A Wedding & A Funeral

The month of April was one filled with much happiness, as my sister Lizzy took to the aisle and said “I do…” to the love of her life, John-Matthew Sinclair. It was a beautiful affair, never mind the drops of rain that began as soon as we stepped into the car to make our way to the church. This is what Lizzy had dreaded the most, which is why she arranged everything to take place indoors – both ceremony and reception. It was only the photographs to be taken at Devon House that were now a concern, though be it a minor one.

Red blooms filled the church, and the bevy of beauties that was her bridal party came in one by one (quite a bunch of ‘lookers’ if I do say so myself!). Then the doors closed and it was time for her to enter.

Now if you know my sister, it was her dream to have Beres Hammond sing “Hey little girl each time you passed my way I’m tempted to touch…”. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to book (or afford for that matter) Mr Hammond, so she did the next best thing… and as the doors of Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church opened, the talented steel-pan band (accompanied by the talented Dwight Richards) began the melody for said song, much to the surprise of guests who were not only blown away by the music, but by the vision that was my little sister, who entered the church amid “oohs” and “aahs”. Even Father Michael seemed to join John-Matthew in a moment of breathlessness, and was compelled to comment before the ceremony even began, that he had never seen Elizabeth look more beautiful.

I can’t take you through every moment of what took place at the ceremony, however I will say that there were a few tears by some, while others tried hard to hold them back.

And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as the ceremony ended, the rain stopped. It was truly a blessing.

Beautiful photos were taken by photographer Gary James in the grand ballroom of the Devon House Mansion, on the front steps, in the courtyard as well as in wine bar, Bin26. (When I get permission, I’ll put up a slideshow).

And, in all it was a truly wondrous occasion, and I’ve never seen two people in such bliss as this newly married couple. Everything was… perfect.

There was only one thing missing, and that was the presence of our cousin Shawna, who the week before, on Easter Sunday, passed away.

It’s been very difficult for me to talk about it… even more difficult to face the fact that she’s no longer with us. She was after all, like a sister to us, especially Lizzy who was closest to her (in age and in friendship) and shared much with her… in particular, raising her daughter Sierra.

It’s funny how my travel and personal plans were put on hold, because if all had gone as scheduled, I would not have been there for her funeral, for her send-off. I believe things really do happen for a reason, and I was happy that I was there… to support my family, and to come to terms with my own grief and loss.

There was much sadness following Lizzy’s wedding (the funeral service took place the following Saturday), but happiness as well, in that a part of Shawna still remains with us… in Sierra… who is such a beautiful little girl, who is so much wiser than her mere 6 years.

And we will all be sure to tell her stories about her mother, the great times we shared, and teach her the ways of being a lady, being generous and kind, honest and mannerly, just as her mother would have wanted and liked.

In closing, there’s not much left to say… except live in love, and God will do the rest.

Creative Noize Pursues…

A few years ago at the Big Ship headquarters, Dougs approached close friend Stephen McGregor with the idea for a song.
He started singing the lyrics of the chorus, and with the recommendation to slow the pace of the song, McGregor took out his guitar, and began playing along.
Before he knew it, ‘Di Genius’ had laid down the guitar, bass and drums for his melody, providing the instrumentals for what was to be named the Pursue riddim. That same day, Dougs recorded the song  Pursue… however the system crashed and the file,  lost.
As if by fate, in 2010 the song emerged, on a CD found by friend Germaine Mason, who had begun playing it for a few people in England, where he resided. Among these was footballer-cum-music producer Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner, who had nothing but good things to say about the track.
The decision was made to try to get a few local artistes to ‘voice’ on  the riddim. It was also time to register the company. Creative Noize Records was officially borne, with Dwayne ‘Dougs’ Douglas and Germaine Mason at the helm.
If you know how the music business operates in Jamaica, you can imagine and understand the difficulties the duo has encountered along the way… but still they persevered and ‘pursued’ (pardon the pun), getting the likes of Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Shema and Ce’cile (to name a few), to share their musical talents. And already, Ifrica’s Pot Still Haffi Bubble is getting airplay, not to mention rave reviews among New York selectors.
This soothing one-drop brings about ‘feel good’ emotions, an element which is brought out in the lyrics of many of the artistes featured thus far on the riddim – a welcome change to the nonsensical lyrics of face-bleaching, hammering, and jumping up and down across a dancefloor trying to contort our bodies into different shapes. I personally identify with the lyrics from Ce’cile’s Gwaan Live Life which states, “keep your head above water, stay conscious”.
You know… sometimes all you need is simply to slow things down a little, in order to see its true beauty and worth.
With more artistes to come, I invite you to listen to the preview and share your thoughts.

::PuRsUe Riddim::
Instrumental – Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor
 Never Love Again – Shema McGregor
Gwaan Live Life – Ce’cile
Don’t Fret Too Much – Tony Rebel
Pot Still Haffi Bubble – Queen Ifrica

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

photo: Dwayne Watkins

Season’s Greetings to you all!!! And a wonderfully merry Christmas!

God is good. I’ve been blessed with wonderful friends, a family full of personality, and good health – what more could I ask for?

Last night we had our annual Christmas dinner at my mum’s house, with family and friends who are family… I wish that I could invite you all to experience it! We do a potluck dinner… about 30 of us gather on Christmas Eve to eat, exchange gifts and be merry.Ma belly still full!

There was SOOOOOOOO much food, laughter, story sharing… we’re actually a pretty wild bunch!

I’m usually a Scrooge at this time of year… not quite sure why. But, it’s like I’ve had a revelation and I feel for once this season of ‘giving’ has shown me all the things in my life that I am thankful for….

I’m thankful for my parents, who though separated for the past 20 years, still ‘live good’ and can enjoy each other’s company and do nice things for each other. And, they’ve never denied me anything I’ve needed for the past 30 years.

I’m thankful for my sisters. We knock heads often, vex wid each other, malice each other, chat each other, but we always make up… ALWAYS! And no matter what, I know they have my back, and I have theirs. THEY are my biggest supporters.

I’m thankful that I was able to leave work early to make it to dinner with my family on Christmas Eve. Every year I swear that I don’t want to go… that everything seems so hypocritical… but I really enjoy being around them all – we’re all so loud and obnoxious… BUT we’re interesting, and can hold an audience 😀 LOL!

I’m thankful for my friends, who always seem to know what it is that I need before I do… thank you Kim & JD, and Kat for the gifts… They are REALLY what I wanted!

I’m thankful for life… life in general, and MY life. There have been a few moments of weakness, where I’ve felt sorry for myself, and questioned my purpose. But thanks to those who I’ve mentioned above, I know why I’m here. Thank you for reminding me every day (though you may not know it). Again I’ll say, God is good!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!

Nuff Love! 🙂

PS – SO glad dinner was last night…now I can go eat at all y’alls dinners today!!!! Wooohooooo!!!

The day I saved the Chiney man’s life…

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating somewhat – but for real, I thought he was on the verge of death!

Friday night, cuzn Kat and I arranged to have a little meeting to discuss her academic future – apparently I’m thought to give good advice.

We met up and went to Truck Stop to grab a bite, and to talk. After a good long chat we awaited our bill, and laughed at the Chinese man who stood in the middle of the dining room dancing to the music of Sirius radio, feeling no pain.

I went to pay the bill and upon returning to the table, who do you think I saw slumped in the gravel against a potted plant? None other than the SAID Chinese man!!!! An older Chinese man was with him, but seemed so perplexed as to what to do!

Being the instinctive person that I am (hehehehe), I called over one of my waiter friends (big up Smiley) and asked him to help the gentleman up into a seat with a back, to give him support. I called over Kat (who knows CPR) and told her our Chiney fren’ that was dancing deh ah groun’ passed out!

As we helped get him into the chair (it was really mostly Kat and I doing the lifting), others around just looked and laughed. I’m ashamed to say that many of the other diners had been laughing all this time, and just watched him lay there and did nothing. Even the staff hadn’t seen the man in the bush, and I strongly feel that had I not called it to their attention and asked for help, they would have left him there too.

We got him into the chair, checked that he was breathing and had a pulse, then splashed water in his face to try to revive him. Of course, he was conscious – what with the one baga kung fu kick him put on when Kat splashed the water on him LOL! We tried to get him to drink some, but he preferred to fight us off. Good thing we’re a strong set of girls I held him over his shoulder across his chest to keep him upright, and Kat held his head up to ensure he was able to breathe.

All this time the poor old Chiney man just watched us, and kept bowing and saying “thank you” – over and over again. Did I mention that neither of the two spoke English?? Oh boy – he said their drive would be there in 10 minutes… could I hold the Shaolin master for 10 minutes??? *sigh*

Twenty minutes passed – I began to fan him with my work steno-pad. I heard a one snore, and Kat had to dodge a few more kicks and flailing of arms – I asked ‘Missa Chin’ to call the drive again. Again, he was on his way.

Finally a younger oriental fellow arrived, and proceeded to put the drunken man’s arm over his shoulder, to walk him out. The man’s legs didn’t seem to be working, so ‘Chow Yun Fatt’ grabbed the man’s two legs and hauled him up “piggy back” style. The dead weight of the man had him hanging almost to the ground and Kat and I ended up having to hold his ass up so that he didn’t cause his ‘carrier’ to topple over.

Kat was able to manoeuvre the man into the car, ensuring that his head and feet were safely inside. Once again Jackie Chan’s daddy was endlessly bowing and saying “thank you, really – thank you so much” – I said “Yea man, it’s no problem – yuh good man” – still the bowing continued, then apologising.

I began to feel embarrassed for him, it really didn’t seem like such a big deal but you never know how these things affect other people – the man was probably scared out of his wits. More apologising ensued, so I just went up to Mr. Cha, and gave him a hug and said “Yuh good man – y’all get home safe”.

I did my grandmother’s famous locking of the car door, beating the top saying, “Arite, drive good” – and they were off.

Wow! I was exhausted, and I know Kat must’ve been too. I was just glad he was okay and safely on his way home.

After that, I needed a drink. And since Mama Kim sent out an SOS for sum cheeseburgers, we went to her rescue and begged sum wine while we were at her house, recounting this very story.

I’m just wondering if tomorrow I’m gonna see them on the cover of The Jamaica Observer or something.

Oh well..that’s the end of my story – goooooooood-night!!

HAAIIIIII-YAAAHH!!!!! 🙂

Girlfriends

The past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of events – stress, fatigue, misery, happiness. Throughout it all, one thing has stood out in my mind the entire time – my girlfriends.

No matter how many times I cuss dem or malice dem, I can’t deny the fact that I know (and am friends with) an incredibly awesome group of ladies. Their support made my birthday celebrations THAT MUCH better!

As August the 4th reared it’s head, they called PLUS BBM’d PLUS tweeted PLUS blew up my Facebook page PLUS came out to BNM at Fiction PLUS came out to the 3.0 the following Saturday (the 7th)!! Now THAT’S dedication!!! Hahahahahaha!!! Maaaaaddd ting!!

And, it’s funny how a lot of guys who claim to be my friends, or claim to ‘like me’ and had asked me what I was doing for my birthday, didn’t even call, message, tweet, or turn up.

My girls had my back, and I would like to say – thank you.

Big up my Liz, Peti, Robynne, Kim, Fran, Selena, Robin, Alicia, Gabii, Sabrina, Nyree, Suzanne, Kat – You girls ROCK!!! – I hope I’m not forgetting anybody (gimme a bly).

I love you chicas!!!! And here’s to 3.0 MORE!!!!!! CHEERS!!

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