Archive - March 2018

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March in review: Still at it
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G.L.i.B-bed: The Island of Doctor Moreau
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G.L.i.B-bed: The Metamorphosis
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G.L.i.B-bed: The Picture of Dorian Gray
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G.L.i.B-bed: Fire and Fury
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Oniovo: B & B
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Oniovo: Those to whom I offer counsel or care
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Two words
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An unusual collection
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Oniovo: Red sand

March in review: Still at it

If you’re persistent, you’ll get it; if you’re consistent, you’ll keep it.   Ah, this month. My siblings series continued every Sunday to very encouraging, relatable feedback; this might be my best writing decision yet in recent times. No such uplook in my 9am – 5pm though; the Sahara looks more like an ‘inviting’ prospect compared to it. The slight boost which occurred last month was just  a ruse. It totally deceived me. Aaargh! Speaking of which, the financial editing I delved into this time last year appeared on my desk again this month. Hello, annual report season! I cannot, for the life of me, understand the pleasure derived from computing, compiling figures; it’s like watching paint dry. Even that seems more appealing. But edit the documents, I did. They made me yawn, bored me to tears and made me extra cash too. Thankfully, there is a season for them; all I need do is grin and grit my teeth, and get the work over and done with. I have to admit though, the first set of content I dealt with had my eyebrows slightly elevated in pleasant surprise. And yes, it’s also Easter season too, and holidays for the children with T’s birthday right at the beginning. There was cake (there still is)and ice – cream and an outing and major exhaustion for me. Regarding my reading, I have to admit I didn’t expect I’d have three books to count as read this month, considering my shaky start and navigation of e- copies. But here I am about to begin my fourth at the end of March. Way to go, girl! Shaun T. maintained a healthy, no stretch balance.    

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G.L.i.B-bed: The Island of Doctor Moreau

You know what they say, there are three sides to a story – his side, her side and the truth. The diary written by the main protagonist of this book made me question his accounts of events in a particular location, time and again. And the fact that those who could corroborate his claims died, only made it even more suspicious. Nevertheless, this was an intriguing tale as I followed one man’s (and his assistant) quest to revolutionize scientific discoveries while dangerous tinkering with nature.

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G.L.i.B-bed: The Metamorphosis

This was such a sad volume of text. Compact but its melancholic tone ran the full length of it. Something insides of me kept nursing hope for a change of the situation but it never came. This book put a damp on my once happy decision to stick to digital copies for a while; it tested the sense of that resolve. I had to remind myself that paperbacks were also capable of forlorn themes. Thankfully, the size of the book didn’t allow me wallow in misery for too long.  

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G.L.i.B-bed: The Picture of Dorian Gray

After Fire and Fury, I decided to continue in this digital reading path…for now. And it is for books such as this that I’d endure the inconvenience of an e-copy version. Such enriching literature, the kind that kept me panting for more beautiful prose, enjoyable text, mesmerizing content. The Picture of Dorian Gray ticked off all the boxes for me – credible, enthralling plot; complex, intriguing characters; and the icing? well – written, well – rendered prose. A bonus was the trip down memory lane to my university days of studying the classics. It also went further to unravel the mystery of the titular character whom I first happened upon in the film, The LXG (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). Truly an excellent start to my journey of classic literature in digital form.

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G.L.i.B-bed: Fire and Fury

E- books are never my thing. The process involved doesn’t make sense to me. Why would I want to rely on batteries or electricity in order to read a book? How inconvenient! But for the peculiarity that is Donald Trump’s presidency, I made an exception. My first read this year was the e-copy version of Fire and Fury. Initially, it reaffirmed my conviction about e-books and why I don’t prefer them, but I ploughed on. It didn’t help either that the book wasn’t so well – written. However, it delivered on the entertainment front and inner workings of the white house which I sought. What made this book more poignant for me were the characters featured who are real – life and on TV.

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Oniovo: B & B

We might as well have erected a signpost, replete with opening hours, services offered and, perhaps, rates. Thus, owning the other status thrust upon us. We could have converted the BQ to our area of operations, and, who knows, raked in money enough to build three residences in various locations; one we would live in, then lease out the others to a church and a bank – GTB perhaps, when they appeared early in the millennium. Wishful thinking. None of the above happened. But please read on, there’s a method to this madness. So most of the time, our house belonged to us because, well, we paid the rent. Most of the time also, it didn’t. As a revolving door swirled people in and out of a building, so was our home for out-of-town guests who were family, friends or family – friends. For all the perks it afforded us, the location was also the bane of our existence. Most times it was a B & B (and lunch and supper and sleepover and whatever else) spot for single digit visitors to whole families. Most times, as it was back then, there were no fore warnings or indications of visits or length of stay (as the spirit, welcome and free everything flowed). Guests just showed up and our parents welcomed them warmly with wadoh, emu otwa twa boh and a spare bed. They cramped our style in more ways than one, and this had nothing to do with space. There was only one television for goodness’ sake! And how come important discussions occurred in the sitting room at the exact allotted time for Another Life or Checkmate? Or worse, when the radio presenter was spinning tunes we wanted to rock to? From students, we females morphed into housekeeping and waitressing; ensuring clean sheets, neat rooms, bath water and waiting tables. Mum was the chief chef; stepdad the chief host. We had guests who visited once in a blue moon. There were others who appeared once or twice or less than five times annually. All of these were tolerable. Then there”more

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Oniovo: Those to whom I offer counsel or care

Good morning God, Thank you for the night’s rest and for this new day  Will you accompany me as I go my way? Thinking through my mind, living in my heart, Speaking through my mind and guiding my feet in the paths You wish me to follow? Bless me with robust health and the physical strength to carry my share of the world’s load. Give me a clear knowledge of the right and the courage to stand steadfastly by my convictions. Make my will strong, but let my voice and my touch be gentle. Teach me to be patient, and to be kind. Grant me the wisdom to guide only to their greatest good Those to whom I offer counsel or care Keep me so scrupulously honest that the slightly trust…   As it turned out, our parents not only operated a B & B, unknowingly, for an ever- widening select few… The prayer above was amongst our mother’s litany which she recited every morning. The line in bold aptly described another tag hanging over our house.  …our home was also an unofficial counselling centre.  Our parents’ friends hauled over their issues – mostly marital – to our house and cascaded them on our parents’ laps for help, for solutions, for counselling.  Sometimes it was a couple appearing together to defend their actions; other times the couple would arrive separately – the wife showing up in the evenings after work while the weekends seemed to favour the husbands.  Each party always came with the same ammunition – tempers flared, righteous indignation, bruised ego…  Attitudes a steaming plate of ukodo or mum’s signature fresh fish amiedi and usi would diffuse in an instant, and produce coherent, calm, albeit one – sided accounts of the matter at hand.  And boy, were their stories and/or actions equal parts ludicrous as they were incredulous/serious in our eyes.   The complaints of a wife who had issues with her husband because of relations with his children from a previous marriage… The husband whose reluctance to attend church was so as not to soften his heart”more

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Two words

Wake up. Don’t stop. Keep out. A fervent fan of the series, Criminal Minds, she just finished seeing the first episode of season 12. The abduction, torture and rescue of Emily Prentis – the head of the BAU team- had made for a riveting, edge – of – seat viewing. According to Prentis, two words helped keep her sanity during the entire ordeal. Wheels up. A phrase commonly spoken when the team had to fly out to a location to solve a case. For Prentis, it meant the search to rescue her was underway. How reassuring. If only the two – worded phrase she dreaded hearing each time had the same effect on her. Alas, they were anything but, leaving her in suspense mode instead. Not yet. Ever since her six-year-old learnt the twin terms, they have been his de facto arsenal. Albeit temporarily. ‘Are you ready to eat?’ ‘Not yet.’    ‘Time for your bath.’ ‘Mummy, please. Not yet.’    ‘TV’s over. Sleep time.’ ‘Not yet, naaaaaaaaaaaaahhh.’ The phrase in itself didn’t rattle her; it was the situation in which its use had the utmost effect – during meal times. Her son could deploy it for hours unending, as long as the components of the dish included healthy, food – chain elements. It never surfaced when desserts were involved. 1.30pm: Not yet 2.30pm: Not yet, mummy. 4.00pm: Not yet By which time, she’d be listening more to her intuition than the words he was uttering. That’s when she’d compel him to eat something, anything under her vigilant scrutiny. But an article she read, written by an entrepreneur, described the two words as thoughtful as opposed to a hard “no.” It’s not just a tool for delaying a decision – far from it. Instead, it’s leaving the door open a crack, and leaving time for people and opportunities to mature, the article expanded. While she agreed with the writer’s line of thought in the business context he used for numerous examples, she had no doubt in her mind that her son’s “not yet” was hardly ever going to open the door”more

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An unusual collection

Concern furrowed Twani’s mum’s brows when she first noticed her daughter’s fascination with birth dates. Hers. Her brother’s. Her parents’. Her cousins’. Her classmates’. Her friends’. ‘March 18 is Lily’s birthday.’ The 10-year-old girl would announce suddenly, out of nowhere; oftentimes in the middle of a totally unrelated conversation. Then she’d proceed to list out subsequent birth dates of family and friends she was aware of in that same month. To her mum’s dismay, she’d repeat the same process once a new month rolled in. Was the allure of a possible party pack, looming in the horizon, the reason for her daughter’s fixation on birth dates? Her mum wondered. Or a piece of fluffy, cake with dripping icing? Twani’s mum’s concern was quickly replaced with worry when the little girl mentioned a classmate’s brother’s birthdate and remembered her hairdresser’s sister’s daughter’s as well! What the…?! Increasingly, when Twani met a peer or a younger child for the first time, the very next question after ‘What is your name?’ was ‘When is your birthday?’ Her mother didn’t fancy the power a party pack had over her offspring; it seemed like it was making her obsessed with birth dates. On second thoughts, she didn’t think this would extend to new playmates with whom there was little chance of meeting up again; let alone be invited to their birthdays. In a play park once, she made an offhand remark of Twani going around amassing birth dates after the little girl had just extracted three of such from newly – found playmates. However, it was nothing she’d joke about;unless there was more to it than met the eye. Agreed, she hadn’t expected her daughter to be a collector of rare stamps, Instagram followers, first edition books or typewriters but…birth dates? Who collected them, for goodness’ sake?! And why?! What was the motivation to accumulate and treasure these as a potential collection? It was unlikely to happen upon a rare birthdate, for instance. Perhaps February 29 comes close but even then… Did they afford her an unusual high especially when the promise of that party”more

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Oniovo: Red sand

The ancient kingdom of Benin was where we did most of our growing up. Smack in the centre of the city was where our house stood. Its proximity to everywhere –  a major market, the post office, a government hospital, the airport, the seat of government, a string of pharmacies, our place of worship, ring road (the mother of all bus stops) – gave us a certain privileged status. The centrality of its location was made more glaring by its position right behind the traditional ruler of the Benin Kingdom – the Oba of Benin’s palace. Omo n’Oba n’Edo  Uku Akpolokpolo. It took several rehearsals to effortlessly reel off that name in one breath. Not an easy feat back then considering some of our Bini friends couldn’t twist their tongues around their king’s appellation. Oba gha to kpe e. Ise! So, one of our brother’s friends tagged our house the Oba of Benin’s boys’ quarters. A part of the stretch of impenetrable red brick wall, that served as a fence, took up an entire side of our street. While others awoke to the golden view of the rising sun, ours was a mixture of seemingly endless concrete stronghold and yellow rays; a sight we beheld every morning. One we grew accustomed to. Looked forward to seeing, even. When we got over the myths surrounding the palace wall, it also provided succor from the elements and a much-elevated side- walk. Living behind the Oba’s palace meant we were bordered on the left and right sides by chiefs of the palace; some of whom were quite friendly with our parents.We had front row seats to the customs and culture of the Bini people. The language was front, back and centre in our conscious and subconscious life; it began with the break of day. Where two or three Bini people are gathered, a poultry is speedily formed. Kor. Kor. Kor. The ceremonial dress of the chiefs wasn’t a strange sight, and we always knew in what direction they were headed once that attire was donned on. Sacrifices in clay pots or calabashes at the beginning/end of”more

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