21 Mar

Today

Today will be a good day. I will return from church and kick my shoes off, having been in pumps for all of 3 hours. I will walk barefoot to the kitchen with confidence as dear hubby cleaned it before we left. I will light my kiwi scented candle and proceed to make dinner, it will be Jollof Rice, Fried Plantain and Roast Duck. As I bend down to pull out the pot, The 10-year-old will walk in and rubbing my shoulders affectionately will ask “What’s for dinner mum? I’m hungry”.

The 9-year-old will come in almost immediately and ask “Mum when will you sort out my PSP?”  This question will coincide with the 10 year old’s repeat of his question.

I will make a concerted effort to answer both children at the same time while closing my ears to number’s 4’s screams in the sitting room as number 3 and he compete to see who can do the flip the fastest. Number 4 doesn’t realise he’s only 2, he thinks he is 4 or 5. I will wash my rice to the background sounds of the 9-year-old telling me about the Charles Dickens’s movie he watched yesterday. His narrative will be regularly punctuated with “guess what happened next mum?” To which I must reply “What?”

He will call my attention to look at the way the child’s leg was bent, he shows when he tells. I will then comment on his narrative, and give him a life lesson or two from the gory tales.

I will beg the two boys to give me a minute so I can type something on the laptop. I will go to Pawpaw and Mango to attempt to finish updating today’s post. Child number 4, the 2-year-old will then rush in gleefully to switch my laptop off. I will clench my jaw and thank God for His gifts to me. I will decide to wait until he falls asleep. In the meantime I’ll go and watch Colombo with the older boys. Hubby will be somewhere in the house, perhaps on the phone to his buddy discussing the upcoming match between Arsenal and whoever, while eating a bowl of cereal. Hubby likes his cereals.

He will ask me if he can quickly check on an update on a sports station, it won’t be more than 2 minutes. I will get up to check on my Duck sizzling away in its own oil in the hot oven. I will forget about Colombo and go to the room to go back on the laptop since number 4 seems engrossed in his play. At that point he will start screaming “Stinky, Stinkyyyyy!” He needs a nappy change or needs to use the potty. The 6-year-old will remind me about the adaptor for his keyboard, I was supposed to have replaced it by now. He will tell me all about Sunday school and how well-behaved he was and that he answered all questions correctly. Chances are that it would lead to an account on how he answers questions in class at school, but Todd doesn’t. He will tell me Emilia is very annoying and his best friend is now Tristan. This in turn will lead to what Tristan loves to eat at lunch. I will at this point stop him from talking too much.

I will call my friend Justjoxy to get an update on her day and to update her on mine. I will call Kenny in Minnesota (like I mean to do every Sunday). I will call Tolu as well as Shade and Lara. I will not be calling Bukky because she’ll be busy, we’ll catch up in the week. I hope to catch up with Tola too.

Our dinner will be like no other, very lovingly prepared and so tasty too. While having dinner I will regret not buying coke when I went shopping yesterday. I will lie down to read Rich Minds, Rich Rewards- again. After that I’ll grab my planner, pic shown below and plan my day tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be busy. I have to attend to two enquiries from the UAE, the customer whose custom-made valance did not fit her daughter’s bed and is now worried that said child’s bedroom will not be ready for the her 4th birthday,  I will chase up a missing chandelier as well as an old invoice payment that has gone AWOL, I will send a gift voucher to the customer whose stepstool arrived broken-twice -yet sent us a nice comment, that makes me smile 🙂 I will update the PP Blogs and prepare Tuesday’s newsletters.
 

But that’s tomorrow. Today, I will enjoy and rejoice in; it is the day the Lord has made.

I hope your Sunday is restful and filled with all the goodness God has in store for you!

05 Mar

My Driving Test

Maya Angelou said you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle these three things; a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’d have to add a fourth: Failing your driving test.

 I couldn’t wait to drive. At 18 I didn’t care about the test, just the ability to drive. I wanted my own car so badly; I bought my first Micra with my student’s loan. Back then the only person who had a car in our clique was Alex, a red Nissan which he named Betsy- don’t ask.

My brown Micra was faithful, and I loved it. The plan was to practice until I was ready for my driving test. I had been driving for a few months when I did my first test. It was in Colindale, I can’t remember what the major fault was but I failed woefully. I remember crying and taking it so personally, and later basking in the words of comfort my dear cousins offered as they assured me that those driving instructors were wicked people. That they had a quota to fill and once they had reached their number, no one else passed. So I figured it would be best to take the next test in January, way before their “limit” was reached. Only heaven knows where I got the information that their quota fiscal year started in January.

Come January and I booked my test in Burnt Oak. Not far from that hateful Colindale where they chose to “fail me” on my first test. By this time I was not just a driver but had become Speedy Gonzales. I loved to do mean manoeuvres and was very confident behind the wheel. I was warned by well wishers not to use my car for the test as the instructor would fail me on the presumption that I had been driving without a licence. So I hired a new Micra for the test. Now in the UK most cars (at least in the ’90s) were manual (stick) cars. In order to move you need to find the bite point. This bite point differs for each car.  I also had become friends with a group of guys who loved to bend every rule for the sake of it and one of them thought me how to avoid the whole bite point shenanigans by putting the car in 1st gear, and then starting the engine to avoid stalling. It worked always. And no, I didn’t have the sense to leave that lesson out of my driving test so I failed again. I actually failed as I was driving out of the test center.  But the man kept quiet and still kept instructing me to turn left, turn right. Can you imagine? I turned to him and said

“What’s the point?”

“Sorry?”

“I have failed. I see a big X on the paper, what’s the point in carrying on?”

“I am not at liberty to discuss this madam”

“In that case, (I pulled over) please get out of my car.”

“By law, I cannot leave you with the car, I must accompany you back to the test centre if you do not wish to carry on with your test”. He looked and sounded like a robot.

I protested, but he won, allowing me the final humiliation of being the first candidate to arrive back at the centre with a yellow slip. He tried to give me advice as we drove in but I waved him off, puleeze, just get out, thank you!

Thankfully my fans were waiting. Phone calls came in assuring me that it wasn’t my fault. That Burnt Oak centre was notoriously racist. That it was in fact my fault for not asking them first as they would have told me to stay well away from there.

So test number 3 was held somewhere in South London. The instructor was Scottish. I feigned excitement and asked what part of Scotland he was from. He mentioned an obscure village I’d never even heard of. My response was even more enthusiastic as I shared that I was in fact born in Edinburgh. I did a quick mental scan of my birth certificate and recollected my parents address at the time. “We lived in Currie”, I offered. Like I even had any memories of the place. I don’t think it was my Scottish roots that made me pass. Rather I think I had finally faced the fact that I wasn’t a perfect driver. Being an avid go-karter and a fearless driver on the streets of London did not qualify me to pass the UK driving test.

I have since learned to deal with disappointments a lot better. I see every disappointment as a tool used to mature and strengthen me. I also have more respect for laws. “It’s the law“, doesn’t annoy me so much anymore!

Thanks for reading, do come back.