All posts filed under: A Lifetime of Adventures

A brief summary of what we get up to.

Spring Lectures, Sunday Runs and Shiraz

Is there a greater turn-off than arrogance? I know you’ll want to say ‘unhappy hygiene habits’ or ‘rampant racism’ and possibly, probably, you’re right about that. But for me, I would rather be immolated than be forced to hang around the cocky, arrogant so-and-sos for whom Shakespeare’s ‘all the world’s a stage’ is an invitation to make the rest of us unwilling observers of their ‘Me Me Me’ shows. So, when I was invited to the Oxford and Cambridge Club of Nigeria’s Spring Lecture, I was a little dubious. We Nigerians at the best of times are a cocky bunch, and I worried that a group of Nigerians who had repatriated after being educated at the two best universities in the world would result in a lot of Me Me Me. This deserves its own paragraph: I was very very wrong. The Spring Lecture was a day of lovely people and the sort of conversation I live for-  about the things that truly matter, rather than the things that one can buy. I met a …

Well, I’m Back.

Last week, before I came back to Lagos and real life, I was running along the canal near my house in England, and my feet hurt a little, but the sun was shining and the breath in my chest was steady, and there was a grey-haired man cleaning out his house boat while his shaggy dog sat patiently watching, and my music was a Drake song that had just come out and was inhabiting my head in the best possible way, and my sister was running along about a pace or two behind me. A few months before that I’d been told by a very clever doctor to prepare for life as a partially disabled person and there I was pounding along a path in the sunshine. Life is an up-and-down sort of thing that no-one can predict but this- this was the sort of thing you stand up in a church and sing about. This was the sort of thing you write a book about. This was my real life. Last year I almost …

The Friday Fun: 8 January 2016

What a gloriously new year it is. Even more excitingly, it is, for most of us, the first end-of-a-working-week Friday of 2016 which means this is the first of many Fridays on which we will cast off our cares and dance merrily into the sun. It’s the weekend, finger snappers, so here are a few things to help you get into it. 1.This spoof of Adele’s Hello, which perfectly captures the gym-despair being felt by many this January.   2. This excellent tune, called Saviour by my new favourite English It band, Secret Company. At only 2.5 minutes long, it is a bite-sized joy.   3. This photo set of the thinking woman’s Number 1 2016 Celebrity Crush, John Boyega, being adorably hilarious re Harrison Ford.   4. This excellent quote by Teddy Roosevelt which I think is a great mantra for 2016.   5. And finally this blog post from one of my writer-crushes Jean Hannah Edelstein on becoming the kind of woman who carries her dog in a bag on a subway in …

A List of Things That Happened During Christmastide That I Want To Tell You Guys About

I read in a church program (we went to church 3 times) that the entire period between Christmas and like Jan 6th or something is called Christmastide and for the rest of the holiday whenever people said “Merry Christmas!” to me I replied with “And a Merry Christmastide to you!” and honestly? The fact that generally I got a sort of confused smile in return amused me way too much. My sister kept calling the new Hunger Games movie “To Kill a Mockingjay”. I made THE best butternut squash soup I have ever made, and that’s saying something, because I make it every Christmas, and it’s always a huge gastronomical success, but this time, everyone had so much they almost forgot to save room for the other courses and my dad said, seriously, “Maybe I should give you some money to open a restaurant in Abuja.” and because the way my dad shows love is generally to give you some money and because he doesn’t really know how to give a proper compliment or say …

The Friday Fun: 27 November 2015

The thing is, time is finite. You’re never going to have enough of it and you’ll only realise how utterly important it is and how much of it you wasted when it’s too late to do much about it. Does that however mean you should let it all go, waste opportunities and moments, miss your cue? Of course not. Make the best of what you have, carpe it all, be selfish and ruthless in your quest to make as many glorious memories as possible. This is my word to you, this Friday evening. Take it and be blessed. It’s the weekend, tap dancers, and here are a few things to help you get into it. 1. This illegal photo of Naomi Campbell I stole from the legitimately great Instagram account of stylist extraordinaire, June Ambrose. How is Naomi still even allowed to look like that? Who authorised this? 2. This quote from my weekend read, Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning because it’s terrifying and true- “the universe is amply supplied with night”– to remind you to …

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 …

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 …

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 …