Wednesday, February 28, 2007


If I knew what I know now at 15, would I make different choices ?
If I could rewind and freeze time, would I stay in the past?
If I could rule the world for one week, what decisions would I make?
If I knew how many days I had to live on earth, how will I live them?
If I don't try to conform with the world around me, who would run out of excuses?
If I had a choice before birth, would I have chosen to be me?
If I had the vision of me in 20 years' time, what would I advise my 23 year old to do?
If I hold the key to happiness, would I share it with others?
If I never procrastinated or broke my promises, how much of a better person would I be?
If I never put in 100% effort, I would never know what I am capable of.
If I don't dream it, I would never achieve it.
If I can make a difference in the world around me, I should
If I have never truly grasped the meaning of love, I haven't lived
If I smiled at one stranger everyday, I would have even more friends.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Girlfriend

I'm the kind of person that don't have many friends, but few close ones. I have some acquintances but I tend to stick with the few trustworthy friends. Well enough about my ramblings, this post is dedicated to a girl that has been my friend since 1996! There are some friends that you know are just a blessing to be part of your life and she is such a friend. It's her birthday today, so I thought I would let her know how much she means to me.

I met her when I transferred to my 2nd secondary school. She was probably the most popular girl in our set. Everyone knew who she was, every guy wanted to date her and every girl wanted to be her friend. She's very pretty, very friendly and very intelligent. I liked her immediately I got to know her, she's just that kind of person and we became friends at once. She and three other girls formed a group and she invited me to be a member. For the three years we spent together in secondary school, we had a blast. We could talk about anything and everything from school work to clothes and parties, to guys, to politics... anything at all! I could confide in her and she could confide in me too. She was the only one that could read my diary and I won't get upset. When I started writing in secret code, she was the only one that could understand it. We had our fights of course, and we always resolved them amicably. Soon we left secondary school and I went to college.
One week in college, I begged this girl to come and join me. Like a joke, she persuaded her parents to enrol her in my college and I was so happy. Another fun-filled year. We hooked us with another friend of mine, and three of us became known cos we were inseparable. Some people even nicknamed us "the powerpuff girls". We would see ourselves in school all day, then go home and stay glued to the telephone all night. Her mum used to wonder what we still had to talk about, and this was everyday!
I left the country and losing touch with her was not an option. We still kept in touch as much as possible, and we hooked up whenever she came for holidays and when I went to Lagos. Even if we hadn't heard from each other in a long while, one phonecall is all it takes for us to continue where we left off. Gosh me and this girl have soooo much history together. If I had to put up a post about her everyday, it would take weeks to finish writing it all. We are still in touch now and I'm glad because she is my friend for life.
Hey girl, I want you to know that you have been there for me through it all and I love you so much. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pancake Day!

It's pancake day today in the UK. To celebrate, I've fried up a pile of pancakes, and stuffed myself. And to really burst the diet, I washed it down with a large serving of ice-cream. Plenty of time to feel guilty later....

Monday, February 19, 2007

Food for Thought

It's the start of a new week. I was given a lot of food for thought this last weekend. I was thinking about the problems we have in Africa on Friday. About the huge potential we've got to be such a great continent. We've got an abundance of natural resources, we've got our beautiful mostly unspoilt landscapes, we've got rich our cultural heritage, we've got talents and so much more. But we've also been plagued by bad leadership, greed, mismanagement and selfishness. We've been plundered and exploited by our fellow human beings. We've been uncooperative amongst ourselves. We have allowed rifts, division and war to tear us apart. And it is so saddening because we are our own worst enemy.

On Saturday I was given more food for thought. We attended a marriage seminar aimed at couples who had been married for less than five years. It was great! I met a few of my friends there, couples like us. The aim was to give us pointers that will help us in our journey, since we might have forgotten all they told us before we took the plunge! You know, sometimes the advice you are given before marriage doesn't really sink in because you are not in it yet. Now that we had crossed into marriage, advice given would be more relevant because we can get stuck-in to ensure that our relationships continue on the good note that they started. It was a very enlightening session and I learnt more practical and useful stuff. The speaker was someone who had been married for 28 years. He and his wife had been through a lot together, but it is obvious they still love each other, and their relationship is still going strong. So I guess he knows what he was talking about. One of the things he said was that, a lot of couples don't understand the implication of what they do on their wedding day. People see the superficial stuff like the clothes of the bride and her train, the nice food and music etc. But what is actually happening? He broke it down like this: when two people get married, what they are doing in essence is a sacrifice. They are sacrificing their self-interests. They are saying, from now on, I will put my spouse's interest before my own. They are saying that they will do all they can to make the other person happy, even when it is inconvenient. That is the ultimate sacrifice because as human beings, we are all inherently selfish. And it takes great humility to put somebody else first. You know nowadays, it is all about 'looking after number one' meaning you look out for yourself and no one else. In a marriage, that won't work. He added that we should see ourselves as one. So now there is no more about me, mine, myself and I. It is now about us, we and ours. So you can't say: my money, my car, my house or my career. Whatever we have and whatever we achieve should be of benefit to the two of us.
He also read out our marriage vows to us, in case we had And he emphasised that when we made these vows in the presence of God and man, it was for real, i.e. we were not actors in a movie. We said we would cherish, respect, love and honour our spouse for the rest of our lives. We said we would 'forsake all others' and remain faithful to the person we married till death do us part. For me the weight of those words sunk in afresh. Like wow, I did say those words to my husband. And God is holding me to account. Am I living out those promises, or am I doing my own thing? I must be careful not to break those vows, especially the one of - respect. That one is taken directly from the bible "Husbands love your wives, and wives see that you respect your husbands".
Something else that was touched on, is the tendency for us to expect our spouse to be like our parents. You know, where the man expects his wife to behave exactly like his mum, and the lady expects the guy to behave like her dad. While it is understandable for us to think this way, it is very unfair. We should see our spouses for who they are, rather than who we expect them to be. Otherwise, we would set our spouse up for failure even though it's not their fault.
There were lots of other issues discussed, and there was a question and answer session, and we had to do some exercises! We were told to write our primary and secondary love languages, and also guess those of our spouse. Hubby and I both got our love languages right. Overall, I had a nice time at the seminar and I learnt a lot of things. Now putting them into practice is the hard bit. Marriage is fun, once we have got the basics right. I'm determined to make mine the best ever :-)
After the seminar, we decided to go and visit hubby's brother and his family. We swapped gists, played with the kids, watched a movie and just enjoyed spending time with them. They didn't want us to leave so we told them we had to go and practice what we had learnt earlier.. lol.

Sunday was cool, after church we had lunch with a family in our church. It was a proper English dinner with proper English people so we were on our best behaviour. They are nice people though, we get on well. We've had them over for a meal once and I served them plantain and since then they've always asked me to buy plantain for them. They've even fallen in love with jollof rice and they want me to cook it for them next week! I'll see sha.
So that was my weekend, it went too quickly. Now, it's back to my working week. *Sigh*

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Weekend Thoughts

It's the weekend again! The way time flies nowadays is getting out of hand. Just yesterday it was the Monday, and now it's Friday night! When did we celebrate the new year? Now we are already half-way through February! It's quite sobering when I think that time's passing leaves me that little bit older, that little bit nearer to the deadlines I set out to achieve my goals. I set some goal to achieve by September. Before I know it, I will have to assess myself to see how far I've gone with them.

Let me put that to one side for now sha. I wasn't going to see this movie, until I read Bimbylad's post about the Blood Diamond movie and I decided to go and see it. Hubby and I just came back from the cinema now and we both found it very moving and thought-provoking. I never knew the full story of Sierra Leone, the civil war and the diamond trade. There's of course some Hollywood remix in it, but it openede my eyes, and now I'm going to read up on the history and situation of the country at the time. It's shocking what we human beings do to each other for the sake of power and money. If you are an African, I recommend you see this movie. If you love diamonds, I recommend you see this movie. If you want to know where your bling comes from, see this movie and then arm yourself with some facts. God help us.

So apart from discovering a bit more of African history this weekend, hubby and I are off to a seminar organised by our church for young couples. The invite said, for couples who have been together less than five years. That should be fun. I'll keep my ears open for more pearls of wisdom from the other people at the event. They say no knowledge is lost.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

As it's Valentine's Day, I couldn't resist putting up a lovey-dovey, cheesy post today. LOL. Hey it's lovers day after all. I'm such a romantic at heart so I've never had a problem with Valentine's Day. Cynics say it's just a day for florists, chocolatiers, gift shops and restaurants to make more profits. I think whether you are single or in a relationship, it's only a day to remind you to show some love to someone you care deeply about. It could be anybody.

Hubby and I had planned to go out for a meal after work this evening. We had called the restaurant and everything. Unfortunately he came down with a cold yesterday morning so we decided to postponne our outing. This morning though I still got a nice surprise. Hubby woke me up this morning to help him make toast before he left home for work. At first I didn't want to get up but eventually I thought "let me pity him and make the toast". Then I stepped out of bed and saw a trail of red rose petals leading from our room, through the corridor and into the living room. At the end of it were some more flowers, a HUGE card and a box of chocolates. I was sooo tripped. I've always known him to be a practical kind of guy (not the romantic type). But he's surprised me now with a lovely romantic gesture. Now I have to raise my game. LOL. I need some ideas.
(Update! Later that evening.....)
Hubby came to my office just as I closed for the day. After work, we went out for a meal at a nice restaurant. Love was in the air in there as several couples were there as well. The restaurant owner even presented me with a red rose during our meal. Awwwww....

It's my 50th post on this blog as well! That calls for a celebration. Champagne anyone? Cheers!

Friday, February 9, 2007

New Meme

I'm feeling too lazy to write a proper post, so I decided to do the meme that has been going round for a while. So here goes:

1. WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? Black trousers, a jumper, black boots, watch.


3. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Rich- Brent Jones and the T.P. Mobb

4. CAN YOU JUGGLE? Nope. Is that a useful skill?

5. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Breakfast of oats and fruit


7. HOW IS THE WEATHER RIGHT NOW? Cold, grey, windy :-(

8. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My girl Dammy. She just called me out of the blue to surprise me.



11. HOW ARE YOU TODAY? Happy, excited and in excellent health


13. FAVOURITE DRINK? Vanilla and Honey Smoothie

14. FAVOURITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? Don't really have one

15. FAVOURITE LUNCH MEAL? Rice and Prawns in black bean sauce


17. HAIR COLOUR? Dark brown

18. EYE COLOUR? Brown

19. TATTOOS OR PIERCING? Just the piercing in my ears.


21. FAVOURITE FOOD? Fried plantain

22. FAVOURITE DAY OF THE YEAR? Wedding anniversary

23. ARE YOU TOO SHY TO ASK SOMEONE OUT? Don't think so, but I never had the need to

24. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Definately happy endings. Real life has enough problems.

25. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer of course, when I can shed the scarf, gloves, jumpers and coats. Bring on sunshine, nice clothes, sunglasses, weddings and barbeques!

26. HUGS OR KISSES? Both. I don't have to choose.

27. RELATIONSHIPS OR ONE NIGHT STANDS? Relationships. I've never had a one-night stand

28. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Oh tough choice. But chocolate wins.



31. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING NOW? I'm taking a break at the moment

32. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I don't have one.

33. FAVOURITE BOARD GAME? Monopoly and Risk

34. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? Tried out a new fish pepper-soup recipe with excellent results


36. WHICH DO YOU BELIEVE, EVOLUTION OR CREATION? Creation. The theory of Evolution is a big con

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Monday, February 5, 2007

Our Shared Values as Nigerians

Good weekend everyone? I had a nice one, started nicely, I relaxed, caught up with a few blogs, attended a party on Saturday, and went to church on Sunday morning. So here's the start of a new week, and I have things to look forward to.

Recently in the UK, one of the aftermaths of the Big Brother racism row is the idea of teaching young people about "shared British values" such as tolerance and respect. These are the principles we have ingrained in our culture and in our attitudes. They are the values that our grandparents passed down to our parents, who passed them down to us. I thought to myself , if the British have core values that make them who they are, what are my values as a Nigerian then?

As a Nigerian living outside the country, I am very much aware that we have acquired a bad reputation in the international community. This is due to widespread corruption, fraud and 419 activities committed by many desperate Nigerians. Some of our leaders are not much better, as a few have been caught with wealth from dubious sources. But for every Nigerian criminal that commits a crime, there are thousands more out there who are decent, honest and hardworking people. There are Nigerians living, studying and working in almost every country I can think of causing no trouble. So how would our host nations describe us? What adjectives would I use to describe my fellow country folks?

For one thing, I could describe us as having pride. Most Nigerians I know are very proud of their identity. Sometimes to the extent that we are wary of non-Nigerians claiming to be from Nigeria. Most Nigerians are proud of where they come from. Whichever country we are based in abroad, we usually identify with other Nigerians we meet and we build social networks because of our common background. (Even on blogspot, we have built a strong virtual Naija community!). We are also very proud of our achievements and possessions. Whatever we have, we are proud to show it off. Wealthy and really humble Nigerians are quite rare actually. Sometimes this is good, but sometimes we use it to 'impress' or 'oppress' other people. And then we create a competitive situation. Everybody tries to 'keep up with the neighbours' because they want what the other person has.

Another value I think we have is respect. Growing up in Nigeria, one of the things hammered into my head over and over again was respect. As a child, you are taught to respect all your elders, you must greet everybody you see politely, you must not talk back to your elders, you shouldn't interrupt when an elder is speaking, etc. I used to think it was all a big bother. But now that I'm older, I see it reflects back on me if people perceive me as polite and good mannered or rude and ill-mannered. And I'm glad that I don't have to worry about it because being polite and respectful is already part of who I am.

Nigerians are also (usually) very hardworking. Most of us were brought up with the idea that failure is a disgrace, so were pushed and pushed till we succeed. Parents go all out to ensure that their children achieve their goals. And even if we fail, we don't accept it as the end. No, we must find a way to pick ourselves up and keep trying. (I used to think this was normal until I met people who gave up trying after the first hurdle, and parents who couldn't be bothered about their children's success). This leads me to the next value: we don't take no for an answer. How many Nigerians do you know that have been to the UK or US embassy 20 times? Each time they are turned away, and soon they are back there to try again. We don't give up even when the going gets tough!

I can mention a few more things common to many Nigerians that I know: we are adaptable, we take risks, we love enjoying ourselves, we are quite religious, we are optimistic, etc etc. However, there are some funny things that only Nigerians do. For example, only a Nigerian would have 6 mobile phones, why, because he just can't have one. Only a Nigerian would attempt to take a 45kg suitcase onto a plane when the luggage allowance is 32kg. Only a Nigerian would blatantly break the law and then try to blag his way out of it. Still, we are a unique group of people, as diverse as can be, but having many shared values. Yes I'm a Nigerian and I'm proud of it! If you are a Nigerian, please add your ideas of our shared values.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Missing for a week

It's hard to believe it's February already! Like wow, January flew by so quickly, I didn't have time to catch my breath. I've been away from blogville for a while, seems like ages! Not because of any crisis though. I just had to juggle a lot of stuff on my plate in the last week. Modern life takes its toll on my timing sometimes. Where do I find enough time in the day to finish everything on my to-do list? And still have time to relax, chill and blog? I understand when people in their 60s now, say to me "I feel sorry for your generation, you are too busy and you are always in a hurry...." But how for do now? You have to keep on top of so many things: at work, at school, at home, your social life, your family, your health and fitness, your finances, current affairs, music, fashion trends, and your virtual social networks (MySpace, hi5, Facebook, Blogspot etc etc). Na wah o. And I don't even have kids yet. Anyway sha, God dey.

This past week, my company has been moving office, so that kept us busy in the office. Now that's two months in a row that I've had to box up my belongings and unpack them again in a new place. At home, our furniture finally arrived, so I've been sorting things out and putting in finishing touches to the rooms. On my social calendar, I met up with my friend and it was good to see her. To me, she hadn't changed much, just a bit taller. We had a nice time, we caught up onthe past 7 years' gist over dinner in a restaurant. And then went for some late evening shopping on Oxford Street. It was cool! She's gone now, but I hope to see her again before the end of the year.

Hubby has gone green o. Last week, he saw a documentary on climate change, and how it affects the habitats of the polar bears, and now he is out to save them. If I leave a light on now, I hear, "Babe, please turn off the lights if you are not using them, think of the poor bears dying..." LOL. Anyway sha, that can only be a good thing. I'm going green too! Like my blog template :-)

I was planning to have a quiet weekend at home o, but now I've been roped into a surprise birthday party on Saturday. Anyway sha, I'll still try to enjoy myself. I'm going to catch up on all my favourite blogs I've missed reading, my peeps on facebook and some laundry I've been ignoring. The joys of modern life eh! Hope you guys have a great weekend too!!
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