Title: Encaustic Gombey #2
Image Size: 12 x 14 inches
Price: $2,500

I spent most of the second day of Cup Match photographing Bermudians camping and feasting. Now don’t get me wrong, I was not trying to cover the island documenting events; I only wanted to be amongst the people and enjoy them.

I love the way Bermudians get right into the whole Cup Match experience – it is like no other holiday and I love this country that much more at this time of year. I even love the excess: we shop like there’s no tomorrow, especially for food and Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise is the only brand we respect so much that Market Place probably sold out of it. I love the “staking out” of the picnic area. I know there are some who have a problem with the word “picnic” – I understand and respect that – but it takes a lot of effort to find a word replacement! I love the way we camp, with televisions, refrigerators, stoves, showers, beds and the entire kitchen sink! I’m not joking! I went to Spanish Point one year and saw a family brought their beds and, when I peeked in a window, there was a bedroom with curtains and even a rug on the grass! You’ve got to love’um. You have to come from a long, long line of serious campers to lug and haul all of that stuff for a couple of days and yet we do. I love the laughing and playing; seeing the generations playing a game of dominos, or having a game of cricket. I loved seeing so many men swimming with their children. I loved to see Bermuda happy.

In my family there have always been big, noisy discussions about Somerset and St. George’s Teams. Some might take them for arguments but I can assure you that they are indeed discussions – lively, lively discussions. Although I have noticed less shouting in the last few years. Sadly folks are getting older and can’t seem to muster up the passion they once had… I think perhaps we have failed to train the next generation – a gross failing on our part. When it became apparent that my team was winning I went over to my neighbour’s who by the way I didn’t know from Adam and asked if they hailed for Somerset. They said they did. I invited them to get on their knees and pray in earnest. Well of course pride got in the way and they didn’t but I did the happy dance all through their camp, and I bragged unashamedly. This was Cup Match and to their credit they took it all in good spirit. A young Somerset cousin retreated to her Mama’s car – she didn’t want to come out to face the music and take her licks. She doesn’t like loosing, well, she is only eight and we are working on her sportsmanship!

Our country needed that holiday and not just for its historical value. We needed to have a national focus, no politics, no depressing stories. This year I was down near the Causeway and being so near the road I yelled and hooted at the Boys and Girls in Blue (police). They worked so hard to keep us safe and I yelled out to them and told them so. You know what? They smiled at me and each said “thank you!”. It reminded me to say it more often.

We had sunshine, we had food enough to feed the five thousand, and we had each other. This is one time of the year you could never entice me to be elsewhere. I have got to find a way to paint about Bermudians and our love of mayonnaise, mayonnaise being the metaphor for all things Bermudian! I also became very aware of a certain something else while I was walking about. There were those who seemed a little weary when they saw my camera even when I was still a considerable distance away. Well in the interest of clarity folks, have no fear, I’m only on the hunt for the next painting. I never leave home without my camera. I photograph situations which I later paint. Sometimes I can paint directly from the photo, or sometimes I get a new group of models to re-enact the scene and do my painting from that. So if you see me out there, wave and then go on acting normally. I promise to be as unobtrusive as possible. St Gerogessssssss yesssssss !

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