Reflections

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A day in the life of an ideal
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Is that love in the air?
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January in review
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I resolve to…
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Christmas Chronicles: Two is company
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Christmas Chronicles: Boxing day bicycling
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Christmas Chronicles: Christmas day contest
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Christmas Chronicles: Arrival & Registration
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Christmas Chronicles
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2016: My book list

A day in the life of an ideal

My dream: Wake up at 5a:m and perspire to Shaun T’s commands for about half an hour or more. Take a cold, refreshing bath, then pray for the day ahead. A glass of equally iced water (or two) is all I need to work for the next two, three hours. My work space is idyllic, serene, peaceful with the sound of nature blending into it. At 6.20 a:m, only a lone jogger pounds past the shady, running trail. The other human noise comes from the swishing movement of paddles’ contact with water as a couple kayak their way in the calm, flowing river right in front of me. Birds whistling, and occasionally gawking, signal the birth of another new day. And I, at the completely deserted shore, book and pen in hand, poised to write the morning and indeed my raging thoughts away. The gentle brush of breeze against me, a soft persuasion to begin the task I had set for myself. But first, I can’t resist watching the growing splash of golden brown spreading across the horizon, getting increasingly lighter as the sun begin its daily ascent to brighten the world. Then, lost in my craft and the beauty[…]

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Is that love in the air?

My afternoon school run return route boasts of three malls of varying sizes; two of them are cheek by jowl of each other while the third is a stone throw from its sisters. As I drive by in the opposite direction, the promise of the beginning of chaotic traffic is evident. Two lines of crawling cars, impatient maruwas and okadas jostling for the spaces in between and by the sides of cars while horns are blaring in dissonance. It’s always like this during festive/holiday seasons; today is no different. In the morning, I saw people wearing a touch of red in their outfits. Coincidental? Or deliberate? Some schools even asked that their students do the same. The children’s former school would got the whole nine yards -touch of red clothing, gifts for their Valentines (already chosen before the day). Not this new one though. Thankfully. Even the vendor close to the new school,one with whom I’m quite friendly with, had dropped not-so- subtle hints days before: “How the Valentine wan be na?” I also responded (cheerfully too) to the “Happy Valentine’s Day!” greetings I got. Everywhere – visually,verbally and audio-visually – I’m bombarded with this love day celebration. My mood[…]

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January in review

At the end of each week, the Sky News Network airs a segment in their news broadcast titled Week in Review. An anchor (Jayne Secker/Anna Jones/Gillian Joseph) with two guests (the ever entertaining and engaging, Kevin Maguire and Andrew Pierce) dissect the biggest stories of the current week, highlighting their personal best and worst pieces of news. Borrowing a leaf from them, here is my month of January in review. Since it’s just me, please don’t expect much of a debate on the issues to be mentioned hereafter. These are just highlights and the pilot of this monthly update. There will be eleven others to sink my teeth into and give an in depth personal, technical or social analysis on. 2017 This month brought in the new year. Yay! I’m thrilled to see it. Epic gratitude.Thank you, Lord! Lax in writing, reading I’m hoping this would be the first and last time I lament about the above sub – topic. After completing Robert Greene’s Mastery earlier in the month, I”m yet to pick up another book. Or rather, start off 2017’s reading. Perhaps it would be wise to mention here that the delay is due to my reading list going[…]

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I resolve to…

Happy New Year! 12 days into 2017, I don’t suppose it’s too late to say that; after all, this is the first post of the year. Like bread and spread, day and night, a new year almost always goes hand-in-hand with resolutions. And for the better part of my lifetime, I was part of the crowd who made…and consequently broke them even before the second month of the year rolled on. Then one year,not too long ago, I remembered a statement made by a family friend on January 1st many, many years ago: “My new year resolution is never to make any new year resolution ever again.” My resolutions changed to a to do list; like the things I needed to accomplish before the end of a working day, week, month or year. Did it work? Did it alter anything? To an extent. I stuck to them longer and tackled them more ferociously; because it was a victory to tick off an accomplished item. At the end of the year, I wasn’t as pleased as I would have liked to be but I had made tremendous progress in my attitude, developing certain habits and reaching achievements as contained in my[…]

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Christmas Chronicles: Two is company

It’s our sixth day, and even with the accompanying aches cycling brings to my body, I am still sticking to it, riding furiously and making the most of it while I’m here (making up for lost time). I’m cycling in the evenings as well. Not as long as the morning sessions because of the heightened distractions – people and automobiles and animals – but just as effective nevertheless. In the mornings, I have just the animals (goats and ducks) to contend with. On my second day of evening cycling, I took T along to the protest of the other children. My silent message to them: Go learn how to ride a bicycle properly. With T, I had to back pedal on my speed and length of the trail. While at it, I observed her reflexes and her awareness (and vision). She got a very good score on both. We were like a tag team, this mother and daughter duo – weaving through strolling humans, especially children; deftly dodging on coming traffic, breezing under the cover of the trees on the trails and drawing stares from all we cycled past. I take it it is a novelty to see a mother[…]

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Christmas Chronicles: Boxing day bicycling

In between the sand and grass, there are paved paths linking one another and some of the chalets, leading from one end of the resort to another. As always, my Shaun T. DVD was amongst my luggage but I had hoped not to use it while at the seaside. I wanted something different, and I did get something different. Bicycling. The resort had dozens for rent for the duration of our stay; we asked and received three – two adult – sized, one children – sized. It was still dark, about 5:55am with the harmattan chill fully in the air,when Jnr and I began riding through all the paved paths on boxing day. The last time I rode a bicycle was…I’m afraid I can’t even remember. The good thing though is that once you learn how to ride a bicycle, you never really forget. It’s almost like learning to drive a car. So it was smooth sailing(riding, actually) all the way. I wish I had discovered this the moment we arrived here. No crashes. No mistakes. Just easy – peasy riding. The aches and pains on my body came later on – after breakfast.

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Christmas Chronicles: Christmas day contest

I can’t remember the last time I swam – properly, effectively, consciously. Not that I can do it that well. I didn’t get to swim much while in the pool with the children on our first day here. My role and my brother’s was to ensure no one got hurt and we all left the pool the way we entered into it – happy, healthy, refreshed, alive and in one piece. So on our return, on the third day, to the pool, my brother and I were a little more self – centred. Indeed we kept an eye on the children but we were there for our own pleasures as well. In addition, my main concern, Chairman, opted not to swim; he stated he’d watch us. Something about the water being too cold and too deep. I am more of a badminton player than a volleyball participant.But there was a net in the pool, so volleyball it was. It started off between Jnr and I ; then a brother and sister joined us. A friendly game became a lively, fierce competition between two unassuming women and two confident men. A contest that drew a score – keeper amongst the children[…]

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Christmas Chronicles: Arrival & Registration

My mum tried to reason with the children; likening our arrival to the first day of a three (or in our case, seven) day conference. The agenda would have read something like this: Day one: Arrival and Registration of Delegates She wanted us to settle into our chalet, unpack and take a breather before, perhaps, exploring our environment and using its facilities. With adults, maybe that would have worked. The children were having none of it. Once their bags were safely in their rooms, they changed int comfy flipflops and hit the beach hard. Screaming and shouting. Shovelling and digging. (They were armed with buckets and spades). Sandcastles came up and … down. The waves first caressed their ankles before rising upwards and splashing into their necks and faces. More excited squealing. The sun was high in the sky, blazing hot. Sweat, mixed with salt water, streamed down our faces and hair. But no one seemed to noticed. The beach and its lure were all that mattered. At some point, when there was a momentary lull in the fixation on the beach, there was a period or two of beach volleyball. The children tried to learn the game from my[…]

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Christmas Chronicles

For us, Christmas is usually spent at my mum’s in the ancient town I grew up in. My siblings and I congregate there from our various bases, with our offspring, every year. Not in 2016. My mum had been with me since October this year and was not intending on returning home any time soon; she had other plans. So we made alternative ones. The kind that involved clean, healthy air, loads of activities and a totally different environment. Christmas this year was spent at the seaside. Think waves crashing loudly to the shore as the sound you hear when you wake up. The red brick chalets – either lined up in a row or in hamlet- style clusters. Palm trees and their fronds swaying lazily to the cool, gentle breeze. Squirrels scurrying up and down, and in between the trees. Monkeys merely jumping from tree to tree before landing, sometimes, on our roof. Guinea fowls treading quietly, unobtrusively ( in search of food) in order not to alert the attention of the milling humans. But no, the children see them and squeal with delight, frightening off the poor creatures. Goats and their young ones bleating across the greenery as[…]

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2016: My book list

When I did this last year – write about the books I read – I was quite disappointed, appalled even, to discover my magic number was 16. Just 16! In a full year of 12 months, I could boast of only 16 books; one per month, and I just managed to squeeze in four more for good measure. It didn’t help that my goal was a book every fortnight. My count ought to have been 24 if I had followed that rule rigidly. But here I was thinking in terms of 36 books since I would have surpassed my target. Obviously, right? The reality was rudely shocking. The same rule applied this year; and while 24 books was the target, I had to remind myself that the number wasn’t quite as important as the amount of knowledge and understand garnered from each; the continuous improvement of my writing and speaking skills, the honing of my reading habit; the inspiration it sparked towards my creative writings; the constant mental trips I embarked upon or the other benefits that came with engaging the mind in a packed volume of well structured, interesting words. Truth be told though, it would have still been[…]

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