Friday, February 9, 2018
design books comedy film fashion history entertainment food
FIND TRUE LOVE Page 12
Back where we began Baha Men return to global TV stage Interview, page 4&5
02 | The Tribune | Weekend
Friday, February 9, 2018
Live from paradise Kelly and Ryan spotlight beauty of the islands By CARA HUNT email@example.com
he beauty of the Bahamas was put on full display this week to an audience of millions when “Live with Kelly and Ryan” filmed four episodes of their hit morning talk show poolside at The Cove, Atlantis. Resort guests and locals alike were thrilled to get a chance to not only see the hosts Kelly Rippa and Ryan Seacrest up close and personal, but also enjoyed the chance to see all the behind the scenes activity which goes into the production of a show of this calibre. Two shows were taped daily on Monday and Tuesday, one at 9am and the other at 11.30am respectively. The first show each day was aired live, while the second show was pre-taped to be aired on Wednesday and Thursday. Celebrity guests included comedienne and “Two Broke Girls” creator Whitney Cummings, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk Jr, actress Heather Graham, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes and actor Taylor Kitsch (”Waco”). However, it was clear that the main purpose of the show was to showcase that it was truly better in the Bahamas. In fact, Kelly and Ryan repeatedly gushed about being in paradise, praising everything from the gorgeous sunrises they enjoyed each morning from the balcony of their hotels rooms to the friendliness of the Bahamian people. Throughout the shows, scenes from different islands were shown and Kelly and Ryan both went on a number of excursions showing the varied experiences that can be enjoyed during a visit to the Bahamas. Segments included a tasting tour of Nassau for Ryan that included Arawak Fish Fry, McKenzie’s and Sun & Ice; a catamaran castaway day for Kelly that started with Sandy Cay, also known as Gilligan’s Island, and ended with a beach bonfire at Sandy Toes on Rose Island.
Kelly also participated in dolphin yoga and marine conservation at Atlantis, while Ryan enjoyed a Powerboat Adventure to the Exumas to feed sharks and sting rays. Executive Producer Michael Gellman has been to the Bahamas four times with the show and said there is no question as why they keep coming back. “We always have a great time here. The show is beautiful with the blue water, palm trees and wind, and people are always hospitable and have been from the first time. So now that’s why 25 years later it is our fourth time visiting,” he said. “(Live with Kelly and Ryan) being here always has a tremendous impact. It’s us experiencing the destination. It’s not just like an ad. You are seeing us experience it and seeing what the Bahamas has to offer is really special and people respond to it. There has been great feedback and we have people who follow us on all our remotes and now they go on vacation with us. But I think the bigger impact is after we leave.” When the first show aired live on February 5, there was already a social media reach of over four million. Executives of the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation said they were overwhelmingly happy for the show to filmed here. Director General of Tourism Joy Jibrilu said the immeasurable exposure from the show is more than welcome. “As we near the key travel booking season, the ministry sees this four-day broadcast with a major daytime television show as an amazing opportunity to expose viewers to the diversity of the islands of the Bahamas,” she said. “To have Kelly and Ryan showcase our natural beauty and authentic culture with their millions of viewers during an unusually cold winter in the US is priceless. We are confident that seeing their favourite TV hosts enjoying all that we have to offer and talking about our different islands will inspire viewers to take a trip to the Bahamas to experience it for themselves.” The Roots Junkanoo group kicked off the first show of the week. Da Rhythm Band made their live television debut as the house band on Tuesday, and Baha Men promoted their new summer jam “Bumpa” on Wednesday’s show, while Ira Storr and the Spank Band performed for Thursday’s show. The live and taped shows are the culmination of an integrated campaign that included broadcast promotion, a sweepstakes and social media from the show that is already driving increased interest in the Bahamas as a destination.
Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest are pictured during the production of “Live with Kelly and Ryan” on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, on location at Atlantis. PHOTO: DAVID M RUSSELL/DISNEY/ABC HOME ENTERTAINMENT AND TV DISTRIBUTION
Da Rhythm Band performs during the production of “Live with Kelly and Ryan”.
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My perfect Bahamian weekend Shavado Gibson Educator and photographer Q: Saturday breakfast or Sunday lunch?
Interview 4-5 Cara Hunt talks to Baha Men about their potential return to the global stage Food 7 The reinvention of cracked conch Entertainment 8 - 9 Tru Tru Bahamian Festival pulls off successful two-day event Society 10 Reggae lovers get down ‘Old Skool’ Comedy 11 ‘Friday’ star John Witherspoon live at Atlantis, plus Atlanta social media stars join local show Relationships 12 Harrison Thompson helps people find true love, plus Munaluchi brand brings bridal trade show to Nassau Design 14 - 15 Local artist discovers calligraphy Books 17 A new addition to Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club Film 18 - 19 Reviews are in for “Black Panther”, “Peter Rabbit” and “The 15:17 to Paris” Literary Lives 20 - 23 The misadventures of an outrageous princess History 24 New evidence for earlier human exit from Africa Forgotten Facts 25 Paul C Aranha on flight safety Puzzles 26 Animals 27 Kim Aranha shares her history, plus Pet of the Week Gardening 28 Jack Hardy on unusual fertilisers Cover | David M Russell/Disney/ABC
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“Sunday lunch of course. I look forward to that good ole Bahamian dish. Sometimes I think about it in church...”
Q: Wine, rum, cocktail or Kalik? “I prefer to drink wine, occasionally, or water.”
Q: Beach or sofa?
“I prefer to go to the beach because it helps to relax your mind and you enjoy nature and life. The beach has like a healing nature for anything.”
Q: What is the one thing that you can’t live without?
“I cannot live without God’s presence grace and mercy. This is what gives me the courage to continue to go on in life.”
Q: Weekend away, where would you go and why?
“I would prefer to spend the weekend away at home on Long Island with my grandparents because the tranquility of the island gives you a peace of mind and contentment.”
Things 2 Do this weekend Friday
• Smugglers Recharged Time: 6pm Venue: Smugglers, George Street The downtown restaurant is launching its all new menu with a party featuring Anwar Ex and his band The Spin Doctors. Ample parking available. Call 698-0438 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. • Inagua: The Best Kept Secret, a Pop-Up Exhibition Time: 6pm Venue: The Current Baha Mar Photographer Patricia Vazquez presents her latest work, supplemented by an education talk from BNT officer Scott Johnson. All works will be for sale with proceeds going to the Bahamas National Trust. • St Gregory’s Valentine’s Day Dance Time: 7pm - midnight Venue: St Gregory’s Parish Hall, Carmichael Road. The Parish of St Gregory the Great is hosting its annual Anglican Church Men Pre-Valentine’s Day Dance. Enjoy good food and dance the night away to golden oldies and modern-day classics. A donation of $10 is required. • A True Love Affair
Time: 7.30pm Venue: Bahamas Christian Fellowship Centre Enjoy a three-course meal while receiving advice from relationship coach Harrison Thompson. SEE PAGE 12 • John Witherspoon Live Time: 8.30pm, 10.30pm (encore on Saturday) Venue: Jokers Wild Comedy Club, Atlantis SEE PAGE 11
• BAIC’s Pop Up Farmer’s Market Time: 8am - 3pm Venue: Produce Exchange, Gladstone Road Hosted by the Bahamas Agricultural & Industrial Corporation, the market offers fresh produce and farm supplies. • BNT’s Annual Cuban Pig Roast Time: 12noon - 6pm Venue: Maillis Farms Gather for an afternoon of Cuban cuisine, Latin music and dancing, and special memories of a great supporter of the BNT. All proceeds from the event will go to support infrastructure of BNT’s national parks. • Artwalk at Marina Village
Time: 2pm - 10pm Venue: Atlantis Enjoy art, crafts and music by Bahamian artisans and sample locally grown and made products. • Culture in The Park Time: 3pm - 9pm Venue: Bain and Grants Town Artists and straw vendors will be showcasing their talents and vendors will offer traditional Bahamian food. The event is hosted by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture
• Passion Party 2018 “Let Love Simmer” Time: 5pm - 8pm Venue: The Courtyard, Shirley Street Noveltease gives guests a sexy shopping and educational experience. Enjoy a variety of vendors ahead of Valentine’s Day while learning how to “Let Love Simmer” in your relationship. • The Sunday Cool Down Time: 7pm - midnight Venue: Balmoral Club “For the Love in You” is the theme for this month’s Cool Down. The Tingum Dem Band and DJ AI play music for the “grown and sexy”.
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Friday, February 9, 2018
interview Nearly 20 years after rocketing to worldwide fame and winning a Grammy for “Who Let the Dogs Out?”, Baha Men are back with a new single which debuted this week in front of a TV audience of millions. They tell Cara Hunt this could catapult them back into the global spotlight.
Baha Men I t was almost 20 years ago when a young Bahamian band appeared on an episode of the “Live with Regis and Kelly” talk show to perform their new hit “Who Let the Dogs Out?”. The catchy dance tune would become a worldwide hit, winning the group a coveted Grammy Award and making the Baha Men an international household name. This week, the current members of the band once again took to the talk show’s stage, which is now “Live with Kelly and Ryan”, during a taping at The Cove, Atlantis, this time for the world premiere of their new single called “Bumpa”. Tribune Weekend spoke with three of the group’s members – vocalists Rik Carey, Dyson Knight and Leroy Butler – after filming wrapped. The group had been invited to be the house band for one of the four shows which “Live” taped here this week. They also performed both Who Let the Dogs Out?” and “Bumpa”. And the band is confident that the stars have aligned once again to make “Bumpa” just as big a success as “Who Let the Dogs Out?” was in the summer of 2000. “It’s just an amazing feeling to be back on the ‘Live’ stage all these years later,” said Rik, the only one of the trio who was at that initial appearance. “It’s been a while since we were on the show, but every time we play ‘Who Let the Dogs Out?’, no matter where we are, people are just so happy and excited and so we are thrilled that we could come and play not just that,
The cover art for the new single
“We want to be able to promote the culture of the Bahamas to the point that we can get Bahamian music as a genre promoted and recognised like Jamaican reggae is.”
but to debut ‘Bumpa’ on the show...it makes it extra special.” Noting that show hosts Kelly Rippa and Ryan Seacrest both gave the song their stamp of approval, Leroy said the group is confident that this will be the next big dance number for the Summer. “The song was released (February 7) and we just have a great feeling that this is going to be one of those songs that will be a Summer hit, so we are excited,” he said. Dyson added that everything just came together for “Bumpa”, from finding the inspiration for the song and getting it produced through Sony, and even the timing of being able to debut it on a show that reaches more than 20 million viewers worldwide. “We were looking for a song that just had the right fit as a dance song with a mid-tempo beat, that could fit a wide
audience, so we very strategic with this song,” he explained. Following their performance, international music publications and media outlets like New York Daily News were already reporting on the premiere of “Bumpa”. The trio noted that Baha Men have been around for many years and the group has been able to learn from their members’ individual musical experiences over time to remain relevant and fresh in the game. “None of us are newbies to the game. We have all been around and I think that the key to our success – that we all have a passion for music. If we were successful or not, we would all still be doing exactly what we are doing now because we love it,” said Dyson. Bah Men said they intend to spend the next few months promoting
Friday, February 9, 2018
“Bumpa” before heading back to work on their next project, proving that after two decades they are still determined to make waves on both the local and international music scene. “We are proud Bahamian musicians and we carry the mantle of the country with us wherever we go. We also want to be able to inspire the next generation of Bahamian musicians. We want to be able to promote the culture of the Bahamas to the point that we can get Bahamian music as a genre promoted and recognised like Jamaican reggae is,” said Dyson. Rik added: “When it comes to Bahamian music, we want to be able to kick the door down at the Grammys.” The current members of Baha Men include Ric Carey (vocals), Isaiah Taylor (bass), Dyson Knight (vocals), Leroy Butler (vocals), Hershel Small (guitar), Pat Carey (guitar), Jeffrey Chea (keyboards), Ivan Prosper (drums), and Anthony Flowers (percussion). Baha Men was initially formed in 1980 under the name High Voltage. “Who Let the Dogs Out” has earned the group much international acclaim and success, including a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording in 2000, a Billboard Music Award for World Music Artist of the Year and World Music Album of the Year, and a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award for Favourite Song. In 2002, they won another Kid’s Choice Award for favourite band. Additionally, the group had recorded songs on two DisneyMania albums including “Hakuna Matata” from “The Lion King”, “It’s a Small World” and “Bahamian Roller Coaster Wild”, a take from the song “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” from “Lilo & Stitch”. A number of their songs have been used in major motion pictures such as “Rugrats In Paris”, “Miss Congeniality”, “Rat Race”, “Around the World in 80 Days”, and “Garfield: The Movie”. They also recorded a cover of Elton John’s hit “Crocodile Rock” for the film “Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course” starring Steve Irwin and family. The band has even made an appearance on the big screen, when they starred as themselves in the 1994 romantic comedy “My Father the Hero” starring Gérard Depardieu and Katherine Heigl. Additionally, Baha Men were featured on the soundtrack of “Shrek” with their hit song “Best Years of Our Lives”. “Who Let the Dogs Out?” was also featured in the 2009 hit comedy “The Hangover”.
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“When it comes to Bahamian music, we want to be able to kick the door down at the Grammys.”
PHOTOS: DAVID M. RUSSELL/DISNEY/ABC HOME ENTERTAINMENT AND TV DISTRIBUTION
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The reinvention of cracked conch By CARA HUNT email@example.com
t may have been tucked away in a corner at last weekend’s Tru Tru Bahamian Festival, but new food vendor Conch’nCone was certainly one of the-go to food spots to enjoy a native favourite with a twist. Nikita Kenny explained that she came up with the idea to sell flavoured cracked conch inside waffle cones just on a whim. “Naturally it was a gift from my mother; she loves to cook. My mother is an island gal with amazing skills in the kitchen. Her skills in my genes were inevitable and she taught me everything I know in culinary. I’m not a chef, it was just watching my mother cook and adding my own unique twist. I’m known to everyone who knows me to think outside the box. I used that gift to give cracked conch a distinctive spin,” she told Tribune Weekend. “It’s a part of my canvas that has just begun to unfold. Over the years I’ve pushed myself to think outside of the box. It took a lot of brainstorming to create something innovative, and most importantly, Bahamian.” Nikia was able to test drive the concept at the festival, which was held at Johnny Watling’s Distillery last weekend. “The positive feedback from the launch at the festival was pleasing and beyond my expectations. The two popular favourite flavours from the customer reviews were definitely the Coco Glazed, which is has a BBQ sauce infused with coconut rum, and the Tropical, which has a variety of vegetables and herbs finely chopped as a salsa. I must give credit to my team because it would not be possible without them whom I love dearly,” she said. Nikia’s take on cracked conch, a true island favourite, is to serve it in a waffle cone, making it the perfect choice for fork-free food at festivals and outdoor events.
“Over the years I’ve pushed myself to think outside of the box. It took a lot of brainstorming to create something innovative, and most importantly, Bahamian.” “Conch’nCone is tender succulent cracked conch in a waffle cone. We also make our cones and offer a garlic, thyme-infused flavour,” she said. “The cracked conch is hand-tossed in several flavours and garnished. These flavours are Coco Glaze, Scorched, Tropical, Lemon Pepper, Buffalo, Bahamian Spice and Sweet BBQ.” Nikia explained that presently Conch’nCone is a mobile pop up service. “We will be expanding to much more in the near future. We are ready to cater to all events that permit a live station,” she said. Persons interested in trying out Conch’nCone and seeing what other products they plan to launch can follow the company on its social media pages. “This weekend pop up is at Bon Appetit, Arawak Cay, on Saturday 10am to 6pm. Next weekend Saturday and Sunday will be at Montagu for the Valentine’s Day Regatta,” said Nikia.
Enjoy cracked conch in a variety of flavours served in a waffle cone.
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A cultural explosion By ALESHA CADET Tribune Features Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
iving both locals and visitors a taste of the creativity and versatility of the culture of the islands, the Tru Tru Bahamian Festival last weekend showcased everything from art to jewellery, culinary delicacies and entertainers. Held on the grounds of the John Watling’s Distillery, the two-day event attracted thousands of visitors. Whether for families with kids, or groups enjoying to a girls’ or guys’ day out, the festival made for a great outing that featured live music, dancing, storytelling, maypole plaiting, fashion shows, a Junkanoo rush-out, a performance by the Royal Bahamas Police Force band, and a kids’ interactive corner – all hosted by the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA). Over the years the festival has served to highlight, promote and support the incredible wealth of talent that exists in the Bahamas, as artisans, musicians, mixologists and dancers gather to showcase every imaginable expression of creativity possible. Dandria Miller, conch shell and sewing artist, shared with Tribune Weekend her enthusiasm for being a part of the Tru Tru Bahamian Festival for a second time around. Her small business, called ADM’s Lair, offers “handmade treasures with flair.” “As a true true Bahamian, I participated last year and I was glad to return this year. I work primarily as a cultural artisan. Anything that most people throw away, I collect those and create with. With the conch shells, I carve them and turn them into lamps. I have jewellery pieces here on display as well,” said Dandria. She believes the Tru Tru Bahamian Festival has grown a lot in terms of variety, artist selection, musical offerings, and just the whole ambiance. Also, according to her experience, the number of tourists who attended the festival increased compared to last year. “Ideally we should have this more often, like twice a year. We definitely need to showcase artisans more often.
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PHOTOS/TERREL W CAREY
Art, crafts and food were in abundance at this year’s Tru Tru Bahamian Festival.
If you walk around and you speak to the other artisans you will see there are various genres. We don’t have the opportunity to come together collectively as a group to display our works in this manner, so this is important,” she said. Like Dandria, Calae Burrows of Octis Organics also sees great value in the festival and its growth over the years. Participating in the festival since its inception, and also a member of the BHTA, Calae said it is important to note that every single piece of art and craft on display, even down to the food and drink options, are all authentically Bahamian made. “Octis Organics is based out of Eleuthera; everything is all natural. We do everything out of the Bahamian bush. We started off with offering just seasonings 10 years ago and branched off into Bahamian bush teas, and now we have scrubs. The scrubs are actually
made specifically for Atlantis, so they are offered in The Cove and in the Reef hotels in their open spaces,” said Calae. “It is great to know that this festival also gives Bahamians an idea of what is possible in owning a business, to know that they don’t have to be a slave to someone else’s job. And also when it comes to consumers, they get to see what is actually a true true Bahamian product.” Calae also approved of the festival expanding to two full days and the Tourism Ministry’s assisting visitors in attending the event. “There is a shuttle bus of tourists that comes from the hotels and cruise port at 10am when the festival gates open. We had thousands of persons come in and the local turn-out is also very big. Two days made it more comfortable for the person who was busy on Saturday
and could not make it until Sunday,” she said. Tru Tru Bahamian vendor Vianna Gibson said this year made her second time showcasing her condiments, pepper sauces, jams and jellies, and while the first time was good, this time around was even better. “The first day brought in a lot of crowds and it’s the same today. I think it is important to show those tourists that come here that they can get a little taste of Bahamian cultural events and see what we have to offer. This is a home-based family business and we are in the food stores doing very well,” she said. Dorothy Miller of The Dot Miller Collection said her Bahamian straw handbags, luggage sets, portfolios, briefcases, slippers, wallets and key chains were a big hit over the course of the two days.
“This year is our first time participating and we wanted to bring out our products to show the public, and the feedback has been great, especially with the straw slippers. The slippers were designs by Pat, my business partner. We also do costumes and take part in fashion shows,” she said. Suzanne Pattusch, BHTA executive vice president, hopes the festival evoked pride in every Bahamian who attended, and gave enjoyment and a sense of reverence to those who wished to witness and learn about Bahamian talent, culture and customs. For her, one of the most gratifying aspects of the Tru Tru Bahamian movement is the people she gets to work with, from government and private sector representatives, to large companies, mid-sized businesses and individual proprietors, as well as likeminded non-profit organisations, artists and aspiring entrepreneurs.
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Getting down ‘Old Skool’
EGGAE legend Beres Hammond once sang “Oh what a night, what a night” in his old school hit “I Feel Good”, which just about sums up the experience party-goers were offered during the One Blood XVII party series held last Friday. It was at the first Old Skool Reggae Party of the year by event producers Concepts and attracted scores of more “grown” music lovers craving a night out on the town. The party was held as the Halcyon Restaurant on Charlotte Street. The One Blood party series was introduced almost two decades ago and was designed to create a feeling of nostalgia as guests enjoy the reggae tunes of yesteryear in a pleasant and sophisticated atmosphere.
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‘Friday’ star John Witherspoon live at Atlantis By ALESHA CADET Tribune Features Writer email@example.com
tand-up comedian John Witherspoon, known for his roles in movies like “Friday” and “House Party”, and “The Wayans Bros” TV show, is coming to Atlantis. Mr Witherspoon will entertain audiences at the Joker’s Wild Comedy Club for two nights, starting tonight, once at 8.30pm and then again at 10.30pm. “(Joker’s Wild) has a history in Nassau of providing weekly comedy shows over at Atlantis, bringing in bigname artists whenever we can,” said
Shanda Smith, club manager at Joker’s Wild. Over the years, Joker’s Wild has welcomed some of television’s funniest comedians; names like Jay Pharoah, Charlie Murphy, Bill Cosby, Damon Wayans, Ray Romano, and more. As Mr Witherspoon also graced the Atlantis stage back in 2015, Ms Smith said it was only right to bring him back based on the great audience feedback. “We hosted two sold-out shows featuring him back in 2015, so definitely the feedback for his past shows inspired his comeback, and in addition to that, he is well known to the Bahamian public for his television roles. Bahamians tend to go with names they recognise. I know he is old
school, so he caters to both the young and the old,” said Ms Smith. As part of the Joker’s Wild family for the past six years, Ms Smith said it feels good to host yet another comedy show of this magnitude. “A lot of people like the shows because it’s clean fun; it is safe. This time around we are offering two shows to give persons more options, so those that want to make a night of it can. I believe laughing is always healthy, and to be able to give persons just that hour of comedy where they have that
opportunity to forget about whatever else is going on, it feels good,” she said, For 2018, Joker’s Wild Comedy Club is looking forward to featuring America’s Got Talent 2017 winner and comedian Preacher Lawson in April. “We are definitely looking to the possibility of bringing more big name artists, if not once a quarter, at least once every other month. It is going to be some fresh faces on stage,” said Ms Smith. For ticket information, visit the Atlantis box office in Coral Towers or call 363-6601.
‘King and queen’ of Atlanta comedy scene join local show By JEFFARAH GIBSON Tribune Features Writer firstname.lastname@example.org TWO of Atlanta’s rising stars will make their way to Bahamas to join local comedians during the Love & Laughter show this month. B-Simone and Desi Banks, who have become famous on social media for their hilarious videos, will share the stage with the Bahamas’ very own GetOffKing and radio personality The Naughty One. Stefan Davis from the 3riology art conglomerate will also be featuring his work. Love & Laughter is being presented by the WeCreate group and will be held on February 16 at St John’s Auditorium beginning at 7.30pm. Though held after Valentine’s Day, organiser Wilfrid Joseph said the event will have an atmosphere of love while also giving audience members something to laugh about. Choosing the cast for the show proved to be a challenging undertaking,
said Wilfrid. However, together with his fellow WeCreate co-founders Wendell Jamal Rolle and Dofneyrica Louima, they arrived at a consensus to have the GetOffKing be a part of the show based on the audience they are seeking to target. “As we are situated in the Bahamas, of course our first choice would be our local artists, and the GetOffKing truly is a budding comedian who deserves his time to shine,” said Wilfrid. “B Simone and Desi Banks was a different cup of tea, however, but their gradual climb on social media was a reason for us to bring them in was a must. We have followed their antics as the cyber couple with everyday relatable issues that couples face and they bring a air of comic relief about it. Also, they do have a huge following on Instagram and Facebook and many of the followers are our own Bahamian citizens.” Wilfrid said each entertainer brings their own unique style of comedy to the show, something he believes audiences will appreciate.
“The uniqueness of each artist varies, for GetOffKing can be relatable in his jokes to those of the Bahamian demographic, and he is known for his impersonations of African and other subtropical races. A lot of folks are really dying to see his signature African prince routine,” he said. “B Simone being a (woman) of course will be representing what most typical females hate – a no good man. The chemistry that her and Desi have on the screen is electric. They have quite a few videos on YouTube climbing to 1,000,000 views, so you know the proof is in the views. Desi Banks himself was doing comedy gigs from since he was a teen and at his young age he has done some pretty impressive stuff, no wonder the duo are known as the king and queen of comedy in Atlanta. We needed their chemistry to appeal to the couples in the audience – we know the issues relationships have and the laughs we get from them. They have a way of making sensitive issues laughable, an act that most folks can’t do.”
Social media stars BSimone and Desi Banks
As this event is WeCreate’s first public showcase, they are hoping Bahamian audiences will respond postivitely to it. “WeCreate is a small entity for now. We would also like for our community to help support us as we are endeavouring to change the mindsets of our public from being that of consumers to being that of producers.” For more information, contact 4235702 or 455-2844.
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Finding true love By JEFFARAH GIBSON Tribune Features Writer email@example.com
RACTICAL advice about how to keep the spark alive in one’s marriage and how single people can prepare themselves for relationships will be offered during “A True Love Affair” tonight. Presented by Bahamas Christian Fellowship Centre on Carmichael Road, the dinner style event aims to provide Bahamians with information to navigate their relationships in a loving way. “A True Love Affair” features a three-course meal, a special guest speaker and an open forum for questions and answers. The event will encourage social interaction between other couples and singles, said organiser Michelle Butler. “Human love relationships have always been challenged due to the lack of knowledge. A part of our church mission is to strengthen marriages and to provide guidance for singles that may be dating or desire to have a relationship.
February is recognised as the month love, so we found it fitting to provide different forums to equip people who want to enhance their relationship,” she said. The event will feature relationship therapist Harrison Thompson who will share his expertise while assisting those already in relationships and those seeking one. An intimate couch session is designed for a question and answer session, and is expected be one of the highlights of the event. Participants will have the option of submitting questions anonymously as well. “Our overall mission is that we would have strengthened the family unit of all those who attend, and to provide practical advice for those who desire to enter into a love relationship. We would hope that those present put into practice what they have learned, and also to be an aid in assisting others who are challenged in their relationships. Finally, we would hope that the singles who desire to be in a love relationship will have the keys to make wise decisions,” said Ms Butler. For more information contact -3418224 or 449-8959.
Relationship therapist Harrison Thompson will be tonight’s special guest
Muna Love Affair comes to the Bahamas
ove is always in the air for Muna Love Affair, a multi-city experiential wedding show produced by Munaluchi Bride, the leading multicultural wedding publication catering to women of colour. This time, Muna Love is coming to the Bahamas for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and future brides and bridesmaids are ecstatic. On February 18, from 4pm to 8 pm, more than 100 couples will gather at the British Colonial Hilton excited to interact with vendors and wedding enthusiasts. This event is the first of its kind for the region, and Director of Sales and Marketing at the British Colonial Hilton Nikolette Elden believes it will be nothing short of spectacular. “Munaluchi caters to multicultural brides so we thought it would be best to partner with them because our demographic is African Bahamian and we
thought that would be a good fit for us, not to mention they are a very wellknown brand. They’ve never been in the Caribbean and we’ve never hosted a bridal show,” she said. As Munaluchi-inspired nuptials are often described as not your typical cookie cutter wedding, Ms Elden said guests should expect to have fun in an upscale, exciting atmosphere, as there will be a luxury showcase, a fashion show, a culinary station, a grooms’ lounge and grand prizes which range from a wedding dress and a flower girl dress, to a custom designed suit for the groom and a honeymoon at the Hilton. Freda Malcolm, director of Romance at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA, said the collaboration between the Ministry and Munaluchi is a significant one. “The BMOTA together with British Colonial Hilton Resort and Munaluchi is an important collaboration which
Actress LeToya Luckett, a Munaluchi bride
speaks directly to the level of commitment that we have to this niche market. Munaluchi, a multicultural, high-end magazine caters to the affluent bride within this socioeconomic group; their decision to partner with one of our most historic properties demonstrates their confidence in bringing such an event to the islands of the Bahamas,” said Ms Malcolm. Sponsors and exhibitors for the Muna Love Affair are British Colonial Hilton Hotel, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Five Seasons Bridal, Miguel Wilson Collection, Stanlo Photography, Bahama Fantasies, Warren Grant Photography, Fabface Makeup Artistry, Makeup by Sarsha Lepache, and Designs by Tia Toni and Gustavus Augusta. Interested persons can purchase tickets from MlaBahamas.eventbrite.com
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celebrity The Weekend Fashion Report 70th Annual DGA Awards
Saoirse Ronan ”Lady Bird”
Sally Hawkins ”The Shape of Water”
Gugu Mbatha-Raw ”The Cloverfield Paradox”
Allison Janney ”I, Tonya”
Karin says: “I’m almost on the fence here. It’s either a great slightly punkinspired look or it’s a rumpled, yet stylish, garbage bag. My main issue is this new hair colour she’s been sporting...it’s terrible on her. And the bright red lipstick just clashes with everything.” Cara says: “Oh look, another plungedto-the-waist dress, this time made from a crumpled garbage bag. We have seen this a thousand times. and the fabric and the awkward length make this one just not cute at
Karin says: “What a misshapen pantsuit! It almost looks like a lounge suit you would wear on a space station. But it’s just so badly structured. It doesn’t fit her at all. And I hate to be mean, but the shoulders and skinny legs make her head and feet look enormous, respectively.” Cara says: “I want to say this outfit is as shapeless as...But in all seriousness, I think the jacket is a little too shortwaisted and makes the pantsuit look funny. I also think the pants should have been a bit longer, and those earrings are a little distracting.”
Karin says: “So simple, yet so lovely! Gugu is looking radiant. There is a lot of galaxy-themed stuff out there right now (makeup, clothes), and this follows the trend perfectly. I love the black/dark blue ombre effect at the bottom of the gown. This awards ceremony didn’t seem overly fancy, so this has the right level of ‘casualness’.” Cara says: “I guess when you have a sparkly hem it’s wrong to say your dress is boring. …so let’s put my wordsmith skills to work: I find it lacklustre, uninspiring and simplistic. Does that sound better than boring?”
Karin says: “This is a weird dilemma. The dress, in my opinion, is gorgeous. And it should look all regal on someone who stands at 6ft like Allison does, but for some reason it doesn’t work on her. Maybe she needed something sleeker, something simpler.” Cara says: “This dress got lost in translation somehow. It’s a basic style that should in theory work, but it just doesn’t. I like the fabric choice and the top is not over-powering, but it is just a no. Maybe it’s the added pouf on the sleeves, maybe its just the camera caught her standing at a bad angle, I just know I don’t like it.”
• See PAGE 16 for more Weekend Fashion Report
PHOTOS BY CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP
With Karin Herig and Cara Hunt
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celebrity With Karin Herig and Cara Hunt
Lupita Nyong’o ”Nakia”
Angela Bassett ”Ramonda”
Danai Gurira ”Okoye”
Karin says: “Lupita is serving us straight up African princess. She’s never been afraid of bright colours, and this was the perfect occasion for them. I especially love the elaborate shoulder piece. It makes her look like a warrior in a evening gown.” Cara says: “Listen, OMG Lupita is just a fashion goddess. She is the reason they make clothes, just because she looks so good in everything she wears. This outfit is just giving me life.”
Karin says: “I love the bright yellow on her; it’s stunning! And I love the structure of the dress – flapper fringe meets African aesthetic. Her big hair is also awesome. However, maybe the big hair and the big tiers are a tiny bit too much.” Cara says: “Angela is not subtle at all in this fabulous and very sunny gown. And look at that hair! It has a life and personality all of its own. It’s like a modern-day Cleopatra hit on the red carpet.”
Karin says: “Janelle never misses an opportunity, does she? Yes, she looks like she could be a character in an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ film, but she looks regal. In this Christian Siriano gown she’s the African queen to Lupita’s princess. And she’s not even in this film!” Cara says: “I’s a little dismayed by the white and blue shrug. I just keep thinking that it doesn’t work for me... like choose a colour already! That said, the drama of the dress is amazing and I love the African touch with the traditional hat and the neck piece.”
Karin says: “Everyone else went way out to look fabulous and here we have one of the film’s stars dressing like she’s going to prom. It doesn’t fit her right, the colour is too Pepto Bismol, and that one-shoulder ruffle needs to be sent back to the ‘80s where it belongs. Cara says: “This colour is not great on her. It’s a colour where bridesmaids dresses go to die. It’s too sickeningly sweet in colour and sickeningly ugly in style. Also it doesn’t fit as we’ll as a couture gown should. This is just horrible.”
PHOTOS BY CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP
The Weekend Fashion Report “Black Panther” Premiere
Friday, February 9, 2018
The Tribune | Weekend | 17
Oprah picks novel ‘An American Marriage’ for book club
ayari Jones, whose novel “An American Marriage” has been chosen for Oprah Winfrey’s book club, will always remember that phone call from last October. She was driving in Las Vegas, expecting to hear from books editor Leigh Haber of Winfrey’s magazine, “O,” for which Jones has written reviews. “But instead of Leigh’s voice coming through the sound system of my car, it was Oprah’s,” Jones, 47, told The Associated Press during a recent interview. “I would have known that voice anywhere. And I just pulled over, in a not-so-great part of town. And people were tapping on my windows, and I was like, ‘Go away, I’m trying to have the biggest moment of my life.’” Winfrey’s magazine and OWN network told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Winfrey had selected Jones’ story of a young, newly married African-American couple and the husband’s shocking arrest and prison term — for a crime no one he knows believes he committed — that upends their lives. Winfrey’s production company, Harpo Films, is planning an adaptation.
Published Tuesday, the book was already one of the year’s most anticipated novels and had reached the top 1,000 on Amazon.com before Winfrey’s announcement. “An American Marriage” includes blurbs from Michael Chabon and Edwidge Danticat and was praised by The Washington Post as a compelling story that raises “punishing questions” and spins them “with tender patience.” In a brief telephone interview with The Associated Press, Winfrey said Jones’ novel made her respond in a similar way to other works she has picked for her club: She just had to tell others about it. “I just get such a deep pleasure from the written word and finding out that other people feel the same way,” said Winfrey. “It’s kind of like sharing values. It’s like saying here’s an experience that I value and you’re trying to get somebody to also appreciate it.” Winfrey’s interview with Jones will appear in the March issue of “O,” which comes out next week. As with other recent books, Winfrey will promote it in part through Amazon.com, where a video message from Winfrey is posted and an excerpt can be read for free on the Kindle e-book device.
By midday Tuesday, “An American Marriage” was No 2 on Amazon, trailing only Jordan B Peterson’s advice book “12 Rules for Life.” Jones’ previous books include “Silver Sparrow,” ‘‘The Untelling” and “Leaving Atlanta.” She is a longtime Winfrey admirer and says she was once in the studio audience for one of her shows, a broadcast from the early 1990s about gay rights. Like countless authors, she had dreamed of being picked for the Oprah book club, but never let herself believe it would happen. “An American Marriage” took several years to complete. While on a research fellowship at Harvard University, Jones knew that she wanted to write about the criminal justice system, but only had a concept. She needed real people for inspiration. During a visit to her native Atlanta, she overheard a couple arguing. “And the woman said, ‘You know you wouldn’t have waited for ME for seven years,’” Jones recalled. “And the man shot back, ‘This wouldn’t have happened to you in the first place.’ And I thought, ‘He’s right and she’s also right.’ And that’s when I knew I had a novel, when I had a conflict
between two people and both of them are right.” Winfrey, too, was drawn to how “An American Marriage” attached names and lives to an issue distant for most people. She remembered once hosting a program about incarceration and struggling to get viewers engaged because relatively few had direct experience. “It’s hard to get someone to understand or relate to it,” she said. “But when you read a story like this it personalises it for you.” HILLEL ITALIE AP National Writer
‘The Girls in the Picture’ is clever novel about friendship AUTHOR Melanie Benjamin proves she’s a master at blending imagination with historical facts in “The Girls in the Picture: a Novel.” When Frances Marion arrives in Hollywood after two failed marriages, the 25-year-old uses her best tool to find a job in the movie business: persistence. She soon meets silent screen starlet Mary Pickford and a friendship is born that launches both women into the history books.
At a time when men ruled the silver screen, Mary was quietly climbing the industry ladder. The day Frances wrote a script for “the girl with the curls,” Mary knew things were about to change. Although the odds were stacked against this dynamic duo, with Mary’s business savvy and Frances’ keen sense of filmmaking, the pair proved to be an unstoppable force in the 1920s. “The Girls in the Picture” explores both women’s strategies of
maneuvering boardrooms, celebrity status, families and growing old. Benjamin has a unique way of diving into the minds of notable individuals. Relying on facts, the author creates a fictional story that celebrates the joy of seeing hard work come to fruition and feels the pain of the personal sacrifices that it took to get there. And at the root of the novel is a passionate story about two girls in the picture. By LINCEE RAY Associated Press
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Earnest ‘Peter Rabbit’ sure to delight young fans PETER RABBIT RUNNING TIME: 100 MINS
ith warm nostalgia for Beatrix Potter’s classic children’s tale, “Peter Rabbit “ director, producer and co-writer Will Gluck channels the author’s earnestness into a sweet film sure to delight young fans.
Eastwood’s ‘15:17’ recreates a thwarted attack THE 15:17 TO PARIS RUNNING TIME: 94 MINS
IN “The 15:17 to Paris,” Clint Eastwood has taken his famously no-frills filmmaking further than ever before. Having already dispensed with many of the typical accoutrements of Hollywood filmmaking — lengthy development, a battery of takes, any handwringing at all — he has, with characteristically little
Peter Rabbit voiced by James Corden Adults may find the plot predictable and the pacing a bit wanting, but the dynamic animation and beloved characters help compensate, as does the film’s cheeky self-awareness. As in the book published in 1902, the story begins with Peter Rabbit (James Corden) disobeying his parents’ rules and sneaking into Old Mr McGregor’s vegetable garden for a snack.
anguish, jettisoned actors from the picture, too. Who needs ‘em, anyway? Truth be told, there are numerous professional actors in “The 15:17 to Paris,” about the foiled terrorist attack on a 2015 Paris-bound train. But the central characters, and even many of the extras, are played by themselves. The movie, simple and straightforward, derives most of its appeal from its verisimilitude — from its distinctly un-Hollywood-ness. That’s enough to make “The 15:17 to Paris” a refreshingly humble artefact in the often bombastic genre of terrorism thrillers. But it’s not the quality of the acting that limits Eastwood’s film. It’s a threadbare script that fails to find much of a story to tell behind the headlines about how Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, US Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone and their friend Anthony Sadler, a college student, tackled and subdued an assailant armed with an AK-47 and nearly 300 rounds of ammunition. Much of “The 15:17 Paris” recounts their childhood together (the three became friends in middle school), their earlier aspirations of joining the military, and their disappointment at not quickly finding distinction in the ranks. Skarlatos fails to qualify for the Air Force Pararescue. Stone finds himself providing
Old Mr McGregor gives chase, but Peter and his trusty sidekick, Benjamin Bunny (Colin Moody) elude capture. All the running around gives the old man a heart attack, and Peter assumes all their problems are solved — until McGregor’s great-nephew moves in. Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson at his most playful) is a tightly wound Londoner who resents relocating
to the countryside to care for the property. He’s still apoplectic about being passed over for a promotion at Harrods, and that irritation is compounded when he discovers his great-uncle’s house and garden are overrun with cotton-tailed cuties he calls vermin. The rabbits’ saviour — and maybe Thomas’, too — is Bea (Rose Byrne), a kind-hearted animal lover who lives next door. She moved to the country to paint, and her best pieces recall Potter’s original “Peter Rabbit” illustrations. Those illustrations come to life at various points during the film. The simple, hand-drawn animation contrasts beautifully with the slick digital work that comprises most of the movie, inserting realistic-looking talking rabbits into liveaction scenes with Byrne and Gleeson. As the conflict over the garden escalates, it becomes clear that Peter and Thomas aren’t just fighting over vegetables, but for Bea’s affections. It’s a modern romantic take on the classic rabbit tale. There’s enough entertainment for parents here, and plenty of good-natured humour for kids. Stay past the credits for an extra dose of laughs.
SANDY COHEN AP Entertainment Writer
(l-r) Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alex Skarlatos play themselves in “The 15:17 To Paris.”
security — “basically a mall cop,” he sighs — in Afghanistan. “The 15:17 to Paris” is even more out of balance once it gets to the guys backpacking through Europe ahead of the attack. As they philosophise while taking selfies and plot their next party, a Richard Linklater film is almost at risk of breaking out. By focusing solely on the three pals, Eastwood has slighted the story of Mark Moogalian, a 51-year-old American-born Frenchman and professor at the Sorbonne who was one of the first to battle the gunman. Moogalian, who appears in the film as himself, was shot in his neck. We get the Legion of Honour ceremony for the three Americans, but neither the
backstory nor even a final word on Moogalian’s fate. Context is not one of the attributes of “15:17.” It’s too contented with the heroism of a few Americans to take any notice of anything else. The thwarted attack came amid a rash of terror across France. Three months later, 130 would die in coordinated suicide bombings in Paris. Eleven months later, 84 would die in Nice when a truck drove through crowds celebrating Bastille Day. The heroes of the train attack deserve all the praise. But zoom out a little and it’s hard not to see Eastwood’s Americacentric focus in “The 15:17 to Paris” as self-serving. JAKE COYLE AP Film Writer
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‘Black Panther’ is dazzling grand-scale filmmaking
Erik Killmonger (Michael B Jordan) and T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)
BLACK PANTHER RUNNING TIME: 134 MINS
he supposedly cosmically vast Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it’s called, spans planets peppered throughout the galaxy, but Ryan Coogler’s Earth-bound “Black Panther,” glittering and galvanising, stands worlds apart. For those of us who have sometimes felt pummeled by the parade of previous Marvel movies, the sheer richness of Coogler’s film is almost disorienting. Can superhero films, so often a dull mash of effects, be this dazzlingly colourful? Are genuine cultural connections allowed in modern-day comic book blockbuster-making? Is a $20 billion refund in order? Unlike many of its more hollow predecessors, “Black Panther” has real, honest-to-goodness stakes. As the most earnest and big-budget attempt yet of a black superhero film, “Black Panther” is assured of being an overdue cinematic landmark. But it’s also simply ravishing, grand-scale filmmaking. There are familiar Marvel beats here. Just as he did in the surprisingly sensational Rocky reboot “Creed,” Coogler hasn’t reinvented the genre so much as electrified it with a new perspective and a rare talent for marrying naturalistic character development with spectacle muscle. “Tell them who you are” is the encouragement shouted at the title character, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) prince of the African nation Wakanda. But it could just as well serve as the overarching rally cry of a film that
Danai Gurira as Okoye
Black Panther in action for many symbolises a big-screen affirmation of African-American identity. “Black Panther” stands for everything that’s been missing from Marvel’s — and Hollywood’s — universe. Coogler opens with exposition on Wakanda, a mighty African country that appears from the outside, as one Western sneers, as “Third World.” But hidden from sight is a shimmering, technologically advanced metropolis whose stealthy growth has been fuelled by vibranium, a cosmic mineral deposited deep in its mountains by a meteorite thousands of years earlier. Vibranium
makes up the suit that T’Challa dons as Black Panther, and its power is much guarded. An early flashback, to 1992 Oakland, California, shows one Wakandan’s failed efforts to smuggle Vibranium in order to empower struggling African-Americans. When the king of Wakanda dies, T’Challa returns home to take the throne, where he finds the country’s five tribes — each with their own distinct color and attire — are beginning to bubble with discord. W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) of the Border Tribe, in particular, would like to see the historically
isolationist Wakanda give more in foreign aid and to refugees. The issue is brought to the fore by an unknown Wakandan exile, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Michael B Jordan), an American-made soldier who aspires to take Wakanda’s power to rebalance black power around the globe. “The world’s gonna start over and this time we’re on top,” he vows in the film’s climactic moments. But his mission isn’t initially so clear, as he and a band of rogues, led by Andy Serkis’ black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue, begin causing havoc for T’Challa. Boseman’s Panther is a politician at heart who’s virtually always flanked by a trio of powerful women: Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia, part of Wakanda’s all-female special forces, the Dora Milaje; the special forces leader Okoye (Danai Gurira); and his younger sister Shuri (a terrific Letitia Wright, who supplies most of the film’s comic moments). There are the expected special effects set-pieces and a very Bond-like trip to a South Korean casino. But the conflict at the heart of “Black Panther” is between separate factions of an African diaspora in a mythological realm filled with colonisers and racists who curse the Wakandan as “savages.” It’s powerful myth-making not just for its obvious timeliness but for the film’s sincere grappling with heritage and destiny. It’s easy to lament how long it took to bring “Black Panther” to the big screen. But at least the wait was worth it. JAKE COYLE AP Film Writer
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literary lives – hrh princes margaret
The misadventures of an outrageous princess Sir Christopher Ondaatje talks about one of the most extraordinary biographies of recent times outlining the tragically privileged life and death of Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister. _________________________ PART I
s Craig Brown in his ubiquitously forthright and quixotic biography of Princess Margaret “Ma’am Darling” says: “She could never have been another whitewashed wall, there for people to see in her whatever they chose to see. To impress on people that she was Royal, Princess Margaret had to take the only other path available to her: to act imperiously, to make her presence felt, to pull well-wishers up short, to
set strangers at their unease. If I had to tell Margaret about Bertolt Brecht she would have interrupted me – ‘Too tiresome!’ – before I had got to the end of ‘Bert – ‘. Like a grand quignol version of her elder sister, she took a perverse pleasure in saying the wrong thing, ruffling feathers, disarming, disdaining, making her displeasure felt.” She had a thirst for the putdown, particularly where food and drink were concerned. It seemed as if she had been released by alcohol from the constrictions of informality. To her friends she was witty and regal. To her enemies, she was rude and demanding. In her heyday, in the 1950s, she appeared to be one of the most glamorous and desirable women in the world. However, by the time of her death in 2002, she had come to personify disappointment. It is now 16 years since Princess Margaret died, and Craig Brown’s book is a marvellous freak of literature. It is a brilliant mosaic – both funny and sad – Cinderella in reverse: “It is hope dashed, happiness mislaid, life mishandled. Nothing is as thrilling as they said it would be; no one is as amusing, as clever, as attractive or as interesting.” Yet, with bringing out the worst in people, being horrible, she uses her ghastliness with immediate sharp genius. She is a master of the swift rebuke. When she was presented to Robert Evans, the producer of “Love Story”, and his wife Ali McGraw at the film’s London premiere, she said to him: “Tony, (her husband, Lord Snowdon) saw it in New York. Hated it.” Evans smiled back, castigating her with the F word – but it was barely audible. She insulted almost every host. When Lord Carnarvon poured her a
glass of rare 1836 Madeira she described it as being “exactly like petrol”. When she was invited to dinner by the Marquis and Marchioness of Dufferin she was introduced to Twiggy, at that time one of the most famous models in England. She asked what her name was. “Lesley, Ma’am. But friends call me Twiggy.” “How unfortunate”, replied the Princess and turned her back on her. The Princess liked to one-up and ingeniously set the stage for her quips. Asking fellow guests at a dinner what their own children’s first words had been and after listening to responses like ‘Mama’ and ‘Doggy’ she would say, “My boy’s first word was ‘Chandelier’.” Introduced to the architect who had worked on the Queen Mother’s old home Glamis Castle, she said, “I hear you have completely ruined my mother’s old home”.
A great fan of The Beatles, the diminutive Princess (she was only four foot ten inches) attended the royal premiere of their first film, “A Hard Day’s Night” at the London Palladium, Leicester Square. After the screening the Beatles were presented to the Princess. John Lennon then attempted to involve his wife. “Ma’am, this is my wife, Cynthia”. But the Princess offered her only the most cursory glance. “Oh, how nice”, she said, before returning her attention to Lennon. Alan Clark, the maverick Tory MP and diarist, called Princess Margaret “fat, ugly, dwarf-like, lecherous, and revoltingly tastelessly behaved”; and Nancy Mitford used to call her “the Royal Dwarf”. Auberon Waugh, the author, said she was one of “two highest paid dwarves in Europe”. Nevertheless, several celebrities seemed to have fantasised about having sex with
Friday, February 9, 2018
the Princess. Eddie Fisher, the American crooner, said that he actually had sex with her. Peter Sellers was besotted with her and left his wife Britt Ekland. John Fowles dreamed of seducing her, imprisoning her in his cellar, and keeping her as his sex slave. Pablo Picasso said that she was the object of his wildest sexual fantasy and admitted that, “If they knew what I had done in my dreams ... they would have taken me to the Tower of London and chopped off my head!” In this brilliant satire Craig Brown adopts a 99-chapter approach and includes the historical milestones. At 9.22am on August 21, 1930 the Queen Mother, then still the Duchess of York, attended by three doctors, gave birth to a 6lbs 3oz baby girl. The news was that the King, George V, was greeted with a 41-gun salute from the Royal Horse Artillery in both Hyde Park and the Tower of London, together with the ringing of bells of St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Four thousand people gathered in the Glamis village square, and two villagers lit a six-hundred-foot-high brushwood beacon whose flames could be seen from miles round. It was quite a royal welcome! Margaret was very different from her sister. Elizabeth was organised and discreet, while Margaret was disobedient and attention seeking. Elizabeth was very motherly with her younger sister who was imaginative but with an element of sadism, even as a little girl, particularly when perpetrated on those who could not answer back. Margaret developed a talent for mimicry, sharpened on her elder sister – who was at the time afflicted with a condition which these days would probably be diagnosed as obsessive-compulsive disorder. The death of their grandfather, King George V, the abdication of their uncle Edward VIII, the accession of their father King George VI, and the start of the Second World War, made it vital to offer the young Princesses a sense of security. Marion Crawford, their governess, provided this for nearly 16 years but abruptly left in 1948, after the birth of Prince Charles. She married her long-time suitor, George Buthlay, two months before Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip on November 20, 1947. Margaret was now 17 years old and a very wilful and unruly young teenager. She was also adopting a role as a national sex symbol and fast becoming the most sought-after girl in England.
Elizabeth, Duchess of York (future Queen Mother), holding her younger daughter Princess Margaret Rose
A family portrait of the Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth) and her two daughters · Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth
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It was into this background that an unusual story developed that would grab world headlines within a few years. “Peter Townsend entered the scene in February 1944, when he took up his three-month appointment of the King’s Extra Equerry. At this time he was 29 years old, with a wife and small son. Princess Margaret was 13, and a keen Girl Guide. The King took to him immediately; some say he came to regard him as a son. Three months turned into three years, at which point Townsend was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order; after a further three years he was promoted to Deputy Master of the Household. Following the death of the King in 1952 he moved to Clarence House, as Comptroller of the newly widowed Queen Mother.” It is uncertain as to when Townsend began to be attracted to the young Princess. In his autobiography (published in 1978 when he was 60 years old) he admits that on Margaret’s 15th birthday he was already thinking of her in affectionate terms. He described a dinner party at Balmoral that year of Princess Margaret singing and playing the piano. He was clearly quite smitten: “Her repertoire was varied; she was brilliant as she swung, in her rich, supple voice, into American hits like ‘Buttons and Bows’, ‘I’m as corny as Kansas in August ...’ droll, in a very false falsetto, as she bounced between the stool and keyboard in ‘I’m looking over a four-leaf clover, which I’ve overlooked before ...’, and lovable when she lisped some lilting old ballad: ‘I gave my love a cherry, it had no stone’.” Townsend accompanied the Royal Family on their 1947 tour of South Africa. The Princess was 16 and Townsend twice her age. Margaret openly told a friend, “We rode together every morning in that wonderful country, in that marvellous weather. That’s when I really fell in love with him.” The Townsend 1941 marriage to Rosemary Pawle began to flounder. “Sex”, he said in his autobiography, “is an enemy of the head, an ally of the heart. Boys and girls, madly in love, generally do not act intelligently. The sex-trap is baited and set and the boys and girls go rushing headlong into it.” But Townsend was rather more than a boy. He was a distinguished Battle of Britain fighter pilot, the recipient of Continued on page 22
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King George VI (1895 - 1952) with his daughters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret on the grounds of the Royal Lodge in Windsor on July 8, 1946. (Photo/Lisa Sheridan)
Continued from page 21 the DSO and the DFC and bar. Never before had there been a Princess like her. She was young, sensual and stunningly beautiful – with vivid blue eyes, generous lips, proud of her 18-inch waist – unpredictable, irrepressible and coquettish – a pocket sized Venus. In the autumn of 1948 he was chosen to accompany the Princess to Amsterdam for the inauguration of Queen Juliana – a little further from home, and a little nearer the Princess. His appointment in August 1950 as Assistant Master of the Royal Household gave him a smart carpeted office in Buckingham Palace – a paradise compared to his gloomy equerry’s room. At home his conjugal life had come to a standstill. Not so his enchantment with the Princess, now approaching her 20th birthday. King George VI died on February 6, 1952. After the King’s death everyone moved up a notch: Queen Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II, and Townsend moved to be comptroller of the Queen Mother’s household. Only Margaret remained the same – eclipsed and marginalised by her sister, the new Queen, with no clear role of her own. The following December, after 11 years of marriage, nine of them in
the service of the Royal family, Peter Townsend divorced his wife Rosemary. Two months later she married John de Lázsló. But had the impetuous young Princess really managed to hide her feelings for the last five and a half years? And had the Group Captain somehow exercised a similar restraint? As Craig Brown answers: “Possibly not. Princess Margaret’s chauffeur, John Larkin, recalled a conversation with his employer when she replaced her Rolls-Royce Phantom IV with a Silver Shadow. Larkin asked her if she wanted her old number plate – PM 6450 – transferred to the new car. ‘No’. she replied. ‘It refers to an incident in my past best forgotten. I want something that doesn’t mean anything.’ Larkin worked out that PM stood for Princess Margaret, and 6450 stood for April 6, 1950. What had happened on that day? What was that incident in her past which was ‘best forgotten’? Was it, as some have calculated, the day on which the 19-year-old Princess lost her virginity to the Group Captain?” After Townsend’s divorce, the young couple pursue their romance in the open – always a discreet distance from the rest of the party. Margaret confessed her love of Townsend to her sister who invited her and the
A young Queen Elizabeth with Princess Margaret, who was only 4’10” tall. Group Captain to dinner a quatre with herself and Prince Philip. She also told the Queen Mother, who listened with characteristic understanding. The romance became public knowledge on June 2, 1953 at the Queen’s Coronation when she was seen picking fluff off the Group Captain’s lapel. Sir Alan “Tommy” Lascelles, private secretary to the new Queen, reacted with horror at news of Princess Margaret’s affair. “You must be either mad or bad”, he reprimanded Townsend before persuading Winston Churchill to exile Townsend as Air Attaché to Brussels. The Establishment hoped that the two-year separation would cool their romance. But, very much to the contrary, Margaret had asked
her sister permission to marry Townsend on October 1, 1955. Anthony Eden, the new Prime Minister, informed the Princess that if she went ahead with the marriage (which they could not stop) she would have to renounce her royal rights and her income from the Civil List. This powerful threat, impossible for the Princess to ignore, together with pressure from the Church of England (the Queen being head of the Church) which did not sanction divorce, forced the Princess to become a victim of the combined forces of Church and State. The Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher maintained that the Princess’s decision was hers alone to marry and that
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Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930 - 2002)
there was no pressure from the Church or State. But was this the truth? Thus the fairy tale romance turned into a monstrous problem. In “Time and Chance”, the Group Captain declared: “It was practically certain that the British and Dominions parliaments would agree (to the marriage) – but on condition that Princess Margaret was stripped of her royal rights and prerogatives, which included accession to the throne, her royal functions and £15,000 government stipend due on marriage – conditions which, frankly, would have ruined her. There would have been nothing left – except me, and I hardly possessed the weight to compensate for the
loss of her Privy Purse and prestige. It was too much to ask of her, too. Too much for her to give. We should be left with nothing but our devotion to face the world.” On October 31, 1955, the BBC announcer John Snagge interrupted regular broadcasting to read a brief statement from HRH the Princess Margaret. “I have been aware that, subject to my renouncing my Rights of Succession, it might have been possible for me to contract a civil marriage. “But mindful of the Church’s teaching that Christian marriage is indissoluble, and conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth, I have resolved to put these
considerations before any others. “I have reached this decision entirely alone, and in doing so I have been strengthened by the unfailing support and devotion of Group Captain Townsend.” The great fairy tale romance of the 20th century was over. NEXT WEEK: Heartbreak, marriage and a life on the sidelines for Princess Margaret • Sir Christopher Ondaatje is the author of “The Last Colonial”. He acknowledges that he has quoted liberally from “Ma’am Darling” by Craig Brown.
Princess Margaret with her first love, Group Captain Peter Townsend, during the Royal Visit to South Africa in 1947.
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Friday, February 9, 2018
Stone tools in India suggest earlier human exit from Africa
ust a week after scientists reported evidence that our species left Africa earlier than we thought, another discovery is suggesting the date might be pushed back further. Homo sapiens arose in Africa at least 300,000 years ago and left to colonise the globe. Scientists think there were several dispersals from Africa, not all equally successful. Last week’s report of a human jaw showed some members of our species had reached Israel by 177,000 to 194,000 years ago. Now comes a discovery in India of stone tools, showing a style that has been associated elsewhere with our species. They were fashioned from 385,000 years ago to 172,000 years ago, showing evidence of continuity and development over that time. That starting point is a lot earlier than scientists generally think Homo sapiens left Africa. This tool style has also been
A map of early migration patterns by Homo sapiens and our evolutionary cousins attributed to Neanderthals and possibly other species. So it’s impossible to say whether the tools were made by Homo sapiens or some evolutionary cousin, say researchers who reported the finding Wednesday in the journal Nature . “We are very cautious on this point” because no human fossils were found with the tools, several authors added in a statement. It’s not clear how much the tool development reflects arrival of populations or ideas from outside India, versus being more of a local development, said one author, Shanti Pappu of the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education in Chennai, India. The tool-making style was a change from older stone tools found at the site, featuring a shift to smaller flakes, for example. Michael Petraglia, an archaeologist who specialises in human evolution in Asia but didn’t participate in the
work, said he did not think the tools show that our species had left Africa so long ago. “I simply don’t buy it,” said Petraglia of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany. Instead, he said, he believes one of our evolutionary cousins in India developed the tool style independently of outside influence. The tools at the site northwest of Chennai in southeastern India are closely related to the older tool-making style there and seem to represent a transition, he said. The idea that they reflect knowledge brought in from elsewhere would be tough to prove in India, he said. The country has few wellstudied archaeological sites and only one fossil find from this period, from a forerunner of Homo sapiens that was associated with the earlier style of toolmaking, Petraglia said. MALCOLM RITTER AP Science Writer
Friday, February 9, 2018
The Tribune | Weekend | 25
Safety of flight Forgotten facts Paul C Aranha
n front of me, as I type this, is a plaque that says: “Aviation itself is not inherently dangerous but, to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.” This was given to me by Captain Garth Massey. Born in Canada, Garth came to Nassau in 1956 to fly for Bahamas Airways, where we worked together for seven years. When Bahamasair started in 1973, Captain Henry Pyfrom was the chief pilot and Garth, with some 30,000 hours of flying, was in charge of training. Later, Garth and I used our combined airline experience to build Trans Island Airways Ltd into the colony’s leading air-taxi/charter airline, with a fleet of six twin-engine aircraft – two Britten-Norman Islanders and four Piper Aztecs. As is normal in the air-taxi business, for the average TIA pilot it was his/ her first flying job and we had to teach them professional flying skills, which
are far more demanding than anything they had experienced before. We knew that, almost without exception, each one would eventually leave us to fly for Bahamasair. Captain Godfrey Culmer was the exception to that rule. ‘Gully’ joined TIA in 1974 and was still with us when the hackers took over the airways, ultimately forcing TIA out of business in 1992. Losing business to hackers was the only reason TIA was put into liquidation. Having been airline pilots, Massey and I knew how airline pilots fly and we transformed TIA’s way of doing things to meet those same standards. As a result, Bahamasair had great success in checking out pilots who came to them from TIA. TIA was the only air-taxi operator with its own hangar, where Sherman “SJ” Johnson, a licenced A & P mechanic, led our maintenance team of A & P mechanics. Apprentices, who helped the mechanics, were trained to pass the FAA exam for the A & P licence. Posted on a big board, in the hangar, were details of each of our six aircraft. It showed exactly when each plane was due for anything that had to be performed on a scheduled basis – annual inspection, 100-hour inspection, engine change, life-raft inspection, life-jacket-inspection, et cetera. Similar
This weekend in world history
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Prince Philip and Godfrey “Gully” Culmer in 1985 records were kept on each pilot – passport, licences and ratings, hours flown, when medical exams were due, and other information. Since TIA’s planes were US-registered, and operated under lease, SJ, Garth and I standardised maintenance of our planes, and training of our pilots, to meet FAA Part 135 standard. TIA always earned praise from the FAA inspectors, who made routine checks on US-registered aircraft in Nassau. Twice a year we brought in an experienced airman examiner from Florida, who spent days giving each pilot an oral exam and a thorough flight test,
including instrument flying. When the FAA required all foreign operators of US-registered aircraft to have FAA Part 129 certification, TIA was the first to be certified. The TIA team – our receptionists, our porters, our fuel salesmen, our storekeepers, our engineering staff and our pilots – was an exemplary group of people, who came to work on time, were welcoming to customers and never said “that’s not my job”. I miss them all. • For questions and comments, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
February 9 • 1846 – Automotive industry pioneer Wilhelm Maybach, who founded the luxury car brand bearing his name, is born on February 9, 1846, in Heilbronn, Germany. • 1950 – During a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, Senator Joseph McCarthy (Republican-Wisconsin) claims that he has a list with the names of over 200 members of the Department of State that are “known communists”. February 10 • 1840 – British Queen Victoria (20) marries her cousin Albert (20) of Saxe-Coburg and
Gotha, later the Prince Consort at St James’ Palace. • 1957 - Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the best-selling “Little House” series of children’s novels based on her childhood on the American frontier, dies at age 90 in Mansfield, Missouri. February 11 • 1858 – 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous, a French miller’s daughter, claims to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes in southern France. • 1990 – Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years.
Yesterday’s solution: doors (across) Visor (down)
26 | The Tribune | Weekend
Best described as a number crossword, the task in Kakuro is to fill all of the empty squares, using numbers 1 to 9, so the sum of each horizontal block equals the number to its left, and the sum of each vertical block equals the number on its top. No number may be used in the same block more than once. The difficulty level of the Conceptis Kakuro increases from Monday to Sunday.
CRYPTIC PUZZLE Across 1 Score confused with a gross (6) 4 Maybe it’s been read in Scotland? (8) 9 Give an account of prices to the general public (6) 10 More than one illness is mental perhaps (8) 12 Hollow formed in some majolica vessels (4) 13 A book-end (5) 14 Not new to exploitation (4) 17 Fixing this bangle is complicated (12) 20 Rough road torments one who marches, perhaps (12) 23 Backward island not lacking in skill (4) 24 Shoot nothing before the rise, perhaps (5) 25 Prepare to put out with the turn of the tide (4) 28 Scornful reaction inside or out (8) 29 Angelic turn of phrase (6) 30 Am as keen to gain a similar title (8) 31 Companies take on doctors in a universal system (6)
Yesterday’s Easy Solution
Down 1 Many wise people show Across: 1 Debut, 4 Chaotic, such craft (8) 8 Via, 9 Eagle-eyed, 10 Dolphin, 2 It turns up before five in a 11 Other, 13 Deadly, 15 Repair, 18 Risky, 19 Exposed, city business (8) 21 Footloose, 23 Ado, 3 Port is left in it, in more 24 Relayed, 25 Dated. senses than one (4) Down: 1 Divided, 2 Be all ears, 5 Their bliss is shattered in 3 Teeth, 4 Cogent, 5 Anemone, the United Kingdom (7,5) 6 Try, 7 Cider, 12 Head start, 6 It appeals to a lively child 14 Loyalty, 16 Redwood, or a rising politician (4) 17 Devoid, 18 Refer, 20 Plead, 7 Resent having to change a 22 Owl. name (6) 8 The rugby game’s finished, lacking players (2,4) 11 It’s bound to include all Yesterday’s Cryptic Solution those who stay at an hotel (8,4) Across: 1 Let-up, 4 Anaemic, 15 Where all men are 8 Gas, 9 Carpentry, 10 Classes, brothers? (5) 11 Trace, 13 Look up, 15 Adapts, 16 Entangle wool and express 18 Entry, 19 Torrent, 21 Assistant, displeasure (5) 23 Eel, 24 Opposed, 25 Order. 18 Its aim is to produce Down: 1 Logical, 2 Toss about, winners of course (4,4) 3 Paces, 4 Arrest, 5 Alerted, 6 Mat, 7 Clyde, 12 Apprehend, 19 Les Miserables - or The 14 Ulysses, 16 Settler, 17 Strand, Turn of the Screw (8) 18 Erato, 20 Ratio, 22 Sap. 21 A girl to help people out (6) 22 It rouses after the manner of strong spirit (6) 26 They carry poison as an afterthought (4) 27 Some froze rock-hard at such temperature (4) Down Across 1 Give 1 Intention (6) account of (8) 4 West 6 7 8 2 Long-term Indian plan (8) island (8) 3 Band of 9 To contract (6) criminals (4) 10 Ambitious (8) 5 By hearsay (2,6,4) 12 To estimate (4) 6 Temptation (4) 13 Unforeseen 14 7 Fastidious (6) difficulty (5) 8 Cloyingly 14 Rouse to 16 sweet (6) activity (4) 11 Working 17 With a bad alone (6-6) grace (12) 18 19 15 Traitor (5) 20 Succeed (4,3,5) 16 Mournful 23 Frustrate (4) poem (5) 24 A region’s 18 Playful animal repartee (8) life (5) 25 19 Carefully 25 Feel the absence considered (8) of (4) 27 21 Offensive (6) 28 Set aside (8) 22 Regard highly (6) 29 Oriental market (6) 26 Seize suddenly (4) 30 Person of importance (8) 27 Hypocritical piety (4) 31 Be present at (6)
Sudoku is a number-placing puzzle based on a 9x9 grid with several given numbers. The object is to place the numbers 1 to 9 in the empty squares so the each row, each column and each 3x3 box contains the same number only once. The difficulty level of the Conceptis Sudoku increases from Monday to Sunday
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*Calls cost 80p per minute 21 plus your telephone company’s network access charge.
PLay More Cross
Friday, February 9, 2018
The Tribune | Weekend | 27
anuary 2018 marked 10 years of my being president of the Bahamas Humane Society. I remember the day well. I received a phone call whilst I was in Daytona Beach with my eldest son when he enrolled into Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. My predecessor, long-time president Mrs Betty Kenning was stepping down due to ill health and would I please take her place/ It was not a call that I had expected, nor was I remotely prepared for the proposal. As anybody might do, I asked for a day or two to think about it. My husband could tell that I was torn, wanting to accept the challenge, though realising that it would be time-consuming and possibly heart-breaking. I had served on the board back in the early 1980s and had brought to BHS Ball back into existence, some 25 years prior to this call. My husband and two son urged me to “just do it” if I felt that I could contribute positively. That all feels like a very long time ago, however, the years have really flown by. My parents moved to the Bahamas in the late 1940s and developed an island in the Berry Islands called Bird Cay. My father, who had been a pilot during World War II, had promised himself that if he survived the war he would build his own personal paradise in the Bahamas. My grandmother had a home east of St Anne’s Church. Most of my childhood was spent on the island, running barefoot and exploring every rock, pool and blade of seagrass. I loved the island and my potcake, named Friendly, and I roamed at will when I wasn’t being home-schooled. At the age of 11 things changed considerably when the decision was made to send me to an all girls boarding school in Lausanne, Switzerland. Even though my family had a summer home near Lausanne I had never learned to speak French. You can imagine my amazement when I discovered every class was in French. Talk about total immersion! I studied in Switzerland and Italy for many years, subjects spanning architecture to history of art, photography and drama. It was thanks to all this time in Europe that I was able to learn
Sanguine Sans Souci By The Bahamas Humane Society
PET OF THE WEEK
ans Souci was surrendered to the Bahamas Humane Society as a found dog. He’d love to find his original home, but he’s hopeful that someone will give him a loving one to replace it. The BHS thinks he’s about six, possibly seven years old. Sans has an old leg injury that’s healing but will always be a bit weak. He’s very mellow and gets along well with other dogs. He’d most likely prefer to be a yard dog, but anything’s possible! If you’d like to check Sans Souci out, please come in to the BHS to meet him or call 325-6742 for more information. Adoption hours are 11am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm on Saturday. Sands Souci looks forward to meeting you!
Animal matters Kim Aranha
BHS President Kim Aranha
two languages, in addition to English, fluently. Naturally all during this period I returned to the Bahamas frequently for the holidays and the entire summer was spent on Bird Cay. I lived in Rome for six years, returning home for Christmas, and in January 1980 when flying on Trans Island Airways, I met my soulmate and husband, Paul Aranha. I returned home soon after we met and was happy to be back in my home country once more though I still love many aspects of Europe dearly and cherish visits to Italy. In 1980, I decided that I needed to do something worthy whilst Paul flew planes and ran his company, and this was when I contacted the Bahamas Humane Society. I immediately volunteered and ran the reception in the afternoons for several years. The shelter was a very different place to what it is today, a much smaller building with one vet only, Dr Barrie Watson, one of the most delightful, compassionate and gregarious people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. It was during this period that I persuaded Mrs Kenning to allow me to hold a BHS Ball at the Lyford Cay Club. We called it “An Evening of Elegance” and it was a resounding success. My time as a member of the BHS board ended when I had my first child as I honestly felt that I needed to dedicate too much time to the shelter. Paul Jr was followed by Scott and my only animal involvement was all the different potcakes and other dogs that made up our household. We normally never had less that four dogs around the house. When I was invited onto the board in 2006 I was happy to be involved with animals once again. The shelter had grown and was twice the size with many more employees, and there were two vets! Now as I enter my 11th year, we are bigger still, with three full-time vets, 16 staff, and many animals as we are proudly a no kill shelter. I am proud of what we have achieved together. I believe that my years of growing up so close to nature made me love and appreciate animals all the more. My years away helped me to understand what can be achieved... possibilities are limitless. The BHS continues to grow under the vigilant leadership of the exceptional board I have been lucky enough to put together and the dedicated staff led by long-time employee Percy Grant.
28 | The Tribune | Weekend
Friday, February 9, 2018
Unusual fertilisers Instead completely relying on store-bought products to help your plants grow, why no reach for coffee grounds or even powdered milk, says Jack Hardy.
lant fertilizers are conveniently available from your nursery in granular, soluble and time-release capsule form. When you buy commercial fertilizer you have all the information of the contents available and can buy specific fertilizers for certain plant needs, such as palm or citrus. Another method of providing plant food is to make a compost pile using vegetable matter and a source of carbon, such as wood chips. The advantage of a compost pile is the presence over time of beneficial bacteria and other microscopic life forms that digest the contents and make available not only the necessary elements but the growing medium of well-conditioned soil. These two mainstream sources of fertilizer can be augmented by a variety of common waste products either directly or as additions to a compost pile. Let’s start off in the kitchen. How many times do we boil vegetables, eggs
and pasta then throw the water down the sink? Were we to pour the cooking water into a pail and allow it to cool we would have a fortified liquid that plants – particularly potted plants – appreciate. Now let us move from the kitchen to the living room. What a lovely fish tank. Where do you put the dirty aquarium water when you clean the tank regularly? If it’s not into the garden then you are ignoring a wonderful source of plant food. The coffee pot has just beeped in the kitchen so it is time for a morning brew. Always save your coffee grounds because they make a wonderful soil amendment and have the benefit of being slightly acidic. They can be added directly around plants to provide an NPK of 2.28-0.06-0.6 which may not seem like much compared to 6-6-6 but it is still plant food. Because of its slight acidity coffee grounds can be combined with potting mix in containers to grow pineapples and strawberries that like a degree of acidity. The texture of coffee grounds makes it a great addition to either heavy or sandy soils that need body to amend them. A layer of coffee grounds in a flower bed provides not only nutrients
Coffee grounds for your garden
but a dark and rich background to highlight the bright colours of your flowers. Now let’s go out to the barbecue. Have you noticed how expensive charcoal briquettes have become? On one occasion a few years ago I did the math and figured the fuel cost twice as much as the meat I barbecued. That does not make sense. I use a small gas grill for impromptu grills but otherwise take my time to build a wood fire for large barbecuing occasions. The pruned branches from fruit trees such as seagrape and guava (NOT mango!) make excellent smoking and cooking fuels. I visit salinas now and then and fill a truck bed with buttonwood which gives excellent high heat and lasts a long time. I still use a few charcoal briquettes to start a wood fire. Wood ash is high in nutrients but is also very high in alkalinity. We have alkaline soil and when we add an alkaline fertilizer source the elements will be bound up and not released to plants. One way to get around this is to mix one part of wood ash to five parts of coffee grounds and then apply to the soil, particularly around banana plants.
A couple of years ago I read a fascinating BBC book about the restoration of a Victorian produce
garden that provided vegetables, herbs
and fruits for the manor and its many occupants. In those days you could not go to a nursery and buy fertilizer, you had to find your own. Animal manures were the main source of nutrients, of course, but were well aged before use. I was particularly fascinated by the assertion that human urine was very close to being the perfect fertilizer. We who have pets know very well that cat urine in particular is devastatingly strong and kills plants on contact. Human urine from healthy people is much milder and can be used without dilution. The main source was chamber pots that were used at night then sent to the gardeners by the maids. In the days when most Bahamian residences had out houses there was a similar arrangement (without maids). One definition of a gentleman is ‘a man who leaves the shower to take a pee’. All very well, but to leave a secluded garden to go to the bathroom is a distinct waste of plant nourishment and a couple of gallons of precious water. Human urine is high in nitrogen and is acidic, both beneficial to a Bahamian garden. I do not want to appear sexist by referring in particular to men but it is a plain fact that they are well equipped to take the matter in hand, so to speak. Powdered milk is not only a plant food but – when mixed with water and sprayed – deters fungus and mildew forming on the leaves of cucumbers, squashes and pumpkins. Weevils in the corn meal or grits? Straight to the compost pile. Use lots of eggs? Put the shells in a container and cover with water. After a few days you can pour the water around plants to provide usable calcium. Mix a tablespoon of molasses with a gallon of water and pour that on your compost pile to promote healthy bacterial growth. Like to catch and clean your own fish? Bury the guts and scales near to a fruit tree. Work in a beauty salon? Sweep the floor and bag the hair to add to your compost pile. A soggy box of matches? Throw the matches into your compost to provide carbon and phosphorus. Every little bit helps. • For questions and comments e-mail email@example.com.