Monday, May 31, 2010

What to do with that limp, soggy banana

When bananas get limp, with black spots and have an overripe taste, what can you do with them other than throw them away, compost them, give them to birds or make banana bread?

Today I experimented with what turned out to be an elegantly spicy dessert concoction. It warranted seconds, but I had made just enough for one serving.

I'm calling it Banamangocococardaberry.

One chilled Julie mango, peeled and sliced
One soft banana with black spots (remove skin)
2 tablespoons of grated dry coconut meat
Three cardamom pods (burst them open to get the black seeds within)

1. Blend the Julie mango, banana and coconut in a small food processor or blender until they become one unified pulp
2. Put the resulting mixture into the bowl from which you will eat
3. Sprinkle the cardamom seeds and cranberries

You can either mix the seeds and berries into the pulp or leave them as a design on top.

Serves one.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My first time mixing and shoveling concrete

I saw many hearts yesterday on my way to (and at) the Women's Build. Didn't take shots of all. One was a splotch of paint on the sidewalk as I waited for the Habitat van at Morvant junction.
Yesterday, along with various other women, most of whom I was meeting for the first time, I took part in Habitat for Humanity's Women Build. Our mission was to lay the foundation for the house being built for Lorna and her family.

Our day consisted largely of mixing concrete, shoveling it into buckets and forming a bucket brigade to pass the concrete along to those women who were laying the foundation. After this experience I (we) have utmost respect for construction workers. Already, I am seeing large houses and buildings with different eyes - knowing the amount of hard work that went into them.

Have you ever tried to lift a bag of concrete? Even lifting one with Katie, one of the other women, I was struggling under the weight. Yet those men hoist concrete bags with such ease onto their shoulders.

Perhaps some of you have already mixed large batches of concrete. Even that is not easy, but it's interesting, we had fun and it was great exercise. We commented on the fact that we were lucky to have an overcast day and couldn't imagine how construction workers toil all day in the blazing sun. All the more respect for them.

As one of the women said, it's good to walk in someone else's shoes every now and then. Indeed, it expands our view of life and the world we live in.

In all, the experience was great. I will definitely go back. It's also interesting to see who the other women are and to meet them. Some women were from AFETT, two were from California (now living here with their families), two were friends of mine, two were young girls with their mother (they entertained us by singing as we passed buckets of concrete along), one was from YWCA and the rest were from Habitat.

If you would like to volunteer, please call Karlene at 782-4663. Bring some friends, have a different kind of fun, learn something and help to build a new home for a family in need of it.

This frothy heart formed a while after water was poured into the 'bowl' formed by the sand and concrete (before mixing).

Friday, May 28, 2010

Video of our new Prime Minister's swearing in ceremony

Photo courtesy Facebook

The above photo shows the Honourable Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar touring flood-stricken areas, a mere day or two into her new role as Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago. As we would say in T & T: "Now dat is Prime Minister!"

Click here to see the video of our Prime Minister's swearing in ceremony

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I accidentally deleted my old Twitter account

Image Source

The other day, while trying to set up a Twitter account for Daisy Chain, I accidentally deleted my Nowiswowtoo Twitter account. Initially I wasn't going to bother to set it back up, but after a few days, I did. As with everything, it has its uses.

I was unable to reuse my old account name, so the name of my new Twitter account is

I'm sorry if you were "following" me or if I was "following" you and you no longer see me. I've found some people, but not all. (I'm not too keen on that word "following", but I guess that's the lingo).

If you look in the side bar, you will also see that I've set up a Twitter account for Daisy Chain I intend to update it often as I work on the second edition for print.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reading ANDREA from Daisy Chain (video)

Carolyn Harnanan reads ANDREA from the stream-of-consciousness novel DAISY CHAIN by Elspeth Duncan

Visit the Daisy Chain blog:

To purchase and download the Daisy Chain e-book, click here
The e-book is the original stream of consciousness text.
Coming soon: the edited print version. To be kept up to date on when it will be available, please subscribe to Now Is Wow Too by adding your email address to the subscription form in the right hand side bar.

Thank You.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The Honourable Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, our first female Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago

Thank You to the Divine and to all of us who voted widely and wisely. Congratulations to our new Government, the People's Partnership and to our new Prime Minister, The Honourable Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

To the Honourable Mr. Winston Dookeran, we also congratulate you and welcome you to the Tunapuna constituency as our new representative. We are so glad you won and are proud to have you working with us.

This has been a great victory. As election results moved in, it was amazing to see the colour yellow sweep across the map of T & T, replacing the red which stands for the old order of governing.

Now, let us all be patient and understanding as the new order takes over. There's a lot of work to be done and, as our new Prime Minister rightfully keeps saying, we have to do it together.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The clock ticks

In less than 45 minutes the voting day will come to an end.
We've done our part.

(Click here to read the front page Jasper is sleeping on)

Vote Them In

For those who want the newness of positive transformation, please:

1. When you are in the voting booth today, take your time, look properly at your ballot paper and make sure you are stamping your X for either the UNC, COP or TOP symbol.

2. Aim to vote before midday or as early as possible, as there is a very high voter turn out this year and poll clerks in some areas are reported to be moving very slowly.

3. Ensure that the poll clerks are signing and initialing in PEN and not pencil. I read a report that a poll clerk was signing in pencil. Everything must be done in ink, whether pen, X stamp or finger.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

As Above, so Below (snippet's of Kamla's speech @ rally)

Snippets of Kamla's speech at the People's Partnership Rally, Aranguez Savannah, 22-05-10

I recorded some of Kamla's speech yesterday with the video function of my little digital camera. This short Youtube clip features snippets of it. Over 80,000 people are estimated to have been present at Aranguez Savannah. Despite the large volume of people, it was such a peaceful event. No pushing, no shoving, no violence. Respect and unity were not just "words". Everyone who wanted to pass through the space where my friends and I were standing would politely say: "Excuse me, please."

Observe the large heart-shaped cloud toward the end. Says it all.


The below prayer was written by a member of the public (Aanya Jags) on KPB's Facebook wall. The writer has asked for it to be shared:

Heavenly, loving and merciful God, I come to u to give u thanks, thanks for life, your guidence and protection, and for all your small mercies. Lord you alone know the challenges that we the citizens of Tnt face on a daily basis, Lord i ask you as our nation will undergo a critical election tomorrow, i ask You dear Lord to please let us be granted freedom, from dictatorship of our present leader and let Ms. Kamla, all leaders and candidates of the People's Partnership emerge victorious, Lord you alone knw wat is best for us, You have heard our cries and pleas for help. Lord i beg that Ms. Kamla, all leaders and candidates of the people's partnership be granted favour in your eyes dear Lord.. and may proceedings on election day be done with your divine intervention, let it be a calm and violent free day. Remove all negative and evil forces that may surround us each and everyday.. Bless our citizens and leaders, candidates, families and friends and prime minister in waiting with good health, guidence and protection and, strength, peace and love,and prosperity And lord please guide everyone so that they make the right choice.. In your precious name i ask these mercies.... Om shanti, shanti, shanti/Amen

Saturday, May 22, 2010

VOTE on 24 May 2010 and make His ... I mean HERstory

The t-shirt I designed and made with fabric crayons

For someone who's not into politics, I sure have been swept into the flow of things. Here I am blogging about it, designing t-shirts and attending political rallies (three so far - my first ever, apart from a UNC one I went to at the last election as part of an anti-smelter crew). I've noted that even small children are getting into it this year - I think largely because of the People's Partnership led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

This morning I woke up with a design and message in mind (see above). I needed to get a yellow, plain, round-neck tee and make it in time to wear to the final People's Partnership rally this afternoon (see here for rationale behind colour if you are not from TT and don't know ).

I went walking through Tunapuna in search of the t-shirt. Many of the mannequins on the sidewalks were wearing yellow, but their tops were frilly and fussy. Not my style, plus not simple enough for application of the intended design.

I went into Francis Fashions and asked for a plain, round-neck t-shirt.

"All de yellow sell out," the shop attendant said matter-of-factly. "It only have de polo neck left."

A few stores down, I saw a child-size yellow t-shirt on a sidewalk mannequin. I went in to the store to ask if they had my size. The shop attendant said: "Yellow sell out, yes. It only have Extra Extra Large and dat go be too big for you."

The other shop attendant said: "She small. Give she de chirren XX size."

A female customer standing next to me said: "Me and she is same size. I go take de chirren XX too. I go take anyting at dis point!"

I got my children's XX size and took it to the cashier, where another woman was excitedly laying out a set of yellow t-shirts on the counter, making sure they were the sizes she wanted.

"I like dis yellow!" she exclaimed to the cashier.

"Yes. Is a nice yellow," the cashier agreed.

As I walked back home, people who passed me also wearing yellow, smiled and nodded (I was wearing one of my yellow Canada t-shirts). It felt as though the colour yellow was a password, a connecting factor, wordlessly uniting those of us who were wearing it.

I guess people wearing red feel the same way.


Next week I look forward to hearing that The Honourable Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar is our new (and first female) Prime Minister.

Extract from Kamla's speech in Tobago: "Tonight, I want to remind you that to make a difference you have to vote. And to those of you who have not yet decided, all I ask is that when you mark the X, vote your hopes, not your fears and think of your children and grandchildren. They can’t vote yet but they will inherit this country one day and it’s up to us what they inherit."

(The below info was received via an email this morning. If you are eligible to vote, please note).

ELECTION DAY: Monday 24 May, 2010

Please remember to:

o Secure your ID card and keep it with you.

o If you are awaiting your ID card walk with your (pink slip) receipt.

o Take your EBC polling card to vote (would be received in the mail).

o Ensure you have transport to take you to the polling station.

o Vote EARLY before 12:00 noon if possible.

o Check the Weather Report for Election Day and walk with an umbrella should
it rain.

o DO NOT get impatient or frustrated with the lines at the polling station.

o DO NOT leave the polling station unless you vote.

o Once your name is on the voter’s list insist you vote even if you don’t
have your ID card.

o Create a list of the telephone numbers of family and friends you will be in
touch with to ensure they go out to vote before and on Elections Day.

o Send this email to as many persons as possible.

o Every VOTE counts!


The voice of Kamla Persad-Bissessar (leader of the People's Parternship and Prime Ministerial hopeful) with the music of local band Orange Sky

Friday, May 21, 2010

This is not a paid political announcement

History in the making.
As of next week: Our New (and first female) Prime Minister

Please click here for
Voting guide

1) If you have not received your poll card and are registered to vote you still can vote; please take a government issued ID with you to the polls.

2) The People's Partnership ballots have ONE of the following symbols on the ballot -- UNC or COP or TOP. You are voting the People's Partnership when you place your X next to UNC or COP or TOP.

3) By law, you are allowed to ask for two more ballots if you make a mistake. Share this information with friends, please.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Second clip from Daisy Chain launch

In this, the second of video clip from the launch of Daisy Chain, I say a few words before we go into the readings.

I have set up a Youtube account for Daisy Chain:

Check it out and please subscribe if you would like to get updates on future video uploads.

Future uploads will include:
(i) the rest of the clips from the reading at NALIS on 7 May 2010
(ii) Any short films/video sequences I create based on extracts
(iii) All video content related to Daisy Chain

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Video excerpt from Launch of Daisy Chain

Rhoda Bharath gives the opening speech at the launch of DAISY CHAIN (stream of consciousness novel by Elspeth Duncan); Friday May 7th, 2010 @ NALIS, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

In a little over an hour at the launch, seven women, including the author, read seven extracts from the novel. Over the next fortnight, each woman's reading will be featured on this blog in short video posts.

Stay tuned.

To purchase Daisy Chain, the e-version, see the right hand side bar of this blog for the link.

Daisy Chain will also be available in hard copy format in the not too distant future.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Please play your part: project & protect

Yesterday four friends and I gathered to do a special meditation for Trinidad & Tobago. At this volatile political time, with merely a week until what promises to be a historic election (May 24, 2010), it serves us well to project as much Love and Light as possible, in whatever way(s) we are each moved to do so.

We chose to use two Kundalini Yoga mantras (see below) which we chanted at eleven and thirty-one minutes respectively.

Translation: I bow to (or call on) the primal wisdom. I bow to (or call on) the wisdom through the ages. I bow to (or call on) the true wisdom. I bow to (or call on) the great transparent wisdom within. It is chanted for protection. It surrounds the magnetic field with protective light.

Powerful meditation for healing self and others.
We projected this light to ourselves and others, to the nation, to the leaders (both outgoing and incoming), to the electorate and all other citizens of TT.

Please play your part. Project Peace wherever you go, envision Light surrounding us as we move forward.

Here's to the highest outcome possible.

Sat Nam

Friday, May 14, 2010

Please deVOTE

One of the special ballot papers from deVOTE (2002)
For the 2002 elections I didn't vote. Instead, I held my own public elections. The interactive piece I created (deVOTE) was a symbolic voting booth (made from the window of an old house) complete with Universal candidates, special ballot papers, a large ballot box, voting ink and daily newspapers (in which members of the public wrote their thoughts, comments and feelings after deVOTING:

The Guardian Angel (
The Express Yourself (
The New Day (

I moved this art installation to a few different areas of the country. Wherever it went, people deVOTED:
Central Bank Auditorium (in the concourse)
Queen's Park Savannah (on stage at the Peace Rally a small committee and I had organised)
Mt. St. Benedict

When it was all over, I counted up the ballots. LOVE won (landslide victory) and HOPE came second.

The premise of the deVOTE elections and the candidates is summed up in the first two paragraphs of this press release that was issued at the time:

Trinidad Guardian, Sunday 22 September, 2002


Wherever you go, you will always be a citizen of Your Self. Are you the kind of place you want to live in? Are you the kind of person you want to vote for? As a Citizen of Your Self, artist Elspeth Duncan is inviting the public to come and deVOTE in the deVOTE Booth, a three-dimensional interactive art piece.

The piece uses political symbolism to encourage people to look inside for their true Leader and realise true power lies in the Universal "candidates" listed on the special ballot paper.

Eight years later, these Universal candidates are still up for election: FAITH, REBIRTH, GUIDANCE, HOPE, JOY, CLARITY, LOVE, LIGHT TRUTH, PEACE, UNITY.

Don't wait until May 24th 2010. Vote them in now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Official Launch

This morning Greenlight Network will officially launch Plastikeep at the Hyatt Regency.

Greenlight Network was one of the first two recipients of funding from the Green Fund for Plastikeep, "an environmental and community-building project seeking to collect plastic waste in the North Western part of Trinidad and promote a recycling culture."

Areas of Plastikeep's website are still currently under construction, but you can have a look at the work in progress here.

Become a Greenlight Member
We welcome new, active members for Greenlight Network. Interested, environmentally-conscious individuals or groups can contact us at

Monday, May 10, 2010

Turn the page

I've been busy ... and am now realising that I didn't get around to blogging about the launch of Daisy Chain at NALIS on Friday.

Nothing is perfect, but 'perfect' is the only word that comes to mind when I think of that evening.

Photos courtesy Victor Potter (distant cousin of Harry) will be shared as soon as they are ready.

The video of the readings, recorded by Navid Lancaster, will also be posted once available.

Stay tuned.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hot off the E-press: Daisy Chain

Thank you for your interest in Daisy Chain. This first edition gives you the "as is" stream of consciousness experience in e-book format. You can now purchase and download your copy by accessing (see above). From tomorrow I will place this Daisy Chain embed into the side bar.

Once on the Daisy Chain page at, please read the blurb provided. You will see simple guidelines on how to download your e-copy after purchase. The file is protected (DRM), so if you don't already have the software, you will need to download Adobe Digital Editions (it's free and easy to download).

Prior to purchasing, if you would like to read extracts, simply click on the "Preview" link under the image of the book cover.

For those who enjoy holding a physical book in their hands, stay tuned for information on the second edition of Daisy Chain which I intend to create as a hard copy art collectible book.

To be kept up to date on Daisy Chain and my other creative projects (featured on this blog), simply sign up by inserting your email address into the subscription form provided in the side bar.

Thank You.



Stay tuned for Daisy Chain download link later

This evening is the launch of my e-novel Daisy Chain.

Where: NALIS, Abercromby Sreet, POS
When: Today from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Free

Six women will read extracts from the novel:
Patti-Anne Ali
Vanessa Duncan
Carolyn Harnanan
Carol Hosein
Jameela Khan
Jo-Ann Ali- Nandalal

After, there will be a Q & A, followed by light refreshments and the opportunity to mingle and meet the author (i.e. me, Elspeth).

Special cards with information on how to access and download the novel online will be handed out. I will also schedule a post, so that the purchase & download information will be visible here on my blog from 7:30 p.m.

See you at NALIS.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I haven't done Sunday Scribblings in a while, but the topic of the current one is very applicable for this week. The topic is "event".

I can't believe the week has flown so swiftly. In two day's time it will be Friday 7th May, the day of the Daisy Chain launch. Things are shaping up well. It got some good representation in the daily press and many people are either asking about it, saying they want to read the book, that they want both the e-version and the hard copy version when it comes out and/or saying they will be coming to the launch.

Those who have been receiving the daily extracts have been enjoying them. Daily, they send lovely comments and feedback via e-mail. Generally, Daisy Chain has a spontaneous energy to it and a life of its own.

If you are in Trinidad and Tobago, you are invited to attend the launch.

Where: AV Room of NALIS, Abercromby Street, POS
When: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. (a little tip here: I don't operate on Trini time)

Six women will be reading extracts from the novel:
Carolyn Harnanan
Carol Hosein
Patti-Anne Ali
Vanessa Duncan
Jo Ann Ali-Nandalal
Jamela Khan

There will be light refreshments after and I will hand out cards containing information on how to access the link to the e-book. Those of you in blogland who live abroad or for some reason cannot attend the launch will be able to read about it (and e-book details) right here at Now is Wow Too. Stay tuned.

Admission: Free

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Daisy Chain PR in Sunday's Express "Woman" magazine

Elspeth Duncan
Photo by Kristen Alcantara


Source of article in online Express Newspaper

In November 2006, multimedia artist Elspeth Duncan joined thousands of writers to take on the online international NaNoWriMo challenge ( of writing at least 50,000 words in one month. Rather than allowing technical challenges (such as computer breakdown) to halt her progress, Duncan turned on full throttle and wrote over 50,000 words in a total of seven days spread within the month.

’The speed at which I was writing meant that I had no time to stop and think of what to write. It all just came out as is, in an unstoppable flow. Looking back at what was created, I would say that non-thought was to my advantage. I don’t think I would/could have written what I did if I had been putting deliberate thought into it. It would have become what ’I’ wanted it to be as opposed to what it is meant to be,’ Duncan writes on her blog,

The resulting work, a stream-of-consciousness novel entitled Daisy Chain, features 51 women, each one linked to the other in a series of eclectic ’snapshots’ or ’stories’, each in their own style.

Award-winning writer Barbara Jenkins says of the novel: ’If this book has a colour, it is yellow, like the sun, like the hearts of the daisies on the cover, like promises; if it has a mood, it is of longing, searching, of hopeful expectancy. The women here think, listen, wonder, seek, explore, embrace. Go at this smorgasbord at your own pace - savour each titbit as it is presented or gobble them up like I did, only to go back and sample again the ones that stuck and need some careful chewing over.’

Duncan ultimately plans to make Daisy Chain into an art-collectable coffee-table novel, featuring her photography as an illustration for her writing. In the meantime, she is making Daisy Chain available to fans as a text-only e-book, to be launched on Friday May 7th 2010 from 6 - 7.30 p.m. at NALIS, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain. Extracts taken from the lives of six women in the book will be read by Patti-Anne Ali, Vanessa Duncan, Carolyn Harnanan, Carol Hosein, Jameela Khan and Joanne Ali- Nandalal. The public is invited and admission is free.

In the lead-up to the launch, Duncan is sending out daily links of Daisy Chain to readers who have subscribed via email to her blog. These links, extracts from the novel, glimpses into the lives of some of the fifty-one women, give readers a tantalizing taste of the intriguing whole.

Below are some of the mail comments from readers of the daily e-mailed Daisy Chain extracts:

I feel like an addict ... every day I hurriedly check my email for Daisy Chain updates. My only complaint is that the excerpts are too short. That's because I'm greedy. I get reading and don't want to stop. Great great great ... I can't wait for it to be launched.

Comment via email from recipient of daily email extracts - Virma B., Ottawa, Canada


I like all the descriptive passages here which is just about every single line you wrote! You are good at so many things. This is terrific writing ... it really draws me. Thanks for sending.

Comment via email from recipient of daily email extracts - Lynn, California


You are a talented writer. In just the space of these brief extracts, you create an unsettling ambiance, real characters about whom we are at least curious, and you hook the reader. I can't wait to read the book and see if you sustain these effects consistently. I enjoy your style, particularly the way you parenthetically insert information. It creates an ostensibly relaxed atmosphere in contrast with an underlying tension.

Comment from recipient of daily email extracts: Jeanne Mason, co-editor Trinidad Noir


I haven't read a novel in many years now as I've been following my urge to explore psycho/spiritual material. So this is the first novel I am experiencing in a long time and with only the first two extracts I'm delighting in the way the words and images play out and that it's from your stream of consciousness. Thanks for sharing!

Comment from recipient of daily email extracts: Vanessa Soodeen, Spain


If this book has a colour, it is yellow, like the sun, like the hearts of the daisies on the cover, like promises. If it has a mood, it is of longing, searching, of hopeful expectancy. The women here think, listen, wonder, seek, explore, embrace. Go at this smorgasbord at your own pace - savour each titbit as it is presented or gobble them up like I did, only to go back and sample again the ones that struck and need some careful chewing over.

Review from award-winning writer Barbara Jenkins (Trinidad) who has read the whole book


"Oh Gad!!!!!!"

Comment via email from recipient of daily email extracts - Patrice Charles - after reading the extract from Myrna Christie:

An extract a day (until the launch) of DAISY CHAIN

A stream-of-consciousness novel by Elspeth Duncan
Launch of e-version:
Friday May 7, 2010
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
National Library/NALIS, P.O.S.
You are invited.