Tag Archives: By Geoff Burrowes

GUYANA: A dip in the Dark – Short Stories – By Geoff Burrowes

  By Geoff Burrowes

When I was growing up I had an older friend named Tony. He was a lawyer at the old, well established firm of Cameron and Shepherd. He loved to gyaff (the Trinidadians call it  “old talk” and it was an art form widely practiced and refined throughout the West Indies and as Tony was an interesting gyaffer I enjoyed gyaffing with him after rowing in the dark fresh Georgetown evenings.

A gyaffer is generally a story teller, full of interesting , often humourous facts that his listener will often reply to, keeping the conversation going, often in a quite different and often more interesting direction. A good gyaff could often last for hours to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.              Continue reading


– By Geoff Burrowes

They rode down from the low hills toward a long fringe of trees, through which, there was a glimpse of sparkling water!

The savannah stretched away in the distance as far as the eye could see, interrupted only by the savannah islands, unexpected outcroppings, that were as large as mountains, forested on their slopes and breaking the monotony of the flat grasslands.      Continue reading

SHORT STORY: Boysie and Crapaud at Coney Island – By Geoff Burrowes

 By Geoff Burrowes

Boysie was tall and thin. He still managed to be very attractive to the girls he met, in spite of having a stumbling knock knee and a pronounced parrot toe. He was also freakishly good at sports, always captaining and winning the games of cricket and football that broke out on nearby Bourda Green. There was no one his equal on the  ping pong table at St Barnabas Church and as far as the tawa game they played under the tall owra tree, with owra seeds he had no match.

UYANESE oNLINEHis good buddy Crapaud was as short as Boysie was tall. and instead of being thin he was corpulent. He had “short foot” so he had to almost skip to keep up with Boysie when they were out walking. He was an absolute klutz when it came to sport of any kind but Boysie and the”gang” loved having him around because he was clever, side-splittingly funny and it didn’t pay to tan’lize him as by the time your shot hit home he would “pelt a shot” twice as insulting and four times as funny.          Continue reading

GUYANA: NOSTALGIA: Brown Betty Restaurant – Georgetown – By Geoff Burrowes

  – By Geoff Burrowes

Georgetown was British in its lack of pretension, its laid back style and the laid back lifestyle.

So the Brown Betty was different and exotic with its long silver bar, running down the whole length of its North side and the red leather seats, perched on shiny poles, in front of the bar and red leather booths running down the South side and with a stair case running up to  a landing against the back (West) wall with a shiny silver and red Wurlitzer Juke box dominating the landing and stairs from the lan.ding to the next floor. I never mounted those stairs and imagined  unseen delights up there!        Continue reading

Short Stories: Chapter 8 – Immigrants! – By Geoff Burrowes

– By Geoff Burrowes

Rugby was my sport – never played soccer competitively, but when my sons’ soccer coach said “Would you help me coach the team?” I said “Sure!” figuring I could learn on the job!.

I never regretted it! The boys, eager and believing we knew what we were doing, played their hearts out, relishing in the water and orange slices at half time.

Frank, the coach was a tall, lean Englishman who did know soccer and I was learning on the job. I knew what constituted an off side by this time and a foul tackle and would harass the referees when I felt that they weren’t giving our boys a fair shot. Not knowing the game properly I coached by encouraging the boys when they played hard and made good plays.    Continue reading

SHORT STORY: The Impact of an English soldier on a colonial boy! – By Geoff Burrowes

– By Geoff Burrowes

In today’s world he would probably be called an imperialist and an agent and a defendant of imperialism. He was, in fact a soldier who was an original thinker, one prepared to adopt his enemy’s strategies and the lessons of the people indigenous to the region.

His name was Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scout Movement.             

He was born in 1857. He joined the British Army after school and fought in India and Africa.          Continue reading

Short Stories: “Pandemic Musings” and “Erect again!” – By Geoff Burrowes

Musings on being indolent during the pandemic – By Geoff Burrowes

The talking heads on TV are frequently saying that enforced idleness during the pandemic is resulting in mental problems. (See after many years in Canada I can talk like a real Canadian, eh?) People are going nuts not being able to socialise normally and with the threat of a killing disease.

     “Dat ehn’ me!” I have developed in my later years a hammock mentality. I could spend hours at a time in a hammock with a good book!            Continue reading

FOB (Continued from ‘Ya tink it easy’) – By Geoff Burrowes

FOB (Continued from ‘Ya tink it easy’)

By Geoff Burrowes

When I left school my first job was at B.G. Insurance Agencies. My boss was a friend of my dad’s,  a big strapping man called Clarence Hill and my manager was Ayube Khan a kind, gentle young man (we were all young then) who taught me the job. We were an Insurance agency representing, among others, Lloyds of London. We insured shipped cargos and when clients requested insurance we has to calculate the premiums. One of the categories was F.O.B. which meant “Freight On Board”! The FOB I’m telling you about was not that!

It meant Fresh Off the Boat! All immigrants experience this regardless of how they got here! In a new country the food is different, customs are different, the patterns of speech are different and we had to know that yachtins are referred to as sneakers and singlets were wife-beaters or tshirts!        Continue reading

Guyana’s Rupununi: Which of us hasn’t wanted to be a cowboy? – By Geoff Burrowes

Ole time ‘tory or livin’ the dream …Which of us hasn’t wanted to be a cowboy or fireman?

By Geoff Burrowes

All the facts in this yarn are true apart from the ones that have been stretched to make it a better tale!

The beach house perched on tall stilts on the Buxton foreshore. The party was hot and heavy. The rum was rich and dark. Old timers will remember it fondly – it wasn’t from Bookers or Sandbach Parker but was distilled in Robb St by a maverick, Tommy Houston. It caused a warm glow when it hit the stomach and conversation flowed freely.

‘You don’t have to go all the way to Australia. Rupununi Development are looking for staff!’ Clive Bettencourt’s dad was Chairman of Rupununi Development and Monday morning I went to see him. He knew my Dad and I left his office with a job offer. That was how business was done in those days.     Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: