It’s all been a bit intense around here. I’ve got deadlines, and major headaches accompanying them, not least with a crazy cold. Feeling stressed, tired and ill seems doubly miserable when the sky is bright blue, the horizon line is well-defined and the sunshine is gloriously skin-tickling warm. Carnival feels like a long time ago.
I was in the library for hours this morning, trying to talk through an assignment with a colleague, and then complete it. Nothing especially complicated, but a lot of preparation is required for a lengthy document which I have to produce in French. So it’s just a little stressful. Over-enthusiastic air-conditioning did not help matters.
Having anticipated a distractingly sour mood, I had one appointment at least to look forward to. To clear my head a little, I did lunch with a sister-friend. We had a lot to catch up on seeing how we hadn’t sat down together for 2 whole weeks! And catch up we did: we just talked and talked and talked and talked for four straight hours. Continue reading →
“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world, a world lives in you.”
I carry my friends and family everywhere. Although sometimes it seems like my laptap is my best friend and closest confidante, actually, it’s just the main way that I keep in touch with those I call my heart. My heart is the people who love me. It’s the place that nourished my spirit, birthed my dreams, and inspired my adventures. It’s the kindness and acceptance and piss-taking by people who have made my life better in ways they do and do not know. That make me feel human.
Like Sam, who I always call my brave friend. She is also the white person who makes me feel better about being the black late one all the time as she’s usually later. When we were 15 and studying Latin, we had an evening school trip to see Lysistrata at a central London theatre. We were both late, and the group waited as long as they feasibly could (or so they said), before getting on the train without us. Continue reading →
I was watching TV one Saturday night when I was 14 and had just changed schools as a result of my parents separating less than 18 months earlier. My amazing Dad had just moved from our house in London to St Lucia i.e. 4000 miles away, and I had just fallen in love for the first time. I was basically at the peak of my teenaged angst when I came across a programme featuring a random group of smartarses friends my age exactly Continue reading →
Well I’d be lying if I said my trip to New York had gone according plan. It’s fine though, I didn’t have a plan to begin with.
I merely had the time off work from Thurs eve, and had to be in Washington DC 3pm Monday afternoon. When I arrived in The Big Apple and what I did was pretty flexible. My plan consisted of catching up with old, beloved friends, and seeing Black New York. You see, while some may sing the Sinatra track when drunk, my friends (and fam) were more likely to do Ja Rule and Fat Joe impressions. Until Jay-Z and Alicia Keys paid musical homage of course. So cos I’m like, special, for me they might as well call New York Malcom X-town. As for years I’ve grappled with his ideas, and had his words lift my head, (and having done all the ‘sights’ 10+ years ago on a school trip) I wanted to see the Malcolm X museum, or get closer to him somehow when I was in his hometown. Continue reading →
Cruise Ship Arriving in Fort-de-France (Photo credit: rustinpc)
I type this laptop on knees, sitting on the bed with my unpacked suitcase underneath the bed-edge I am perched on. Speaking of perches, the sunlight is slightly streaming through the frosted ice shutter-style windows in my bedroom whose name I can’t for the life of me remember right now and the birds are just singing away, somehow adding to my tranquil Caribbean vibes. And At 1’o’clock, I can see my laundry basket looking slighty full. I hope there’s nothing in it I was planning to wear. I am in pyjamas and the boat leaves in 4 hours. I should be packing as I type this.
But I continue to type because I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by my own adventures recently and if you’re a regular reader, I thought I should update you. Truth be told, I didn’t know I had any regular readers but one of my friends was like, hey you haven’t blogged for a while, which was basically the nicest thing anybody had said to me all day. Like, somebody noticed??? Awwww…
Okay, since I am supposed to be packing, and there are no buses as today’s ferie, and I am gonna have to beg for a ride to the port if I don’t move so I can pick up one of the buses leaving hourly from round the corner…unless I want to hitchhike which is usually an incredibly effective form of transport but may not be if it’s a Bank Holiday (sorry, that’s what ferie means…I’m too rushed to recall where the accents are on this but it’s feri-e in case you were wondering…) and everyone’s chiling in their houses. This is my life.
Shooting from one adventure the next, trying to take it all in, working out the logistics as I go along, and hoping I don’t miss the boat. Continue reading →
I can’t honestly explain what makes me want to travel. Where my itchy feet come from I don’t know. I like to think I am part of a great epic of black women moving by force, by choice, but moving nevertheless. I sometimes think it is the Brit in me. Raised as I was at the latter end of the times when it was still okay to idolise the great explorers of the nineteenth century. To think of them as great rather than the imperialist baddies they were.
While the conscious black person in me always knew how morally repugnant it was, the Brit in me imagined myself with that beige hat on head, and cutlass in hand, big grin on my face as I carve out a new route through some hitherto ‘undiscovered’ place obscured by trees. It’s such a familiar recurring image that I smile as I write it.
I’m smiling because I’ve been able to write what I’ve never been able to articulate. The need to see new things, the craving to understand the world. It’s the black person in me, paradoxically, who knows that if I really want to know, I have to ask the people.
and ‘getting left behind’ are supposed to be feelings inculcated in your loved ones by your departure to (hopefully sunnier) climes when you move abroad. You’re off having the adventure of a lifetime and they’re stuck at home doing the same thing they were doing before you left, only with a new wound of your departure, and the salt of the tales of your adventures as you write home. The traditional postcard note ‘wish you were here’ is supposed to denote that you’re having the time of your life and you wish they could be sharing it with you. That’s what you tell yourself when you leave your loved ones behind anywho.
Alas that’s not really how it works. And I just got my first major sting.
When you leave for an extended period of time and are consumed with all the adventures you’ll be having, you can forget that well, life will continue without you. Continue reading →