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This Is How You End Up With The Wrong Guy

This is how you end up with the wrong guy. Something seismic happens- an illness, a birthday unlooked for, a birth, a change of address, dress size or your last single friend’s surname, a death in the family or the end of a thing- and it shakes you up. When the dust settles, there are cracks in you that weren’t there before and through those cracks shine the deceptive, persistent light of maybe. Maybe there is too much of me, too little of me, maybe I expected too much, gave too little. Maybe. Maybe is the invitation to a vampire, the first roll of a gambler’s dice, the first click of ice cubes against the side of an addict’s highball. Maybe is definitely a bad idea. *** Riding in on maybe comes half of what you want and all your insecurities made flesh. A tall, strapping hunk of stress, a knight in shining fuckery. His particular sin doesn’t matter- immaturity, questionable hygiene, loose concepts of loyalty and/or fidelity, a sad bank balance and professional indifference, no …

The Friday Fun: 1 July 2016

Halfway through the year and all things are made new. Did you break a promise, abandon a hope? Don’t worry, there’s still 6 months, half a year, 26 weeks, and just over 180 days left in which to redeem yourself. Birds chirp gladly in trees, because summer is here, and you and I walk a little lighter because we’ve made it this far into 2016 and there’s just enough of the year left to reach for the skies. Most importantly though, clock watchers, is the fact that today is Friday. So, here are a few things to help you get into it. 1.Another excellent song from Laura Mvula’s too-good-for-us album, The Dreaming Room. This one is called Kiss My Feet, and it’s the kind of song I think ought to play during a Tim Burton directed movie adaptation of the nutcracker, or perhaps at a faerie-goth wedding, or even just in your headphones as you lie quietly dreaming at night. Here’s a video of her singing it live on Jools Holland, and it’s great, but …

The Friday Fun: 24 June 2016

Let us have a referendum on the working week, shall we, and vote yes or yes to a weekend. Let us all, taking our time and considering all angles, decide whether it is right or very right to bid farewell to boredom and ceaseless adulting. Let us choose to Remain free and fettered not by the drab reality of the Employed Unhappy. Let us instead Exit the week, for it’s Friday, toe tappers, and here are a few things to help you get into it. 1.This, my new favourite, song by Anne Marie called Alarm. I swear I know nothing more about it, or her, save that I play it at least 7 times during my morning runs and it has powered me on to 2 PBs in a week. Also that it sounds like the musical love child of a Rihanna song and tequila-fuelled fight with your boyfriend. It’s best enjoyed played obnoxiously loud in your car.   2 and 3. This my second current favourite song called Phenomenal Woman off the recently released, …

The Silent Driver

Mr Femi was a simple man, with a simple job. Every morning at 6am, he washed first the cars, then himself. After that, he had breakfast- fried yam and egg, washed down with hot milo- if Cook Oye was in a good mood. At 8am, he put on his tie and sat in the car. Between 8.15 and 8.20, Madam and the children emerged from the big house and after a careful drive through Ikoyi’s leafy streets, he pulled into the parking lot of St Joseph’s Primary School by no later than 8.45. At 9.30am, Madam returned to the car and Mr Femi drove Madam to the gym. After that, his time was his own until 3pm. Usually he would return home for lunch – garri and soup- but once a week, usually on Thursdays, he would drive to the local NNPC filling station and fill up the tank. At 3pm, he would pick Madam up from her friend’s house and they would be back outside the school gates at 3.30pm. Madam would gather the …

The Friday Fun: 9 June 2016

Life is fleeting, and all good things are only good because they are temporary. Revel in the contrast, because sweet wouldn’t mean a thing without bitter. It’s Friday, star gazers, and here are few things to help you get into it.   1.This happy little piece from Women’s Running on the similarities between running marathons and writing books. It’s possibly only fun for me slightly niche fun but I think it’s a great read for anyone who likes running and writing and/or anyone looking to pick one or both of these things up. There’s a refreshing clarity in committing to a thing that’s more about effort than talent. All my life I’ve been obsessed with the having and not having of talent. It’s a crippling thing,  but since I decided to just put one foot in front of another, and write one word after another, without stunting myself with questions of ‘can i? should i? am i good enough? am i allowed to do this?‘ I’ve felt cleaner and calmer than a rockpool. Check out …

The Friday Fun: 3 June 2016

What is life without anticipation? A constant bob on a calm sea, so inured to ebb and flow that even a diving dolphin or a glittering rainbow seems like just another thing. We need the ups and downs, the nods and shakes, the grunts and groans of the week, if only so we can truly bask in the joy that is a weekend. What would Saturday mean without Monday? It would be just another day, after another day and we’d all be beige. So, my colour-sergeants, prepare to glow because today is Friday, and here are few things to help you get into it.   1. This not new but so pure-Friday of a Coldplay song , Adventure of a Lifetime. I don’t know what Mr ex-Gwyneth Paltrow was thinking calling that other dirge-like song with Beyonce Hymn for A Weekend . He definitely got his titles mixed up as that one is okay but this song is a praise-and-worship masterpiece for a sunny Friday afternoon, a boozy Saturday, a lazy  Sunday and all the …

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 …