Hello … It’s Me!


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I was wondering if after all of these months you would still like to see another blogpost..?!

I was somewhat taken aback when WordPress kindly notified me that not only have I reached my 2nd blogiversary but also that I haven’t posted a blogpost for 8 months. Truly time does fly.

I wish I could say I went on adrenalin infused adventures that kept me away from writing but rather as the youth often proclaim ‘life happened’.

I have been thinking of a career change for quite some time. Being the indecisive person that I am it took me a while to narrow down my career interests.  I have finally settled on what it was that I wanted to do. I left my previous job which admittedly was the scene of many timely blogposts and few eyebrow raising characters.

Naturally this realisation did play on my mind a bit and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried that my new chosen career path would lack that kind of inspiration. But alas, my new co-workers did not disappoint.

I head into the New Year armoured with blogposts that could potentially see me through 2016. Let’s just say that being the only menstruating woman amongst a pool of menopausal women isn’t an easy treachery to navigate. I never know which way the hormonal wind will blow.

Hello, how are you? It is so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry!

I hope that you are all well!

 

Daily Prompt

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Twitter Trawling


24

I am for the most part apathetic to social networking sites. Almost a year ago I wrote a vituperative verbose on social media. In my teens I was more receptive to these things than I admittedly am now. The nomenclature of networking sites I found myself on was quite nauseating looking back at it now. I was very much active in these parts up until the invention of Facebook. Facebook came and put a callous end to my social networking curiosity. Anything that came after Facebook failed to capture my attention. Maybe there was more emphasis on the networking element than selfie promotion back then. I have no desire to have multiple social media presence with my over filtered self, overzealous status updates about my ‘oh-so-perfect-self’ for all and sundry to gawk at.

People don’t join social networking sites these days to network but to compete for pseudo statuses and epithets such as fashion icon or MUA and to make one’s mark on the virtual world firmly known. Neo social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Snap-chat (and whatever else that I am not aware of) have created a generation of young people who are fame hungry. Everyone wants to be famous; everyone wants to increase their following.

In the last decade social media has come a long way since the days of Black Planet and MSN. There was no pressure on us users to have filtered selfies (photoshoped I believe was the word back then). People were more interested in meeting others and having a good old jolly chat in forums. Let’s not exaggerate there were weirdos, peados and bullies lurking around back then as well.

After upgrading my dilapidated phone last October I joined Instagram. For someone who enjoys a bit of visual art (and stalking) I found it refreshing. There was a remarkable array of pictures on everything from what Instagrammers were referring to as food porn, though most times it was something out of the local chippy that was filtered with to look like something out of a Michelin star restaurant. The fakery was disquieting. From the demonstration of perfectly drawn eyebrows (you know I am a sucker for a bit of an arch); to coma inducing landscapes.

I was hooked and soon Facebook took a backseat.

Of course Zuckerberg couldn’t stand my absence so the guy purchased Instagram…the cheek!! So now I am left with instalments of fake pictorials of femme fatales who claim mastery in something or another- unbeknown to Zuckerberg that some of these folks I know in real life and wouldn’t want to extend the acquaintship to the virtual world too. Instagram’s excuse for suggesting these folks to me: “based on what you might like”.

Conjectural ideas always lead to distaste.

Yesterday I had a picture suggested to me of someone that looked familiar. Nosiness had it that I clicked on the said picture. After scouring the account my suspicions were founded. The person was indeed someone I met at a social gathering and here they were with endless selfies portraying their aptitude in the application of makeup. In fact they were urging people to book them.

From experience (the observatory type of course) anyone who mixes primary colours on their face and has inverted commas for eyebrows is not to be trusted with your own face.

I’m just saying…

And then there is the adverts thing… It is always related to chocolate. Admittedly I salivate over it but then I quickly snap out of it and wonder if there is anything these people don’t assume I would like.

Damn you Zuckerberg, this is Facebook all over again!!

Fast forward to August of this year and I joined Twitter of all things. I mean I wasn’t a pseudo celebutante that needed to preach to my following my latest endorsements, a labelistic activist who needed to start a hashtag revolution of sorts or campaign for the welfare of extinct polar bears in Namibia. What is more, I didn’t comprehend this whole hashtag speech.

After an hour crash course on hashtag speech and all things Twitter from a friend I joined the bloody thing. It was terrifying at first. Everything landed into a whirlpool of hashtags that then turned into a trending topic depending on the number of tweets it got. Thus far none of the trending topics were of any value to me. It ranged from topics condemning feminists as being ugly which then warranted selfie smash down of not so ugly (I wasn’t judging) women trying to showcase that good looks and labelistic activism can indeed be mixed.

After all most of those selfies looked like something you would find in prime numbered pages of tabloid newspapers and Lad’s magazines.

The hardest part of Twitter was getting to grips with the word limit. As someone who loves a good waffle this was and is testing. Hundred forty five characters don’t suffice my tendency to over elaborate, to digress.

Thus far my longer rants, or should that be opinion posts remain with Facebook.

Truth of the matter is Twitter was a pleasant surprise. Apart from the odd unnecessary information, promotion and the likes it has been well…edifying.

In the words of my friend I am old fashioned if I want to stalk someone; I do so in my blacked out SUV!

Disclaimer: I don’t own an SUV blacked out or otherwise!

 

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My Hips Do Lie


It is a big old hilly city out here. To be able to get through the seven hills on which this city is built on, you need a degree of fitness attribution. I am by no means a sporty person and I am by no means the fittest either. If I can make it to the bus stop without pulsating lungs, it is a triumph.

Almost a year ago I was proselytised into a new form of sport, I mean dance – Salsa! My hips had me believe that neither the hills of this city nor anything else they could ever engage in would:

  A- Reduce their burgeoning size

B- Give them eternal innomination

 The past 15 years saw the birth and the consequent rapid growth of my hips. There was the occasional truce here and there but for the most part it was an onslaught on neighbouring citadels of legs, bum and tum! They got greedy and were not content with their specified or desired territory. There was no stopping them.

  Oh the horror!!

The sovereignty of my legs, bum and tum and their right to exist independently was thus tested and tried; pushed to the fringes of no definition. With no afore mentioned referendum, a union was sought.

Salsa dancing proved otherwise. It came in at a precarious time in our affiliation. To an extent Salsa provided us with some truce, a common ground…at the very best it gave me the ammunition I needed to respond to this offensive.

After having the pleasure of being swirled, twirled and twisted around the dance floor to the rhythms of Mambo, Cucaracha, Basic back and Opening out, hours on end every week; a white flag of mercy was waved by my hips. Something I wasn’t familiar with was taking place, a new phenomenon was emerging!

Oh the joy!!!

Muscles, tendons, labrum, cartilage that I didn’t know existed were beginning to surface. The cries of help emerging from the opposition were now all but too palpable.  I revelled in this: in this revelation that my hips concealed from me.

Alas these hips were responding to something!!!

As it turns out we both liked Salsa; so much so that we came to a mutual agreement hitherto unheard of. Insofar, we are enjoying this harmonious period. My hips have agreed to put the ambush on hold and I stopped my feeble threats of joining the gym and exercising.

I am not certain how long this peace process will last for, but I am sure I speak for both of us when I say that I and my hips are currently enjoying the right to life, liberty and security provided under the Salsa 2013 Treaty.

 

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Overcoming the Dreaded P’s


I am someone who loves to procrastinate. I have been wanting for few days to sit down and put pen to paper; or as is the case with me commit thumbs to type away on my phone incessantly until a verbose of sorts has been formed; mull over it for a day or two, come back to it, edit it and once I am satisfied with the quality of the verbose on offer-send it off into its intended destination to take its iota amongst the other roaming data in the world of blogosphere.

 

You see I am a perfectionist too. Being a procrastinator and a perfectionist are two traits that a writer (or anyone else) should not have to deal with simultaneously. I think I have become someone who over the years perfected the art of procrastination. I will delay something until it can be delayed no more. Until I have no choice but to see to it.

 

It is not like I have hit the dreaded writer’s block, on the contrary my creative juices have been overflowing of late so much so that I have several posts that I started and never got the chance to finish or publish. I blame the World Cup and the rare glimpses of sunshine we are currently experiencing in England. Even the meteorologists have us believing that at times the temperatures have been on par with that of Brazil… really?  I know I am sceptical of such claims too but us Brits like to indulge in a bit of a hyperbole where the weather is concerned.

 

Of course there are always things, both living and otherwise that irk the peaceful equilibrium of my cerebral cortex. Unfortunately for the culprits involved in challenging my peaceful existence they serve as a great musing for my next blog post. Karmically, it provides me and you with something to ponder over; though I always give them the joy of anonymity, at least where living beings are concerned.

 

Unlike the usual writer’s block that most writers stumble on I have been contending with a dread of different calibre- procrastination and perfection. With the myriad of things happening around me, inspiration seems to be just round the corner. But procrastination would have me delay inspiration under the clever guise of perfectionism. To borrow Freema Agyeman’s words “I swing between procrastination and being really thorough so either way things aren’t getting done quickly”.

 

But great posts like all good things such as goal-line technology are worth procrastinating over and perfecting, because once they materialise we can all marvel over them, dispute them or just be indifferent. I am still undecided if that goal in the France v Honduras game was a goal or not.

 

And you know what being indifferent, undecided, on the fence, are all fine too…

 

Unless you are a referee or reading a great post I procrastinated laboured over and perfected for you to marvel at… In which case it isn’t!!!

 

Contemplating: Career Crossroads, Callings and Chide Choices


Weekly Writing Challenge: Contemplating

Today is the first time you stepped a foot into your old University Campus. It has been six years since you were here last. Judging by the edifice of the building so much has changed but then again so have you. There is an aura of eeriness to this terracotta painted Georgian building. The pilgrims of students rushing in and out of the building distract you and then your eyes transfix on few students in their graduation gear. You stand still in that position, application forms dangling from your left hand and you begin contemplating.
Before you knew it, your thoughts have gone back in time; to your own graduation day.

The nostalgia is quite palpable.

November 18th 2008:

Your whole life has been building up to this moment. You are bursting with pride and so is everyone within a square meter. November 18th 2008 was a special day, in fact a very special day when measured against the scale of the past 21 years of your life.

It was your graduation day; a day laden with superlatives. It was easily the best day of your life to date. The kind that fill you with warm fuzzy feelings which when you are so lost in the moment give you the false hope that the world is indeed your oyster. Ahh you were so full of youth, promises, hopes, naivety and who could blame you then for having so many hopes for the future. How were you to know that life wasn’t quite going to pan out as you hoped it would, as you planned it would. You were always full of positivity, and maybe your innate ability to forever see the glass as half full has been your downfall.

You arrived extra early on the day to give yourself plenty of time for any mishaps. The local City Hall, a grade II listed building was the University’s chosen venue for the ceremony. The weather wasn’t particularly great on that faithful Thursday afternoon so you made your way into the building past the giant portico and through to the changing chambers; an area dedicated to graduates to retrieve their gowns. You remember walking briskly towards the chirpy man at the counter. “Olright love” he said to you in his friendly northern accent. “What can I do you for”, he asked before you even had the chance to acknowledge his initial greeting. On a normal day you would have sniggered at his illusive question and replied back with an equally subliminal satire along the lines of “dunno mate! What do you have on offer?

But not today, his pun on words has no purport; you quickly attribute it to harmless foolery and it is thus safely ignored. Upon verifying the correct details he presented you with a black calf length gown, a maroon and grey sash placed neatly at the front of it in a V-shape. He observed you as you adorned your graduation gown and cap, a gift from your parents who took on the expenses of hiring the gown for the day.

Getting you into a six digit worth of student debt wasn’t seemingly enough but they want to squeeze every last penny out of you so you are well and truly a “skint student”. Fulfilling prophecy and all that! Once you signed the declaration forms to confirm the retrieval of your gown the man began studying you in that gown or rather your aesthetics (to date you still can’t quite tell if it was the former or the latter) and remarked “you look lovely flower”. You politely offered your gratitude and walked out of the room to the promise of something great lying in the auditorium next door.

As you made your way to the auditorium you are met by a young rep who tells you where your seating is. Upon entering the hall you made your way towards the back where aisle 7 was and began inspecting the decor of the hall or the lack of it. But you were not too fussed by that, rather more appreciative that your surname began with the letter ‘G’ and sighed a silent prayer of gratitude to God and great granddad (times how many necessary numbers to take you to whichever granddad it was that gifted you with such a surname). To say that you were relieved to know that you didn’t have a name beginning with the first letter of the alphabet and consequently seated in the first aisle was an understatement.

You took your seat in aisle 7 and watched in silence as the rest of your peers took their respective seats, waving and smiling frantically as you spot familiar faces. Everything was working to a military precision. Within minutes the Dean of the University took to the stage and started addressing the crowd. His speech was euphoric.

Once the Dean was done with his speech you and the rest of the graduates began your solemn procession towards the stage and one by one you all retrieved your certificates and made your way out to the foyer. Once in the foyer, you were all frivolous and snapped away at each other in an attempt to capture this important day. Of course you all couldn’t help but partake in the decades old tradition of throwing your mortar boards (and your inhibitions) in the air; symbolising the end of an era and the beginning of an uncertain one.

A female voice coming from a distance brings you back to here and now. “How can I help you, love”, she says to you. Her question brings your nostalgia to a halt. You take a moment or so before you answer her question; “hi, I am here to see the postgraduate officer”. You follow the friendly female’s instructions and walk down the corridor past the jubilant graduates. Your excitement is flagrant too. When you reach the bottom of the corridor you turn right, up a flight of stairs and into yet another corridor, this time occupied by various offices on either side. When you reach your destination, you pause, inhale deeply and then knock on the door. You can’t help but hope that in three years’ time you too will be celebrating.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways To Go Gonzo


I don’t know your name but excuse me miss, why do you blog?

“In a nutshell…to stay literate”, I said bluntly to the six foot something, dark eyed enquirer as he tossed away stray strands of mousy blonde mid length tresses away from his face.

He looked confused, scratched the nape of his neck, made a few inaudible grunts and remarked “but you don’t strike me as an illiterate, care to explain further..?!”

I smiled at his nonplussed expression and I joked “don’t let those geeky glasses fool you, love”.

I watched him as he eased himself further into his seat, lifted up the armrest separating him from the seat next to him and slowly loosen his tie. A stripy silver and white skinny tie which camouflaged with the silver striped shirt that served as its backdrop beneath the navy blue pin striped suit ensemble. I couldn’t help but think what possessed the guy to adorn this many violent concussions of stripe and silver. Each to their own and that, I quickly reminded myself.

He gazed at me pensively, a look I was all too familiar with. So I decided to put him out of his misery. I too shuffled myself further into my seat and rested my head against the window to mirror his languid disposition.

After pausing to allow the conductor to announce few housekeeping rules on the train and pointing out to the passengers the obvious: “smoking isn’t permitted on this train” in case they missed the various preposterous and piercing signs displayed throughout the four carriages of the train; and apologising profusely for the delay; I began explaining to this friendly stranger sat opposite of me on the now VERY delayed 20:35 train from London to York, my thought processes. Yes, train commutes are perhaps one of the more bizarre places to be digesting blogging quandary.

I took a deep somewhat exaggerated breath, maybe to make my new found audience understand the gravity of what I was about to unleash on him. I explained that “George Orwell prophesised the current situation that I, YOU and many others find ourselves in today. Newspeak he called it and that was in 1964. Sixty five years after he made that assertion, my friend, he might just be vindicated”.

I paused for a moment, to check that I haven’t bored and consequently lost the poor fella. To my astonishment, it turned out he was all ears and thus instructed me “to carry on” with my synthesis.

So I began my soliloquy, or rather monologue because my audience was now hooked on my every word.

“We are now well and truly caught up in a never ending vortex of Bad English that Orwell foretold. I find myself in the dilemma that is pretentious diction in my 9-5 and urban slang in my 24/7. This is a catch 22 and I don’t want to upset the apple cart, but let’s face it the chickens are finally coming home to roost. I mean why are we catching the number 22, and why on God’s good green earth would a cart bursting with fruits be upset with me. Idiom hell, if you ask me. I didn’t think I had it in me to be upsetting apples too and don’t get me started on the chicken; let’s just hope they aren’t coming to my home to roost or whatever else they intend to do.

Once I am done with idiomatic hell I enter slang-ville torture. Like mandem them ting tings ain’t cool like ya’ feel me init? Rah bruv they chattin’ bare breeze n’dat init!! I know I am going off on a tangent here, but seriously how can anyone with their cognitive abilities intact utter such gibberish or worst still inflict it on poor unassuming folks like me, hmm…?

Mind boggling stuff, my love, mind boggling stuff hence, why everyone needs to blog. To better their diction, which by the way should include fully spelt out words as opposed to giving me CBA for an answer. Because lovie, if you Can’t Be Asked, logic would tell you to not even bother texting an acronym denoting the very thing you are unable to do”!

“That is George Orwell apocalypse right there mate”!

Now, it was his turn to make a point with his breathing. He exhaled loudly as to mark the intake of all that malachi I just offloaded on him.

Whilst he never interjected once and politely nodded intermittently, though I can’t help but think he might have been slightly relieved when the conductor announced that the train was slowly approaching its final stop in however many minutes it took. That wry smile he shot me was all but too revealing.

Once we arrived at our destination, we both concurred that at least this exercise in diatribe wasn’t lost in vain. It helped us with our respective late night commuting doldrums. At the very least we barely noticed the 2.5 hour train journey we just endured. As we departed the train we both laughed at this declaration, bid each other a good night; disappearing into the darkness of the night and returning to what we were, are total strangers!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/gonzo-writing-challenge/

A Nation of Poets and Bards


Poets and Bards

It has taken me an awfully long time to finally make a blog. Three years if memory serves me right. I never quite understood what it all entailed other than of course doing the obvious- blogging. Therefore, I have been doing a bit of scouring in the hope of understanding how to utilise this site and after a fair bit of searching and stumbling on few illustrious blogs, it dawned on me that I needed to ‘introduce myself to potential readers’. Thanks Daily Post for pointing that out to me, YAY!

Now how can I encapsulate what this blog is about in a nutshell …? Hmmm let’s give it a go.

So legend has it that I come from a nation with avid oral traditions – not in the kinky sense but rather in storytelling. So detailed and rich it is that a mere narration of trivia could give an acclaimed Steven Spielberg movie a run for its money and that isn’t hyperbole.

Growing up I often had the (dis) pleasure of receiving handwritten or tape recorded messages (yes folks I’m from the Walkman era and I have just given away my age bracket, shoot) from distant relatives to family friends and characters I have never met; where a simple hello turned into a poetical portent in itself. Sometimes it even made me wonder if these people were competing in a bardic poetry competition. Clearly their poetastery was lost on me then and naturally it took me a while to understand that this was a little more than an emotive grunting. More often than not these messages started with something along the lines of:

I give thou sincerest of greetings

One that stems out of the

Hollowest of thy muscular organs

Transported to thou through the air waves

That distance us

*Side note: if you are unfamiliar with the culture and such traditions you might be stunned when you find a long lost relative showering you in person with such elaborate romanticised, elongated passages, always accompanied by the continental and arduous four kisses on either cheeks. Perhaps even uncalled for if you are lacking a bit on the emotional side of things. Alas, the times I miss-calculated the number of kisses required or rather their timing and landed myself in the awkwardness that is kissing someone’s lips…YIKES… I know!! Oh the utter embarrassment. I better move along because that warrants mortifying memories to come forth.

So by not following this long line of traditions I feel as if though I’m betraying my ancestors and denying my heritage. I am not an oral person (again not in the kinky sense, so please do refrain from such connotations). I am more of a writer. I could never relay a diatribe, a discourse orally. I was never blessed with the “gift of the gab”. But I do have a way with words, or so I am told (hmmmm pauses to think this through. Really now isn’t the time to be doubting oneself).

I feel as if though I’m harbouring a defect gene, some kind of gremlin in my makeup for not having such gift/burden (depending on what angle you are looking at it from). I come from a family of talkers, a nation of story tellers. We weren’t dubbed “a nation of poets and bards” for no reason. I think Margaret Laurence was onto something when she gave us that title.

But in my defence poetry (or rather prose) doesn’t have to be limited to the spoken format. Hence, why I created this blog after much debate that is because I am a highly indecisive individual; as you will come to know throughout the course of this blog. And whilst we are on the subject of my inherent indecisiveness, I guess now is a good time (as any) to confess that due to this little idiosyncrasy of mine I wasn’t able to categorise this blog into one specific genre.  I mean why pigeon hole yourself..?! The possibilities are endless so why not explore whatever topic or put forward whatever idea/problem/ vituperation/ personal opines and otherwise, eh..?!

I am very aware that I have just given a long winded diatribe of an explanation to the question posed at the beginning of this blog post. I am not good at explaining things so I like to think that I have done a pretty darn good job at answering: what is this blog about..? Having said that, if you still feel that you are none the wiser then hey, stick around and maybe we will figure it out together, one day, fingers crossed.

And on that note…

Happy reading folks!