I live this … I breathe this !!
I live this … I breathe this !!
I have always been a proponent of the “Stay-cation” … i.e. vacationing right here at home in the land of wood and water. I have found generally, that as a people we do not spend a great deal of time exploring and vacationing in our wonderfully diverse home, Jamaica.
Recently I had the opportunity to “Stay-cation” with some of my family and friends as we celebrated the occasion of my cousin Asha’s 35th birthday. My cousin’s particular desire was not to do the “traditional” Jamaica vacation experience, which would invariably be having us stay at some massive all-inclusive hotel (nothing against the all-inclusive hotel, but an intimate atmosphere it is not). Having looked at a few options she then selected destination for the birthday celebrations. A villa, very aptly named “Destiny”.
Rolling through the gates that take you to Great River Private (GPR), the secluded community where Destiny is located, I started thinking “oh this is nice”, I really had no concept of precisely “how nice” it was about to get!!
Coming through the courtyard and into the house you are immediately struck by the view. There are spectacular views in every conceivable direction, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and the Caribbean Sea. The three bedrooms of the main house all open onto a stunning view of the infinity pool which extends out to the brilliant blue sea which seemingly melts into the horizon. The birthday girl’s master suite was also truly impressive, featuring its own infinity pool, outdoor shower, private dining nook and mountain views to name a few of the amenities.
I can’t say enough about the truly spectacular time that I had at Destiny and its wonderful staff. There is nothing like waking up to a freshly brewed pot of Jamaican coffee every morning, just sitting and sipping waiting for the rest of the house to wake up. The delicious Jamaican meals prepared by the villa chef Vincent, ackee and salt fish, stew chicken, curry goat, jerk chicken, oxtail (and that was some good oxtail) just to name a few. The yummy rum punch, which I’m sure we consumed by the gallon, made by the ever efficient custodian of the house Donald. Everything about the surroundings at Destiny whispered “relax…let go …enjoy”.
Destiny was for me a “stay-cation” that I am truly glad I did not miss; there was nothing better for me than time spent with friends and family in this truly beautiful location.
I want to close this blog by once again wishing my beautiful and charismatic cousin Asha a truly Happy Birthday, you are a blessing in my life and others. So, what we doing for 40?????
As international cricket returns to the Caribbean and more importantly (to me) to Jamaica at Sabina Park, I tweeted the question to certain veteran watchers “who will be on the mound?” I was almost automatically put into a mood of nostalgia or as I call it “Moundstalgia.”
I did not come to a love of the game of cricket early in life, rather I was brought there kicking and screaming. I can remember the childhood agony of Cricket being the only thing on TV and my father glued to the screen for what seemed like days on end. I watched at times simply because there was nothing else to do. Watched some, understood even less, what exactly was a mid off or a mid on and why exactly did it become silly?? Surely, a sport for the truly ancient.
In my late teens I was brought to an understanding (or rather some semblance thereof) and what was the beginning of my love for the game, by having a cricket playing boyfriend. I remember watching a West Indies vs. England, the team seemed defeated coming close of the match, when a towering Curtley Ambrose plowed through the English top order, my excitement was feverish, I was becoming a fan.
On to the mound we go, literally and figuratively. Having been to Sabina on a few occasions I can recall the first time I went to the mound, I remember thinking; surely this was the worst possible option of a place to view a match. The mound was literally that, a mound of dirt, not a shade tree, not a shrub not even a seat in sight. This was looking to be a long painful day. What I noted that day was what was different on the mound from the many other stands from which I had watched cricket at Sabina Park, was the vibe.
As the years passed and the (original) mound evolved, the vibe of the mound was always what I most enjoyed. Moundmaniac’s are a special breed (maybe it’s the rum), but there does not seem to be a more ribald or energetic set to be found in Sabina Park. First the early comers (this would be me), and there are people in this group who I have never seen anywhere else in Jamaica. We open the ground, match time is 9 we arrive at 7:30am, place our chairs/blankets in our desired spot (in the middle of the mound up against the fence) and then retreat to the stands for breakfast and to read the paper. Closer to match time the ground starts to fill up, seats/space secured by your early coming friends, the mound crew assembles. During the match there are countless drink, (I mean alcohol and the occasional water) and food runs, all handled by various members of the collective in their turn.
I have great mound memories; I have seen some epic cricket on the mound, both bad and good. Had conversations with people from almost every cricket playing nation in the world. I’ve got to say the Aussies are the most fun, show of hands who remembers them belly sliding through the mud after a rain affected game? Rain affected games were never a legitimate reason to leave the mound, after all drinks were still on tap, the music was blasting and good friends abounded. Met great friends, including my favorite Trini and easily the West Indies #1 cricket fan Peter Matthews (you know him…the guy in the tall hat). Countless laughs (and sun burn) with my original mound posse, Pricey, Dirk, Janice, Rochelle, Brenda, Avril, Kira, IPO (RIP) and the list goes on….just good times!!
So from The Mound, to The Red Stripe Mound and now The Appleton Mound, it’s all about evolution and change. I have only been on the new mound (think the change was made for World Cup 2007) twice since the change in location, most memorably in 2009 when the West Indies batter bruised the English to win the test by an innings and 23 runs, what a day or rare top form play by the West Indies (the team performance is the subject of a whole other rant), might I add I sat on the original mound in 2004 when England destroyed the West Indies 47 all out on the 4th day, 2009, a sweet sight indeed. It’s all been about good times, good fun and West Indies cricket.
So as the West Indies gets ready to meet New Zealand, will you be down on the mound??….For myself, I’m not so sure…
Your Quit Date is: Monday, May 11, 2009 at 12:00:00 AM
Time Smoke-Free: 1096 days, 5 hours, 50 minutes and 50 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 21,925
Lifetime Saved: 5 months, 17 days, 11 hours
Money Saved: J$586,360.00
So today marks another year, 3 years smober, another landmark achieved!! At the start of 2012 I resolved not to make New Year’s resolutions, but rather to set goals for myself. The “top line” goal I made for myself was to focus on being “healthy” and being “well”, both in the physical and the mental. Part of being healthy was continuing on the journey of being a non-smoker. It’s funny that even though there are countless days when the thought of a cigarette does not even enter my mind, there are the random occasions when I say to myself “damn I could use a cigarette”. These are normally times of high stress, when rather than facing the situation I would welcome the distraction of my old crutch, the cigarette. However, I remind myself of the journey and the effort it took me to get to this point, and in order to remain healthy I can’t sacrifice that journey just for one cigarette.
For every smoker who wants to be a non-smoker the journey is different and my journey has brought me to this point 1,096 days smober. One day at a time, the journey continues.
p.s. I still want to know what happened to the money I saved #kmt
More than once in the past few weeks have I had occasion to pause and to reflect on how grateful I am for the life that I have and the people that are in it. As simple as sharing a meal and laughter with friends, which I did yesterday, has caused me to feel incredibly grateful.
I am in no small measure grateful for my friends. My father died a few weeks ago and it is these friends who have helped me to grieve and supported me while I did so. I will be eternally grateful for the phone calls, bbm’s, visits, conversations, hugs, smiles and laughter of my friends during this period. It is for me incredibly humbling to be loved and cared for by so many people.
I have never been more grateful for my brother Dylan, he is my superhero. After our father’s passing my brother has been a tower of strength, taking control and making sure all the things that needed to be done got done. I am grateful that he has the strength to handle all those things the way he did.
More than anything I want my friends and family to know that I am grateful for them and love them all very much.
Though this may seem like a repeat (I posted this poem at the beginning of 2011), it really is not. There is a poignancy to this poem that makes it constantly relevant for me. In 2012 I plan to own some of the sentiments of this poem as I never have before, this really will be a changing year.
I wonder if William Ernest Henley knew how impactful his words would be when he wrote them?? Sir, I salute you as I march into 2012 with your poem as my back drop!!
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
So y’all know roaming charges are some shit, so my twitter account was signed out while I was on vacation. Mannnnn I wouldah tweeted some tings, so in that spirit, this blog is a hodge podge of things I would have tweeted at the time:
Praise gessass mi reach… This woman is a contagion monkey
This customs officer did NOT just ask me if I was related to Dudus. #sideye ((wait I did tweet that))
It takes 30 mins to get somewhere in this country…yuh too rass lie !!
Nothing better than family #realtalk
SPF 4 bitches, black girls tan too … #laidout at the pool
I’m gonna go ahead and hold my mule #period
Hawk is bad ass … At 73 he is str8 up old school #gangsta
Party up people.. #inthaclub
Thirsty is a universal language #inthaclub
They need some DjC in they life … Reggae nah mek di cut #inthaclub
When did Bajan men start getting there “swole” on ??? Gym be packed all day everyday!! #inthaclub
Ciroc + Moet = no kind a damn good #inthaclub
Its 5 o’clock in the morning, the conversation got boring …per ner ner
What’s with all these damn ity bity frogs geesass
The new species of mosquito is called the “mandingi” …. Manny is killing me !
Ohhh flipper u taste so damn good #oistins. …
Time to chill … Euuuurrrkkkkks maybe not #doroad
As much as I love pork, me and souse nah guh work out
I love my fam … Full out killing it … Bwahahaaaa
Nope they ain’t never seen the like of us, Grey goose 1ltr down, Mount gay white rum down, we standing strong … We got this !!
You know what, stop thinking, just do!!
My heart and soul needed this trip #period …
I love my family
2012 … Invictus … Nyree #period
So at the end of it all, Barbados was amazing for me … worth every single sacrifice that was made to make it happen. Would do it again in a heart beat. Matter of fact I do believe I will !!!
Happy New Year all !!