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COLUMN: Trini Girl In London – The Big Day!!! NHC 2014

My head feels as if there is an elephant tap dancing on it. I’m tired. The room is dark and I can hear the rain outside my window. I groan and head to the shower. We sit around wondering what to do.  It is literally raining cats and dogs outside and the mood in the house is gloomier than… well, the weather. There is nothing I can think of at the moment that is gloomier than this British weather. It is so depressing to look at. We reluctantly get into our costumes. Raincoats and boots on, umbrellas at the ready, we head out.

We try our best to lifts spirits as we head on the train to meet our band and yes of course, we take some selfies.

imageimage We met up with the band and collected our breakfast. Don’t feel much like eating. The rain has started coming down again. This has to be the wettest Notting Hill Carnival in history. As the Euphoria members save the day by handing out ponchos to the masqueraders, we try to keep our spirits up.

imageimageimageOur band has started its procession through Notting Hill but we are reluctant to move in the pouring rain. We linger a while longer until the rain eases and then run off to catch the band.

 

 

 

 

Spirits are a bit lighter now as the pulse and rhythm of the Soca beats fills my ear and my soul. I am thankful for the minor ease in the rain and as Machel Montano’s “Happiest Man Alive” fills the air, I feel like the happiest woman alive.  We chip, we wine, we’re actually having a great time despite the rain. Our smiles are still plastered stupidly on our faces.

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The band has about six hundred plus culturally-blended masqueraders, from all over the world, all moving together in a sea of green and blue that reminds me of the beautiful Nylon Pool in Tobago. With all this rain, it feels as if I am there now and I feel as happy as if I were.

Unfortunately, all this rain isn’t doing me well. As much as I am enjoying this and want to stay, the crew decides they’ve had enough. There is so much sniffling and coughing going on that it sounds as if we are creating our own beats. My nose could rival Rudolph’s right about now.  

As we make our way home, I think to myself, “My feet are soaked, My curls are drenched, It’s cold and dismal… but I had an absolutely amazing time! Now I know why they call carnival ‘The Greatest Show On Earth.'” I know it can’t ever rival Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival but this is as close to it as can be. The feeling you get when you’re on that road in your costume and the music hypnotizing you, Is completely indescribable. The band Euphoria, gave me exactly that, a feeling of euphoria.

 

I am glad to say I wasn’t disappointed.  I came, I saw, I conquered, I survived… well for the most part. Part of me is sad  it’s over but the sick and achy part of me is happy to go home to a nice hot cup of tea and nice warm fuzzy jammies. Till next year (2015)…

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The band Euphoria, gave me exactly that, a feeling of euphoria.

 

 

*Special thanks to my photographer Keisha Estrada

**Big thanks to the Euphoria Carnival committee for a wonderful experience. Also special mention to Jean-Pierre Joyette Poteon and Mateen Hepburn, for allowing me access to assist and get a little insight on the ‘behind the scenes’ of what goes on at Team Euphoria before costume distribution. It was hectic and I had more feathers on me than a peacock!  I had feathers in places no human should but it was exhilarating experience.

***Thanks to my team (Keisha Estrada, Megan Superville, Kafi Figaro, Kalifa Figaro, Amanda Lares, Cara Hawley Perez , Juanita Hawley Perez, name witheld, and Melysah Charles), for encouraging me to partake in this extremely but awesome experience. Bring on NHC 2015! I’m ready!!!!

 

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