30 Jun 2009

Down memory lane

Last night, I was thinking a little about growing up in south Trinidad. For some reason, visions of the cane ash floating in the air, coming down in gentle swirls, came to my mind. This happened every time the farmers burnt their cane fields for cutting the next day.

When the ash was floating in the wind, we children called it ‘lambĂ©’ and it was fun to run around and try to break up the long bits before they hit the ground.

Of course, this left our hands, clothing and everywhere the ash touched blackened.  Fun as it was, our parents were not always happy, to say the least.

Washing put out on lines also became blackened especially if they were wet or damp. There was usually a scurry by housewives and kids to get all inside before the ash came down. This was long before washing machines were popular, so rewashing by hand was time consuming and hard labour no one wanted to repeat.

I also remembered the times my dad, before he died, would bring out the ice cream pail, the old hand-turning kind, and make ice cream and invite all the kids for a treat. Or snow-cone.

Times have changed. Punks will never experience the fun of breaking up ‘lambĂ©’ or making her own snow-cone. Ice cream we can make, but it is so much easier to go to the shop around the corner and buy a couple of litres for a few quid.