Lost in Laundry

I miss hanging laundry… There is something so right about hanging clothes out on a line on a sun-filled day. There is nothing like the fresh smell of clothing that has aired-dried out in nature.

My mother hung clothes for 9 of us and so I spent a lot of time watching her do so as a child, or helping her by handing up socks and underwear at the bottom of the basket. In one of our homes we had an opening on the side of the house, so mom didn’t have to go outside, as the pulley mechanism was right in the house… that helped on winter days. I recall her pulling clothes in that were frozen stiff.

When I lived in The Bahamas I would put on my bikini to hang the laundry, as it would take some time with my family of 6, and I felt I may as well take advantage of the ‘me time’ away from the kids when they were young.

Laundry hanging in The Bahamas had certain challenges, as on very hot days you’d have to watch that your clothes didn’t get sun bleached. I’ve ruined a few pieces like that.  Then there’s nothing like a sudden torrential rain that stretches out those lines, in particular if you have towels out.  I remember many times rushing out when hearing thunder claps to see how fast I could get the clothes down without spraying my clothes pins across the yard, which would mean more work later.

I loved particularly windy days as the constant flapping worked like a natural fabric softener, removing that hard tough feeling that some fabrics hold when air-dried.

I always thought ‘laundry hanging’ could become a national sport in The Bahamas, or at least a fun one at festivals etc. A friendly competition to see who had the fastest hands hanging and pinning up clothes. OR who was fastest at taking clothes down and returning the pins to the line.

There’s something magical for children about seeing clothes or better yet, sheets on a line, and it easily becomes a place of play, magical worlds and daydreams.
But I miss it most because I would get lost in my thoughts, and it became my daily meditation that I always looked forward to.

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I am the co-founder and editor of one of The Bahamas’ leading news sites, TheBahamasWeekly.com; and a successful entrepreneur and pioneer in online marketing. Aside from being a recognized media personality and community builder, I am also known for my networking and social media skills, and I have years of training in information management.

Let me help you with your event promotions and publicity. I am the publicist for Supermodel of the Bahamas; the Miss Grand Bahama Beauty Pageant and group of pageants; FLIFF On Location: Grand Bahama; Grand Bahama Performing Arts Society; Manhunt Bahamas; Grand Bahama Girls Soccer League; Go-Trade Business Expo; and the Culinary Fusion Expo.

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My coach, Donnie Knowles’ acknowledged for Sports Contribution in The Bahamas

Knowles-TributeCoach Donnie Knowles, has been honoured for his contribution to sports in The Bahamas by the Kamalamee organization.  Although I could not be at the honouring event at the Regency Theatre on October 27th, I was asked to provide remarks, and a video presentation (see my link at bottom).

I met Donnie and Mary Knowles the first year I moved to Grand Bahama in 1998. I fulfilled a life-long dream of playing soccer when I joined his team The Predators in the Grand Bahama Football League, which sadly, no longer exists. The Predators were undefeated in the GBFL and Knowles took them to 5 national championships.

What was his recipe for success? Well some say it’s because he always had the best players, but in actual fact – it’s because he has always been, the best coach. He is strong in his disciplinary actions, but always wields a loving approach, and his girls feel it and respect him for it.

One night after a soccer meeting, Donnie shared with me his vision of starting a girls’ league. Mary was teaching school by day and studying by night  to further her degree; so I offered to help him get started on that dream.  We formed the Coca-Cola Crushers and for the first time the GBFL had an All-Youth girls’ team. Donnie worked hard coaching 2 teams in tandem.  And if that wasn’t enough, he was also playing in the men’s league, and leading the GBFL.

“Behind every great man, is a great woman.”  As soon as Mary completed her studies, the Grand Bahama Girls’ Soccer Developmental League was born.  The love and skills he had instilled in his players, came back in spades when many of us joined to coach in the new league.  Those were humble beginnings and Donnie still coached at the YMCA programme that first year.  I used to call it ‘Soccer Saturdays’ – Predators were at the field for 7am shooting practice, coached morning at the Y, shoved down lunch, and then rush over to the Girls’ program for the afternoon.

Today his girls program boasts almost 300 players and 5 divisions. After 11 years, if you pass by the Freeport Rugby Football Club on Saturday mornings, you’ll still see Donnie Knowles, busy setting up over 10 fields for his Grand Bahama Girls’ Soccer League

But before he became the Coach Donnie that we know today, in his youth, Donnie was the soccer team captain at Aquinas Boys College; he played in 3 Bahamas Games for Grand Bahama Island; he was a Bahamas National Team player; and he even got a taste of the pro leagues in Scotland and England until he broke his leg before signing the big contract. During his coaching years he was called to both head coach and be an assistant coach to the Bahamas Women’s National Team for both World Cup and Olympic qualifiers. Just look at how far he’s come, and what one man has accomplished, to the benefit of his island and his country!

“Coaching, is teaching, training or developing a process while achieving a specific personal or professional result or goal.” I believe he’s reached his goal! His vision has become a reality.

Coach Donnie and Coach Mary have always instilled ‘life skills’ along with ‘soccer skills’, and after all, isn’t “teamwork” what life is really all about?

Although they have no children of their own, in actual fact they’ve raised hundreds and hundreds of girls through their love, discipline, and soccer success. Today they are invited to weddings and graduations, and are cherished members, of many soccer families.

My friend, and you will always be ‘MY Coach’, you are so very deserving of this Kamalamee Honour for your contribution to Sports in The Bahamas.  You exemplify the best in coaching and mentoring, and remind us, of what community spirit truly is.


My family sends you Cyber Hugs from Canada!

Coach Robbin

(Children: coach / ref / player, Loryn Blower; coach Nathen Blower; player Tohni Blower; and player Jackie Blower)

Donnie Knowles’ contribution to sports in The Bahamas acknowledged from Robbin Whachell on Vimeo.

Supermodel of the Bahamas, Patricka Ferguson returns from Vancouver Fashion Week triumphant

Photos seen here by: Kuna Photography / David Fillion Productions / Yiheng Su
Photos seen here by: Kuna Photography / David Fillion Productions / Yiheng Su

Patricka Ferguson, the 17 year old winner of Supermodel of the Bahamas 2013 is back home on Grand Bahama Island resting after a whirlwind trip to western Canada to walk in Vancouver Fashion Week, and, what a week it was! The 5’7″ exotic beauty never had a moment’s rest during her busy schedule of daily auditions, rehearsals, photo shoots, and nightly runway shows.

Being the new kid on the block, and from another country, Patricka did extremely well, walking in several of the top shows of the week and donning fashions from eight designers overall: Vivid Haiku Meroe (USA), Elfer Castro (Peru), Ewi Twins Fashion Label (Canada), Nikki Babie (Canada), El Closet de mi Hermana (Peru), Dong De Xi (Seoul), Kaye Morales (Philippines), and Lilla Csefalvay (Hungary). For a production that had around 80 models, that’s quite impressive.

When Patricka wasn’t busy in fittings, hair, or makeup, her agent, Oilinsha Coakley coordinated shoots with designers, and even a special shoot with the CEO of Vancouver Fashion Week, Jamal Abdourahman which took place on location at the scenic venue for VFW, the Chinese Cultural Centre in the heart of Chinatown, Vancouver. For that shoot Patricka wore a sleek and sophisticated white suit from Angela Huang’s Spring/Summer 2014 Collection debut line. Huang is a Taipei born and Vancouver, Canada based designer and also posed with Patricka for some shots.

Vancouver Fashion Week ended on Saturday, September 21st and by that time many had taken note of Patricka’s confident walk and beautiful looks. She was interviewed by several local fashion writers, and requests to model are coming in. She’s been booked to walk in an event in New York in October, and returns there next fashion season for New York Fashion Week.

“We were most impressed with both Supermodels of the Bahamas and they were a great addition to our modeling troupe,” said CEO of Vancouver Fashion Week, Jamal Abdourahman (seen here with Patricka). “Both Patricka and Lacarz were polite, coachable and giving of their time, all the while maintaining a great attitude amidst the intensity of Fashion Week. The collaboration with The Bahamas worked out well and went beyond our expectation. We’d be more than pleased to work with them in the future.”

On her last day in Vancouver there was no luxurious sleep in! She was up at 7am to accompany her host, Ms Robbin Whachell of The Bahamas Weekly to a Reconciliation Canada event, where none other than Martin Luther King’s youngest daughter Bernice King spoke. After her keynote and speeches from tribal leaders of Canada, Patrika participated in a Reconciliation Walk in the downtown area of Vancouver along with around 70,000 others. Despite the cold rainy weather she was able to hear King, and see many Native groups in regalia (customary dress) singing in Native tongue and drumming.

The entire week, was one she will never forget, and the world of the runway is solidly under her feet.

“My trip to Canada was amazing and I really appreciate the opportunities Supermodel of the Bahamas has awarded me so far,” said Patricka Ferguson. “I’m excited and look forward to the future. I want to thank my agent, Mr. Oilinsha Coakley and his publicist, Ms. Robbin Whachell for all that is being done for me.”

Supermodel of the Bahamas wishes to thank Vancouver Fashion Week, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, and TheBahamasWeekly.com for their partnership in making this opportunity possible. A special thank you to Ms. Robbin Whachell of TheBahamasWeekly.com, the team’s host while in Vancouver.

More information, VIDEO and PHOTOS on both Supermodel of the Bahamas’ activities in Canada can be seen at the Supermodel of the Bahamas Facebook page.

Supermodel of the Bahamas is the #1 model search in the country which discovers new faces. It was founded by Oilinsha Coakley, owner of Oilinsha Models and Talent, Nassau. Similar to America’s Next Top Model in that Coakley discovers new faces. The candidates are then trained and pushed to perform, whereupon it becomes obvious after photo shoots, runway shows, and interviews, who is made for the life of a model.

(Photos seen here by: Kuna Photography / David Fillion Productions / Yiheng Su)

I Have Freckles

Photo: Erik Russell
Photo: Erik Russell

[Noun —A small patch of light brown color on the skin, often becoming more pronounced through exposure to the sun.—-Verb: Cover or become covered with freckles: “skin that freckles easily”; “a freckled face”.]

Laying in the sun today (yes we do get hot weather in Canada) I floated back in time to a memory of laying next to my father on the lawn in my childhood.  He used to love laying out after his lunch on summer days, and would always fall asleep after perhaps perusing the newspaper, no blanket or towel, just right on the soft grass.

He was fair skinned and was blond most of his life, and I would always marvel at the amount of freckles on his back and arms, even though he had none on his face that I could see. He never seemed to burn either.

Today with perfection as our focal point, do we see freckles like we do acne?  I grew up with freckles on my face and on my arms and legs…they seem to be less defined on the face as one gets older.  I often catch myself thinking they look like pimples, in particular when I may have a few more of those now that I am going through the pains of menopause – but I have to tell myself I am ‘stinkin’ thinkin’ instead of seeing me as a ‘whole person’.

My sister Allynne, a model, had loads of freckles in her youth and is strikingly beautiful. I remember feeling more pretty in the summer when mine would pop out and I would look more like my big sister 🙂   My mother had moles on her face, and in those days we called them ‘beauty marks’… My mother used to define hers even further with an eyebrow pencil when applying make up. If you got it, you may as well flaunt it! right?

I can still feel my father’s skin, hot in the sun as I’d move my finger along his freckles trying to ‘connect the dots’, but there were way too many. I always wanted to count every freckle on his body, and one day told him so 🙂 …lol

That would have taken days!

Death, Grieving, Healing: In Memory of My Father, Curt Whachell

“I encourage any of you that may have unresolved issues with your parents, to discuss, resolve them and/or forgive, now before later...”

My father passed away at 87 years old on March 11th, 2013. I’d seen him twice this year before a visit just one week prior to his death.  He was doing so well those first two times, that the last time I saw him, was when it finally sunk in that my father was actually going to die. Until then, I naively never felt it possible.

I’d always felt blessed that all of my loved ones were alive around me, while so many families deal with sudden deaths, accidents and sickness. The whole idea of death and dying waited until now to visit my psyche.

My father lived a full and rich life. I have no regrets regarding our relationship, and have no thoughts or words left unsaid to my father, as we had a relationship that seemed even-keeled throughout my entire life.

On his last birthday I had the pleasure of reading this poem (see link at bottom) to him as he laughed and listened, and I am so glad I had that opportunity, as I also read it at his funeral, and I am glad it wasn’t only the latter.

This my first experience in grieving death and it is still very fresh. I’ve grieved lost love, and I have to say they are nothing alike. Lost love ranks up there with personally dying, whereas the grieve I am feeling now, comes in waves. There was the initial shock, sadness, and heart-wrenched outpouring of sorrow, that led to moments of disbelief, and denial, which were hit by the next unexpected wave of sorrow.

The funeral, or memorial, is such an important process to go through. My older sister reminded me that the funeral is not only for the deceased, but also for the living. It helps up to personally come to terms with the loss; to realize, and release, the attachment to that person.

How dad reacted to the poem  I read about him. This was his last birthday.
How dad reacted to the poem I wrote bout him. This was his last birthday.

Losing a parent is like losing a part of your identity. Another benefit of putting together a funeral is, that in the process and delivery, you revisit that identity. I know for certain that our family’s identity was strengthened through my father’s passage. What a gift he gave us.

With my 50th birthday approaching this month, I’d asked my eldest brother to convert our old home movies to DVD so we could show them at my party. How perfect that in doing so, they were ready for my father’s funeral and dad even saw a few clips on his last day on earth. We watched hours of old movies covering Wachell life from the 50s and 60s leading up to the days before the funeral, and the montage you see here (see link at base) was produced from those films by my nephew Davyde.


Our family and step-family came together to support one another and to grieve together as a family;  and of course to share our sentiments and honour the man that touched our lives individually, and collectively, in so many ways.  With seven children, and a divorce and second marriage, his life created a thread-work of stories and connections, and yes, even disconnections. We were able to share many stories, not only about my father, but about times gone by.

With the death of a loved one you end up having to honour the place you end at, even if there were things left unresolved. I witnessed this with some of my siblings.  I am content to know that I am at peace with each of my parents, but I realised that it’s ‘my decision’ to have that peace that really counts. Forgiveness truly is a gift one gives oneself. I encourage any of you that may have unresolved issues with your parents, to discuss, resolve them and/or forgive, now before later.  And if you have not told a loved one that you love them, do not wait another day to do so. Life is so very very precious.

Rest in peace my sweet father…I miss you so.

Link to HOME MOVIE MONTAGE (1950s/60s) on Curt Whachell: http://youtu.be/MvL_0Sftvn8

A WEBSITE created for my father: http://curt.whachell.com/

What I wrote for my father on the last birthday he had… just 2 month prior to his death.

I believe in a better world…