Reflections

1
December in review: Year’s end
2
Knick knacks of the past for the future
3
Creating one of our own
4
95% Western, 5% Local
5
November in review: The best laid plans
6
Remembering Nkiru
7
I don’t get it but I’ve accepted it
8
October in review: comme ci, comme ća
9
The beast in our breasts
10
A toast to all …certified and otherwise

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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Remembering Nkiru

I’ve heard it said that ‘we do not remember days, we remember moments.’ I remember so many moments now that Nkiru is no longer with us on this side of eternity. I remember the seemingly little things and the big things and hold them close like the priceless treasures they now are. … I remember, not to mourn as before but to celebrate the life of an amazing woman who gave us so much to remember…and emulate. I remember the wise, the wonderful, the wacky and the witty. I remember her loud peal of laughter. It would break out without warning and ring clear across the room and if it was based on something I’d said, I remember the way she would manage to say while still laughing – “Chineze you’re very silly”. I remember her way of shrugging and saying ‘Ama m’, the Igbo equivalent of ‘I dunno’ if you asked her something she hadn’t figured out. I remember the painstaking way she painted her nails in the morning to match each day’s particular outfit, when we shared a workstation in our Tequila days. I remember the impossibly high heels in someone already so tall and statuesque. I remember[…]

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October in review: comme ci, comme ća

This 10th month felt unfulfilling to me. In terms of my plans for it. Yes, I did read books – three of them – The Islamist, The House My Father Built & Burma Boy. Yes, I did my work out, quite diligently too, save for the time an upset stomach halted me temporarily in my tracks for a couple of days. My 9 – 5 was humdrum, snail – pacing along. No private jobs were bagged this month either. No, I didn’t blog in the manner I’d have preferred – more posts about books read than insights on other everyday events – but I attained my target for the month. It didn’t feel me with any form of satisfaction. Somewhere in the month, I prepped (inadequately too. Let’s see the outcome of that this time next month) for NaNoWriMo. If I can call the three pages of plot notes that! Then I began and completed several editing tests in a frenzy of 14 days for self- improvement and career development. I am yet to attempt any more in the last week or so. Life happened but I intend to return to them and include in my weekly or monthly learning[…]

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The beast in our breasts

The call came through on one of those days when I had the second dose of malaria medication flowing in my veins; the time when I was hovering between sickening nausea and weakened limbs. The last thing I craved was answer a call and expel the last vestige of energy I had left. No, I’ll pass. I picked it up. What the caller (a former colleague and friend) had to say made my sickly situation grossly inconsequential. My response, instinctive as it was, was equally news to her as her pronouncement had been to me. A former supervisor (a truly beautiful soul who morphed into a friend, sounding board, co-conspirator and big sister) had died…of breast cancer. I had been aware of her condition and her subsequent relocation to the US for better, further treatment. The reports of her situation sounded good. Last I heard, she was in excellent health. Not anymore. The cancer had won. And I thought she had won.  Going to the States and all. Getting the best of care – chemotherapy, constant monitoring, mastectomy even. I thought she had won. I was not privy to the prognosis of her affliction but whatever it had been (early/last[…]

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A toast to all …certified and otherwise

If you’ve held a child and jogged along as s/he learnt to ride a bicycle on your instructions… If you’ve pointed out words and painstakingly pronounced them properly for another to repeat and remember and read… If you’ve effected an attitude adjustment where there was once deviant behaviour… If you’ve trained a child, a sibling, a protege in the way s/he should go and s/he is yet to depart from it… If you’ve inspired confidence, kindness, gratitude and a pay-it-forward way of life… If you’ve nurtured and mentored a dream, a passion into full-blown tangible reality… If you’ve instilled discipline, obedience, respect, courtesy, empathy in another… If your guidance, nudging, support and frequent yelling have resulted in a better human… If after reading the following quote: “The mistakes of a doctor are buried underground, the mistakes of a lawyer are locked behind bars but the mistakes of a teacher walk up and down the streets ” you think of all the other possible options you’d have taken to instruct, impact effectively… Then raise your glass with mine in a toast to us. However, if you’ve done all of the above (and so much more) as a calling, in a controlled[…]

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