Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy 50th Anniversary Trinidad and Tobago

Today the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago received birthday greetings from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Barak Obama,  all US State Governors, the Governor General of Canada, Heads of State worldwide, the Secretary of the UN and Commonwealth Heads to name a few.

Trinidad and Tobago is celebrating 50 Years of Independence  from Great Britain tomorrow, the 31 August 2012.  Today shoppers, store owners and their staff, street vendors,  bank workers, government workers and others  in the city of Port of Spain, spontaneously came together, held hands and sang the National Anthem.

Last week there was a Military Tattoo in which the bands of the Defence Force, Cadet Force, Police Force, Prison Force took part together with  military bands from Canada and Barbados and the British Band of the Royal Marines.

For a while the arguing will cease, who did what or did not as the case may be, will be forgotten as this twin island rainbow Republic takes to the streets in celebration.  Buildings are decorated, the  bunting is up island wide, the parties are in full swing, today's street parade which includes the Olympic medallists is culminating in a massive show that is presently taking place in Woodford Square, Port of Spain.  The show will include at midnight, a re-enactment of the lowering of the Union Jack and the raising of the national flag of Trinidad and Tobago for the very first time and also for the first time then, the playing of the  National Anthem.  There is of course a party atmosphere in the air, people of all ages are out watching the fun and for 24  hours at least , this will be a united nation.  

Tomorrow morning there will be the annual Parade with the Inspecting of the Guard by the President, His Excellency Professor George Maxwell Richards, the march past followed in the evening by the awarding of honours to citizens who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their given field.  No doubt, a few hours after the sun has gone down, fireworks will bring the day to a close.

Happy 50th Birthday Anniversary Trinidad and Tobago and to all my Trini friends, I wish you all the things you wish for this nation during the next 50 years.  God bless you all and God bless this, my adopted land.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Walls Cannot Speak

Magpie 132

Big room, 1948, Andrew Wyeth
Courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Teles on Blogger

An empty room
Devoid of all emotion
The peals of laughter here
With the loud infectious gaity
Long gone

A large room
Holding a pristine fireplace
Unused sterile and as cold
As its grey marble surround
Once warm

An historical room
Like lives passed through
Masking superficiality with a pretense
As polish on the table
Covering scratches

Barbara M Lake ©
Trinidad WI
August 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

City Lust


Under Windsor Bridge, 1912, by Adolphe Valette
Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales on Blogger

He cuts a lonely figure
This man
Standing on the bank of the
Irwell River

No one will ever know
His thoughts
As he watches the Mersey Barge
Chug past

Maybe his mind thinks of
Gabriela de Bolivar
His beautiful wife murdered
By consumption

Sound of water and taste of fog
Assaulting him
Grimy swirling invading smog
Engulfing him

The dirt and smoke of industry
Does not 
Deter this Frenchman's lust for
Manchester city  

Barbara M Lake
Trinidad, WI
August 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Buried Feelings

Magpie 130

Photograph Francesca Woodman
Photograph courtesy  Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales

Over the years
With each hurt
A wall was built
To all but me
A fortress
To protect
The aching soul

No one could
Penetrate the heart
That was so cold
To many a lover
Icy brick
Freezes over
The yielding body

Now from nowhere
Trust comes softly 
Layer by layer is
Caressing hands gently
Peel away 
Shell replaced
By awakening heart

Barbara M Lake  ©
Trinidad WI
August 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Disaster Area in Trinidad & Tobago

Whilst my family and I are safe, the area in which I live has been declared a disaster area by the Prime Minister after two hours of heavy rains yesterday, caused untold damage.  Roads have disappeared, homes have been swept away, power lines were and still are down, communications via the main supplier are non existent. Many friends have been affected. Two that I know of to date have lost their homes and several have lost all their belongings.  One saw all her small appliances which she had put onto her mattress, washed away as the swirling waters took the bed and the mattress away.  Another, a very elderly lady whose home was flooded causing her to lose everything was rescued by my daughter-in-law's nephews in their dinghy.

Here are just some photos.

The Diego Martin Highway on the morning of Saturday 11 August 2012 after the Diego Martin River had burst its banks (Photograph:


Corner of Gittensdale and La Horquette Valley Road, Glenco - pump house gone, part of main road collapsed (Photograph: Kent Sheppard)

A gated community in the Valley that I can see from my hilltop home
(Photograph: Whiteflag Entertainment)

(Photograph:  Papa Bois Conservation)

The clean up operation started as soon as was possible and will continue.  It is now 2.00pm Sunday here in Trinidad and the highway which I can see from my kitchen windows has just been reopened.  

This disaster was not caused by a hurricane or an earthquake and could well happen again before the end of the rainy season.  In the event of either a hurricane or an earthquake the reality is that we are not prepared.  But this recent disaster could have been prevented.  This will only cease when people stop cutting down the lush rain forests and building their mansions into the sides of the mountains and when local corporations start cleaning up after others have dumped their old  mattresses, fridges, freezers, beds and unwanted garbage into the dry river beds.  Better still, make those who do all those things that go against nature, pay dearly for their misdeeds.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lillie and The Prince

Magpie 129

A dinner Table at Night 1884  John Singer Sargent
Phoptgraph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Mapie Tales on Blogger

Ah my darling Lillie
Do you like our little
Love nest
By the English sea?

Does looking at the water
Remind you from where
You came
Island in the sea?

Ah my darling Bertie
I love our not so little
Love nest
Upon the Dorset coast

Ah my darling Lillie
You are to be replaced
Another actress
Bernhardt is her name

Ah my darling Bertie
Have no fear for me
You're replaced 
By Louis and Shrewsbury!

Barbara M Lake  ©
Trinidad WI
August 2012

Lillie Langtry (The Jersey Lily)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

It Rained Again Today!

It rained today in my neck of the woods for about ten minutes.  At the end of it, there were floods.  Real floods!

This was the view from my kitchen windows!  A non existent view actually until it cleared.

The blur is the rain!

It's now 11pm and the windows are open.  The breeze is blowing through the apartment and I think we are in for more rain!

Welcome to the tropics!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Emancipation Day 2012 Trinidad & Tobago

I normally write a blog on Emancipation Day in Trinidad and Tobago.  But this year I am not going to because if anyone wants to read the history of the day which is now a Public holiday, you can refer to Emancipation Day 2011 right here:

So as many celebrate this day I wish Trinidad and Tobago a Happy Emancipation Day  and say free your heart, mind and body from any mental chains that bind you.

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