Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lost condoms, dignified exits, recent reading, prizes and an anniversary

It is early morning and as the display on the platform keeps changing, showing that the train I am hoping to get is becoming even more delayed, I soon realize I had better get out of the station and catch a taxi if I am to have any hope of catching the train out of London and making my meeting. I hail the first taxi that I see, it’s one of the old-fashioned black cabs and as I settle in, my wallet clatters to the floor. I reach for it and find tucked away at the edge of the seat, a pristine packet of Durex condoms. Perhaps it is the early hour but I can’t help thinking about how it got there. Who has dropped it, and is the consequence of their dropping it going to be an unwanted pregnancy, a nasty disease? Or did they finding themselves condomless, abstain, resisting temptation?

I can’t help but think of the nursery rhyme we used to chant, often thoughtlessly, not really understanding the words……

for want of a nail, the shoe was lost,
for want of a shoe, the horse was lost,
for want of a horse, the rider was lost,
for want of a rider, the battle was lost,
for want of a kingdom, the battle was lost

The fighting over Ettehgate continues and now sadly appears to have claimed a legislator’s life. Without going into the rights and wrongs of it, I think it’s time for Madam Speaker, Mrs Etteh to go. Her continuing presence is merely inflaming the situation, everyday I read about new brawls in the House and so in the interest of peace I think she should just go. Reading about people I had some respect for getting involved in the brawling and name-calling in the House I am appalled. Go Mrs Etteh, just go….

Perhaps Mrs Etteh should take a leaf from Sir Menzies (pronounced Minghis- yes I know!!) Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats- the small third party of the United Kingdom, who bit the bullet once his party members started murmuring and made a dignified exit….. I’m always fascinated by how when an English party deposes its leader, all other contenders have to pretend to be disinterested for a while, lest they be blamed for forcing the old leader out- even when everyone knows they are rubbing their hands in glee…

Glad to see Anne Enright win the Booker- my sympathy for the underdog and the fact that she cheerfully described her novel as bleak, plus the fact that she’s Irish ensured that. Now I’ll have to read the book…

Speaking of underdogs, England’s spectacular rise through the Rugby World Cup sees me humming Swing Low Sweet Chariot along with everyone else as I go about my duties at work….sorry South Africa but I’ll be rooting for the English on Saturday..

I’ve just finished Alan Bennett’s slim novella, The Uncommon Reader, a wittily intelligent book examining what happens when The Queen suddenly develops an appetite for reading….

Next up is The Reluctant Fundamentalist which I’ve just started- it was shortlisted for the Booker and I think I bumped into the author last week walking in central London… I share his love for London... revealed in an Evening Standard interview a while back, sadly not available online

Still on prizes, Chika Unigwe’s Fata Morgana has been shortlisted for the ANA Prize for Fiction as has Jude Dibia’s Unbridled, the follow-up to his earlier, controversial Walking in the Shadows which portrayed a gay man living a double life in Nigeria. I’ve blogged elsewhere about Chika and her talent and she’s dropped by this blog in the past…

Oh and while I was away my second bloggerversary came and went- thanks everyone for keeping faith with this inconsistent blogger and for sharing my world- I only just realized my first post was on August 25th 2005

Sites to check out:
Farafina
African Writing
African Writer.com
Viewnaija where I finally got to listen to the much talked about Yahooze
Igoni Barrett's collection of short stories- for lovers of Nigerian fiction and awuf things
Nominate that bright young Nigerian under 30 at the Future Nigeria Awards

14 comments:

chika said...

I still dey pass by...
Here is an article I wrote after doin research for Fata Morgana: http://www.eclectica.org/v11n4/unigwe.html

Anonymous said...

The link on Barrett's collection leads to the whole 135 pages of his manuscript. Just wondered if this was intentional or an error.

Atutupoyoyo said...

A very nostalgic LOL@ that little rhyme. It had all been erased from the mental hard drive.

On Ettehgate. The words dignified exit are an oxymoronic phrase in Nigerian politics. You couldn't evoke greater incongruity were you to walk into Hell and utter the phrase "divine mercy?" Our politicans tend to go down fighting and screaming or not at all.

On Booker. No one saw that one coming did they! I didn't think McEwan would win again but Mister Pip was generating some serious buzz there. The Gathering will go on the ever burgeoning reading list, with the firm hope that it will be read this lifetime.......

And Happy Bloggerversary in arrears. I was a lurker on your blog long before I was a blogger. It still feels like home.

Ekoakete said...

Dignified exit? In Nigerian politics?? Hehehe no chance. Prince William will marry Abosede from Ijebu Igbo before that happens. Most of these politicains believe "time heals". They would rather ride the storm, knowing people would soon forget...

Heard a dramatisation of The Uncommon Reader and I thought it was very witty and humourous. I kept imagining the Queen in those situations and couldn't help smiling...

Happy bloggerversary! Here's to many more positive & interesting experiences for you to delight us with!

Abuja Walkabout said...

Two years! You didnt tell us how it has been so far...

But you've been reading a lot of books o. Remaining that book by someone whose name cannot be mentioned here (lol).

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Congrats on the 2 year anniversary! More grease to your elbow as Nigerians say. lol!

Etteh, Etteh, Etteh. How many times did i say her name? Anyway, there is no reason for her to leave afterall most of her peers are soiled by the stains of corruption as well. Thus, all they can do is shout at her in rage and cause their fellow Reps to die from heart atacks.

Anyone notice that she never unequivocally denied doing anything wrong? She just claims tribal politics and the rest in response. Na wa for Nija oh!

Naapali said...

"for want of a biro an assignment was lost
for want of an assignment a grade was lost
For want of a grade an education was lost
For want of an education a life was lost"

"Write that one hundred times and next time you wont forget your biro". Thus spake Zarathrusta, or in this case my papa.

Yes it is a Klimt, thanks for stopping.

oo said...

UK!
Your blog has been a most welcome fixture in Blogworld, one of my favourites. Happy Aniva! So when can we come and eat party rice...?

Etteh - will not go anywhere. A resignation would be the logical thing to do but we know that we are living in the "Age of the Illogical" in Nigeria, it would be against the national ethos. Enjoy the show.

keep writing and we'll keep reading,
-oo-

Bitchy said...

Pray, what is a Yahooze?

Happy Belated Anniversaire! I missed my first one. August 22nd? 23rd? 29th? Not sure. Too tired to check.

CATWALQ a.k.a LAGBA-JESS said...

Bonne Aniversaire...

As usual, your words drench my mind in a shower of thoughts and feelings. I just love the way you write...very intelligent.

So in other news: the prizes. I have not read any of these books. I am ashamed. I will not repeat the offence. I will get better educated.

The condom in the car: I wondered what you wondered too.

Etteh: No comment. I will not dignify the lot of them with my words...

Fatoumatta said...

hey been a while hows u??
meanwhile wan invite u to ma blog so send me ur email pls on fatimsani@yahoo.co.uk
-.-

@themill said...

Two years, but only just found you. You write beautifully and thank you for the book recommendations. Will call by again

CATWALQ a.k.a LAGBA-JESS said...

May we have an update if you are okay?
If you're not ok, what can we do?

uknaija said...

@chika- Thanks for the link and continuing to pass by
@anonymous- it was intentional
@atutupoyoyo- Ah nostalgia where would we be without it and thanks for the comment about the blog feeling like home..
@ekoakete- too true
@abuja walkabout- I thought by reading the blog you get an idea of how it's been?
@solomonsydelle-she finally left
@naapali-Your Papa was a wise man. I saw some Klimts in Vienna and loved them
@oo- thanks, but who will cook the rice- any aganyin women in cyberspace?
@bitchy- I'm sure you now know what a Yahooze is...it was the dance craze in Naija some months ago
@catwalq- Thanks for the concern- you shook me out of my silence
@themill-thanks for dropping by
@fatoumatta- Long time- email is uknaija@gmail.com
@