Thursday, 14 April 2011

A Day To Oneself

9.54 am
Sat in Waterstones, the one I used to frequent before children, during pregnancy and the one where I sat feeding both babies for hours. Today, I am here alone. Hot cup of tea. Chocolate twist. My book and paper and pen. Life is good.

10.41 am
Had a lovely catch up with my sister (Yay! Finally a window!) and she shared that time is so precious that she hasn't been able to get through the latest Jilly Cooper book since Christmas. This has NEVER happened before! I felt excited to share my latest obsession with her - Bethenny Ever After. This is the sister that got me through my hours and hours of breastfeeding with a regular flow (no pun intended) of trashy box sets that just delighted me so! Brothers & Sisters, Sex & The City (I came to it very late) Grey's Anatomy plus the ever so slightly higher brow of 24 and West Wing, although it never held my interest. So finally, I was able to tell her about one she didn't already know about!

I actually read about Bethenny Ever After here and as I always do - I make a judgement and think of myself as far too superior for this kind of thing, then I watch a little bit and BAM I'm hooked!!!! Bethenny is sarcastic and she makes me laugh out loud, all hail the new reality queen! (new for me but then I'm always behind on this stuff).

10.52 am
On the train. I have a dilemma. Do I window gaze or read my book? Beautiful dilemma ... I have time for dilemmas!

I wish I'd brought the camera but it's just so big to lug around. When I grow up and I have a job I'm going to buy an iphone, for now the camera-less £9.99 samsung will do. It's the one I've had since losing my decent one when I left my bag on a train when pregnant with Elliott (and no, I've never quite forgiven myself). The boy who sold it to me was horrified and kept saying 'but you can upgrade to .... because you have x amount in your phone fund and ...'. I simply replied 'It's too much of a burden and I'll probably lose it anyway ... and I don't even have a job so ... what's the point?' at which point he quietly walked away. Hubby's been taking some beautiful shots on his iphone and he's been using our new favourite app - the Instagram App. Check these out.

10.58 am
The book I'm presently reading is set in Nigeria, it's wonderful to dip in and out and experience the familiar flavours of Africa. It's got me thinking about loved one's far away and cherished memories of our last trip to Ghana. Excerpt taken from Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart:

'They then set about painting themselves with cam wood and drawing beautiful black patterns on their stomachs and on their backs. The children were also decorated, especially their hair, which was shaved in beautiful patterns.'

My beautiful Aunty Adelaide (Queen Mother) to the left of me

My man with our Uncle Andrew Arde Acquah

Aunty making fresh shitor for my banku

Akushia preparing my all time fave carbs - Banku*

17.02 pm
Back on the train after a delightful day with a great friend. Homemade soup and bread, served with a heapful of love, patience and tenderness. Luxury vegan chocolates in the prettiest cellophane and ribbon packaging and hot tea whilst sitting in the most beautiful old flower print chair - what else is there to satisfy the soul?

Sitting and talking in her wonderful home that echoes so beautifully her interests and concerns, her tastes. So inspiring - from the orange ribbon curtain tie-backs against white curtains to her Gran's antique floral chair and the minty green cabinet decorated with hand painted flowers to the the scent of tea tree oil soap that I can still smell on my fingers as I write. Her little boy's hand made paper lanterns adorning a corner of living space with charming patterns and bold colouring detail, all of it ... simply wonderful.

Thuggish looking guy yielding dangerous dog and expired bus pass gets on the number 50 bus on the tail end of my journey. The bus driver expresses concern about the dog and non valid pass and switches the engine off. Thuggish looking guy begins demonstrating threatening and violent behaviour as all passengers point their faces downwards.

This time I am alone on the bus but normally I would have my boys with me and I always dread them bearing witness to this kind of violence. I glance to my side where a young mum has asked thuggish guy to watch his language in front of her young child, he ignores her request. I feel my heart beat faster as thuggish guy begins thumping his fist against the bus drivers protective door and the young mother to my side whispers to her little boy 'Don't look, just look at mummy!'

It flashes through my mind that we are about to watch the bus driver take a beating and we are ALL going to let it happen but then suddenly out of my mouth comes 'Can you just stop that, there's a child on the bus!' (I assure you these words came from God and I was purely a vessel) Thuggish guy glances in my direction and then turns round and gets off the bus. Then there is silence. The driver switches on the engine again and pulls off, I stand up, it's my stop next. The bus stops I look at the driver and can't even speak, I simply smile and he smiles a grateful nervous smile and I get off the bus. This is city living.

I know this incident wasn't very pleasant but I still LOVE city life!

* Banku/Akple: Fermented corn/cassava dough mixed cooked in hot water into a smooth whitish consistent paste. Served with soup, stew or a pepper sauce with fish.

* Shitor: a traditional pepper paste/salsa made from fresh tomatoes, onions and small round chillies.


  1. Katy, this was a wonderful post, and you remind me again why I started blogging, and about being more than a mama. Loved it xx

  2. Thank you Zazou. I've just been over at mama-andmore loving reading snippets of your trip back home to Trini, nearly shed a tear on your behalf when you described Trini disappearing as the plane took flight! Really looking forward to reading more about your trip and those backed up posts!

  3. Stuart has a copy of that book that I gave you! Time warp!!!

  4. You go Brave Lady!!! So proud of you standing up for the bus driver amazing Bab,absolute star.Incidents like that were one of the reasons for us finally moving.I adore your descriptive writing it places a real picture in my head to point where i feel i've shared in your journey,beautiful x

  5. How bizarre Jim, I hadn't picked up on that when I scanned the photo! It's actually my Uncle's copy, Stuart was working his way through their book collection. I was very touched that you put it to one side for me x