A quiet, warm, Wednesday morning here in the Birdsucker section of Kingston. Boxing Day. I’m planning to move on to my next host, Peter, on Friday. He’s even farther away from Downtown Kingston! Luckily, my flight Monday isn’t until 1:05 pm so I’ll have time to get to the Airport from Peter’s house.
The exact etymology of the term “boxing” is unclear. There are several competing theories, none of which is definitive. The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen, which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day.
In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys‘ diary entry for 19 December 1663. This custom is linked to an older English tradition: Since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.
Sunn brought me two boxes of left-overs yesterday from two Christmas meals she went to. Yum!
I discussed Megan’s abuse of Sam with Sunny today, and my reporting Meg to child abuse authorities in August of 2011. I asked her opinion on going to Boulder in April to try to see Sam. She agrees that it’s a good idea, providing I don’t push Meg. I will just let her know I’m there and that I’d love to see her and the kids.
My plans for the first half of 2013 are shaping up and are based on the K.I.S.S. mantra: “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”
January 16 to end of month: Venezuela, Colombia by bus to Rachel’s in Santa Marta.
February: enter Panama; buses up to Mexico City.
March: fly from Mexico City to San Antonio, Texas (cheap ticket); bus to New Orleans.
April: bus to Boulder; to East Coast. Seth and Noelle’s baby born. Sam’s is 10 (17th).
May: fly from Boston (?) to Dublin, Ireland.
June: Appleby Horse Fair in England (go from 5th-15th).
Drank rum punch all afternoon, listening to reggae on GrooveShark, and told Sunny all about the problems (15 years’ worth of abuse) with Meg. I cried a little. She counseled me; Sunny said it takes time, let go, all will be well.
Posted this on Facebook:
TO MY NEW FB FRIENDS: I am proud to be an American Warrior Woman. I’ve been fighting since birth: born “illegitimate” and called a “bastard,” put up for adoption, my adoptive family was hated (Germans in post-WW II America), world-traveler as a child (exposed to “alien” traditions!), Autistic, eleven colleges over 40 years (off and on) before getting my BA in 2001, CONSCIOUSLY experimental—breaking social taboos (adultery [hubby started this off], tried prostitution in my late 40s), intentionally downwardly mobile (I chose poverty, hanging with the guys on the street, spare-changing, single/unwed mother on welfare), 37 years of raising my kids, found my birth-family (they’re rich, status-conscious, and/or fundamentalist Christians, and they can’t accept me). Plus a lifetime of “educating” bigots of all kinds (racists, sexists, etc.). Yah, Mon, so don’t give me any shit; I won’t put up with anything less than your respect. Be Cool, Dude.
Sorrel is a fruit drink to which we add DG white rum here in Jamaica. Sunny, my current Kingston host, makes her own and gives it to friends as a holiday gift.
- 1 pound sorrel
- 2-4 oz. ginger
- 2 quarts water
- wine (optional)
- 8-12 pimento grains
Shop Now for Jamaican recipe ingredients & seasoning in our online store.
- Wash sorrel thoroughly, using the fingers to lift it from the water.
- Put into stainless steel container.
- Scrape and wash ginger. Grate and Add to the sorrel. Add pimento grains.
- Boil water and pour over sorrel.
- Allow to stand 4-6 hours. Strain.
- Sweeten to taste and add rum to taste.
- Add optional wine.
- Serve with ice cubes.
Ackee is a local fruit that we can pick off the trees. It’s the national fruit of Jamaica. I’ve had it cooked like a pudding with “saltfish” (codfish). Delicious.
The ackee, also known as achee, akee apple or akee (Blighia sapida) is a member of the Sapindaceae (soapberry family), native to tropical West Africa in Cameroon, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
It is related to the lychee and the longan, and is an evergreen tree that grows about 10 metres tall, with a short trunk and a dense crown. The leaves are pinnate, leathery, compound, 15–30 centimetres long, with 6–10 elliptical obovate-oblong leaflets. Each leaflet is 8–12 centimetres long and 5–8 centimetres broad.
The flowers are unisexual and fragrant. They have five petals, are greenish–white and bloom during warm months. The fruit is pear-shaped. When it ripens, it turns from green to a bright red to yellow-orange, and splits open to reveal three large, shiny black seeds, surrounded by soft, creamy or spongy, white to yellow flesh—arilli. The fruit typically weighs 100–200 grams.
The scientific name honours Captain William Bligh who took the fruit from Jamaica to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England in 1793 and introduced it to science. The common name is derived from the West African Akye fufo. The term ackee originated from the Akan language.
The fruit was imported to Jamaica from West Africa (probably on a slave ship) before 1778. Since then it has become a major feature of various Caribbean cuisines, and is also cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas elsewhere around the world.
Lee “Scratch” Perry
|Lee “Scratch” Perry|
|Birth name||Rainford Hugh Perry|
|Also known as||Pipecock Jackxon
|Born||20 March 1936 (age 76)
|Genres||Reggae, dub, ska, rocksteady, drum and bass|
Lee “Scratch” Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry, 20 March 1936, Kendal, Jamaica) is a musician and producer who has been influential in the development and acceptance of reggae and dub music in Jamaica and overseas. He employs numerous pseudonyms, including Pipecock Jackxon and The Upsetter.
Perry’s musical career began in the late 1950s as a record seller for Clement Coxsone Dodd‘s sound system. As his sometimes turbulent relationship with Dodd developed, he found himself performing a variety of important tasks at Dodd’s Studio One hit factory, going on to record nearly thirty songs for the label. Disagreements between the pair due to personality and financial conflicts, a recurring theme throughout Perry’s career, led him to leave the studio and seek new musical outlets. He soon found a new home at Joe Gibbs‘s Amalgamated Records.
Working with Gibbs, Perry continued his recording career but, once again, financial problems caused conflict. Perry broke ranks with Gibbs and formed his own label, Upsetter, in 1968. His first single “People Funny Boy”, which was an insult directed at Gibbs, sold well with 60,000 copies sold in Jamaica alone. It is notable for its innovative use of a sample (a crying baby) as well as a fast, chugging beat that would soon become identifiable as “reggae” (the new kind of sound which was given the name “Steppers”). From 1968 until 1972 he worked with his studio band The Upsetters. During the 1970s, Perry released numerous recordings on a variety of record labels that he controlled, and many of his songs were popular in both Jamaica and the UK. He soon became known for his innovative production techniques as well as his eccentric character.
Alpha Boys School in Kingston is where Ska (pronounced sk-eh here in Jamaica) music started.
Alpha Cottage School (often referred to as Alpha Boys School) is a school on South Camp Road in Kingston, Jamaica, run by Roman Catholic nuns. Established in 1880 as a “school for wayward boys”, it became renowned for both the discipline it instilled in its pupils and the outstanding musical tuition they received.
The school has had its own band since 1892, originally a drum and fife (musical instrument) corps, and later a brass band, following the gift of brass instruments from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Jamaica. The school has been credited with influencing the development of ska and reggae. Notable music instructors included Lennie Hibbert, Eric Deans and Sister Mary Ignatius Davis.
|Birth name||Damian Marley|
|Also known as||Jr. Gong|
|Born||July 21, 1978 (age 34)
|Genres||Reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, reggae fusion, ragga|
|Labels||Tuff Gong, Ghetto Youth International, Universal|
|Associated acts||Bob Marley, Ky-Mani Marley, Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, Julian Marley, Nas, Bobby Brown, SuperHeavy, Guru, K’naan, Cypress Hill, Rusko, Skrillex|
Damian was two years old when his father, Bob Marley, died; he is the only child born to Marley and Cindy Breakspeare, Miss World 1976. Damian’s nickname Junior Gong is derived from his father’s nickname of Tuff Gong. Marley has been performing since the age of 13. He shares, along with most of his family, a full-time career in music.
Sunny brought home some beef “patties,” popular, little, fried cakes (like the crab cakes I get in New Orleans). I brought home DG White Rum (a “Q” or flask) and more Calypso Jack rum mix. I hung up some clothes out on the deck, surrounded by ackee and other plants and trees, and I looked down into the small, bubbling creek below. I fed sardines to the gray and white cat who lives outside Sunny’s backdoor. He came in through the “grate” (outer door), and I threw water at him. I love him, but he can’t come in; Sunny and I are both allergic to cats.