Category Archives: Weekly Challenge

Anniversary And So On

1. Do you ever think of moving elsewhere for a period of one year or two years? If yes, where would it be, if no why?
2. If you had a lot of money so much so that you could do anything at all that you wanted for a living, what would you do?
3. What’s your happy place/happy activity?
4. Do you think there is something bigger than yourself? Something or someone to which you would defer happily?
5. What would you do if there was no internet, even if it was just in a rural place for one week?

It is now one year since I began writing this blog. One hundred and five followers and forty posts later, I am thankful for the decision to begin writing it. I am also thankful to the blog companions whom I have run into along the way. It has been a really interesting journey so far, and I am looking forward to discovering some more blogs and readers along the way.

source:themecakes.com
source:themecakes.com

Today I was reading Moi’s blog and in the final paragraph of his post called drag, he asked for his readers to ask him a question or a number of questions. I did ask him a number of questions which I thought would be really interesting to answer here myself.

I am one of those people who have their lives dreamt out and know exactly where it is going. Don’t get me wrong, I have room for flexibility, as long as it does not change the grand scheme of things. So anyone who knows me will also understand why I resigned from my job on my birthday. I am taking a trip for a year+. I am moving to good old wet England for 14 months to study for a proper Msc to open up more opportunities for work in International Development. I chose a University in Luton, mostly because it was not priced at an arm and a leg and the faculty’s approach to Project Management is very innovative. However, lately as I have tried to research the city a bit more, all I read and hear is that it is the chav capital of the UK. A bit too late for that now, seeing as I have paid all the fees and bought the flights. If it is as rife with racial and ethnic conflicts as all the websites say it is, then it will certainly not be too different from some parts here ha! That’s for another post. So yes, moving around from place to place is something I see definitely in the course of my stay on planet earth. Right now, there are a few countries calling out to me; Ethiopia, the mountains and the culture are so rich, I want to live that a little. Tanzania is a beautiful place, I would like to live in Dar and perhaps climb the Kilimanjero at some point. South Asia fascinates me, I would like to experience Nepal and India, and not just to visit and go home like a tourist. I would like to walk some of Spain; the El Camino De Santiago is definitely on my bucket list. However, I am miserable in the cold and do not know how I could survive the cold for more than two weeks at a time.

source:elcaminodesantiago.co.uk
source:elcaminodesantiago.co.uk

If I had a lot of money so much so that I do not need to work anymore, I would set up an education trust which will give scholarships for a really good education to girls and boys from disadvantaged backgrounds to open up opportunities to them for growth and options. Then I would invest in performance arts and create a hub for artists in Abuja. I love cozy cafes that make you feel warm inside. So I would set up one to start with; Ethiopian coffee and moist cakes, wifi, wine, spoken word nights, chalkboards, clean lines, minimalist interiors, comfortable cushions, colourful rugs made from rags for sitting on the floors, wooden steps, a nice vibe. I could live there!!! I could spend all day there editing my photos, writing short stories and shocking theatre pieces.

That’s really my happy place up there. I love to sit in a cafe and just chill and write. I also like to sit at home on the weekends in something comfortable, reading a book and having a glass of wine. I love the smell of dust on a harmattan morning, I love that first smell of earth after the first rainfall post- dry season. I love to cuddle with that special someone while we just listen to music or to the sound of our heartbeats.

I believe there is something much bigger than myself. I believe that there is a creator of what we know as the universe. I do believe in God, I also believe in the energies he put in his universe and in our minds and bodies. We become what we strive to be, because we have conceived it and have put in the miles for it.

In the course of my work, I have had to travel to rural areas where internet was non-existent or extremely epileptic. In those places, I simply read books that I had taken along, written in my little notebook; diagrams, sketches, lines, poetry, plans, vision boards, then read some more. I also picked up yoga along the way. A portable radio is also very helpful and can keep me company for days. But it gets frustrating if I am unable to check my emails after two weeks. When I spent one full year in Gumel, there was no internet, indeed there was no mobile network connection for the first 6 months I spent there teaching English at a rural school. The spirit of community I felt there in those months was incredible and I have felt nothing remotely close ever since. I did escape to Kano every now and then for a proper salon, a nice restaurant and my emails. Whereas the internet has its merits; it turns the world into a global village and opens it up in such a manner that boggles the mind, it also changes families and sometimes the human interactions which should matter no longer exist.

Do you think you could live anywhere else but your home country? Could you live without internet? What is your happy place? Please share your thoughts with me.

Three-Word New Year Resolution

When I was a child, we were encouraged to make New Year resolutions. Everyone made a big deal out of those resolutions but I never took them seriously. But as I became older and responsible for my life and where I wanted it to go, I began to make resolutions. I am excited at the opportunity for a fresh start at the beginning of every year.

2014

It started with the small things; lose weight, keep in touch with family and friends, smile more, etc. I have certainly failed at some and experienced hiccups at others. However, I am at a point in my life where I believe that to be happy, to be content, to have joy, to have peace, to be a success, to fall in love, to be a good person, to leave a legacy, one has to make a conscious effort to work towards all of those things. I sincerely believe that it is best to try and fail, than never to have tried at all. So yes, I am now one of those people who make vision boards and make New Year resolutions. This blog was a New Year resolution! Thus in response to the Trifecta challenge, my New Year resolution in three words is:

Keep the faith.


For me, this is not necessarily about religion, it is more about working steadily towards what I want out of life. This is about falling and dusting myself off, it is about banging about trying to make those items on my bucket list come to fruition. Keeping the faith to me is about going through life; one solid purposeful step after another. I hold the keys, I am in charge, I am responsible for my lot in life.

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Written for this week’s Trifextra Writing Challenge:

Michael Hess inspired us with his three word New Year’s resolution – just be nice. We’re asking for your own resolutions in just three words. Make it count; we’ll be checking back in come 2015.

Postcard Perfect

Winter Photos

I went to a performance of Cinderalla in all its romantic mushiness. It was freezing January, and although there was heating in the theatre, I was still cold. I remember leaning into him as he sat next to me. He put his arms around me and rubbed my hands in his. It was a really fun night, and I fell asleep on his shoulder. I am not really sure what it was; was it the brunch and wine I had before the show, or was I just plain tired? After what seemed like a short while later, he woke me up, the show was over but it did not feel like two hours were already gone. We began to walk towards the exit. Once we stepped onto the street, the beauty of it all took my breath away. The trees and streets and rooftops were covered in snow, it was so beautiful. We began the delicate walk back to the bus stop, and I stopped ever so often to take photos of what looked like postcard perfection.

At the bus stop, he took me into his arms while we waited for the bus to come and the world stood still. It was a cold afternoon, but I felt nothing but warmth, love and a gratitude for what was. There was something about that evening, something magical and there was no need for words. He felt it too.

“I love you sweetheart, marry me,” and as I heard those words, everything was perfect.

Before I could respond, I woke up. It was really just a dream. It was the morning after the first and only time I saw snow. It was over 5 years ago in Edinburgh and I had only seen snow in movies and photos. My host called me to tell me about the flakes falling past my window. I ran outside and stood out there for a long time, marvelling at the falling white flakes and the beautiful white carpet that covered the roofs and hedges. Thereafter, I went inside the house, made some hot chocolate and marshmallows, then slid under the covers. I went to bed after that drink and I had that fantastic dream above. Usually, I hardly remember my dreams, but that day, I remembered my snow and hot chocolate induced dream.

This was written in response to Picture writing challenge

“The ONLY “rule” is that you use the picture to make the story (or poem (yes yes ill allow poetry:)), That’s it. I know that there are a good few writers amongst you and I think that I would be really interested on other angles. You don’t even have to do a story as such, it could be a thought, a memory or a feeling that you get from it, basically anything involving words.”

Temple of Artemis

Ruins of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (Dutch wordpress log) Source:http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.in/
Ruins of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (Dutch wordpress log)
Source:http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.in/

Flat lands lay in sweet surrender
In memory of splendour
Artemis lived here

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Above in response to Carpe Diem Haiku: This challenge is to create a haiku to “Temple of Artemis”

Coming To America

Source: Commons Getty Collection Galleries
Source: Commons Getty Collection Galleries

I pressed my face against the glass as we moved, steaming it up while trying to catch a glimpse of Sally. Papa drove fast, quickly leaving the caftan clad groups behind as they waved goodbye to us. The men and women waved and waved, while the children chased the car, I watched the dust cover them as their figures became softer. I pushed further and further, wishing I could rescue Sally, her beautiful lacy dress dragged on the dusty soil behind her new owner. Sam and Bill bickered behind, oblivious to everything happening outside. They did not care about their toys which had been distributed. I pressed myself into mama’s bosom and began to sniffle.

“Don’t cry nne, when we get there, we can buy you a prettier doll, Mary will look after Sally.” Mama said.

I dissolved into loud noisy sobs, breaking now and then; like the pirated CDs Papa favoured. It was a noisy drive; the bickering increased and my crying became louder as we drove towards the phantom of prosperity and freedom.

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Word Count: 175

Written for this week’s Trifextra Writing Challenge:

“…a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal <she was a phantom of delight — William Wordsworth : phantom
Remember:
Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
The word itself needs to be included in your response.
You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
This week’s word is phantom.”

“Halloween Night”

Source: randompoemblog.blogspot.com
Source: randompoemblog.blogspot.com

Halloween night —
the fisherman
dressed as a scarecrow (Garry Gay)

Knee deep in cloak and bait
he stumbles in darkness and soot
till dawn seduces him (Anne Chia)

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Above in response to Carpe Diem Haiku: This challenge is to create a second stanza to Gary Gay’s Haiku “Halloween Night”

Glory And Brilliance

He did not say much, never did. In all the years the teachers and students knew him, he never said more than was necessary. He was known for some words which he spoke in exhilaration as his students blossomed under his direction.

“Glory, glory. The brilliance, the brilliance.”

Source:comments20.com
Source:comments20.com

So it was appropriate that when his coffin was brought into the auditorium on that day, his students and colleagues gave a heartfelt performance of his favourite piece by Bach. At the end, he was bid farewell with fervent goodbyes.

“Glory, glory. The brilliance, the brilliance.”

He would have liked that.

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Word Count: 99

Written for this week’s Trifextra Writing Challenge:

This week we are giving you a page from the Oxford English Dictionary. The ninety-ninth page, to be exact. From this page, you can choose any word, any definition, to use in your post. (Please type your chosen word in bold, so we know.) And instead of our typical 33-333 word limit, we are asking for 99 words exactly.