Saturday, July 07, 2007

Summer is overrated, the high cost of bathroom slippers, recent reading etc

Today for the first time in a long while, the sun is out and it actually feels like it’s summer. There’s a slight chill in the air and I’m beginning to think that this is the kind of summer day I like. Ever since I developed hay fever three summers after arriving in the UK, I have become more sceptical about the supposed benefits of summer. I suspect that it’s partly because the UK isn’t really geared up for hot weather and so I look back on the last few summers of stickiness and itchy eyes and multiple sneezes and think, is summer really all that? Nevertheless, it’s summer and the sun appears to have finally driven the rain that has disrupted everything from Wimbledon to the national mood away and so tomorrow I’m off to my first summer party of the year. Today for the first time I’m wearing a short sleeved shirt and not carrying a jumper or light coat. Maybe tomorrow I’ll even dare shorts and flip-flops (otherwise known as bathroom slippers to us Naija folk), while I sip on my Clarityn and Beconase cocktails.

I marvel at the prices the flip-flops command here, bathroom slippers that were two-for-penny in Naija are now branded Havaianas because they have one small Brazilian flag on the strap and then sold for like twenty pounds…madness. Maybe I should start importing bathroom slippers from Lagos- just imagine the mark-up…

I’m reading Isolarion: A Different Oxford Journey at the moment which is a dream-like evocative reflection on journeys and pilgrimages anchored in the author’s reflections travelling around East Oxford where he lives. Occasionally his tone grates- too much of the middle class liberal but I’ve enjoyed it…

Something else I’ve enjoyed is Marina Lewyczka’s follow-up to her hilarious A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian which I blogged about here. It’s called Two Caravans and is about migrant farm workers in the UK. It’s serious and poignant and funny in turns and the phrase “I would like to make possibility with you” all last week humming in my mind all last week and reducing me to laughter at inappropriate moments…

On the subject of laughter, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a hilarious book that captured the language of Blairite New Labour-speak in a beautiful way. I resisted reading it somewhat put off the title and by the media blitz that heralded its publication but ended up enjoying it.

I’ve also enjoyed a sprawling novel set in contemporary India which was a pain to lug around but ultimately worth it. The Peacock Throne is by Sujit Saraf, an Indian physicist at NASA and is a hefty book which captures numerous facets of the way NGOs operate in India and how politics is played. Fascinating insights, if somewhat lacking a certain “spice”

The horrific kidnapping of three year old Margaret Hill in the Niger Delta continues to puzzle many. The militants in the Niger Delta seem to have hit a new low on this one. Meanwhile the oil price soared to 76 dollars a barrel partly fuelled by the instability in the Delta. Do the boys in the Delta realize that their actions are actually filling the pockets of the “oppressors”?

Funny how Yaradua and Brown have both been faced by violence in their first few weeks in office. They both seem to be handling it well...so far.

On the tube going to visit friends this morning, a voice came across the tannoy "Ladeess and gentumen, dere ah minor delays on di District and Sarcul line" And I thought "Ah that's my sister"

9 comments:

catwalq said...

u mean, if i ask my guys Chude and Darlington to organise me with orisiris bath room slippers, put ankara on the strap in colours that resemble flags, I can sell for twenty pounds a piece?
odikwa, i am coming....
they kidnapped a three year old in Naija...these people are now becoming a nuisance

Snuffleupagus said...

That last comment is so funny! Yes, lovely day. Maybe summer is finally here to stay.

oo said...

Heard on the Picadilly Line -- "Dis tren his goin to Cockfostas, Cockfostas. Stan clear de doors, mine de doors."

Now I'm cracking myself up just thinking how hilarious it would be to have a proper Naija conductor doing their thing on the Tube.
(As the train rolls into the station without ever coming to a complete stop, people jumping in and jumping out...) "Co'fostas, Co-fostas wo-le, Co'fostas one chances. Abeg make una dress well well inside de train, hol' ya shange o! Oya Driver (banging on the side of the train) go on soun!"

Up Naija! :D

-oo-

Pink-satin said...

lol at the voice of the woman announcing the delays..u sure will recognise 9ja voices anywhere

Waffarian said...

Hi guys! A new series is about to start on my blog. Its called " The professional player" and is based on true life events, its crazy and involves me and one of our fellow bloggers! Don't miss it!

Parental advisory: EXPLICIT CONTENT.

Brian said...

Well when you live in an area when winter lasts for almost six months and it often goes weeks without the temperature rising above freezing, maybe you appreciate summer a little more. :-)

Jaja said...

Do you read this many books?

cool...

Ekoakete said...

Nice blog. Keep up the good work divulging all those book and event info. How do you find time to do all that reading and secondly, where do you keep all your books?

uknaija said...

@catwalq- LOL
@snuffleupagus- always a pleasure to "see" you here
@oo- LOL, that would be something to see
@pinksatin- I've occasionally confused Ghanaian and Sierra Leoneans for naija
@waffarian-will drop by
@brian- not sure about that
@jaja- sadly I do- It's my main vice (or virtue) you pick
@ekoakete- I read all the time- brushing my teeth, walking on the street, in between meetings...and I borrow most of my books from the library so space and cost is less of an issue