began to decay after nearly 200 years, they were partly demolished and replaced by a larger, more substantial structure in 1874...the nave roof was raised on new pillars and arches.
The enlarged building was consecrated by Bishop Mitchinson on Easter Tuesday, 1875.
With the exception of the sanctuary and the north porch, added in the 1900's this is basically the same building in use today.

The Baptistery 
Located on the ground floor of the belfry in the southern entrance is the original Baptismal Font dated 1684.
The font is over 300 years old.
It was donated by Richardus Walter....the inscription reads: "Debit Richardus Walter to the Church of St. James Anno 1684."

Also located in the Baptistry is a beautiful stained glass window depicting the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch by St. Philip on the road from Jerusalem (Acts Ch.8 v.26-40)
This window is two and a half feet wide by seven feet tall with a half-round top and faces east.
It shows two figures surrounded by lush landscape, seaside, palm trees and vegetation with an ornate floral pattern surrounding the main figures, while another figure in the background astride a donkey can be seen observing the baptism.
The plaque below is inscribed, "In affectionate memory of John Bishop Culpepper, Captn.
 14th Dragoons, of Easy Hall, in this Island, who died January 3rd, 1875. Erected by his Widow." 

The Lady Chapel

A gorgeous chandelier adorns the ceiling...this photo does not do it justice.

Lady Chapel Garden Window


From the church website: 
"This stained glass was installed in the organ apse window of the St. James Parish Church in thanksgiving for the $3/4 million restoration and was dedicated on November 10th, 1991.
It is an unusual window, two and a half feet wide by seven feet tall, with a half-round top. The frame is cast-iron and inch-wide muntins of the same iron criss-cross it diagonally, forming in the main, 4-3/4 "sqare lights". There are 104 of these, with 987 pieces of glass. The motif, or central idea, is that of a garden's colour: the many splendoured hues of tropical blooms, open sky and various greens and browns of the foliage, branches and the earth intermingled with water-visual expression of the life celebrated in the church.
The window was designed by Bill Grace and crafted by Ruth & Jim Lambie. Engineers Michael Hatch and son Guy, installed the window."

Intricate wood work adorns the sanctuary.
The organ console on the right.....the music is transmitted electrically to the pipes.

The Pulpit
Made from local mahogany, it was designed and built by John Edward Challenor and Wilfred Worrell in 1921.

The front pew is adorned with a commemorative plaque highlighting the visit of President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy to the church to attend Easter Sunday service on April 11th, 1982.
They were guests of their friend Claudette Colbert who lived on the island at the time.
President Reagan was the first sitting US president to visit the island.
The Altar Window

From the church website
Altar Window
"Known as the East Window, situated above the High Altar, it depicts The Ascension of Christ into heaven before his disciples. The disciples are clustered around below Christ while the kingdom of heaven opens above His head. God's glory shines down in golden rays as He is lifted into the clouds and also takes the shape of an inverted shell. The shell commonly represents St. James the Greater. This window is a memorial to those who gave their lives for their country in the Great War. Dedicated by Bishop Berkeley on November 11, 1924, it is inscribed, 'To the Glory of God and in Memoriam. 1914-1918'. This window is two and a half feet wide by seven feet tall with a half round top."

The Sanctuary and Choir Area

Several burial tablets adorn the church walls

Written in Olde English

 In the northern porch of the church is the original 400 pound church bell with the inscription - "God bless King William, 1696". This bell pre-dates the famous American Liberty bell in Philadelphia, USA by 56 years and Big Ben, the Bell in the Clock Tower at Westminster Palace, London, by 162 years.

It fell from the belfry after 200 years of service and was badly cracked.
It was shipped to WhiteChapel Bell Foundry in the UK(*) for repairs and returned in 1889.
 Although it was repaired, it cannot ring true.
(*) WhiteChapel Bell Foundry also made the famous Big Ben in London.

Due to its historic value, it has been retained and is therefore displayed as a monument in the northern porch.
A new bell was donated by a benefactor.

There are two bronze Bas Reliefs situated at the back of the church.

The plaque under the Bas Relief

The Hunger Veil
Ethiopian-style Hunger Veil Bible Stories in pictures was presented by Canon Andrew Hatch, former Rector.

The Church is a popular tourist attraction.

The pews are teak wood.

Standing under the organ looking up.

The inside is cool and serene thanks to the coral stone.

The Pipe Organ
With its beautiful hand-carved mahogany is approximately 130 years old.

The church's first organ was ordered and built by the English firm, Hill & Son, at a cost of 320 pounds. After its arrival and assembly in January 1876, the first organist was Charles A. Greenidge and the bellows blower, Reynold W. Gillman.
 Over the years, this organ was replaced with various upgrades until the existing instrument was completely rebuilt from 2006–2007 and rededicated in 2008. Some of the pipes and structure still date back about one hundred years.

The organ has 2000 pipes.
Yes, the pipes are horizontally positioned.
I didn't take the photo upside down.
The roof beams with lights that look like lighted candles.
Beautifully carved coral stone pillars adorn the church.

The Devil's Gate

There is a popular legend attached to St. James Church, this gate in the north wall surrounding the churchyard is referred to as 'The Devil's Gate'.
It is opened about one hour before service. When the bell is rung the Devil leaves the church by this gate, and it is closed as the service is about to begin, so that the Devil is excluded from the area. This must have been derived from the old belief that church bells were rung to drive the devil out of the building.

The church is registered as a National Trust protected building.

The outside of the Altar window.

The gargoyle rain gutter down spout.
The circular bell tower
Many of the original settlers and prominent Barbadians were laid to rest in the Church and its yard.
Amongst the old graves in the church yard one can find the earliest legible grave stone which is dated 1700, John Gibbs.
The original burial ground was closed in 1887.
A new modern cemetery is located nearby.

The Garden of Remembrance
Urns with ashes of loved ones are interred.

A beautiful church both inside and outside....I will be visiting again.

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