beautiful living

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I did not choose life in Lagos. My heart has always been firmly implanted in London. Nevertheless, lately I’ve been thinking that it isn’t so terrible of fate to have chosen this city for me.

Alex and I, and two of his friends,left the overwhelming hustle of the city, for the quietude of fauna and the sea. We stayed in a tree house cabin, where we watched ships dock from afar, as we drank beers and wine into the evening. We supped on grilled corn, mozzarella and cherry tomato salad, a potato salad and a fish bought at the market by the dock. We played card games and I lost in succession. We showered outside in the dark of the night,scrubbing our bodies fast, to get out of sight, feeling refreshed by the cool air and water.

Alex and I walked to a secluded beach late in the evening and early the next morning, before grilling some bread, garlic and aubergine for breakfast. Just walking, being intrinsic with the landscape was sublime. And yet we were spectators who watched crabs burrowing in the sand, stray animals grazing and shipwreck debris floating. I can report that observing nature remains as elusively numinous as it has always felt.


I have not written here in 9 weeks. That period of time was spent meeting and dating Alex and growing my personal art collection. I also received a fantastic job offer within the art world, which I rejected,because the timing was not ideal and I want to grow in my present position, just a bit longer. Nevertheless,seeds of confidence were planted within me and thankfully that window of opportunity remains ajar.

The boy spent 3 weeks in Paris, The Hague and Barcelona. It seemed the perfect time to replace the pleasure of his company with my great love,literature. I especially enjoyed reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, Rebecca Solnit’s Women Explain Things to Me,The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel(a little haphazard and too ambitious) and Big Little Lies (despite the somewhat pathetic ‘desperate housewives’ story line). I had been craving prose and poetry and reading Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey in one sitting, was just what I needed last week.

summer rain

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There is so much I have been meaning to tell you.

Petrichor.

(peˌtrīkôr) noun | the pleasant scent of the earth after it rains.

  • etymology: petra = “stone” + ichor = the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.

In Lagos summer is synonymous with heavy rainfall.It is comforting to go to bed, listening to fat raindrops thrumming on the rooftop.It is my lullaby, alongside all these great music I’ve discovered recently.In the year and half  between a broken heart and my mother’s absence from the world,I had stopped feeling music.I discovered a song here and there that I fancied, but I felt nothing in a guitar’s strum.What I had listened to in the past(usually a playlist made for me by my past love, or some Sting and Andrea Boccelli that reminded me of sweet mummy) I wanted to leave behind,at least for a while.Recently I discovered Alice Smith’s song The One and it is everything. Bombay Bicycle Club’s  You Already Know is so poetic and kinda my jam. These songs,they feel as though they belong to me.

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And when it rains during the afternoons,I can sometimes be found at my favourite cafe,wolfing down a tuna baguette with an accompanying cup of strong chai. I sit on the patio and gulp in that delicious earthy scent that makes everything feel okay. Rather than being the architect of great imaginings,I stay in the moment. I am happy and I mean that sincerely.

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Today was an almost clone of my treasured afternoons,until I discovered Alexa Chung’s Art of British Style cover for the July issue of Harper’s Bazaar. The bouquets of hydrangeas and Alexa on a boat in a ridiculously beautiful dress,wow! It reminds me of that dreamlike essence you find in Monet’s paintings.

seeking self in places

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Cheerily I find myself here- on a balmy,yet rainy evening.Such weather is very typical of Lagos.Some time has passed since I have last thoughtfully written.It isn’t because I have been defunct of words so to speak.I have simply just felt confused,uninspired and a little lost.I’ve been thinking about death a lot.Lagos life has been quite a challenge.I do not doubt with any iota of rationality that I am supposed to be in this city right now,but how I miss London so! The ICA is screening a retrospective on the Dardenne brothers– I miss such cultural stimulation and very many things.

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If something doesn’t come naturally to you,by all means, you must go in pursuit of it! And so despite two incidents of food poisoning (in less than two weeks),I haven’t quite been deterred from seeking little joys here and there.I’ve been really into the TED Radio Hour podcast and listened to an episode on originality while in the bath this morning. The episode featured excerpts from interviews with all kinds of admirable people,who spoke about how they curate things from the past and revive them in their present art forms.

In the afternoon,I stopped by Terra Kulture,an art/lifestyle centre and restaurant,which has the best bookshop I’ve stumbled upon in the city. My reading wish list has been slightly elongated,thanks to my eyes greedily perusing the bookshops’ shelves. I only just finished reading Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy which was mind-blowing and quite the homage to strong women, so I stocked up on some African literature,which is a bit of a detour from the Swedish crime series.

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Late afternoon, I headed to an empty Art cafe,where I ordered some mint and cedar tea with banana bread,whilst reading the opening pages of Americanah. As the evening progressed, delish glasses of house white were ordered and subconsciously with it,the gusto that comes when a little alcohol infiltrates one’s senses.I think my environment and doing the simple things I enjoy made me feel attuned with myself once again.

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What I quite like about Art Cafe is that just about everything is on sale.It is quite a visually pleasing space and a little puppy was carved on a leg of my sitting table! Another thing that makes the cafe lovely is the diversity of the customers.I often pick out accents and eavesdrop on french and english conversations-some people can’t seem to speak with a moderate tone.

P1120936 As nighttime crawled in,so did the fairy lights and groups of older gentlemen.The premise of Chinese food for supper got me out of the cafe door and into the car.A spontaneous rain shower soon followed and Femi Kuti’s Wonder Wonder,played on the radio as we drove home.

refresh

Today I woke up at noon and have no solid plans,other than snagging the last two peppermint and green tea tea bags in the pantry and start reading 1984.

Life has been pretty mint so far. My mother is a lot better, I’ve caught up on tons of reading and even finished watching the fifth and last season of Ally Mcbeal in the wee hours of Christmas day.Naturally I was quite weepy, because I love that series.

I need to start revision for French exams soonish.

Other than that, I’m pretty happy and day dreaming of all the exciting adventures that 2012 will have. There is really something powerful in taking time out to remember yourself and align your actions and mind with your goals, while also enjoying simple everyday pleasures.

(picture taken with my blackberry..left my beloved Lucy(my camera) in Paris).