Ta-daaa – 180 Days of Magic

Sleights of moment, waving the family wand

Out and About

Posted by PlayGroundology on November 4, 2008

dsc00064Considering we were on vacation, our dosage of politics was quite high. There were the US Presidential debates, the leadership debates for Canada’s federal election and the daily media reports on matters political in Barbados and the region.

I watched the second Obama – McCain face-off out of the corner of my eyes from my former mother-in-law’s dining room table. Twenty-five years after her daughter and I parted ways I still call her Mommy though on this visit I sprinkled in a few Sheilas too. It was our third and, as it turned out, final match up at Scrabble. It was a celebratory night as Mommy had just received a clean bill of health earlier that day following treatment for a serious illness. Her family and friends were happy and relieved. Sheila was already planning her next trip to Canada to see her daughter on stage and catch up with some of her grandchildren studying at the University of Toronto.

I didn’t even put up as good a showing against Mommy as McCain did against Obama. Even saddled with more than her fair share of vowels there was little doubt of the outcome. I went down to my third consecutive defeat by an ass-whupping 392 to 292. Mommy’s an avid player well schooled in the exotica of tiny words and gifted at getting all 7 letters out on the board and collecting the 50 bonus points associated with this feat. I took some solace in the fact that I wasn’t alone in the losing end. Mommy was on a winning streak taking all comers. If we have the opportunity to play again, I’ll need to be on a strict training regimen to limber up my scrabble decoder.

Sheila’s sister Nella, on a prolonged visit from England, was hugged in close to the TV gesticulating, commenting, present in the moment encouraging her choice to lead the American people. Tonight millions are ready to revel in America and around the world but the festivities may be sweetest of all in the communities and countries of the black diaspora. The reverberations of an Obama victory will reach into the most unlikely places, tickle imaginations, fuel dreams and sadly bring out the nutbars who will rail against black man in white house. It’s a great day for democracy as witnessed by massive voter turnouts in some parts of the US.

We made a trip down to Mommy’s at least once a week during our stay – lunch, scrabble, dropping off Noah and Nellie for our 1 day of kidless wanderlust. Noah-David was fascinated by the Rhodesian Ridgebacks being raised as guard dogs. Nella got a scare trying to pull 2 of the fighting dogs apart one night and received some pretty serious abrasions to her back for her troubles.

One Friday at ten in the morning we dropped the sproglets at Mommy’s to be cared for by Colleen her part-time domestic. She’d already been up at our place the previous week helping us with some cooking – spicing up a dozen flying fish and doing a nice chicken curry. Noah liked her right off – not surprising as she had a son who is just a little older. Colleen immigrated from Guyana with her mother. Now all her siblings have made their way to Barbados and the family is reunited.

dsc00001No matter how much I hummed Bob’s Sun is Shining into myself we had to settle for rain a falling and weather is shite. Our big day was literally a bit of a pisser. We spent the time in Bridgetown poking our heads about here and there all along Broad Street and Swan Street, across the bridge to Bay Street past Independence Square and cross back by another bridge to Queen Elizabeth Park. We got a break from the heat in the Cave Shepherd department store and spent a few pennies on gifts.

Before we started to head for the children, we walked over to the west side of the city by Temple Yard – a kind of open air Rastafari mini-mall with food, crafts and art. Herb was hanging in the air but there wasn’t much movement, or activity. The weather was keeping most of the vendors away. We did get a stick of sugar cane though and some delicious guavas. We pushed on past the Cheapside bus depot and took the roundabout way to Pelican Village home of artists and artisans. Here we found out about a culinary event taking place there the next evening – The Best Big Bajan Barbecue.

Noah-David had been having a good boo-hoo during our absence and had been inconsolable for part of his stay with Colleen, Sheila and Nella. We bundled the 2 little ones up and trundled off to Bagatelle for supper.

dsc00101We made it to the BBQ the next evening and did some controlled gorging on fish cakes, somozas (small bite size versions) currant slices, pone and BICO ice cream. The food was great and there was a cook off with students from around the Eastern Caribbean. We were standing beside them before their competition got underway and the young women fell in love with Nellie-Rose. She was passed back and forth and all around smiling and cooing all the while. As they prepared for their competition we followed the sound of tunes to a Bumbatuk band that was warming up. Noah needed no encouragement – this was his signal to dance, dance, dance – a little bit of wind the waist. He had the beat nailed and a couple of the girls in the band were having a fine time watching him groove. Stilt men finished off the excitement for our little lad craning his neck back, back to see how far up these tall, tall men stretch.

Always a lot to do, see and experience but never enough time. That evening we left as the crowds started to pack the Princess Alice Highway. There was a stage for live music, plenty more food available for tasting and the makings of a fine night but our little ones were at the limit, or maybe just beyond. They needed their bed after an eventful social outing.


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