Month: October 2015

Ab Routines, Almost-Dates and After.

I’m back in the gym. It’s hell, of course, because I hadn’t been for months before I went away and post-illness weakness is a real thing. But every day I run a little further than I ran before, and die a little less during my ab routine, so there’s hope that in about 6 months people will stop laughing at me. I go with my cousin, usually, who’s irritatingly fit and good natured. I cannot understand being cheerful in a gym. What is there to be happy about?! Every day I have to endure his reckless happiness and exhortations, his effortlessly endless reps, his kindness. That’s the worst bit. I think I’d do better with someone who called me out on my weak inefficiency, who pinched my flab and insulted me. I feel like that’s the kind of attitude that builds warriors. But he just ambles over after doing 100 pull-ups or whatever, and gently corrects my form, then says “well done!” after I’ve managed one push-up. I hate him so much. But being back in …

Food Glorious: A List of Things I Ate Yesterday In Chronological Order

– one large cup of coffee, brewed dark and strong, then sweetened until it was as smooth and creamy as an inner thigh. – a second cup of coffee, closer in tone to the sun-burnished face of a Namibian fashion model. – a scone, fluffier than a cloud, slathered in butter, which tasted of baby laughter and a slow sunrise. – One large green juice, the colour of life and American money, that sent nutrients speeding through my veins like streams flowing into the sea. -A tupperware bowl of sweet boiled potato and a prawn and tomato stew, handmade with care by my colleague: every bite tasted like friendship and unhurried truths. -An enormous slice of birthday cake- salted caramel, from Salt Lagos– because I deserved it and it had earned my respect. -One slice of Debonairs triple decker pizza- three layers of a deliciously bad decision. I felt recklesss and free as I threw each bite down my gullet; like a dolphin frolicking along the waves of irresponsibility. -Finally, a cup of green tea;pale, …

How To Be More Like: Adele

Firstly and foremostly, let us bow our heads and give thanks for Adele; for truly she is a gift, a true gift, unearned and ever giving, and lo we are blessed to receive her even in this hour of our  darkest need. Yea, though we forge onwards through roads littered with the rotting Azeleas of Igg and are drowned in copious Cyruses au Miley, we fear no gratuitous nudity, for Adele is with us. We are kept safe in the bosom of 19, 21 and 25, from whence our help comes and our succour flows- Hello, she comes from the other side to cleanse us and forever more refresh us, also. Amen. Secondly and aftmostly, I say unto thee that if thou, unworthy and tuneless, wish to become more like Adele, the She of Shes and Her of Hers (and of course you must wish this for who does not?) read these words of wisdom and be blessed. 1. Contour the hell out of your face. Adele’s natural cheekbones are probably pretty good, I guess, …

Mia’s Library: Sorcerer To The Crown, The Fifth Season

This is a fantasy edition of Mia’s Library, which should surprise none of you as it’s my favourite genre. I know there exists a great deal of literary sniffiness about fantasy- it’s too often considered low-brow or unchallenging- but that’s a nonsense. Good fantasy is more than just dragons and escapism- it’s literature that happens to be fun as well as evocative. One criticism I will accept of  mainstream fantasy however is the fetishisation of Middle Age/swords and knights/Anglo Saxon themes. Time was, you could count on a fantasy novel to be full of white guys with swords, and to only mention people of colour as some sort of evil or impossibly exotic race with next to no ‘screen time’. That’s changing, happily, and here are two excellent, mold-breaking fantasy novels that deserve to be on your shelf. 1:Sorcerer To The Crown by Zen Cho I kind of hate Zen Cho because she’s written the book I’d like to have written. Marrying Regency England with magic, this book is best described as a  combination of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and …

Couture, Cucumber Martinis and Good Craic

I was supposed to have a glorious holiday. It was all sorted: 2-3 days (each) booked in a happy handful of glorious European cities, a healthy “HolidayLux” spending account, three guilt-free weeks off work and a list as long as my arm of pre-planned lunches, dinners and drinks with old friends. And it started out great. I left the unhappy chaos of Lagos for Abuja at the end of August, spending two days in giddy anticipation- getting my hair done, cuddling my dog, packing and repacking my mostly empty suitcases. I sailed through the Abuja airport with such a glow that the immigration officer said, crossly, “Ah Madam, you’re too happy to be leaving us.” I found myself sitting next to an elderly English lady, with wisps of white hair and the sort of in-depth knowledge of Nigeria that is usually the sole purview of missionaries. She was in fact a teacher, her husband an economic adviser currently working for Adam Smith Int. They’d been living in Nigeria since the 50s, both their now grown …

WordArt: In This Story

We’re rushing into cabs, laughing with all the air that our pathetic lungs can muster and we’re falling into each other and kissing each other’s noses and we’re lying on white bed sheets when the first clear pictures of Pluto are released and you turn to me and say “You’re the most beautiful planet I’ve ever seen.”