Podcasts: Making work move along since 2010

I spend almost the entire day with my earphones on, listening to podcasts in between the talk radio station I love. This week I have listened to the following:

BBC Documentaries Three Continents, Three Generations – About the Kenyan Indians.

BBC Documentaries Yellow Cab Blues – Gave me foreigner nostalgia!

BBC Womens Hour Women in Parliament; Islamophobia and the Veil; David Mckee on Elmer – Particularly for the conversation on the veil.

BBC Women’s Hour Life with a Disabled Child; Modern Slavery Bill – SO. HEARTBREAKING.

Focus on Marriage Set the Date: Embracing Young Love – Always fascinates me to hear people advocate for people getting married at a young age.

Listened to anything interesting this week?

 

 

Fare thee well!

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Drove to Durban and back this past weekend with the Mr for a family funeral and took these two pics half an hour apart just as the sun came up.

Even in the saddest of moments, we are always reminded of God’s beauty and His power. RIP Uncle ..

I’m sorry we broke up, but definitely glad we made up!

 

I have rediscovered this and our LOVE is just as strong and intense.

To honour this new relationship, please check out the following.

Definitely having the lassi in the coming week!

Book Club chronicles – Talks about the ‘Otherness’ at Wang Thai

gnovember:

See, I actually read books AND belong to a Book Club!

Originally posted on simplegirlwrites:

I may not have mentioned this before (or maybe I have) but the RASTA book club/supper club/ hang-out-together-and-stuff-ourselves-silly club is originally made up of a group of five aah-mazing ladies (myself included). Book club is however open to anyone that meets our so-called standards (i.e. can read and willing to pay ridiculous amount of money for food), so we have included two equally amazing ladies in the group. One of which is guest post blogger, Rukayat , also known as the voice of all Nigerians :)

Yes, I like to stereotype people.
And how fitting it was that we have the “voice of all Nigerians” as a member of our book club when we are reading “Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This was the second time I read the book. And it was as good as the first time. Chimamanda has managed to put a…

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Some reading from the week

This is a list of stuff I have read in the week that has made me think or just stayed with me for some time afterwards.

Me thinks I like her!

Story of the wedding: The stationery

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The one thing I was really, really looking forward to is developing the stationery. Like insanely excited about this aspect.

As I continued to look at different blogs and other online sites, I begun to pin or save images and details that appealed to me. I knew also right away that I wanted some detail of our relationship or our personalities to be on display. Therefore I decided to somehow merge a very classic and elegant card look with some playful elements like an illustration or some unexpected detail and with that I emailed various vendors.

So with that in mind I had the following thoughts for the card:

Card 1Card 2Card 3Card 4

… and for the illustration:

illustration 1illustration 2illustration 3Illustration 4illustration 5

AND FINALLY, this is what we went with!

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  • I decided to do away with the illustration idea and adapted it rather to pairs of elements – tandem bikes, birds on a tree, balloons because I felt that it would be awkward just to have this one elaborate element and then not replicate it ad at the time I did not feel creative enough.
  • I initially wasn’t sure of the yellow and blue line on the programme (top right) but I now see that leaving them out would leave the programmes a bit plain looking.
  • I love how she incorporated the colours into the birds and tree and the little details on the leaves.
  • The table numbers will be done in a mixture of blue and yellow to complement the rest of the decor. We had initially planned to go with significant dates to us then changed tack to rather honour our parents and grandparents by using their names rather.

I LURVE how the cards turned out but let me know what you think?

Vendor details:

Our cards were done by Angelique at Everything I do designs. I enjoyed the experience greatly with her and would certainly recommend her to anyone. I loved the fact that her pricing is quite reasonable and she always took the time to make suggestions and listen to any issues or reservations I had.

PS: These images are neither mine nor Angeliques, I saved them for so long that I did not keep their original source.

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My lunch yesterday

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Couscous with roasted vegetables.

Excuse the mess, that’s what you get for sneaking a quick pic before your workmates come by :X

Reading the 2014 Caine Prize

I wanted to review the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing shortlist before the final announcement is made on the 14th of July. There are five short stories:

I have always said that short stories are not my cuppa tea. I now have to amend that to badly written short stories are just not my thing and I now have to become discerning of the baddies from the goodies.

I don’t like short stories that are pretentious or that attempt to do too. And that’s what I felt about Oduor’s story. It was like this fantastical thing that moved from the real to the otherworldly and in between the reader is left wondering what just happened in this story?

Huchu’s story was just a bit haphazard for my liking. It moved from one character to the next and there were so many of them that it killed me to have to follow who was speaking and what the significance was. I felt like it was the first rough draft and could have done with a second read-through. It was also just a bit obvious with the conflicts and the different character roles that it got boring and I could not be done fast enough.

Phosphorescence was also a bit of a blur for me. I read it from start to end and I just could not make head or tail of it. I was a bit grossed out about the granny swimming in the nude so I guess we can say that her descriptions were fairly vivid. This story was actually not too bad, I felt it could have been developed slightly.

Kahora tried to do too much and again I was left confused when the story concluded. The only thing about this story was that I enjoyed knowing where the story was located and the significance of the different settings within Nairobi. The descriptions were also so long and he could have changed his writing style. Stories about animals are also just not my type of thing and this since I was a kid. Animals. do. not. talk. Humans. cannot. speak. to. them!

In my view, “Chicken” should win. It was well-written, easy to follow and had great potential to be further developed into a novel. It was technically written yet easy and simple to follow which rather appeals to me. Holding thumbs for her. I did wonder though about the market for black eggs as the stereotype is that Africans won’t adopt or go for invitro fertilisation.

If you have time, I would say only read Chicken and let me know. If you wish, also check up the writers bios here.

Another Tune to start the week

Very catchy tune this one.

PS: Start the week because this was a three day weekend :)

Si Lazima!

Post title translation from Kiswahili: One need not

No really, you don’t have to do this. EVER!! Bleaching to me screams of self hate and this is a special kind I mean the lady (sic?) could not even look at herself.

Say what?

I ordered lunch from the little favorite place up the road from me where the delivery guy and I have become fairly friendly with each other.

Delivery Dude: Jeez, you certainly love your pasta, don’t you?

Me: Nah, I just love the feta with the different vegetarian options it comes with.

Delivery Dude: Mhhh, I wonder what else has feta at the shop …?

Me: .. and is vegetarian. I don’t eat (red) meat or chicken.

Delivery Dude: (BLANK STARE AND THEN GESTURES TO MY HAIR) Is it because of the … (POINTS AGAIN)

Me: Totally not getting and then just as I ask, it hits me! Dude, thinks I am Rastafarian because I have dreadlocks and don’t eat meat.

Must say this is the second time someone ever thought this was more than a hairstyle for me. First time, I got offered Weed after someone said to me “Hey Rasta?” Jeez guys, this is just a hair style NOT a lifestyle!

Some recipes for the winter and the weekend

For some reason, this week, I have been drooling at so many recipes and wanting to get into the kitchen and whip all of them up. Must be the colder mornings and evenings because Winter is slowly creeping up on us. Please enjoy and do drop me a line or a picture if you do try any of them out.

Microwave Chocolate Mug cakes (for two)

My favourite lunch menu has pesto, pasta, black olives, green beans and feta. Available here. I wanna replicate it and now I can as I know how to make pesto :)

Peanut butter and jelly smoothie

Strawberry and Coconut ice cream

Buttermilk Pana cotta with passion fruit curd

Because Sweet potatoes,right?

10 Citrus deserts, just in time for the lemon tree in my compound.

While I don’t particularly like eggs, I can have the occasional poached egg.

Yum! Off to cook!

 

 

Monthly Menu: May

This pasta recipe, except I substituted Asparagus that are out of season, for French beans.

Pumpkin soup with bacon crumbs.

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Roasted vegetable couscous – I used aubergines, onions and peppers.

Potato bake (I like mine with peeled potatoes and I sometimes add tuna) with stir-fried french beans with sesame seeds and pine-nuts.

Guest Post: How to Deal with Increasing College Tuition Fee?

Janet Adams is well qualified and skilled writer working with graduate as well as high school students by providing thesis writing tips online. Together with the other experienced professionals, Janet has contributed a lot in the success of the company. 

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The skyrocketing costs of college can lead a parent to wonder if an investment in higher education still makes sense. This is especially true when the annual cost of attending a private college can easily exceed the annual salary a graduate receives during their first few years of work.

For those parents who still have a number of years before their children reach college age, doing the math can make the dream of college sound more like a nightmare. For those within a year or two of college, the change in estimated costs can bring some major sticker shock.

Inflation

Inflation generally refers to the natural increase in the cost of living over time. While no one loves inflation, it is generally accepted as a fact of life. In the broad economy, this annual increase has historically averaged about 2%. In other words, you would need $1.02 today to purchase what $1.00 bought you one year ago.

The inflation of college costs has not been so gentle, averaging 4-6% annually. In other words, a college education costing $10,000 this year, will likely increase by $400-600 next year. In a nutshell, this means that college costs are doubling every 12-18 years, compared to everything else in the economy doubling in cost every 32 years.

Why do college costs “inflate” so much faster than other expenses? Colleges need to replace technology more often than a typical family. Teachers have been historically underpaid, and are finally getting some of the raises they deserve. Lastly, insurance costs for running large institutions and businesses have risen significantly over the last 3-4 years.

Demand

One of life’s basic economic principles is that demand drives up prices. In other words, the more people want the same thing, the more that its price is likely to climb. Unfortunately for parents, this holds especially true with colleges.

The fact that more students are attempting to get a college degree allows colleges to be aggressive in how they price their tuition. They do not have to worry about scaring off a few students with high prices, because there are plenty of others willing to pay full fees. This demand is welcomed by schools since it allows them to expand their programs, add amenities, and raise staff salaries.

College costs are increasing faster than most of the other areas of life, and show no signs of slowing. For parents or students within a year or two of starting school, this can mean that your last year of college may cost 15-25% more than your first year. For parents or students that have a number of years until college begins, it means your savings plan needs to account for this gigantic increase in cost.

The steep rise in college tuition fees makes the students think of other alternatives like working part time adjusting the college timings which are otherwise called “Earn While You Learn” schemes. This enables the students to become independent or rather they would try to become financially independent to a certain extent.

Five links for Monday

Some stuff online that I have read recently.

Take your pick

The original.

 

Sorry Bey, but I think this cover is better.

 

I also just love their dreadlocks :P

Differing views on Marriage: East v West Africa

At the weekend, I went for a friends 30th birthday dinner with eight other of her female friends. The group varied in age from 27 to 30 and 9 of the ladies came from West Africa (six from Nigeria and three from Ghana) while I was the only one from East Africa (because Kenya and Uganda). Of the ten of us, one was newly married, I’m engaged and one another was separated from her husband. The topic of conversation? How in West Africa, all seven of them would be an anomaly and indeed even being in South Africa, they are still not safe from the frequent question of “So when will you get married?” or “You don’t have a boyfriend? GASP” or “Do you even date?”

While we all had a good chuckle, it was surprising to me as in my family of five girls, only two of my sisters are married and both after 30. The other two that are not face no pressure from my parents or others to settle down. To each his own. Outside of my family, I would place it at about 30-40% of my female friends that are married, with 40% being a very generous upper limit. The rest are pushing hard on their careers, some have kids and live with their partners, some are happily single while others are unhappily so and seriously looking to settle down. Again everyone has the right to pick and choose the time and age when they do settle down.

Typing this, I am reminded of Chimamanda’s talk on why we should all be feminists. We teach girls to aspire to marriage and from a very young age, we don’t do the same with boys and that smirks of discrimination. We also cheat girls out of their best lives yet when we start to whisper thoughts that they are inadequate unless their status is somehow related to a boy i.e. a wife, a fiancee, mother of sons OR the poorer relative, a baby mama!! With all the strides we have made as women, it is a crying shame that in 2014 we still have to battle with this issue of perception and inadequacy when we opt out of the path selected for us right from the moment the Doctor declared the baby to be a girl. Very sad day indeed!!

Having shared my views, I am curious to learn of whether others around me also feel the same pressure to settle down and how you deal with it, or what you do about it?

Interesting links to read:

  1. The Atlantics article on The Confidence Gap
  2. Rita J. King on How to Close the Confidence Gap

Missing home/ thinking of this song

Enjoy / Thank me later :) 

my new header courtesy of Unsplash

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As the page above says, the pics are free and you may use as you wish.

Thank me later Smile