Saturday 31 January 2009

New toy on the way!

My camera has been dispatched and is finally on its way to me!! I love getting new gadgets! Now I will be able to take my own pictures and post on here. I asked a guy who is really into photography what camera I should get. I was thinking about one of those silver ones that every one has that can fit into a handbag. But oh no! This chap had other ideas. He told me to get the one in the picture. Apparently it isn't as big and bulky as it looks; I hope not because I plan to take it around with me a lot. Well, that will be something to look forward to next week!

I could get used to this!

My sister and I have just got back home from visiting the spa. I must admit I really enjoyed it.

I didn't really know what to expect as neither one of us had ever been to one before, but having watched all the episodes in 'Friends' where Phoebe worked in a spa, I figured I had it pretty much sussed; which I did!! LOL!

The room was very tranquil. The walls and floor were a warm beige colour. There were scented candles on the dresser where a lot of the products were kept, There was a massage table with a cut out for your face to go through, just like in Phoebe's spa! On the counter, playing so softly that you almost had to strain to hear, was the CD 'Rockferry' by Duffy. Just in case I wasn't relaxed enough, before she began my session, the lady attending to me turned the lights down even lower than what they were.

I had a neck and back massage first. To be perfectly honest it made no difference but I guess it was relaxing. Then I had my face pampered with cleansers and scrubs. After the lady had put some pads soaked in some treatment on my eyes she started to massage my feet.

After a few moments I was startled by what I thought was snoring. I reasoned that I couldn't have fallen asleep so I shrugged it off. It happened again; I shrugged it off once more. But by the fourth incident I knew my ears were not deceiving me: I HAD drifted off to sleep!! And was snoring!!!!!!! IN PUBLIC!!!!!!!!!!!! I apologised to the lady in embarrassment but she laughed it off. When I told my sister later on what had happened she said that the lady who was giving her her treatments told her that people fall asleep all the time during sessions! It really is amazing!

Anyway, all too soon it was over. My lady finished off my feet with a moisturiser, washed off whatever she had put on my face, applied a lotion and then we were done. I could have easily gone through another hour of such pampering. I’m not surprised the stars love it so much! I may have found a new habit to indulge in this year!

Friday 30 January 2009

What's the deal?

Greetings people! Hope your week has been great!!

Mine has been a bit strange. The people I work with are definitely odd. At first I thought it was just awkwardness on their part as I was the new girl on the block. Then I thought maybe I was giving off unfriendly vibes, which in my heart I knew I wasn't but I was seeking to find an explanation for their awkwardness with me. After crossing off these things, I've seen for sure that the people I work with are definitely avoiding connecting with me.

I'm a very open, embracing person. I love people and will talk to anyone. I have been friendly and courteous, but I have been made to feel a fish out of water. The person I am actually supposed to be working for has made no attempt to speak to me whatsoever apart from an irritated conversation today about where the cab booked to take him to a meeting was parked. Normally he just walks into our office and talks to the other two women and says nothing to me at all. On a couple of occasions he has waved to me through his office door, which I find peculiar, but that is it. Two other guys completely ignore me. One comes in and hi-fives the other two ladies and totally ignores me. Even when I asked his name he responded only to tell me his name and then continued with his conversation; he didn't bother to ask my name. That one word answer has been the only thing he has said to me in the nine days I've been there.

Today the boss, upon discovering I had chocolate biscuits said "I've totally changed my opinion of you." His PA who is my line manager expressed similar sentiment, saying that since she discovered that we had the same taste in certain things, she too feels differently about me, i.e. these episodes changed the way they saw me; it made me better in their eyes. And no, they weren't totally joking. It is the strangest situation I've ever been in but I'm not letting them affect me. I think it is bizarre for people of their calibre to behave this way. Never mind; I'm not going to stay there long. I'm working on finding a weirdo-free placement!! Will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday 28 January 2009

Here we go again!

Well good morning folks! This morning I took the train to work; as I was approaching my platform I saw a familiar sign on schedule board that I hadn't seen for a long time: train delayed.

I chuckled to myself as I recalled the days of travelling on the Silverlink Rail service 2 years ago, quite possibly the worst train line in the whole of England. I've lost count of how many times the train was cancelled or delayed, in some instances the train was delayed by as much as 50 minutes.

One particular journey was so bad that I vowed to never use the service again. The train pulled into the station late, as per usual, and by this time the platform was thronging with people. We all fought, shoved and squeezed our way on the train and after about two minutes the doors shut. I was holding onto one of the bars that was at eye level for support and some unfortunate soul was wedged in my armpit. Fortunately for them my armpits were they are every morning I hasten to add!!

I could feel a variety of body parts squashed firmly into mine. I tried not to think about which parts they were as the train pulled away from the station. As far as the eye could see on my carriage there were people crammed into every available space. There were more people standing up than there were seated; I think I stopped counting after 100. You could hardly breathe. It was so bad that if the train had crashed we would all have died standing up! If I could have manoeuvred my hands to my phone I would have taken a picture of the sight and sent it to a national paper.

If animals were transported that way there would have been a national outcry with immediate remedies being drafted up in Parliament. But for Silverlink passengers, pfffffft, forget about it. Although that episode was the worst case of overcrowding I'd experienced on that line, it was pretty much standard fare.

As I waited on the platform today wondering what would happen, the train rolled up. It only had three carriages with possibly 200 people to get on. Yep, it was pretty similar to my experience 2 years ago; it all came flooding back to me. After one stop the congestion eased a bit. When I got to my stop I chuckled to myself and shook my head. Some things never change! I'd better steel myself as this is the way I will be travelling to work for the next few months or so!

Monday 26 January 2009

New Career?

Never one NOT to act on impulse, I've booked myself onto a Life Coaching course for two days next month. I do love helping people. Funnily enough, once upon a time I could see myself as a counsellor, until I realised that as a counsellor you cannot tell people what to do. You have to help them find the answers themselves, which, depending upon the emotional/psychological state the client arrives at your door, may not always be possible at worst and extremely difficult at best. I prefer to make suggestions or give people examples of what has happened when other people have done the things I've suggested. I can see it now: sitting in my own comfy, spacious office with a steady stream of clients who I successfully help find their path. Counselling, listening and giving sound advice is one of my strengths so let's see if I can make a career out of it! Will keep you posted!


I've been thinking about my father a bit today. He passed away at 12.30pm on September 6th 2007. My family and I have been coping very well with it; I was concerned at the time that I didn't really cry about his death. I haven't cried for more than 20 minutes all told. Maybe because I'd had a little while to prepare for it, or maybe I don't really know how to grieve. Maybe I was in denial, because the whole thing seemed so unreal that I didn't believe my father would die from his illness. I don't know. In any case when I've thought about him today, tears have pricked my eyes.

Nothing triggers the memories really. They just come from out of nowhere of their own accord. I know people grieve in different ways, but I do wonder if I've repressed my emotions concerning my father's passing and other horrible events in my life, or if my emotions are frozen. I picture an emotional dam on the inside that is straining at the boundaries that is going to burst at any moment. I'm sure it will happen at some point and to be honest, I'm looking forward to it. It will be a complete release of every repressed/frozen/denied emotion that may be inside me. It will be very freeing, liberating in fact, and I believe it will help in closing certain chapters of my life for good.

Sunday 25 January 2009

Violence, violence everywhere

Today I witnessed two acts of violence. On the bus en route to church, three people got on a few stops from where I needed to alight. There was a guy who was cussing like crazy, every second word was a swear word. At first it was quite muted then he started to raise his voice. The guy was English and was racially abusing an eastern European couple. The eastern European guy got fed up and began to swear back at the English man. After the European guy threatened to shut the English guy up if he didn't stop, they both stood to their feet. Then as they sat down the English guy threw a punch and a fight broke out. It was over in a few seconds, but then they were on their feet again after the English guy accused the other man of spitting at him and more punches were thrown. They had each other in a head lock for ages. When they let go of each other the eastern European guy had a bloody nose. His girlfriend pleaded with him to let it go, but he was livid. I spent some time with them after we all got of the bus to make sure they were OK. I urged them to go to the police but they refused as they felt that the police would side with the English man as they were foreigners. It was sad; they were such a sweet couple.

The second incident was on my way home from church. There was a young man trying to make a U-turn in the middle of the road. He was completing his first turn when another car drove in to his space blocking his path as he tried to make his second turn. The young driver ended up driving into the pavement. The young man corrected himself and eventually completed his turn, the older guy who practically drove into him called out something. The young guy made an obscene gesture with his hand and the older guy obviously said something in return, because the young man got out of his car and threw something full force at the older guy's side window. It didn't smash but it may have cracked; I couldn't see. I really can see why people are leaving England by the boatload. It's getting worse.

What is the real issue?

So, Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. On the day that he won, I was in a state of shock and elation the whole day. The enormity of the occasion as well as the daunting task that lay ahead for the then President-elect Obama penetrated deeper into my mind as the day progressed. Every people group across the globe are pinning the fulfilment of their hopes and dreams of a better world on him; he will be expected to straighten out the economy of the US and assist with stabilising the global economy; he is expected to bring an end to the war in Iraq, close Guantanamo bay, sort out the war in Gaza, keep an eye on Pakistan and Iran’s Uranium purchase; the list goes on and on. Not to mention the very real threat of assassination by those who did not want to see him take office in the first place.

It dawned on me that quite possibly, in the history of mankind, no one individual has had more expected of them than President Obama. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think even Nelson Mandela was under this amount of scrutiny and pressure when he became the first black President of South Africa all those years ago, another incredibly moving occasion. Maybe he was; but in the post 9/11 era, there are threats and dangers today that didn’t exist in the Nineties so things are radically different for this new president.

Since President Obama’s victory, I have found the most bitter and extreme displeasure to this event in the once place I never expected to find it – the church.

There are those who are considered leaders and prophets of the Christian church as a whole, such as Dutch Sheets, who have gone on record as saying President Obama’s victory was not God’s desire, while others have stated that he is the anti-Christ spoken of in the Book of Revelation in the bible. They have taken this from Revelations 13, in which a charismatic figure has the whole world following after him for a period of time.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand if Republicans are upset that a Democrat won the election and it goes no deeper than that. The church by and large is Republican. But from the conversations I have had and read, I don’t think that the issues people have with the president is solely his political affiliation. Google Barack Obama and the church or Barack Obama and Christians and see what you think.

I’m a Christian and whilst I don’t know the bible like the back of my hand, I know it says about leaders. Speaking to the church in the book of Titus chapter 3 verses 1 and 2, Paul the Apostle says this:
“Remind them (Christians) to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men”.

Again it says in the book of Romans Chapter 1 verse 1 to 7:
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (bold script mine).

And lastly in the book of Timothy it says:
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority (bold script mine), that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth”. (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

Such is their contempt towards this new president that some of those who are classified as prophets and Christian leaders to the nations seem to have ‘forgotten’ these scriptures. Why is President Obama exempt from the explicit mandates above as far as some of them are concerned?

I believe that God uses the right tool for the job, and this new administration is one of the tools He is using to bring to the forefront things in the church that had previously been hidden beneath smiles and “Christianese” i.e. religious sounding language. Whatever we think of the President and his stance on certain issues, we are called to pray for him and his administration. If there are things that we do not like, pray, God will hear and do as He sees fit. It is not the role of anyone, irrespective of the position they hold in various circles, to damn a leader/politician simply because they do not like them personally.

What everyone must realise is that this new administration is made of up of people who won’t always get things right, who will make mistakes and sometimes do things we don’t like. The fact someone is a hugely popular choice for a leader does not mean they are in league with Satan! It simply means that people are desperate for change and they chose the party that for them best represented that.

When all is said and done, whether we believe it or not, God is in control. He knew this day would come and He knows what He has created President Obama to do in this hour of our history. Let us not lose sight of that.

Tuesday 20 January 2009

Whatever happened to romance?????

Ok, we've already established that I am a very tall female. But what we don't seem to have established is that I am also a woman; one who has feelings, emotions and just like the rest of the red-blooded female global population, I dream of having a relationship with a man who likes/loves me for me. Not my height, not my looks, but for my heart, my character and personality.

So far, this desire of mine is the equivalent of looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! I'm a magnet for all types of very strange men. I call myself The Weirdo Magnet. I never attract sane, normal men. What is the deal here??? For example, tonight I logged on to Facebook and found an email with the following message:

"i am nick, a 5ft10 bloke i like tall women so how tall r and do you have big feet if so what size. I wish you happiness and prosperity."
What type of message is that to leave in the inbox of a total stranger??? I have no clue who this guy is!

But he is at the saner end of madness. I've had an email from a guy who asked me if I would be willing to step on his face!! A little off his game this guy, isn't he???

Yesterday one of my Facebook buddies and I had a long conversation. Just as I was starting to become interested and daring to allow myself to believe that this could be a guy worth knowing, he drops a major clanger. During our conversation he asked me what origin I was as my surname is unusual. I told him it was Nigerian. He then proceeded to tell me that he loved African women (he is German) because they can cook, look good and the sex is great. Not exactly the right way to woo me, or to convince me to have a relationship with him!
I've had guys who have asked me to meet up with them for a drink, and when I've got there, it turns out all they wanted to see was whether or not I was as tall as I'd said. The conversation then never shifts from questions about my height, the size of my feet and hands and the height of previous boyfriends!

I'm not being pompous or presumptuous but I think know how famous people feel about people wanting to date them. You always wonder what their motivation is; why do they want to be with you? Do they want to be with you or is it something else they're after?

Where have all the good guys gone!? Why have they been replaced with these strange creatures I encounter all the time!? Why do I attract these types of guys?

Monday 19 January 2009

I've got a job!!

Well, after a hiccup on Friday, I finally had my interview for an administrative role. The interview was not intense at all. They just wanted to know whether or not I was serious enough about my writing for it to take off and see me becoming the next J.K. Rowling. I assured them that this wasn't the case at the moment! I haven't had an article published yet although I would like to see myself published this year.

I start tomorrow! It is an ongoing assignment which will hopefully last for a year. I really need the money at the moment while I am figuring out what to do. It is a long way to travel from where I live, a bit of a planes, trains and automobiles affair, but in this current climate anyone who has a job should be grateful!! Will keep you posted on what happens.

Wednesday 7 January 2009

Where did I get them from?

My nephew thinks I'm a pencil thief; he believes that I am systematically depleting his stock of supplies. Every time he sees me with a new pencil or pen he wails: "that's mine!" just as he did moments ago to the point of tears. I hotly denied that my pencil was his, it was mine as I had found it in my room. Just like the other ones. But then on reflection I have no idea how I have acquired the pens and pencils that I have as I have no recollection of buying them, but I have a little tub partially filled with all types of stationery. Hmm, could I have a problem? Am I an unconscious kleptomaniac with a particular weakness for children's pens and pencils?

To be continued.......

Monday 5 January 2009


When I woke up this morning I discovered that snow had fallen. It had pretty much disappeared from around here by lunch time. I'm so glad I'm not working today!!!

Sunday 4 January 2009

It takes a whole village to raise a child. Oh really?

Superstar rapper Nellie found himself embroiled in controversy last year for telling parents to “raise your own kids.” Nellie made this statement after years of heavy criticism for being a poor role model because of the saucy lyrical content of his music and the misogynistic flavour of his videos, particularly the video for his song “Tip Drill”. In an interview with the Voice Newspaper, a publication aimed at the Afro-Caribbean community in England, he said:

“Back in the day, our parents took responsibility (for raising their children) and I’m doing the same. I’m not gonna leave it to Lil Wayne, or Jeezy or Amy Winehouse to raise my kids. I love those artists but it’s not their job to raise my kids. That’s my job. I’m sure this isn’t a new theory, so how about we just raise our kids? How about that?”

While I don’t really like Nellie’s music nor the lyrics of many other musicians of all genres, I have to say a hearty AMEN. I am SO fed with people holding those in the public eye largely responsible for the moral decay in our societies.

Celebrities DID NOT sign up to parent everybody’s children. They signed up for the chance to live their dream. The general public and papparazzi may automatically confer upon them the responsibility of moral guardians for the nations, but that does NOT mean that they can be or should be.

I have listened to many heated televised debates on the roles that public figures play in negatively influencing culture, particularly youth culture. The debate usually ends with the public figures being confirmed as the villains and the host trying to elicit some sort of promise that said villains will clean up their acts in future as they are role models for our youth. The majority of people hosting these debates are highly educated and intelligent people, so I am always surprised that no one asks the one question which, for me, is very obvious: why aren’t the parents the role models for their children?

Why is the influence of famous people on these children far greater than the influence of their parents? For me this is the question that needs to be answered. Excluding those who became pregnant through violation, every person/couple who has children chose to do so, therefore they are responsible for ensuring their children are raised correctly, not actors, rappers and sports stars. It seems to me that those who are pointing the finger at public figures for their children’s behaviour are simply looking to lay the blame for their own shortcomings as parents at someone else’s door.

There are many factors that contribute to anti-social behaviour and one of those factors is choice. We forget that the youth of whom we are speaking have chosen to do the things they have done. Little or no influence was needed.

Long gone are the days when grownups could reprimand a youth and expect to be listened to. Over the last few years in England the papers have reported with alarming regularity the murders of men, women and young adults who been killed while stepping in to challenge or speak to people who were behaving in an antisocial manner. The parents have shown little concern about the heinous acts of their offspring. In one shocking case the grandmother of a teenage boy found guilty of murdering a have-a-go-hero said that person who died “deserved it. He should have minded his own business.” When the situation hasn’t gone as far as murder, people have been verbally and sometimes physically abused for trying to correct wayward children and youth. Their parents did not take kindly to other “villagers” helping them to raise their child.

I grew up in a ultra strict household. We weren’t allowed to do many of the things that our peers did. In hindsight I can see that it was my parents’ way of trying to protect us, but to my siblings and I it could be a pretty hellish existence at times. My way of escape was to lose myself in books and films. However, I knew the difference between fantasy and reality. The things I read and watched were fantasy; the reality was that I lived in my parents’ house and if I had pulled some of the stunts that my heroines had I would have been in serious trouble!!! Even though I wasn’t allowed, I knew that I could pretty much read and watch anything I wanted and not run out and copy what I had seen and read. Why? Because my parents, as strict as they were, were the role models for me; it didn't matter what other people were doing, I knew not to copy them if it was different to what my parents had taught me.

Society needs to get back to a place where individuals take responsibility for their behaviour. We are responsible for the things that we do and the choices that we make. If, as is very evident in England at least, parents do not want others correcting their children and do not want them to be influenced by what they perceive as negative cultures, then it is up to those parents to step fully into the breach using every means available to them to raise their young men and women to be responsible, law abiding individuals. Because at the end of the day, they alone will give an account for how their children were brought up. No one else.

Friday 2 January 2009


I ventured outside today, the first time I had done so since December 30th. It was cold but not as cold as it was on New Year’s Eve. Mercifully the sky, while cloudy was not overcast. It had the promise of being brighter later on. As I turned right out of my street I saw my bus coming so I ran for it. I jumped on and ran upstairs. The guy sitting in front of me stared at me full in the face for a few seconds longer than I felt was polite. I let it go and looked out of the window.

A few minutes later, the guy turned round and started talking to me. It turns out he had seen me in the Norwood area a few times. I can’t remember his name although he did tell me, and I can’t remember what his country of origin was, although he told me that too. Considering that as a trained journalist I am supposed to be hot on details, my memory is shocking!!

As we got chatting he shared his story with me. He had just broken up with his girlfriend of nine years as she had felt he’d outlived his usefulness. After commiserating with him, we got to discussing what we wanted to do with our lives. We were both in the process of making plans to emigrate to other countries for pretty much the same reasons: the people here are unfriendly, to have a better work/life balance and to escape this bone chilling cold weather!!

I recalled all the other conversations I’d had with people over the years who were leaving London for other parts of the world. Of the people I had spoken to, there were only two reasons people were leaving: the coldness of the people here and the level of violent crime. Only one person gave crime as her reason for emigrating.

People are leaving England in droves for a myriad of reasons. Of this group increasing numbers of British people are packing up their families and leaving in search of a different type of life. In the current economic climate, those who originally came to London to work are also having to return home to as they have lost their jobs and are unable to find anything else.

A report in the online Daily Telegraph in April 2008 said that last year, 207,000 British citizens left the UK permanently, but this isn’t necessarily a definitive figure. Even allowing for that, people are leaving and going to other countries, particularly Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Europe; apparently, eight out of every 100 move to the US. I’ll soon be in that number!!

It is sad though how the country has deteriorated over the last 20 years or so. As bad as things are right now, I do believe that England can be turned around; with the right government, a major overhaul of all of the public services, laws and the healthcare system then the country has a fighting chance of being a great place again. There is a huge amount of work to be done, but it can be done if those in power have the vision and correct strategy to bring it to pass.

Thursday 1 January 2009

Happy New Year!

So, how did you all spend the last few moments of 2008? I'd got myself all ready to go out even though I didn't feel that well. There has been a horrid lurgy sweeping through London and I wasn't sure whether or not I was beginning to catch it. Then I had a flash of wisdom: to check and see what time my last bus home would leave the nearest point that I was planning to go for New Year's celebrations. The lady who I spoke to at London Travel Information informed me that the last bus home would leave at 12.01am!!! I would have had to leave 15 minutes before everything kicked off in order to get my last bus!! You would have thought that those running the bus system in this city would have been a bit smarter than that. It isn't like this is a one off event that they with hindsight could have planned better for; this was New Year's Eve!! It happens EVERY year!! Why arrange for my last bus home to leave while Big Ben had just begun to chime?????

I took this as a sign to stay at home!! As I took of my coat, jacket and hat I recalled my nightmare of when I last spent a New Year's Eve at an event. It took me over five hours to get back home!!! I don't know what it is like in other main cities, but what they do here on New Year's Eve is that they put up an exclusion zone about a mile away from the centre of London as this is where a lot of the activities take place. No form of transportation can get through. On some public transport routes they operate frequent transportation throughout the early hours of New Year’s morning to help get the hundreds of thousands of revellers home, but not on the route I was taking that freezing, rainy New Year's morning a few years ago! It was then I made a resolution to start driving. Uh-huh. See my comment below about my history with New Year’s resolutions!!!

Anyway in the end I stayed in and watch the firework displays on TV. This has proven to be a good choice as I still don't feel very well at the moment; the temperature last night was one degree above freezing, so I definitely would have felt a lot worse than I do at present had I gone out.

So it’s January 1st today and even though I don't believe in New Year's resolutions (my previous attempts at noble actions only ever lasted a few hours maximum!!) I have set myself a list of goals. They are as follows:

To take WAY more risks than I have done to date.
To make a list of everything I desire to do and do at least one thing a week.
To procrastinate less!
To write on my blog daily, even if it is one paragraph I put on there.
To do the things that I really want to do.
To travel to the US this year to see if I really want to live there.

So there you have it folks. I’m going to attempt to turn my blog into a public diary which will keep me on track with my 4th goal. I’m meeting my goals already, how cool!

Speak to you again soon!