BobMarley

BobMarley by Cecille S

BobMarley and the Wailers captured my heart and imagination the first time I heard them. Back then my father didn’t want us kid to listen to the music. Marley was the real deal, his lyrics powerful, poetic and inspiring.  As a teenager I had the pleasure of seeing the reggae legend perform at Madison Square Garden. The police/security guards ushered my ‘rock-god’ friend and I to the stage where we viewed the concert from this vantage position.

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BobMarley was performing the same day my friend was performing. Bob at night and my friend in the afternoon. I received an invitation call the morning from my friend to accompany him on his private jet for a performance in Philadelphia for 100,000 die hard fans. I turned him down. Kinda strange as I had never seen him perform. We used to jump around singing songs and acting like kids but that’s not the same as performing before thousands of rabid, crazy rock and roller fans. What can I say? I was attempting to do  natural dread locks for Bob’s concert later that night.

I told him to call when he got back to the city later in the evening. He was taken aback by my refusal but did call upon arrival to tell me he was knackered and not in the mood; I made such a raucous fuss that he relented and picked me up not long after.

My friend is considered ‘rock royalty’ worldwide by most. That’s the only reason we were able to see the concert in such a unique manner. The guards and cops fell over each other, shaking in excitement once they saw he was in the car. I don’t recall my friend requesting stage access. We were flanked by cops/guards and hustled toward the stage once our car pulled into the Garden’s back entrance.

Superstars packed the front row. Rastas were everywhere. It was an incredible hair raising experience watching Bob perform. Surreal viewing the concert from stage. Bob was dying then, he had to be carried off stage by two burly minders, one on either side. Once he got to the end of stage darkness, the minders took hold of him: held him under his arm  feet barely touching ground, he appeared deeply dazed as they lifted/dragged him to the dressing room. We waited until the minders opened the door and greeted him. He was fully focused. His smile brilliant like the sun even then.

During his electrifying and energetic performance no one had an inkling that he was deathly ill.

One young man who appeared to be Orthodox Jew burst into tears, sobbing when Marley launched into Exodus (movement of Jah people). I was profoundly moved. I overheard a white policeman shaking his head and saying in awe or maybe it was shock to another policeman, “Only in America, only in America.” Most likely they had never seen so many  dreads, major white superstars or heard reggae music, all under one roof; they were perplexed by the adoration and awe directed toward the slight handsome man with snakelike hair who appeared to be channeling some higher energy flowing into the crown of his head, slithering through his body, purposely directed toward the audience, filling the stadium with an unmistakable mystical vibe.

Little did the cops know that all over the world people were picking up on Marley’s vibe. My first trip to Europe as an adventurous teen was to Italy; the custom officers examined my Jamaican passport, looked at me and said, “Is Jamaica in Africa?” The other custom agent excitedly said, “Bob Marley, Bob Marley!” True story. I entered the country…no questions asked. A couple days later while walking around the Duomo di Milano, I saw masses of posters of Bob plastered on the Corinthian columns in the square.

 BobMarley’s 70th birthday is today. I was a diehard fan from the moment I heard his music and always will be. I saw him perform in Central Park before a small group of people before he blew up. I took the train from Ansonia, Conn where I was living. I spent most days in the beautiful country library; there was nothing to do in that sleepy town…I read everything I could get my hands on, including all newspapers and must have seen a blurb about the concert. I missed Jamaica terribly back then even though I was jumping out of my skin by all the wonders of America. Bob was a massive inspirational dose of Jamaica.

On my travels to far flung places, I’m never surprised to see images of him or hear his music blasting from loudspeakers. Once on my way to Tikel, looking for a place to lunch in nearby Flores I heard Bob’s voice accompanied by thumping bass. I followed the music to a Chinese restaurant, in the yard was an eleven year old Chinese Gutamalian girl engulfed in rapture dancing by herself, skanking like a true Jamaican. Happy as a lark. 

To Be Continued…

Bob Marley in 1979, before the Reggae Sunsplash concert in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

BobMarley in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Photograph: Denis O’Regan 

Burnin Catch A Fire and Natty Dread-one of my all time favorite

Kevin Macdonald documentary on Bob Marley is flawless. Check out the preview of Kevin explaining why he’s on every student’s wall video. And then see the documentary. The language is exquisite, the man inspiring and Jamaica beyond beautiful.

My Secret Facial Oil

My Secret Facial Oil by Cecille Swayneson

I found this oil in my acupuncture shop in Chinatown. I decided to give it a go, even though the container was a bit flimsy. Well, was I in for a huge surprise?! The oil glided on silky smooth, immediately absorbing in my skin. The after effect was succulent baby soft glowing skin – minus any grease - just a rich, light lustrous glow. This product asserts it’s a special Rose Hip oil triple extracted from wild rose, which is particularly rich in essential fatty acids (EFA)-whatever in in this oil, it works brilliantly, no grease, no pimples - without a doubt one of my favorite facial oil ever.IMG_5933

IMG_4806Photo Cecille S 

Realization of Oneness At Ten Years Old.

By Cecille Swayneson

I’ll always remember the first time I stepped into the heartbeat of the universe. The opportunity presented itself while I was living at  King Edward Road in Jamaica, West Indies. There were many ‘things’ about our house and ‘yard’ which was special. The cool, sprawling wooden house imbued with some kind of mysterious quality and the archaic design was formidable like a wise unwavering eye.

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One special accessory within the yard, was a swing made of thick beige rope which supported a substantial smooth, worn wooden seat;  Atop the swing, perched on sprawling sturdy branches was a make-shift treehouse devoid of walls: the house was a wide square wood tucked securely within the elbows of four branches, this was where I  spent hours reading. The leaves served as enclosure. Dreamy days were spent swinging back and forth, flying high; gazing at sky and landscape, breeze blowing against my skin…for whatever reason, my sisters and brother weren’t interested in the swing or treehouse. This was my heaven on earth.

I have no idea why nature decided to open its mysterious ways to me that day, but open it did.

It was mid morning as I walked through the silent shaded rooms and onto the shiny black marble verandah; I stood looking upon the front yard, taking in the high green hedge against the crisp, caribbean-blue backdrop. The clouds were swept clear. It was a glorious morning and all was still and beautiful. Down the black steps I descended, once my feet touched the solid surface of dirt, I was no longer earth bound. I had stepped into a single, vibration. Every solitary thing was still. Time as I knew it had stopped. The only thing which hadn’t stopped was the heartbeat. The universal heartbeat. And I and everything in that yard was one.  My heart was a collaboration of the trees, breeze, grass, dirt, clouds; vibrating as they did. No longer a separate entity.  “From earth we came and so shall we return.” Never were such words truer. My feet were rooted to the earth and yet I was weightless. My head danced upwards and merged into sky, expanding outwards, rolling into infinity, and I could see forever and there were no dividing lines. All had merged, beating in time and I felt like they felt, stupendous. I had expanded, contracted, and became one. And one was everything on earth.”God is good, God is great.” I heard a voice whispering, felt words slipping from my mouth, heard rustling of leaves, sun on my face, releasing me from a most profound mystical enchantment. Even though ten years old, I knew I had been gifted by the universe. If ever there was a secret to be held until time, this was it. And I marveled at my experience. Many years later I spoke about this journey to someone I met once at a function.

Yesterday, I ‘happened’ upon the post below by Louie Schwartzberg. I was rendered to tears, so profoundly moved was I by the story he shared. I believe we all know the truth of life is found in the beauty that surrounds and dwells within us. Our contribution is to recognize with grace the extraordinary mistaken for the ordinary.  Gratitude toward self and others is mandatory. Gestures of kindness are priceless and always welcomed. Go ahead sign up for the ride.

 

Tea Time

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I took a jaunt to the hauntingly beautiful town of Bath, England,  In a square stood a quaint teashop; warm, simple and cozy. My friend, Susanna and I made ourselves at home and caught up on life; celebrated our long friendship over cups of tea and delicious home made cakes.

Scone and clotted cream

Scone and clotted cream

Tea Girl

Tea Girl

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Freshly baked buns

Freshly baked buns

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Tea girl dashing about tearoom.

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Archaic Floral Teapot

Archaic Floral Teapot

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Photos: Cecille

 

 

Yellow-Eye Catching Clothes And Things

Yellow is a colour most people don’t gravitate toward in terms of clothing. But it can be quite refreshing and a welcome addition, adding a ray of sunshine and  eye catching flavor to one’s appearance. Remember to be mindful of tone against skin which can be complimentary for some or not. For those whose facial tone isn’t partial to yellow, focus on skirts and trousers paired with a flattering colour.

While I was putting together the ‘Heidi’outfit. I thought, ‘What the hell, why not go all out.’As you can see below I did just that, adding a custom-made ruffle blouse to the unusual and stunning vintage skirt.Kathleen7219 copyMarni dress
IMG_0789 IMG_0795_2Vintage paisley skirt and greestarfish tee with Sigerson Morrison sandalsdianaintuliptopIndian wheelIMG_1802Girl In Yellow TurbanIMG_4035Bella Lula Orangeade DrinkIMG_2094Jewellry ShopperyyyyyyySardiniaElayne 632Musing by Temple DoorIMG_1911Yellow by Coldplay

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The Best Natural Skin Radiance Secret.

The Best Natural Skin Radiance Secret by Cecille Swayneson

IMG_4806‘Your skin is amazing’ my mother said in amazement. I instantly brightened. My mother was not the most verbal or demonstrative when it came to giving compliments, so of course, I was thrilled to hear words of appreciation. ‘Oh wow! Thanks Mom, you are the one who turned me on to the best natural skin radiance secret…carrot juice, I responded.

I remembered the second time someone commented on my skin. I was completely taken aback by the young boy who had issued the compliment; his tone of voice and facial expression were priceless. Also, his choice of words struck a cord within me. He said, ‘Lady, your skin is sooo clean.’ Clean was the operative word. An unusual term for a young boy to use to describe one’s skin. ‘Thank you, I said, compliments of  carrot juice.’IMG_4815

Why Carrots Are The Mother Ship: Carrots are a super duper high source of vitamin A, providing  180% or thereabouts of your daily requirement in one med/large carrot. They are packed with beta-carotene (an antioxidant) that converts to vitamin A within your body, which helps to repair skin tissue and slows the cells aging process. One glass of carrot and a cup of coffee can hastily and powerfully eliminate waste, so be careful you give yourself ample time to enjoy your juice and coffee before dashing out the door for work or there could be serious consequences.

I don’t profess to drink carrot juice every day or monthly for that matter. I go through what I call phases: Sometimes I feel the need to drink carrots anywhere from a week to a month or a few months. Recently I started up again. The mere fact that you are drinking a 12oz  glass filled with carrots, ginger, apple and cucumber automatically fills you with a sense well-being and gratitude. It’s incredible that finding time to make a concoction of juice can be positively far reaching. Almost immediately after ingesting the juice  (well, I can only speak for myself), I feel,’ Wow! my body loves this’, because the serge of well being is apparent, a recognition that energy have shifted in an appreciative manner.  My theory… anything which makes you feel better and is good for you is a keeper. Also this is one of the best if not the best skin care regime ever. Picture of my skin on carrot juice below.IMG_4775

A professional facial can never, ever give you the natural moist, luminous glow a couple glasses of carrot juice is capable of achieving. Never. The last time I had a professional facial was in 2004; Case in point, natural is the real thing.

Photos: Cecille Swayneson

Perfect Summer Salad

This is a perfect summer salad, especially if you’re trying to avoid process foods. You don’t need specific measurements, just the ingredients which are as follows: Chopped Tuscan kale, snap peas, cucumber and avocado. Toasted raw sunflower seeds, chai seeds and pine nuts. Dressing: fresh lemon, olive oil, black truffle oil. Garnish with  one or two teaspoon of Flax seed oil. Don’t go too crazy with the nuts and oils, moderation is the operative word. Out of this world delicious. Enjoy. DSC_0504Photo: Cecille

Pulsating Vibrant Napoli

Lounging against the night blackdrop of one of my favorite, madcap cities, Naples, Italy. The first time I visited Naples, I wondered how my friend, Alsessandra could possibly choose to live in sleepy Florence instead of pulsating, vibrant Napoli. The energy of the city tumbled everywhere like a sloppily rolled burrito. In time I discovered daily warnings; ‘keep possessions out of sight as much as possible.’ Never a problem. I’ve always enjoyed myself in this historical port town.

Elayne 1385Elayne 1377Elayne 1251Artistic subway station in Napoli, ItalyElayne 1383.

Yes, brown does tan. Awesome Bronze Mediterranean  tan.Elayne 1181

Jacket: Bella Freud – Top: Helmut Lang Halter -Bag: Moschino  – Flower Hair Clip: H&M