Sunday, April 29, 2007

Perambulating

My week has been uneventual as usual. I'm looking forward to this coming week. I know it has loads of good things in store for me.

As usual, I was perambulating Oxford Street which seems to becoming a favourite past time of mine. A good friend of mine called me and asked me to please do a favour for her. Her colleague was coming into town for a conference and didnt know his way around town since it was his first trip so could I please show him around the shops? I had met him before and he seemed an OK person and so was quite happy to oblige being the perambulator that I am. He was staying around my area and the plan was that we would meet at the nearest station and start our journey to the city from there. I spoke to him as I was leaving my home and he said he was with his colleague who was coming along also and they would meet me at the designated place as they were equally setting out then. One hour later, they still hadnt arrived. I told myself maybe they were still on the bus or something and decided to give them a call. No answer. Thirty more minutes, they still hadnt arrived. I was contemplating going back home. This kind of African Time was not being funny at all. I had other things I could have utilised with my time. I was contemplating going back home seriously now. Na me voolunteer to do ojoro work abi? I decided to call one more time before heading back home and this time he answered his mobile. He was full of apologies. Apparently, since the day was a sunday, they had been perambulating round their area looking for shops to buy travelcards and finding a shop that was open and sold travel cards also was a problem and they had only just found one and were heading down to meet me.

When they arrived, I laid out the options to them. Liverpool Street or Oxford Street. Knowing that if we went to Liverpool Street, we would end up spending the day there, and not be able to hit the West End, I decided to take them to Oxford Street and fash Liverpool Street Market. Since they were working in the corporate world, I suggested going to get work shirts first and suggested going to get some shirts from TM Lewin or Hawes and Curtis. We took the train to Picadilly Circus and headed down Jermyn Street. When we got there, they changed their minds and said they didnt really like the shirts there and one person said he wanted only white shirts since they had enough of white and blue shirts in their wardrobe at home. I was flaberwhelmed. Maybe they didnt like those kind of shirts or hadnt heard of them before and were looking for a nice and polite way of telling me I was taking them to the wrong shops so far?!?!?!?!

We got talking and I mentioned that Liverpool Street Market and it now rang a bell with one of them and he said his friends had told him about it that we should head down there. I looked at the time, it was almost 3.30pm and going to Liverpool Street would mean heading first to Bond street on a 10 minute bus ride traffic allowing to take the tube, the 15-20 minute train ride and then we'd probably get there about 4pm - 4.30pm if we were lucky and I was pretty certain the traders would be packing up and getting ready to leave if they hadnt done so by then and that would be the whole of the day wasted. It just didnt look feasible at all. I decided I didnt want to be around when they were doing their shopping as it would seem as if I was inducing them to get items they probably didnt want to get or would seem too expensive or was showing them round expensive shops only.

I then suggested showing them around the shops at the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street and we would just browse through and they could come back on their own during the week, knowing where to get items they wanted and doing their shopping on their own. They both jumped and fell for that. So we went into Next, Primark, Dorothy Perkins, New Look, and Mothercare. (I must go back to mothercare very soon as they were having this marvelous sales going on - up to 50% off adult clothing.) I got a couple of items from there but I must head back there soon.

I told them of course that if they wanted any pointers to anywhere or how to get any particular item during the week, all they had to do was give me a call and I'd be happy to point them in the right direction over the phone. Thank God we decided to browse instead cos one of their colleagues called not too long after and they were off to South to visit him. Was I being too hard on them? I think this is the last time I'll volunteer to show anyone the shops ever again. I'll simply write a list of shops to visit and a description of how to get there and point you off on your way. No more being Miss Nice.

I am going to weigh myself tomorrow. If there's any progress, you'll see my ticker move some more - I hope. I'm praying in my heart it dosent move in the opposite direction and I've gained instead of losing. I jumped on my friends scale some days ago when I spotted it in one corner of her house and it said I now weighed 87kg. I refuse to belive that! Tomorrow will tell.

Monday, April 23, 2007

MOM

Writing a post about my dad made me feel terribly guilty about my mum. Mother's day had gone past and I didnt even remember to spare a thought for her or put a few words down on paper. This I hope will make up for it.

I remember you mum - always smiling and cheerful. I remember growing taller than you gleefully and hoping to reach my daddy's height but somehow never achieving that goal. I remember sitting in the front seat of ur car as you drove us to school and on several occassions driving about your business in the town.

I remember the very first time you asked me to help you wash your car. In my mind I was like "Girls dont wash cars" but it came out OK and was a chore I grew to love. I remember attempting to drive your car when I was 10 and the car jerked forward when I turned the ignition and hit the garage wall. Your bumper was damaged but you took it in good faith.

I remember you being such a wonderful cook that my dad and his friends would shout it from the roof tops. I remember you cooking a new soup everyday cos Daddy only eats fresh soup and me having to prepare the condiments everyday after my SSCE when everyone including the househelps had all gone off to school and work and I was the only one at home left to do the housework. I relish that time cos I learnt a lot of what I know now during that time.

I remember the very first time you made soup on a sunday for sunday lunch instead of the usual Jollof Rice & Chicken dish or Yam Pottage or White Soup and Pounded Yam and me being horrified that visitors would come and see us eating Eba and Soup on a sunday. (Yes - I thought eba and soup was meant strictly for weekdays only) You told Dad and you both laughed at me and he said "If the visitor didnt like it, then he could leave as this was his own house and he'd eat whatever pleases him on a sunday"

I remember how homely you were and how obedient you were too towards daddy. I remember the lovely dishes you used to make every festive period - Easter, Christmas, New Year etc. They were plentiful but extremely delicious too.

I remember you were quite industrious too. I remember we never used to lack plantain at home cos you had planted them all over the compound and they reproduced extremely well too and at a point we must have had at least 50 plantain stalks growing in our compound. I remember you taking care of the palm fruits planted at our country home too and we never lacked palm oil at home too. Due to this industriousness, I remember dodo and plaintain chips was never lacking at home and always handy whenever we kids needed a snack at home.

I remember you being ever ready to try out a new project or experiment. I remember you rearing all sorts of domestic animals - ducks, chickens, goats, rabbits, dogs and cats. Even non domestic animals like hawks, parrots and monkeys - you tried your hand at rearing them and keeping them about the house too.


I rememeber you were the one we always ran too if we need more pocket money and were too scared to ask Dad for some and you gave gladly. I remember you sheltered and protected us from the ilks of the world and society.

I remember calling you to come and check out the 'hot' mini skirt that MY SISTER tried to wear and sneak out of the house through the back gate cos she had 'hot legs'. She had succeeded in getting as far as the back gate but you got to her before she could sneak out and you pulled her back into the house to change her skirt and 'seized' the skirt. I'm sure she suspected I was the one who alerted you but I had snuck upstairs so she really couldnt tell who reported her.

I remember voluntarily tidying up ur room everyday for you. You were always very appreciative of my efforts but never seeming to make an effort to keep it in the tidy state I left it and this got me quite exasperated sometimes. Now I understand cos I'm in the same dilemma myself.

I remember you coming to visit me and my sisters in boarding house almost weekly with goodies for us and we always looked forward to your 'Under G' visits on non visiting days. Somehow, you made friends with the junior staff and they were always willing to come and call us for you and we would sit in your car with you in some quiet corner of the school away from the prying eyes of the house mistresses. According to you, the house was too quiet without us.

I remember somehow focusing my attention on Daddy during my growing years and you saying playfully that I am a bad daughter that hates her mommy and loves her daddy.

I remember you coming to university almost daily too to leave cooked food for me and looking back now I do appreciate it all so much.

I remember you standing up for us when Daddy disciplined us. We knew we could always run to you when we were out of favour with him.

I remember you collecting money given to us as presents from guests or relatives and you telling us you were going to put it in the bank for us or use it to cook for us. We never got it back no matter how much we pestered you but then, I guess indirectly we did get it back with the loads of money we got from you.

I remember ganging up with you against my daddy and his several admirers (female empowement) but then it didnt last long - I went back to my first love - Daddy.

I remember Daddy sending the driver to come and get me and my sis from the university one day that you were ill and admitted in hospital. You had just had a masectomy and you were still smiling from your hospital bed. I remember you coming home and having to go for chemotherapy thereafter.

I remember the time you had a reaction to the chemotherapy drugs and your arm and face swelled up terribly. I remember the pain and anguish you suffered and you hid it from us and we never realised how much you were sufferring cos the smiles and positivity were never far from your face and mien.

I remember your last xmas and new year spent with us. Even though you were terribly ill, you still rose and made delicious meals as usual for everyone in the entire house but in a much lesser quantity. I remember the gatemen at the government parastatal opposite our house who had gotten used to receiving huge portions of meals from you every festive period coming to and fro our own gate to enquire when theirs (xmas meal) would land.

I remember the shock of your death. I remember you saying that morning that you were waiting for the angels to come and get you or that angels were waiting to take you away. Being so naive at that time, I didnt understand what you meant. I never expected that you would die and leave us all alone. We always expected you to recover and live to old age with your husband and children. I remember refusing to even think about life without you and hoping you would recover but alas that wasnt to be. You were plucked in your prime. You were meant to be there to vet our boyfriends, see us get married and carry our children in your loving arms.

I love you mommy and wish death hadnt snatched you away so young. I wish I had told you many times over how much I loved you but its too late now. Its the 12th anniversary of your death and you would have been 53 this year. We have all grown through the years and maybe would have turned out even better with your guidance and wisdom which we were deprived of by the cold hands of death. Rest in Peace Mommy, Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wedding Webistes

Its been a quiet and almost uneventful week for me so far. I've not really got much to say apart from the fact that you guys must have seen my ticker move a little bit more. I have lost 5KG in three weeks! My last weigh in was on the 21st of March when I went to see the GP and weighed 90KG then. Last week, when I stopped by the GP's to get some prescriptions, I decided to step on the scale just for the fun of it to see if I was making any progress. Indeed it seems I had made very good progress. This welcome result is quite inspiring and is spuring me to be even more faithful to my eating plan. Come June, I'd like to see a new and rebranded "Calabar Gal" LOL!! I'm trying power walking now most evenings in the park near my house and when my legs allow, running 1 or 2 laps round the park near my house too.

This is going to be a short post as I've got to get back to work on my research. I would like to leave you with links to some wedding websites that were sent to me during the week:

Elizabeth and Victor
Charissa and Marshall
Theresa and Louis
Yetty and Debo

The Theme at the Festival of Light was "ALL WILL BE WELL". I would like to encourage each and everyone to believe God that all will be well indeed in every sphere of our individual lives.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bag of Nerves

We (me and hubby) want to open a banking account for our business. Went to Lloyds and collected the form and Halifax too and got some forms, filled them, returned them and the banks said they would be in touch with us. Had a phone call later on in the evening and it was Lloyds asking to speak to hubby. They asked him a couple of quetsions and wanted to fix an appointment for a face to face interview. I was mouthing to hubby that wednesday (yesterday) wasnt OK as my interview was scheduled for that day and he also had a diabetic appointment in the morning. The guy on the fone finally agreed on a date and time for the interview and I was furious when I discovered that hubby had fixed a 10am meeting with the business manager for wednesday. My interview was at 10.30 am in the city that same morning and there was no way I was going to forgo that. Of all the times to pick. He could have asked for an afternoon meeting!!!

Alright, after hyperventilating, we agreed that I would call the company and ask them to reschedule the interview for later on in the day. The interview wasnt as bad as I thought it would be. I got to the building 5 minutes before the appointed time and told the front desk official I had an appointment with the HR Manager. It turns out the HR Manager was the extremely cute 'ROCK CHICK' with extremely lovely and punkish looking boots and apparel standing by his desk. She'd been waiting to receive me. We made our introductions and went upstairs.

In the boardroom, we were joined by the CoSec Manager who told me how many people were in the CoSec team and the kind of work they dealt with in the department and the company as a whole. Interview then began proper:
Q1: Tell me about yourself.
Q2: Tell me about what sort of work experience you've had: I mumbled all the things I've done so far.
Q3: Have you been part of a team previously? How were you able to cope?
Q4: In a busy office, how would you cope with the work load or schedule?
Q5: Are you working now? Why did you leave your former office?
Q6: What's the range of salary you would expect from this company? I tried to throw the question back to her to make her give me sort sort of range they normally pay but she refused to bite. I finally gave her a very wide range within which I would be pleased to accept an offer. There were a host of other behavioural questions.

We moved on from the behavioural questions to Specialization questions proper. I must admit that I felt inadequate in this area. I had been researching up on Interview Questions and had a fair idea of questions which would be asked, but hadnt thought of brushing up on practical experience and knowledge and up to date happening in our industry. Note to self: Sit up next time.
Q1: What amendments have been made to the New Companies Act? I smiled. There had been several articles on this in the most recent issues of Chartered Secretary and talked about private companies cosec requirement which had been dropped as well as the new amendments I could remember. In my heart I was thinking YEAH why didnt I think I would be grilled on this?
Q2: How does the new amendment affect nominee companies and the directorship requirement? I answered the questions as I best could.

Do you have any questions to ask us?
Q1: Strength and Weakness of your company?
Q2: Growth potential of your firm and the employees in your firm.
I wanted to ask them what qualities they prized most in employees working under them but interview tension and my liver did not allow me. They answered my questions, thanked me for coming and said they'd get back to me. The Cosec manager walked me to the lift and downstairs where we said our goodbyes.

Outside the building, I let out a breath of relief. It didnt go too bad but could have been better. I've still got till the end of the month till I hear from them. The search goes on. I got back home to find this email from another company saying

Calabar Gal,
Thanks for your CV which has an impressive track record and commitment to corporate governance. Unfortunately we are not able to offer you a place with us but would like to invite you to our AGM in August to see corporate governance "in action". Please let us know if you can attend so we can make the necessary arrangements. We would be happy to let you know more about corporate governance at our company over a cup of tea in our offices anytime.

XXX

I dont want a cup of tea!! I want a JOB!!! LOL!!!

I've decided to chronicles my weight loss journey in my other blog which has been lying fallow and didnt want to bore you guys cos its mostly a food diary about items ingested each day by me so I made it a reader invitation blog only. If anyone wants an invitation to read the blog, pls dont hesitate to send me ur email address and your invitation will be sent pronto.

TEENAGE LOVE LETTERS

This is the entire except of a post by Reuben Abati in Nigeria Online and it was so interesting I decided to reproduce it on my blog. (Adaure did give me a pointer or directions to finding this article in her most recent post) I did get a couple of these kind of letters years and years ago and my response was very much to that of the lady in question. Does anyone still write these sort of letters anymore these days? LOL!! THE FULL EXCEPRT CAN BE FOUND HERE.


AUTHOR: REUBEN ABATI
I was riffling through my old things the other weekend: Secondary school note books, undergraduate files and somewhere in my notebook for PhiChemBi (pronounced FI-KEM-BA): Physics, Chemistry, Biology). I'd come across a true relic from the past: a love letter I'd written to the first girl I was supposed to have loved. How the letter survives till today is a comment on my personal habits. I don't keep diaries - I've always thought that only mean people do - but I never fail to keep documents. Letters, ordinary notes, office memos are carefully hidden away somewhere in my unending file of documents. My wife says it is junk but as it happened that weekend, I encountered a document which recalled past memories. The keeping of junk probably has its uses after all.

The letter in question is not an ordinary letter. It is the first letter I'd ever written to any girl. It was also written in a particular style. As secondary school students, we had our own way of doing things. A form three student ñ as we then were ñ who was just being introduced to the mysteries of science and agriculture, invariably felt that a love letter was a good forum to show off his erudition. Every love letter was scrutinised by one's circle of peers. For the writing of this particular letter, I had no fewer than 10 advisers. The letter kept going back and forth with each person, adding his own line. Our objective was simple: that the girl to whom is was addressed should fall head over heels in love. We had high hopes that the letter would do the trick. You probably also once wrote such a letter.

In this joyless existence, love is one of the emotions that we experience as human beings, growing up as members of the community of man. We use the word love, even when we do not understand it. We believe in God without seeing Him. It is the same with that thing which every young person calls love. But as we grow older, we become wiser. We are forced, by circumstances and experience, to realise that love is not merely what the Holy Bible says it is: I mean all that stuff about how love does not covet etc, but that the act of love entails the realisation, the struggle to survive, the preservation of the self in the midst of vicissitudes, and the inhumanity of man to man, is the truest act of love. We all fell in love, I suppose, as an initial act of fun, one of those rites of passage. These days, we are wont to look back and chuckle. I am chuckling still. Here, then is my beginning: love is like this first letter: an emotional disconnection with reality, a question mark: it is as follows:


At school, July 10, 1978
My dearest, sweetest, fondest, fantastic, extra-ordinary, paragon of beauty a.k.a Bose. I hope this letter meets you in a fabulous state of metabolism, if so doxology. My principal aim of writing this letter to you is to gravitate your mind towards a matter of global and universal importance, which has been troubling my soul. The matter is so important. Even as I am writing, my adrenalin is 100 per cent on the Richter scale, my temperature is rising, the windvane of my mind is pointing North, South and East at the same time; the mirror in my eyes has only your divine image. Indeed when I sleep, you are the one in my medulla oblongata, and I dream about you. I went out to sea in my dream, and I saw you: surrounded by H20 and you in your majesty rose from the abdomen of the sea like Yemoja, the avatar of beauty. Oh, Lord be with us! We are thy servants.


As you can see, I am in a serious dilemma. And I want you to take my matter seriously. At this junction, what our Lord said on this matter is germane. He says we should ask, and we shall be given, we should seek and we will find, and that we should knock, and it will be opened unto us. I am this 10th day of the seventh month in the year of our Lord, one thousand, nine hundred and seven eight, asking, seeking and knocking at your door. My prayer is that thou should open so that thy servant can enter. I want to wake up in the morning and see only your face.

I want you to be the only sugar in my tea, the only fly in my ointment, the butter on my bread, the grey matter of my system, the oxygen in my head, the planet of my universe, the wall clock of my room. The conveyor belt of my soul. I pray that you realise the gargantuan nature of my predicament. If you refuse, my life will be like tea without sugar, like a snail without shell, a Xmas goat without a horn; in fact I'd become an orphan. In fact I'd kill myself. What is life if I can't wake up in the morning and behold your face? You model of pulchritude, patiently created by God on a Sunday morning before he went on a deserved holiday.

Please Bose, let me be your Romeo. Make me the Adam to your Eve. Shakespeare said it all: if music be the food of love, play on. I want to emphasise, universally and responsibly, that you are love itself. You are the metaphor, oxymoron, thesis, antithesis, irony, gerund, conjunction and the adverb of love.

At this juncture, let me also say that geography of your body is a permanent allelluia. Not from your body, ammonia, urea and iodine- you are too beautiful for that, what I see in your body is milk and honey. At this juncture, brevity is the soul of wit. A stitch in time saves nine. Procrastination is the thief of time. An opportunity once lost can never be regained. Make hay while the sun shines. All that glitters is not gold. The journey of a thousand years begins with a step. What God has put together let no man put asunder. To be a man is not an easy task even if God's time is the best. But time waits for no one. A man without love is like a fish out of water. I know you are a sagacious girl. If you like the veracity of what I am saying, please fill the attached form and let me have it pronto. The mark at the bottom of this page is a kiss from me to you.

I remain
Your beloved, faithful, loyal, One and only admirer.



The attached form, which has become brownish with age, is itself a study in youthful naivety. It contains such questions as what is your name? Age? Do you have a boyfriend? If yes, please state why? If no, please explain? Do you love me? If no, state why. If yes, doxology. What is your hobby? Which is your favourite food? Mother's occupation? Father's occupation? Are you from a polygamous home? Is your father rich and handsome? Is your mummy also a paragon of beauty like you? What do your parents want their son-in-law to become in life?

I could not stop laughing. Imagine the kind of things we did as small boys. Asking a girl to fill a form! The questions and the idea of it strike me, in retrospect as plainly stupid but at the time, writing such letters to unsuspecting girls was the centre of our world. I confess that I was a consultant in the matter. All my friends wanted me to help them write their love letters. And whereas they succeeded with their letters, my own letters never brought any results.

This particular one (I must have written over 30) was never sent. What happened I recall, was that there was a change of strategy. The consensus was that I should speak to the girl directly. I was scared! My friends insisted, however. I was coached for days without end. Whenever we wanted to put theory to practice, my heart would beat so fast that I became tongue-tied and I'd develop instant fever.

One day, I finally found the courage to do it. It was a disaster. I went up to the girl, sweating profusely:

"Excuse, I want to tell you something" (this took at least 10 minutes)
"Yes"
"I think I am in love with you. I want the two of us to...(this took not less than 20 minutes, the sentence was completed with a sign, indicating boy-girl relationship)
"No, I don't want," the girl replied.
"Why now?" (another five minutes)
"I don't know"
"Okay, thank you." (less than one minute)

And I took to my heels!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my Daddy's birthday. Had he been still alive, he would have been 70 today. He died 9 years ago at the ripe age of 61 in his prime. His heart gave way cos of the 'weight of evidence' against him. People say it was because he ate too much dog meat but that's their business cos I don't think so!!!

My Daddy was a caring, fun loving man, charismatic and enigmatic just like my younger sis (who I have just discovered has a blog also. The first time I read that blog, I suspected the owner of the blog did funny and incorrigible things only she (my sis) could achieve but she refused to admit it was her blog until the cat has finally been let out of the bag. Maybe I'll reveal who she is in my next post this one is not about her) 

Back to my Dad now - He loved to party and relished any excuse to cook loads n loads of food, gather people around him and throw a party. I loved the parties but not the aftermath cos it meant that we kids in the house had to wake up early and see to all the dirty gigantic pots used in cooking, the dirty plates as well as the dirty drinking glasses and cutlery. I remember 1997. That was a year of parties, parties and parties galore - First of all, there was his "swearing in" in january, some of his colleagues came visiting calabar to open "XXX" and he threw a lavish party at his country home to welcome them, then after that was his 60th birthday celebrations - his birthday parties are a must and he has them every year, then after that were the easter celebrations, then after that he celebrated 21 years on the "higher echelon" of his chosen profession, and then he died two weeks after turning 61.

Our mum died in 1995 - 3 years before him and we couldnt imagine life with him as the sole parent. We loved him but he was a disciplinarian and would not spare fools gladly. The rod was used liberally if we did wrong. Thankfully he spared the rod as each and every one of us - his kids entered secondary school. But he had other ways of keeping us in check without using his rod. I remember my younger sis (madam blogger) used to be known and referred to as 'prison woman' in our house. This was cos she wouldnt cry when she was flogged for wrong doing and so dad resorted to locking her up in solitary confinement in the study/library while he had his siesta as her punishment.

I remember once when mom was preparing lunch and all of a sudden, she scooped out some into a different pot and embellished the contents of the pot with more mede medes. We asked her who the food in the smaller pot was for and she replied: "This one is for the General and that one (bigger pot with lesser orishi rishi) is for civilians" and the name stuck. Every other person in the house became a bloody civilian with dad being the General.

I remember the fun rides we used to have on saturdays when he would drive me, my sisters and kid brother around town in his car. Sometimes we would even go to 404 joints, buy some and go straight home to tuck in. I remember when we were kids and his friends used to come over every saturday to partake of lunch which consisted of delicious 404 prepared by our mom. He was so notorious for eating 404 that some of his friends in his later years would bring huge pots of 404 when coming for his parties and everyone would tuck in and banter over it.

I remember the evenings on the balcony with him, chatting and enjoying the evening breeze. His siesta was always straight after lunch at 3 - 3.30pm and we civilians were free to go where we liked (unofficially of course) and sneak back home before the stroke of 6pm when he would be awake and back on his balcony. We werent allowed to go anywhere without his strict permission.

I remember the plethora of friends that used to hang around him and come visiting every evening from 6pm. He loved having people around him.

I remember him being reverred in his chosen field and profession. He always did have an imposing stature - which only clothes from High and Mighty could fill cos he was both 'high' and 'mighty' also, which made him both loved and feared.

I remember the hugs and kisses we used to share. I remember going to hug him and on several occassions he would pull my bra strap on my back and let it go with a loud noise, more like a 'snap' and a 'plonk' and I would squeal: "Daddy!" He was that naughty. I remember aiming to kiss his cheek on several occassions and he would turn his head at the very last minute and the kiss would land on his lips. He was that mischievious.

I remember going on errands for you daddy - it was tiring climbing up and down the staircase several times every evening but I still loved it. Hearing you shout our names, and we would yell - "Yes Daddy" in response, preparing ur breakfast, helping out with ur clothes, putting out your shoes, tying and untying ur shoe laces. Serving your friends when they came around.

I remember all of us at home scampering to the door on your return from work to say hello to you or scampering and tidying the house cos your car was at the gate.

I rememember the christmas, new year and easter celebrations when you took us all around Calabar in ur car to see the various masquerades and parades about town.

I remember you being a strict disciplinarian admonishing us when we went wrong and telling us you were once a help and know what it is like to live in another person's house and on no circumstances were we to treat the help badly or without respect or inhumanely or we would answer to you.

I remember slapping one house help on one occassion and my punishment was that you wouldnt speak to me for over one week and glared at me each time I spoke to you or was in ur prescence. Boy, Was I glad when I finally reentered your good books.

I remember the plethora of ladies that flocked around you when you became eligible once again after mommy's death and you asking me which one you should marry in the presence of one of them and me replying untactfully "They are too many ladies or something like that. " Thinking back now, if looks could kill, I'm sure that lady must have felt bad and fuming inside though she was all smiles in front of you.

I'm glad you told all of them you werent interested in marrying again and that you wanted to concentrate and bring up your kids and not subject us - Thank God to the wicked step mother experience which you had.

I remember you allowing me to drive my mommy's car after she died and telling me it was all mine now. I remember that day in school my heart started beating very fast during lectures but I didnt know it was a sign or why my heart was beating so fast. I remember going to visit a friend after school that day and on the way back home the driver and the PA seeing me in town and picking me up after I flagged down the car and taking me back home. I remember them being unusually quiet in the car on the drive back home and answering my questions in monosyllables until I let them be.

I remember entering the house and sitting in the dinning room to chat with the people I met there. Everyone seemed unusually quiet and unwilling to talk. I remember your friend coming downstairs and taking me upstairs to break the news that your heart had given way and you had died on your bed while waiting for lunch to be prepared after coming back from work that day. I remember breaking down into tears refusing to allow your body to be taken for an embalment believing God for a miracle and you would be revived and all would be well. Life without you was unthinkable as you were the only parent we had left.

I remember the tears and the confusion about us all being made orphans at such tender ages. I remember asking myself how we were ever going to survive in this cruel world without you. I remember the furore after your death, during the burial preparations and after your burial. I remember us kids being left all alone and everyone in town seeing us as 'rich kids' with mighty inheritances but we weren't really cos we were scrimping and struggling to survive and cope in the initial teething period after your death.

We all love you daddy and wish we had told you this over and over again while you were alive but we didn't know you were going to be plucked away so soon. We miss you terribly. You advice, your imposing stature and personality towering over us and protecting us from all ilk. Above all, we miss your loving arms around us.

H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y  D A D D Y!!!

Friday, April 06, 2007

My Eventful Week

I was at the British Accounting Association annual conference at Royal Holloway University of London where hubby was also scheduled to give a presentation on and so I tagged along. It was fun listening to the PhD researchers giving their presentations and gaining from their wealth of knowledge. It lasted from Tuesday to Thursday and I enjoyed every bit of it. There were loads of forbidden and flour based foods pictured below which I resisted successfully.











After the plenary sessions and the afternoon sessions, we went for lunch and I stuck to my guns and went for protein only. There was an award ceremony in the evening and we took the coach to windsor where the cocktail awards was held. The waiters were tempting - moving about with platters of small chops. Here are pictures of what I had to contend with:









They kept on circulating with these platters of delicious looking food and each time I said "No, thank you", and the waiter or waitress moved away, the next one would simply come to you asking the same question, thinking you hadnt been served. After resisiting for all of 15 minutes, I threw all caution to the wind and tucked in. First the chicken, then the sushi, and then thought, Oh what the heck, Atkins Induction could start all over again the day after the conference.


But the conference wasnt all about food alone. I had an opportunity to meet with other researchers and we exchanged tips and information about databases from which we could get material for our research as well as how best to go about our various researches. There were loads of publishers at the conference too and they gave out loads of text books on accounting, finance, corporate governance as well as research journals on the previously mentioned topics which existence we were enlightened about and the usual markerpens, notepads, writing pads, diaries, pens etc. I'm getting to work reading the journal articles which focus on corporate governance and finding those relevant to my work.

I was quite fascinated by the founders building at the univeristy. Its history is that it was built in the early 18th century by a self made millionaire on his wife's suggestion to build a school purposely for women due to the norm at that time when women werent encouraged to go to school. So the building was completed and a college for women opened by Queen Mary in the 50th year of her reign. Unfortunately, neither Thomas Holloway nor his wife - Jane Holloway lived to see the opening of the college which was their vision but their names are etched firmly in the sands of time. I tried to get the very best pic of the founders building that the limitations of my S40 would allow thinking that getting the entire frame of the building would be doodle with an SLR camera and wishing I had one.









Apparently, there was a computer room available to delegates at the conference but I didnt get to know about it until the last day of the conference. I came back home to meet loads of mail waiting for moi. Amongst which were about six letters telling me "Thank you for your CV which we read with very great interest but unfortunately........" But it wasnt all unwelcome news. I had a very welcome email asking me if I would be available to attend an interview next week. Oh yes I will. Sent off an email confirming my attendance at once. Keeping my fingers crossed so wish me good luck. In the interim, do have a very lovely easter celebrations everyone!!!




Thursday, April 05, 2007

ONE WORD RESPONSES

Hiya Guys,
I just got back from an annual accounting conference held at Egham where I've been since tuesday and couldnt update as planned. It was a breeze and had great fun. Will tell you all about it in my next post. Do have a lovely Easter Weekend celebrations ahead.

I saw this on Pilgrimage to Self's page and couldnt resist doing it as well. Seeing London Buki's and Babs one word responses reminded me that I had mine saved somewhere and I brushed it up ready to be posted. I cheated a wee bit but some words just had to come in two's.

1.Yourself: Reserved

2. Your partner: Bookworm

3. Your hair: Curly

4. Your mother: Loving

5. Your father: Charismatic

6. Your favourite item: Laptop

7. Your dream last night: Dunno

8. Your favourite drink: Alcopops

9. Your dream car: CR -V

10. The room you are in: Bookish

11. Your ex: Dumped

12. Your fear: Stagnancy

13. What you want to be in 10 years: Fulfilled

14. Who you hung out with last night: Delegates

15. What you're not: Spiteful

16. Muffins: Delicious

17: One of your wish list items: Digital SLR

18: Time: Never Enough

19. The last thing you did: Unpacked

20. What you are wearing: Linen

21. Your favourite weather: Sunny

22. Your favourite book: Abandoned

23. The last thing you ate: Salad

24. Your life: Standing Still

25. Your mood: Pensive

26. Your best friend: Sacked

27. What you're thinking about right now: Interviews

28. Your car: Dusty

29. What you are doing at the moment: Typing

30. Your summer: Glorious

31. Your relationship status: Improving

32. What is on your TV: ITV News

33. What is the weather like: Temperate

34. When was the last time you laughed: Today

Sunday, April 01, 2007

P45 on its way....

I have resolved to refrain from staying in the club of those who make only a minimum payment on their credit card in order to get my credit limit increased - for my £200 card that is and then pay off the balance of my other credit card slowly but steadily. I'm contemplating cutting up the second card to avoid the temptation of spending any money off it until the entire balance is paid and then order a new one when the entire balance is paid off but lets see how it goes.

Just when I was having all these positive thoughts mentioned earlier, I got a letter from one of my agencies over the weekend. It read in this light :-
"It is our policy to terminate the employment of flexible employees who havent been on active assignment for a continous 8 week period" - Yeah Right. Whose fault is that? You havent offerred me any good job offers with reputable hours either.

"This is giving you two weeks notice and your P45 will be forwarded to you in due course. Please inform your branch if you would like them to seek suitable assignments for you and re-employment is straightforward" - Indeed, I am also tired of your agency not being able to satisfy my work requirements. I will gladly accept the P45. Thank You very much.

So thats it. My CV has been dusted and reworked ready to be sent off to companies directly. No more agency work. Why has getting a steady and permanent job been so difficult for me? I have even reached a stage and accepted and very willing to be engaged in unpaid or voluntary work. This has to happen just when I had made up my mind to be paying off my full balance off at least one of my cards monthly. I guess I still have the other agencies I registered with to fall back on and thats why I'm not too bothered about being struck off this particular one's list.

Update: I've started my cold calling project and so far, 4 entire sets of 12 pack postal stamp sets have been put to good use and countless emails sent out. Chartered Secretary is also my next best friend too.


I've got some conflicting information about my weight loss process. Went for a weighing session and the scale at my GP's says I have gained 2kg and my current weight is 90KG. My scale at home however says I have lost 3KG. So I've decided I'll disregard all readings from my home scale and always go for a monthly weigh in at my GP's. Seeing that I had shifted little or almost nothing during the entire month of March, I decided to do some research on Atkins Diet and it made me realise that I hadnt been following the rules strictly at all. So I decided to start the Induction Process all over again and go shopping specifically for items to use in planning and preparing my meals.

I want to thank London Naija Chic for the Efo Receipe she finally sent to me after serious entreaties by London Chameleon. I tried it out during the week for hubby and the meal came out OK if I may say so. Thanks Girl!!




I can be funny sometimes and do the most absurd things in certain cases. Yesterday I was waiting for the NEXT Online sale to begin only to be informed that the online sale starts at 10am. Not ready to miss out on things for sale this time venturing out of the house, I decided to serve a huge fry up to my friend and my hubby to kill time. Fry-up prepared and served - I had a omlette myself, it was time to hit the sales. I was on the lookout for good deals on shoes and boots and was a bit dissapointed. Wanted some knee length wedges or boots and there was nothing at all just some snow boots. To think that I postponed my saturday morning jog so I wouldnt miss out on the sales. Anyway, I headed to my favourite supermarket after that to get some water - Flavoured Water for hubby and Sparkling Water for me. Got 6 litres of each, added a couple of tins of canned fish, some olives, some stationery, lucozade, 2 frozen chickens, some vegetables and headed to the till. Paid for the items and then a thought entered my head. I had read somewhere that carrying your shopping about maybe 100metres (not sure the exact distance) burns about 500 calories and so I thought to myself. Why not burn some calories by walking home with your shopping? And thats exactly what I did. Do you have some funny story about ridiculous things we do in order to loose weight?

It wasnt funny at all. 6 litres flavoured water, vegetables and tins in one hand, 6 litres sparkling water, chicken and stationery in the other, the walk home began. Slow and Steady. I'm estimating that my house is about 1000 - 1500 metres away. The first 200metres were OK. The next 200 metres a bit gruelling and after that the silent panting and puffing began. I was chiding myself in anguish - what kind of punishment is this? You cant go back now - forward ever. After sometime, I was wondering if any calories were being burned at all for this kind of gruelling punishment I had subjected myself or my arms were just being pulled out of their socket for nothing. When I was almost at my door, a passerby asked: "Isnt that a bit to much for you?" "I dont mind." I replied. "I'm trying so looose some weight too so....... " OMG!! Talk about self inflicted punishment. When I told hubby and my friend about my journey back home, they both laughed at me. Oh well, as long as some weight drops off, I really dont mind.

Made a salad with the Cabbage Medley and it was so yummy. The astounding thing is that after I had the salad, the desire to be peckish or snack flew out the window and I was quite amazed. Even up till the end of the day - about midnight when I was ready to turn in for the night, still didnt feel peckish at all.


The carrots in the Winter Vegetables mix will be chucked away as its not on the acceptable foods list. I'm praying in my heart I keep it up this meal plan and ketosis comes fast with the aid of these:










April is here and I've got just two months to tidy up work on my dissertation and submit in the first week of June so please pardon me if I dont reply all your comments individually or stay away too long without updating. I'd been contemplating putting up an 'Away' counter like Tminx had on her page but I know myself that most likely my resolve to stay away wont last. So forgive me in advance if I write posts a little bit infrequently from now on.

April Fool.......


Old Lady in Court

Defense Attorney: Will you please state your age?"

Little Old Lady: "I am 86 years old."

Defense Attorney: "Will you tell us, in your own words what happened the night of April 1st?"

Little Old Lady: “There I was, sitting there in my swing on my front porch on a warm spring evening, when a young man comes creeping up on the porch and sat down beside me.'

Defense Attorney: "Did you know him?"

Little Old Lady: "No, but he sure was friendly."

Defense Attorney: "What happened after he sat down?”

Little Old Lady: "He started to rub my thigh."

Defense Attorney: "Did you stop him?"

Little Old Lady: "No, I didn't stop him."

Defense Attorney: "Why not?"

Little Old Lady: "It felt good. Nobody had done that since my Abner died some 30 years ago."

Defense Attorney: "What happened next?"

Little Old Lady: "He began to rub my breasts."

Defense Attorney: "Did you stop him then?"

Little Old Lady: "No, I did not stop him."

Defense Attorney: "Why not?"

Little Old Lady: "His rubbing made me feel all alive and excited. I haven't felt that good in years!"

Defense Attorney: "What happened next?"

Little Old Lady: Well, by then, I was feeling so "spicy" that I just laid down and told him "Take me, young man. Take me!"

Defense Attorney: "Did he take you?"

Little Old Lady: "Hell, no! He just yelled, April Fools And that's when I shot him, the little bastard."

I absolutely forgot today was April Fool's Day until I saw this joke from the plethora of jokes on Jokemail. I didnt play any tricks on anyone and its too late now. *sob, sob* Oh well, next year, I must play some tricks on someone.

The next joke is also culled from Jokemail too and I couldnt resist sharing it with you guys:

TIMEKEEPING

A priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish. A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and give a little speech at the dinner. He was delayed, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited."I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss's wife, taken illegal drugs, and gave VD to his sister. I was appalled. But as the days went on I knew that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people."Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and gave his talk. "I'll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived," said the politician. "In fact, I had the honor of being the first one to go to him in confession."