edge

​Handmade Trini Soap

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

My name is Danielle Dieffenthaller and I made Trinidad’s best known TV soap opera, Westwood Park.

I’m from Trinidad AND Tobago. It seems quite limiting and stupid to me when people box me in as a “West” Girl. I live in Shorelands or Bayshore, depending on who I’m arguing with. According to the people who put up an illegal gate in the road cutting me off from the rest of the neighbourhood, I live in Bayshore… Except Bayshore too, have put up barriers; I guess I live in limbo land.

We lost Dad, Bunny, last year but my mother, Claire, is still alive. I was six when my parents got divorced. I remember grieving for my father as if he had died. I missed his presence terribly. I don't think I ever shook that feeling of complete abandonment. It got better over the years. My daughter was seven and my son was one when I got divorced myself. They are my whole family now.

My brothers Kees, Hans and John are in Kes the Band. We grew up in two different households but have managed to maintain a bond. I’ve watched their development from day one and documented their progression from their very first band so it's all very natural for me. I get the “Kees's sister" a lot but I see it as payback multiplied by ten for all the Westwood Park years they had to endure being "Danielle's little brothers". They never asked me to shake a tambourine. I would be a definite disaster. Respect to all the tambourine players out there.


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​The Last of the Colonials

My name is Colin Leslie Beadon and I guess I am the last of Trinidad’s colonials.

I met my wife, Dion, in Texas. My first wife, June, my sons Robert & Glen’s mum, was a Trinidadian.

I would say my life really started when I got to Trinidad. I was an only child born in Burma in 1935. My father was a colonial policeman. When World War II was about to start, my parents took me to England. After a long voyage by ship, they left me with friends in England because my father had to go back to his job. I didn’t see him again until I was 11. But I never felt lonely in all that time. He was much too military for me. There were very many rules in the house.

My mother died when I was three. Well, she didn’t actually die. She committed suicide. I don’t remember her and it doesn’t hurt me to think now about what happened. I was very young. I was foster-homed but they were very good people. My father eventually married again. His wife, my stepmother, was Anglo-Burmese.

In WWII, my father, stepmother and their dog, Sweetie Pie, walked out of Burma into India. Like many other people, to get away from the Japs.

I was in boarding school from the age of six. I got my first canings then. You were warned that there were school rules and you either followed them or got caned. The rules included no fighting, and I was a big fighter, and no breaking school boundaries, and I was forever breaking school boundaries.
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​The Gospel According to the Lukes (The Good Book is a Cook Book)

My name is Daniel Luke and I’ve always been in love with food. I’m a pastry chef.


I come from the North, NOT the West. Carenage and Chaguaramus, not West Mall, Diego Martin, Petit Valley.

Carenage, from just past Glencoe to Pt Cumana, has a kind of a city feel, because it’s very built up in a narrow strip. But you also have the sea, the mountains, rivers, bush. You have to be from the area to know that there’s another waterfall, not Edith’s Fall. From the mountain ridge, on clear days, you can see all the way into Port of Spain.

Carenage is a very welcoming place and the people are very diverse.
But when people hear, “Carenage”, they think of gun crime. It has that stereotype, yes, but, all over the world, not just in Trinidad, there are places you just don’t go.
Read more

​Scared Straight to Barbados

My name is Marla Dukharan and I’m paranoid. For the very good reason that my husband was shot in a robbery attempt.


My husband was shot on 20 February 2018, the week after Carnival.

My husband, Richard Raphael Ramkissoon Snr, said our son had to have his name and I was, like, “I doing all this wuk and I not going to get to name this child? No!” So our son is named Richard Raphael Vivekanand Ramkisoon. Our daughter is Sophia Ananda. There is no literal translation but I guess “Anand” means “bliss, salvation”. Vivek and Sophia both mean wisdom.
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Jamaica Farewell

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Kim Isava and I’ve come back to Trinidad after 25 years in Jamaica.


We had a family home in Flamboyant Avenue, Petit Valley until we sold it when I was 38. So I’m a Valley girl.

I never changed my maiden name, Isava. Originally, in Spanish, it was Izava. But, when the Izavas came to Trinidad from Venezuela, they changed the zed to an ess.
Read more

Show more posts

​Handmade Trini Soap

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

My name is Danielle Dieffenthaller and I made Trinidad’s best known TV soap opera, Westwood Park.

I’m from Trinidad AND Tobago. It seems quite limiting and stupid to me when people box me in as a “West” Girl. I live in Shorelands or Bayshore, depending on who I’m arguing with. According to the people who put up an illegal gate in the road cutting me off from the rest of the neighbourhood, I live in Bayshore… Except Bayshore too, have put up barriers; I guess I live in limbo land.

We lost Dad, Bunny, last year but my mother, Claire, is still alive. I was six when my parents got divorced. I remember grieving for my father as if he had died. I missed his presence terribly. I don't think I ever shook that feeling of complete abandonment. It got better over the years. My daughter was seven and my son was one when I got divorced myself. They are my whole family now.

My brothers Kees, Hans and John are in Kes the Band. We grew up in two different households but have managed to maintain a bond. I’ve watched their development from day one and documented their progression from their very first band so it's all very natural for me. I get the “Kees's sister" a lot but I see it as payback multiplied by ten for all the Westwood Park years they had to endure being "Danielle's little brothers". They never asked me to shake a tambourine. I would be a definite disaster. Respect to all the tambourine players out there.


Read more

​The Last of the Colonials

My name is Colin Leslie Beadon and I guess I am the last of Trinidad’s colonials.

I met my wife, Dion, in Texas. My first wife, June, my sons Robert & Glen’s mum, was a Trinidadian.

I would say my life really started when I got to Trinidad. I was an only child born in Burma in 1935. My father was a colonial policeman. When World War II was about to start, my parents took me to England. After a long voyage by ship, they left me with friends in England because my father had to go back to his job. I didn’t see him again until I was 11. But I never felt lonely in all that time. He was much too military for me. There were very many rules in the house.

My mother died when I was three. Well, she didn’t actually die. She committed suicide. I don’t remember her and it doesn’t hurt me to think now about what happened. I was very young. I was foster-homed but they were very good people. My father eventually married again. His wife, my stepmother, was Anglo-Burmese.

In WWII, my father, stepmother and their dog, Sweetie Pie, walked out of Burma into India. Like many other people, to get away from the Japs.

I was in boarding school from the age of six. I got my first canings then. You were warned that there were school rules and you either followed them or got caned. The rules included no fighting, and I was a big fighter, and no breaking school boundaries, and I was forever breaking school boundaries.
Read more

​The Gospel According to the Lukes (The Good Book is a Cook Book)

My name is Daniel Luke and I’ve always been in love with food. I’m a pastry chef.


I come from the North, NOT the West. Carenage and Chaguaramus, not West Mall, Diego Martin, Petit Valley.

Carenage, from just past Glencoe to Pt Cumana, has a kind of a city feel, because it’s very built up in a narrow strip. But you also have the sea, the mountains, rivers, bush. You have to be from the area to know that there’s another waterfall, not Edith’s Fall. From the mountain ridge, on clear days, you can see all the way into Port of Spain.

Carenage is a very welcoming place and the people are very diverse.
But when people hear, “Carenage”, they think of gun crime. It has that stereotype, yes, but, all over the world, not just in Trinidad, there are places you just don’t go.
Read more

​Scared Straight to Barbados

My name is Marla Dukharan and I’m paranoid. For the very good reason that my husband was shot in a robbery attempt.


My husband was shot on 20 February 2018, the week after Carnival.

My husband, Richard Raphael Ramkissoon Snr, said our son had to have his name and I was, like, “I doing all this wuk and I not going to get to name this child? No!” So our son is named Richard Raphael Vivekanand Ramkisoon. Our daughter is Sophia Ananda. There is no literal translation but I guess “Anand” means “bliss, salvation”. Vivek and Sophia both mean wisdom.
Read more

Jamaica Farewell

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Kim Isava and I’ve come back to Trinidad after 25 years in Jamaica.


We had a family home in Flamboyant Avenue, Petit Valley until we sold it when I was 38. So I’m a Valley girl.

I never changed my maiden name, Isava. Originally, in Spanish, it was Izava. But, when the Izavas came to Trinidad from Venezuela, they changed the zed to an ess.
Read more

Show more posts