SUNDAY INSPIRATION “DOWN BY THE RIVER SIDE”

A scorching hot day at the river Carib beer in hand cars leaves a trail on the roads tassa and soca music fills the air!

The coal pot above the fire side, taking a curious peep, someone shouts “the curry duck not ready yet” a couple more minutes it would be alright.  The aroma definitely set the tone senses going wild anticipating the first bite with buss up shut or dhalpourie simply delectable.

However, waiting could sometimes get your mind wrapped up in a tale spin, thinking about the series of the events before the duck arrived into the coal pot, all that’s missing is the background sounds from the Friday 13thhorror flick soundtrack and instantly you’re ready for a block buster hit!

Believe it or not as crazy as this sound that curried duck may have been someone’s pet.

Curried Duck

A plate of curry duck goes excellent with rice or buss -up shut and dhalpourie roti.
Picture courtesy “taste at home” website.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m an avid supporter of chicken meals; I do battle with my conscience from time to time, especially when I see cages of chickens being driven on the highway to some location.

Burning questions do evade my thoughts were these chickens read their rights, did they go before a magistrate in poultry land, was there a jury present and another interesting factor were they ever called upon to plead for their lives before heading to their final destination. Meditating on their demise could definitely have a profound effect on one’s psyche, kind of funny if you ask me.

Sean one my friends often relates the tale of his duck ‘whitey”, and the reason which lead to his decision to not consume duck meat!  Apparently when he was nine years old he had two ducks he took care of them diligently, they played and spent lots of time together, their bond was admired by the family, and he view ‘whitey’ as has proud possession his pet friend for life.

Animated version of ‘whitey” a pet duck

One day on his arrival from school he called out to ‘whitey’ no response he paid little or no attention especially since ‘whitey’ was known to visit the neighbors from time to time.   Soon the sheer horror came he called out to his mother she was in the kitchen cooking he asked “what’s for dinner”? She replied curry duck with roti.  Sean started to scream he ran outside frantically looking for ‘whitey’ he found the cutting board by the pipe, blood a knife and all of ‘whitey’ feathers laid around no further evidence was required his precious white duck was cooking in the pot!

Imagine the enormous amount of conflicting emotions Sean had to deal with, when it comes to the matters of the stomach its survival of the fittest. At nine years old, that seemed ludicrous, after all ‘whitey’ was a member of the family, my friend, pet and alive before he went to school.  Little or no time to conform to this idea of eating my pet, since the prehistorical days the food chain was defined leaving room for no ambiguity what so ever.

Thus far thank god we human are the not on the food chain list but animals are, and as time progresses and creativity, opportunity presents itself the reality of cooking someone’s pet isn’t a fairy tale or scenario.  In strange circumstances beyond your control a pet maybe branded as livestock whether it’s a chicken, duck or trini style rabbit or an agouti.  The question pose though are we bad persons for making that decision?

A kid once mentioned to me his dad told him his rabbit was dinner, he said he laughed because the concept was so ridiculous to conceive or even believe.  As a child it hard to picture the outlook for the greater good Sean was unable to cope with the loss because he was never consulted, his feelings were not taking into consideration.

His pet was his territory, I guess the reason why today it’s easy to eat without developing a mutual conscious is because its someone else pet and their aren’t no strings attached, no heart ache or loss to deal with.  We may reflect in some way or other, but wisdom has always been the master mind weaver defining factors which seem rather critical, cynical to grasp at first.  The circle of life is a continuing fact never wavers from realism and practicality.

So whenever you are in a jam and need to cook someone’s pet a little negotiation can make a huge difference to the owner.  Try to avoid irreparable damage for years to come.

By Nicole Fisher

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

MONSTERS PARADE THE STREETS OR NOT?

“Blue a colour or pigment 3 Canal making a statement” It’s amazing just how much age, time and experience could conjure a different perspective about people, places and things.

3 Canal did not tell a lie in their song “Blue” such a profound colour, immersed in mystery yet bringing an element of excitement fuh so!  Almost the calm after a storm, well that is how I would have described my Carnival Monday mid day experience at age 6 on Pembroke Street in Port of Spain.

BLUE DEVILS PARADE THE STREETS OF PORT OF SPAIN

Music blasting throughout the streets, people seemed happy like it was the time to embrace freedom, an escape from the daily run of the mill.  Mac Williams band passed, masqueraders chipped through the streets after which it became a bit empty.

Then I heard a thumping sound in the distance, I saw a group of blue people approaching closer beating on Crix biscuit tin with thin sticks being utilize as a drum.  Now the (blue) crew got closer, so did my nightmare begin what appeared to be devils drank a liquid substance then fire was spewed into the air.

Oh gosh I ran behind my grandmother they were scary looking, but strange enough she was laughing,  how could this be, these hideous creatures were taunting me as blood oozed from their mouth!  Crazy sight to behold!

Help meh (lol), the whole street could be seen laughing people running protecting their skin and costumes, whilst some other persons jumped to the rhythm of the drum.                            This flashback certainly brings truck loads of laughter, as a child it’s so easy to analyse situations at face value scary stuff indeed.  I  did not fully comprehend the cultural importance of having Blue Devils in our Carnival traditions and the role they fulfilled.

Today much older I understand the significance of ‘blue devils’ in our Carnival culture their origination came from Jouvert aka (‘Dutty Mas’). In summary, the spoken philosophy by some older folks, is Africans were freed from slavery after which they celebrated non –stop for two days.

Freed slaves did not possess anything, however jovial and creative they covered themselves with mud, molasses, ash and of course blue paint dressed up as devils mocking their enslavers.

In my opinion Jouvert removed the societal limitations of an era of slavery, allowing everyone regardless of status quo to be identified as one.  The mud, paint could be perceived as temporary measures submerging reality from ‘dusk till dawn’ now that is ‘baccahnal’.

By Nicole Fisher

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

LONGEST TRAFFIC ROUNDABOUNT IN THE WORLD

The horns blow under the glaring sun, surely a busy period no matter what time of the day.  Maxi-Taxi drivers, taxis, commuters, exercise enthusiasts and souvenir vendors alike all have one thing in common to venture to the Queen’s Park Savannah better known as the longest traffic roundabout in the world.

The Savannah, accommodating and simply breathe taking is a whopping 260 acres of land.  Great news the perimeter is 3.5kilometeres whether you are heading from  Port of Spain to Maraval, Long Circular Road, St. James, Woodbrook and St. Ann’s or simply seeking to proceed to the Lady Young Road for faster access outside of the capital no pun intended this roundabout is indeed a life saver!

Horse-racing, cricket, ruby and football are popular games which are played on a regular basis.  Not to mention at Carnival time carnival masqueraders flock their sanctuary to jump to the lively songs of soca music on Carnival Monday & Tuesday.  Both young and old prance on stage at the Grand Stand before venturing back onto the streets again to the infectious beat.

The Panorama Competition finals attract hundreds of pan devotees who eagerly anticipate the opportunity to support any band of their choice as they play their hearts out on an innovative instrument which have influenced the world at large-scale with its pulsating unique song.

Calypso Monarch, Carnival King & Queen, Junior King & Queen are all crowned at this location in their entire splendor and glory via the Dimanche Gras and Junior Carnival respectively.

Now alot of promoters might agree, events do have a historical relationship with this scenic site, similarly to the Magnificent Seven, majestic mansions which certainly old enough to tell a tale, these buildings are well-kept and considered as the crowd jewel of the savannah, clearly beautiful eye caching architectural brilliance..

The National Academy for Performance Arts lifts the helm of the savannah with its huge dome edifice, captivating the eyes by its alluring towering effect.  The glass structure is as attractive, as glitter is on a masquerader face, especially when the sunlight of beams into its pathway, as any cameraman would say to his lens Mirror, Mirror on the wall who is the fairest building of them all”.  

National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA) reflects boldly!

National Academy for Performing Arts                   reflects boldly!
A riveting compliment to tourists…
Photo taken by Nicole Fisher

"Water jumps for joy at the entrance National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA)"

Water jumps for joy at the entrance                     National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA)”
Quite a refreshing view.
Photo taken by Nicole Fisher

For sure at night our local cuisine e.g. corn soup; punch and bar-be-cue is on display, served by vendors at the entrance of the Grand Stand.   Coconut Water Vendors could be seen from afar along the perimeter ready to serve you at a moment notice; only a smile will do laughs….

DR. FRESH PUNCH MAN

Dr. Fresh Punch Man serves delicious punches at the Queens Park Savannah.

CORN SOUP VENDORS

Corn Soup Vendors serves heart warming soup at the Queens Park Savannah.

This extraordinary circular location lends a backdrop to the President House,                 Royal Botanic Gardens and the Hollows.  Gorgeous poui-trees and pretty soulful birds add a dynamic presentation of such limitless ambience the savannah creates; relaxation is quite possible as its leaves much to one’s imagination and heart’s desire.

The President House

President of Trinidad & Toabgo
His Excellency George Maxwell Richard House (NF)

"Lily Pond at the Hollows

“Beautiful site a Lily Pond at the Hollows”
Photo taken by Nicole Fisher

So if you are visiting Trinidad and Tobago and your Hotel is smacked right in the middle of Port of Spain take full advantage of The Queens Park Savannah because it is as delightful, multi-facet as the people who enjoy it’s inter, outer limits!

By Nicole Fisher

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

“I doh mind we practice the cultures that come from a foreign land, but we have our own thing right here which needs even more attention”.

Tremendous words of truly an inspirational song entitled “Culture” in 1988 by Christopher ‘Tambu’ Herbert, he absolutely mash-up the Queen’s Park Savannah with that special number, the ‘big yard’ audience was beaming with such pride and joy as patrons could be seen dancing to the infectious rhythms of the drums.

I could remember as a little child listening to a radio talk show, when some folks telephoned in to voice their level of dissatisfaction with the lyrics of song, because in their opinion Trinbagonians loved their culture first!  However vividly I recall at that period in our nation’s history more calypsoes focused on being musical advocate of sorts to support  local music rather than dance hall.    Bally Maxi Dub…..

Tambu’s positive words were strong enough to forced us to somehow engaged in some kind of ‘pep-talk’ in order to re-evaluate our priorities, aspirations and further national development , rationally attempting to safe guard our cultural assets for a brighter future.

Every now and then, while the hype is in command,  it’s very easy, quite practical  to admire another person’s work, craft or ingenuity,  but please love yourself first, of course minus the ego then relax embrace your creativity and contribution after all you deserve it!

In spite of this valuable musical food for thought, twenty-four years later early one Thursday morning whilst driving on the north bound lane along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, I gazed at the most peculiar yet patriotic site.

Photograph taken by Nicole Fisher 14/04/2011

It suddenly occurred to me being patriotic is more than a mere state of mind the architect of this road side shack ignored his/her circumstances expressing his emotions towards love for country regardless of present  status.   Now in all honestly, we could possibly agree  he/she lacked the financial resources to build elsewhere maybe a flat apartment, with air conditioning intact, a classy sofa, nice cozy bed and a hot cup of cocoa tea in a fabulous place to call home.

Just perchance in this moment while the builder applied  nail to wood, comfort was purely a secondary objective, whilst remaining nationalistic and true was ultimately his/her primary goal.

Amazingly, in Trinidad & Tobago we have this infinite knack to overlook challenges in a heartbeat transferring these daunting situations into a magnetic box until all of the excitement dissipates.  Whether it’s palancing in a fete while the rain falling, or trying to complete in a flash any particular task at hand.

I often wonder though if being entirely occupied, someway takes away the effort from us the citizenry to look around and lend a helping hand, fixing our country first.

Today the shack has been demolished , without a doubt forever etched in my mind is the high level of ‘patriotism’ displayed by this unfamiliar builder.

My dear friends this loyal draftsman reinforced the theory  Charity begins at home” therefore no matter which part of the stratosphere your reside, lets not fall asleep nor lose our identity.  Continue to strive for authenticity, bearing in mind being patriotic and possessing a quality state of mind is serving tow entirely different masters all at once, however they do require a singular component  of ‘consciousness’.

To you the architecture of bridging gaps I love you and thank you, your homely structure gave me more reflection than any book, archive, or lecture could have provided me in a passing moment!

By Nicole Fisher

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

BEAUTY IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER

Hi my name is Nicole, I am from a beautiful twin isle state Trinidad  & Tobago, bountiful and forever beautiful in every way!

According to Dicitionary.com ‘beauty’ is defined as the quality that gives pleasure to the mind or senses and is associated with such properties as harmony of form or color, excellence of artistry, truthfulness, and originality.  And… ‘Beauty’ a quality or feature that is most effective, gratifying, or telling.

You see, it’s in this same vain I commence writing this blog with such and vigor, love and passion penned in my honest humble opinion conveying the sheer splendor of a Caribbean island so sweet,  Trinidad & Tobago,  so lush green, a conqueror, champion in every facet known to mankind.

A creative seemingly blessed country, tiny in comparison to some but a big champion in comparison to other nations, some quiver in their boots as witnessed in the recently concluded 2012 Olympics Keshorn Walcott

Cheerfully, I choose to reflect upon the positives attributes of my beloved country, the people, and the uniqueness of our culture, positively a land of sun, sea and fun with limitless songs of tassa, steelpan, calypso, soca and indigenous dance limbo bongo and bele.

Extremely colourful people, rigorous and vibrant as the mas costumes  we create, providing such insight into an expressive way to communicate.

Oh! Certainly let the drums roll and the steel pan play , T & T truly a cosmopolitan nation 

Now I am not one to tell a tale, whilst walking a trail of jelly beans and candy cane, believe it or not we are far from being immune from societal issues which I must admit try to compete for a headline or two.

However, I will climb the tallest mountain and shout with such joy and conviction that Trinidad & Tobago thus far in my view for the last 50 years have demonstrated to the world all races can definitely find an equal place if they twork hard together to strive for love, peace and harmony!  Magnified and illustrated as perhaps realistic portrayal known to man!

Just as Jean Michael Cazabon trinbagonian born famous painter crafted on canvas a piece entitled ‘Mulatto Girl’ in (b.1813 d. 1888) no doubt he probably would have immediately stood in awe due to the sight of yet another of his artistic masterpiece, this too we must practice from time to time tuning into the ‘beauty’ around us isolating the noise from a distance.

Occasionally, we should step back, look in with an opened mind, free to explore, removing biases or contradictions only then we can truly discover the  ‘beauty, in our midst then being grateful opens the door to retrieve ‘magnificence’ in a familiar place a place you can all home an absolutely golden opportunity to navigate through let’s imagine  King Solomon’s mine!  Trinidad & Tobago my pot of gold to cherish!

Do you think tweaking our perception is maybe the key to overlook the negativity which looms/exist in our environment?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Hello world!

Dear Readers,

My name is Nicole Fisher, confession time I am  so very excited about this new digital diary experience (blogging).

I love to write about anything, god, people, country, life itself is very important to me.                          I love my country sweet Trinidad & Tobago the land of fun, sea and sun, pan, tassa, limbo, calypso and soca!

It’s my hope and dream to influence international readers to visit our shores, back home to you my fellow brothers and sisters fall in love with your country all over again!                    It’s yours to savour!

Come on forget all of the negativity, which sometimes seems to crave the urge to over shadow the goodness of our land.  Certainly we do have challenges, but the victory could come as easy as we all decide to unite and totally appreciate and treasure our lovely           twin-isle state.

In my opinion, we are  nation, strong, spiritually in tuned, unique,  totally gifted                        50-year-old multi-cosmopolitan nation which in many ways have inspired the world to acknowledge all races definitely “every creed and race finds and equal place”.

By Nicole Fisher

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment