Thursday, 30 October 2008

wakeful dreamer

Shubby Doo: What streak of madness are you talking about?... because of Aerosmith?... o abeg leave me jare ... ahhhhh... ok fine... you really want to know what I want for my birthday?

‘I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
While you're far away and dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Where every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure

Don't wanna close my eyes
I don't wanna fall asleep
Cause I'd miss you babe
And I don't wanna miss a thing
Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
I'd still miss you babe
And I don't wanna miss a thing

Lying close to you feeling your heart beating
And I'm wondering what you're dreaming
Wondering if it's me you're seeing
Then I kiss your eyes
And thank God we're together
I just want to stay with you in this moment forever
Forever and ever’

Shubby Doo: See... it's not lunacy… just the simple wish of a wakeful dreamer.


Thursday, 16 October 2008

amazing grace

She is an amazing gift of grace… so it cannot splinter her hopes or silence her courage. She holds within her love's unfathomable ability… so it will not cripple her into loving (even a wretch) conditionally. She is embraced in godly fellowship… so it shall not smother her spirit or corrode her faith.

Good Shepherd be with her as she tries to overcome the snares of this danger because 'tis only your grace, her fears, relieve.

So these were my thoughts and prayers as I spoke to my brother when he called today. Somehow I also kept hearing the words of the The Script… so I began ‘looking for those heroes in the sky’… that ‘teach us how to fly’… in order to beg them to reach down with their convalescent hands and mend her wings with just a touch.

Good Shepherd let your words been her constant lullaby despite the fact that at the moment ‘together we cry…’

So what is this all about?

My brother told me that Aunty Grace was in hospital, recovering from an operation. Confused, I asked why. It was to remove a lump in her chest.

Ali: It’s cancer.

I stayed silent… trying to choke back the tears as my heart broke uneven… but they started to spill gently down… pausing for a moment to caress my cheek… before hitting the ground.


Tuesday, 7 October 2008

l'heure bleue

I remember those summers when I used to drive on twisting country lanes, at speed, listening to Nina Simone. I also remember that on a particular stretch of road; which was about 10 minutes from work, I would lean over and select one of my favourite tracks on her album: ‘Young, Gifted and Black’. No surprise why!!! Doing so somehow helped me to start my day at work in the right frame of mind. The song lyrics start like this:

‘To be young, gifted and black,
Oh what a lovely precious dream
To be young, gifted and black,
Open your heart to what I mean

In the whole world you know
There are billion boys and girls
Who are young, gifted and black,
And that's a fact!’

I miss those summers.

As they faded into autumn and then became warming winter memories, I had to learn to drive at dusk. Dusk was when the trailing edge (or the leading edge depending how you look at it!) of the sun sat below the horizon. At dusk I drove home, surrounded in an ambient quality of light that held me in safe hands despite the fact that it was not accompanied by the sun.

Saying that, I struggled to drive well in the twilight… maybe it was because that was the time immediately before or after night time. I found that my vision became severely hampered on the road and I ended up straining my eyes to see... my discomfort caused the beauty of the sunlight, scattered in the upper atmosphere, illuminating the lower atmosphere to elude me.

To be honest I actually hated driving in the twilight. Maybe it was also because I felt I had to be especially vigilant during those hours as I attempted to navigate home on those narrow country lanes. To me, the twilight hid numerous dangers; cloaking them in shadows. I guess it didn't help that I felt that I should still have been cuddled up in bed but instead I was on the road... and when that particular thought came to mind, it just used to make me feel blue… maybe that is why it is also called ‘l’heure bleue’. Funnily enough, as I drove home during the summer months it was at twilight that the smell of the flowers often seemed to be at their strongest… the many scents of erica ciliaris wafted into my car and started dancing to Nina Simone in my nostrils... it was a sensation that always caused my lips to curl up into the briefest of smiles.

It might surprise you to know that I could drive at night without fear or apprehension. I had to do so many times when work forced me to do really long hours; it was because we were commissioning a plant during those summer months. Back then, normally, I'd get home for about 9pm. Again it was Nina Simone’s album I chose to listen to when I got into the car but at night time I chose ‘Sinner Man’ to keep me company on the tasking journey home. As I listened to that track, I felt fine with only the lights from the full beam to guide me on my way and shield me from the night as I attacked each bend.

Right now I just plain miss the summer.

I woke up at 6:30am today. I raised the blinds to find that it was still dark outside... I couldn't believe that I was looking out into the dusk. In a couple of weeks I will wake up and stare into the twilight. It's unbelievable because just two weeks ago it was as bright as day at this same time in the morning.

The clocks here, in England, will go back one hour on the last Sunday of October. I'm happy at the extra hour in bed but I am not happy that I have no choice but to embrace GMT as autumn morphs into winter. Darkness is here to stay… for a while…

Another type of darkness is looking for me. I opened my e-mail on the last Sunday of September, just over a week ago, and I had one e-mail in my inbox.

It was from Sinnerman. He had sent it at 9:00pm. It read:

Sinnerman: Shubby Doo, where are u? I have made attempts to reach u severally. Are u in england or in nig? I need to have ur no where ever u are?

I smiled when I read it as I remembered his smile... his lips... I remembered the way he chuckled deep in his throat.

Then I re-read it but this time I shook my head as I remembered how some of his words and many of actions were really laden in deceit despite the fact that he’d iced them with pure sweetness. I remembered the games he used to want to play; the majority of which I was fortunate to simply side step, unscathed.

I read it for the third and final time. Then I switched off my computer. I didn't have energy for him.

I am a human being... yes o! The amazing Flying Snow is just a mere mortal... I simply emit radiant energy; hoping it will only be used for the benefit of those I love… for family... for friends... or perhaps even for those I don't know that genuinely need my help... I can only exist in the 7th level of the twilight... the one we all live in.

He is like a powerful zero level dark magician or vampire who is able to absorb energy from those around him and then wield it as his own power… he gives nothing... and in a similar fashion to a parasite he steals off others to feed… he can move through all the twilight levels so he hides there.

For my protection, I've learnt to follow the advice that Sergey Lukyanenko’s Night Watch agents give to all their gifted but uninitiated novices… ‘stay out of the twilight’.

Darkness is coming… it will soon be here… it may come looking for me… but the shadows of the gloom will have to work hard to engulf me.

Simply because I won’t make it easy to find me.


Sunday, 5 October 2008


Thinking of what to write as a tribute to you I realised that I had no idea what I could say that would express my love for you.

I wanted to write something that told you of how much I have valued your contribution to my life but nothing I thought of seemed fitting enough because words are insufficient to describe all that you have done for me.

I have watched you suffer through so much.
I have watched you sacrifice so much.
You did all this not because you had to but because you chose to for the sake of your children.
As I read Ephesians 6:10-20, I prayed that your spirit is forever fortified with the whole Armour of God.

I want you to know that your children are okay because of you.
I want you to know that I am okay because of you.
I pray that you are now able to do as it says in the bible when you turn to 1 Peter 5:7.
It says that you should ‘cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.’

You are the mother that taught me early that great people sometimes fail but become great by acknowledging and learning from their failures. Most importantly I learnt from you that I should never let my failures get to me because I could remedy mistakes and shortcomings if I faced them head on with courage and compassion.

I grew up hearing directly from you about rights and wrongs. Like many daughters I grew up first seeking your approval, then trying to prove my independence. Now I am a little older, I realise the immense strength of character and humility you hold within you to put up with so much.

I can say whole heartedly that I am proud to be your daughter.
I can say I am truly blessed to be your child.

Today is your birthday.
Today I am jubilant with joy as I celebrate.
Today I sing the words of Psalm 95 as I give thanks to God for you.

‘O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is His also.
The sea is His, and He made it: and His hands formed the dry land.
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.’

When God thought of you as a Mother, it was a thought so rich, so deep, so divine and so full of soul; one that caused your beauty and power to be concieved.

As our mother you have shed our tears and feared our fears.
As our mother you have cared for our cares and laughed our laughs.
As our mother you have lived our joys and shared in all our hopes and dreams.

All that I am,
All that I hope to be,
I owe to you.

‘Happy 60th Birthday Mummy’.

Special thanks to Jaycee and Naapali. Albeit for different reasons... Hugs :-)


Friday, 3 October 2008


I am grateful for what I am. For what I have. Saying that, I need to get a new job.

For me it is about growth. I have been here too long. I choose to experience something different. It is time. However, I am just a little scared of leaving this one now. I guess with me it has to do with the fear of the unknown; which I'm not always good at facing... it has been known to cripple me... it is my pejorative... arghhhhh!

Don't get me wrong. Most of the time I do believe in me but at the moment I’m thinking ‘stay a while longer’. .. *Sigh*... Some of my rationale has to do with the uncertainty of the credit crunch... but part of me is like ‘who cares get a job back in Lagos’.

So in an effort to motivate myself, I am going to motivate others first... but in a completely different sector... simply bcos I can’t have you guys taking all the good jobs in engineering before I get back to Nigeria... lol

I'm talking... Finance

So moneymen (and women) in Nigeria, e-mail or send Minerva your CV:

or call:
+234 (0) 1 461 7265

The goddess of commerce has positions available in:
Investment banking
Capital markets
Retail and Risk management
Research in fixed income and equity

For some, I hope serendipity has found you on your visit to this page.

Do check out Naapali's comment to this post on the 3 princes of serendip.


Wednesday, 1 October 2008

miss independence

Arise, O compatriots
Nigeria's call obey
To serve our Fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labour of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom

Peace and unity.

I haven't sang that in so very long.

I remember once as a child we had to go to a ceremony. My dad told my mother that all his children must know the words to the national anthem off by heart.

I must have been a bit older than 5 years old.

Even though I am not there anymore,
I still know those words now,
Simply because they are etched in my heart.

To your 48 years
I hear that you've been taking care of people since at least 9000 BC
To the fact that you look after about 148 million people now
Within your 36 states
Apparently you are the 8th most populous country
So when I think of all how long and how many you have nurtured
I am filled with pride.

You survived the Portuguese explorers
You survived the colonial rule of the British Empire
You survived the disequilibrium of military rule
You are silent even now as you cope with crippling corruption
Still yours is a land fueled with resources and rich in its traditions
But when I think of all the egocentricities you’ve borne
I am filled with sadness.

Apparently you are the 32nd largest country
They say your regional power cannot be ignored
That you are one of the Next Eleven
A country with an economy with great potential
So what, that China may get there before us?
Our progress is not a race but we will get there
‘Slow and steady’ my mother used to say
I hope we can help you realise your potential
I hope that in doing so we will realise ours
So when I think of what we could achieve in solidarity
I am filled with hope.

Happy Independence Day

God willing, I shall see my beloved Nigeria at Christmas.


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