Mother of 14, Mala Joseph, rises at 4 am every day and cooks breakfast and lunch for her family and homeless people she took in, does the laundry, tidies up the kitchen and heads off to her job...
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Miserable weather, who cares?
For the entire stay so far in Glasgow for these Commonwealth Games, the weather personnel have been on the button, unlike some of our weathermen at home.
But, of all days, the weatherman got it wrong yesterday.
He told us that the sun would shine and the temperatures would be around 24 to 25 C, but there was just sun in name, and not in heat, and the temperature was a miserable 17C with rain intermittently.
So, yours truly, ever the optimist, ever the most defying, decided to wear a short pants. I should have been suspicious from the time I left the hotel and noticed no one else in shorts. Or even worse, the puzzled look on many of the faces as I as passed them should have been a give away were it not for the fact that most Scottish persons look a little forlorn in the early morning. This weather is not what they would rather wake up to find.
Small wonder that the bus co-ordinator and sales clerk in Marks and Spencer, who both had been to Tobago in the last three years for holidays were eagerly anticipating a return in the not too distant future.
Of course, they fell in love with the island, except in one case when some of the co-ordinator’s stuff was stolen. He wasn’t pleased at all. “It was the Trinis who came over on the boat and stole your stuff,” he was comforted, “Tobagonians are not that way.”
I must admit that that part of the conversation wasn’t reassuring. But my mood changed when I found a Thai Restaurant with delicious food. Good service, a reasonable price and quick turnaround improved the day.
I was still reminiscing on La Londe Gordon’s storming run down the straight in the 400 metres, when he gobbled up nearly all his opponents except the winner and second place. My short pants felt like a heated jeans. A few more metres and I am certain that bronze would have turned silver but there will be another day for this big hearted and long striding son of the soil.
Success meant that I could brave the weather to watch Cleopatra Borel perform. She asked us to witness her performance and I am not one to break my promise to a lady, so I was there.
From her first attempt, it was obvious she meant business. She was in second place immediately. And never looked like relinquishing it. In fact, she seemed poised to challenge the winner on every attempt thereafter.
Borel is a nice person who loves sport. She loves life and most of all she loves her country. She never forgets those who have supported her. It was wonderful to watch the smile on her face. She believed in herself and her ability, and took comfort from the support that top athletes earn.
There is a presence that suggests she is not just satisfied with another medal, she wants more. She is hungry for further success and whether it is through improvement under coach Ismael Lopez or rejuvenation, the world may soon be taking more notice of her.
It is easy to say that her medal was expected, but to actually perform in such cold, miserable conditions, requires not only a big heart, but guts and class, all of which identifies this mentally tough and focussed lady.
So with time running out and now down to a short pants and no kilt, I am forced to believe that when this is over, I may never acquire a proper fitting kilt. The truth is I tried on a few but they neither felt right nor looked acceptable, so I have resigned myself to short pants, even in these windy, cold conditions.
My next call would be for some Bagpipes, similar to those that were used to introduce Borel to the shot put medal ceremony and another proud T&T moment.
Cold miserable day it was at the start, but two medals later, it really did not matter.
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