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MAVIS BECKLES: Bajans serious ’bout Old Year’s


MAVIS BECKLES: Bajans serious ’bout Old Year’s

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IT IS INTERESTING how different people choose tuh spend or celebrate old year’s night. From the look o’ things dat ya see happening nowadays, a lot o’ people like duh does take old year’s even more serious than Christmas.

One time, a good few years back, I used tuh be at some function or the other pon a old year’s night but in recent years, more often than not, I am at home relaxing, spending a very quiet evening and thanking God fuh sparing my life tuh see another year step in. And dat is exactly what I was prepared tuh do this year again.

Well, one o’ my daughters had other plans fuh me. She call me up and ask me tuh come over by her place and then we could walk down the beach and watch the fireworks down there by Sandy Lane. The truth is, I really didn’t feel tuh much like going out, tell the trute, because I could stan’ from where I live now and watch the fireworks but she insisted and then turn and tell me dat all I gine do is sit down home by muh self and do nothing . . . . dat was true, so I went long and the next time I see where I live, was 2:30 in the morning, but I had a good time.

It turn out tuh be a good few of us and we take a cool walk down the beach; evah man wid phone in he hand wid the light on tuh see where ya was going and looking fuh a good spot tuh take in evahthing. Well, I was the most surprise person when we walk through the path between a hotel and get pon the beach. I coulda swear dat I was walking down Broad street a Saturday morning, shunning people. Talk ’bout people? I had tuh say dat if down there was suh crowded, wha’ tuh say ’bout the other beaches, especially the more popular ones like Browne’s beach, Graves end, the Pebbles or down by the Hilton. Talk ’bout people?

Look, some people had duh big coolers and food already set up; duh had the beach chairs and the blankets was spread out under the trees and the music was playing. I cahn say dat people was loud and boisterous at all; evahbody was laughing and talking doing duh own thing and enjoying duh selves. A lot o’ people even had duh li’l children. I tell ya, I had tuh say tuh myself dat if I didn’t get up and go out, I wouldn’t know dat this is one o’ the ways how people does spend duh old year’s and ring in the new. So you would know dat if it was so down there in St James, how it would’ve been at some o’ the other more popular beaches.

I think bajans like duh decide dat duh ain’t gine let not having the lot o’ money tuh spend pon the fancy clothes nor the admission tuh the big functions get in the way o’ dem having a good time come old year’s night. Bajans does find a way tuh relax and free up duh selves, hear wha’ I tell ya. Of course, duh still had the traditional going tuh church, watchnight service, as we used tuh call it when we was growing up. Duh had a good few fetes all cross the island, some private ones and most hotels had duh own celebrations wid the usual hats and whistles tuh ring in the new year.

But I have tuh say dat the fireworks like duh getting bigger and better every year. Where I was, I could see the beautiful displays going off in both directions, like it was all round me and ya coulda hear the screams and excitement from evahbody; it was beautiful. Actually evahbody had duh phones out, snapping up some o’ the drama happening in the night sky.  

• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.