11/03/2013: Soho Theatre

A lovely long time friends birthday celebration took us to the Soho theatre to watch a play called God’s Property.

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God’ s Property Cast from http://www.sohotheatre.com

It was a story set in 1982 about two mixed race brothers are re-united in Deptford, South London.

“Sixteen year old, Onochie rules the family roost. His barely known older brother Chima returns home to find that Onochie is a skinhead who chooses to no longer be black.

Chima is not welcome in the area and only has a few hours to meaningfully connect with his brother. But outside a hostile community has been alerted to his return. Chima has been blamed for the death of a white girl and the vitriolic community won’t be satisfied until it delivers its own rough justice.

Onochie faces the tough decision of siding with the community he has tried to belong to, or standing with the brother he doesn’t know.”

This play, with its cast of only 4 carried was carried off perfectly and the qualms I had at the beginning when I saw a single set, disappeared as I was drawn into the story. It wasn’t long, but it turned out to be really funny and with a great twist – I just wished it had continued.

I really want to go to the theatre more often, need some more culture in my life!

Good thing of the day: Great night out out.

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02/03/2013: Traditional Dress

It was my Aunt’s 50th Birthday Party yesterday and as is always the Nigerian cutsom..we partied in style!

There is just something about Nigerian traditional dress that says “I’m here! Im important, I’m beautiful” and really and truly the person is. The traditional Nigerian attire known as “Aso Oke” is hand-woven fabric worn at weddings, funerals and other formal occasions usually with a lot of design and style.

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When my aunt came out (because you have to have a grand entrance no matter your age) she looked beautiful! We danced and sang and as is custom at these parties they sprayed her with dollar bills (great way of funding your chocolate habit, if you stand close enough to catch them as they drop ;-)).

The parties are huge, colourful and vibrant and we eat so much! Standard dish: J-Rice!! (Jollof Rice..an orange coloured rice made with tomato sauce and spices) – a party isn’t a party without J-rice! There’s so much in the Nigerian culture to enjoy from the food, the music, the stories – even the bad bits like “Juju” are funny to hear about.

Growing up in Britain, it can be easy to be detached and leave the culture of your parents and grandparents behind because it’s not the norm here. The last time I went to Nigeria was a real eye opener – everything is so different to the primped and cushioned life we have here – but it was an energetic and fun place at the same time.  People live on the edge and survive (a simple drive down the road is a life or death experience!), they are happy, strong and resourceful..much more than we are here and the culture is vibrant. Although, I haven’t grown up there myself, I hope to pass on the traditions of this culture to my children so they know the beauties of it just as I do.

Good thing of the day: Nigerian Partay!

What are the things you love about your culture?

28/01/2013: Riding Solo

Woman In Restaurant

One of the things I’ve been learning over the past few years is how to enjoy my own company. How to really savour life from my point of view and enjoy being on my own. As a person who loves being with friends and enjoys having a lively environment, even if it is just people in the background, being in that “in-between jobs”/”don’t know what to do with my life” state can get very lonely.

You wake up and your only friend for the day is your computer, the jobs website and maybe the foreign telesales caller trying to sell you double glazing windows (still?! I thought everyone would have them by now!). Everyday becomes the same and when someone asks you how your week was you want to wring their neck and tell them to “Stop asking!” because just like last week and the week before, you haven’t got anything interesting to say.

You were waiting to go out with friends who are all working (or studying) on the weekend but when the week is done they are tired from working and you’re tired from not working (finding a job is actually a job in itself!) and someone cancels this weeks get-together so the one thing that could have made life interesting for you is now gone.

You get really bored, tired of staring at the jobs pages, applying, not getting a reply or being rejected and that actually makes you even less motivated to get up or do anything.

This happened to me at the beginning of my ‘Gap Year’. I thought I would find what I wanted to do and the accompanying job quickly but alas! I didn’t! So the boredom took over. Even now, although I do work, because it’s not full time,  this can happen to me periodically. So what do I do?

I get up! I shake myself out and I make my life interesting all by myself.

When it first happened (it seems to come in bouts) I had a great moment of revelation (I seem to have these often, as you may have noticed from previous post, haha). I decided that I would refuse to be a reclusive bum who wastes all the free time they have waiting for something better to come along. I wont be getting the time back so I better make the most of it! what guarantee is there that I will still have time to myself or for others, if I get the last job I applied for? No, while I am able, even if I have to do it on my own, I will enjoy life. I really believe in the saying “Life is what you make it” the key word being YOU.

You are the only one who can change your circumstances (a big lesson I’ve taken from various books and messages) and it is so true! So at that moment when I’m starting to get discouraged, I think of all the benefits of my being on my own. What can I do? How can I use my time? Where can I go?  Well..I can organise my day so that it’s more productive, I can read, I can visit places I want to, I can learn that language that I’ve always wanted to, I have time to write songs, play the piano, draw and paint, explore the lake by my house – I can even take a walk and try to go somewhere in my neighbourhood that I haven’t been before despite having lived there for more than 10 years.

In life, we’re taught that we need people and are designed to live lives with other people and we do, but we’ve become so used to doing things with other people that we become uncomfortable to do them without. I’ve found that as much as I love company, if I waited to try to do everything with someone else I would be waiting for ages and all that time I had would be wasted (they’d have to have a day off, push back a meeting, finish their assignment etc). No, even social things like going to a restaurant, going to the cinema, travelling – I’m going to do them on my own.

On a Monday, Sky (a satellite TV provider in the UK) give its customers reduced priced cinema tickets so today I decided to take them up on their offer and go and watch a movie all by myself. When I told Sibling Two that I was going on my own, he laughed at me, called me a ‘loser’ because “People don’t go to the cinema by themselves!” But why not? Why not go out, on a date with yourself, treat yourself and enjoy your own company? who cares what others think you probably won’t see them again anyway. You can watch the movie without distractions, visit a place you’re interested in, eat how you like, take as much time as you like…It’s great. I watched ‘Les Misérables’ (any one want to take me to the theatre? ) it was good but 3 hours makes you hungry! I went to work and ended up going to the cinema again (but this time with a friend), to watch ‘Django Unchained’ – That film was hilarious!

Taking the time out to do things on your own is refreshing. I even extend this to setting a ‘me date’ once a year. Every birthday now I buy myself a present and treat myself and I don’t work! Ever since my 19th birthday where I spent all day on checkouts I decided never again will I work on my birthday! Why spend the one day in a year celebrating your existence, doing what you do every other day? You made it another year, celebrate!

So, when you’re flagging in the job hunt and are getting demotivated, look for things to do to make your day and life productive and enjoyable even on your own. What you learn could come in useful one day. Don’t get bored get interesting!

Good thing of the day: Enjoyed my own company and that of a friend and have found that both are perfectly ok 🙂 (oh and broke a record for me..Cinema twice in one day!)