Standing in church I see the little boy toddle towards his mother who is singing in the choir, he is bemused as his father cuddles him up just before he reaches his target. I remember vividly, the gentle swelling week on week of his mother’s belly, her disappearance from the choir and then her reappearance proudly carrying a bundle of white clothing. Now seemingly weeks later, he is running around and trying to climb into the choir stall, where did the time go, I wonder….
To the cinema, for the first time in a long time to see the film version of Ian McEwan’s Atonement. I have overheard a discussion of it on the radio, driving somewhere and I am interested that the two discussants are split in their assessment of the film. In any event I am left underwhelmed, particularly by a seemingly endless scene on the beaches of Dunkirk which I am later told is to highlight a cinematic technique. Considering that one of the newspaper reviews had referred to it as the thinking person’s Titanic, I try to work out which of the target groups I have failed to fit in to….Not even Keira Knightley’s winsome loveliness can draw more than a flicker of interest….
To dinner or perhaps early supper on Sunday. Our hostess has outdone herself with a spicy carrot and coriander soup, salmon parcels stuffed with ricotta and spinach and a crisp lemon sorbet with fresh fruit. She offers apologetically that it is all store bought, but I don’t see what she’s apologising for- the food is great….
It is Nigeria’s Independence Day today, forty seven years on, and I can’t help thinking that in country terms, we are really still quite young. Perhaps that’s another sign of aging- ten years ago, I was ranting at how little we had achieved at 37, now I am slightly more patient.
Thinking about Independence Day takes me back to childhood and the school children’s march past. We would practice for weeks beforehand and the worst students would be weeded out. Then the day before the parade we had to bring in our uniforms to be inspected so as not to disgrace the school. Then on the day itself to the field where the state governor would appear on a dais ready to take the salute. At the command “Eeeeeyyesss riiiiight!” we would swivel our tiny necks by 180 degrees to pay homage to the governor as we marched past the dais…..
I still remember a song that some of the children used to sing
“Nigeria is a great country,
Africa is a large continent
We are marching on
To take awa place among all the (other?)
Nations of di worl’
And remembering it now I am oddly moved….
As my great grandmother used to say "happy independa!"