Writing Creatively With Spirit

A journey of psychic discovery


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Hellshire Beach

Sunday 16th March 2014

Hellshire Beach

Hellshire Beach

After the 90 minutes bus and taxi journey to get there I was a little apprehensive to see that we were about to enter Hell – even if it had ‘shire’ tucked on the end.

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If you don’t want to be bothered by loud music (mostly dancehall), don’t like the smell of roasting jerk pork, frying fish and festivals, can’t stand the sight of horses giving rides on the beach like donkeys at Weston-Super-Mare in the UK;

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if you don’t want to be disturbed by beach hawkers selling all kinds of wares from peppered prawns to instant photographs; if you don’t want to hear children laughing, splashing and generally having fun and don’t want to bask in the warm, warm, turquoise Caribbean sea, then it could indeed be hell.

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I’m not a great fan of dancehall music, but found myself trying out some moves in the water. As  floated I suddenly thought, ‘I’m home, no one can ask me to leave.’ Somehow those gently waves made everything all right. If you’re ever on Hellshire Beach I recommend you try the peppered prawns. You don’t get many in a bag, but they are oh so delicious. That’s enough about what I thought. Hoping you enjoy the pictures.

Fishermen selling their catch

Fishermen selling their catch


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The Golden Macca Fat

Sunday 16th March 2014

The Golden Macca Fat – this season’s pantomime at the Little Theatre in Kingston – was for me, not so golden.

The Little Theatre - Kingston

The Little Theatre – Kingston

It pains me to write that I was so disappointed with the production that I fell asleep at several points. I found the story too complicated for a pantomime. There was no central character to focus on, and no one of the nearly 20 strong cast made any real connection with the audience. There was too much screeching by the characters and the dances were too samey.

The Golden Macca Fat

The Golden Macca Fat

Despite the lavish and often beautiful sets, and some lovely touches – such as the street secne, the patoo and ‘poetry’, the performance lacked coherence and any real sense of purpose.

This was so different to the last time I was at the Little Theatre where I was blown away by the production. Hopefully next year will be better.


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Fresh watermelon, sweet pine

Saturday 15th March 2014

Fruit cart in downtown Kingston

Fruit cart in downtown Kingston

Still somewhat jetlagged I went to downtown Kingston to buy fresh fruit and vegetables (trying to support the small people and not just shop in supermarkets).

Dee negotiates on the lettuce

Dee negotiates on the lettuce

I went via uptown Kingston where I waited in long but organised lines to change my money into Jamaican dollars, and to buy a local sim card.

Street vendors in downtown Kingston

Street vendors in downtown Kingston

Downtown Kingston has more in common with Bamenda in Cameroon than it is probably aware of. Bustle, music and street vendors of all kinds. I wanted to take a picture of the one-legged man who weaved in and out of traffic on crutches hoping for donations to his cause, but it seemed inappropriate.

Jamaican bus

Jamaican bus

Got some great deals on naseberries, watermelons, calaloo, and plantains. Yum! Yum!


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Back in the land of wood and water

Thursday 13th March 2014

BA flight 2263 touched down smoothly at Normal Manley International Airport at precisely 16.25, its expected time of arrival to applause and cheer from the predominantly Jamaican passengers.

Back on Jamaican soil with my niece

Back on Jamaican soil with my niece

I felt a small flutter in my stomach and a wave of anticipation washed over me. What would I recognise after 16 years? (In fact when I did the maths properly I realised that it’s actually 17 years since I was last home).

I was pleased my niece recognised me – because, despite the photo she’d sent I didn’t recognise her. We hugged and hugged and hugged some more, and people around us watched and smiled. One man cheered as though he felt the connection I was making with this family member that I had not seen in years.

My niece Dee and her son Nick

My niece Dee and her son Nick

I didn’t care how odd they would consider me as I kneeled and kissed the ground, and spoke silently to my ancestors that I hoped it met with their approval.

After meeting my niece’s son we were swiftly taken into Kingston via the expansive Palisadoes with the sea on our left and the sea defence on our right. I took in the flour mill and concrete factory before heading into the more residential areas. I remembered nothing of what I’ve been told are the significantly changed district of Harbour View and Maxfield Avenue where I once lived as a child of 8 years.

I did however remember the pulsating sounds of the street corner music, and the vibrant colours of the flowers. Yes, I’m home. So much more to rediscover.