Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Why Bajans don't do Halloween

Since last weekend, our neighbours in the North have been partying it up at Halloween festivities, and October 31 is the day on which Halloween is officially celebrated.

Although a few promoters here are cashing in on the party crowd and holding Halloween-themed fetes, the holiday has (thankfully) not caught on with mainstream Barbados, and here are perhaps a few reasons why:

1. Pumpkins are way too expensive to go carving up for any Jack-o-lanterns. My granny would have a fit if I took up her good pumpkin that could be used in soup to decorate the house.
2. Trick or treating is a big part of Halloween, but most Bajans would never be caught dead going door-to-door "begging" for candy. Not to mention Bajan mothers ain't letting their children eat no strangers' candy. And we ain't giving way our good candy either....

3. We Bajans are a pretty traditional bunch, and most of us probably associate the emphasis on all things evil and ghoulish with devil worship. I wouldn't want to meet one of these guys in a dark alley, would you? We'll stick to Christmas, thank you very much.
4. Wearing disguises and costumes is another aspect of Halloween, and I shudder to think what "creations" people would come up with if we celebrated Halloween here. A walk through Bridgetown on a Saturday is enough reason to ban it before it ever starts here. Trust me, we already have a holiday where people have free rein to wear whatever they like, and it's name is Kadooment Day.
5. And finally, Bajans ain't looking for another reason to expense themselves. The cost of living is pretty high and we already have Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day to shop for. And you know that every year the kids are gonna want a new costume. I don't think so.

You can check out how some Jamaicans celebrated Halloween over at Fashion Over Style. Wuhloss.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New poll: honouring Stephen Alleyne

Well, a whopping 84% of you voted that the late Stephen Alleyne should be honoured for his contribution to Barbados. And how should he be honoured? Check out the suggestions in the sidebar and cast your votes.

Tuesday links

BS&T saga heads to court
Tropical Storm Noel wreaks havoc in Haiti & DR
The only thing we know for sure is that Bob Woolmer is dead
What are they blaming on Haiti now?
Patos loves him some Sizzla

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rihanna home for family wedding

In case you missed it, Rihanna's back home to attend a family wedding and for some general R&R. On Saturday, she attended the wedding of her cousin Nigel Alstrom at the Western Light Church of the Nazarene, where she made quite an impression in her blue OFMABO (One False Move and Boobies Out) ensemble. I wonder what Reverend Lowe and his wife had to say 'bout that dress....

She was also spotted leaving Sheraton Centre with some goodies.

Get your rest, girl, and hit the beach too, a lot. And the people want to know which part they can buy the Rihanna umbrellas, 'cause the rain falling nuff these days....

Cheese-on-bread has a widget

Hi, peoples. Hope a good weekend was had by all. I was browsing Karel's blog over at Caribbean PR and saw that Cheese-on-bread and some other local blogs have been widgeted. I'm not too au fait with widgets (I ain't no techie by any stretch of the imagination) but I take it from Karel's response that I should be flattered. So thanks, Khaidji!
Here's where you can get your Cheese widget.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday links

So now they want us
Neal & Massy defends itself
Hit for Six hits Los Angeles Film Festival
COP likely to split votes in Trinidad
Perhaps Bruce Golding should try politics of inclusion?
Virgin Atlantic moving Barbados flights to Heathrow
Dujon drops it like its hot on the Windies

Photo: Andrew Pilgrim, star of Hit for Six -

Happy Independence Day, St. Vincent!

Happy Independence Day in advance to the Government and peoples of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who will celebrate their 28th Anniversary of Independence tomorrow. Have a good day, my Vincey brethren!

I really need to the see some more of Vincey-Land, which looks gorgeous from the air. Alas, I've never gone further than the airport.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

24 - Season 7 trailer

Fox released the season 7 trailer for its hit show 24 today and I just had to share. Wuhloss, there's so much to say but I don't want to spoil it for you. January 13th seems so far away....

Digicel 'mashing up' Rising Stars

Is it me or has Digicel's Rising Stars competition in the Eastern Caribbean lost much of the hype and excitement it had in the first season? To be fair I know the novelty of any competition will eventually wear off, but I still feel Digicel has done itself harm by tinkering with its season one format.

Back in season one, Digicel had an unbeatable formula for its show: an engaging host, a spirited panel of judges and several contestants with enough talent and attitude to make choosing a winner difficult. Many persons watched just to see what Kimberley Inniss was going to wear/sing next, who judge Anthony "Admiral" Nelson was going to rub the wrong way (on any given night it might have been the host, a fellow judge or a contestant) or if cowboy Shervonne from St. Lucia could sing anything other than country and westerns.

The other judges, Terencia "TC" Coward of Barbados and "Gruvemaster" of St. Vincent were always honest and direct, (although Gruvemaster obviously lived by the credo that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all), and while normally I hardly ever agree with anything Admiral has to say, he was right about the contestants most of the time. In all, the three judges brought a balanced perspective to the show.

Imagine my surprise when in season two Digicel not only changed hosts but replaced the judging panel as well! The lively host Lisa Ashby was replaced with CBC staffer Belle Holder, and maybe that was part of the problem. Belle was already the host of CBC's Morning Barbados show, plus she appeared in various features and promos on local television, making her over-exposed. The poor girl tries her best, but to me her 'bubbliness' seems forced. When I spend more time trying to figure out what she's wearing than listening to what she's saying, that's a bad sign.

The three new judges were Antigua’s Algernon "Serpent" Watts, Vynette "Vinnie V" Frederick from St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados’ Wayne "Kool" Simmons, or, as I call them, "however", "mash it up" and Guy Smiley. Serpent's trademark word he uses to preface every comment is 'however', and when Vinnie V gets excited over a contestant's performance she exclaims that they "mashed it up". Guy Smiley is self-explanatory. Although Vinnie V has enough personality for the entire group, the new judges lack the collective chemistry of the season one judges.

What saved season two in my opinion was the performance of crowd favourite and eventual winner Kyron Baptiste (left) of St. Vincent, and his rival Omar Mathurin of Antigua. Their song selections were spot on and they made those songs theirs while they were on stage. Even now people must think Kyron originally sang Peter Ram's Woman by my Side.

So here we are in the final leg of season three and frankly, I'm bored with the competition. I can tell from now who's the clear winner based on talent and I'll probably continue to watch it just to see if I was right. I realise they've brought in actor Samud Ali to spice up the show a bit, we'll see how that goes.

Another thing that bothers me about the show is, what becomes of the winners? I'm not expecting the 2005 winner Kiokya Cruickshank (top) or last year's winner Kyron to blow up like Kelly Clarkson or Ruben Studdard did after American Idol, but I haven't heard one song from them on the airwaves.

Anyhoo, the grand finale is Sunday, November 11 and the winner will walk away with US$10,000 and a recording contract with CRS Music. Si dieu veux I'll be watching...unless I have something better to do.

Photo: Kiokya Cruickshank, first winner of Digicel's Rising Stars in the Eastern Caribbean -
Photo: Kyron Baptiste -

Halle is fashionably pregnant + the Williams sisters get dolled up

Halle Berry is wearing her pregnancy very well, and in a risqué way, too. She turned heads last night at the UK premiere of her new movie Things We Lost in the Fire. Cool title, though I hear it's not doing too well at the box office.

Anyhoo, maternity dresses sure have come a long way....

Triple dang. She's gonna have women all over the world thinking about getting pregnant....

And tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams cleaned up nicely recently for a photoshoot. Go on with your bad selves, ladies.


I Am Legend trailer

Mark December 14 on your calendars, peoples! That's when Will Smith's eagerly- awaited blockbuster I Am Legend will hit theatres. Hopefully it will be opening simultaneously in Barbados. Check out the trailer below. All I'm gonna say for now is I hope that dog lives, 'cause he too cute.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday links

Barbados bids farewell to Stephen Alleyne
Sometimes, we are our own worse enemies
Intelligence ain't common sense
Why some managers don't manage
Lewis Hamilton was robbed
Dyson chose Windies over Bangladesh

Photo: Members of the Empire Club forming a guard of honour with cricket bats, footballs and hockey sticks as the coffin bearing the body of Stephen Alleyne left Kensington Oval.

New videos + poll

I finally found Philip Scantlebury's musical gem Beautiful Surprise online so it's posted below, and the videos in the sidebar now feature two more of my fave singers, India Arie and Jill Scott.

This week's poll will be in honour of the late Stephen Alleyne, and is "Do you think Stephen Alleyne should be honoured posthumously for his contribution to Barbados?" Please send me some ideas in the comments section on how he could be honoured and I'll shortlist a few so we can vote on them next week.

Philip Scantlebury - BEAUTIFUL SURPRISE

Monday, October 22, 2007

The evolution of Rihanna

It's hard to believe that Rihanna's only been in the music business for two years. Her journey from an unknown island girl to a household name has been swift, and it speaks to the level of talent she has, as well as to the impressiveness of the Def Jam publicity machinery.

One of the things that Rihanna has obviously learnt well is how to keep the public and media interested by changing her image and fashion style, and Rih Rih's image has certainly evolved from that of a wholesome Caribbean girl to that of a Hollywood femme fatale. Here's my pictorial of Rihanna's evolution over the past two years....
Ahh, those good old days back in August 2005 when Rihanna was portrayed as a bubbly, cute, teen sensation from Barbados. Pon de Replay ruled the airwaves, the broken trident was prominent in her videos and she still liked us Bajans. Precious memories, how they linger...
In April 2006, Rihanna released her second album, A Girl Like Me. The island girl feel wasn't totally gone from her albums, but singles such as Unfaithful, Break It Off and We Ride introduced an unmistakable edge to her music, and gave a hint of what was to come.
Back in October 2006, a classy Rihanna headlined along with music stars Lionel Richie and John Legend at a special Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway.
This summer, Rihanna released her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad, and like the name of the album suggests, her wholesome image was replaced by that of a sultry, edgy femme fatale. She got tattooed as well, a sure sign that she taking this 'bad girl' business seriously. (eyeroll)
The monster single Umbrella may remain the signature tune of Rihanna's third album. It went to number one on the charts in the U.S.A. and other countries like a rocket, and in the UK it stayed there for 10 consecutive weeks. Suddenly, it was cool to walk with an umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh....
And now we come to the Rihanna of today. Since her last album she's moved to Los Angeles, and I guess she has the space there to keep a dog because she's photographed a lot with her puppy DJ these days. The edgy hairstyle and plunging necklines are still there too.

I can't wait to see how she's gonna transform herself for her next album. She's only 19 so the possibilities abound. Once she stays clear of the Hilton/Lohan/Spears/Kardashian/The Hills crew, she should be okay. And put a jacket on 'fore you get pneumonia, chile. California gets cold too, you know!

Monday mix

Hi, peoples. Hope everyone had a good weekend. Here's a round-up of what's happening in this neck of the woods:

The Nation Newspaper, in association with CADRES, recently conducted a poll to "identify and address the major issues that trouble Barbadians, using several different techniques", and the cost of living was the major concern for more than 40 per cent of Barbadians island-wide.

No big surprise there. Prices are sky rocketing in Barbados, especially for food items. The price of flour and therefore bread products has risen three times this year alone. Soon the saying "by the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat bread" will be a cruel joke....

So the West Indies Cricket team has a new coach, and big surprise, it's another non-West Indian. Over the weekend, former Australian test cricketer and Sri Lankan coach, John Dyson, was appointed the Windies' ninth coach in 15 years. Although our region has produced some of the greatest cricketers in the world we seem scared to give one of 'em a chance to coach the West Indies team. Nothing against Dyson, who seemed to have had done a good job with Sri Lanka, but why is the WICB constantly looking outside the region for a coach?

Mega 6 winner Ryan Corbin (left) collects his cheque from National Sports Council representative Joel "Big Bird" Garner
I see that the new Bajan millionaire's not only lucky, but brave too. Winner Ryan Corbin, a 29-year-old forensic scientist from St. Philip, elected to personally collect his cheque for $2.3 million. Good luck with that, Ryan....

And what's this foolishness about the local consortium wanting to sue Ansa McAl and Neal and Massy for withdrawing their bids for BS&T? I thought Tony Hoyos and crew would have been delirious with joy, 'cause technically they have a clear path to buy BS&T. That's like Obadele Thompson trailing behind Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay in a race and then suing them both for pulling up and not finishing the race. Go for the gold, Hoyos, or you change your mind about buying the company?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday fun: Ten fave hot properties in Barbados

A drive around Barbados, especially along the west coast, will reveal a multitude of luxurious villas which can be rented by the rich and famous, or locals with a few (thousand) dollars to spend. I love architecture and real estate in general so it's a treat to drive around the island and scope out new properties. I think I'm in the wrong profession....

Anyhoo, here's a list of ten hot properties that I admire from a distance.

10. New Mansion - Paynes Bay, St. James - Over the years I've watched this property transform. It's one of the few west coast properties you can see clearly from the main road, and is located just north of Tamarind Cove Hotel and only minutes away from Sandy Lane. Its design is elegant without being overly pretentious.

9. Mango Bay - Holetown, St. James - Originally designed by renowned English artist Oliver Messel, Mango Bay keeps company with other plush accommodations such as Glitter Bay and Royal Pavilion Hotels and Royal Westmoreland. Sweet.

8. Bon Vivant - Sandy Lane, St. James - Recognised by The London Times as "one of the most gracious getaways for the well-heeled," Bon Vivant appears to live up to its name. It has a slight Turkish design about it, probably because of the arches.

7. Caprice - Read's Bay, St. James - The hubby and I discovered Caprice during a beach stroll in Weston and I was impressed with the "old" style architecture on what was obviously a relatively new property. Very elegant and cosy-looking.

6. Sandalo - Gibbes Beach, St. Peter - Owned by the Rausing family, founders of the packaging company Tetra Pak, Sandalo is another property you can glimpse from the street as you drive through Gibbes, St. Peter.

5. Bohemia - Sandy Lane, St. James - For a property called bohemia, its design is more elegant than over-the-top. If you're gonna go for massive pillars outside your home, this is the way to go.

4. Crystal Springs - The Garden, St. James - One of the four major villas in The Garden area, Crystal Springs is well hidden from the street behind a tall gate. In The Garden, like most villages on the west coast that now have villas springing up in their midst, you can see modest chattel houses next door and across the street from luxurious properties, seemingly co-existing happily. Someone needs to do some sociological research on this....

3. Alang Alang - The Garden, St. James - While you can only glimpse a little of Alang Alang from behind its massive gate, the Asian-influenced gate and decor and the landscaping outside the property is just as impressive.

2. Moon Reach - Read's Bay, St. James - Whenever I pass Moon Reach, I crane my neck to catch a glimpse of the property at the end of the long, winding driveway, without much luck. If you really want to check out this house, you gotta hit the beach in Weston and see it from the rear. It reminds me of one of those sprawling country mansions you see in movies based on Jane Austen's books. Croquet, anyone?

1. Cove Spring House - The Garden, St. James - The big kahuna of villas in Barbados, the Italian Renaissance-styled Cove Spring House is currently the most expensive villa to rent, costing US$10, 000 per night to rent in the high season (Jan. 10 to April 15) and US$6,000 per night in the low season (April 15 to Dec. 15).

This property was also in the news a few years ago when the Wall Street Journal reported that it was being sold for Bds$112 million, a claim refuted by owner, investor Ajmal Khan.

Here are a few more pics of Cove Spring House. The interior shot is the one I chose to illustrate the Trading Hearts story.

Have a good weekend, folks!


Rihanna celebrates with Ne-Yo

Hit R&B songwriter and singer Ne-Yo celebrated his 25th birthday last night with his Def Jam labelmates, family and friends.

Of course his good friend and musical collaborator Rihanna was in attendance.

Hmm. I don't see the arm tattoo that she was sporting a few days ago. Maybe it was just the tattoo artist's outline sketch or just a spray-on tat. I see the winter boots are out in full force....

Happy belated birthday, Ne-Yo!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another millionaire among us

Someone in Barbados is $2.3 million richer this morning, thanks to the Mega 6 lottery. I wish them all the best and hope that the win improves their lives.

Just back in March another person won over $4 million, and I remember the hunt was on to discover the identity of that winner, to no avail. Back then I gave some advice to that unknown person and I want to extend the same advice to the new winner. Especially the last point....

Photo: www.