Friday, November 27, 2015

Our House: A Sky in the Cloud?

( I have absolutely no idea why there is a white background to my post!!)

Heard on the way home from work. Talking about computers. Yes apart all day and talking computers:
Me: The desk top is going to give in any time now. I need to back it up.
Husband: Huh?
Me: Well it's on its last legs so better done now.
Husband: There's nothing on it.
Me: Photos, files...
Husband: That's true. Put them on an external hard drive.
Me: You've seen the price of an external hard drive?
Mentions cost of one I bought for the office.
Husband: Well you can put them in the sky.
Me: Pardon???
Husband: In the sky.
Me: Sky?
Husband: That thing you're always talking about in the sky.
Silence. Followed by total silence.
Me: You mean cloud?
Husband: Whatever..... I knew it had something to do with the sky.
And this from a man who computer literate, insisted we had computers in our house in the mid 80s, long before they were as common as they are today and long before lap tops.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Shubh Divali 2015!

Tomorrow, Tuesday 10 November our Hindu brothers and sisters celebrate Divali, the Festival of Lights.  I have always been fascinated by the different spelling of this day.  I suppose it depends on where you live as to whether it's Divali or Diwali.  I notice in South Africa, it's Diwali whereas here in Trinidad, it's Divali.  No matter.  It is a wonderful feast depicting light over darkness.  No matter what one's religious belief, light over darkness, good over evil seems like an extremely good idea to me.

Divali was brought to Trinidad by the first indentured labourers in 1845.  It is an eight day festival and the word Divali itself  means  'row of lights'.  During the festival, homes are cleaned and windows are opened to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of richness, opulence and overall wealth. .Lamps known as deyas are lit in greeting, gifts are given and  wonderful, festive meals are prepared.

The climax of Divali is the lighting of the deyas after sundown.  Deyas are normally made from clay with a cotton wick which has been dipped in ghee.  They are to be seen in Hindu households  and non Hindu households: in gardens, open spaces, windows and porches.  The explanation of deyas which are lit in their thousands,  is here:,109229.html

Deyas are also placed in public - on bamboo stalks and in predominantly Hindu villages here in Trinidad, it is common to see entire streets decorated in this way.

Bamboo bending is an art.  Not any old bamboo will do.  The bamboo has to chosen carefully.  It is important op have long bamboo that is not very wide in width as it has to be split into eight pieces.

Celebrating Divali in Trinidad is unique.  We are a nation that takes the customs and traditions of every faith very seriously and that goes a long way to making us special.  Nowhere else in the world do non Hindus and non Indians actively take part in the lighting of over ten  million deyas in a single night of the year.  At times like this we are truly a united nation and Divali is the one defining event that marks Trinidad as a multi religious,multi ethnic society.  Whilst Divali is a Hindu festival, people of all faiths actively join in celebrating the light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and good over evil.  At times such as this, the local mantra of  'all ah we is one" could never be more appropriate.

For more in depth reading on the Festival go to: That is only one of my previosu Divali posts.

To my many Hindu friends celebrating this beautiful festival, Shubh Divali.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Birthday Wishes and All Souls 2015

It's All Souls today and my husband's birthday!  I have posted about All Souls and Richard's birthday several times  over the years so  if you want the history of both, here you go!

Happy, Happy  Birthday to my husband who many of you may know from my Our House series here on Blogspot!

We have just had a lovely impromptu Chinese supper at home with our daughter and her boyfriend and our son.  Much discussion, opinions, laughter and love over the table. I love it when family comes together.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Magic Exposed!


photo Elaine Usdin
Photo courtesy Tess Kinkaind, Magpie Tales on Blogger

So you think you can
Surprise us
Producing a rabbit

Not a hat in sight
Which is
The magician's trick

The boxy floral short shorts 
Cannot hide
The hutch in

Barbara M Lake
Trinidad WI
November 2015

All Saints Day 2015

Today 1 November is All Saints Day which is believed to have been established in the early part of the fourth century and was known as 'Martyrs Day'.  It is the day when all Christian saints, those we know and those we don't, are honoured. Western Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Lutherans celebrate this feast today whereas the Eastern Orthodox churches observe it on the first Sunday after Pentecost.

All Saints is not a Public Holiday in Trinidad but the tradition of the living, visiting the family grave in preparation for All Souls on the 2 November is very much part of its culture. Tonight some Trinidadians will be putting lighted candles in their windows carrying out the age old belief that 'lost souls' will be able to find their way home.

For more detail of origins:

Saturday, October 31, 2015


It's Halloween folks.  I don't have any grandchildren to go trick or treating with which is probably as well because I never really liked it - even as a child.  These days from what I can see, it's far more commercialized than when I was growing up.  Parents hire costumes, bags have been replaced by baskets which seem to get bigger every year.  One toffee apple, a few sweets or a biscuit is no longer acceptable.  It has to be several of each!  This custom goes back to when people would offer sweets to the imagined spirits supposedly walking among the living.

Halloween seems to have originated over 2,000 years ago with an ancient pagan Celtic festival during which people would don costumes and light bonfires to ward off invisible ghosts and demons. The dark festival was called Samhain and thousands of Wiccans still call the festival by that name. Carved turnips holding a burning candle were used to repel the spirits. The belief was that the candle in the turnip represented a trapped soul in Purgatory.

Later pumpkins replaced the turnips.

It is interesting that when the Romans conquered the Celts in the first century, they adopted Samhain incorporating it into their festivals.  The first was Feralia when the Romans commemorated  the dead and the second was  the feast of  Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees. Pomona's symbol is an apple and so the apple bobbing came into being.

Halloween is the Christian name for Samhain although it did not appear until the 1700s. In the seventh century Pope Boniface established All Saints' Day to honour Christian martyrs.  After the establishment of All Souls on the 2 November, the period became known as Hallowtide.  With the spread of Christianity, some of the old pagan customs remained until now when All Hallows has become big business and sweet manufacturers in the US sell more candy than at any other time in the year!

Happy Halloween to those who are partying, accompanying children as they go from door to door or just sitting back and watching the fun.


Me? This old witch is off on her newly refurbished, ten cylinder broom!!  Watching from above!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Made The Bed


photo: Daniel Murtagh
Courtesy Tess Kinkaid,  Magpie Tales on Blogger

The eyes are closed
Fists clenched tight 
Events of the day
Taking their toll

Uncurl those fingers
Stretch them out
Let the blood flow
Dispel the numbness

Made the decisions
Lived to tell
The tale; made my
Bed, lying in it.

Barbara M Lake
Trinidad WI
October 2015
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