Thursday, 30 November 2017

Happy Independence Day 2017



Well another Independence Day is almost over as I sit here trying to reacquaint myself with writing a blog post on my mostly neglected blog.

One of my New Year resolutions was to nurture my blog with some serious love this year, but I have fallen short of my true intentions.
 Life sure does get in the way sometimes.

Independence is not a real Independence without our local Conkie delicacy.
The neighbourhood supermarket had a display table with Conkie ingredients that got me in the mood.

I made my Conkies early this year, actually last month to be exact because Nat's cousin was visiting and I wanted to make sure that she enjoyed a homemade treat.
This year the banana leaves were in short supply after some very gusty winds that we had knocking around from the weather conditions in our hurricane season.
I decided to go ahead and use plantain leaves instead.  They worked okay but I think I prefer banana leaves.
After a three hour steaming in my large conkie pot, they were cooling on the table.
The man of the house was waiting patiently.

"Are they cooled yet?????"


Finally ready to eat...deliciousness on a plate....yum yum.
So very very GOOD!!!
Happy Independence Y'All!!!


Sunday, 24 September 2017

Benedict "Ben"

After donating to the hurricane relief efforts for our Caribbean brothers and sisters in Dominica on Wednesday, the following day was the animals turn.
 Another post in my Barbados Weather Watchers (Reloaded) FB group peaked my interest:
"FOR DOMINICAN PETS - THEY ARE SET TO SHIP OUT IN TWO DAYS
RSPCA - BARBADOS
Having responded with food aid to the stricken animals of Dominica in 2015 after the passing of the Tropical Storm Ericka, we find ourselves once again preparing to send food aid urgently.
Here is how you can help the survivors!
We are appealing for donations to purchase Dog, chicken and livestock food from Roberts Manufacturing and Cat food from Atlantic Marketing.
Funds can be brought directly to our office on Spring Garden Highway.
An awesome THANK YOU to Harris Paints for once again for allocating space on their container for animal aid. They are set to ship out in two days.
Thank you to Roberts Manufacturing for working overtime to produce food for this shipment.
Thank you to Atlantic Marketing for allocating, packing and moving pallets of cat food to the shipment point.
Thank you!"


My RSPCA family had arranged with a local paint manufacturer to deliver food for the animals in need on the island of hurricane ravaged Dominica.
I popped into the RSPCA to drop off some funds for the cause.

I decided I would visit with "Ben."
I first met Ben here.
There was some discussion initially on what his name should be and many names were thrown around by RSPCA FB followers, but it was decided that his name would be Benedict which means Blessed..."Ben" for short.
When I see the cruelty that fellow humans inflict on poor defenseless animals, I lose hope in humanity.
But then the next update warmed my heart.

He immediately had an outpouring of love....

Today when I met him in person, he was a real charmer....a gentleman... a sweet loving soul.
 He came out to say "hello" and immediately walked over to a grassy spot to christen the area.

Taking care of business.

 Checking for another spot to christen.

Blessed Ben!! 
He is coming along well....he enjoyed having his head rubbed and nuzzling up to me for more cuddles.
 What a handsome fellow!!!
For an animal that has endured such cruelty it's amazing that he has learned to trust and give love again so quickly....all thanks to the never ending love and care of the RSPCA staff.

I will be back soon to visit you Ben...promise.

You know who was very jealous when he detected the scent of another male canine on me when I got back home....I assured the brown dog with the black nose that I loved him more than ever and that there was nothing for him to worry about.....he was good after that.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Our Brother's Keeper

Living in the Caribbean is a blessing...tropical islands drenched in sunshine, sandy beaches, lovely breezes....paradise.
However, one drawback to our idyllic way of life is our annual Hurricane Season which runs from June to November.
Hurricanes are no joke as they pack the full force of Mother Nature when they descend on us.

This year the season has been rampant with hurricane formation one after the other ...what is worrisome is the strength that each one seems to be achieving as they travel across the Atlantic Ocean from the west coast of African to our shores.

Tropical Waves and Low Pressure areas are developing at an alarming rate becoming mature hurricanes in no time at all.
Cat 1 hurricanes advance through the stages (1-5) in the blink of an eye.
Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma tore through the islands, but then on September 18th Maria came along, a Category 5 hurricane that devastated the island of Dominica.
Dominica.... nicknamed the "Nature Isle of the Caribbean" is now devoid of it's beautiful greenery after Maria's visit.
Total devastation...my heart hurts for the people who have lost EVERYTHING they owned.
Al Jazeera article here.

All communications on the island have been destroyed completely.

The Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit sat in an interview and cried....WE HAVE LOST EVERYTHING.....EVERYTHING..my heartstrings were pulled taut as I cried along with him.


Being a keen weather watcher and amateur meteorologist, I had joined the Barbados Weather Watchers (Reloaded) Facebook group sometime last year and found like-minded souls who not only shared information but also took pleasure in explaining weather systems. 
An SOS was sent out by many organisations for donations for Dominica via the group. 


When one member posted of help needed to assist our brothers and sisters in the hurricane ravaged island of Dominica, she wrote:
"The Barbados Defense Force (BDF) is taking a ship with supplies to Dominica departing within 24 hours. They are appealing for donations of water, sanitary napkins, baby diapers, canned food and bottled water. They have requested that you include a list of what is donated so they know and can update the request if they receive much of some items.
Take donations to Coast Guard on Spring Garden by the Flour Mill (long road opposite the Mt Gay rum facility, when leaving town towards St. James) or to the BDF base at St. Ann's Fort, The Garrison. Any questions you can call 536-2500.

NOTE: Donations can be accepted at either location between 7:30 am and 5:00 pm - one vessel is leaving today and another one will be leaving tomorrow... please mark the items."

I wanted to help.....desperately.
One of my best friends at university many years ago was from a  little village on the west coast of the island named Coulibistrie. Her name was Elizabeth and she had taught me the broken French creole/patois which I still use up to this day.
I had to help my Dominicans.


For me it was all systems go....I wanted to catch up with the second boat which was leaving on Wednesday (20th).

As you know my brother (Rest his Soul) was a member of the Barbados Defense Force and I knew that my donated items would arrive safely in Dominica and be distributed to those that were in need via the BDF.
On my way to the Coast Guard Base I stopped off for some extra cardboard boxes that I found out they needed more of for packing the items for storage on the boat.
I arrived at the Coast Guard Headquarters not knowing what to expect.

By 9.30am I was in  a long line awaiting my turn to drop off my items.
Everyone was waiting their turn patiently.
No one jumped the queue claiming to be in a hurry.
As I sat there watching the proceedings, I was filled with emotion and the tears began to fall.
It was so good to see my fellow Bajans responding to the call for help.
We are a loving and caring people naturally, and I was PROUD of my countrymen.  It could easily have been us that had been affected because Hurricane Maria changed course slightly on her way up the Caribbean island chain therefore missing us.
The BDF personnel were courteous, efficient and very helpful.
They inspected all the items while itemizing them and recorded my name.
Later that night, I would post this:
" Today in the long line to drop off my donations .... I was overcome with emotion and I started to cry...at the humanity of my fellow Bajans.. Everyone pitching in to do their part to help. ...big trucks, vans, cars...lots of cars filled with all kinds of everything. .I was filled with PRIDE at how eager we all were to help our sisters and brothers in hurricane ravaged Dominica. While waiting patiently I have never felt such an outpouring of love for others..... the tears are coming again. Well done BDF!!! Tomorrow the RSPCA."


To be honest the amount of stuff I saw being dropped off, I hope the boat had space for everything.
Somehow I know in my heart of hearts that my brother is with his BDF comrades helping them to help our brothers and sisters in Dominica when they land for their "boots on the ground" duties. 
We must be our brother's keeper for no man is an island. 
We are all here to help each other.
Today for you and tomorrow for me.


  "There but for the grace of God go I."

Friday, 22 September 2017

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

A Pub for Birthday Grub

Today is a special day....it's my birthday.
As usual daughter dear and myself went out for lunch and a little shopping.
Today we decided that instead of trying out a new restaurant which we normally do, we would visit one of our old favourites.....Fisherman's Pub.
 We drove to Speightstown, a little town in the north of the island and celebrated this old girl at the infamous Fisherman's Pub.


Situated at the water's edge in a calm inlet, the pub is always filled with locals and visitors alike...they all come for the great food and the friendly service.
 Daughter Dear making a careful selection.
The Menu of genuine Bajan cuisine is extensive and it can be hard to choose.
 This local down to earth eaterie was once a rum shop and catered mostly to fishermen in this northern town.
With 81 years and counting, it's as Bajan as can be.



 The Bar is well stocked.




My lunch plate....yes there are two flying fish on my plate....one is for you know who.
Daughter's lunch plate.

 I snapped a few photos from our seaside table during lunch.
Looking towards the south...Speightstown mural wall in the background.
 The jetty
 Calm waters with a few intermittent splashy waves that gave us a few sprinkles.
 The Speightstown Esplanade
 We had parked in the St. Peter's Church yard (Anglican)
 Back home to feed Mr. Brownbie and  have a little rest....he enjoyed his fish and a generous tummy rub from daughter dear.
 Daughter dear baked me a Red Velvet Cake.....
 ......and some cheesy plantain tuna roll ups.....so darn delicious and very "more-ish" as we say here on the island.
The cute little card in the background is from my friend GB.
It says: "Young at heart....slightly older in other places!!!"
 I had a wonderful day...it's always nice to spend time with my daughter and today was simply wonderful.
To top it all off, I received so many calls and messages and audio recordings of birthday wishes.
Will someone ....anyone.....PLEEEEEASE tell my friends that they can't sing...not even to save their lives? Love you all but every year you put me through this ritual of personal Happy Birthday renditions....love you all so much, the singing...not so much.
My friend Paul took the safe route and brought me mini strawberry cheesecakes....no singing involved....he is very smart.
Thank you Nat and thanks to all of my good friends for making my special day really special.
We'll do it again next year.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Celtic Festival Barbados Parade

 The Celtic Festival Barbados flyer dropped into my Inbox a few weeks ago and I made a note to add the parade to my jaunt day activities yesterday.....so glad I did.
My love for music and learning all about different cultures was satisfied in one go.
The staging point for the parade was the car park of the General Post Office in the city.
When I arrived I immediately felt the pulse of excitement generated by the spectators on hand.
The parade route was from the post office through the city via Broad Street and finishing up at National Heroes Square.
 Waiting patiently to begin the parade.
It was just before the 10am start and it was already hot hot hot.......the massed pipe band members had their water bottles at the ready.
 The Barbados Defence Force Band members were also waiting patiently.

 The Royal Barbados Police Force Band members were also waiting patiently.
 Waiting......
 Waiting......
 Waiting..........
 Waiting.............
  ...until finally the official welcome.
Lieutenant Colonel Glyne Grannum, Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force giving the welcome opening remarks.
I'm not sure why he wasn't in his official uniform for the ceremony.
 The Royal Barbados Police Band led the procession.
They quickly moved off.....
 ........followed by the Barbados Defence Force Band....
.......which followed closely behind.....
 ....with a quick step to catch up to the Police Band.
 Then it was the turn of the massed pipes band...
 ....who were on the move in a jiffy......
 ....and then it was hard to catch up with those fast-moving bagpipers who caught me off guard with their speedy footsteps.
 A video that captures the atmosphere.


It was kinda hard to jostle other "photographers" since everyone has cell phone cameras these days and each one of them is a photographer at heart.
 Checking the online registration I learned that this massed pipes band gracing our shores was made up of members from Scotland, Ireland, Australia, USA, France, South Africa, Canada, Switzerland and Sweden.
I loved the idea of being a member of a worldwide group such as this and meeting up with other members to visit countries worldwide to share such great music.
 Loved seeing the ladies doing their thing too.



 Parade advancing via Lower Broad Street.

A music rest between numbers.




Coming up to Nelson statue at the top of Broad Street.

 Arrival at National Heroes Square - Cenotaph and the Fountain in the background.
National Heroes Square - Parliament Buildings in the background
 Welcoming remarks by the Massed Pipes band leader.





 Various kilts all depicting different areas.
 Tons of water was on hand.


 It was lovely to hear the fusion of bagpipes and the other instruments.
All the spectators were enjoying themselves...tapping their feet and clapping along.

 






 The clock on the Parliament Building tower struck 10.30am bringing the event to an end.
 With that the crowd took the opportunity to mingle and take photos with the band members.
 Lots of questions were asked and answered.
 A needed water break.



Soon it was time to head off to their next performance.

"The Barbados Celtic Festival celebrates the links between Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Nova Scotia and the Gallic regions in Europe."


Pipefest - The Home of Massed Pipe Bands website here.
Pipefest Itinerary here.
Facebook link here.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...