Friday, August 24, 2007

Random Thots

I was watching the London Ambulance programme earlier on today and there was this car accident that was shown that made me reminisce about how roughly I used to drive previously. I used to think I was a moderate driver until one day, I got driven by someone else in their car which was a rare treat and my heart was literally in my heart cos the driver was going so fast. I was literally stepping on the brakes too while being seated in the front seat and driving the car along with the person. LOL!! I made a comment that I was actually scared and my younger sis turned to me and said "Now you realise how we feel when we are in your car" LOL!! I didnt realise I used to go so fast. LOL!! I know my minimum speed used to be at least between 60 - 80kmph or is it mph but I dont think I ever hit 100 in the city. Now my eyes have 'opened', I know that was way, way too fast to drive in a city but then, what did I know? Everyone seemed to drive at about that same speed too. My sis in law's nickname for the car was 'Tuke Tuke' LOL!! She would ask "CG, how is your tuke tuke?" It wasnt exactly grandoise but it got me from point A to B quite nicely - Thank You very much. LOL!!

That accident also made me remember how much God loved me then - even up till now. (smile) I remember the first time I had an accident. It wasnt through any fault of mine and Thank God I didnt hit anyone and no other car was involved. I had been stopped by FRSC (Federal Road Safety Corps) officials who had asked me for the regular stuff.
  • Fire Extinguisher - Non Existent in my Car
  • Triangle - Non existent

OK. let me stop opening my yansh before you guys think I was a negligent driver. LOL!! They now asked to check my brake & reverse lights. I stepped on the brakes for their benefit and reversed also so they could check the reverse lights and told me both werent working. How was I supposed to know? I didnt even know they were supposed to light when you stepped on them. I am no longer laughing. It was terribly naive of me to have driven the vehicle then endangering others now I think about it.

So they wrote me a ticket and off I went to pay the fine as well as take the car to the electrician's place to get the brake and reverse lights fixed. At the electrician's, afterall the work was done, I got into my car and drove off. The electrician's place was at the top of a slope and when I was about going down the slope, I stepped on the brakes as a precautionary measure but my brakes failed. I was petrified. I couldnt believe my eyes. What was I going to do? And it was a very busy road too with all the 'okadas' around who if pushed down would unleash justice perpetrator of the evil. I was like OMG! I'm going to hit another car or worse still hit someone but luckily, my instincts swung into action and since there was no car coming from the opposite direction, I swerved the car into the nearest premises where I had seen a heap of sand hoping the sand would stop the car. The car hit the heap and started to roll back. I was petrified it would take my back onto the road I had just come from cos of the slope but thankfully, my front bender caught the framework of the garage shed which was next to the heap of sand and the car was held in one place.

The owners of the premises came out to find out what was happening. A crowd had started to gather. I was shaking and petrified and mortified at the same time. The lady who owned the premises was someone who worked in my father's office and recognised me (I didnt even know that was her house when I swung in there or that she lived there) and I was so embarrased. But they were all so kind to me as they all seemed to think it was no fault of mine since it was a brake failure. She got someone to drive me and my car back home. I was literally in shock and shaking all the way home.

Later on, I was informed that the electricians had made a vital mistake. Since they had worked on the brakes, they should have 'bled' the brakes after and topped up the hydraulic fluid but they didnt and that was what had caused the brake failure cos it happened immediately I drove out of their workshop. I remember another time I was speeding and my front tyre burst. Luckily, I had heard so many stories about not stepping on the brakes when you had a burst tyre and was able to not step on the brakes and bring the car to a stop and change the spoilt tire and continue on my journey.

I'm glad I can say now, I have been enligtened and I have repented from my days of rough driving. LOL!! If I am stopped by FRSC today, I can proudly say:

  • Fire Extinguisher - Check
  • Triangle - Check
  • Other things - Check. LOL!!

Prayers Galore

Me and my man are going through such a traumatic time right now.

Please remember us both in your prayers.

If I live to tell the tale, I'll let you in on it next month.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Monday Morning Blues

I was on my way to work yesterday when I decided to fish out my sunglasses from where they had been hidden in hiatus & make good use of them as the sun was shining quite brightly that morning. Sunglasses perched on my face and everything else in place, I kissed my man goodbye and headed to the bustop to catch the bus to work.

Some metres away from the bustop, I though I could see skin poking out from underneath a suit already standing at the bustop but thought to myself, "No, that cant be". Must be my sunglasses playing tricks on my mind cos I havent worn them in such a long while. Just to make sure, I removed my sunglasses from its precarious position on my face and proceeded to verify that I was actually seeing what I thought I was seeing.

Alas, my senses or is it my thoughts still told me I could see flesh jutting out from underneath a well dressed suit and so I proceeded to wipe out my camera phone & take some first hand evidence/pictures from a very, very safe distance to confirm that I wasnt seeing double. LOL!! The picture below was confirmation that I hadnt gone bonkers. LOL!!

After taking the picture from a safe distance, it confirmed exactly what I thought I was seeing. There was indeed flesh poking out from underneath the 'suit' at the bustop some metres away from me! Oh La La! At 8am on a Monday morning?!?!!? In my mind I was like, Chei! Wahala dey oh! LOL!!
My problem was now how to get closer and take a clearer picture of the 'scene' before my eyes and yet live to tell the tale. As you can see, the guy was extremely huge & intimidating and I would hate to think of what he would do to me if I was caught in the act and he noticed that I was clicking away, taking his picture. LOL!!
I pretended to be typing a text and moved closer to the bustop, pretending to be reading the bus times/schedule but yet clicking away at my handset with my heart in my mouth. If he moves closer, I'll run away in the opposite direction. I kept assuring myself. LOL!!

I wanted to turn round and look at him properly but my liver failed me. Supposing he said "What are you staring at?" with his eyeballs bulging out?!?!? What would I do? Where would I run to? I'm sure I would have pissed in my pants. LOL!! Before long, the bus came and he got on it. I contemplated getting on the same bus as him to take more pictures, curious at the same time where he could be heading to. Surely he wouldnt be heading to work?!?!?!?!!? In that state!??!?!? I decided to let him go on his way. I had my own day to look forward to afterall. LOL!!
What would be your reaction if your manager, supervisor, co-worker or even your employee came into the office on a Monday morning dressed like this?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ashlee & George

The 'young' have grown and are getting married...............
My 'calabar sis' Ashlee is set to wed.......
A Big hearty Congratulations to Ashlee & George who tie the knot in exactly a month's time.
Check out their wedding website HERE.....

Monday, August 13, 2007

My First 10km Race

I know I didnt let on I was running this race but I wasnt so sure I would turn up for it too. I'd been getting these email reminders 6 weeks before the race about it being my 'last chance to register' which I had been ignoring dutifully since I felt I wasnt ready for a 10km race yet but last weekend, I got worn out and threw caution to the wind and registered. (They were offering me half price registration afterall and my august was free as the races I had lined up next were all in september.) LOL!!

That was how I started preparing for a 10km race - a week to the race when I hadnt yet been able to run a 5km race non stop yet. I aim to achieve too much too soon right?!?! You're not far from the truth. Our training run that week went well though. We ran 6km steadily and unwavering 3 times that week on Monday, Wenesday and Friday and finished in 53, 48 and 51 minutes respectively on those days. I figured I would start slow and then try to run 6km without stopping like we did during the week and then see how it goes from there, probably rest between the 7th and 8th km mark and then run the rest of the way to the finish line. With my Running Partner's last words of advice to me still reverberating in my ear just before the gun went off signalling the start was "Make sure you start slow" and me nodding in reply, the race began.

First of all, whoever charted the race course and then described it as a fast and flat course will be sued by moi for misrepresentation! LOL!! I felt since the course was a flat surface with no hills, then maybe I could manage it as my daily runs are on a flat surface. How wrong I was! The start alone was an inclination! We ran uphill! I think I followed the crowd and went along with their pace and when I tried to take some deep breath like I usually do and didnt succeed, I knew something was terribly wrong. I was somewhere in the middle of the crowd at the start line but pretty soon, everyone had gone past me. I was cursing and ranting to myself - "This isnt a flat course, OMG, what have I done to myself? This isnt a flat course." LOL!! By the 2km mark, I was already walking. Hills arent my thing at all. Havent mastered them yet. Then this elderly guy went past me at such a slow pace, I knew I had to step up. It wouldnt do well at all for him to get to the finish line before me - I was way younger than him and supposedly full of energy. LOL!!

Mustered all the energy I could garner and began running again. Went past him but couldnt keep it up and was soon walking again. Note to self: Let go of Lucozade Boost and stick to ur Diet Kick. Lucozade seems to do nothing for me. The advice was to drink it at least an hour beofre the race as the drink will enable you focus better, react quicker and delays the onset of fatigue. It did absolutely nothing for me. Maybe there was something else I didnt do right? LOL!!

Back to story - Well, when I began walking again, he went past me one more time and the humiliating thing was that it wasnt as if he was running particularly fast - more like a gentle jog. It just made me realise I need to do more speedwork. My so called running speed is almost non exsistent if not zero. (smile) Went past him one more time and then got to another hill where I simply refused to run and decided to walk up it instead. Self realisation came when I heard a little boy who had come to stay on the roadside with his family and cheer the crowds on ask his parent very loudly indeed: "Why is she walking, mummy?" In my mind, I was like YEAHPAH!! I am in real soup. Little boy is questioning my capabilities. Embarassment couldnt even let me turn round and look at his innocent face - just kept on walking as fast as I could with the intention of sprinting down the hill when I got to the top of it. But he was saying the truth - Why was I walking when other runners had just sprinted past at top speed before his very eyes? LOL!!!

The rest of the race was a mixture of running and walking - next to the elderly man who had been overtaking me previously. I decided to run next to him rather than engage in a mini comeptition with him. When I complimented him that he was quite fit, he smiled and said that he had run a marathon some days before and was quite tired and would need to get a 'tow rope' pretty soon so I could pull him along with me. Yeah, right. When I was struggling to keep up with him. (smile) He swamped me with tales of his younger years in the army and some of the piloting work he was doing currently. It was nice to have someone to run with especially as the batteries in my mp3 had given up 15 minutes into the race. I should have charged them the night before just to be sure but I foolishly assumed they would see me through the race.

Next thing, during one of my walks, the 'end car' or 'sweeper bus' as it is known in most races was behind our little group and I just told myself I had to do something drastic. I couldnt afford to come in last or let the car overtake me either and leave me behind. LOL!! So I started chasing the lady ahead of me and just when I got to her, she said she was trying to get to the lady ahead of her too and did a little jog away from me too. LOL!! Finally, we all made it to the finish line. Did I mention I got to the half way mark - 5km in 44 minutes? Finished the race in about 84 minutes I think. Was aiming to finish before 90 minutes and at least I achieved that. I was petrified of finishing after 90 minutes. Will try and work harder for my next 10km race - whenever that is. This made me realise even more that running a marathon which I have been thinking of doing is really, really hard work. I had even been contemplating half marathons, 13 milers and 10 milers recently and just enjoying everything generally about running as well as delving into that need by runners to always search for new distances to conquer. Will step down my search several levels and concentrate on 5km races now. LOL!!

Was intending to take part in the London Pride Run - another 10km holding this saturday in London but I've shelved running any more 10km's for the mean time to allow for further training and speedwork. Running a 10km isnt beans. LOL!! Some pictures from the race can be seen HERE.

I'm not sure if my eyes were deceiving me but I could swear I saw a 'naked guy' standing akimbo on Waterloo Bridge this morning at about 5.30am on my way to Bluewater. The car went by too fast so I really cant say if that was a man or a statue. He was standing really still and naked as in really N A K E D on Waterloo Bridge. Surely if it was a man, the police would have arrested him for 'indecent exposure'? LOL!! Maybe it was a statue - can someone help me out pls?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Carnaval del Pueblo

I was on my way to South London to visit some aunties - those I had neglected for the entire year over the weekend. On my way there, just after Elephant & Castle, I noticed there was some event going on at Burgess Park on Old Kent Road and being the inquisitive lady that I was, decided to make a detour, defer my trip for at least two hours and veer into the park to find out what was going on there. I dey chop dog leg now? Una no know? LOL!!

It turned out to be that the Latin American Festival - Carnaval del Pueblo was holding in the park that day! I had heard so much about the carnival but had never attended any and was so glad I didnt continue my journey but the downside was that I had already missed the carnival float/procession which was scheduled to arrive at Albany Road at 3pm and it was past 4pm already. Into the park I skipped and I was glad I did cos it was fun!

There was dancing and singing and loads and loads of food - I loved that part - the food part. LOL!! The weather was lovely too and we went round the stalls looking at traditional latin crafts which were on display in some of the stalls. There were four stages and loads and loads of singing and nice latin songs and dances which the crowd sang and danced along to, too.

I really enjoyed tasting the food from the stalls. There was food from loads and loads of countries. Now I can boast of having eaten Columbian food - I ate some Tamales made from potatoes and peas and carrots and chicken, wrapped in plantain leaves which wasnt bad at all, I also ate some Filippino food - which was a mix of assorted meat, fried plantain, rice cakes - I think which was quite a hit with the crowd cos the queue for those was astronomincal! There was also loads and loads of roasts and barbeques - chicken, kebabs, et al. There were churros and salad and ........ oh, the pictures say it all. Of course there was the eye candy too - loads and loads of eye candy both for the ladies and the men too. But in all, it was a family day and there were loads and loads of kids having fun in the park too with their parents. There was a fun fair for them, face painting, loads of ice cream vans, candy floss, music, dance, you name it. I'm really glad I stopped by but disapointed I missed the float. Saw pictures of the float in the papers yesterday and my heart ached. Next yr....... oh, next yr........, I have serious plans for next yr's carnaval. LOL!! But this year, all hope isnt lost yet. I also have serious plans for Notting Hill Carnival holding later on this month. No way I'm missing that! (smile) Anyone who knows of any more events like these holding this summer, please share! LOL! I just learnt there is going to be a carnival in Abuja, Nigeria too later on in November this year.

So 2 hours later, my journey began again to my final destination - my auntie's place. I'm glad I made that detour though. Did have lots of fun. Pictures from the Carnaval del Pueblo can be viewed HERE.