Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure

I am super-duper über excited today, somewhat relieved and a little sad all at once. This is my last post  for the writing challenge and I can’t believe it’s all coming to an end. I did imagine the challenge to end with a big bang but never in my wildest imagination did I imagine it would involve me writing about a thing I treasure. I really had to think so hard about this one before I could finally pinpoint one thing I truly treasure in my life.

Let me set the records straight; I don’t treasure things, I treasure people. That is just who I am. No matter how expensive a thing is, I have never been one to get sentimentally attached to it. Don’t get me wrong, I take very good care of the things I have, be it dear or budget. What I don’t do is wrap my heartstrings around them because I don’t get my sense of worth from things. So, that explains it!

Well, after much mind juggling, I had my light bulb moment!

Pictures! Yes, pictures!!

Oh my goodness, I love and treasure these paper and pixelated reflections. I’d cry you a river if I lose any. No! I won’t cry, I’d wail you an ocean if that happens! Okay, that’s an exaggerated embellishment but you get the picture. I’m sure this attachment has nothing to do with the glossy or matte paper they get printed on. For me, it’s simply the beauty of precious moments in time captured for life! Sometimes, our photographic memories do great injustice in recollecting these moments accurately.

I remember many years ago, in trying to assert my independence, I headed to the food market all by myself to help mum get some things. I had a fancy red pencil-case then which doubled as a wallet. On this very day, I had in the wallet some money, a couple of pens & pencil and two photos. Somewhere between home, getting on the public bus and the market, I misplaced it… more like it got nicked by some hoodlum who took advantage of the pandemonium that occurred as we were trying to board the bus.

You would not believe if I tell you that I wasn’t as bothered about mum’s money that got stolen as I was about the photos. My heart literally ached when it dawned on me I’d never see those photos again. A lot went into play to have those photos in the first place. This was a time when you’d have to buy a film with either 24 or 36 exposures, feed into an analog camera then wait for weeks to exhaust the exposures on the film roll before taking it to a photo developer to develop them, squint at the sepia colored films to select what you can make out as the best of the lot and get them printed!

When those pictures were taken, I was in secondary school. A classmate and I noticed a photo studio near our after-school lesson site. Outside the one room studio was a signage with the price list. So, we planned and saved up money to have a photo session together. For days, I looked through my closet to decide on which two outfits I would hide in my school bag and take with me to school on the D-day. I doubt if you’d understand the joy that filled my heart when the D-day finally came. We had a good time that day though limited as all the time we had was about the free hour sandwiched between end of school and the start of after-school lessons.

We got into the studio, brought out our little makeup purses that held nothing but a container of white talc powder, a fruity lip gloss and a small comb to rake our fade haircuts and eyebrows. Then the “village” photographer “arranged” us before taking the epic portrait of us in our blue & white school uniform. Next, we changed twice to have the other shots and it was a wrap. We had to put all of our faith in him, believing he gave us the best arrangements for the portraits.

Leaving the studio that day, all we could do was just wait patiently for about a week to see the results. The anticipation was exciting and at the same time nerve-wrecking. We no longer suffer such dilemma these days as we can readily preview and retake till we are satisfied. Fast forward, a week later, I was confronted with the “masterpieces” of the “village” photographer. My head was a bit wonky in one of the photos and my glare in the other could light up an attic but nonetheless, I loved them and treasured them hence they becoming permanent fixtures in my pencil-case wallet.

So you can understand how heartbroken I was when they got stolen along with the wallet. The thought of the robber discarding them in the trash after taking out the money made me sadder and angrier.

Damn you robber!

Even though over the years I have built a large collection of photo memoirs, I still wish I could get those stolen ones back!

Photos are beyond fantastic. They serve as a memorial, a reminder of life as it was before now. They help you remember where you are coming from, the amazing people and not-so-amazing people you’ve met. They remind you of the craziest and beautiful things you’ve seen, the celebrations you’ve been a part of and different places you’ve been to.

So there it is. I deeply treasure photos. I mean, if my mobile phone is running low on storage space and I need to purge it, several apps would have to make the cut first before I delete one of the several takes of the same scene in my photo gallery!

Lastly, before I conclude the writing challenge with this final assignment, I’d love to thank my childhood friend, secondary school classmate, college buddy and fellow blogger, Joy – The Design Bender for literally pushing me into this challenge. Also, I’d love to share a thing or two from my photo treasure trove…. Sorry girl but you know how we do it! ***evil grin***

Drum-roll………….

 

Joy2

and…..

joy

Much love,

-NW

Copyright ©2014 NUBIANWATERS. All Rights Reserved.

 

Writing 101: Day Twenty: The Things we Treasure

“For our final assignment, tell the tale of your most-prized possession. If you’re up for a twist, go long — experiment with longform and push yourself to write more than usual.”

 

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Day Nineteen: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

About four weeks ago I started this month-long writing challenge. Though I was encouraged to take it on by my good friend and fellow blogger, honestly, I decided to take it on not to prove any point to anyone but myself. There is this popular saying, “winners don’t quit; quitters don’t win”. I can relate to it totally because I have been there and done that! Take this blog that I write on for instance, if you look through its archives, you’d notice seasons of no writing and dry spells. Procrastination got  the better part of me at those times.

So, today I must commend myself for making it this far. I was a bit worried at the beginning of the challenge. I feared I’d get distracted and fall off the wagon but surprisingly I did not…! Yay! Putting it out there, there were days I really didn’t feel like writing but sheer determination got me through such days. The best part, I have also met genuinely nice, warm and lovely people in the blogging community though separated by a million miles in every direction possible. The encouragement from these lots is simply exceptional.

Though my day today was pretty much packed and on getting home, I felt kind of exhausted from all the emotional roller coaster the movie (The Fault in Our Stars) I saw gave me, I was still looking forward to going online to face the challenge for today. One thing I am definitely taking from this experience is, never to let anything get in the way of doing something better with myself and my time. If I entertain excuses then I have already cast the die for failure.

Many a times in life we dream about achieving a goal, we fantasize about accomplishing a feat which naturally creates a considerable level of excitement in us. However, no sooner than we’ve done this, we begin to set limits and boundaries upon ourselves. We beginning to conceive in our minds reasons why we can’t see it through. We allow self-doubt, self-intimidation and self-demoralization to kick in. Unfortunately the combination of these trio creates the wild-fire effect, which speedily razes down precious hopes & dreams.

Henceforth, I will wake up every morning smelling my own brewed coffee…

“Nobody can hold me down without my consent. No force can suppress me better than I can suppress myself. There are no limits on me so I will no longer live my life on the flat-line!” -Nubianwaters

-NW

Copyright ©2014 NUBIANWATERS. All Rights Reserved.

 

Writing 101: Day Nineteen: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

“Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.”

Day Eighteen: Supersonic Snails!

My little sister wanted yet another dog to keep as pet after the passing of Liebfraumilch our last dog. I prayed my mum would not succumb to her incessant pleas and drive over to her friend’s whose dog birth puppies in alarming multiples almost bi-annually. Well, maybe that’s sort of exaggerated but at twelve, that was the way I saw it. I was not keen about being Liebfraumilch nanny of which mum insisted. C’mon, at that age I felt unfairly burdened with such chore! And to top it, the cheeky dog would only come near me when it felt hunger pangs.

Anyway, my prayers got answered and mum out-rightly refused to get another dog. I watched my little sister bemoan mum for days which I think forced mum to come up with the idea of her having some other kind of animal as pet. She opted for snails and I felt such relief! At least, at her little age, she was capable of throwing them spinach without my help. So, she got four snails.

Everyday, as soon as we were home from school, I’d watch my little sister run over to her makeshift box pen and feed them more spinach. The soil in the box pen at this point had become a fine blend of green and dark. At times she hosed them down saying she was giving them a shower but I was just too glad I didn’t have to get involved at all.

Every morning, before leaving for school, my little sister would go check on her snails and I really didn’t like the fact that I had to wait impatiently for her to get the nonsense routine over with. However I noticed it had become habitual for her to forget to put the wire mesh lid on her makeshift box pen. This resulted in several escape attempts by one of the four snails. On one particular morning, I heard her yelling from the backyard ‘Emergency! Emergency!! One is escaping!!!

Though I resented the idea of getting involved with the snails, I helped her rescue the bailing snail. Somehow, the frequency of this occurrence increased and slowly I became her snail rescue guard though deep down I began to secretly wish they all make the great escape.

Well, one day we got back from school to discover a baby snail in the pen. Apparently, there was a married couple in the pen! Of course, she forgot to place the lid on the box pen before retiring for the evening that night. Guess what? By the morning, papa & mama snail together with baby snail were long gone never to be seen again!

– NW

Copyright ©2014 NUBIANWATERS. All Rights Reserved.

 

Writing 101: Day Eighteen: Hone Your Point of View

“Craft a story from the perspective of a twelve-year-old observing it all. For your twist, focus on specific character qualities, drawing from elements we’ve worked on in this course, like voice and dialogue.”

Day Seventeen: The Fright of Fear

Oh! Why would you ever ask of me such?

Another plot to put me on the spot?

I don’t think I really wanna talk about it much!

Just thinking about it now gives me a clot!

 

Sometimes I do valiantly escape it

Other times I’m just darn right low on credit!

And if by now you still don’t get it

Telling you about it, you really wouldn’t merit!

 

Somewhere right beneath the perfected façade

After all the man in the mirror psych and incite

Slyly waiting it creeps in with the squad

Gradually deflating the resolve deep inside.

 

But ever so surely I’m reminded of it daily

Three sixty-five times the scribes duly recorded

Though time and tide may threaten her greatly

‘Be not afraid’ He already instructed.

 

-NW

Copyright ©2014 NUBIANWATERS. All Rights Reserved.

 

Writing 101: Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page

“What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. If you’re up for a twist, write this post in a style that’s different from your own.”

Day Sixteen: The Femme Killer (Part 3)

Cerbera odollam! Cerbera odollam!! Cerbera odollam!!!  Like music this sounded to my ears. That was it. I’d found the perfect elimination option. In our back garden was my mother’s favorite place – her cute green house where she nurtured an assorted array of plants and flowers. When away from the library and I was a bit bored at home, I’d be in there keeping mother company, helping her with the pruning and watering. So, my joy knew no bounds when I realised that my discovery already had everything in place to thrive.

Somewhere on the outskirt of the other side of town was a large botanical garden whose owners prided themselves in stocking every kind of plant from every continent in the world. I made plans, cracked my piggy bank and headed there though my parents were under the impression I was going to the library that day. As I got in there, I approached one of the tenders tilling and asked where I could buy seeds. He pointed me in the right direction towards the seeds & seedlings section.

I met a young girl there, she was probably 2 or 3 years older than I was, no more. Trying not to raise any sort of suspicion, I asked her with an unassuming expression if they had Cerbera odollam seeds in stock. Without raising a brow or battering an eyelid she answered ‘yes’ as she walked away from me. She returned with a small potted plant, placed it in a brown paper bag, I paid for it and left. It was a relief to know I didn’t have to deal with planting the seed from scratch.

I hid it in a remote part of mother’s green house and by the fourth day, a Saturday, mother made fresh muffins. All set! With gloved hands, I plucked all its leaves and most of its stem, crushed them together till the juice sipped out. I sucked it into a syringe and by midday, it was emptied into one of the two muffins going to “Mr. Monster’s” porch. I disposed the entire pot and what was left of the crushed leaves and stem in mother’s green litter-bin due for pickup later in the day. Nothing out of the ordinary, I left home for the library as usual armed with two muffins.

He was waiting on his porch and I was super excited like never before to see him there as I approached his house. I tried really hard to contain myself and acted as I would have at our previous tea parties. He beamed radiantly seeing I came bearing mother’s homemade muffins. We exchanged pleasantries and settled down to begin ‘our ritual’. Having nibbled on the safe muffin, I could tell which was the fatal one to place near him. We munched away and washed down with a cold glass of iced tea and no sooner than we finished I left for the library.

Three mornings later I hadn’t seen him but I couldn’t go asking anyone if they had seen him, especially not Mrs Griffin. I was itching so badly to know if it had really worked because somewhere inside I doubted the girl gave me the right pot. By the evening I noticed there was activity on the street for I could see the reflections of flashing amber beacons. My parents stepped outside later to come back with the news I’d been waiting for. With much sadness mother announced the passing of “Big Joe” as she tried to comfort with a cuddle knowing how close we were. I felt no remorse instead it was pure satisfaction knowing Amanda would now rest in peace and Big Joe in perfect pieces. Word on the street was he died of a heart attack as confirmed by his autopsy report. There was no suspicion of any foul play. That was the best news ever, seriously it was!

And that was how it all began! With the help of Cerbera odollam,  I have been serving justice from my alternate court room ever before I got called to bar. Right now, I feel like a junkie suffering the devastating effect of withdrawal symptoms only that this isn’t self-imposed. Like I said, I think Anthony is on to me. He saw me with a syringe a few weeks back in the coffee-room while trying to arrange some for my evil client. Needless to say, that was a prey I had to let go though right now it’s doing my head in!

-NW

Copyright ©2014 NUBIANWATERS. All Rights Reserved

Part 1 , Part 2

 

Writing 101: Day Sixteen: The Serial Killer III

“Earlier in the course, you wrote about losing something. Today, write about finding something. For your twist, view day four’s post and today’s post as installments in a series.”

Day Fifteen: It Got Cancelled!

In life, I try as much as personally possible to take things & occurrences with a pinch of a salt. I try not to get overly attached to people or things though while present I make the effort to give my best. I remember a few years back, for several weeks we had rehearsed for the up coming annual Christmas concert which would be featuring the All Souls Orchestra  in London.

The week of the concert was really bad weather-wise. It kept snowing and that was not comforting. With that, the prospect of an event cancellation hovered over us as we rehearsed every day of that week leading to the D-day. We hoped and prayed it would be a fair weather so the hall could be filled and we wont have to perform before bare leather.

The morning of the event I made a quick dash to the high street just to get one more thing to add to my outfit. As I got off the bus to start my walk home, it started snowing like it was going out of fashion. Within minutes all I could see was a blanket of snow yet still I was hoping against hope. No sooner than I got in the dreaded text came in. It’s been cancelled it read. I was so gutted!

I was really looking forward to the event. The one we had the year before was really nice. I was really looking forward to singing with the orchestra again but the snow hijacked the show of the day.

Christmas concert

Hill City Mass Choir & the Children’s Choir in concert with All Souls Orchestra the year before.

-NW

Copyright ©2014 NUBIANWATERS. All Rights Reserved

 

Writing 101: Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You

“You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!

Day Fourteen: To Whom it May Concern

Dear Life,

Today, I was reminded of the irrefutable truth that I’d only get one go at you and no more. Today, I was reminded  I am already expending that chance and the countdown started long before now.

Today, I was reminded no matter how long I relish each moment, I will reach that limit and then no more. Today, I was reminded there is more beyond this plain though at times I forget and I’m consumed by your bane.

Today, while at the service of songs, I listened to tributes commending him on the time he spent with you. Today, I feared I’d be a hot mess but alas those words they did really bless. Today, they reiterated the sail with you is short though no one knows when they will reach their own port.

Today, I was reminded about what’s most important; how most things I do with you may be cool but yet unimportant. Today, I was reminded to spend you investing in things that would only matter after my passing.

In thoughts,

NW.

Copyright ©2014 NUBIANWATERS. All Rights Reserved

(In memory of the dearly departed, Oluwatoyin Salako 1969 – 2014)

Writing 101: Day Fourteen: To Whom it May Concern

“Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there. 

Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.”