‘When me was a girl’

When I was a girl, times were different…..and it’s not that long ago, well relatively speaking. We were poor, but I didn’t know, we were happy children.

I remember the day I nearly lost my index finger when Puckshon a chop di coconut, as me couldn’t wait to eat the coconut jelly!!!  I have the mark to this day.

I remember Pinky…..I don’t know who bought her for me, but she was my first doll. A friend of mine went a step further and made a school uniform for hers!!

I remember the board floor in the ‘hall’ had to be polished and we would shine it with the coconut brush and when that fails you use popsie bush……I cannot forget Mommy’s kerosene oil stove and we didn’t have wet mop either.

I remember how after we wake and come outside in the mornings, house don’t see us again until we ‘bade’ off a evening time. You remember walking on house cloth?

I remember the black iron that we used to rub on tuna and in sand before we put it on the ironing board. But no black residue was left on white clothes.

I remember reading by lamp light and me still don’t have bad eye sight ( knocking on wood)

I remember the hook in the thatch kitchen roof (kreng kreng), where the pork and the tripe would go after we slaughtered the pig. That was some good smoked meat.

I remember milking the goat, for everyone’s coffee and my mint tea. Maybe that’s why me hate tea.

I remember having nuff ackee trees, sweet sop and soursop, mangoes, pears, guinep, naseberry. A fruit was always in season. Many are gone due to old age and hurricanes.

I remember outside bathroom and pit latrines (still have them home)

You remember Jew wata fi go tie out the goat…..and me hope a no me one used to get note fi go a shop.

I remember the rooster from next door; he would chase after you like any bad dog.

I remember walking all the way to Lincel; to go to Godfrey the shoemaker..

I remember Goelyn, Miss P, Rudolph and Cherry and my Uncle named Foot.

I remember Oneil had a birthday party and I gave him a set of knife and fork for his gift. 😬

For my first shoes and socks race, my shoes didn’t have any lace….but me never have any other shoes.

I remember Maas David, Mass Edwud, Mass Khan, Miss Edna and her grandson ‘Molligator’…….they were my grandmother’s friends.

I remember romping the whole evening before the Common Entrance Exams-hop scotch, dandy shandy, jacks, hide and seek, chiney skip and jump with rope made from elastic bands or the plastic ring in the ‘backle stopper’. Yuh used to ‘chink’ marble fi kuschu???

I remember my mother’s cassava press, she still has it today and the pressing comb…..

You remember going to cut rosemary bush fi sweep yard, and the Malta fi beat cassava and caffie??

You used to love when rain fall and you a go home from school? I remember making paper boats for the puddles and taking off our shoes to splash in the dutty wata.

I remember when I first smell the stench of asphalt and saw a smooth drum roller….

I remember going to Aunty Hazel every evening, and playing ‘site and box weh’ with Allison, Janice and Marlon….

I remember cricket matches at Lowkas, …..will never forget the speed of a ball bowled by Gorry and Geetel and the raw talent of the Heron brothers.

I remember I always had motion sickness when I travelled….

I remember ‘wine and toosey’……….”wine and toosey show me England”

I remember my teachers from ‘basic’ school and my Sunday school teacher too. I remember how I hated going to get my blessing from Rev Lindo,  and the beating I would get each time I didn’t go….

I remember when Miss Chubby made school bags from khaki material.

You use to plait grass head too? And carry water in kerosene tin from the nearest water tank……..you remember hand cart and buggy????

I remember being asked to say times table for Grade Six when I was in Grade Two.

I remember I had to go home for lunch…..which ranged from fried eggs (hate it to this day), ‘ mouly’ bammy, boiled cho cho, and ‘bebige’, banana and rice porridge.

I remember playing ‘dutty’ pot and dolly house and a long time me have a sweet tooth, me used to tief out the sugar…..

I remember week before September morning, and we had to tek wash out.

I remember me and Janice teaching the croton trees and beating off every leaf. 😬😬children live what they learn.

I remember how much me used to hate shell peanut,  pick off pimento and shell red peas and guango. To this day me don’t like guango season.

I remember going to hill to look wood… and picking up ‘Breng breng’ a evening time. And who can forget blowing the fire…..or else run out of the kitchen smoke. And my grandmother with her tobacco in the pipe…..I had to put fire coal in that pipe to light it.

I remember mango season, boiled mango and stew pitayta…. also roast dumpling, suck-suck, and donkey jawbone? Do kids still have colic?

Me caan figet cut book and cut pencil……short khaki pants and ‘scatter spur’

I remember everybody walked to everywhere….. man now that me think about it, those kids from Ridge and Fairfield were very healthy.

I remember when grater cake and coconut drops bake and you can’t stop scrape the pot bottom. You remember bammy sham, grated coconut with sugar and hog berry.

And I will never forget when a day fi wash hair…..and the ugliest dresses that came with frills and lace….

I never forget the first time me go spend Christmas holiday and get two different meat on my plate one time…I thought it was ostentatious.

You remember buck toe, when macka juk yuh, bees or cow itch sting yuh and when wasp bite yuh

And Christmas time, when you get one full bottle of soda for you and you alone.

Who used to bathe with ‘sweet soap’? And what really did cause sore foot dem times deh? You did ever ketch lice?

Me used to hate Christmas concert at church…….

Me remember Miss Rosie get ‘inna spirit’ at church, and how Miss Ivy service caaan done, man yuh hungry so till.

And who can forget milk powder and Nutri Bun……

We used to wash we foot clean fi walk barefoot…….

And when you go next door go pungin, three and four of you had to eat out of one basin…..

Yuh used to go a bush go look radwood and eat tomato, cucumber and lime with salt……..

I will never forget, ‘Home Sweet Home’, ‘kitchen bitch’ and boil sweetsop. Lawd sah me did hate boiled sweetsop….. 😖😖😖😖

Some people had underwear with elastic in the waist only and never forget that the chink only come out in public….



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