Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Round and round the garden...

In a week that I'm supposed to be on "holiday", the relaxing aspect looks pretty remote.

The routine now is that I turn up at Ike's place, and he brings me home. Nice drive, the blackwall tunnel is...interesting. Not the kind of place I would want to get stuck in. It is also the place where I spot cars I like, and I am told which car to buy, what type of fuel, blah blah blah...

Yesterday he was in the kitchen cooking, so I went downstairs to talk to one of the girls. It must have been over half an hour before I returned, and he had two pots going, and the kitchen was a mess! Messy in the sense that, whatever he was cooking, had gotten all over the floor and the worktops on both sides of the cooker, not forgetting the cooker itself.

In fact he was mopping the floor, and to my surprise, he had taken the dried smoked shrimp I had in the cupboard and made one of my favourite dishes, just for me! That was a surprise and a half, but a very pleasant one. He thinks I bought it because he asked me to, I informed him that it was in my cupboard long before he came on the scene!

Some time after he left I mopped the floor. The day before I had thought of mopping but didn't. Or forgot. Or something like that. In hindsight, that was a good thing!

Today I went to the high commission to get my visa. Originally I had planned on getting there early, left home around 08:35am, caught the crowded bus around 8:50am, and would you believe it...I actually got there on time! There were only two other people ahead of me, waiting outside the high commission.

We went in, and another man and lady arrived. So there was a South East Asian-looking lady, two Indian men, a white lady (who fidgetted a lot) and myself. We sat in silence until Gloria came out five minutes later to deal with our documents. Of course I smiled sweetly throughout, and was told when to return to collect my passport with visa.

I was pleased that the whole process didn't take long. Took a nice long walk, got the bus home. For some reason my tummy has been feeling a bit strange recently, so I took advantage of this "down time" :) The sad thing is that I have a meeting this evening that I've been debating whether to go to or not.

It's cold out there!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Great Expectations

The closest I can remember to doing anything like Valentine's Day was Friday 13th February, when Victor and I, many years ago, decided to "hit the town" for something to do.

The whole thing was kinda spooky - turning up in a town centre that was quiet, a church unlocked and dark and no one in it, a minibus ride that ended prematurely and saw us sitting on someone's veranda looking at the moon...

This year was...interesting. Someone bought me a Kinder Bueno and gave me a hug. I think I like Kinder Bueno very much now, I seem to dream of it all of the time. Or does that have to do with my fixation with Almonds?

I got a text message saying "Happy Vals day". In return I said nowt. Thought of sending a card, but I couldn't find one I liked enough and in any case it went against my firm anti-valentines anti-commercial-love-propaganda stance. But then the thought crossed my mind: do I actually have any expectations for Valentine's Day?

Got two phone calls - one from Oba where the conversation was exactly the same (no I don't do Valentine's, no you cannot come to my house), and Tony, who it seems, has been visiting home and returned with a terrible bout of flu. Sometimes I wish Valentines Day wouldn't remind people of what they are longing for but can't have; it makes things unnecessarily complicated.

Yesterday had my last injection for my trip - hooray! Now to apply for my visa and get my anti malarials, I'm good to go!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

What is Love? Part 2

After the last post, I was quite interested in reading this article on the BBC's website: Sex chemistry 'lasts two years'.

Now there's a surprise - or maybe not. They say it takes about two years to really get to know a person, in some quarters they say the courtship period should not be for anything less than two years.

Makes sense now doesn't it? Relationships move from "lust" to "cuddles" in that space of time. No use looking to "rekindle" the early heady days because they simply are not designed to last.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

What is love?

Yesterday I got an email saying "I've wonder what love means to different people". Interesting enough, I had been thinking about this same thing the day before.

I would think that love is something that isn't there only for the good times. It's the thing that led to Alan helping Lydia into the shower when she did her back in. It was the thing that led to Dan taking Lita to his place to make sure she would be ok in case she had to go into hospital in a hurry. It's the thing that, when Taiwo was pregnant, Ade helped cut her toenails because she couldn't do it.

The question isn't so much what love means to different people, but what it means to you the individual, in the context of a relationship. How does love evolve for (or towards) the object of your affection - is it based on assumptions of qualities you think the other person posesses, or things that you have seen in the other person? Is it purely based on lust and desire, or genuinely wanting to be with and get to know that person?

In most relationships, especially in the early stages, things tend to be very physically driven and emotionally raw. After a time, the "novelty" wears off and what you have left is (hopefully) the foundations of a real relationship. A relationship dominated by sex will only last for so long...unless of course that is all a person wants.

Working on the premise that a person is looking for a long term, committed relationship, it has to go beyond the bedroom. Most of the time spent together in relationships (marriage or otherwise) is not spent in the bedroom. What happens outside the bedroom determines what happens inside.

Once you let someone into your life, you then expose your insecurities, you then become vulnerable to that person. Not an easy road to walk, but that is how love is. Unless of course you choose to be distant and unemotional - in which case, you won't be in a relationship for long. No one is an island, and a relationship with yourself is....narcissistic.