Friday, December 14, 2007

Random pre- Christmas blogging

It’s Friday and I am blog-surfing during what ought to be some kind of lunch break- no don’t ask- too complicated. In a minute, I will stand up and walk through the doors to the café where I will ask for a brown baguette with coronation chicken and salad and a bag of crisps. Or perhaps not. Seeing as I often ask for that anyway, the staff often burst into laughter once I turn up. Is there anything wrong with eating what you like over and over again? I remember my first term at university when I ate rice and stew twice a day, occasionally leavened with some beans and was as happy and healthy as anyone, at least I thought so.

It is cold, freezing, the kind of cold that hurts your nostrils and burns its way right into your lungs searing your throat as it passes by. On the train, there are coughs and splutters aplenty, and I find myself eyeing the perpetrators, silently warning them “If you dare give me that your cold, eh!” As if looks could cauterize the bacteria or viruses or whatever it is that causes these colds and coughs…

My lips split, laughing at a joke outside the office today and so I am slathering them in lip salve. Come to think of it, the weather isn’t unlike harmattan, in its harshness, with the dust clogging your airways with a similar harshness and lips requiring a good slathering of salve to avoid splittage…

Recent reading has covered Blake Morrison’s South of the River, an utterly enjoyable romp through South London in the Blair years following a varied cast of characters as well as The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which I had long heard about but never got round to reading. A recent work-related foray to Edinburgh found me with time to kill before getting the shuttle back to the airport and so I walked down the dark brooding somewhat Gothic streets of Edinburgh city centre to the small bookshop hiding in a corner. Browsing the shelves and name-checking Adichie and Habila, I stumble across a pile of pristine Muriel Spark novels, a bargain at 99p each and seeing how slim The Prime is, I make my way to the shelf where the bearded bespectacled proprietor takes my pound coin, offering a penny’s change and a brown paper bag which I decline….

Christmas carols blare out from shops and on television as we are exhorted to shop for Britain. In Nigeria I imagine the frenzy to buy things for Christmas in full swing, the streets around the Marina/CMS area thronging with pedlars of cheap toys. Across the seas we are gripped by the same frenzy to buy….

Perhaps that’s why I wake up to 15 missed calls from a Nigerian phone number this morning. At first I panic, thinking it portends bad news but, no it is a cousin making a last ditch attempt at extracting a Western Union transfer to ease the impending cash sucking crunch of Christmas…

Each morning it sometimes feels as if I am walking through thick gooey liquid, a feeling enhanced by the dark gloomy days…this morning walking to the train station in the small town where a work Christmas do has brought me, I spot a lollipop lady, a creature I have often read about but never seen, standing by the primary school to ferry children across the busy road, her huge lollipop in hand. But unlike the ladies of my imagination (and the Ladybird books), this is no matronly twinkly comfortably padded mother figure. Here is a blonde Amazon, some six feet tall, her legs encased in bronzed leather high heeled boots, her pony-tail flicked away as she guides the children across…

So Ibori, the thieving Niger Delta ex-governor has finally been arrested by the EFCC. Perhaps there is something to the Yaradua rule of law after all. The Nigerian Guardian reopens after an enforced closure caused by a strike and the question is raised why journalists adept at exposing the exploitation and corruption of government are so silent when it comes to their employers…

13 comments:

Refinedone said...

I enjoyed reading this....

Ivanaa said...

love the way in which u've so adeptly brought out the sense of christmas and the feel of winter, where u've managed to touch base with naij and gently brought out the nostalgic feel of home(naij)... It was easy reading, a few emotions engulfed me... I enjoyed the short yet detailed walk through your mind... somehow I feel like I should go on but I know I need to stop... Merry Christmas!

Nigerian Woman in Norway said...

if you are looking for an effective lipbalm, i recommend the bodyshop's fruit/plant butter lipbalms. stay away from the overtly girly mango and passionfruit flavours, and stick to the manly, dare i say ''black'' flavour, cocoa butter.

trae_z said...

it's dry and harsh here too. i tend to prefer impersonal relationships with sellers. i give you the cash, you give me the goods. no annoying small talk, don't act like you know me (but don't be rude either) even if i buy the same queer thing over and over again. would probably be more chatty if Nigerians learnt the art of good customer service

Waffarian said...

Yeah, Christmas again. I have been so busy lately but I have been lucky to spot presents here and there on my train journeys...did a lot of impulse buying which has turned out to be a good thing cos I have not been able to do the whole christmas shopping thing. It is so cold here, frost everywhere which at first I thought was snow, but no, it is frost.

The best part of christmas for me would be christmas breakfast.Everything else, I don't care, but my breakfast must be perfect. Ham, eggs, coffee, orange juice, sausages, cakes, porridge, salami, jam, pancakes, hot cocoa, honey, lemon... ohhhhhhhhhhh, thats all i spend my money on!

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

Yeah, winter is here: it's cold and the unabashed onslaught of purchases made not just to communicate affection but also to relieve many of the guilt their lack of interpersonal communications bring.

i took myself to see The Kite Runner. And I have Half of a Yellow Sun on hold at the Barnes and Nobles. I also dragged my account balance even closer to a single digit with the purchase of a book. If I am going to be broke over xmas, I must have some mental diversion. The problem is that I finished the book in less than 24 hours. I guess, I have to get cracking on my own novel...

Use blistex for your lips.

kulutempa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
In my head and around me said...

Merry Christmas!

Snuffleupagus said...

Practically every night I eat a Moz, tomato, avocado salad drenched in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Eating the same thing all the time makes sense - means you know what you like!

oo said...

Ukay,
Happy New Year! Where are you now? Your audience needs you...come back (to your own blog) soon? Thanks! :)

-oo-

ps: @ snaffleupagus - mozarella, tomato, avo salad in olive oil and balsalmic (sprinkled with sunflower seeds) is absolutely heavenly.

Atutupoyoyo said...

Happy new year sir!

Any chance of some random post- christmas blogging?

Bitchy said...

Hey Yukay, you've been silent for a while. Hope you had a fantastic holiday. I'll be back soon and we WILL meet up. Meeting up with you and LS is on my to do list for between now and March.

I hear the cold is frightening in good ole L town. I'm sure I'll be lynched for saying this, but I'm hoping for snow when I get back. I'm a coconut - coats and boots are soooo my thing. Teehee!

Oh and LOL at eating the same coronation chicken sandwich everyday. In a cafe' on Melcombe St somewhere in central London, I am known as "the bacon and avocado ciabbatta girl". I have even had to refer to myself as that when placing orders over the phone for other non-bacon goods like cheesecake! Lol Xxx

Jaja said...

I have been haunting this blog for the past few weeks.
Show working na. Bros.