Writing Creatively With Spirit

A journey of psychic discovery

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Deja vu

Friday 29th November 2013

Trying to get over the shock

Trying to get over the shock

I began writing this blog because of a strange phenomenon that happened after I wrote my 2nd novel Betrayed. Someone came into my life and shared experiences that were almost and sometimes actually identical to those of one of the main characters in the novel.

I was told by several people that the book was probably channelled, and began a process of psychic development to see whether this would influence my writing.

Yesterday I sat to edit a short story I wrote in March and was gobsmacked when I realised that the first few pages were played out by a similar character (older and in another location) almost word-for-word on the last day of June this year. It was freaky.

I had to call a friend who knew of the June affair and tell her. I read to her some of what was written in March, long before there was any indication that the issues in June could have been foreseen.

This is my 4th book of fiction, and although the 2nd one was the most striking, in each one some things that I’ve written about actually happen in real life after I’ve written about them. Does any other writer have this? I’d be really keen to hear from you if you have.

Beach at Hastings by the boardwalk

Beach at Hastings by the boardwalk

On another note. I found an idyllic spot to work from yesterday.

This is the beach at Hastings, by the boardwalk. Not a bad place to do some reading, formulate some ideas and hold a meeting I’m sure you’ll agree.

Beach at sunset

Beach at sunset

And I stayed till it got dark, just so I could appreciate the sunset.

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Inspiration from the ancestors

I wanted inspiration and found it in the Frank Collymore lecture last night – which also gave me an opportunity to wear my Cameroon gown.

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And today I hung out with some ancestors in the gardens of the parish church in St John. They spoke to me through the whisper of the wind, through the sway of the mahogany trees and through the laughter of the children on a school trip.

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I was in good company. The last prime minister of  Barbados, David Thompson, is buried in the church yard.

Grave of David Thompson ex prime minister of Barbados

Grave of David Thompson ex prime minister of Barbados

I came away with much clarity about the main theme that will run through the course, and why I was told in a circle in April not to change the title ‘Love is Not a Reward’.

Vi from my 'office' for the day

View from my ‘office’ for the day

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We are blue, black and gold. We are Ellerton

Tuesday 26th November 2013

Brownies preparing the flag

Brownies preparing the flag

Yesterday I had to choose between going to the museum and going to watch my friend perform some of his poems at a primary school. I choose the latter as the museum will always be there for another day, and school is still very much in my blood since my Cameroon experience.

It was difficult not to make comparisons. Here was a proper building with a fully functioning staff team, and children who know the resources they need for their education will be there. Basic resources like books, paper, pencils, and rubbers.

The flag is raised

The flag is raised

Ellerton Primary School, in the parish of St George, had planned an outdoor assembly as part of the island’s 47th independence celebrations. When we arrived the stage was set. Microphones and speakers were in place but I noticed there was no seating under the two large gazebos.

This was because the children brought their chairs with them from their classrooms, even the infant children travelled with their much smaller versions. There was order to the arrival and to the taking up of places form by form. I was given a programme for the assembly which was to last for an hour and a half.

It appeared to me, as I sat framed by swaying palms, marvelling at the idyllic setting, that everything had been meticulously planned.

What the school could not control, however, was the weather. As the last form was being seated the heavens opened and poured it heavy and copious blessings down on our small gazebos.

I was impressed by the pragmatic way both staff and children responded to this unexpected event. I say unexpected, but I guess rain is never totally unexpected in the Caribbean. Large umbrellas materialised from somewhere, and some of the older girls who were sitting at the back with me used them to ward off the first sprinklings. They gave up however when the umbrellas became ineffective against the torrent. Those of us on the edges had to move to the centre. The speakers were hastily covered, and the PA system moved to safety.

Although the shower did not last long, it was heavy enough to create reservoirs of water in the plastic above our heads, and the handyman had to be brought in to disgorge it before we could begin.

I mention all of this because of the way both staff and children handled the situation. It was clearly something that had happened before, and no doubt will happen again, and there was a calm and acceptance that they did the best they could to keep everyone dry until they could proceed.

Barbadian characters

Barbadian characters

Although we were twenty five minutes late beginning it was certainly worth the wait. The assembly began, as do most things in the Caribbean, with prayers. This was followed by the raising of the flag, ably accomplished by the Brownies, and the singing of the national anthem. An infant pupil recited the national pledge before the principal stepped forward to make her address.

Kemmerick Harrison

Kemmerick Harrison

Next on the programme was my friend Kemmerick who is a retired teacher and poet. He’d been asked to perform some of his independence related material and was just being introduced when the heavens opened again. Thankfully not as heavily, and not for as long.

Despite this second disruption – where one class had to take their chairs and run back inside because there was simply insufficient room for them under the gazebo – the assembly continued.

Kemmerick’s performance was received with interest and much laughter. This was followed by a parade of Barbadian characters from across all the forms. It was delightful to see the costumes and to learn something of Barbadian history through the characters.

Another Barbadian character

Another Barbadian character

Again I was reminded of our common history with Africa when two of the characters represented street vendors who carried their wares on their heads, a practice still current in many parts of Africa. (See video of Bamenda bus station)

The parade was followed by a medley of Barbadian independence songs where the children were encouraged to demonstrate pride in their country. The atmosphere was so exciting that I found myself waving my hand and singing ‘I am a Bajan’ along with everyone else.

After the closing prayer the children once again filed back to their classrooms – and amazingly they did not run over the hour and a half.

I feel privileged to have been allowed to share in this event.

I was Bajan for the day. Sorting a Bagan medal

I was Bajan for the day. Sorting a Bagan medal

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A gift of life

Monday 25th November 2013

harvesting moringa leaves

harvesting moringa leaves

Today I visited a school to participate in their independence assembly (more about that in a later blog as I have to agree the picture content with the head teacher).

On the way home my friend Kemmerick who was an invited performer took me to get fresh moninga leaves.

He harvested a few branches in time for me to dry them out, as i can’t take them back to the UK fresh.

For such an amazing tree the moringa is very modest in appearance.

Moringa leaves - breakfast lunch and dinner for the next week

Moringa leaves – breakfast lunch and dinner for the next week


Fish Fry at Oistens

Saturday 23rd November 2013

Wine World banner - part of the Food, Wine and Rum festival at Oistens

Wine World banner – part of the Food, Wine and Rum festival at Oistens

Friday night is ‘Fish Fry’ night at Oistens, Christhurch, in Barbados. The air is filled with the scent of snapper, marlin, tuna, and many other local fish being BBQed. Music calls hungry revellers from near and far to satisfy their craving for food and dance.

All this usually happens on a Friday, but this week as part of the Food, Wine and Rum Festival it happened on Thursday. There was karaoke at Lexie’s Bar and a steel band on the main stage.


I soaked up the atmosphere, wandering past the many vendors and restaurants before settling on one who, as well as serving delicious fish, also cooks up wicked Ital food.

Steel band playing at Oistens

Steel band playing at Oistens

Shame I had to work on Friday. I could have danced all night.

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Amazing Fraze

Friday 22nd November 2013

Miami Beach - Barbados

Miami Beach – Barbados

I arrived on the beach at 7 a.m. this morning after a 40 minute walk. I was happy to see the fruit and vegetable vendor as I was beginning to have withdrawal symptoms from plantains and pumpkin, and I know he has particularly luscious ones.

I made my purchases and threw in a paw-paw and some figs, (local small bananas). I was later to rue the spontaneous buys as my 40 minute walk back home is mostly uphill. I munched my way through a rather large golden apple to take my mind off the steepness of the hill, and the intense workout I’d just done.

My mind was also still full of the clarity of the sea and my delight at the sight of the slivers of silver light that flew out of the water, and in a blink of an eye disappeared into it again. They added their light to the crystal clear turquoise sea that bathed my body – and theirs.

I thought they were flying fish, but a couple of bathers said they’re called ‘Phrase’, (I didn’t ask the spelling, it could be ‘phrase’ or ‘fraze’) and that they were once plentiful. Intensive cleaning of the beach has disturbed their eggs to a level that there are only a few of them left.

There was another silver streak in the water called Jacks, which had a pointy face like a sea-horse. They swam close to us, the invading humans, but I felt welcomed rather than threatened.

If only we humans could be as welcoming to those who enter our space the world would be a much better place.

If you know the spelling of these delightful fish can you please let me know – or you may know them by another name.


Why the rush?

Wednesday 20th November 2013

I managed to get down to some serious writing yesterday before meeting a friend on the beach for a two- year catch-up.

Ships on the Barbados coast

Ships on the Barbados coast

What amazed me was that as I walked onto the beach one of the women who helps to keep the beach clean hailed me ‘Hey Predencia, how you doing?’ like she’d only seen me yesterday.

I went over, held one of her hands in both of mine and said I was honoured that she remembered me.

‘Why wouldn’t I?’ she replied surprised.

I didn’t answer that it was because I’d forgotten hers. ‘It’s been two years,’ I said instead.

‘I know,’ she replied and I felt humbled again.

Later I reflected on why my memory had been so much worse than hers. I came to the conclusion that her life had continued pretty much the same since I left, but mine had been a constant blur of new experiences.

There was a sense of calmness about her, of knowing that tomorrow was going to be the same as today, as it was yesterday.

After talking to my friend, who has also lived a life full of almost daily connection with the beach, and who displayed the same sense of calmness, I wondered if my rushing about was achieving anything.

Barbadian sunset

Barbadian sunset

They watch the people come and go, just like the ships that pull in, stay for a while and leave. But they have the beauty of these sunsets every day.