My Life

A few weeks ago I was in bed with LagosDad.

Get your mind out of the gutter!  I was playing Candy Crush and he was reading the Daily Mail!

Anyway, I finally completed a level in the game that had been irritating me for days on end.  I shouted out, “YESSSS!”  When he looked over at me, I explained that I’d finally finished level XXX of Candy Crush.  Notice how I’m not saying which level?

LagosDad then tells me, “You really need to get a life.”

WHAT?!  Who does he think he is anyway?

I looked at him and said, “How could you say such a thing to me?  Don’t you know by now that Candy Crush is my life?”

He now thinks, and no doubt so do you, that I am beyond help.

Mama Kangaroo

Over the last few weeks, Vinay has started pretending that I’m various ‘mama’ animals and he’s various ‘baby’ animals.  For example, he might climb into my lap, put his arms around me (I love this) and say, “Mama, you are the mama gorilla.  And I’m the baby gorilla.”  Then when he says, “Mama Gorilla?”  I have to answer with, “Yes, Baby Gorilla?”

There must be a point to it all…  I just haven’t figured it out yet.

Anyway, so yesterday while waiting for something to start on CBeebies, we had a conversation that went something like this…

V: Mama.  You are the mama kangaroo and I’m the baby kangaroo.

Me: Ok.

V: Mama Kangaroo?

Me: Yes, Baby Kangaroo?

V: Can I go inside your pouch?

Me: Of course you can.

He then spent a little while headbutting my stomach while trying to get into my ‘pouch’.

V: I can’t get in!

Me: Why don’t you just sit on my lap and pretend you’re sitting in my pouch?

V: No.  I know.  Mama, open your legs!


Me: Look!  Your show is starting on CBeebies!

V: Hooray!

Thank GOD he quickly forgot about his game!

Back Into It

Before we went to Dubai in March (for my sister’s 40th), I was chatting with my mum on WhatsApp. She told me to bring my gym clothes. I think I made some excuse and cut the conversation short.

Did my mother not know me at all? I wasn’t going to go the gym!

As you know, since then I’ve gotten a bit ‘into it’. The whole exercising daily, eating healthy thing.

So when we went to Dubai last month, I decided to take my gym stuff with me (shock, horror, I know).

I took my trainers, two pairs of HotPants, two t-shirts and some socks.

I exercised twice.

I thought about it a lot – but just didn’t quite manage to actually do it.

It’s the thought that counts, though. Right?

So now I’m back and have been for 10 days. And yet, I’ve been eating like I wasn’t eating healthily before and I’m not exercising yet.

First I was busy unpacking and putting things away. Sorting out the house, etc. Then there was the whole power issue – so even if I wanted to exercise – I wouldn’t have been able to as the TV and DVD player wouldn’t work.

Then because of the keratin thing (see previous) – I couldn’t get my hair wet or sweaty until I was ready to wash it.

Although the scale doesn’t say so, I know I’ve lost weight because all the clothes I bought in Dubai were a smaller size 🙂 I need to keep exercising!

It’s just a matter of getting back into it.

Can someone kick me up the butt, please?


I’d been toying with the idea of having that keratin treatment thingy to make my hair straighter/less frizzy. (Have I already given away that I actually don’t know much about it?)

I’m so sick of always having to tie up my hair as soon as I wash it. I’m useless at blow-drying my own hair and if I don’t tie it up after washing it, it dries a bit like this…









Ok, ok – I’m exaggerating. But seriously, it’s not a pretty sight. Even when I tie it up, it’s always messy and frizzy. It used to dry nicely – when I lived in London. But not here. Not in this heat!

I thought about doing it while I was in Dubai. My sister has had it done there about three times, I think she said. But she also said she found the treatments she’d had in the UK more effective than the ones in Dubai. So I decided against it.

I had my hair blow-dried in Dubai three times, I think. And all my activities had to revolve around getting my bloody hair done. For example, going to the gym or for a swim the next day was a no-no as it would ruin my hair. Ridiculous, right?

Just so you know – I usually wash my hair every day. But if I’ve had a blow-dry, I wait a day before washing it.

Last Saturday I went to the salon for my weekly (if I know we’re going out) blow-dry. There was a lady there having something or other done and I asked the hairdresser what she was doing. He said she was having the keratin treatment.

I didn’t even know they did it at that salon.

He told me a little about the process (some of which I already knew from my sister), the price and some other information.

By that evening I had decided that I wanted to do it.

On Wednesday I messaged my hairdresser to clarify a few points.

1. Did I have to use a special shampoo?


2. If I did it on Thursday morning, would I be able to wash my hair on Saturday?

Yes – but in the evening.

3. How long would the whole process take?

A couple of hours.

Great – I booked my appointment for the following morning.

I was late in the morning – LagosDad’s fault, of course. But that didn’t matter.

To be honest, I can’t even remember half of what the guy did (the hairdresser that did it wasn’t the one I had been talking to about the treatment).

They washed my hair first (and the water ran out – so they were using bottles of water). Then dried it, applied some stuff to it. Left it for a bit. Made me sit under a dryer for a while. Blow-dried it. Flat-ironed it. I don’t know.

It took two hours. Thank God I took my iPad and could alternate between my trashy novel and Candy Crush!

After I finished and paid, I said, ‘So I can wash it on Saturday evening, right?’

He replied, ‘It’s better to wait until Sunday. Or even Monday if you can.’


Does this man not understand that I usually wash my hair every day? And that the thought of waiting even two days makes me feel queasy? Also, if I’d known I couldn’t wash it over the weekend, I’d have waited until Monday before doing it.

So then I asked if I could tie it up.

No. Apparently not. At least, not for the first two days. And after that, very loosely. Like with a scarf or something (which I don’t own).

He told me to come in on Saturday to have it flat-ironed again. Which I did yesterday afternoon. He then told me that I could wash it on Sunday.

By yesterday evening, my hair looked disgusting. It was so greasy, it looked wet.

LagosDad and I wanted to go out for dinner. We had to go somewhere dark – so no one would see the state of me!

So I’m about to go in the shower and wash my hair and I can’t wait

I can’t even think about what my hair will be like – I’m just so excited about it being clean!




Sharing is Caring

V:  Mama see!  I’m eating banana chips!

Me: Oh that’s nice.  Yummy.

V:  Would you like to have one?

Me (in absolute shock): Oh, yes please!  Will you give me one?

V: No!  It’s all for me.

I remembered that I had a small packet of Oreos in my handbag and went off to get them.  I went into the playroom, sat on the sofa and started eating them.

V: Mama, I want one.

Me: Nope.  You can’t have.  They’re all mine.

V: But why?

Me: You didn’t give me any of your banana chips, so why should I give you one of my cookies?

V: Because sharing is caring!

*face palm*


I was looking forward to coming back to Lagos.  I had missed my bed, the dog and of course, LagosDad.

But getting here and being here has left me broken.

Checking-in was a nightmare, as usual.  Our luggage was over our allowance by 7 kilos.  Considering our allowance was 120 kilos, you can imagine how much luggage we had!  It took ages to sort all that out (by sort out, I mean pay for).

I was frazzled before I even got on the flight.

Then Vinay was sick on the plane again.  Just like when we left Lagos for Dubai.  I think I must have been right – it has to be airsickness, even though the doctor said it wasn’t possible.

When we arrived in Lagos, the airport was in complete chaos.  They’re doing some renovations, so all passengers have to walk through departures to get to the arrivals hall.  Is it just me, or isn’t this a huge, HUGE security risk?  The immigration queue was ridiculous – people pushing, shoving and shouting.

Luckily LagosDad arranged for our luggage to be collected and brought home to us.  And thank God he did.  The flight landed at 6 pm and the man called at 9 to say he’d only just collected the last piece.

Of course once we got home I found out that the inverter wasn’t working and that there had barely been any power over the last three weeks.  The batteries on the inverter needed changing, but LagosDad hadn’t sorted it out.  And he still hasn’t.

The generator takes longer and longer to start each time it needs to be switched on, and it makes me so nervous.  If the generator doesn’t work, it’s not like we have the inverter for back up!  The guys are apparently coming to service it tomorrow.

So, basically – we have spend the last four days without power.  No Internet.  No TV.  No music.  Nothing.

The generator comes on at night (after many tries), so that’s ok.  I’m just hoping it lasts the night.

V has been off school from the 25th June.  And he doesn’t go back until 9th September.  Isn’t that a bloody long time?

I put him in summer camp for three weeks (three mornings a week), we spent three weeks in Dubai and now what do I do with him?  The camp he was in is over.  I went to see another playgroup and *hated* it.  The children (about twenty of them) were all in one classroom – ages ranged from eighteen months to four years, and when I went in – they were all doing the same thing!  I was absolutely horrified.

Vinay’s third birthday is in a couple of weeks and his party the week after – I’ve got a lot of organising to do – but haven’t done anything yet.

I’m feeling stressed and wish I’d never come back!

Hello Kitty

Remember Hello Kitty from when you were little?  I used to love her!  If I were young enough, I’m pretty sure a lot of my ‘stuff’ would be Hello Kitty-ed out in, well, Hello Kitty.

Yesterday V spotted a Hello Kitty catalogue tucked into the pages of the newspapers.  He sat in my bed while I was trying to doze and went through it.  He scrutinized each item, never saying a word.

Once he finished, he flipped back to the beginning and said: Mama, please buy me all these Hello Kitty things.

Me: What?  All of them?!

V: Just the suitcase mama.  Please tell papa I want a Hello Kitty suitcase.

Man, I would LOVE a Hello Kitty suitcase!

I didn’t know what to say.  I don’t *want* him to already think of girl and boy toys (you can read my post on that here).

I feel like such a hypocrite.  On one hand, I’ve been going on about how irritating it is to have a toy store divided into Girls’ Toys and Boys’ Toys – and on the other hand…  Well, I don’t mind him playing with girls toys.  He does so regularly when he goes to friends’ homes for playdates.  I don’t mind him wearing my shoes at home.  He regularly likes to put on all my junky jewellery.  And that’s ok with me.

But to actually buy a Hello Kitty suitcase?

I thought for a second – but I should have thought for longer.  I could have said, ‘I don’t have enough money to buy you a Hello Kitty suitcase now.’  Or I could have said, ‘You already have a suitcase.’

What I did say, was:  You know, it’s usually only girls who have Hello Kitty things.  Do you still want it?  (Wrong thing.  Totally wrong thing, I know.)

He thought for a few seconds and said: Mama, when I become a girl can you buy it for me?

Me: Yes, I can do that.

*face palm*

No Stress

You know I used to be a smoker, right?

I’ve been a non-smoker once before, but stupidly started again.

However, I’ve stopped again 🙂  It’s been about three months now.  Yay me!

Anyway, so I know I’m 35 years old – and I know it’s ridiculous, but for me and in my community, smoking and smoking in front of your elders is an absolute no-no.  Especially if you’re a girl.  And no matter how old you are!

In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter if you’re a boy.  My brother smokes in front of my parents all the time – and they NEVER say anything to him.

I started smoking when I was 15.  I am absolutely positive that at some point in my fifteen years as a smoker (and then during the twenty months when I started again) my parents knew I smoked.  I’m sure they could smell it on me each time I came home.

When confronted, my reaction was always the same – deny, deny, deny.

So during my last few trips to Dubai (to stay with my parents), sneaking out for a cigarette was really difficult.  And it wasn’t just them – it was V as well.  I didn’t want to smoke in front of him.

Usually, when I’m here without LagosDad (he only comes for part of the time) it’s more difficult.  I spend all day with my mum.  And even if we weren’t together for a few minutes here or there – I didn’t want her to smell smoke on me!

It actually became quite stressful.  She would get on my nerves, I’d need a cigarette, I couldn’t have a cigarette, I’d get grumpy, cranky and desperate.

I’d do whatever I could to spend a few hours by myself (almost impossible), just so I could have a cigarette.

Every evening I would beg my sister to come out for a drink, just so I could have a cigarette or four.  Sometimes I wouldn’t even want to go out – but I made myself!

I know it sounds silly – a grown woman having to go through all this just to have a cigarette – but it’s just what happened.  And as I said before – it was stressful!

I’m in Dubai at the moment, and you know what?

I don’t have any of those issues anymore.

It is such a relief not to have the added stress of trying to get away from everyone to smoke!


You know what I love?

I love shopping.  LOVE it.

You know what I hate about shopping? (No, it’s not the clothes that don’t fit, or the shoes they don’t have in my size)

I hate being followed around the store.

In Dubai, there is usually someone to greet you at the door when you walk into a store.  It’s very polite and I always greet the assistant back.  It’s just manners, isn’t it?

What I cannot understand is why that assistant then has to follow me around the whole store!

I took V to Hamleys last week and this woman followed us around for an hour!  Each time I turned around, there she was!

And it happens in almost every shop.

Today I went to buy pyjamas (for myself).  I walked into the store and said good afternoon to the lady.  She followed me around (as expected).  Every time I touched something she said, ‘Would you like that?  Which size do you want?’

I was so irritated!  LEAVE ME ALONE!

I went into TopShop last week.  I greeted the lady after she greeted me.  She asked me if I needed any help.

I said, ‘No thank you, I’m just looking.’

And she replied, ‘Sure, I’m just here if you need me.’

She didn’t follow me around everywhere.

So what is it?

Do I look like I might steal something?

Do the sales assistants get commission?

That’s the only thing I can think of that would make such ridiculousness slightly more acceptable.

Girls and Boys

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you will already know that a number of things annoy me.

It’s the little things that make me happy…  But it’s also little things that infuriate me!

So one of the things that has irritated me beyond belief is the toy stores I’ve been to in Dubai over the last week.

I’ve been thinking about what presents to buy for V from LagosDad and I for his third birthday (next month).  After much discussion with LagosDad, we decided to buy him a toy kitchen (you know what I mean, right?), amongst other smaller gifts.  Is it a bit girly?  Is it not a boyish gift?  Does it matter, as long as he’s happy?

V loves pretending to cook.  He’s forever pouring cups of tea or frying eggs with the little tea set I bought him last year (which he chose!).

Anyway, I went to a toy store at the Dubai Mall.  It wasn’t there when I was here in April, so it’s obviously new.

The first thing I noticed was that half the store was blue, and the other half pink!  The blue half was clearly labelled ‘Boys’ Toys’ and the pink half was labelled ‘Girls’ Toys’.

This alone was enough to irritate me.

Then I noticed that ALL the arts and crafts, playdough and those types of things were ALL on the Girls’ side!

The kitchens were also on the Girls’ side.  Even though they had blue ones.

This is the same for Hamleys.

In Hamleys in London (love it) – everything is divided on floors.  All the dolls are on one floor.  All the art and craft stuff is on another floor.  Games and puzzles on yet another floor.  Cars, trucks, trains on another.

But it does not say ANYWHERE which toys are meant for girls or boys.

Shouldn’t it be up to the children to decide what they want to buy?  Must they choose their toys depending on whether they are male or female?  Surely they can make those choices for themselves?

If my son wanted a doll – I would buy it for him.  It doesn’t bother me.  Is that wrong?

So based on this – I did not buy V’s birthday kitchen from the new toy store in the basement or from Hamleys.

I went to the Early Learning Centre and bought it there as there were no signs telling me that it was for a girl or a boy!