Tuesday, August 21, 2012

the writing on the wall

Banksy, the elusive urban scrawler says, “Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”


Free for the viewing. Sure miss those gritty art school days.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

island boy

I guess I'm going to talk about Cecil again. When you live and work at home (and I'm usually confined to 24" of the same counter space day after day from May to November) your world - my world, gets pretty small. So, having almost only one neighbour close by becomes part of that small world. The good part is that I love Cecil to death and even though I initially think, "Damn, I've go so much to do right now," I end up laughing and trading stories with him and thoroughly enjoying his camaraderie.

When Cecil ambled over the other day, I didn’t tell him that my daughter, Morgan, who lives in the Caribbean in the Turks and Caicos, had flown up (“Buddy Pass”) for a 4-day visit. On her way to the airport in Provo, she passed the local Wednesday Farmers’ Market. Actually, in this case the apostrophe should be Farmer’s, as there was only one vendor. He had dried conch hanging up for sale in the tent. He also had corn grits and noni fruit (Morinda citrifolia) that she quickly bought, along with the dried conch and stashed it in her suitcase inside another suitcase (so she can take off-island clothes home with her from her 4 day shopping jag).

David Bowen admiring Headly Forbes' dried conch on Middle Caicos 

After arriving at the farm, Morgan spewed out the contents of her luggage to get at the conch. “Oh no!” she cried. “The noni fruit exploded.”

“What’s a noni fruit?”

“People use it for all sorts of medicinal things like cancer and diabetes – it’s amazing – I thought you’d like it.” (Huh?) “Oh, man, it’s all over my clothes.”

She picked up the plastic bag that held the liquid oozing fruit and gave me a whiff. “AAAAhhhggg” It smelt like two-day old road kill – or worse. “Throw it outside in the woods – yuck.”

Then she started sniffing her clothes from the duffle bag. “EWW!”  Then another one, “EWW!” Then the first one again, “EWW!” Then, “Oh, no, some of it got on the conch!”

Next day on the porch . . .

“So, Cecil . . . do you like dried conch?”

His eyes lit up and then he closed them. “I LOOOVE conch – dried or fresh or any way I can get it. Why? – you got some?”

At that moment, Morgan came out to the porch carrying her bag of conch. She handed Cec the dried, flat cephalopods and he started to laugh and couldn’t believe his eyes. He immediately pulled out one of the solid hunks and wrestled an end off with his teeth and started to gnaw on it.

“Gonna take some time before the flavour comes out,” he informed us. “Whoever made this knew what they were doin’ . . . ohhhh, I’m gonna make some conch chowda – Helen loves it too.”

And he did.