Friday, March 28, 2008

Asa (Nigerian Singer)

I've mentioned this talented lady before but I don't think I did her enough justice. I've been listening to her album over and over again and I still can't get enough of it. It's so so cool. I first heard it when I was in Lagos over the Christmas period and I fell in love with it instantly. So much so that I went and bought two copies of her CD immediately, one for me and one for a friend. I played it non-stop until I got back to the UK. When I gave my friend her own copy, she fell in love with it instantly too. Last Sunday, I played it in the car and another guy heard the first three songs and wanted the album. Then he played it at work and his boss wanted it too! There's just something about her music that captures you and blows you away. The album has now been released in the UK (you can get it from Amazon ) and it's getting great reviews!
I'm such a big fan of hers, so you can imagine my excitement when I found that she will be playing a gig in the UK soon, London in May. (For more details see her page at MySpace ). So if you are an Asa fan in the UK, don't miss a chance to see her in concert. I plan to go and I can't wait to see her perform her songs live. My favourite songs from the album are "Bibanke", it's so soulful with a hint of sadness but the music lifts you up and "Fire on the Mountain", the music is simple, but lyrics are deep and they make you think.
Here's a video of her first single "Fire on The Mountain":

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Belgium Trip

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a nice time at Easter and didn't scoff too many Easter eggs. I usually like the Easter weekend because it cuts down two of my working weeks to four-day weeks! I had a good Easter break different from the norm, hubby and I went off to explore three cities in Belgium and we had a really nice time.

We arrived in Brussels on Friday and walked around a bit before going off to find our hotel. Unfortunately we didn't really get to explore it much because it was snowing most of Friday. It's quite a big city, very similar to London, and was quite easy to navigate around. We did notice that there were a lot less CCTV cameras in the Metro and the city centres than you would find in the UK. The people we met were quite nice and friendly. Initially, I had been worried about how we would get on since neither of us speaks French or Dutch, but it turned out most people also speak English there too, if you ask politely. When we first arrived, a man came up to meet us and said something in Dutch. Hubby and I shook our heads, then he spoke some rapid French, and we still shook our heads. Finally he spoke to us in English and then we could have a conversation! Experiencing that makes me want to rekindle my desire to learn a new language though! It would have been lovely to understand what people around us were saying. Maybe that should be on my to-do list for the later part of the year.

On Saturday we took the train for a day return trip to Brugge, which is a lovely tourist town just about an hour from Brussels. I preferred Brugge to Brussels, because it had a nice small town feel to it and there were more interesting things to see and do. It has a canal going through the main streets, and we went on a boat trip on it. There was also a bus tour and a horse-drawn carriage trip around the city, but hubby and I decided to walk around instead as advised by our guidebook. We discovered lots of interesting independent shops with the things that Belgium is known for: beer, lace shops, antique outlets and of course, not forgetting the famous Belgian chocolate shops. There were huge Easter eggs in the chocolate shops, all looking so tempting. I could stay in the chocolate shops for ages. Eventually when we got tired of walking around, we went to have a meal and chilled out for a bit before we continued our exploring. In the evening, we hopped on the train and headed back to Brussels. For dinner I tried the local dish "Mussels in Brussels" which is mussels cooked in a white wine and garlic sauce served in a huge pot with fries. It was different, but I enjoyed it, well I love seafood.

On Sunday morning, we took another train to Antwerp and that was nice too. It's also a big city with it's own Metro system and lots of interesting architecture from previous centuries. We explored the city centre as much as we could, walking around, mingling with lots of other tourists, taking photographs and noting down all the places of interest in our tourist guide. Our travel guide had said that it would not be possible to see all that Antwerp has to offer in one day though. And it was true because we wanted to go to the zoo and I wanted to see the fashion museum but we didn't have enough time. Before we left though, we got some souvenirs (Belgian chocolates!) from the shops to bring back home, and we had dinner, finished off perfectly with tasty Belgian waffles and ice cream! On Monday we had a little time to see Brussels before heading back to England. It was a short trip but it was fun and I would love to visit Belgium again in the not so distant future. For now though, I'm back in the UK, back to the real world – of more work and less fun, lol. I'm already looking forward to my next trip.
Here are a few photos from the trip:

I'm celebrating today: it's my mum's birthday and I just want to thank God for keeping her alive to see another year. The past year came up with unexpected things, but I'm just grateful that she is alive. I spoke to her this morning and she was really joyful too. I know she will live for many many more years... Amen. I'm rounding off my gist at this point; hope you have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Time

It's almost the Easter weekend - yay!! Easter has come earlier than usual this year. Until yesterday I couldn't get into the holiday mood much. I had been feeling a bit down last week since Sunday the 9th. I wasn't coughing or sneezing, but I had headaches and absolutely no energy so I was lethargic and fatigued. I had to take a few days off work to see the GP and he just said the usual stuff: you should eat healthy, take exercise and have lots of rest etc etc. So I rested at home for a while doing nothing. I didn't even have the energy to do anything useful with my time. But I started getting bored, so on Thursday I finally dragged myself to work but it wasn't until Sunday before I finally started to feel better.

The weather in England hasn't exactly been cheerful either in the last few days. Even though it's Easter and spring is supposed to be here, it still feels very much like winter, which doesn't help. There are lots of nice spring and summer clothes in the shops now, but as the temperature stubbornly refuses to go up and weather forecasts are predicting snow and other woes over the Easter weekend, everyone is still wrapped up in their winter jumpers, scarves and gloves. I'm tired of wearing black, brown and grey already! I can't wait for the warmer weather so that we can all start to wear nice spring and summer colours like green, yellow, white, pink, orange, blue etc.

With Easter almost here, it means Lent is almost over too! I think I've benefited a lot from giving up Facebook in the last month. I suddenly found that I have more time to do other important stuff when I am at my computer (lol). I needed to get it out of my system for a while, so I've proved that I can survive without checking it 10 times a day! Now I hope I can have a healthy relationship with Facebook because I've realised it's a useful tool, but I should never let it control my time.

Hubby and I are hopping over to Belgium to spend the Easter break. I haven't been there before so I'm looking forward to it. Travelling has always been one of my hobbies but I had left it dormant for so long to pursue other things. So this year I have decided to revive my interest in seeing the world, broadening my mind and learning about other people and places. I think travelling is a great way of getting an education outside of classrooms, films and books: you are actually there in the adventure, experiencing things for yourself. I have been daydreaming for years about travelling all over the world and I don't want to postpone doing it anymore. So now is a good time to start, one city at a time.

I hope you are planning to enjoy the holidays too. Let's not forget that it's not all about chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies though. It's about reminding ourselves that Jesus came to earth to make the ultimate sacrifice of love: He gave His life for us! So He is the reason for the season. Hope you have a great Easter break!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I've been quite busy in the last week, hardly doing anything apart from going to work, attending my classes and a bit of writing here and there. I'm looking forward to something to break the monotony. Maybe a party, a holiday or some great news. Fingers crossed...

I was in a taxi the other day and the driver received a call on his mobile. He's not allowed to put the phone to his ear whilst driving, so he put the call on speakerphone and the following conversation ensued:

Cab Driver: Hello?

(There was this very excited female voice on the other end)

Excited Voice: Hi Rob! Guess what night it is!

Cab Driver: It's Friday night. Does that mean it's my turn to buy the coffee and donuts?

Excited Voice: No! It's Donald's turn. But that's not why I'm calling!

Cab Driver: Ok, so what's the reason for your call?

Excited Voice: I asked you to guess what night it is!

Cab Driver: I don't know, you tell me.

Excited Voice: It's Traffic Light Night!!!!!

(At this point I was curious too and I listened with interest)

Cab driver: What's that then?

Excited Voice: You know, Red, Amber, Green!

Cab Driver: That's good, so you know your traffic lights.

Excited Voice: No, it's for the party tonight!

Cab Driver: Oh the party?

Excited Voice: Yeah, it's the dress code! You wear Green if you are on the pull and you are hoping to meet someone, Amber is if you are not sure but you are open to offers and Red is a definite No, No, No!

(I'm thinking this is fascinating)

Cab Driver: Oh right, so what time does the party start?

Excited Voice: It starts at 10 o'clock. All of us are going, so are you coming?

Cab Driver: I'm still on the beat, but I'll finish in an hour.

Excited Voice: Great! We'll be at the bar. So what will you be wearing?

Cab Driver: I don't know yet, but I'll go home and get changed and meet you there. Just make sure there's coffee and donuts.

Excited Voice: Okay!! Byeeee!!

LOL! I thought that dress code is a brilliant idea. I repeated the conversation to hubby and after we had a laugh over it, he said if he got an invitation to that party, he would wear green just to confuse people. I said I would turn up in Amber. I think some guys would go for the girls wearing Red just for the challenge....

Hope you enjoy the rest of your week!
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