Things That Made Me Smile in 2014

A dear online friend posted things that made him smile on his blog today. I thought I would steal his idea (I hope you don’t mind, Benji), although I did claim to dislike “year-end lists.” This is just, really, noting for myself the things I enjoyed this year – which now has less than twelve hours to go in Jamaica. Family comes first but after that, no particular order.

  •  My husband: Ridiculous jokes, discussing news stories, drinking coffee, watching re-runs of old sitcoms – and so much more
  • Our son: Took his life by the scruff of its neck in 2014 and made it all work. So proud of him!
  • Our first grandson: Who arrived in a very small bundle just four months ago and is already plump, smiling, round-eyed.  Welcome to the world, Marley Lewis!
  • Another beautiful little boy: Our grand-nephew Theo arrived in early 2014 and is thriving in my former home town of Oxford!
  • My brother (in Oz) and sister (in London): Love and miss them dearly, every day.
  • Our niece: Our gorgeous niece got married on a beach by the blue Grecian sea to a lovely man.
  • Our dog: My faithful and constant companion. Almost human.
  • Arsenal Football Club: The lads had their ups and downs, but won the FA Cup. I love them, through thick and thin. Gooner for life.
  • Fellow bloggers, near and far: From Jamaica to Ecuador to Ontario, too numerous to mention, for their insights, wit and sincere thoughts.
  • The poets: Especially Millicent Graham of the Drawing Room Project, who organized the amazing Writers Retreat in Highgate in May. Inspirational.
  • Eve for Life: Patricia Watson, Joy Crawford and the wonderful team doing important and meaningful work for vulnerable young women.
  • Tweeps: My Twitter friends are occasionally miserable, often thought-provoking and very often hilarious. I love ’em all! And I love Twitter!
  • Ziggy Marley: The best smile in the music business, by far.
  • Civil society: The 51% Coalition, Jamaica Civil Society Coalition, Jamaica Environment Trust and all those relentlessly working to hold our leaders accountable. Thank you to the Emancipation Park statue for hosting them all on important occasions when it was necessary to stand up.
  • The JN Foundation: Saffrey Brown and the army of bright, busy volunteers. And the visionary Mr. Earl Jarrett, of course.
  • Skype: Without which family connections would be far less rich and rewarding.
  • Meeting a special tweep: Driving to Negril and back in one day (thanks Knutsford Express!) to have lunch with a tweep and fellow blogger from Canada and her husband, whom we’d never met before. Thanks for your great humor, @AlwaysARedhead !
  • The children: Especially the children at Trench Town Reading Centre. So much to offer.
  • Books: The wonderful worlds of Donna Tartt (“The Goldfinch”) and Daniel Alarcon (“At Night We Walk in Circles”) in particular. And bookshops – all of them!
  • The UN Team and especially UNICEF Jamaica: Fantastically focused and awesome! Quietly doing great work for Jamaica and with Jamaicans.
  • Kundalini Yoga: At TrueSelf Centre of Being, a haven of spiritual coolness. Find them on Facebook.
  • J-FLAG: A brilliant, hard-working young team working towards equality, dignity and respect for all Jamaicans.
  • Whatsapp: For wonderful new photos of above-mentioned grandson sent by doting parents to doting grandparents almost every morning.
  • Jamaican artists: Flowering and flourishing, nurtured by the National Gallery of Jamaica (Kingston and Montego Bay).
  • A few (young) politicians: Dayton Campbell, Floyd Green, Raymond Pryce, Fabian Brown. Keep your focus and do what is right for the people. Please.
  • #8 Hillcrest: A cozy retreat with Tea Tree Creperie (mint lemonade, South African Red Tea and lovely cups) and Fromage Gourmet Market (yummy pasta, salads, great service). Warm wishes to all the small enterprises at #8!
  • Cliff Hughes and the team at Nationwide News Network: A vibrant radio  talk show on Power 106 FM, a terrific team at NNN. Helping to keep democracy afloat.
  • Game of Thrones and Homeland: Simply addictive television.
  • No-Maddz: Creative, funny, incredibly talented and just all-round good people. Quoting their Facebook page: Genre: dub poetry, alternative, reggae, world, blues, jazz, funk, big band, pop, dub step, lovers rock, r&b, hip hop, new world!!” New 2015 album coming up!
  • Entrepreneurs: Driven young men like Tyrone Wilson and Gordon Swaby; the National Bakery’s “Bold Ones”; and energetic inspirers like Yaneek Page and Cecile Watson. More power to you all!
  • Café Blue, Sovereign Centre: A happy little capsule of laptops, lattes and bright friendly people. At times too cramped but…
  • Sisters/Sistren: Simply put, I learned so much this year from you all. Thank you.
  • Birds and baby birds: Our yard is full of them. A nestful of Smooth-Billed Anis, now baby Zenaida Doves and brilliant American Redstarts.
Me (and Bob) hanging out in Cafe Blue.
Me (and Bob) hanging out in Cafe Blue.
Here's Ziggy's smile for you...
And here’s Ziggy’s smile for you!


10 thoughts on “Things That Made Me Smile in 2014

    1. Dear Benji: Thank you so much for sharing my list…inspired by you! It’s surprising how many things I had to add to it, and there were still many things I should have included!


  1. I see You love books.Great! I got a 40′ high cube ocoean freight nerZCSU830811-3 loaded with the entire contents of The Book Store Unit 8Hamilton Way Oak Mall Shopping Centre Greenock Scotland UK .Consignee national Education Trust ETA Port Everglades02/01/2015 ETA Port of Kingston? seeTESS article by Henry Hepburn,FRIDAY 12 December 2014″Ahoy!Old Books set sail For Jamaica..Teacher sends 18000kg of school supplies to the Caribbean.”


    1. It was so nice to meet up with you and yours, dear Catherine! It was such fun. And thank you for making me chuckle and often laugh out loud, reading your blog! I love your humor… Happy 2015 to you and your family!


  2. Great list.

    One of my dear friends is an American lady who found my previous blog (Living in Barbados) and we met when she visited on holiday. We had breakfast together with her family and have shared much since.

    Liked by 1 person

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