What are weddings made of…

A Prince in shining armour and a Princess in waiting – a promise of love ever after – a life filled with joy and laughter.

You may wonder which fairy tale I’ve been reading lately but the truth is that there are still weddings that are truly magical. Maybe not in the way we all imagine it to be with all the visible glitz and fluff. But magic sometimes happens in our hearts and manifests itself in the simplicity of our actions, over a period of time.

In this instance, the groom proved himself to be the prince in shining armour through his commitment, strength and dedication over the years. The princess in waiting, used his love and support to overcome her challenges and shine for all the world to see. Witnessing their journey warms your heart and gives you the assurance that there will be a love ever after – that the ‘til death do us part’ will be real. That their new journey will continue to be filled with adventure, joy and laughter – and hopefully little ones as well.

Congrats Rob and Gill – may your magic continue.

Do we leave anything behind…

I’ve recently had the pleasure of reigniting a friendship with an old school friend. Actually we’ve been in contact off and on for the past 5 years, in and out of each other’s life, sharing fleeting moments of the intimacy of our long-term relationship. But very recently only just, once again, we’ve begun to scratch the surface, bringing to the fore the very essence of our relationship. Remembering our past schinanigans, and reveling in the fact that, after so so many years, we can still share our deepest thoughts, in the knowledge that these thoughts will be kept safe and sound.

So that when, as an adult, you talk about moving on and leaving the past behind, I always wonder how in heaven’s name can you actually do this. Your past is never really left behind. You may not want to think about it, remember it, or even re-live it, but the reality is that your past – the things we want to leave behind – is in fact what makes us who we are.

It shapes us, it enriches us, and if we are truly honest with ourselves, we would admit that we keep our past safely tucked away in our hearts. Easily accessible at any moment. We refer to it in times of need. And I’m not only talking about the good memories we want to live over and over again. I’m also talking about those moments and events that, all things being equal, we would not want to re-live. But when we examine ourselves closely, we realise that these are the moments, the bits of our past, that have made us strong, confident, empathetic, warm, gentle, understanding. In essence the moments that have made us more human.

Yes there are many people in my life that live in my past. Some I would love to meet again, some I don’t really care to ever see again. Similarly there are experiences that I would love to have again, and some that, God forbid, I cringe at the very thought and I still secretly thank God that I’m still alive. But the mere fact that I can still feel and respond to these things in my past, tells me that they will always be with me. That in fact I’ve left nothing behind. What I have done is carefully packaged them and wrapped them up, so that one day when I need them the most, I can receive them again in the form that they were meant to be, as a gift in my life.

For, as my very dear friend reminded me,

‘Everything in my life – the good, the bad and the ugly – is a gift’,

and in accepting this, I will live a happier healthier life.


Today one of my younger cousins told me, with some hesitation, that she was 50. My immediate response was “No way! You’re catching up girl.” We laughed. We talked about the changes. And she admitted that turning 50 and more so admitting it, was not easy. Afterwards, I marvelled at the idea of 50. What does 50 look like. What does 50 do and think. Where does 50 go. There she was, as young as I’ve always remembered her, same laugh, same sense of humour, same joie de vivre – only she was now 50.

I distinctly remember the day I learned that my mother was 40 years old. I remember staring at her for a while and then crying secretly in my bed later that night. For at the tender age of 10 or so, I thought my mother was going to die. In my mind, forty was old. So you can imagine what fifty must be like.

Today, having spent some years being both forty and fifty myself, I can attest that growing old is really not so bad. In fact, apart from the reality that your body changes, whether you like it or not, and no matter how much you exercise. That your mind is not as agile as it used to be – you can only store so much data in one brain at any one time. And that you are going to need much more sleep than when you were a teenager,

Turning 50 is like getting a new life.

You become you. You are confident. You know what you want, and you make sure you get it. You have experience to share, and you do so willingly, yet carefully. You are more empathetic as you’ve seen what life can offer. You’ve built strong friendships that have stood the test of time. You’ve learnt how not to sweat the small stuff. You know that worrying is a waste of time (although you still worry some for good measure). Your children (yours and those you’ve adopted) can take care of themselves. You know how to pray. You truly understand the meaning of family.

I look at my children and my nieces and nephews growing up and I smile a broad smile. They are full of energy with high expectations for the future. And, at fifty-something, so am I. For I still have a lot to look forward to and I will do it, with the same fervour and with every ounce of energy left in my body.

I can’t wait for the big SIX ZERO.


Family Weddings

I absolutely love family weddings. And by family, I include close friends – weddings where you feel you’ve made some sort of contribution to this declaration of love, just by being a part of the couple’s life.

I love the feeling of ‘happy’ that fills the atmosphere and infiltrates your every thought, word and action. And it’s not just because of the overflow of bubbly, wine or Vodka. It’s the excitement of the world about to be created by the newly weds. A world which includes the coming together of two unsuspecting families – each bringing their own traditions, history, and expectations of the future. A world where everything is possible – filled with adventure, hope, dreams and new life. A journey that has no end and one that can only grow deeper in love and trust.

I’ve recently attended the wedding of my husband’s nephew whose parentage is Trinidadian and English. He grew up in England where he met his dream girl and whose parentage is Polish. The wedding took place in beautiful Zakopane, a small town 1 hour outside of Krakow, Poland. The guest list included friends and family from several different parts of the world – a testament that I am not the only one who absolutely loves a family wedding – or more to the point – the joining together of two great people.

What made this wedding special was the absolute love and care that went into its every detail. And you felt it from the moment you received your ‘Save the Date’ email one year before. Imagine bringing together some 200 odd people from different parts of the world and taking care of their every need – smoothly, effortlessly and with the broadest of smiles.

What piqued my interest most – apart from the overflow of food, which included pork in its every form or fashion, wine and Vodka and more Vodka – was the unique way the Poles have of ensuring the longevity of this union. Very simply Greg had to ‘buy’ Julia. We know that some religions work with the ‘dowry’ concept and this usually takes the form of land or cattle – something with a high cash value. Julia, however, was ‘sold’ for a ration of cheese, a bottle of Vodka and One hundred TT Dollars (USD15.00). Let me say this however, that she is worth her weight in gold and they have both won the jackpot.

Thank you Greg and Julia – may all your dreams come true.