Wednesday, December 30, 2009

As Dusk Falls on 2009

I wrote the following on the 31 December 2007. It is hard to believe that it is two years since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and I'm asking myself "what has changed in those two years?".

As Dusk Falls on 2007


Benazir Bhutto knew death was knocking at her door. “Despite its predictability” one local columnist wrote, “there is an eeriness about her death”.

Photographs of her minutes before, full of life, animated, graceful and beautiful. A feared, powerful force in the form of a woman who believed that her party could change the face of Pakistan. And those who feared and despised her convictions could not face the fact that she could possibly win the forthcoming election so they killed her. I had watched an interview where she stated that it was against the Muslim faith to kill a woman because those who committed the deed would go to hell. Muslim has turned against Muslim. Pro Taliban militants and extremists sympathetic to Al Qaeda had said that they would target her because of her pro western attitude. It may take weeks, months or even years to find out who was behind this dastardly deed but wherever the blame eventually lands, the murder was an act of cowardice. Pakistan, days after the assassination continues to be unstable and the question is, “will it remain so as it has done in the past and will it continue to be so in the future?”.

I watched in horror last Wednesday as the appalling news unfolded, hoping there had been a mistake. I switched between BBC, CNN, Fox News and other American News stations but there was no mistake: Benazir Bhutto, the enemy of many but the hope of so many others was dead. In a flash – one minute waving from the sun roof of her vehicle, the next slumped, dying. In that instant when we were once again reminded that life is so very fragile and can be over in literally a heart beat, the changing face of Pakistan, the promise of democracy and the removal of religion from politics, died.

In this day and age when the news comes into one’s home as it happens, the graphic scenes of carnage, panic, weeping and wailing were horrific. Many more innocent lives lost as a result of a determination to rid the country of a controversial figure who after years of self imposed exile returned to her beloved country with the vision of restoring democracy. Whilst I was shocked by this violent act I was not surprised. I watched in October as the motorcade surrounded by supporters welcoming their heroine home, wound its way through the streets of Karachi. I even mentioned it in my blog. I prayed that morning that no attempt would be made on her life and was saddened later in the day when an explosion claimed 100 plus lives. As the weeks went on, the house arrest, the denial of security and the drawing nearer of the elections I knew, like so many others, that it was only a matter of time before ‘they’ got her. I kept saying ‘if only she hadn’t stood up’ but if it hadn’t been that day, it would have been another.

I don’t remember when I first started to follow the career path of Benazir Bhutto but it was before her first term as Prime Minister. Apart from her incredible stature, I was drawn by her grace, graciousness, her openness, her eloquence, her defiance, her courage and her powers of communication to say nothing of her beauty. Educated at Oxford where she was the first Asian woman to head Oxford Union’s debating society (no mean feat) and then Harvard, she entered into an arranged marriage. She assumed premiership of a complex nation state at the early age of 35 and was a likely and unlikely leader in western terms. She adhered to some traditions whilst confronting to others and she stepped into her father’s shoes after he was executed. There was further tragedy with the loss of two brothers and her mother’s mental decline. But she persisted. Palistan politics is violent and volatile but she was willing to face that instead of living out her life in comfortable exile. One could say that she knew her destiny and faced it each day with greater and greater resolve. Was her death an unnecessary martyrdom? I am not so sure. This woman believed in a cause and was prepared to put her life on the line for her beliefs – she supposedly prepared her family for what might happen to her and I cannot for one moment think that her husband and children were unaware of the dangers. But talking about the possibilities is very different from the realities.

There are many powerful women leading countries today (Germany, New Zealand, Liberia, president elect in Argentina)but Meir, Gandhi, Bhutto and Thatcher were among the first. It is remarkable that Gandhi and Bhutto came to power in countries where religion dictates that a man lead. There is no doubt that Benazir Bhutto came from a political dynasty in the same way as Indirah Gandhi. Both women learned the importance of country at their father’s knee and were moulded to lead.

One can talk about the corruption that supposedly took place during Bhutto’s leadership and although she was deposed and her husband served a prison sentence, the charges were never proved.

I have always said that Pakistan is a dangerous country and could well be the country which is responsible for World War 111. My concern now as it has been in the past, is the threat of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Its relations with India are fragile to say the least and the arrogance of both countries could go a long way to aggravating a delicate situation. Sixty years ago when India became independent, there was a division because the leaders could not agree as to whether a Muslim or a Hindu would lead the country. And so East Pakistan and West Pakistan were born. I wonder how many school children in the western world today, know that what is now Bangladesh was not so long ago, East Pakistan. And is Pakistan harbouring terrorists? What of Al Qaeda? Is Pakistan home to Bin Laden? And where does the West figure in all of this? How true is it that Bush urged Benazir Bhutto to go home and run for office whilst putting his money behind Musharraf?

Dusk is falling on 2007 leaving Pakistan and by extension, the world a more perilous place than we knew prior to Wednesday 27 December 2007.

As this year comes to a close, I wish each and every one of you whatever you wish for yourself in 2008 and I ask you at the same time, to spare a thought for Benazir Bhutto, what she stood for and her husband and son who are now to lead her party.


As dusk falls on 2009, what has changed in Pakistan?terrorism continues. Has the country been liberated. This year has seen numerous attacks and suicide bombings. The 29th December saw a suicide bombing during the main Jaloos in Karachi in which the Shias were mourning over the Day of Ashura. Forty three people died and sixty were injured.

Saeed Shafqat, professor and director of Centre for Public Policy and Governance (CPPG), Forman Christian University, Lahore, Pakistan has said that the "escalation of violence and religious extremism in Pakistan is “making Pakistan ungovernable,"

Will there ever be the democracy that Bhutto so wished for, in Pakistan?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How Icicles Are Made.

Those who have known me from 360! Yahoo days all know that I am avid blogger.  Even with a heavy workload it was unusual for me to go for more than two or three days without putting fingers to keyboard.

The last few weeks have been a bit hairy as they say with so much happening on both the home and the work front.  Some of it frustrating, some of it annoying, some of it scary and some of it down right unnecessary.  But no one ever said that this road would be straight and easy. I have always said that it is a very good thing that we cannot see round those corners because if we could, many of us would give up before we even started the ignition!

So this is just to say that I still here (for those who noticed that I was AWOL) and did not get lost on my way back from Aspen! I will be around more in 2010 hopefully with once again, more humour than I have dished out lately - or not dished out as it were.

On that note for those who came into my life after 360, you should kow how icicles are made and for those who have been with me pre Blogger and Multiply, this is a reminder. 

Keep your tongues to yourselves!!

How Icicles are Made

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tea in Aspen

I am frantically packing - behind as usual due to workload - to be in Aspen tomorrow for Mr Toast and Jam's Tea.   It promises to be a wonderful occasion and I am so looking forward to it.  The drop in temperature is going to be a bit of a shock to my system I can tell you but once I'm settled,  I know all will be well. It's going to be interesting as there are many people attending that I haven't met before.

So presently am in the throes of literally throwing things into a suitcase. What do you think?

McCartney Wool

For starters I thought I'd pack these  Stella McCartney trousers as they're comfortable - in fact I may even travel in them.  I have a couple of tops to go with them.

I like this Donna Karen Cashmere Jersey Silk as it's so versatile.

Cashmere Siilk 1

DK 2

DK 4

And I like the way it falls at the back.

If I do travel in that outfit I can wear these Christian Louboutin ankle boots:

CL Slingback

I'm also packing:


which will go with a dressier pair of trousers and these shoes which are Miu Miu


I am still thinking about a tea dress but I'm not lee keen as I find them all so twee.  It will probably be a cashmere dress with a cowl collar.  I'm sure I'll find a pair of shoes to go with it.

I was looking for an evening dress but decided I had better in my wardrobe so will take this one.  It has been worn but the people I'm meeting will not have seen it before.  I decided on some colour instead of my usual black.


I'm not a clumpy shoe lover so I think Jimmy Shoo will win out with these even thougth they're not as high as I would like. If I see anything in Aspen I may splurge.

JS 2

I have also managed to make a Stollen


and an Apple Strudel

Apple strudel

They look a bit alike but they're very different - we can always put them at opposite end of the table.

Also bringing my favourite Austrian chocolates: Mozart Kugler.

Mozart Kuglen

I have to finish packing!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends who celebrate.

May your day be filled with joy as you give thanks and may you be surrounded with love, peace and fulfillment on this special holiday.

Turkey Lamp

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Forgetter Be Forgotten?

Senior Moments 
Intellectual Interludes

My forgetter's getting better,
But my rememberer is broke
To you that may seem funny
But, to me, that is no joke

or when I'm 'here' I'm wondering
If I really should be 'there'
And, when I try to think it through,

I haven't got a prayer!

ft times I walk into a room,
Say 'what am I here for?'
I wrack my brain, but all in vain!
A zero, is my score.

t times I put something away
Where it is safe, but, Gee!
The person it is safest from
well generally,its me!

When shopping I may see someone,
Say 'Hi' and have a chat,
Then, when the person walks away
I ask myself, 'who the hell was that?

es, my forgetter's getting better
While my rememberer is broke,
And it's driving me plumb crazy
And that isn't any joke.



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lest We Forget

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Being an army brat, I have attended many, many Remembrance Sunday Parades wherever we were stationed.  My father was always on parade.  I am always struck by that two minute silence because no matter what or where, the traffic comes to a complete standstill, no one moves and it  always seems to me as though the world has stopped.

Old soldiers never die
They simply fade they say
Is that the price I ask myself
That soldiers have to pay?

Bugle notes and drum beats
Flash of sun on brass
He hears the call as comrades all
Tramp the long march past

Warrior fading quickly
Like a weak pale winter sun
Bowed and creeping slowly
Life's race is all but run.

The red poppy leaves are wrinkled
One by one they fall
Soldier, can you answer still?
When the bugle notes do call.

Play the music gently
No harsh notes sound, I ask
For the poppy leaves are falling
Glory days now past

Last petal now has fallen
Old soldiers gone away
Last post music calling
Old soldiers out to play.

 Last Post

Monday, November 2, 2009

Recruiting Drive!


Seems the Roman Catholic Church hit the headlines with a bang a couple of weeks ago.

Whilst the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams was busy worrying about global warning instead of some of his flock’s displeasure with the way in which their church was going, the Pope quietly muscled in leaving the head of the clergy of the Anglican church as they say in England, ‘gob smacked’. One headline in a UK newspaper read:

If our Archbishop spent less time fretting about climate change, he might notice the pope is about to mug him

Quite an embarrassment really even though ‘talks’ about giving disgruntled Anglicans a place in the Roman Catholic church had been going on for some time. But Williams was caught napping and although publicly very gracious about the ‘coup, he was by all accounts, not quite so cool behind closed doors.

There are groups of Anglicans in the UK (worldwide too) who are none happy with the ordination into the priesthood, of women. Neither are they happy with their gay clergy and the elevation to Bishop again of gay clergy. They probably have other issues too.

So in steps Benedict establishing a special structure ("personal ordinariates" ) for those Anglicans who wish to be in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church while preserving aspects of their Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage. In establishing the new jurisdictions, Pope Benedict is responding to ‘many requests’ submitted by Anglican groups including Bishops who will not be able to retain their positions. Incoming married Anglican priests will be able to be ordained Roman Catholic priests and married lay Anglicans will be accepted for ordination. Where will that leave already ordained RC priests? And Roman Catholics who decide that a religious life is their calling but that they would quite like to get married too? Nowhere! The rules for those stay the same.

The announcement much to my amusement, caused a public outcry in the UK. We seem to have overnight, moved from being an atheist country to defender of the faith. Past articles on religion have evoked comments such as:

Religion is a fairy tale.
Talk about making up a story.
Get real. There is no God.
Enjoy life – there is nothing after this.
It’s a myth.
It’s outdated.
Stupid men in stupid dresses.

To: (and I quote)

“This is a Christian country. We are the Church of England.”

“That so many may take up the Pope's offer demonstrates the moral bankruptcy of the Church of England, not the "machinations" of the Holy Father.”

“The Anglican Church is a Church, sure, but it's also an established National Church - it might be good to have someone at the top who liked the country, its people, its history and its culture”.

“Remember god asked through his one begotten son to be united as Christians. This is why the Catholic (which means universal by the way) looks for unification of all Christians.”

“It is incorrect to describe this as an attempt to 'poach' members from the Church of England. The Pope is responding to approaches from various segments of the Anglican Communion for just such an arrangement as he has now approved.”
“The Church of England is failing because of its lack of moral conviction and guidance.”

“People are crying out for a strong lead and firm boundaries, not something that fluctuates with the tide of perceived public opinion and 'modern' values (the same may be said for many aspects of life today). In particular it needs churchmen who believe in the core message that they are supposed to promote and who communicate that belief loudly and clearly.”

“The rot probably set in with the ex Bishop of Durham and his dismissal of the Resurrection as a mere 'conjuring trick with a bag of bones'. He should have been summarily dismissed for that remark.”

“The Anglican church has become a parody of a Christian Church.”

“The Catholic church can certainly do no worse than the C of E in defending our Christian heritage and probably much better.”

Some people are talking about the heritage of the Anglican church. I wonder how many Britons actually know the origins of the Anglican church and that it is a schism! Had Henry VIIIth kept his hands to himself, stayed in Catherine’s bed and not lusted after Anne Boleyn there would not today be an Anglican church which some glibly dub, ‘as British as red telephone boxes and black cabs’!!!

I think it’s extremely gracious of the Pope to invite those who want to come home, to actually do so whilst retaining their traditions. It was done for disgruntled Episcopalians in the 80s but very, very quietly. There are also already married RC priests who were once Anglican priests, shepherding flocks in the UK. But now that it seems as a free for all – ‘all ye who want to, come home’ I believe that what is good for the homecoming Anglican is good for the tried and true Catholic. The celibacy of a Roman Catholic priest is a man made law and there are many arguments as to why this is so. From finance to not being able to manage pastoral care and family efficiently. I am aware that it is not as simple as that but is it time to rethink this part of Canon Law?

Methinks my church is on a major recruiting drive!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Witches Chant from Macbeth


Round about the couldron go:
In the poisones entrails throw.
Toad,that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Sweated venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first in the charmed pot.
Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blindworm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing.
For charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and couldron bubble.

Scale of dragon,tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd in the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat; andslips of yew
silver'd in the moon's eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by the drab,-
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For ingrediants of our cauldron.
Double,double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Time to Make the Cake

By Popular Demand

C Cake

Several of you have asked me for the delicious recipe I gave you last year for my special Christmas Cake so for those who enjoyed it so much and for friends who weren't around at the time, here is is. Enjoy!

Brandy Christmas Cake (some may prefer rum)

1 cup water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 bottle Courvoisier VSOP Brandy
2 cups dried fruit

Sample the brandy to check quality. (I already sampled it.....several times to check the quality)

Take a large bowl, check the brandy again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.


Turn on the electric mixer.

Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.

Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again.

At this point its best to make sure the brandy is still OK. Try another cup...just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy.

Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the fruit up off the floor.

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the brandy to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something.

Check the brandy.

Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add one table.

Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.

Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window.

Finish the brandy and wipe counter with the cat.


Beware of cat

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The First Anniversary

A July evening forty two years ago
My life is about to change
You stand before me hand extended
I place mine in yours
And so we have met
A soft Irish brogue charming and gentle
Eyes so dark as they penetrate mine
I withdraw my hand but I know
That we will touch again
So much more intimately

Six months later I am twenty
You older by almost a score plus ten
I know you know which road we’ll take
It is only a matter of time
Age is of no concern
Love knows no bounds
We are one
In heart mind body and soul

We live we love we brave the storms
Tempests jealousies joys and sorrows
Tumultuous affair but inseparable
A fine line between love and hate
I want you need you
But sometimes cannot bear to see you
Through it all you sing The Wonder of You
Yes we are one
In heart mind body and soul

You promise nothing but your undying love
I want more but do I? Hidden devotion is not enough
But now the secret is no more
I give you all confidante friend and lover
You send me letters roses by the dozen
Your love shines through every smile and gesture
Beyond caring you give the game away
Our love no longer the worst kept secret
Because we are indestructible
In heart mind body and soul

Eight years on I smile through tears
Hold your hand and leave
With words I’ve said for the many years
No matter where I go or what I say
No matter who I am with
I will love you forever
Because we are one
In heart mind body and soul

Ten years later the pain has eased
You stand before me arms extended
I am taken back to another time
Of abandonment love passion hatred
You hold my son my husband’s son
Telling me of the mistake you made
In letting me go
I mask the tears
And I know we are still one
In heart mind body and soul

Twenty three years have passed
Once more you stand before me
Your eyes lock mine as once they had
Comfort as you hold me in your arms
I try to deny but I cannot
Because we still are one
In heart mind body and soul

You come to me in a dream I am very afraid
Three days later the impersonal message
You have gone forever
Thousands of miles separated us
And now millions more
There were no goodbyes but I know
That you are here with me
I am enveloped in your presence
Because I know we are one
In heart mind body and soul

BML © 2008

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

We dun Reach

I should really put this post on Bee's Up Front and Serious but that page of mine has fewer readers. On the other hand there are those I'm sure who will not want to know about this. I am posting it because even with the amount of crime there is in this twin island Republic which Desmond Tuto once dubbed 'a rainbow country', we are all in shock.

The perpetrators have no fear. There has been a complete breakdown as a result of which we are living in a totally lawless society. What is happening in this beautiful nation has to be stopped now. The problem starts at the top and until we get that sorted out, it will get worse.

My heart bleeds for this beautiful little country where we are all affected in some way or other by the disturbing events that are allowed to continue.

The article below is taken form this morning's Trinidad Express.

Murder accused gunned down in front court while escorted by cops
Richard Charan and Nikita Braxton South Bureau

Tuesday, October 20th 2009

Peter Garcia was in handcuffs, police officers at his side, on the compound of a court, with dozens of officers nearby, when he was shot dead by men mocking the State's ability to protect.

Garcia had no chance to defend himself, and no one to defend him.

The police constables escorting him to the police station next door released their prisoner and ran after the first gunshot.

The policemen who responded to the shooting came long after the suspects were gone.

Acting Police Commissioner James Philbert said the police response to the killing would "show criminals that we are in charge. Today we have lost some ground in the sense that criminals can be so boldface to do that. I want to promise the nation that we will find these men and bring them to justice in the quickest time".

The suspects were free last night. The killing happened at 10.30 a.m. moments after Magistrate JoAnne Connor made a favourable ruling in Garcia's case.

Garcia, who five months ago was regarded as Trinidad's most wanted, was in court charged with wounding with intent to commit murder, and with the murder of Rio Claro businessman Simboonath Kumar.

On the murder charge, the State was told it had one last chance to come prepared, November 4, to begin the preliminary enquiry.

Garcia had already been discharged on two kidnapping charges.

When the gunshots sounded outside the door Magistrate Connor asked, "Is that gunshots?"

A police officer ran in to announce the shooting. People began screaming and ran towards the Magistrates' Chamber.

Magistrate Connor fled first. Those standing outside the courtroom-witnesses to the killing-ran into the courthouse.

No Court and Process officer was armed, the Express was told, because the Police Standing Orders do not allow for officers in contact with prisoners to carry firearms.

The killers used Uzi submachine guns. They fired on the police station before leaving. And despite a response that involved multiple search teams, tracker dogs, road blocks, and a helicopter hunt, the suspects vanished.

The killers had no problem getting onto the compound. The entrance to the courthouse is not guarded. Only at the courtroom door is a person searched.

Garcia's attorney Jason Jackson, who heard the shots that killed his client, said, "Government should consider more security of high risk prisoners and judicial officers. It is unfortunate that the country has gotten to this stage where there is no respect for law enforcement."

The courthouse is being renovated, with a guard booth being constructed at the entrance with an extension to the main building for administrative staff.

The killers used the construction site as their guise. They dressed in steel tipped boots, hard hats and coveralls that hid their guns. No construction took place yesterday but no one appeared to have questioned the men who stood within the unfinished walls of the building and waited for almost two hours.

During Garcia's initial court appearances, he was defended by heavily-armed officers who surrounded the courthouse.

Police said yesterday the two "construction workers" approached Garcia as he was being escorted from the court by two police officers and one of them pulled a gun and shot Garcia at point blank range.

The officers ran, and as Garcia fell, the second man stood over him and fired at least five times into his head and chest.

The men climbed a chain-linked fence on the south side of the court compound, ran through the grounds of the Rio Claro Anglican Church, and left the area in a silver coloured Nissan Almera car. A bank nearby closed its doors as people ran from the courthouse.

A crowd of hundreds returned later to ridicule the police. Among them was Garcia's father, Harvey Huggins, who asked, "How could my son get shoot in police hands. Don't they supposed to protect him?"

Huggins said more people would die as a result of his son's killing. Garcia's handcuffs were removed before his body was taken away yesterday afternoon.

"We dun reach" as they say here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Official. H1N1 in Trinidad

It's official. As if we haven't enough to contend with, H1N1 has hit Trinidad and there have been five deaths during the last few days. That is not good for an island with a population of merely 1.3 million a large proportion of which do not feel it is necessary to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze! Sad but true. I remember as a child living in Singapore, how I used to heave when people, no matter where they were, cleared their throats and spat. Lee Kuan Yew brought an end to that. No one is going to bring an end to that here.

Trinidad Daily Express this morning:

TrinidadPaper today

Free Tamiflu
Ministry makes swine flu drug more accessible to public

There is a great spiel on how the drug will be available for everyone at public and private institutions, at no cost. Well that won't be true. First of all the government has only 200,000 plus doses and secondly no private institution is going to administer the drug free of charge.

As usual the Minister of Health has said there is no need for panic. You tell that to you mother/father/child/tantie/uncle et al when they have been sitting in A&E for thirteen hours with uncontrolled fever and no one is attending to them. Yes there is a normal flu bug around too but how can one be sure without some sort of appraisal. One person went to a private doctor twice and was given medication. He eventually went to the public hospital. He is dead. So people are not supposed to panic. Of course people will panic. More so when they know that the only option for them is to stay here and hope that they are treated in a health service which is in total disarray. One family complained that they had to share two masks when they arrived at the hospital. Some months ago when my daughter was ill and I had her tested for H1NI in a private hospital, she was given a mask - I was not!

The best place to be is out on the beach. That is the safest place according to one of our more prominent doctors. The germs don't like the open air and steer clear of sun, sand and sea. It's raining!


Friday, October 16, 2009


Tomorrow, Saturday is the Hindu Festival of Divali otherwise known as the Festival of Lights. The festival celebrates light over dark, good over evil.

Divali was first brought to Trinidad by Hindu indentured labourers in 1845 and is a five day festival. The word Divali itself means "row of lights" During this 5 day festival homes are completely cleaned and windows are opened to welcome Lakshmi , the goddess of wealth. Lamps are lit as a greeting to Lakshmi, gifts are given and festive meals are prepared.


The climax of Divali is the lighting of deyas after sundown - a delightful experience that should never be missed. In yards, open spaces, staircases, roundabouts and porches, deyas are lit by the thousands.


They are also placed on bamboo stalks bent into fantastic shapes and designs. In villages where there is a strong Hindu presence it is common to see whole streets decorated in this manner.


The following is taken from and written by Dr. Kumar Mahabir (October 14, 2009)

Divali is the defining event that marks Trinidad as a multi-religious, multi-ethnic society with Hindus comprising the second largest religious group (24 percent) after Roman Catholics in the twin-island population of 1.3 million people. While Divali is essentially a Hindu festival, people of all faiths actively join in celebrating the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. Non-Hindu adherents are attracted to the festival's universal message as well as to the extravaganza that is not only unique but also provides a clean environment for the cultivation of a healthy body, mind and soul.
Nowhere else in the world do non-Hindus and non-Indians actively take part in the lighting of over 10 million deyas on a single night in the year. These tiny clay lamps are lit in homes, yards, streets, offices, public parks and playing fields. It is perhaps only in Trinidad that one can find split bamboo tubes transformed into magnificent works of art on which the deyas are placed. The split bamboo strips reach out toward neighboring houses, streets and communities to symbolize the popular local mantra "all ah we is one."



Hello Mr Humphrey!

I got a call on my cellular in the middle of last night from one Mr Humphrey telling me that I had won US500,000 through a Nokia promotion (my cell is Motorola!!) and that he was calling me from the UK. The conversation went something like this:

Mr H: I have good news.
Me: Who is this?
Mr H: Mr Humphrey
Me: Who???
Mr H: Mr Humphrey. I am calling from the UK. You have won five hundred thousand US dollars
through a Nokia promotion.
Me: Really?!
Mr H: Yes, aren’t you happy lady?
Me: Happy? Do you think I’m mad?
Mr H: Mad? Why would you be mad? Are you not happy?
Me: You have to think I’m mad! Are you mad?
Mr H: Why are you mad? You have won money through a Nokia promotion.
Me: (Sarcasm) Really? You really think I am that stupid??!!!
Mr H: No no – no stupid. You won!
Me: Where did you say you were calling from?
Mr H: UK
Me: Really? How interesting! Where in the UK?

Line goes dead!!

Two minutes later the phone rang from the same number. I ignored it.

I’d be interested to know how he got my number – more than coincidence as that same number came up on my husband’s B Mobile Nokia last Sunday morning. He did not answer it.

We traced the number to Ohio.

I have to say, Mr Humphrey sounds awfully Chinese to me!!!! He really must think there are some stupid people out there!

scam e

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Willow Manor Ball

I am very late for Willow's Ball and at the moment I cannot make up my mind which of the following to wear.


Or this?


Or this?


I really wanted the red one but the hostess is wearing red so it would be very 'non u' to turn up in the same colour!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

And So the Rains Came

This morning we are experiencing torrential rain in the paradise island of Trinidad.

Highways, bi-ways and other roads are already flooding. People are turning back. Reports are coming out of the capital that water is rising. No doubt rivers will over flow once again because of the rubbish that people dump into them during the dry season. Houses will be flooded out if not swept away. Household appliances, furniture and personal assets will be destroyed because developers have been allowed to cut down the rain forests which allows water to gush down into the valleys and take control of peoples' lives.

It's the same story year in, year out and once again the government has not put things in to place to stop this stupidity. They are too busy building things that are of no benefit to the man in the street.

People will hold their heads in their hands, bawl and cry as they watch the water containing dirt, soil, vermin and the strong possibility of disease flowing into their homes. they are the lucky ones. Some homes are washed away.

These people will still vote for the ruling party which does into seem to understand that it is a government elected by the people for the people.

The above photograph was taken last year and I strongly suspect that by 2.00pm today we could be in the same boat! Perhaps we should have boats and kayaks for hire on the side of all major roads.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

The Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

The following is a favourite of mine, especially when sung. I make no apology for sharing it.

Many different versions exist but this is the most popular.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.


St Francis

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

God Preserve Me from People in Queues!

On the way in to my office this morning, I went to the bank. I normally go into the Commercial Teller Services, take a number, sit down and wait my turn. Depending on the time of the month (not mine!) this can be anything from five minutes to two hours. If I think it looks like it's going to be a two hour wait, I leave and go back the following day. I don't have a great deal of patience!

This morning I had to go to the Customer Services Teller - I say teller because although there are six cubby holes, one is lucky if two are manned!. This means standing in a queue. Sometimes there are several lines snaking around the bank - all starting at different points and each queue is kept 'in line' by a barrier as below:

queu barrier

I have no problem with queue barriers but I have a problem with security guards who make you go all the way round to the entrance of your particular queue barrier when there is no one in the queue to begin with. Just try to unlink the rope or do a quick hop over the rope! Put a person in uniform and they want to rule the world. Not only that! When you come to the end of the queue as in next up, there is a mark on the floor which woebetide you if you so much as put the tip of your pointed 5" heels over!!

So there I was this morning waiting in line. There were nine people in front of me (no number, no seat - just a queue) waiting mostly to conduct foreign transactions which take enormous amounts of time.

Here's my grouse! Not the queue or the long wait but the person behind me. I always leave quite a space between the person in front of me and myself. I am sure they need breathing space as indeed, I do. So why is it that every time I stand in a line, the person behinds me insists on shuffling up and getting as close to me as possible? I take a small step forward and they move with me. The girl behind me today was obviously studying. She was holding a text book and every now and again it jammed into my back at waist level. She was short - very short! I turned to look at her. She did not look up from her book. I sighed a loud sigh. She did not look up from her book but started talking to the book. I know it was the book because she was that close!

At last I was next so I moved up. No one in front of me. She moved with me! I turned and glared. She ignored me. I moved again - out of the barrier zone and over the red line. The teller glared at me! I glared at the teller! "Say something if you dare" I thought. No one dared!

I don't know about you but I believe a distance of three feet between bodies is acceptable when standing in line!

What do you think?

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Leopard Does Not Change Its Spots

Yesterday, I had an extremely short interaction with someone to whom I was once very close.

In all good faith, I instigated it.

Within minutes I wished I hadn't.

It is quite amazing how feelings of anger, hurt and pain that one thought were long forgotten raise themselves so quickly.

So once again, I am reminded of why the person that I was once so close to is now and has been for a very long time, my ex husband!!!!

He probably feels the same way about me!!

You Have got to want to change
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...