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September Supplement 2005

DAY 1 - September 10, 2005

7AM - Miami, Florida. Got up at 7AM, which for me as a musician is an experience (joking). Of course, I looked beautiful -hair toss- but my disposition wasn’t. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm not one of those morning people. Not mean or anything, just quiet and reflective. Hey, it’s seven o’ clock in the morning. Don’t expect much from me.

9AM - Pick up time. The driver was 10 minutes early to take me to the airport. Hey, I needed those 10 minutes to do my make-up!

12AM - Boarded flight to Kingston, Jamaica. And just like Rosa Parks they put me in the back of the plane. This is discrimination. Ok, so what the plane was full of black people in the front, middle and back and so what I only bought coach tickets. It’s still discrimination! As I go to my coach seat, I snicker at the people in first class (just kidding).

Someone was in my window seat when I got there (now, I know there wasn’t a misprint on the ticket!). Then the woman next to her, clearly a relative asked me, “you want the window seat?” I’m thinking, “who doesn’t”

But since her relative occupying my seat was a teenager I let her have the seat and sat in her seat next to them instead (Yes, I’m a saint). Thankfully for her she is a teenager, as I only body slam and karate chop adults who ask me such questions. But hey, I have morals.

The seat switching wasn’t over. Then I heard this “pssst” sound all of a sudden. I turn around to look whose psssting me. Next, a man, apparently the girl's dad asked me to switch seats. He wanted to sit next to his family. So, saint Aisha switched seats once more. Felt like I was playing musical chairs.

Then, in the new seat, all the way in the last stinking row of the plane (Boy I tell you, I was 5 minutes from pulling a Rosa Parks!), a lady asked me what she should fill in on her customs form in the space where it says “name of vessel.” I tell her “American Airlines, but ask the stewardess, oops, I mean flight attendant, to be sure.” The flight attendant tells her to write “AA.”

Me being the smart aleck I am wanted to say to said flight attendant, “Alcoholics Anonymous?” but restrained myself. You don’t really want to tick off the flight attendants. They might give you a broken headset or flat soda or something (joking, and I didn't mind being in the back of the plane. It's actually quite private back there. I get to write in peace).

2PM - Arrive in Kingston, Jamaica. Dad, little sister and daddy’s friend meet me at the airport. I hug them. My sister and I compliment each other on how cute we both look - admiring each other’s hair (hey, at least we’re not a vain family).

3PM - Arrive at family home.

7PM - Dad tells me he wants to show me a DVD of his latest interview featured in a documentary by a French company. I’m eager to see it; my little sister however is not and jokingly voices this complaint (she’d seen the documentary before). Dad looks as though he wants to ground little sister. Aisha looks at little sister wanting to tell her to make a run for it.

Next we watch the Clijsters vs. Pearce tennis match. Kim won.

9PM - Little sister asks me to watch a movie with her. At the start of the film, I start falling asleep and she tells me to go to bed because I’m falling asleep during the movie.

DAY 2 - September 11, 2005

6AM - I'm awake (I’m awake at 6AM, what is wrong with me?!). I get up, shower, comb my hair and make modellike puckering/pouting faces in the mirror. Yes, I was having a Joan Collins moment.

It’s still dark outside (the 1 hour time difference from Miami). That’s a first. Me waking up when it’s so early it’s still dark (just kidding).

8AM - Familiarize myself with new movie camera and its accompanying manual. Went pretty well. These cameras basically use the same technology and have many mutual features. The you-learned-one-you-learned-them-all principle.

Little sister being a smart aleck asks me why I’m up so early (hmm wonder where she gets that from).

10AM - Breakfast

2PM - Lunch - Chinese food

2:30PM - Listened to and recorded music from Dad’s records.

Looked at his cricket bat that Sir Vivian Richard gave him. He has a cricket cap and bat from Clive Lloyd as well.

3PM - Speak to mom in Miami, who taunts me over the phone that they are having a party while I’m not there. Godbrother and his mom speak to me over the phone, further continuing the taunt Aisha theme of the day.

4PM - Family watches ¾’s of Agassi vs. Federer match.

5:30PM - Left for dinner to meet with Aunt and cousin.

5:45PM - Filming

6PM - Went to the Little Theatre, then dinner at the swanky Pegasus Hotel. This was my favorite hotel as a child. Mom would take me there for weekend trips. Aunt and cousin were simply hilarious. Told us of their travels and latest play they are working on to be shown in Florida.

7:30PM - Filming

8PM - Back home. Found out Federer aka Fedex won the match and championship. It was a good match though. They both played very well.

Watched the Miss Jamaica Pageant.

9PM - Listened to and recorded music from Dad’s records.

11PM - Went to sleep.

DAY 3 - September 12, 2005

6:30AM - Woke up early again!!! You know, this waking up when it’s still dark just isn’t gonna cut it!

8AM - Took a shower and got dressed.

8:30AM - Checked emails, web site, read news sites, checked temperature in London online. Brought Antarctica-esque coat just in case.

9AM - Finally got to watch dad’s DVD. He was brilliant. Really enjoyed the doco.

11:30PM - Off to the airport.

2PM - Flight to Miami to catch flight to London aka Londres. Girl checks through my luggage from Jamaica to London to save me the trouble of having to recheck it in Miami in a couple hours.

4PM - Arrive at MIA.

7PM - Called mom and told her to be good while I’m away. No parties!!!!

7:15PM - Had salad in airport.

8:35PM - Flight to London.

Several planes taxi on runway, lining up to take off. A United pilot tries to cut in line, but the AA pilot farts jet fumes on him (just kidding).

Great flight. The guy next to me was having trouble getting his seat to go back. He asked the flight attended for help. Seat still wouldn’t go back. She offered him another seat. I’m happy cause I get two seats to sleep in horizontally. Yes, life is good.

A few minutes after he left, I had to signal to him towards the back of the plane cause he left his laptop in the seat pouch where the magazines are stored. Yes, saint Aisha, again.

Of the movie choices, watched "Herbie: Fully Loaded." It was full of something alright. Saw a familiar joke in said film.

Says to self in my head, I’m not gonna fall asleep on this flight. Stay awake. Do some writing.

…5 hours later...

Day 4 - September 13, 2005

8:35AM - …5 hours later, I view sign on airplane headrest monitor that says, “1 hour to Londres” Ok, looks like someone took a nap. Alright, alright, I fell asleep…and apparently for 5 hours.

I open plane window shade. It’s a beautiful morning. It’s lovely and sunny. Yes, I brought the sunshine with me from Miami to London.

I set watch ahead 5 hours then freshen up a bit.

9:45AM - Plane lands in London.

11AM - See and hug waiting Aunt in the greeting line.

1PM - Arrive at Aunt’s home. We catch up on everything since last year.

2PM - I shower and leave for London to do filming.

4PM - Filming

6PM - Shopping in Harrods. Bought some stuff. Had 3 California Rolls in the food hall.

Harrod's

6:45PM - Harvey Nichol’s. Dinner at the Fifth Floor Restaurant. Had the Ribeye Steak. Meal was nice. Best thing about the restaurant is the ambiance and the view of the beautiful building outside.

Harvey Nicks Fifth Floor

7:45PM - While leaving the restaurant and on the 1st floor escalator, we all hear a set of noises. The guy in front of me, a stranger, asks me what was that sound, unaware of the words that were going to come out of my mouth, I casually and cluelessly say “it sounds like gunshots.”

He then darts past me, back up the escalator and the people behind me haul butt back up the escalator as well. Then it dawned on me what I had said and I go back up the escalator as well.

Meanwhile I’m thinking, this is Harvey Nicks (that’s like Saks in America). Gunshots don’t go off in such a posh store. Is Suge here? (I'm kidding, but that is what ran through my mind).

A girl on the second floor who hadn’t heard it, asked me what the gunshots I heard sounded like. I said, “It sounds like falling tin.” Still, no one was sure it was gunshots, but it sounded like that to me.

A few minutes later we venture downstairs. We see nothing indicative of gunfire (little did we know) and walk out the store. While waiting outside, a group of employees were crying and visibly in shock. Not a good sign.

The Police arrive.

Shortly after we hear someone saying a cosmetics girl’s been shot in the head by a man. I say, that’s not good. A bullet to the head, she’s probably dead. That's tough to recover from.

I took out my camera and started filming. No, didn’t film or see the purported dead.

An ambulance arrives. A huge crowd gathers. The Police rope off the store.

A lady standing next to me asks me if I know what happened. I told her someone had been shot, reportedly in the head by a gunman. She asked me if I’d seen it. I said no, but I heard it.

Then she asked me where I was from (the accent gave it away). I said I live in Miami. Then she said, so you must be used to this stuff. I jokingly thought to myself, oh no you didn’t, somebody’s seen one too many episodes of Miami Vice (LOL). Laughing, I told her “Actually, no. This is the first time I’ve heard gunshots.”

A constable with the Met Police then asked if anyone heard or saw anything. I told him I heard what happened and assumed it to be gunshots. He took my information and account of what I’d heard. I told him I heard about 4 or 5 gunshots (in the paper the next day, they reported it was 5 shots).

8:30PM - Take the train home

10PM - I tell my Aunt all about my day. She's stunned. Based on the pics I saw in the papers the next morning, we were right on the other side of the dead bodies that were on the floor. We were on the (left) other side of the cosmetics counter about 40 feet away from the bodies. Her co-workers were so terrified, the few of them in that area had ran out through the other door to get help. Thankfully we didn't exit through the door on the right or we would have come face to face with the dead bodies before the Police had arrived.  

Day 5 - September 14, 2005

8:30AM - Took a shower and got dressed.

9AM - Full English Breakfast.

10AM - Left for Bond Street. A beautiful, sunny day. Nice and cool.

12:30AM - Visited HMV, bought 3 CDs by British artists. Bill comes to 14.97.

1:15AM - Selfridges. The best store in London.

1:40PM - Selfridges’s Food Hall “Food Gallery Cafe” on one of the upper floors. Had the chicken, leek, and asparagus crepe in a veloute sauce. For dessert - banoffee pie.

2-3:40PM - Filming in Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Chelsea, Bayswater, Battersea.

3:35PM - Filming in Hyde Park. Almost stepped in horse manure.

3:36PM - Handsome, smiling Brit on bicycle sees me almost step in horse doo-doo. That would have been embarrassing. Well, knowing me not really. I can laugh at myself.

4PM - Spoke to a nice Brit born Jamaican in the park. We talked about Jamaica, London, Brixton and America. As I leave, he kisses my hand and wishes me well on my filming excursions. British men have their game down pat.

5PM - Filming in Oxford Street.

5:45PM - Went to West Hampstead. On the way there went down Abbey Road. Filmed entire area. It was a beautiful evening. The sun was just right. Provided great natural lighting (Yes, God is the best lighting technician there is).

6:15PM - Checked emails in a small computer store in West Hampstead.

6:40PM - More filming down Bond Street.

7PM - Dinner in Selfridges’s food hall on the bottom floor. Had the vegetable stuffed baby lobster w/ salmon mousse, California Rolls and cranberry juice.

8PM - Train home. Guy at tube station is staring at me. I was running my tongue over two of my teeth, which he mistook as a suggestive gesture. I actually had a bit of carrot stuck in my teeth from dinner that I was trying to get out. I wanted to burst out laughing when I realized what he thought!!!

Day 6 - September 15, 2005

9:30AM - Awoke to the sound of gently falling rain. Took a shower and got dressed.

10AM - English Breakfast.

10:30AM - Watched a program called “Nature And Science.” It was very informative and engaging.

2:25PM - We took train and rail to Dulwich to see Cousin Diane and family.

3PM - Saw cousin. After several years, she still looks the same. She just didn’t age. Well, she’s a doctor. Maybe she found some anti-aging formula! She's the best doctor in the world. She is so devoted to her job. Truly cares about it.

Ate dinner we bought at a Jamaican restaurant called Callabash. Curry chicken and ackee quiche.

3:30PM - Filmed Brixton and Dulwich.

4PM - We pick up little cousin Joshua. This is the first time I’m meeting him. He’s 6 years old and brilliant. He goes to a private school (in England called a public school). He has the most amazing little British accent. His school is fabulous. The architecture of the buildings is very charming.

4:30PM - We pick up little cousin Eleanor from school. She’s a lovely little girl and very bright. She’s 9 years old.

5PM - More filming in Dulwich, an amazing village.

6PM - Spent time with Aunt and little cousins. They really are wonderful children. So smart and so full of potential. Eleanor asked to braid my hair. While I’m thinking after the rain this morning, good luck trying to braid it. She did a good job, though.

I checked my emails and my site.

Both kids beat me at soccer foosball. That did wonders for my self-confidence (kidding). Nothing better for the old self-esteem than getting beaten by a 6 and 9 year old.

10PM - Cab arrived to take us home.

On the way home in the cab, it’s drizzling somewhat. Saw a man on a motorbike. Thought to myself, he reminds me of Wesley Snipes in the bike scene of the film New Jack City. His bike flies past the cab. About a minute later, we see guy that was on bike sprawled out on the ground with his bike overturned. People were rushing to his aid. He was injured.

My Aunt then jokingly says, “This stuff just follows you, doesn’t it!” (Referring to the guy crashing off the bike and the Harvey Nichols shooting the day before).

Day 7 - September 16, 2005

9AM - Got up took a shower

10AM - English Breakfast

12AM - Filming along Kensington High Street

2PM - Buckingham Palace

5PM - Filming the exteriors of Albert Hall

7PM - Dinner @ Bibendum on Fulham Road. I had the Deep Fried Haddock with fries (Fish and Chips) and still water. It was a very nice meal. The waitress was also very nice. She had a very pleasant French accent.

Bibendum

8PM - Filmed Old Brompton Road. There was a Beatles window display @ Christie’s with signed guitars, vintage pics and album certification plaques.

Had dessert in a little shop. A raspberry chocolate tart thingy. It was quite nice.

9:45PM - Checked email in a little internet café.

10PM - Went home.

Day 8 - September 17, 2005

6AM - Woke up and took a shower

8AM - English Breakfast

9AM - Shopping in Marks and Spencer. Bought mom a lovely blouse ( I asked her what she wanted and she said a blouse).

9:30AM - Filmed Westminster and Downing Street

10:15AM - Filmed Covent Garden

11AM - Filmed Tower Of London and the Docklands

12:15PM - Back to Covent Garden for a walk.

12:45PM - Lunch @ The Ivy. Had the Chicken Curry Marsala. For dessert had a chocolate soufflé. It was a very good meal. The best thing about The Ivy's decor is the stain glass windows and how they look juxtaposed against the dark wood. It gives it a very cozy yet elegant feel.

The Ivy

2:30PM - Off to spend the weekend in Hertfordshire with cousin Ed and his wife Debbie. They make a lovely couple. It was great to see him again. He commented on how he hadn’t seen me since I was a kid (about 7 years old). His wife joked to him, “Yea and I hope it makes you feel very old!” (LOL!). They are quite the comedy duo.

3PM - Checked my emails.

4PM - Went to a great museum in St. Albans, which is a really cool town. So is Welwyn.

As I stated, we were staying with my cousin Ed and his wife Debbie for the weekend. On the way from the museum to dinner, Ed asked me which football team I support. I made the mistake of saying Arsenal. Everyone in the car was like uh oh. I'm like, what did I do? -deer in headlights face- He supports Manchester United and Arsenal is their rival. Then Ed jokingly said, "Where are you sleeping again tonight?" (LOL - the way he said it was priceless).

These Man U fans can be so vindictive. First my dad called me a traitor for supporting Arsenal, now my cousin's threatening to chuck me out his house. What's an Arsenal fan to do (LOL!).

5PM - Visited the magnificent Church at St. Albans. Absolutely breathtaking.

7PM - Went to dinner @ the “Inn Wellington.” It’s a lovely, refurbished pub in St. Alban’s. It dates back to 1342. I had the rack of lamb, a pâté starter and sticky toffee pudding for desert. Best meal I had in England.

9PM - Back home to Ed’s house.

Day 9 - September 18, 2005

8:30 - Shower

9PM - Full English Breakfast with Aunt, Ed and his wife Debbie.

10PM - Off for a great day in the country in Oxfordshire. Visited Blenheim and had a marvelous time.

3PM - Had dinner of cottage pie with veg and ice tea @ the Blenheim Cafe.

Had a wonderful day. It was lovely spending it with my family.

5PM - head back home

7PM - Got back home. Packed for morning flight.

Came home with 5 hours worth of footage and some great memories.

   

 

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