The ghostly ruins of an abandoned leper colony, the spirits of rebels, and the hint of the first peoples all reside on the island called Chacachacare today.
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Bring it on 2014!
It was a blast. I kicked 2013’s butt. And 2014 had better not play with me. It will be tough, but I am going to soar even higher than last year when I learned to sky dive over Machu Picchu, lived on a kibbutz in Israel for six weeks and swam with the dolphins in the crystal waters of the Bahamas.
On a visit to Alaska, I showcased my well-earned biceps by driving a sled pulled by six huskies and won the 15th annual international sledding competition in the novice category, taking home a trophy carved from ice which is stored in my freezer.
After my three-month eat-pray-love round-the-world cruise, during which I levitated with gurus swathed in orange cotton and cooked a vegetarian feast for 16 Tibetan monks (they are begging for the recipes but they have to wait for my cookbook, for which Anthony Bourdain is writing the foreword), and practised homeopathic medicine with an undiscovered tribe in Papua New Guinea, I decided to give back to the universe.
So, I emailed Michelle Obama and she invited me to help in her campaign to end childhood obesity. So what could I do? Called up Jillian Michaels, of course, who has always been jealous of my abs but nevertheless, she agreed to follow my lead.
I taught her my secret technique to perfect crunches (have a glass of Beaujolais after each set of two reps) and she helped 10,000 children and teenagers across the United States to lose mounds of the demon fat and gain energy-boosting muscle.
I blushed so hard when Barack himself presented me with a plaque of appreciation that my cheeks turned purple.
But, being tireless in the service of others, I also volunteered 16 times a week at a homeless shelter; cleared garbage from Maracas beach on weekends; and performed turtle watch duties at Matura from October to March during the nesting season. That was me in the orange jumpsuit bawling out the creepozoids with the flashlights who were disturbing the female leatherbacks while they tried to lay their eggs in the sand.
In my spare time, I worked with the Justin Bieber of science, Jack Andraka, a teen prodigy who developed a simple home-made test for pancreatic cancer.
Until now, no one knew I was his coach. Just as I have always kept Beyonce’s secret that she tries out all her new dance moves in studio with me first.
Just before the clock struck midnight on Old Year’s Night, I typed the last full stop in my novel, which has already been optioned by Oprah for a screenplay in which Halle Berry will play the lead. I will be her body double in the outdoor shower scene.
I like to keep busy, so I also remodelled my house (wraparound veranda, mosaic tiles, decorative tin sculptures by Susan Dayal, original artwork by Shalini Seereeram) and MACO Caribbean Living magazine is featuring my humble abode on the cover of its first issue in 2014.
After all, if I have to be an empty nester, I might as well have a nest worth talking about. The five adopted imaginary children are all grown up and off to boarding schools for gifted students and private universities, and the youngest is on sabbatical in Europe where she is completing, at 16, her PhD in art history. I hear Prince William and Kate Middleton want to meet her. Maybe I will have them over for tea some time, if I can squeeze coconut bake and scones in between bungee jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge and rifle-shooting practice for the Olympic try-outs.
That’s what we would all like our 2013 diaries to look like. Instead, most likely, the pages are filled with chores and missed deadlines and unpaid bills.
Get over it. 2014 is a fresh opportunity to get it right. Try not to foul it up too much.
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