So I’m trying to get into this blogging habit!

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As you can see, it’s been a long time since I have posted anything. I just stopped writing to tell you the truth. Writer’s block you ask? Nope. I have just been lazy. I had a glance at my blog page and I saw how pathetic and empty it looked. This is wrong! Suppose somebody was looking for the next big thing in writing and they looked and saw my dry, content empty page. Lawwwd.

Here I am February 2017. About 10 days before Valentine’s Day. I’m still in the UK and here I will be for a while. No carnival 2k17 for me this time around. I miss the sun and I need a good dose of vitamin D now. Did you know that Vitamin D is supposed to boost your endorphins? That’s why I think that Brits especially Londoners are some of the most miserable people I have come across. Lack of sunshine! No, I am not going to my sunny paradise across the pond. After being employed for close to 8 years in one place, I decided to leave. Why? Exactly for the reason that I was employed. I was becoming a plant, a Bonzai tree, firmly rooted in one place. My face did not fit. Just like the Bonzai, I was as out of place as one in a field of Snowdrops.

So I’m now job hunting. It’s been shit! I could blame loads of things, the end of the industry I am in, the uncertainty of financial markets, Brexit, terrorism, Donald Trump, Tim Peake, Made in Chelsea. I never said that what I blame has to be true. That’s how senseless my search has been. So far in my search I applied to a very reputable department store, that “celebrates” diversity, cares for its employees, encourages self-development of the individual, etc, etc, etc. I prepared and read up about the said department store, went through their online assessments and amazingly I passed. After another round of this type of assessment, I was eventually shortlisted for an interview at their central London store. I arrived well dressed, prepared and in time for it. I saw that another candidate very casually dressed in jeans, a jacket and brogue-style flat-forms had also been shortlisted. After a 45 minute wait, we were taken up to a room to do a further assessment and interview. After completion of the assessment, I was selected to be interviewed by the Assistant Manager. My Spanish flat-form heeled co-candidate had HER interview with the Department Manager.
The interview I had was pleasant as it seemed that the Assistant Manager and I clicked. She even said that hoped to see me start the following week! Great! By the time I reached home and logged on to my computer, I had been told that I was unsuccessful. Ah yes. I asked for feedback on my interview. I’m still waiting for this.

My next employment attempt took place within an international specialist firm. My really dear friend gave me a heads up by passing on my CV. To avoid any sort of conflict of interest, my friend could not and did not interview me. She left it to her non-professionally qualified colleague and another senior manager to do so. I was given another assessment and then asked the usual interview questions. I was told that I would hear from them later. Nothing. I still have not heard a word. My friend couldn’t get feedback and neither could I.
Another corporate interview which had me doing actual work within their premises for over four hours ended with the same result. And frustratingly – NO FEEDBACK though requested!
No, I don’t think that it is me. It IS them. Dare I say it – Institutional racism and prejudice, is alive and kicking. It’s going to take generations to remove this poison from this society. Legislation, threats of violence or even an economic sanction will not drive out this attitude in the culture of the dominant.

It is amazing how pro-slave trade propaganda justifying Black incarceration and ultimate exploitation, is still the rationale behind rejecting the difference in skin colour and hair texture. Would you say that a Tiger is superior to a lion or vice versa? They are both cats with specific characteristics that Nature has given in order for them to survive in their environment and it’s these adaptations that make us marvel at their individual beauty. Regardless of the shades of our skin or the characteristics of our physical features pertaining to our ethnicity, we are the same species – human beings. We all breathe, eat, excrete and reproduce in exactly the same way. How does the texture of hair or shade or lack thereof determine superiority? It is ridiculous yet this is the world that we willingly accept or I should say, we are trained to accept.

So apart from this momentary rant what do I intend to do about this situation? I’ve decided that I need to call out people and tell them that their “invisible prejudices/racism” is actually invisible because I and many others like myself have been silenced into not calling out the perpetrators. The thing is, I’ve been trained to feel guilty about pointing out this attitude, I have fallen for the dodge tactic of “white hurt guilt”. How could I blame my white friends and colleagues that have black friends, partners and even children that they are to blame for this system of “white privilege” and negative black stereotyping? But they are, even if they are unconscious of doing so.

The world as it is, is acceptable, as long as they are not openly expressing any racist or prejudiced sentiments. But that’s only part of the problem. The real problem is that those of the dominant culture are comfortable with the status quo that permits an uneven playing field and a privilege which facilitates dominance over all others that are not a part of this exclusive club. So my contribution is to aid in the dismantlement of this dominance by declaring that I do not accept the status quo and I will not hesitate to say so. I have no guilt. The guilt is theirs.

I’m back, well sorta…I hope!!!

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It’s nearly October and it’s 2016. Since last year I haven’t posted a drop of writing. Why? I had loads to say then but now it’s old news. This has been a year and some. Obviously life does not remain static – that is of course unless you are dead. So where should I begin?

OK – January 2016. That was a happy time! I graduated, wore my little mortar board hat and ting, gown, dress, high-heels ( I did not trip and fall on my face. It’s actually recorded and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I did not do my usual walk like a cockroach stamp. I looked quite elegant ( Yes! Hilary and Yvonne). And that was that! I kinda miss my post-graduate days. The camaraderie in the study group was great and it definitely gave me my creative fix! So graduation was also a sad time. I said goodbye to my foreign colleagues who were still around. I’m an alumni now ( whatever, that means )
So it was back to the drudgery of my job which I hated.

Which brings me down to May. Work was awful. Monotonous, unfriendly colleagues, horrible team leader, back in de boon-docks area. It did nothing for me. They were vanilla ice-cream and I was rum and raisin. Like the two flavours this was not a harmonious pairing. And so we parted ways after seven years of co-existing. Rum and raisin could never be a choc-ice flavour after all.

July – The Rio Olympics! I love them! Russia had to take a back seat! Team GB was brilliant! Biggest ever medal haul. The London legacy is intact and elite sports is safe and sound. I think that more places for free sport need be open. We have bored energetic adolescents running around the cities forming gangs, finding things to do that they shouldn’t, being exploited and then killing each other. Think of pouring all that anger, boredom and energy in sport and activities to put them in a better frame of mind. What is the Sports and Culture Minister doing about this? Sport and the creative industry are both money spinners. The days for transferring money and shares to make more money are almost over. Look at the current rate of interest 0.5% not that I have any money to spend on shares…

So that brings me to now. I’m still job-hunting. I have thrown my net wide and far but unfortunately no fish have bitten yet. I have been on several interviews, think I’ve done ok but there you go. I am however happier not working where I was although I would love to be doing something now.
Ah What else? BREXIT – omg! I am traumatised! What the hell is going on? One good thing about it – they got rid of George Osborne. He is a psychopathic number cruncher. Can imagine he wanted to cut the amount of disability benefit and this would not have made a bit of difference. I don’t think that austerity is going to end but maybe it will be more fairly shared.

Then there’s the US elections. Those are scary. The Donald, the president, oh no! He’s absolutely stark raving BONKERS!! If the race to the elections was not about taking the most powerful position possibly in the Western World, I’d think this whole circus show of a run-up, a bit of reality TV comedy. But this is real and my fear of his possible win in November grows stronger as each month passes! US will be ruled by a racist, misogynist, ignorant but powerful prig! Ok rant over.

Finally, relationship 101. Ladies, your children are breastfed, not your men. It’s called weaning for a reason. Ok enough said…of course until next time.

Pain 101

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I got his phone call. As blunt as a bullet to the bone and flesh, I didn’t see it coming. Dreams of his soft breath on my eyelashes, heated lips on the nape of my neck and the brush of his finger tips to my cheek. This was the secret language our bodies spoke to each other. The pleasure intense, the emotion deep. But now my heart was cracked like the shell of an M&M –the yellow ones. He was back to chubby childish arms and the press of faithful wifely lips. It’s over!

2016 what next?

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New year new beginnings…New Year’s eve is almost like a ritual. We are forced to say that we have to make a change for the better in the coming new year. I’ve stopped making resolutions, I don’t care for them and I never kept them, or they went out the window during the time frame when they really mattered.
I almost hate the forensic examination of the past year and micro examination of the things we did not do and the things we should have done. It’s as if these decisions would have prevented the pain of learning a lesson that needed teaching…
Would our possible actions prevented the outcomes that have resulted? If not, would the doing or not doing of something, have made us feel better? Probably not!

Anyhow, this is not to say that you should not consider change. But, I think you should not wait until the New Year to pile up a list of changes that are likely to topple over like a tower of unsteady books. I say go easy on yourself. Yes, think things through – What are the pros and cons of the changes you wish to make. Remember as well, that while a change may resolve an immediate issue, it is also likely to affect other parts of your life, possibly unintended and unrelated and most probably overlooked. This may be a “pro” or “con”, dependent on the consequence. This may also be the trigger to motivate or end a quest for change.

I have kept it simple this year. My change is that I want to
say “No” more. And not explain why I have decided to. When a child says “No” they mean it! We don’t question them why although we might persuade them to change their mind. I intend on being like a child when saying “No”. I did it this morning to somebody’s request, and man, it felt so good! But that’s another topic..

Ok I’ve rambled on enough, Happy New Year to you. Hopefully this posting hasn’t bored you to tears!

WDS

New Beginnings – a nice way to say get off my butt and change

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2015 – It’s been a mixed year.   I got my Masters (With Commendation by the way – ahem!) My work life is shite and I realise more and more that while I want change, I’m afraid of it.

The process of change means letting go and most times shaking off bad habits or what you know you need to do to move on and grow. But habit is like a comfortable and familiar old blanket, a broken down pair of comfy trainers or a threadbare coat we know doesn’t do it’s function.  Change is good but it is also painful. I know. I am a creature of habit.  I embrace the concept of change and moving on.  But like a stuck on plaster on a sore, it’s hell to think of peeling it off – the sting of it I just can’t bear!

However, I see where lack of change hinders and makes the soul fester and rot.  Take for instance, the office workplace.   It’s 2015 and after a resignation and maternity leave, I find myself to be the only minority in the department.  The sad thing is that nearly 90% of those persons who I worked with over the 6 years I have been there have left as well.  Since I have been working there, there has not been another minority recruited.  But this is OK and nothing is wrong with this fact to the majority of employees on the floor.

Now, if change were truly embraced I wouldn’t have anything to comment about would I?  So what is my responsibility in all of this?  I guess many of you may say look elsewhere for a more diverse workplace.   I would agree with that, but you know what?  My fear of the pain of change makes me “accept” this insidious environment which tells me that I am “lucky” to be working there, “lucky” that I have a job that a majority of minorities would jump at the opportunity to be there and that I am “lucky” that despite my “Other-dom”, I have been accepted and embraced by a job only deserving of those descendants of the majority culture and ethnicity. Finally, I have convinced myself that I will not find a diverse workplace or one which embraces fundamental change, at least in this City.  I have talked myself out of change!

What is preventing me from accepting change then?  What is driving this fear of the pain of change? Is it an age thing?  A laziness thing? or just plain lack of ambition?

However, there is a glimmer of hope.  I realise that I have an issue with change and that I am happy to wallow in the discomfort that I am familiar with.  But I hate the status quo enough to actually realise that if I don’t get off my butt, nothing will change.  I am taking responsibility.   I have made a pact with myself that I shall not live another unchanged year and for 2016 I shall be doing some serious Spring Cleaning.

For those reading my ramblings, I wish you all the best in the New Year and the hope that you will be brave enough to make those important decisions to move in a changed direction for the better in 2016.

WDS

 

 

About

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Yep I’m a budding writer at the ripe old age of….you guess! I started creative writing formally about 2 years ago. I decided to study the craft of writing and believe you me, there’s alot of work in that. I hope to keep on at this but I have to admit that my mind tends to wonder when I’m stuck or bored…I’m such a child!

Source: About

So let’s talk about the “R” word

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Well as you can see from my tagline, I’m a Trini ( well in my heart at least) My father was born in the green green hills of Laventille  at a time when it was considered prime property and the place to be.  I have heard from rumours that my Dad has some Panamanian and Bajan connection – my great grandmother was allegedly Bacra – ( apparently that means a white person who was born in the French West Indies  ie a “Creole” and of African heritage ).  ok so she was mixed race.  My Aunt and my Dad used to talk of “Mammy” with the big plaits to her waist.   That was on his Mum’s side.  My grandfather was supposed to be a seaman from Panama.

So what does this have to do with the “R” word.  In fact what is the “R” word?

Well recently my motherland and fatherland had elections.  My Mum is from Guyana and in terms of demography is the closest in population composition to that of Trinidad.  Power and politics are divided along the same lines – race.

The racial division is between those of mainly African Descent and those of East Indian descent.  There is definite evidence of this within both Trinidad’s and Guyana’s diasphora.  I maintain that this is as a result of European Colonialism and the values that that system brought.

You see, the African population had been considered to be property, as in livestock. When Slavery was outlawed in 1834 in these territories, those that owned such “property” carried on a campaign to dehumanise this population.  Darwinism, caricature and media propaganda were utilised for this purpose. Blacks were savages, cannibals, dumb and the descendants of Apes. We were inferior and stupid and would not know how to live as a human being.  Hence, sowed the seeds for present racist sentiment.  As you can see from this simple example, it’s a fallacy.

So, in order to keep the rivalry of the new labour group pumped up the British Government allowed Indian Indentured families to migrate to the Caribbean with the promise of land in exchange for their labour. From the beginning the economic disparity was deliberately created. Of course, the attitudes and views of the Colonizer were passed down to this group therefore perpetuating the racial attitudes.  This rivalry exists up to this day.

Unfortunately, until this gap is closed and real effort is made to provide avenues for healing, these sentiments will prevail. Nationhood is still to be achieved even though these territories attained independence from the Colonizer. We have to dispel this fallacy of race and put country first.  The challenge therefore is to find creative and innovative ways to create wealth in order for both groups to enjoy.  But maybe I’m talking about Utopia…sigh

My fat jeans experience – the perils of a macho-belly!

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I’m well excited!  We got our Wonder Core II ™ workout centre. It’s supposed to help me get rid of my Buddha belly.  I used to have abs of steel but life and Dunlop® has a way of creeping around your waist.

The fight to stay trim is a daily battle.  I know that they have this whole movement towards body confidence and the fight against Size-ism but we have to be honest here, having a tire around your waist is uncomfortable as well as unattractive.

Oh my gosh! I can hear the the collective howling at my words!  Let me finish here…I don’t know about you, but I was not exactly a coca-cola bottle shape when I was slim.  My curves were there but not generous, in fact quite average but now Mr Dunlop® has taken residence I’m more like an apple than a pear.

So I go to the shops and try on some  jeans.  I always go for those with a bit of lycra™. I slide my foot into my size ( 14 UK /10/12 US )  jeans leg.  It goes right up to three-quarters of my thighs.  I slide on the next leg and its the same. And then the shimmying begins.  Eventually I am able to button the waist and squeeze the zip.  I feel my tire transform into a muffin top. I look at the back and they fit my bum well. Then I look my legs look sleek – sorta.  But then I face the mirror and what I see is not good.  Muffin top and “CT” are on show.  The trousers are so snug that the crotch has created two mandarin pegs.  I just want to hide in horror!  I call the shop assistant and go a size up. I slides up easily, it zips up easily and buttons up easily. I’m a size up.  I turn around frontways and I look as though I’m wearing a cod-piece.  I got “CT” of an even larger dimension now.

I eventually give up and opt for an empire waisted dress instead. It was either that or try on a pair of maternity jeans.  That realisation alone is enough motivate me to whip those abs into shape!

Mel

Mel080915

Review: Dark Wine Waters: a Husband of a Thousand Joys and Sorrows

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I am learning about the work and creative process through fellow writers. Grief…there is a technique of expressing this as well. This indeed is food for thought

Writing Grief

IMG_2851Frances Simone found me through this very website and asked if I could add her book to my list of resources.  She also kindly sent me a copy of the book.

When I think of grief memoirs, I don’t often think about addiction. Which is kind of funny because my father was an alcoholic and all of his health problems, and his subsequent death, were the result of his addiction to alcohol and cigarettes.  If I do think about addiction as a topic for memoir I mostly think of books told from the point of view of the addict:  the addict who fell to the lowest point in their lives then scraped their way out of a dark hole to recovery.

One reason why I believe Dark Wine Waters is a good resource is that in this book we get the point of view of the codependent, someone who experiences the…

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