Suddenly 12 years later...

Twelve years ago, I chose to spend my life with a challenging, uncompromising wise woman with whom I'd had a fiery, always fascinating romance that blossomed into a courtship.
"You know what," she asked one evening, "we should get married."
"Yeah," I said, "when, in a week?"
I didn't want a whole drawn out thing. Donna's father Bobby, a gloweringly serious man, didn't seem overly enthusiastic. We weren't after all, exactly asking to get married, though the formalities were observed for the most part. I like to think that he came around after a bit. I certainly always liked him.

As it turned out, we needed two weeks to do organize the getting married things that need to get done. It would take years for two strong-willed people to get used to the idea of not just living in the same space, but growing to understand the rather-pronounced edges of two well-developed personalities. It remains a work in progress.

The photograph on this page was one of two gestures by professional colleagues when I told them I was getting married. Marlon Rouse, then the chief photographer at the Guardian, insisted on photographing the humble event while Noel Norton insisted on doing a formal engagement photograph, hustling us off to the Savannah.

Norts then proceeded to make a monochrome print from his color negatives and it's a photo, the only one with me in it to ever get this treatment, that still sits in our living room.
It's been a remarkable time sweetie, thanks for never letting me be anything less than my best.

A love letter to mangoes

Editorial for August 04, an appreciation of the mango. Read More...

Separated at birth: The Carnival Edition

Creative enterprises are funny like that.
Out of nowhere, there will suddenly be two movies about a meteor endangering Earth bearing down on the box office.
Carnival can be like that too, sometimes.

The week before Carnival, for instance, I was hugely entertained by Errol Fabien’s Heart Attack, the video for which I have been granted an opportunity to share, above. Rendered a little shakily by the performer, as befits an entry in a “company calypso competition,” (Gayelle The Channel’s annual Bois), I was struck by the kind of calypso that would have been commonplace in the tents of just a decade ago.

This witty bad skylark song that would have created buzz in the listening community and drawn crowds to the tent. Fabien won the competition with the song, despite an announcer’s mix-up that gave the crown to another performer during the live broadcast.

Imagine my surprise when Hollis Liverpool, The Mighty Chalkdust, arrived on the Dimanche Gras stage with an all-new composition that struck many of the gracenotes of Fabien’s song and also won his competition with “My Heart and I.” Just another of those happy coincidences that springs up in the competitive hotbed of Carnival.

There was another surprise for me on Dimanche Gras night, as Kadafi Romney crossed the stage as Manzandaba in Flight, a costume by Brian Mac Farlane that seemed more than a little familiar.
Whenever these kinds of things happen, I remember a very generous comment that Peter Minshall shared with me years ago when he was explaining his design process.
“It’s a very limited canvas,” he said.

Minshall noted that a designer was constrained both by the shape of the human body and by the limits that a designer had to work with in terms of what the committed masquerader could carry and the average masquerader would be willing to carry.

It’s as good a bit of reasoning as any when designs overlap and calypso themes mirror each other.
Or...they could be separated at birth.

Remembering 1990

Reflecting on the impact of 1990 in images.