Friday, 21 December 2012

Shooing Away The Dust...Brushing Off My Collar

Well, its only a few days until I am on that great, big metal bird, flying me across the ocean; into the warm embrace of my loving husband. I can't wait to see him, and in the music and lyrics of Anita Baker, 'it's been so long, I'm missing you baby...'

As I squeeze all of my clothes in my suitcase - I've already utilised the timely tradition of my people by sending a gigantic blue barrel ahead of me, so I can travel light - and zip and unzip until my suitcase resembles a fully stuffed, can't fit any- food- inside - stomach, I can only reminisce on my time in the UK - good times and bad.

Yesterday, my oldest son treated me and my youngest son to a meal in Chinatown. We went to this cheap and cheerful restaurant, where the food is plentiful and the staff are rude. Nonetheless, with some bittersweet moments of being in my boys presence and knowing that they can't just jump on Eurostar or come by coach to see me in Holland, and trying to determine my youngest son's sullen silence, we had a good time.I  couldn't really garner an appetite as the realisation was hitting me hard that I will be separate from them; many miles away in a place which is comprised of pure nature, and irrigated by 365 rivers - or so the locals say.

 Its easier saying goodbye to friends, but saying goodbye - well, its not really a goodbye- to sons that you have carried and nurtured all these years, can be a tad emotional. I was surprised that I held it down though. I didn't want to embarrass my children, and cause a tsunami in the restaurant,  but I cried all the way home. It wasn't really of sadness...

Anyway, next door to this restaurant is a place where I used to rave hard, way back in the days - The Wag Club. Its no longer there. I felt a sense of sadness and loss, because this place, and also the The Empire in Leicester Square, were my youthful days of abandoned rituals: partying and being reckless (in the way that I could, as I was still living a sheltered life at home).  As I said, The Wag Club is no longer there, and I guess like this former landmark which was a place of my post adolescence innocence,  like then as of now,  I'm in the midst of change, of transformation.

Its funny, in the last few days, I've noticed a couple of friends becoming kind of distant towards me. I'm still trying to understand what that is all about. I'm not sure and I can't put my finger on it. Maybe they will miss me? I tend to over analyse things, so I'm just going to leave it alone, shoo it away with the dust that has accumulated in my life.

Its at times like this, deep in reflection of my continued journey, I really have seen who my true friends are; I can literally count them on one hand, and this is fine by me. There is one particular one - who will remain nameless - but if she sees this blog she will know it is her (!) who was/is there for me unconditionally. Through thick and thin, more than some members of my own family. I will never, ever forget her kindness and her nurturing spirit towards me. In a way, she reminds me of my late Godmother, Margaret. Margaret was this amazing Jamaican woman who knew my mama. I'm not sure how they became friends, as they were like oil and water. She smoked. My mama didn't. She held people in great bear hugs of affection. My mama couldn't. She drank like a fish and swore like a sailor on his first foray onto dry land. My mama never cursed - unless it was in Yoruba and I had no idea of its meaning! Yes, they were so different, but she trusted Margaret with me.  In fact, she looked after me for a couple of years when I was in my preteens when my mama took my brothers back home to be educated. She reminded me of Billie Holliday, as she used to always wear a gardenia in her hair; she had this husky, sing song voice vibrating with love and compassion for mankind. She was a treat; I still hunger and miss her presence. I guess that's why I've always, always felt some kind of affinity with people from the Caribbean - more so than my own folk from Nigeria. Its the truth. I never pretended to be something else, but it was this warm familiarity that made me feel at ease and relaxed. That's also another reason why I have visited these islands more than my ancestral homeland. Because I feel a sense of 'belonging'. I mean, look who I married! An amazing and resilient man from - guess where? Yes, the Caribbean!

 Anyway, as I was saying, my dear friend reminds me of my Margaret. She always wants to know if I am well; if I have eaten. In general, she has looked out for me since arriving from Holland. My friend has been a refuge from some of the storms and challenges that I have faced, and I can never thank her enough in all that she has done for me since living in the UK. Her children let me become part of their furniture  unreservedly and again, I am so grateful that they allowed me to live in their space.

So, I am just brushing off the dirt from my collar to all the folk - family included -  who thought that I would not do it; could not do it.  I am shooing away the dust from my feet; getting prepared to take that leap of faith to be somewhere where my uniqueness will be offset by my own perceptions, and what I will  bring with me to this new land.  I am getting ready, like a marathon runner,  for the next part of my journey. I am well aware of the obstacles that I may face, but like other obstacles in my life, I eventually get over and carry on, sprinting and sometimes running.

Hopefully, whoever is reading this blog will come with me on my journey, through my words,  when I migrate this blog to my own domain.

Soon, very soon...


  1. I really enjoy reading your blog posts. You have this almost hypnotic way of expressing yourself with your words. When will your novel be out, because I will be first in line to buy it!
    Have a great time in your new country. Hopefully this will inspire you to carry on writing and beyond.

  2. Oh! Thanks so much for your comment; it really means a lot for me.
    Yes, I feel that I will be in a better 'headspace' when I emigrate, which will allow me to be creative and just... write!
    Thanks again

  3. What a great blog. Filled with so much emotion, truth and love. I loved reading it. Your writing is alive. I want to wish you every success on your new life and venture. Stay courageous, keep writing. I just want to hug your sons for you. Stay blessed.

  4. Hi Tai! I recently rediscovered your blog. You used to follow my old one and actually sent me an email (through some mix-up, I'd contancted another one of your friends - a fitness specialist - through her blog mistakenly). Anyway, if you are coming back to Holland, I hope that all works out for you and that it will not be as drama-filled as it was the last time. Best of luck!

  5. @Yvonne!
    Wow... thanks a lot for the words. Keeping me motivated:) Well, lost for words at the moment but will think of a decent comeback soon!