August often involves holidays and with it, time to reflect on the year so far. It can also be a time to recharge self and replenish energies for upcoming plans.
This year my August included travel, family, conference, publicity and rest.
Firstly I attended the 2nd diaspora conference in Grenada as part of the London committee. With representatives from Toronto, Washington, New York, Germany and several Caribbean countries it was a brilliant experience. Part of me was also excited to be in the room with so many ambassadors who returned to the island to chair the event and support their diaspora groups. The Prime Minister and 3 Governor Generals (2 are retired) were also present. Lots of talk about islanders and expats working collaboratively, the keywords being “nation building”. Next year’s conference is entitled “Homecoming” and promises to be bigger and better.
I was also on the island launching and promoting my new book. This filled me with excitement and uncertainty. Only the venue for the launch had been booked prior to arriving on the island. Through a lovely friend I was able to secure a couple of interviews, see my time on Spice Morning with Ray Roberts here . Live media is much easier to watch than to do, like real life the conversation can go off in any direction! Trying to launch a book during the carnival season may not be the greatest idea – partying and looking good is priority. There was some success and I have left books in several outlets on Grenada
Looking back at August (part II)
Returning to England felt like coming home for a rest. It had been 2 action packed weeks with meeting lots of new people. Time with family and friends was special and regular visits help to keep these relationships real.
Community is still a real experience in Grenada and you experience it when out and about. Whilst I was there England was experiencing riots and lots of reflection on the causation and meaning of such behaviour. Fortunately none of my relatives have been involved in any way. It will take a while for insightful analysis but it seems to have led to a re-engagement with whole communities and a greater desire for and expectation of participation. I am hopeful that we would have better relationships with each other following this. Carnival in Grenada was fun, colourful and noisy. It comes from traditional ancestral expressions going back to slavery and beyond. Like the local culture it includes African, European and Indian influences. It’s about celebrating identity, freedom and pleasure.
It’s been great to experience Grenada and Notting Hill carnival this month (and Reading Carnival earlier this year). Pics on Facebook page here. I have never played in a costume band and maybe that is something I should experience sometime. For the moment I participate by appreciating the creativity and expressing this through photographing and sharing.
So that was my August, how was yours?