Saturday, February 11, 2006
Barbados pride tree in bloom, Queen's Park Savannah (opposite Casuals Club corner), Port of Spain
It seemed the rainy season would never end this year, but two Fridays ago, walking in downtown Port of Spain, I realised it finally had. And today was one of those gorgeous February Saturdays--breezy, bright, blue-skyed--that make you glad to live on a tropical island, and remind you what the best childhood holidays were like.
After lunch at Martin's in Newtown, we went for a walk round the Savannah. Over at the Grand Stand, they were sound-checking for whatever tonight's show might be, but that was soon drowned out by a steelband--over from Tobago for tomorrow's Panorama semi-finals--who had set up on the grass just opposite All Saints' church and were practising the opening of their big tune.
A few strollers stopped to listen. Nearby, some people in blue t-shirts were playing a very modest sort of cricket fete-match, and a little further down two pasty fellas were fooling around with a softball and bat. (Well, that was the first time I've ever seen someone play softball in the Savannah.) We walked up to what I still think of as Casuals Club corner-- though the old building was razed years ago--snapping photos, looking at cricketers off in the distance, smudges of white against the green, and basking in the loveliness of the afternoon, inhaling that old Savannah smell of cut grass and "dust" that for me has Proustian powers of memory-wakening.
On our way home we stopped at the Minshall bandhouse on Ariapita Avenue, to scrutinise the Sacred Heart drawings (after peeping at the bad scans online all week). I'd been leaning towards Greed and Power, which reminds me of old-time robber mas, but I'm worried about that heavy black tunic in the Carnival Tuesday sun ("But you know with Minshall part of the point is suffering for the sake of the vision"). Besides, wouldn't it be better to play in a section representing something good and hopeful?
So now it looks like the Singing Heart, with those red-ribbon fringes and the little grackle emblem.
(3Canal: "This place bless / this place nice."
Bass drums stacked in the Queen's Park Savannah the day before Panorama semi-finals
Posted by Nicholas Laughlin at 8:04 PM