Is this home?

•18 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I walk out of the heavy wooden door onto the bright sun lite balcony.

The cold white marble tiles under foot is in stark contrast to the heat of the sun and the humidity of the warn tropical air pressed against my skin.

I place my hands on the stone balcony warming in the sun

“Is this home?” I ask myself for the first time today, the same question I have asked myself for the last 50 years.


Whose line is it anyway?

•18 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I materialised in the 1930s, it was midnight and I was in my latest incarnation, which was an ostentatious 12 year old with an interest in Basketball, so it was unlikely that anyone was going to recognise me from this past life, unless they too had travelled back in time from the academic halls of Gallifrey to carry out this drug deal, a drug deal that would wipe my debts and help pay for those gold and latenam Air Jordan’s that I had my eye on back in 2025.

The Tardis materialised in the dimly lit halls of the Academy of Gallifrey.

He had hit is mark perfectly, arriving at midnight as expected, in time for the deal that was going to make him rich.

Nobody would expect a 12 year old boy dress ostentatiously dressed in his favourite basketball top and gold Jordans, to pull off the drug deal of the century.


•18 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Perspective 1

My heart was pounding, as my legs moved faster and faster.

I was feeling fear, but yet I found myself smiling, as if I knew that this was going to be a story that I would retell throughout my lifetime.

I was good at running, Patrick knew it, and now the dog that was chasing us both down the street with its chain audibly scrapping along the pavement as it got closer to us, was about to know it too.

I was fast, but at this point I knew, I only needed to be faster than Patrick.

And that is when it hit me, the idea that was to come to me in a flash, and stay with me for a lifetime.

I looked to my right and saw the cars parked on the side of the road. Their headlight looked like eyes, surveying the unfolding situation, and consenting to my next unspoken move.

With the first jump, my right foot was firmly in the bonet of a car, and with the next leap, my left foot was on the roof.

I instantly knelt down into a crouched position, as if I was at the starting line of a 100m race, but this action was designed to stop me dead in my tracks on top of the green, nondescript car.

I looked down and to my left, just in time to see Patrick sail past me.

He looked up at me with a look on his face that was resigned to his fate. A look that screamed “You bastard”.

He knew that my move had set him up as bait, and as the dog sailed past the car upon which I was perched, I knew that the bait had been taken.

I do not know if I ever actually saw the dog take a bite out of Patrick’s arse, but in my mind’s eye it is the story that I tell to this day.


Perspective 2

“I can’t believe this is happening to me, I can’t believe we are being chased by that dog.

It is normally chained up.

That bastard garage owner must have known that we tease it on our way home from school, and left it unchained to teach ups a lesson.

Well, I definitely learning a few lessons here:

  1. Orlando is a lot quicker that I thought he was
  2. The dog really wants its revenge for all the times we have poked it with a stick.

All I need to do is catch Orlando and then…wait…what the…SON OF A BITCH, what is he doing on the top of a car.

But if he is on a car that means I am the only one running, the only one for the dog to chase

I am the bait, YOU BASTARD

This is not going to end well for me, this is not going to end well at all.

‘There. Take it’

•18 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

‘There. Take it’

As I read the words from the post-it note, I could hear her voice, defiant and victorious.

I picked up the shattered pieces of the glass that I had drunk out of for the 20 years of our life together, the glass that we had bought together in a flee market in East London, a glass that she knew would devistate me to see discarded and shattered on the floor.

On the buses

•18 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Barrington waited for the bus, on his way to work, like he had done every day.

“Why are these buses never on time.” Barrington exclaimed  “Every day it is 10 minutes late. What happens 10 minutes up the road from here that makes this bus late every day”.

Just then the bus can around the corner and slowly came to a stop in front of him.

He listened as the bus’ hydraulics lowered the front of the bus until it was level with the pavement, and he could wheel himself on unassisted.

“What happens up the road that you are 10 minutes late every morning?”

The bus driver looked down at him. He had been asked this question many times on the route so far and none of the answers he have had satisfied the passenger asking the question.

Barrington looked up at the non-responsive face of the driver, and realising that he was not going to get an answer, rolled himself to his usual spot, reversing his wheelchair against the back, what he considered by now to be his own private designated area, marked out in yellow, especially for him.

Barrington looked up and the driver was looking back at him as he did every day.

He could not be sure whether he was seeing whether he got to his stop safely, or whether he was cursing Barrington, yet another person to ask him that dumb question this morning.

The ‘white’ men will come

•18 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Once upon a time there was a little girl who did not want to ‘Vampire’ cough.

“Cough”, she went blowing her germs into the air.

“Do not cough like that” said her mother “or the white man will get you”.

The little girl said “I am not afraid of white men” and carried on coughing into the air.

“Cough, cough”.

“Do not cough like that said her mother“ or the white man and all his friends will get you”.

“The white man can not catch me” said the little girl and she continued to cough into the air.

“Cough, cough, cough”.

Then suddenly, five men wearing white hazmat suits turned up at the little girl’s door and took her away, never to be seen again.

The ‘white’ men had got her, all because she would not ‘Vampire’ cough.

The End.


•2 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Yesterday I woke up late, but then recently I am always waking up late.

I have the whole bed to myself so I savour the pleasure of stretching out, claiming all four corners of the bed as my own.

I relish the undisturbed moments of quiet, without the jolting sound of wardrobes been opened then slammed shut in what sometimes feels like a protest to extra time she requires to get ready in the morning, time that she begrudges me, time I could sleep.

Ecological Collapse

•1 March, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I am dead.

My parents had the fortune of dying of old age may years past.

The rest of my family, my brother, died of respiratory complications brought on by the pollution that filled our sky, the legacy of my parents’ folly.

My friends are dead. They died trying to save me from the inferno that was caused when the Earth cracked, and the sky went dark.

And here we are, all together, lying in a heap at the intersection of 4th and Main, shadowed by the still burning sky scrapers that once depicted a progressive society, which now only serve to remind any survivors of the shame and squander of the past. A remnant of a fractured world of our own making, an ecological collapse of our own design.

I stare down at the man I once was.

I look into his lifeless eyes, still open, seemingly still absorbing the horror of my death.

My clothes are the best ones I had in the wardrobe that morning, as if I knew that today would be a good day to die, and I wanted to go out in the style in which I lived.

I was surprised that I was still wearing the black frock coat that I had put on that morning as part of the all black attire that I always wear. All through the mayhem of the day, all through the violence and destruction, I had somehow not noticed that I was still wearing a full suit, or had considered frock coat too important to discard.

At this point however the clothes were worn, torn, and covered in the unidentified ash that still rained from the sky. They looked like they had seen a lifetime of intense combat, all within the last few hours.

The attire of my corpse was in stark contrast to that of those who had been my companions at the moment of my demise. Some might say that for an apocalypse, jeans, trainers and a t-shirt with a pithy slogan that hints at their underline personality, or a cultural reference that identifies their media modern tribe would be more practical for negotiating the obstacles of a world under destruction. Yet here we all are on the same heap, their practical survival-friendly battle wear did not gain them the advantage they desired.

These people were my friends. These people died trying to save me, the last thing some saw was my outstretched hand as they clambered over wreckage trying to get to my position of weakness, before the environment had the last say in snatching their lives from them. It was not the explosion that killed them, but the inferno that engulfed them, burning away their flesh and snatching the air from their vicinity, leaving them with only what remained in their lungs.

These were my friends, but what sort of friend was I to have led them to their deaths.

I stand over the corpses that lie where they fell, at the intersection of 4th and main. I am surrounded by the desolation created through the actions of humanity.

The once bustling intersection now falls silent, but for the sound of crackling fire and the rustling of leaves in the wind. The once proud buildings still stand at the intersection of what was once a hub of life, and now stands to serve witness to the destruction of humankind.

The buildings are not unscathed as they too stand scorched by the fires of redemption, windows shattered as if they were the eyes of humanity that could no longer bear witness to this, the final legacy of humans, and were plucked out either as punishment for the crimes of Man, or out of mercy, that they would no longer have to look upon the destruction at their feet.

The buildings, once opulent and laden with the trappings of wealth, glistened briefly in a sudden burst of sunlight, a reminder of the glory they once held. However the sunlight was short lived, a break in the smoke filled clouds that once again blocked out the sky, and plunged the buildings back into the reality of their fall from grace, the scorching from the destruction clinging to their outsides as if to claim dominion of them.

This decimated concrete landscape now casts a shadow over the intersection that plays host to so much death, the intersection where my body lies, the intersection where I stand over my lifeless remains.

The sound of leaves grows stronger, almost inescapable as I remember the thing that made the intersection of 4th and Main stand out from other intersections. It was the only intersection with a large and looming tree in the middle of the road. The tree was a 300 year old oak tree that the council had tried to remove. I myself as a council member voted for its destruction, but those green activists had chained themselves to it in protest, lobbied the other elected officials until they relented, and the tree was allowed to remain. Now the tree is only living thing to remain at the intersection of 4th and Main, its rustling leaves sounding defiant as the last remaining thing in this place.

When I was alive, I would afford the best of everything, including the best positronic brain storage that money could buy. My mind was backed up to a cloud server and could be reloaded into any organic sleeve upon my death. When my body died, my brain must have tried to backup to the cloud server, but the servers had long been corrupted, so it backed me up, to the nearest living thing.

I stand over the lifeless rotting corpse of who I once was, looking down on the man that escaped this holocaust through death, leaving this incarnation to continue to suffer through the experience of a world that has turned against its oppressor, listening to the sound of my leaves in the wind.

Executing a Will in Barbados

•13 October, 2018 • Leave a Comment

For those who are going through the painful process executing a will in Barbados, here are a few notes on what to look out for.

Once the will has been read, instruct the solicitor to make the announcements in the media immediately.

Two announcements need to go into the media over fourteen days.

Nothing can proceed without these announcements so it is best to get them out the way first.

Next the solicitor will have to carry out a search of the estate’s assets. This is where the solicitor writes to all the banks and financial institutions to find out whether the deceased has any holdings in those institutions. You may be asked to pursue other institutions such as pensions, life insurance and others.

It can take financial and other institutions up to a month to get back to you with information.

You may be asked to send originals of death certificates to some institutions, so be sure to send them via registered post and insist that they are returned to you in the same manner.

Once all of the assets of the estate have been accounted, you will be asked to go into the Magistrate’s court and sign an affidavit in front of the court officials.

This is not the will going into probate.

The solicitor then needs to collate all the information gathered and the legal clerk will then submit the will into probate.

It is important that all information has been submitted otherwise the probate will not begin until all the papers are with the court.

Check with you solicitor that all the paperwork is submitted and, if possible, ask for written or pictorial verification of the fact that the will is now in probate.

The Justice Minister in Barbados has determined that the clerks should take no longer that two weeks to process a Will, however if you know Barbados, you will only now have finished laughing at this sentence. In practice mine took two months, and I am told that the Magistrate’s clerk went on holiday so all work stopped. I would expect that with the right persistence from you solicitor’s clerk the Will should be approved by the court within a month.

Once the Will is approved by the Magistrate’s court, it comes out of probate and the executor will be issued with the ‘Letter of Testimonial’ more commonly known as ‘Letter of Administration’ within ten days.

Once the Executor has received the Letter of Administration they will be able to access the assets of the estate and distribute in accordance to the Will.

The four main banks act very differently when distributing funds of the diseased.

In all cases you will need to present:

the death certificate,

Letter of Administration,

Your ID card (not driver’s licence or other government id)

Passport as secondary id

(Additional information may be required as explained later)

If your name is on the account, then in all cases you will be able to transfer the money into your own account.

If the deceased was with Royal Bank of Canada or Soctibank, you will be able to transfer the money into an account of your choosing either as an account transfer, a third party bank transfer, a wire transfer to a foreign bank, or a banker’s cheque.

If the deceased was with the CIBC First Caribbean Bank, they are forced to follow the legal laws of Trinidad, and as a result you will have to set up a new account titled ‘The estate of [the deceased] c/o [the executor]’. This wording is very precise, as the money can only be transferred or cheque written to this account from the decease’s account.

If the executor is fortunate to have an account with CIBC, then they will use the existing details of there account to set up the new account. This is very useful if the executor is not a resident in Barbados as it reduces the number or items documents required for verification.

If the deceased was with Republic Bank and the executor’s name is not also on the account, you are shit out of luck.

In addition to the requirements for CIBC, you will not be able to use your existing accounts with Republic Bank as part verification of identity. You will need to provide all new information as if you were a new customer.

If the executor can not demonstrate an income, they will not be able to open an account with Republic Bank.

If the executor is not resident in Barbados, they will have to provide additional proof of id, and residence from their country of habitat. All documents will have to be notarised and originals, no scans or copies, all delivered in person.


If there is property involved, it will need to be surveyed by a surveyor and the plans submitted to the Town and Country Planning office.

Surveying three acres of land should take no more than five days. The plans should be into Town and Country Planning no more than a week after that.

The plans will then be reviewed, and presuming there are no issues the plans are approved and issued with a certificate of compliance.

Your solicitor will need the specifications on the plans in order to draw up the final deeds.

Once you have the Certificate of Compliance from the Land Registry your solicitor will review and finallise the Assents. He will then submit Assents to executor via courier for signatures. Once returned the Assents are recorded before the Final assents is deliver to executor.

Final tips

You will need to keep on at your solicitor. They will try to stretch out the work for anything up to two years, with no proper explanations of conceivable reasons given.

Ask for constant updates, and set acceptable milestones. If these are not reached, ask for proper explanations.

If you are unhappy with the work of your solicitor do not be afraid to change solicitors. Always have a back up solicitor on hand so that if you are unhappy with the service of one, you can switch to the backup without loss of momentum.

Where possible become a signatory on the account of the person before they are deceased.

If you know that you are going to be the executor of a parent of partner, get them to put you on the account before they die. This will make accessing their funds easier in the long run.

If your name is not on the account, it is a crime to steal money from a deceases account via ATM or other means, when there are other beneficiaries to those funds.

If you as the executor and know that land will be included in a Will, get the land surveyed and have the plans registered with Town and Country Planning before the person dies.  This does not mean that ownership changes hands, but it does speed up the process when you have to execute the Will, and rules out any compliance issues early which may cause delays.

Kuala Lumpur

•13 June, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Kuala Lumpur is a city is good now, and will be great when it is finished.

It reminds me of Singapore back in the late nineties, where there is a lot of massive shopping centres and malls with expensive and affordable shops surrounded by building work.

From the airport, pick ip a travel card. Which will cost you 12.50rm empty. You can get them from ‘MyNews’ shops or other news agents and they can be used on all lines.

There does not appear to be a saving, especially as you have to buy the card, but it is more convenient that trying to find the right  change for the buses, monorails, and trains that you will be taking around the city.

Be sure to pick up a free Transit Rail map to work out the closes stations when getting around town.

It will cost you 55rm one way to get the RapidExpress into KL Central, or less than half that if you get the commuter train.

The distance between attractions in Kuala Lumpur is not that great, and in the relative 23 degree cool of the evening, you will find it a pleasant way to get your steps up, however in the 31 degree heat, and 90% humidity, a 30 minute walk will leave you drenched in sweat and unnecessarily irritated, when you could have got the bus, monorail, or train for 2rm.

There are a lot of stairs and steps that make the city a little for difficult to access if you are week in the knees or wheelchair bound.

Train stations will require wheelchairs to be man-handled in order to get up and down stairs to the platforms, and even stepping off the curb will be difficult for the less able bodied.

We had three days:

Day 1 we arrived at the hotel at 08.00, dropped off our bags and went straight to the Batu Caves. The journey is 1.5hours by train and the caves open at 10.00, lunch at 13.00 and closes at 16.00.

The caves are free but not for the faint of heart, as there is a 272 step climb to the entrance of the cave. There are other paid attractions around the caves including a side ‘dark’ cave in which a guide shows you the spiders, bats and other creatures that live in the caves.

Be aware that there are monkeys all over the cave They are relatively tame and will eat from your hands and steal from your open bags, but they are still wild animals.

You will spend a couple of hours at the caves before starting back.

It is safe to eat in the local cafes and restaurants that you will see on the roadside. Most of the menus are in English and the food is a fusion of dishes and spices found in the region and reflecting the wide variety of people that live in Kuala Lumpur.

After lunch, a dip in the pool and some duty free bubbles, we headed out for the evening to Marini’s on 57 to enjoy drinks at this rooftop bar located next to the Petronas Towers.

From there we went to the Bukit Bintang region to eat cheap food and soak in the nigh life. We went to Lot 10 hutong, but you could just as easily go to Jalan Alor food night market for great food.

We spent our money on the experience of fancy bars and cocktails, rather than restaurants because the local food is excellent, cheap, and great value for money.

From there we went to The Rum Bar KL for a cheeky night cap before a gental stroll back to the monorail.

Day 2, we got up and headed to the SkyBox at KL Tower. There is a shuttle bus that takes you from the entrance to the base of the tower. You pay 99rm each to and ride the lift to the outside skybox.

There are two skyboxes and a bar at the top and you are invited to take your time and enjoy the view in surprising tranquillity.

Once you have had enough you can proceed down to the observation deck which is enclosed and muck more of a tourist trap.

From there we got the bus to the Central Market / Petaling Street area where we were tempted by the fake watches, wallets clothing and bags of Petaling street, as well as more original gifts of Central Market.

After a late lunch we went back to the hotel to enjoy the pool, and our duty free before heading out for the evening.

For dinner we went to Suk Yuen Cantonese restaurant opposite Pudu station, reportedly the oldest Chinese restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, where we signed and explained to the staff with limited English, to match my limited Chinese, a delightful cheap and delightful meal.

Day 3 we went to Bangsar where we explored the far West of the Kuala Lumpur. It is not easy to get to by public transport but is a reasonable destination if you are into outlet shopping and fancy places for brunch. The are also comes alive more at night.

We took the buss back to Central Market from Bangsar going through Little India on the way.

That evening we went on a ‘roof top bar crawl’ heading first to Heli Bar. This is a helipad that turns into a bar in the afternoon/evening. This was by far the most exposed roof top bar that we went to and was a great place to watch the sunset.

From there we walked up to Luna Bar opposite KL Tower. This is much more of a bar for the young at heart, if not in body.

The bar is situated around the hotel swimming pool which is frequented by people in their twenties. Loud music and pool tricks to show off to the opposite sex are the orders for the evening, but the view is good and the drinks are reasonable.

From there we headed to Elysium, which is a very sophisticated bar with a more refined atmosphere, but with less of a view from the rooftop.

By now it was 22.00 so we wandered down into Jalan Alor for tasty street food before a gentle walk back to the hotel to conclude our trip.

We caught a ‘Grab’ car in the morning to the airport which cost 75rm in total including tolls which took 45 minutes at 6.45.

The express train would have cost 55rm each. The express trains start at 05.00 in the morning but the monorail to get to KL Central starts at 06.00.