Archive - October 2014

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I am not a Chelsea FC fan.
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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun: The Reception
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More than words: NaNoWriMo
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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun: The reason, the highlight of the trip
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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun – Part V
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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun – Part IV
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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun – Part III
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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun – Part II
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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun – Part I

I am not a Chelsea FC fan.

Really. I am not. I am only wearing this t-shirt because it looks good on me and goes with my skin tone. I am not even a football fan. The last time I sat down to see a full – length football match was the 1994 World Cup game between Nigeria and Bulgaria. It was one way to show my patriotism and I also wanted to get a feel of the ‘unifying bond’ that I heard football brings along with it. Believe me, I did not pay a kobo for this t – shirt. So how did I get here? Wearing this t-shirt and denying the club it represents? My beau is a sports fan. Tennis (table & lawn), cricket, golf, rugby, snooker, athletics, seasonal swimming…and football. He is the Chelsea fan. A true blue. Like all the other sports he’s interested in, he can talk extensively about football but, most especially, about Chelsea FC – its players, its playing, its highs & lows, its history and its managers. Not surprisingly, he loves Jose Mourinho. One of his first club t-shirts was a black and white creation with the inscription ‘Special One’ written behind. He was not an entirely happy man during the years Mourinho was away from Chelsea. My beau also had a lanyard and a scarf. Paraphernalia of the club that were things around his neck on the days Chelsea played and days they didn’t. His daughter, T, was first introduced to this passion of his days after she was born when he named her after the club. And I knew something wasn’t right when, a year after marriage, I could name all the players on the field and on the bench! Tufiakwa! Where did that come from? I don’t even like football! But, for a little less than 10 years, I have lived with a football enthusiast. That enthusiasm seems to be slowly rubbing off on me. I won’t let it! I have caught myself sitting through a few minutes of a game and listening to my beau’s praise or sudden burst of exclamation in anger at”more

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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun: The Reception

When I decided to do this, recount our vacation experience, I didn’t think it would take this long. This is just the third day and I’m tired already, losing interest even. Plus I am not including EVERYTHING that happened in the trip because not only can I not remember every single bit of it but even if I did, chances are I’d probably still be writing the account on my eleventh birthday! Apparently, I didn’t know exactly what I signed up for when I took up the challenge. So forgive me if I tell this part of the reception in shorts. Those clicking sounds are everywhere at the church ceremony – before, during and after. They go crazy especially after. Thankfully, the church has loads of shaded areas to enable us indulge relentlessly. Though some of us brave the heat for optics. The reception takes place in a hotel two and a half hours later, fifteen – twenty minutes’ drive away from our hotel. It must have been about 7pm when we arrive at this awesome place simply called The Address. Drinks – red, blue, peach and other inviting colours – welcome us at the lounge, and of course more optics as our numbers grow. In the middle of drinking, smiling, talking and photos, little brother drops his glass and starts wailing about his blue drink. I’m just wondering: who is going to clean up the mess? As we wait to be ushered into the reception hall proper, mummy takes us into a nearby room with a screen. Some kind man puts on cartoons for us and in a moment the clicking sounds begin again. And more people join us in the room and, of course, followed by more clicking sounds. I need to go to the bathroom. All that blue and peach drinks have got me needing to expel some liquid. In the end, I go to the bathroom at least 10 times during our six/seven hour stay in the hotel. After the second visit, mummy takes a camera back there with her. The bathroom is…wow! Who…who puts a chandelier in”more

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More than words: NaNoWriMo

T will be back in the next post…hopefully. She’s still writing up the reception piece of her ‘Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun’ series. It’s quite a lot and it’s almost taking her underwater but she’s breathing just fine. While she’s at it, I decided to slip this in. Come November 1, I will join thousands worldwide to begin the National Novel Writing Month challenge. Do I have an idea for a novel? No. Will I have one by Saturday? I doubt it. So I am engaging in the challenge because… I don’t write enough. I don’t write often. And I don’t write often enough. I’m not sure why but I think I can attribute it to feeling overwhelmed with all my roles overlapping, with all the multitasking, that writing constantly is put in storage. A far cry from hitting the burners; let alone the front one. It is that bad. T had to step in on my behalf while I picked myself up from where life left me. I’m just doing that how many posts later??? What the heck! This is not me. This is not the me I want to be. And this is where NaNoWriMo enters. It is an annual internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words (1, 667 words daily) of a new novel from November 1 until the deadline at 11:59PM on November 30. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing and keep them motivated throughout the process. To ensure this, the website provides participants with tips for writer’s block, local places writers participating in NaNoWriMo are meeting, and an online community of support. The idea is to focus on completion instead of perfection, on the length of a work rather than the quality, encouraging writers to finish their first draft so that it can later be edited at the author’s discretion. Organizers of the event say that the aim is simply to get people to start writing, using the deadline as an incentive to get the story going and to”more

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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun: The reason, the highlight of the trip

The next day, in the afternoon, Uncle Tg got married to Aunty Cathy. (I don’t know how, in all my recount of this trip, I forgot to mention that Aunty Cathy and her entire family of very fair – skinned people became part of our entourage too. My sincere apologies. We met her siblings and their family, as well as her mummy. All nice and fun people, adding to all the laughter and camaraderie that was going on). So that’s why we’re here. To celebrate both of them. All that travelling, the family gathering and everything else was geared towards this most important day of their lives; their wedding day. Starting their lives together, forever. Below is something mummy put up on her Facebook page that will be replicated here. No long thing. I Hope You Dance I hope you never lose your sense of wonder, You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger, May you never take one single breath for granted, God forbid love ever leave you empty handed, I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean, Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance I hope you dance. I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance, Never settle for the path of least resistance Living might mean taking chances but they’re worth taking, Loving might be a mistake but it’s worth making, Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter, When you come close to selling out reconsider, Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance I hope you dance. Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along, Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone                              “more

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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun – Part V

For the next couple of minutes (It felt like hours), the car dipped, swerved and screeched. Every time, we screamed. Every time, I thought this was the end of life as I knew it. Every time, I was wrong. We were all alive to go through the next dip, screech, swerve and scream. This was the desert safari, I came to know later. More like the desert – roller coaster – ride – of – near- freaking – death, if you ask me! Was I being punished for complaining earlier on? About the never – ending sand and no – destination driving? Right now, I’ll take those over this…this…We dip again. Aaaaarrrrrrrgghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! When we come up for air, I notice mummy’s camera cellphone in the air and the accompanying clicking sounds. Huh? ‘You can still take photos?’ Aunt Connie turns around briefly to ask before another heart – stopping dip and the subsequent screams. ‘I put it on the sequence setting.’ Mummy manages out. ‘So it can take multiple photos at a time.’ Another screech and I am so sure the car is going to fall over sideways this time but no, it’s revving up for another daredevil dip. Aaargghhh! Only the ladies are screaming in this car! Little brother’s just smiling and saying:’ Mummy, we going up and down’ while Gareth’s laughing out loud in front. Are these two for real? Or aren’t we all living the same adrenaline – pumping (high blood pressure) experience??? More dips. More swerves. More screeches. More screams. Everything becomes one big, blurred sand wave except the screams that stay as sharp as ever. Finally, finally, finally…and it could have come sooner…we come to a complete stop after another death – defying dip. The driver turns around with a grin to ask if everyone’s all right. Only someone with Odi – ichi would be after that roller coaster. I’m so sure I’m going to throw up as we all climb out (stumble out is more like it) of the car barefooted in other to join others for a little break. The desert sand is”more

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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun – Part IV

Breakfast is palm – sized, fluffy pancakes and croissants, finger – sized sausages, boiled eggs, melt -in-your-mouth, really cute inni-mini muffins and fruit yoghurt. Yum. Yum. Yum. Their aroma wakes me up the next morning. I’m almost reluctant to get out of my bed. It’s so sleep – inducing with soft pillows and a duvet. With all white bedding, it’s almost like heaven. Pure, white bliss. But bliss won’t feed me. My stomach groans and I’m out in a flash. Little brother, in the twin bed close to mine, just rolls on his side and continues sleeping. The bed , most definitely, has the same effect on him. A longer one. I would have remained in the bath for ever, playing with the moveable shower hose but hunger called the shots. I have more than enough of everything on my plate and look forward to more breakfast spreads like this. How wrong I was! Subsequent breakfasts took place downstairs in the restaurant and there was a wide variety of fruits and pastries and cereals; their accompaniments – ham, eggs, sausages, bacon, baked beans; drinks – yoghurt, juices, hot chocolate, water, tea; and spread – butter, jam, honey… The breakfast upstairs was just a promise of what was to come. And when it came, I took my pick of almost the entire lot and stuffed my face. Besides the food, going for breakfast helped me hone my elevator operator skills. Back to the first breakfast though. I’m almost done when dad whizzes by. A part on my head, ‘good morning’ to two of the women in his life and he announces: ‘I’m going down for breakfast.’ While mummy waits for little brother to awake, she sorts out our clothes to go out with while I catch up on some cartoon. Fully sated. ’T’, a sharp, clear, tiny voice breaks into my concentration after a while. I turn around. Little brother is up. In the afternoon… We have been driving for so long that Ella asks her mum if we’re driving into Africa. Good question, cousin. Ella, her mum (Aunt Connie) and”more

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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun – Part III

How can anyone want to sleep with a view like this? I can’t help asking silently as I join little brother by the wide windows to stare at the scene spread out in front of us. We are presently in our hotel apartment, having showered and done lunch downstairs. Though it’s only 9 a.m. back in Lagos. This country is three hours ahead. And oh yes, I assumed my elevator operator duties with mummy as my guide to the appropriate letters, numbers and signs buttons. Thus beginning my goal to take a lifetime’s worth of rides before we leave this place. My love for elevators is only second to that of escalators. On our way back up, I overhear mummy say to dad: ‘All I want to do now is sleep. For 13 hours straight.’ Looking out at the scanty street below, I think she does need the sleep. She has bags (under her eyes) that could possibly rival that black one she carries. She must have slept for only an hour or two during the flight while ensuring her children were comfortable. Mummy knows all too well that we’ll both soon tire of this view, so she works on the TV set in the parlour and finds the only cartoon channel available. In a flash, we abandon the window and its amazing view for ‘Uncle Grandpa’. Then she stretches out on the longest – looking sofa for her beauty sleep. Big mistake. The parlour has just enough space for little brother and I to do three things almost at the same time — chase each other, stare through the wide windows AND still throw in cartoon watching. The combined noise from the TV and ours is a LITTLE bit too much. What kind of sleep is mummy hoping to get in the middle of all these? And for how long? Not long because she’s soon sleepily telling us to keep it down. As she attempts to sleep again, the intercom (I hadn’t noticed that before) close to her gives off a startlingly ring. Ah, something else to get my”more

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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun – Part II

I am still half – asleep when we land in wherever. I become fully awake when the heat introduced itself to me at the exit of the airplane. Thank God for the waiting bus and its cool interior. ‘This must be the land of three Suns, shinning all at once,’I hear mummy mutter, not stating exactly where we are. It is Uncle Jnr who is more specific about our location. ‘This is where Garfield always parcels Nermal to,’ he says,followed by low chuckles from daddy and some uncles nearby. So that’s where we are! Wicked, wicked Garfield. The heat will roast the cutest cat alive while simultaneously frying his brain. The short bus ride ends in another very cool destination – the airport building. As we queue to be checked by customs officials, little brother and I indulge in a stand – up breakfast. Hot, delicious chicken rolls ( I ask for seconds), biscuits, apple juice and cool, refreshing water. Now I know why mummy carries that black, monstrous bag of hers around; it contains a microwave, a pantry and a fridge. By the time everyone in our entourage gets their luggage, mummy, little brother & I have taken a tour of the airport, gone to the bathroom and window shopped. And just before we eventually exit, little brother & I happily (tentatively at first) try out a rather royal – looking, stationery camel. The photos you see were taken by daddy. There’s another bus ride and I’m dosing off to Uncle Otali and Aunty Adula taking selfies. That breakfast was gooo… Some time later… I disagree with mummy on the three Suns theory. There are five of them. Their collective glare nudges me awake again but with little impact this time. I’m still safely ensconced in the bus and when I look out the window, nothing prepares me for what I see. The scenery is beautiful, breathtaking… I join others in the bus to stare, stare, stare and stare again. Some of whom are clicking away with cameras, iPads or cellphones. For a moment, I don’t mind the heat.”more

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Sand, Sun & (loads of) Fun – Part I

We’re sorry. Mummy hasn’t posted in a while. Life happened and she’s yet to recover from it. So I’m writing this on her behalf. I thought no trips were taking place this year. Then one Sunday morning, late in August, mummy assembled matching suitcases in our room. For the next three days, she neatly arranged all our stuff into both of them. Toiletries, shoes, lotions, sponges, books went into one suitcase. Clothes – day, night, outing, church, swimwear – went into the other. When I asked if we were going to see grandma, she answered ‘Yes’ but also said we were going to see Uncle Tg and something else I didn’t understand until later. Uncle Tg is mum’s younger brother. He lives with us (or used to) until very recently when we’d see him once or twice a week. He’s one very tall, very fair – skinned, very fine, very bearded man who is not only a lot of fun but always buys us very, very cool stuff — books and toys. He’s also mummy’s unpaid and unofficial driver whenever he’s around. I’m still trying to figure out how he’s connected to this trip. Grandma, Uncle Jnr and another uncle I do not know show up in the house two days after mummy’s packing begins. Going to grandma’s is definitely not where we are going. So where, where were we headed this time? Aunty Adula appears a few hours before we leave the house and goes with us. We don’t stop until we arrive at a very crowded airport. There we meet up with more familiar and unfamiliar aunties and uncles  (some of whom I recognize as Uncle Tg’s friends). Mummy does a lot of greeting, smiling, introducing and talking. She knows everyone and makes us greet them too. She also does a lot of writing and more talking concerning our luggage. After a while, I lose interest in the activities because of the crowd, the noise and the unending standing. I just made sure I hold on to one of Aunty Adula’s hands. Tightly. By the time we board”more

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