Reflections

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January in review: Wetin dey for Sokoto, e dey for sókótó
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Young, strong and cap-in-hand
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Just take the trash and go
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Be wary, that water dispenser might be much more
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Our holidays in photos: Sun, sand and animals
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December in review: Year’s end
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Knick knacks of the past for the future
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Creating one of our own
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95% Western, 5% Local
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November in review: The best laid plans

January in review: Wetin dey for Sokoto, e dey for sókótó

We have to let go of the life we planned…And accept the one that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell   Just before the new year rang in, I began mapping out (and writing down) my plans for it. Right after the holiday, things took off to a swimming start in the direction I envisioned. Accompanied with a heady feeling, they were happening at lightning-bolt speed. Thirty days later, I’ve been mulling over the above quote for a while now. Perhaps what I seek out there is smack in front of me. I’ve either set my sights above it or I’d rather not acknowledge it. A three -course meal for deep introspection. Food for thought. In other news, my reading is still on the back burner as I have spent most of the month fleshing out ideas for a new writing path ( while chasing external illusions).  January saw me begin a fast! I haven’t done that in eons. It was billed to last  for 21 days but was truncated on the 10th after I slipped on the stairs, slamming my neck, spine and behind hard on concrete. No worries. Nothing’s broken. Just had a lot of pain for[…]

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Young, strong and cap-in-hand

It seemed to confront him everywhere he went that day; either en route a location or at the destination . At the ATM, he noticed the absence of the expected queues as he manoeuvered into a suitable parking spot.Two people waited their turns. Parked to the right was a car with its bonnet opened and its owner, a woman, leaning on it. Not part of the money- withdrawing category, it was obvious what had happened to her car. The sparse gathering made it easy to notice the oddity amongst them. A woman – youngish, agile, alert – with a baby strapped to her back. Odd because she seemed to be loitering. Neither coming nor going. Just there, like an indecision. He thought nothing of her as he headed towards an unoccupied machine, but noticed from the periphery of his vision as she suddenly accompanied the man who had just vacated the space he was about to use. Minutes after he was through with his business, the lady appeared again; this time by his side as he made to re -enter his car. The leaning lady by the car was witness as he pointedly ignored the one by his door. By now,[…]

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Just take the trash and go

They came again last night. At 9p.m. The air heavy with their signature putrid stench, an unsavoury harbinger. Hanging rather comfortably, lazily even, like damp clothes draped out to dry. In minimal lighting and in no time, silhouettes of people dashed this way and that with diverse sizes of garbage from houses, from still opened kiosks, from adjoining streets. Hurried movements with little or no words except the random greetings to the handlers and their driver. Just take the trash and go. Who would have thought?  The first time the dump truck appeared in our neighbourhood at this inconvenient hour, voices rose in protest: What nonsense? What’s the time? What happened during the day? Why now? How disturbing, annoying, … etc? But amongst ourselves, and not within earshot of those who had us struggling with huge – sized dustbins, opening our gates to an unexpected, late guest for public (or is it private now?) service when we should be winding down after a long day. No apology was given; even graver, none was expected. Only in our clime do paid service providers believe they are bestowing upon their clients a favour when doing their jobs. Now this brazen behaviour is[…]

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Be wary, that water dispenser might be much more

A slurping sound from her left side drew her glance. A little boy, seated with his mum, was noisily emptying the cold, clear liquid from an equally transparent plastic cup. Her gaze shifted to the water dispenser at a corner of the waiting lounge by the entrance. Then it slanted to the six-year-old besides her; she had forgotten to bring along a bottle of water for him, and they had a long wait ahead of them. ‘At least two hours’, was the nurse’s response 10 minutes ago, when she had enquired how long it would take to get the results of the blood sample they had just withdrawn from her child. So they settled in for the wait; another torture to her night time ordeal of tepid – sponging her fever – ravaged son two days in a row. Her swollen, sleep – deprived eyes spoke volumes of working overtime while monitoring his temperature which yo-yoed between hot and scorching. Even now, they drooped intermittently. The 10-minute snooze she had snatched earlier proving ineffectual. But wait, they would. Anything to set him on the path of recovery and regain her beauty night’s rest. There was just a small snag; if[…]

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December in review: Year’s end

Perhaps December would have turned out great if one unexpected inconvenience hadn’t marred the celebratory mood it heralds – the fuel scarcity menace. Everything hinged on the availability of this dark, flowing liquid. It was priority, and practically took over our lives and the impending Yuletide.  Nevertheless, four books passed beneath my voracious gaze – Persuasion, How to spell Naija in a 100 short stories Vol. 2, Excuse me ! & Born a crime.  My 9- 5 job hummed along  uninspiringly. Not that I expected anything less; the signs have been there for quite a while. I even wrote and sent off the monthly report earlier than usual as requested by the boss. My exercise routine included three days of bicycle – riding once we went off for the holidays, and hurray I had material more than enough to post beyond the required monthly target of my blog. Goodbye 2017;I sure won’t miss you much.

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Knick knacks of the past for the future

Spring cleaning has never featured in my life in recent times. I don’t subscribe to designating a set time to unclutter my life of clothes unworn for months or unused paraphernalia of a hobby, passion or trend long forgotten. No time for that. And in any case, my asthma disorder lacks the patience to outlast a deluge of dust and rubbish for a prolonged period of time. I happen upon a confused multitude of closet, cupboard or wardrobe in the course of my life’s movements, deal with it immediately and keep it moving. I declutter in bits. Like a stage play in acts and scenes but not all occurring in one huge block of time.  And that’s how I tackled my shelf of books just before the holidays set in. A space I had been procrastinating on.  Of course, I spent too much time mulling over relics of different times of my writing, reading and formal education life. I barely finished cleaning and clearing out before the first sneeze and a slight wheeze both burst out almost at once, the combination leaving me gasping for breath. But the ensuing discomfort was overshadowed by the pages of memories I clutched within[…]

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Creating one of our own

Excuse Me! by Victor Ehikamenor is my current reading journey. I’ve been pretty patriotic, with selected Nigerian authors, this year. Eight pages ago, he experienced his first Christmas abroad. It was a lonely, frosty affair. No brightly clothed children roaming the streets like back in his village on Christmas day like he had expected. Or the aroma of celebration, tinged with the scent of onions & tomatoes & fried meat. The emptiness of London’s Christmas and the frozen snow were alien holiday traditions to him. Four days back, the children and I went to the cinema to see the movie, Coco. As we waited for the feature to begin, we endured 25 minutes of Olaf’s Frozen Christmas. Five minutes in, I marched up to the nearest staff to find out if we had wandered into the wrong hall. Amidst apologies, he explained the situation. Part of the production. Coco was next. Blah. Blah. Blah. What crap! And no one thought to inform us until I asked. Returning to my seat, only then could I make sense of Olaf’s roaming the earth, collecting different pieces of Christmas traditions for Anna and Elsa to fashion out theirs. For almost two decades, an[…]

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95% Western, 5% Local

Until the dance routine tapered towards its end, I struggled with the expression of that emoji in the animated movie of the same name – meh. Meanwhile, all around me, at untimely intervals, there were spontaneous eruptions of excited screams and woohoo that got me thinking: Were we all watching the same opening montage of the children’s Christmas Carol programme? Or was I the only inconsiderate parent amongst super – supportive ones? Forgive me but I refuse to act delighted by a pedestrian performance with less than mechanical accuracy and the corresponding enthusiasm. The vibe I received from the participating children was: Let’s do this and get it over with, and try not to miss too many of the choreography while at it. Their faces were wiped clean of the emotions you’d expect from people who were the cynosure of all eyes – happy, excited, smiling or laughing even. It was as though they were carrying out a chore. And very few people are happy while doing chores. These didn’t have the expression of intense concentration or focus on the task at hand (Some of them had their eyes trained on their fellow dancers to ensure that they were executing[…]

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November in review: The best laid plans

If October didn’t do justice to all the plans I had mapped out for it, November fared even more dismally. It was the month of NaNoWriMo, the highlight of my writing all year long. All those posts, the practice runs of everyday scribbling was leading to 30 days of excited, enthralling, frenzied writing. In anticipation, my adrenaline levels rose; I even jotted out various plots and storylines for each scene I intended to expound on, with the intention of adding onto them as I completed each one. But alas, it was not to be. Most of the month was spent fending off the onslaught of nausea, fever and weakness in my body. Harbingers of an ailment I couldn’t afford to entertain at the time ( or any other time!) My gallant efforts were unsuccessful. Malaria hit me, like a hurricane with ample warning, from all sides, and rippled into other areas of my life as expected – my workout routine, my writing and, to an extent, my reading.  

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