Busy weekend. Friday night went out with a bunch of new work colleagues. One of the girls got really drunk and started spilling all sorts of details about her personal life- how she couldn't get a man, giving a colourful catalogue of her recent dating history, her recent forays into the speed dating world etc etc Just remembering it in the cold sunshine of this morning, I cringe for her. I wish there was a subtle way I could let her know that much as letting your hair down with work colleagues from time to time is a good thing, there are certain boundaries that it’s unwise to cross….
Saturday saw me making a foray into middle England, going to dinner with a friend’s family in the leafy Telegraph-reading, Women’s Institute infested commuter belt of Surrey. It was a very pleasant evening despite my initial misgivings, although we did skate on fairly thin ice when the topic turned to immigration. My hostess very deftly turned us on to more pleasant, less contentious topics and we tucked into the delicious quiche lorraine starter followed by honeyed duck with mash and peas and then cheese and a lemon sponge. By the time we sipped our after dinner cognac, I was a lot more tolerant of their views and way of life, and more conscious of how divorced London life is from the stereotypical middle England….
Sunday was the St Patrick’s Day celebration and I ended up dodging the crowds in green reveling in Trafalgar Square as I made my way southwards for lunch with old Nigerian family friends. As we tucked into akara (flatter than the typical Nigerian version and more like mini-pancakes) followed by a sumptuous jollof rice with spiced fish and chicken, I listened to my hosts talk about their arrival in Britain over four decades ago and their experiences. Their evident pride in their children’s achievements- the strings of degrees, the high flying jobs in law and medicine and business, contrasted with their heart rending stories of their early struggles. Surprisingly enough, they were all still seriously interested in contemporary Nigerian politics and we had a good debate about the forthcoming presidential elections. The encounter had me wondering if anyone had actually written a history of Nigerians in the UK. Judging from the colourful stories I heard yesterday- there’d be lots of material…. It reminded me of a book I stumbled across at the library recently called Black Londoners 1880-1990 by Susan Okokon which told a fascinating story of black professionals in London in the 19th and 20th centuries….
I see Yaradua and Goodluck have set up a web discussion forum- the admin left a message on this blog http://yaraduagoodluck.info/ . They warn that they may be unable to reply to posts as they are on the campaign trail. The current debate is about how to end fuel scarcity and power cuts- I think they ought to start by identifying and making public who imports all the fuel that Nigeria uses and also who imports all the generators. The rumours (trust Naija) have long held that there are very powerful people behind both businesses who sabotage any attempt at tackling the problems of fuel scarcity or power supply...
I'd like to ask them on the forum if they would pledge that within six months of taking office, they and their immediate families and cabinet will be barred from educating their children abroad or seeking medical treatment above. I'll post that as soon as I have been registered...
I got an e mail from a new Nigerian lifestyle magazine which is looking for contributors- for all of you in naijablogville with a passion for the written word, this may just be what you're looking for