Bassy - Love Vine
April 23, 2010
One and ah half step quadrille

My son-in-law went to Grenada and brought back samples of dat island’s spices and the various bi-products. Ah bar ah chocklit, nicely packaged wid ah label more attractive dan any foh Cadbury, $15. 00. Ah tube ah Nutmeg skin lotion; something made from Say-nah-man and some ole-time chocklit balls foh making cocoa-tea. He had me stumped because when all Windward Island Banana Farmers were warned dat Bananas getting shakey, time to Diversify, Grenada was de first to get out ah Bananas and concentrate on dey traditional crops, Cocoa and Nutmeg, crops dah did mek de island de famous “Spice Isle”.{{more}} Not deterred or daunted by de Hurry-cane dah devastated Grenada, knock down all dey Cocoa and Spice trees ah few short years, dey are back to way dey were and even fur-dah, dey are now de second largest producer ah Nutmeg spice in de world. So why did my son-in-law stump me? Well, our add-vice-sirs told us to get out ah Agriculture, Tour-is-him is de way forward. We could ah have we tour-is-him and still dey right dey like Grenada wid we Cassava, we Our-root and Bref-fruit! Do yuh know when Columbus passed dis way, ah believe he came but not in 1498; whenever, he did meet we wid Our-root and cassava and dey Bi-products starch and Farine. De Arrawacks or Caribs didn’t have electrically motored mills to grind de Cassava roots or copper pots to bake de Farine, but dey dried it in de sun and fed dey family. Ah beginning to feel dat de Farine back den, 600 years ago, was just as refined and nutricious as dah way we getting today. But what ah trying to say foh de umpteenth time, is dat all we been fed is M,T, boasts and promises, dat we have ah top ah de line Cassava factory, up to now, dey’s no top ah de line Farine product in de shops. And while de Guv-ah-mint playing games wid d’s projects like Fear-Owe or was it Near-Owe playing wid fire on his fiddle, is only de lickle, cottage-style Farine makers dat keeping de industry half alive, de only problem is when de lickle drop hit de shelf, is $12. 00 ah pound, it twice as expensive as Oats and Cream of Wheat, and four times as expensive as Corn meal.

As to de Our-root factory from which so much Bye-products was promised. When last you see Our-root in ah shop? It really tek ah Bye till de next round. De factory was suppose to use Solar energy foh de drying stage, sorry nah Solar, ah think dey meant Sue-law. Again another Guv-ah-mint mis-managed project. And dat accounts foh three-quarter ah de problem here in SVG, pull-it-tek-all enter-fear-ants. As long as Guv-ah-mint must dip dey hands in everything, who supporter to hire, who non-supporter to fire, Lie-Za say, dey dey up Owia playing Time-Keeper de-cruiting and re-cruiting Janitors. Dah is why dis country will continue to go forward like when yuh dance de Quadrille, de “one and ah half step Shattu” Dance; ah half step forward and one step backward!

Is ah shame though, my mother once told me dat she couldn’t afford to powder me skin wid Johnson’s Baby Powder, thanks to Our-root, dat did de trick. Yuh would think dat sixty plus years after my powdering up days, dat yuh would ah see ah Vincy Our-root Baby Powder in de Stores or ah Our-root Baby feed in de Supermarkets. You will wait long foh dat!


Talking bout Bref-fruit, ah welcome Minister Baptiste’s initiative wid her Book ah Bref-fruit Recipes. When ah see all de buy-products made from Bref-fruit on display, me mouth run water, Bref-fruit Flour, Bref-fruit punch-ah-cream, dey even had Bref-fruit La Zania! Ah thought ah would ah see ah Bref-fruit dance. Dat book I-dare is commendable, confirms what de people say bout Rainy, “if she runs as leader, dey will vote ULP”! My next question though, is when will we see ah nicely packaged pound ah Bref-fruit Flour or ah pack ah Bref-fruit La Zania shells in de Supermarkets? Not when Zerah Sutherland preached Cain to get finance foh his Bref-fruit Flour project, and dey had him doing “de Bref-fruit Dance” till all dat money foh die-fuss-if-he-care-shun go back to de donors. Ask farmer, Freddy Ollivierre bout his pre-dick-ha-mint, he still waiting foh finance foh his project. Trust me, N.V. and Grudge, Bref-fruit Men-tell-at-tea is way killing we!


When Lie-Za saw de Carnival Queen Contestants in de papers last week, she say she could find ah contestant who could win every one ah dem way going in foh Miss SVG. So she walks up to dis proud and lovely Carib-Vincentian Lady, shopping by Greaves whom she figure could do de job. She introduces herself and den came straight to de point. She ask de lady if she had any interest in de Miss SVG. To her pleasure, de lady said yes, but she Lie-Za got stumped too, like I did wid my son-in-law; when de lady revealed dat she was Carnival Queen back in de nineteen fifties. She is now re-tyred, mother of six and ah grand-mother. Straight away ah told Lie-Za ah know dat lady, she was Queen in truth, is not ah soul else but Daphnee Frederick! Ah letting Lie-Za go on wid her crazy-ness, Daphnee’s husband and daughter are Lawyers. Nobody going Sue-law me. And wid dat, is gone ah gone again!

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.