Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

I attended a wedding quite by accident last November. I met, on the way to Lagos, a couple who were going for their sister’s wedding and had received an invite to which my initial inclination was to decline (I mean, the fella and his wife had my phone number in London so why was I being invited on the plane) and to which, for the sake of not wanting to appear churlish, I accepted.

And attended. The ceremony was well organised and it was an enjoyable experience. The bride seemed to enjoy herself and stepped around the hall in the dance of the happy. The groom seemed slightly bemused but happy all the same. I wish them happy married life until they reach 100 years of age…however, the wedding got me thinking about mine, and whether women especially concentrate more on the ceremony than keeping the marriage ‘alive’.

It seems to me that I stand guilty too of not thinking deeply about marital life before embarking on one. I thought it would be sex on demand (what man does not want that?), sweetness and fun, without any education (self-attained or otherwise) on how marriages work. My traditional introduction ceremony took place with a week’s notice when I decided to move to London since my ex-wife informed me that her parents would not let her join me without any formal recognition, and we returned to Nigeria for the engagement/marriage when she was pregnant, because her parents – church deacons – would not be happy about her giving birth outside of wedlock. Never mind that it is the deaconess who I now find imports jazz from Nigeria for my ex.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying I was dragged eyes wide shut to the alter – I certainly loved my ex and I gladly agreed because I knew it would make her happy.

My ex danced like she was going to drop in the church, a ceremony that lasted from 10 until almost 4 pm, even though we still had prayers at her house and a two hour journey back to Lagos. My father commented the following day that she was so happy because she had snagged me and my brother said something similar a few days later. I responded to both of them that she had said she was determined to enjoy her wedding day, which was true. It occurs to me now that she was not as determined to enjoy her marriage.

Marriage now fills me with trepidation because I realise that so many people will walk into mistakes. Unfortunately, about 40% of UK marriages are now breaking up and a large proportion of the remaining 60% are tumultuous. Darkelcee recently wrote an article about her fiancé liking original pounded and I was alarmed at the first comment which suggested the commentator’s husband had to put up with poundo, or nothing (I’m sure the comment was a joke). Relationships are hard work, marriages much harder and I think a lot of our parents fail in educating us properly about them, especially when we have many deaconesses who, rather than train their children, believe in the power of jazz to help keep their children’s spouses under control.

I will end on an upbeat tone. Many marriages will be happy ever after and I can see some examples on blogville: Oluwadee who critically examines every step she takes; Sherri, fiercely independent but with a heart of gold; Omosewa, whom someone once said to me will kill her husband with love (and who, by the way, has 'univited' me to her blog) and a few others.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

As Another Valentine’s Day Approaches…

If Cupid is the god of erotic love and beauty why does he appear always to be working extra time in keeping only women folk happy at this time of the year? You only need to step into a supermarket and their ‘valentines’ corner’ is an assault to the senses of the various shades of the colours pink and red. Since we, as men, are stuck with the colour blue (yellow is my favourite colour by the way), who keeps us happy at this time?

That chubby-cheeked overweight dwarf with a quiver and arrows has been hijacked by women all over the world as a sign of the affection of men and turned many men into psychologically-whipped mongrels. Maybe I should not be so narrow in my views as gays too probably employ his services. Valentine’s day is supposed to be when lovers express their love for each other however the flow of gifts, flowers and chocolates all seem to go in one direction: to the female side of the aisle.

In my university days, it was not uncommon for lads to take out girls and pay for everything – movies, meals, shows. Some used to steal, scrape, starve, scrimp and save in order to achieve this and it did not matter if they went without food for the next month. Those of us who had cars were luckier and could afford to spend little or nothing and still pull but an awful lot of pedestrians, especially those that were not from middle class families went celibate. Or went outside of campus to chase girls in the secondary schools of Ile-Ife.

Personally, I will not now date someone with no job, no car (I will not take you grocery shopping) or whose arms hang loosely by her sides whenever it is the time to pay, in other words, an elébi (hungry person). I seriously do not expect a woman to take me out all the time however, I think once to every five times I take her out would be a good compromise, and still she will be doing well out of it.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

A Reason To Be Thankful

A friend bought this house at auction last August, spent tens of thousands in refurbishing it to the highest standard, put it on the market (including with me) just in time for the constriction in the property market and then let it out last month as he could not achieve a sale anywhere near his desired price.

This morning the house was gutted by fire. He is devastated and in tears, however, I reminded him (easy for me to say, I suppose) that the tenants did not die in their sleep, especially as there were no smoke alarms installed.

There is always a reason to be thankful although sometimes it is difficult to see it.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

The Day I Became Deaf


Hair cut low as usual on Sunday.
Heavy snow into Monday, a little bit of exposure (no, nothing like making a snowman or having a snow fight), some driving around, a lot of sleep and too much eating. Sneezing, sniffling and feeling heady.


Huge headache on Tuesday was the cause of my timely escape from work. Early to bed.
Woke up in the wee hours of Wednesday to hear this constant hum in my head. I could not hear a thing. My sworn enemies have finally got me – didn’t people say juju and witchcraft do not work? I seemed to be in a land of blankness and for a minute, thought this must be how the acutely mentally impaired see the world.
Blocked ears. Could not hear a thing except when you shout and then voices reverberate in my head. Unable to use my phone, sounds like a broken speaker.
Some blood specks when I clean out my nose. Both ears and left nostril blocked.
Restrictive pain between my eyes.


It appeared like I had lots of water in my ears. No, this is more viscous than water, it is a serious head cold!


Positively cantankerous. My phone could not stop ringing yesterday and at a time I picked up to shout at a repetitive caller: “why don’t you just stop calling or send a text message if I do not pick up”? and cut off. I promptly received a text message from a dear friend who had just given birth and was calling to inform me of the fact. Shame! Had to apologise by text. Even more shameful, as I could not tell her why I did not call and was in a mood.
I was like a dog with fleas, everything was an irritation.


Paracetamol overload. Sniffed on vapour from hot, covered water with some menthol. No, could not get a-hold of Olbas Oil.


Can now hear slightly. One ear still completely blocked and the other intermittently. Unable to use phone. Still tetchy.

Monday, 2 February 2009

I'm Going To Buy Myself A Skoda...

...I think. Blizzard conditions, arctic London, even the AA man was stuck in the road incline in front of my house shovelling snow from the path of his vehicle. I observed vehicles passing, most getting stuck in the snow, a few skimming happily along on the snow, me trying to work out a pattern and determine what bit of engineering marvel turned some expensive cars ordinary and some ordinary ones into snowmobiles: were low profile tyres impediments? Small cars too light? Big cars too heavy? Balding tyres? Was it the driving styles? Two things were certain: the 4 x 4's went by, and ALL the Skodas followed without problems. Yes, Skodas. Volkswagen must have done something wonderful to them after they acquired the brand. Fifteen years ago, the joke was: how do you double the value of a Skoda? Answer: fill it up with a tank of gas.

I think I'll buy myself a Skoda - do they do 4 x 4's?

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

I Cant Let Go…

Of 2008, that is…

It’s a new year, a fresh start for most of us, new year resolutions; acquiring new friends; disposing of useless ones; seeking new jobs, husbands, wives; thinking of new and more radical ways to kill those you hate (yes, some people out there are unerringly like that); all in all, it’s a new year, new this, new that, but same old routine…

I can’t let go the suffering, the pain I felt when I saw the video of the Akwa Ibom ‘witch’ children, the suffering of people in the midst of plenty, the total poverty that pervades the lives of the majority of men and women in Nigeria…

You read on Sahara Reporters that Yar’Adua makes 8 cents per barrel of oil lifted from Nigeria (can’t tell you if it’s true or not); that “Dr” Andy Uba flew into Luton Airport in Bedfordshire on his private jet and with E135,000 (Euro) in cash last December 24 (I can tell you it is true).

The cash was seized and his visa revoked – I bet that hardly makes a dent in his ‘reserve’. The question about how a former special adviser managed to acquire a private Gulf Stream IV jet plane, I leave for the more logical minded to answer…

And then you see a man under the blazing sun, such as in the picture below which I took while driving on Itire Road, Surulere last November, who has totally given up (no, he’s neither mad nor dead) and you wonder if our leaders see the same things I see…

PS My Camera date was set wrongly.