I’m admitting it from the start: I am not a fisherman. I never was. Even if I had any inclination that way, I was cured of it in Canada when Guyanese musician Andy Niccols, a fishing fanatic, took me fishing one afternoon on Rice Lake in Ontario.
Like any poor country, Guyana is replete with occasions for despair about standards in everyday life. We can see the list in its various forms constantly in the news media, and it is a lengthy and well-known one – no need to replicate it here.
In recent days, with the CPL centre stage in the Caribbean, concurrent with England/Sri Lanka Test matches in the UK, we are seeing quite a contrast in cricket compared to the sport most senior folks grew up with in the region reaching back to the Union Jack days.
Among human beings caught up in a hectic life, it is often the case that a thought will come across our mental screen, sometimes from a comment overheard, or a sign encountered, or even from a prolonged and heated public discussion, and the thought flits in and flits out and is gone.
God knows if I’ll ever finish it, but after several proddings from various quarters I have begun writing a book. I was originally dubious about the idea because I wasn’t interested in simply writing a history of my life in a chronological retelling; I wanted to do something unconventional.
Bert Carter is a national treasure; let’s start from there. If you needed any persuading of that, you should have been at Moray House on a recent Monday when he spoke to a very attentive crowd on the drainage infrastructure of Georgetown.
On a recent trip to Orlando I saw a comment by Sam Roberts, son of former Guyana Police Chief “Skip” Roberts, on the widespread Caribbean practice of pinning nicknames on people, especially males, and he noted the almost amiable nature of the practice in that, most of the time, nobody takes offence to the monikers even when they could be seen as disparaging.
About to conclude a column for So it go I am aborting it to write, instead, on a sudden impulse, about Helen Bartlett, a mother in Point Fortin,Trinidad, who is big in the news this week over a video of her beating her 12-year-old wayward daughter.
A letter in Kaieteur News this week, by Mr M Maxwell, made the trenchant point that our forefathers came to Guyana already imbued with the racial prejudices of their ancestral homelands; that those ethnic divides, while recognized and exploited by the British for their own advantage, were a pre-existing condition; it was certainly used but just as certainly not created by the colonialists.