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  • This story began in February 2009.....

    I had the most amazing day today. At the last minute, I decided to stay at home and as soon as my brother drove off with my dad to go visit my mother at the hospital, Che showed up at my house.

    We talked a lot about various life experiences with a view to realistically producing a film. What an interesting talk! The family skeletons in the closet are great material. Che's visit was cut short by a call from his producer; however 15 minutes later, Che called, had managed to reschedule and offered to take me anywhere. He really wanted to go fishing. Whoa! Been a long time since I went fishing, so I shaved my legs, donned my swimsuit and set out with him.

    It was a rather humbling experience driving through our majestic rainforest. The various towering trees...the vines hanging. The green was phenomenal; it leaves a very vivid impression. Maybe that's why it's my favourite colour. It's nature, it's natural, it's life, it's symbolic of renewal, second chances, hope...it's home.

    Heading toward the north east is also heading into Carib territory, my ancestral tribe. The few remnants of their existence created a rather ominous silence within me. I felt like a prodigal daughter coming home. We stopped at a bar in Sangre Grande and it took me back quite a few years. The cricket was on, old school calypso was playing and I spotted Green Sands behind the bar! I thought of Lee as we talked about Green Sands just before I left the UK. They had stopped producing it for many years and it was back in circulation. We then continued along our way through Matura and I thought of Luke. I know he likes turtles and Matura is the nesting ground for our amazing Leatherback Turtles. There wouldn't be any though, as they come onto the beach during Easter. We then stopped to buy preserved fruits from a roadside vendor. The fruits are preserved through a local process called "chow". Pomcythere, portugals and pineapple soaking in salted water with garlic, hot pepper and shadow beni (like corriander). Chow can be lethally hot! The vendor's name was Marla and her husband, Navin. I think their son was Sean. Che had obviously been there a few times for they knew him well and Navin brought us two bottles of Jamoon (local fruit) wine. They also raised sheep and turkeys. I thought of Simone as I remembered one day during our school days, Simone and I were harassing a turkey in someone's yard in St. Joseph and it chased us along the main road, halfway to Curepe!! Oh my goodness! Can you imagine if we had mobile phones in those days. It was a sight to see two, convent girls running along the main road for dear life with a turkey on our backs. Turkeys are dangerous, man!

    Che and I continued along our way, swigging home-made wine (I was...he was driving). Next stop was at "Miss Friday's" for boiled and roasted corn at the side of the road. We moved on again to Balandra. There we parked and got our fishing gear out. No fancy rod, but reels, a couple of sinkers, some hooks for the end of the lines and some seriously smelly bait. Amazing, the ease and grace with which Che threw these lines into a very rough sea. He wouldn't let me make the throw, for if not done correctly, it can boomerang back and catch you in the eye. Che's first throw was successful and we caught whatever type of fish it was. The ritual is to throw the first fish back...so we did. Hmmm, we didn't catch anything after that. We stayed a long time and although we left empty handed, it will be one of the most memorable, quiet and meaningful moments I have experienced in my life. We watched the real fishermen anchor their boat and carry their catch in. It took them a while, for the waters were really rough.

    We then travelled a little further down and walked through a little fishing village, crossing over the lines attached to canoes. As we approached a stream, there was a boy kicking the top of the water. Che brought it to my attention that the boy was actually timing the live bait and when they jumped out of the water (a bit like how salmon behave) he was then kicking them out of the water! It was refreshing to see a young boy, not behind a computer or playstation but doing something so fun and useful at the same time, whilst outdoors. I found out his name was Jayelle and he was 11 years old. He recognised Che from television and I know this meant a lot to Che. He prefers when children or the simpler folk approach him, than the everyday Joe. We threw our lines again but caught nothing. We had a swim, I collected some stones for Matthew and then headed back to our house in the evening.

    I did not take many pictures of this occasion but the mind is the best camera. I will take this with me everywhere I go. One of the fondest memories I have. Thank you Che for everything. I've known you for the best part of 19 years and you still amaze me.

    Today is the opening of the film "Home Again" in London. Che was the 3rd Assistant Director. A conversation in my dad's humble sitting room....is at the British Museum in London.

    Fuck.
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