Tuesday, July 14, 2020

What A Glorious Feeling! (Flashback to July 2008)

That's a real-life fairy named Innie Fryer on my laptop screen (in case you were wondering)

On July 7th, 2008, my iBookG4 refused to boot up. All I saw was a black screen with an unearthly glow just barely visible below the surface. After several attempts to get it going I gave up and SMSed my Mac doctor - a cheerful, extremely competent and good-looking chap named Adam Loh who calls himself Doc Mac, and rightly so. Adam's diagnosis was dire. "I'm afraid it could be logic board failure," he sighed, after my iBook refused to release the OSX repair CD he had inserted in the disc drive. That was serious. A new logic board for the G4 costs around RM2,000! Adam said he'd ask around and see if he could obtain a refurbished logic board for me. Even so it would cost me RM400-500. Well, over the next two weeks I had to get my computer fix at a cybercafe - which is like offering root beer to a hardcore alcoholic. But one good thing about not having a computer at home was I got to spend more time chilling with my beloved housemates Anoora and Ahau...

... and studying the breeding habits of the feline community... aaargh! too many cats!

But sometimes an exquisite creature like Inanna graces your home with her celestial presence and makes it all seem worthwhile...

Well, on July 18th I got an SMS from Adam informiing me that my iBook was "up and running." Appparently, Adam had unscrewed the casing to retrieve his stuck CD and when he reassembled the unit it booted up normally. "I didn't do a thing," Adam reported. Aha... a self-repairing G4! Guess we must cherish all the miracles we can find to make up for all the debacles we are witnessing daily on the economic and political fronts. Anyway, I'm so overjoyed to have my iBook back I'm just going to share a bunch of happy images with you, starting with a delightful visit last month from a couple dozen energetic youngsters associated with Project Connect - a cross-cultural experience managed by Brian Jones and Jade Ong of Cloudbreak. Here's the whole gang posing on our Bamboo Palace after a vigorous splashabout in the river and a hearty picnic on the rocks...

The Bamboo Palace could support the weight of more than 20 humans without protest!

Towards midnight on Bastille Day two vans rolled up in front of our house and discharged Sheldon Blackman & The Love Circle - ten larger-than-life Trinidadians who breathe, eat, sleep and live music. They had come directly from a successful gig at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak and were totally exhausted. In fact, the princesses in the group immediately demanded that somebody send a bus to pick them up and deliver them straight back to KL. Sheldon himself (right) was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I don't blame them. Here's a full-scale touring band with all their heavy gear finding themselves in a remote village in the dead of night with all their luggage stacked up on a tiny veranda of an Orang Asli domicile. They had been on the road since 5PM and nobody had fed them apart from a dead boring sandwich on their MAS flight. They certainly looked like refugees from a flood or earthquake. In the end they realized they were marooned in my low-cost paradise and resigned themselves to the fact. As to be expected, after a good night's rest their spirits began to perk up...

The Love Circle pose on the bridge over the Selangor Dam

Claudette Blackman, mother of a whole orchestra of beautiful and talented sons and daughters

Seven out of ten members of the group are from the famous Blackman family, proud sons and daughters of the late great Ras Short I (Garfield Blackman), founder of The Love Circle and father of the musical genres of “Soca” and “Jamoo." The other three are long-time family friends Jason Bishop (guitar), Jeremy McIntosh (bass and percussion), and Clifton Harrydass (tuned steel drum and percussion).

On the second night angelic voices were heard wafting across the verdant valley. Nehilet (pictured above), Marge and Abby Blackman took turns showing off their powerful voices, while Jason practised Caribbean-flavored ragas on the open tuning he had picked up while in Sarawak. Sheldon performed a song to be featured on his next album which spoke poignantly of "mountains overflowing with water." Even I was inspired to play them a few of my own songs!

This year, for the first time in ten years, I wasn't at the Rainforest World Music Festival (for reasons I shall reveal at some point but not till some legal issues have been resolved). However, the soul of the festival came to me - and that felt real good. Thank you, Sheldon Blackman & The Love Circle. It was a great pleasure meeting and befriending you all.

Here's one last photo I shall always cherish: a farewell visit from a very beautiful mother (Jeyanthi) and daughter (Dharshini) before they returned to Kiwiland on June 20th.

[First posted 22 July 2008]