All posts tagged: miaoriginal

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 …

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, …