Reflections

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August in review: I can’t keep calm
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July in review: 25 years later
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Who was your principal? You have no manners/respect
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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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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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08.03.18:#PressForProgress

July in review: 25 years later

Quite a lot happened this month: My new series – Adventures in school run- took off to hilarious and relatable feedback. I’m definitely on the right track. The children began their long holidays and jarred my schedule just ever so slightly. The weather alternated between good, windy, wet, cold, annoying… And I read three books – The Bourne Initiative, On Writing and We’re Going to Need More Wine. I’m still reading through Ghana Must Go (It’s taking it’s time to completely grab my attention). My 9a.m. – 5p.m. picked up the pace considerably, surprisingly. The four-times-a-week torture lasting 25 minutes paid off, seven weeks after and just one week before my secondary school reunion. Was I pleased! Will keep at it until I replace my workout routine with new DVDs. By far the highlight of this month was attending the SMAGOGA Annual General Convention. It was a reunion on several levels – with the house, with old school friends and classmates and with the town which holds treasured memories for me. It  was a whirlwind of activities that weekend but I packed in as much as the 24hour period could contain, and every moment was worth the smile, the lack of sleep, the trip down memory lane , etc. Thank you, July; you were sweet, full of spice and everything nice.

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Who was your principal? You have no manners/respect

    This time last week, I was attending my first SMAGOGA Annual Convention, the 19th in the series. The photos of the event are already everywhere – Facebook, Whatsapp, etc; old students were uploading them per second, per second. Every year, the event brings together old girls of the school from all corners of the country and beyond for a weekend – long of activities that include (but not limited to) an annual general meeting, elections, a dinner and a thanksgiving mass; basically, formal and informal meetings. The focal point is always the school and how we can help the current students and give back to a community we would always be inextricably connected to. Among the crowd of old girls who thronged into the ancient city of Benin for the slated weekend, we were only 13 – women strong in the ’93 set and, for me, it was a sweet reunion. I hadn’t seen some of my friends and classmates in a quarter of a century. We also had many pockets of hilariously moments reminiscing of our time way back when and common grouses – the afternoon school we endured, the sister who tormented our existence in SSSI (What was her name now?), the garrulous government teacher, etc. Hurray for portable cameras in our ‘phones, there were enough selfies and photos to fill a gazillion old girls’ gallery. (No photographer holding us to ransome or ‘I don’t like my expression/pose in an irreversible print out.’). And like I mentioned above, they were uploaded immediately after they were taken. If you haven’t seen any by now, where have you been in the past week?!     No Chill The ‘area’ trait in the old girls emerged twice within the space of an hour. Both times it was collectively but one of them was duly instigated by the outgoing national president. As it is with events such as this, speeches were endless, elevating our boredom quotient. This was quickly dispelled by one of the speakers who made a grave mistake. He pronounced our alma mater’s name in the same way”more

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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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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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