Archive - June 2018

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June in review: A little bit of this, a little bit of that
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L is for Looking
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Or
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G.L.i.B – bed: Tell Tale
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G.L.i.B-bed: How to Spell Naija in…Vol 1
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G.L.i.B-bed: Of Human Bondage
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G.L.i.B-bed: June 12: Annulment
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Withdrawal symptoms
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A breather, please.

June in review: A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I was going to stop e-books at the end of this month. I reneged; insufficient dose of patience. By June 14 or thereabout, I grabbed my first paperback this year and devoured every inny minny detail of it, even the copyright information. 😊 To my surprise, I read it simultaneously with another e-book. Withdrawal symptoms, I guess. They say it takes 30 days (or is it three weeks now?) to build a new habit; I’ve been nursing my newly acquired e-book practice for more than 151 days. Surely, that should tell on me. In all, I read four books this month, evenly distributed between e-books and paperbacks. Writing wise, I think I may have overstepped my boundaries. The Sunday signatures still went out weekly but I noticed, with every new read, there seemed to be a flurry of ideas for the written word. Which, in fact, falls within reason for my reading, besides the entertainment and knowledge – improvement factors, of course. However, the ideas poured in fast and furious, and I had to constantly write them down in other to keep up or lose the train of thoughts altogether. Right now, I’m juggling a new series, a short story and a challenge I’ve put on myself all at the same time. No pressure, Idolor! And NaNoWriMo draws closer with the end of each month. 9am – 5pm gig? Humdrum doesn’t describe it anymore. Dead & gone is more apt a phrase. Shaun T. Shaun T. Shaun T. I aimed for a four -time weekly routine, starting this month, and I’m pleased to announce that I reached that end seamlessly. Already, I can feel the effect of that extra day and routine. Any reason why I wouldn’t be continuing that path until I change my work out completely? As the year is half way gone, I should cull up my 2018 plans and do a quick review of my hits and misses, but I’m going to pass. Probably because the hits might not be up to par and I don’t want to be discouraged going forward. I’m just going to plough”more

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L is for Looking

Yesterday, I saw a lady learning to drive; the mandatory, red L sign dangling from the back of the practice car, announcing her status to all.   Nothing new there. Learners on the road these days are a dime a dozen. Like some perpetual trend.  What caught my eye, as I slowly cruised by, was not the scarf covering her head and neck; it was the pair of reflector shades she had on as well that threw me for a loop.  What in the world…?! The minor confusion in my mind mirrored on my face; I stepped on the pedal and sped away. She was already a huge caution sign being a learner and all, but with a pair of shades on?!  Girl, you’re learning  to control a rather large machine in a safe and orderly manner, not primping for a photoshoot. You should be laser-focused on the road and its users only. Do the reflector shades, at your beginner level, improve that aspect? When you get the hang of pushing pedals while simultaneously manipulating the gears and the wheel, then and only then can your fashion style shine through.  Perhaps she had defective eyesight, I tried to reason it away. If that was the case, she had no business being behind a steering wheel. Major disaster for everyone and everything on the road. Or maybe she needed the disguise from the people in her ‘hood. It could reduce her well -cultivated reputation to zilch if anyone familiar sighted her as a learner, having boasted earlier that she could handle any kind of wheels.  But wait a minute… why didn’t the man beside her, the driving instructor, utter anything about her choice of face wear? Surely he knew enough about safety and driving to advise appropriately.  What am I saying? I have been a student – driver in slow-moving traffic with my instructor taking a quick five-minute snooze. When I asked him how wise his action had been, upon his awakening, he muttered something along the lines of me being a careful, cautious driver. Another incident was of me being”more

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Or

This is entirely my fault Maternal overload, excitement and variety in equal measure. Though it was off to a good start with my beau…at first. “For breakfast, do you want yam and eggs or toast, baked beans & eggs?” I would inquire Without missing a beat, he’d answer: “Yam & eggs, please.” No hassles. No rigmarole. Simple and straightforward. For a while, we matched down this either…or… route at almost every meal time with me presenting the options and he making the choices. Even basic dishes got the same treatment, complicating where there was no need to. “Moi-moi and ogi or oats?” “Sweet potatoes, ketchup and fried eggs or meat?” The options kept pouring out of my vocal cavity. And I claim not to be business-oriented. Statistics have shown that food is one amongst education, church, and water ventures that one can never go wrong with if one dabbles into it. And I have endless alternatives and combinations to succeed. Then one day, out of the blue, it all flipped. “There are fried plantains and white beans or Jollof rice & spicy sauce.” I laid them out. The response took longer to come; I should have suspected something. Where did I hide the talent that reading James Hadley Chase once taught me? “Jollof rice, fried plantains, the sauce and some beans, please.” “Uh?!” Those business lunches and dinners he had, those out- of- town trips which translated into sleepovers and continental breakfasts, he aimed to replicate in my kitchen, was all I could think of at that moment. A buffet-style service that allowed for a little of everything on offer on the menu. What, in my pronouncement, had transported him to the environment of fine dining or a spread fit for a king and a feast, prompting him to duly stack his plate with all of them? Two measly food alternatives? Did I mention, before this incident, that I had extended this largesse to the children as well? Whenever I stated what school lunch would consist of the next day, T. would, unfailingly, ask: “Or what?” Ah…truly her father’s daughter,”more

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G.L.i.B – bed: Tell Tale

There’s nothing better than a Jeffrey Archer novel as a worthy companion. And to think I wasn’t much of a fan of his work in my budding, voracious reading years.  Don’t get me wrong; I did devour some of his books – A Quiver Full of Arrows, The Fourth Estate, False Impression, etc. However, it was a rare occasion to seek after them with the same passion and fervor I would normally for Sydney Sheldon’s work. Whenever I read them (Jeffrey Archer’s), they usually happened by chance and through no intentional effort on my part. Not until The Clifton Chronicles and I crossed paths. Now I’m quick to suggest him at  the slightest conversation about good reads and authors. Tell Tale was another enthralling read – all 14 short stories, and not enough of them in my opinion – that I finished in less than 12 hours, grudgingly laying it aside when there were more important tasks to tackle namely professional work and house chores. It was classic Jeffrey Archer with a surprising bonus at the end, four chapters of his new book – Heads You Win – which is due out in November 2018. I can’t wait!  

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G.L.i.B-bed: How to Spell Naija in…Vol 1

Give me the Vol. 2 of this book. I rather prefer it to its Vol 1 counterpart which I only just finished recently. In terms of the stories’ length and content, interesting and humorous rating of the plots, the Vol. 2, in my opinion, trumps its predecessor time and again. However, the pristine writing style and English Language deployment (both of which have continued to draw me to his works) are at par in both books. They are precursors to my reading The Extinction of Menai; and I look forward to that time.

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G.L.i.B-bed: Of Human Bondage

After my rant about the inconvenience of e-books, another caught my eye. It’s amazing the effect minor changes can bring. A portable device. Bigger text size. A paradigm shift. Interesting this book was all of 1009 pages, a tome that should have thrown me off. It was twice the size of any of the e-books I had been scathing about previously. But I surfed through the entire volume in less than a week. The irony. The coming-of-age story of a boy with a club-foot tugged at my heart’s strings as he limped through life under the beliefs of his strictly religious guardians, his own sensitivities and shyness, friends and acquaintances, his follies and mistakes while dabbling into various vocations to find his fit, his innate goodness and war with his emotions all came together in an intelligent and engrossing read for me.  

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G.L.i.B-bed: June 12: Annulment

I was in the crowd, shouting amongst the protesters, in ’93 during the IBB-must-go demonstrations. Still in secondary school, it was a new experience, exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure. The day before, a cousin of mine – studying in the University of Benin – showed up at our doorstep. He informed me that they (the university students) would be dropping by schools to physically ingrain the students into the protests. Before his arrival, I had been undecided about attending school the next day. The tension, accompanying the annulment of the election results, in the country was simmering rapidly to dangerous boiling points. It was becoming unsafe to go about mundane, daily activities. The streets seemed like they were preparing for battle. After his visit, it was a no – brainer. And the Uniben students made good their promise; like a parent picking up his/her ward from school, they appeared at our school gates and ushered us out. And because it was novel, nothing like we had ever imagined, we were in the front line of the riotous crowd, screaming at the top of our voices, waving hands like we didn’t care. Until the police bombarded us with canisters of teargas at a major junction. They had barricaded the area, awaiting our arrival. In terror, we fled in all directions, rubbing quickly reddening and teary eyes, feeling our way to escape. Not the Uniben students though; they were like veterans in a war, prepared for any outcome. The dare in their eyes. The defiance in their stance. Branches with green leaves as their only defense against uniform- wearing, hard- faced and weapon – wielding men of the force… June 12: Annulment dredged up all the unpleasant memories of that period as well as the main characters who participated in the greatest coup of leadership Nigeria has ever witnessed. This month also marked the 25th anniversary of the elections, and after reading this book I still have questions about that time: Why were the elections annulled? Because MKO Abiola would only become president over the dead bodies of some people? Would Nigeria”more

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Withdrawal symptoms

For the last 23 weeks or so… I have been in unfamiliar territory – reading e-books. New year, new things, I thought to myself. So I tried it out. Fire and Fury was by far the worst of the lot – in terms of how it was written. It was also the first of them all, starting me out on this untested route. However, it didn’t fall short in the entertainment department which was what I sought from it, as long as I overlooked Michael Wolfe’s writing inconsistencies. On the flip side, the best I’ve read has to be The Picture of Dorian Gray. A well-put together tome by the British Oscar Wilde did my syntax and grammar so much good I was sorry to see it come to an end. It cleansed me of all the Americanisms and flaws of Fire and Fury, throwing in striking statements from one of its principal characters. A Briton would definitely write my autobiography. Who said: “Everything sounds better in a British accent?” It applies to their writing skills too when done impeccably. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka was anyone’s nightmare come to reality, and a poor choice on my part after an impressive previous read. This little book sent shock waves through me from the very first page. Then replaced that emotion with a sadness that didn’t abate even at the end of it. Days after I had finished reading it, I was still engulfed in a melancholic mood like a cloak dangling from my shoulders. Only to have The Island of Doctor Moreau – H.G. Wells plunge me into dark and deep horrors in the name of scientific experiments. War on the Planets of the Apes came to mind fleetingly.  I dreaded continuing but was too curious not to. Frightfully, I read until its end. With almost every new tweet, he makes headlines. No way was I going to resist another insider story of The Donald. Enter A Higher Loyalty by James Comey. “That creep who cost Hillary Clinton the election,” said a friend of mine when I told her what”more

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A breather, please.

Sometimes parenting can be overwhelming. So today, I gave the children toasted bread sandwiches with eggs and smoked fish filling to school as lunch, and some baked beans. Alu! A meal I’d never have contemplated as school lunch for them in my wildest imaginations. Especially when my house is still stocked with other healthy food options – potatoes, rice, plantains, yams, sauces, etc. Or proper food like they’ve known me to refer to them. But their scream of delight, when I agreed to this outrageous suggestion the day before during school run, overwhelmed any guilt I felt for the food choice. The first time I consented to pancakes as packed lunches, I got more kisses in appreciation that morning than I had received in three months. It made the gesture worth every heat and posture it took to prepare and have them packed early that morning. Even the minuscule nagging guilt at the back of my mind didn’t get an ounce of my undivided attention. Because sometimes parenting can be overwhelming, and one day lived outside the best laid plans wouldn’t have long – term effects, would result in absolutely thrilled children, and doesn’t imply I’m a bad mother. Time was when I frowned at what their school mates had for lunch – bread & tea, bread & beans, bread & stew, noodles everyday….Judgmental me took over. What sort of mother gave this diet to her child? Didn’t she have time enough to devise and execute a proper meal plan? Or was she too busy or didn’t particularly care as long as her child ate something, anything that could be classified as food? They say you can’t fully comprehend a person’s situation until you’ve walked in their shoes. And not too long ago, I found my size in those shoes and it wasn’t a bad fit at all. I became that sort of mother. The exact same one I just castigated caustically a paragraph ago. Now I understood what sort of mother she was; the one who realized before I did that deviating from the goal of achieving super parent status is”more

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