Reflections

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L is for Looking
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Or
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May in review: The month of children
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April in review: unusual weather conditions
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March in review: Still at it
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February in review: Good vibes
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Between two white lines
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Wear a helmet
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The first cut is the deepest
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January in review: Wetin dey for Sokoto, e dey for sókótó

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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May in review: The month of children

I must have mentioned it somewhere in this blog before, I regard May as the month of children because of the holidays – May 1st, May 27th & May 29th. Thrown into this party is my beau’s and Chairman’s birthdays. Hurray! The month also saw the children going on a weeklong midterm which coincided with the Nigerian children’s day celebrations and its democracy day. It was a seven -day long break, and I almost snapped in two. The rains began in earnest. I got caught in one which culminated into a cold and, finally malaria. All the plans to outperform my routine this month went out the window. I barely made the usual target of three times in a week. The royal wedding was this month and I saw every bit of it, uninterrupted by human intrusion or a no-light syndrome. Harry is taken, and Meghan looked gorgeous. Nothing spectacular occurred in my 9am – 5pm; same ole, same ole. And Oniovo came to an end this month to the utter dismay of some of my audience! Ah, it was a good ride while it lasted.  

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April in review: unusual weather conditions

Dry spell. Another phrase to describe the last 30 days for me. My inspiration level to write was at an all- time low, like an abandoned dried out well. No form of stimulation worked out for me – tips for overcoming writer’s block, everyday prompts, noticing my surroundings more closely, change of scenario, etc. Nothing worked. I went from a banging first quarter to a parched desert traveler. If the Oniovo serie hadn’t been conceived, written and scheduled for posting every Sunday, I would have recorded zilch presence on my blog in April. And the plan was to feature other articles in addition to Oniovo, thus increasing and, indeed, exceeding my target monthly. I barely made it. What the heck happened?! How disappointing! Never again! Shaun T. jogged along smoothly, and I interjected a new routine towards the end of the month. It achieved what I hoped it would – variety – but also brought along with it some aches and weaknesses. Nothing the body won’t get used to in time. 9am – 5pm was humdrum too, and I began and stopped reading two e-books out of sheer boredom (or the zeitgeist of my month). Then got sucked into suspend mode for a while before James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty saved my un-reading mind. The reason for this drought is not far-fetched; it’s annual report season and I was engaged in financial editing (read: the most boring content I encounter annually) for most of April. The tedium and blandness of the material permeated my entire being and spilled to affect external factors as well. How do workers in this industry find their jobs fun and interesting? So April wasn’t exactly my month. Big deal. It’s just one of 12 months that didn’t go as planned. And it’s gone now with its unsavoury elements. Thankfully, never again, to return. May begins with a holiday to regroup, refocus and be intentional about the next 31 days. It’s the beginning of the most explosive, exciting months that would characterize the rest of my 2018. Yes!

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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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February in review: Good vibes

Inspiration exists but it must find you working – Pablo Picasso   The second month of the year was, surprisingly, a good month for me. Surprising because I had no expectations whatsoever. Indeed, I had things lined up to begin this month; I hadn’t anticipated the positive effects they would have on me. Despite being out of commission for a week due to malaria medication and drastically reducing my work out time, everything else came together in February. Finally, I read the last page of Fire and Fury; I wasn’t sad to close the book. It was long overdue. That’s what happens with an e-book. Nevertheless, I intend to try my hands on other e-books and speed up my reading time. My 9a.m. – 5p.m. gig got a much – needed boost from some news item and new posters; the phone calls kept coming in as well as the emails. Life was once again breathed into a project that had been in suspend mode for a tad too long. I started off two things. The first was posting an article to some of my contacts on Whatsapp every Sunday. This singular act pushed me to write more and keep to my timeline every weekend. I discovered I actually began to look forward to writing and posting; Sundays took on more significance to me. In addition, the feedback has been encouraging, and my inspiration seem to be never – failing. The second, which I believe is as a result from the first, is a new siblings series I began writing this month as well. The plan was to post four articles on the four Sundays in February, be consistent, build weekly expectation and then introduce this new series. Mission accomplished. The resultant emotion is beyond any words I can type here to effectively capture it. Thank you, February. It’s going to be an amazing 2018. photo credit: clipartbarn .com

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Between two white lines

  A car is parked by the curbside. Another is idling right next to it, creating a rather narrow path way for other road users. In turn, this arrangement gives rise to building traffic as cars are constrained to slow their pace at this point and carefully negotiate no scratches on their cars while tooting their horns in disgust – parents on the school run route during rush hours. The lady  behind the chaotic car is impervious to the loud and incessant  honking behind her; she awaits her ward who is buying a snack or two from one of the shops close to the school. A parking ticket strictly for parents’ parking infractions would be an idea whose time has come.  A Sienna, a rather long vehicle, kicks its engine to life in its parked spot. A CR4, searching for a space, notices the lights, and edges closer. The Sienna begins to back out but is unable to execute the move completely. The CR4 has left insufficient manoeuvring room for it to do so. Sienna toots once, twice but the CR4 doesn’t budge. Sienna driver alights and confronts CR4 driver, behind whose car a line of impatient waiting cars have formed.  Though this scenario is commonplace, especially in the afternoons, there’s no getting used to queuing under the blaze of the Sun.  ‘They don’t want to move back!’ Protests the CR4 female driver, gesturing behind to indicate her predicament. Sienna driver is totally confounded. This lady must have bungled mathematics at school.  If not she would have figured out the wide berth needed for a car this length to reverse out completely, evacuate the spot and allow her take its place. Sienna driver returns to her car, parks it again and kills the engine. They say guns don’t kill people; people with guns do. Subsequently, cars don’t park incorrectly; people behind the wheels of cars do.  By one of the school’s gates are at least three parking spots. One fine morning, a genius of a parent  has somehow managed to occupy two of them by positioning an automobile haphazardly and diagonally,”more

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Wear a helmet

One minute  I was descending, balancing cutlery and plates on my right hand; the next , I was slamming my neck, spine and butt hard on jutting, concrete, well – laid out slabs – knocking the breath out of me and sending that balanced pile flying in all directions.  I have a meeting at 9a.m on the island. Was my initial thought. I didn’t want to miss it. The possibility of a slipped disc or broken bones was insignificant. Much like the student who screamed:  ‘Ah! My CK jeans!‘ when shot in the leg by armed robbers.  It is difficult to describe what happened  because everything went so fast like …magic. Africa movie magic.  For several  dazed minutes, I didn’t move a muscle. After that initial thought , Inly then did my mind begin to process the incident while waiting to get back the wind that shot out of me upon impact.  The silence was eerie at 5.45a.m. as I finally, slowly craned my neck. That’s when fear began to sip in. Scared to move my entire body in the event of any physical or internal damage, I assessed the one in front of me. Most of the cutlery and plastic plates were strewn on the bottom half of the stairway. The only glassware, a pale blue wide plate ,was two steps below, snapped cleanly down the middle and laid in two equal halves.  I shifted a leg and heaved myself up. No pain. No discomfort coursing through my body.  Sigh of relief. I could carry on with my day. My beau emerged from above then, quietly, cautiously. He thought there was an intruder in the house. The crash and prolonged silence thereafter made him wary. Was I okay? Could I stand, walk? Did I need to lie down? Any pains?  It was all good.  The stairs in my life and I had a strong relationship.  Running up and down them used to be an exercise routine five years ago. Trudging up and down was the substitute on a very exhausting day. They’ve allowed me fly down them in a hurry or”more

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The first cut is the deepest

Online shopping? Nah, it wasn’t for her. Didi thought as Jumia’s discount sales on bags, shoes, women’s fashion flashed invitingly on the right. She was dinosaur like that. The touch, the smell, the physical effect on her senses led to a purchase. Merely viewing them did little or nothing to compel her to give money away. Her beau once ordered a pair of well – made, hand- crafted leather slippers (online) in two distinctive designs. They were beautiful onscreen, and even more up close when they arrived. The smell of rich, brown leather and a colour on them like the coat of a thoroughbred. The only issue? They were the perfect size for their four- year old son; Didi chuckled for days. She continued scrolling down her newsfeed. Nothing intriguing caught her eye amongst the assortment of posts by friends or family. Scroll. Scroll. Scroll. Facebook seemed like the Sahara. Yudala soon took over the 100% off trend on electronics and more female accessories. Fleetingly, she paused. No harm screen- shopping. She did it all the time; then had recurring dreams about desired items much later. Once again, nothing interesting. She resumed scrolling until… She did need a new black tote though as her fingers slowed, and her gaze stayed on a collection of bags by an old acquaintance. She clicked on the first photo, and didn’t stop until she got to the very last one. Online shopping? Like Blackberry, Whatsapp, Skye, etc, there was always a first time. She made a comment beneath a particular bag in an alluring caramel shade (the seller stated it also came in ash and pink hues): Could you please post the other colours? And continued scrolling. Two days later, the same acquaintance had uploaded a completely new array of bags. A diverse range this was with equally varied sizes, shades and appeal. A black one, tasseled with the American flag’s colours seemed to draw her in. Her comment read thus: I like this. How much is it? Old Acquaintance: 6,000. Payment validates order. Didi: How do I pay? How do I get it”more

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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 a lot of time. I’m back to my healthy self. I trust your January was a good one too. See ya next month!

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