Author: Mia Farraday

The Friday Fun: 20 November 2015

I would never be so bold as to tell you what to love, but these things- a shared smile, a perfectly flipped omelette, the first restful night between newly laid bedsheets, the sated stillness after a bout of raucous laughter, the mumbled ‘hey’ from a sleep-warmed lover, the first hiss-crack of good alcohol being poured on ice cubes -are all good things, things you should like and cultivate as often as possible, but particularly when the twin terrors of weekdays and work hours abate. It’s the weekend, glow growers, and here are some other good things help you get into it. This song, Sorry, by Justin Beiber who has grown up so it’s totally okay to like his music- I checked with all the relevant authorities and you’re good, I promise. This tune is a banger and impossible to listen to without dancing. Here he is doing it live, chill-style, with the Roots. 2. This ridiculously perfect quote on commitment by Anne Morris:   The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating — in …

The Friday Fun: November 13th 2015

We are very sorry to have been away from you, our dear hearts, for so long but our feelings of sorry are being completely overwhelmed by our feelings of woohoo because we are, as you can see, BACK. We are here, and so are you, and most importantly, SO IS THE WEEKEND.  Here are a few things to help you get into it. 1.This vine of the bizarrely and inexplicably delightful Corduroy Cat. Why is it made from corduroy? Don’t worry about it. What even is that song playing in the background? Scientists are certain it’s good for you, so the details are irrelevant. All you need to know is that this cat is happy, and watching it will make you happy, let’s all be happy like this cat. https://vine.co/v/eLIZBOAQTYI/embed/postcardhttps://platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js 2. These two amazing but deeply unsettling short stories (it’s Friday the 13th!) which are perfect reading material for Sunday morning alternatively that odd, empty hour on Saturday afternoon during which you know you ought to be doing something fun and cool but you’ve got …

Two Exes Run Into Each Other At The Gym

“Oh my God, hi!” “Goodness, you startled me.” “Gosh, hi! Hi. So nice to see you. You look great.” “Hang on, let me just- yeah, sorry, I’ll call you back-Hi.” “Sorry, were you on the phone?” “It’s fine. I’ll call back.” “It’s been ages though- such a long time.” “Sure, sure.’’ “Three years, three and a half actually at the end of this month.’’ “Three and a half years at the end of this month?’’ “Or something like that.’’ “Okay.” “I heard, I mean, you’re married right? That’s crazy!’’ “Is it?” “No kids yet though, right? That would be insane!’’ “Two, actually.’’ “That’s hilarious!’’ “What?’’ “Oh, you’re serious?’’ “I have two children.’’ “Oh, that’s great, that’s so great. But two?! That’s a lot…’’ “Two isn’t that many…’’ “And, they’re both, I mean you guys all live here?’’ “In Lagos? Yeah we do.’’ “I mean, you all live, like, do you live with your husband?’’ “….yes. Me, and my children and my husband. We all live together, like a normal family. Listen, I-” “That’s great. I’m …

How To Be A Person: A Non-Exhaustive List of How To Not Be That Person.

“Now, you did good today, I’m just saying that there’s a way to be a person.” – Leo McGarry, The West Wing S1E22 1. No one ever wants to hear about your dreams. 2. Only gossip about people you genuinely do not like for real reasons. So, don’t gossip about nice people you are simply jealous of because you will eventually feel like shit. But actual dicks are fair game. Have at them. 3. Tip, always. 4. Use your inside voice, no matter how cross you are. Find within yourself a terrifyingly stern voice of medium volume and employ it at will. Consider also incorporating the whispered horror of Hannibal Lecter. This will always be scarier and more effective than shouting. 5. Drive like someone you loved very much died in a car accident. It may seem morbid, but it’s a lot of people’s actual truth, and every time you suddenly change lanes without indicating, or speed like an idiot, they are looking at you and wishing you had died instead. You don’t need that …

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 …