Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Carnival then ... and now

"I guess someone is not involved in the Carnival....." (comment from Anonymous yesterday). Quite true. I guess I'm not a "true Trini" or "Trini to de bone". I was never a die-hard Carnival person anyway - and not the kind to miss it and pine for it if I was/am out of the country.

When I was living in Woodbrook I was involved in it because we were in the midst of it, the vibe was all around and there was no escaping (unless you left town). Friends coming from abroad would want to stay over, as the house was so conveniently positioned on DeVerteuil Street ... and those coming from out of town would want to come and park in the driveway or in front of the house. Whilst I didn't long for Carnival to come around (as many Trinis do), when it was actually there, the energy was infectuous - somewhat like Christmas in that everyone suddenly became super friendly, generous and festive. We (my housemate, friends, etc.) would go to every fete, every Panorama and one year I even worked at Minshall's mas camp (many late nights, but lots of fun and worth the experience) making costumes for the section I eventually played in with large blue sequinned 'collars' meant to simulate waves of an ocean. En masse, everyone in the section looked like an undulating ocean passing over the stage (or past the judging points). It was great.

One Carnival (1995) a friend from Switzerland and I formed an all-girl band and we did a single "Mr. Macho" - a strange blend of Latin-meets-Carnival. It used to play on the radio, we were interviewed in the papers, on radio, Community Dateline, we performed in the Queen's Park Savannah, an outdoor concert in Arima, Mas Camp pub, etc. Didn't make road march. Ha ha. Looking back now, it's hilarious. We were so enthusiastic about it ... and had some good fun and laughs.

However (whilst all of that was fun), especially now that I'm no longer living in the midst of it all ... it could come and go and I wouldn't miss it. Also, since 2000 I've toned down on the amount of liming I used to do (which was a lot), I no longer drink and smoke and loud fast music, crowds and traffic don't appeal in the least.

From afar, where all is quiet, POS seems like a distant land of beads and sequins. Yesterday I went to La Vega with two friends and we fell asleep under the bamboo. Tons of people were there though .. obviously also not interested in being a part of 'de bachanaal'.

However, ironically ... as I was writing that, the friend I'm making Diva for just called in a panic to say that there is a damaged manicou in her drain (back legs crushed, etc.). She subsequently called Detta, who advised her to wrap it in a jersey and take it to the vet. She's doing that and therefore is running late to meet her band, Minshall, which left at seven.

Anyway ... between the beginning of this post and this final sentence, a friend who lives in POS and I have decided that we will most likely venture in to see Minshall's Sacred Heart costumes, at least.


Anonymous theglasshermitage said...

Elspeth!! You just have to let us hear "Mr. Macho." That bit of your personal history impressed me so much, almost as much as when I first learned that Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam used to sing calypso, using the sobriquet Charmer!! Tonnerre!! So interesting, so good to have experienced these things. No one can say that your views and choices are not informed by "real world" experiences.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

I know! No Carnival for you in Amsterdam. We miss you. Maybe next year - or sooner.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

Hebe - how weird, my comment came before yours. That never happened before.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Hebe said...

Elspeth......loved that story...but hey, would have loved to be out there today and play.....

4:46 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

testing to see if this one comes before or after.

4:54 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home