The now world

A Caribbean lawyer friend of mine, a very perceptive gentleman, occasionally sends me pieces of writing on this subject or that on the basis that they will interest me. 

Hopeful signs

I came back to live in Guyana in 2008 with no illusions, no pipe dreams, no blindness to the reality of life here. 

Forty-one years ago

On Tuesday this week I’m walking up Carmichael Street about to turn into Lamaha, and a man comes running out of the business on the corner and hails me: “Boy, I’m glad I ran into you. 

Revamping the motto

Usually I come to this space with a column percolating in my mind; occasionally something crops up that catches me. 

Musical intentions

My son Tony, who writes for an ad agency in Ottawa, Ontario, is working on a book about Tradewinds, and I have had some interesting exchanges with him on a range of topics that fall under that remit. 

Tourism is no monolith

In my early days travelling the Caribbean with Tradewinds, my head immersed in music, tourism to me was essentially a somewhat monolithic operation, made up largely of airplanes, hotels, white-sand beaches, and blue water; that’s how it struck me.  

Calypso humour

From time to time on this ubiquitous internet that parades things before us, one often sees presentations reminding us of aspects of our lives that are no more. 

Peering through the cricket smoke

Among a number of vexing matters grinding us in the Caribbean, one of the most vexing is the state of our cricket and, in parallel, the raging controversies about our West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). 

Guyana must do likewise

In last Sunday’s column “How Come” I wrote about a young man in my family who was travelling as a passenger in a car recently that was hit by a speeding vehicle, driven by someone under the influence, in the kind of lunatic driving that is routine in Guyana.

How come

One of the things I’ve noticed about people in the arts field – writers, painters, architects, etc – is that they are unconventional thinkers so that although they are people who obviously operate vertically, they are also observers, in an almost horizontal manner, of mankind. 

Understanding men

It goes back to my youthful West Dem days in the 1950s: with no TV or CDs or Facebook, I found laughter in behaviours around me, in characters I’ve mentioned before, such as ‘Four Foot’ and ‘Big Os’, and the shopkeeper Tony Vieira at my aunts’ shop at Hague Front.

The one Caribbean myth

After last week’s column on empty cricket stands at the Queen’s Park Oval, I ended up, as I often do with these writings, in an interesting exchange, in this instance with John Aaron, a Guyanese who lives in New York, and with voices ranging from the man on Irving Street selling coconuts, to the widely dispersed views of Ron Sanders, Ambassador from Antigua to the USA and the OAS.

Cricket graveyard

In recent days in Trinidad, a truly phenomenal event took place in the form of a regional 4-day cricket tournament.

Caribbean instincts

In my time as a musician travelling about, one of the spin-offs was the development of friendships, in diverse places, that would not otherwise have come my way. 

Our own doing

It’s not something that strikes you if you live in Guyana and don’t travel much, but if you are based outside for some time and then return here permanently, you immediately notice the obvious shortage of systematic approaches, in both government and private sector, many of which impact directly across the society on a daily basis. 

Parking or Kaiso: Take time to get it right

This week, amid the turmoil in Guyana over parking meters coming to Georgetown, I ended up, along with Mighty Gabby, on an NCN interview promoting the weekend’s Rupununi Musical Festival event in the city.

When did that happen?

From a youth at Saints, I was not the scholarly type.  I hated homework, I hardly ever studied, and when I went to the British Council Library I wasn’t boning up on school subjects, I was reading Horatio Hornblower and the erotic stuff I could find nowhere else. 

Postponing the parking

Early in my music life, when I was trying my wings, a major influence was the work of the late Louise Bennett of Jamaica. 

It is high time

This week in Guyana came news reports about the Junior Calypso Competition for Mashramani drawing some talented performers in the final of the event. 

The nuts and bolts of writing songs

Media interviews are part of a musician’s life and the best interviewers – Vic Fernandes in Barbados; Carlton James and Wanita Huburn here – will come at you with stuff that makes you turn inward and unravel things you learned along the way but never articulated. 

Not so

As I’ve mentioned before, for many years, living abroad, I have kept a kind of informal journal not as a record of daily events but as a storehouse of various thoughts or ideas or observations that come to me during the course of a day. 

Dis is Guyana buddy

I was in Miami airport recently, waiting to check in at Caribbean Airlines, and I ended up in an intriguing conversation with a Guyanese, living in Florida, who was travelling to Trinidad on business.

Race lessons from America

Hard on the heels of Donald Trump’s ascent to be President-elect of the USA, comes a striking example of racial tensions in that country with an incident involving public comments from Pamela Taylor, Executive Director of a government-funded non-profit group in Clay County, West Virginia.