Happy Birthday!

Whose? Well, mine.

I spent the weekend with my dear mother and it felt good to get out of her bed this morning. Last night, my brother, Kevin, and I stayed up late catching up on the ups and downs of life; we hardly chat anymore and I miss him dearly.

For the sixth time in a row, Pablo (the boyfriend) was the first to call and wish me a happy birthday. When I started whining about officially getting into my late twenties, he said that we were both off the shelf, intentionally, and that we had gotten each other off the shelf. That’s some serious validation. As if that wasn’t enough, he sent a message stating that I was too special to be kept on a shelf for the general public to see and touch and gawk at. *sigh*

Mother dearest insists that I have to spend the night at home – she’s baiting me with a gift. And Lily and Priska, who celebrates her own birthday tomorrow, are meeting up for coffee in about 40 minutes and I’m joining them. Can’t wait to catch up!

In true mature fashion, I will leave you with a quote which speaks to me profoundly:

beautiful words

Cheers y’all!

Hello There

Hello everyone! Guess who went underground for weeks! I’m back. For now. I have been going veggie crazy for a while – I love spinach and had developed a craving for kale for several days a couple of weeks back. Then I discovered my current guilty pleasure snack. And before you judge me, because I really should know better than to junk on a high fat high sodium snack two days in a row, I’ll show you what it looks like:

Yes. Deep fried chicken brawn. And guess what I snacked on before hitting the hay last night!

Yes. Spicy fried peas on cold chicken brawn.

Does it help that there was plain yoghurt and whole meal bread involved in this charade? No? Fine! In other news making headlines, I was at the Austrian Embassy earlier today. And I got screwed on a technicality, but I’ll be back there on Monday with all the documents to apply on my seemingly elusive holiday in Europe. I have been looking at holiday destinations lately and it’s literally taking over my mind. So I’ve decided to plan and save for a vacation outside of Kenya from now henceforth. Also, I’m investing in my second love: cooking. I turn 26 on Monday. My mother is having a field day with the fact that I am officially in my late twenties – and now almost thirty. Does it bug me? Yes. A little more than it should because I think that (maybe) I finally have reason to celebrate my new life – awesome networks, an opening for a paying part-time gig and a chance to keep at public speaking. I had a reawakening of sorts – I was invited to speak to campus girls about life issues like dating and career moves and family (feel free to chuckle like I did) and sex and all it did was make me want to do this a lot more. Plus, I haven’t taught Biology or English in a while and my life feels as if there’s a growing vacuum from not inhaling chalk dust and simplifying concepts.
Long story short, I have been busy. And even writing took a break while I finished watching season 3 of Suits and Franklin & Bash.
By the way, I hooked up with a caterer I hope to keep very close to me – she has an amazing hot chilli which she make herself from chillies she grows in her vegetable garden. She even offered me foliage for my rabbits.

I’m hoping to take a personal day after my embassy visit. Either that or I will be having party of one to celebrate an amazing year – I got a job I love, improved my personal and professional networks, moved into my own little haven and gave a failed business a second chance to prove me wrong. When I get that Schengen visa after Monday, a first time trip to Austria will be a nice addition to this list, don’t you think?
Have to get packing; Oprah is interviewing Lenny Kravitz and John Legend on E! tonight so I’ll be going to Mum’s. Plus, I have a social outdoor thing tomorrow and I need her original Nike sneakers for that.

Cheers, good people!

Sunday at the Office

You only truly realize that you love your job when you find yourself at the office on a Sunday, of your own free will, catching up on the latest blog posts you’ve subscribed to and working on your short stories. The last time I put something up, I had been having a bad. The highlight of which was mixing up my schedule so that I missed an embassy appointment that has cost me a holiday in Germany and Austria over a period of about 5 weeks. Looking back now, it isn’t all that bad anymore. When I couldn’t fall asleep as a result of the gnawing remorse, I came up with a bucket list which I titled: Things to do if I do not go to Germany in August/September. Some of the key features in this list include road trips, sleepover, skipping out of town and a new farming project with four mutual friends whose company I have kept and relished since my first year in campus. Hellen, Lydia, Koki and Sian have made me glad to be staying because these girls make my life beautiful, fun and fulfilling. All we need is a mattress and four walls (Hellen can’t stand bugs so camping is out of the question) and we are good to go. We all, coincidentally, love teaching and four of us are in the education sector; I count myself because it’s what I do whenever I get the chance. Lately, I have taken time to read through some of the greatest advice shared from personal perspectives and my quality of life has improved immensely as a result. Although this does not cover it all, this link on bloglovin’ and this post by Sarah Wilson are examples of priceless advice which comes in handy following a down .

 

Right now, I’m glad that the Hisia Zangu workshop is happening today and that I will reading select portions of this story I have been struggling with for a week.

 

Cheers!

Friday Escape: Confession

I’m on a bus heading to my Grandma’s place for the weekend. It’s a 40 minute ride on a bus when traffic isn’t cruel. I was at the office until well after 7 p.m., typing thoughtfully because the piece I was working on is so personal it has taken me all week to write and dwell on. I lied to Gran and told her that a female colleague will be dropping me. I know that she worries and that’s not good for her blood pressure.

Earlier this evening, I admitted to my boyfriend on Skype that I’m a cynic and that I tend to share that part of myself with fellow artists – poets and writers. I left out the why; they get it.

This week has sucked. I mixed up my dates and missed an embassy appointment – there goes the holiday in Europe I had scheduled to happen in September during my annual leave! And I’d gotten THIRTY FIVE days instead of the usual twenty one. And I’m on my period for the second time in June. I can’t believe that I just shared that on the internet, but I’m dying to be real again.

I’m already making plans to ensure that September rocks; a train ride to the coast with my girls from uni, morning jogs, shopping sprees, a hike up a mountain and leasing land for two years to grow potatoes for sale.

There’s something about the German embassy and Gran’s place. I got my first rejection letter from a uni in Munich on the 16th of July, 2012, while visiting Gran. I’m not a girly girl, but I’m girl enough to hate rejection. It makes me feel below par and needy. Which in turn leaves me with enough cynicism to run a paranoid revolution around the world for a decade. And I’m reading into things – everything – and assuming that the worst will eventually happen.

The icing on the cake is that my insomnia is back with a vengeance sharper than the remorse that burns through my self confidence every day.

Thank God it’s Friday!

I get off at the next stop, so I’m signing off.

Cheers y’all! And thanks for listening. It helps. A whole lot.

 

 

Fooooood!

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The pilau spices: roasting over a pan before getting pounded with a pestle in a small mortar

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Sorted long grain white rice

 

The rice: fried lightly and boiled in the ground spices

The rice: fried lightly and boiled in the ground spices

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boiled lentils waiting to fry

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lovely large tomatoes for the lentil stew

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garlic

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The rice is READY!

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pounded garlic with leftover spice

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The tomatoes: frying in oil and garlic

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Sartuday Afternoon Lunch is SERVED!!!

P.S. This post is dedicated to Lily – who seems to have discovered how lovely lentils are – and Meshack Yobby – who will complain that my Instagram and Facebook pictures always leave him hungry.

 

Cheers y’all!

Finally Friday!

 

Hisia Zangu - one of the best places to grow as a poet, writer or spoken word artist

Hisia Zangu – one of the best places to grow as a poet, writer or spoken word artist

Hey World!

I have had the LONGEST week ever!

I haven’t had so many meetings cancelled on me in a while and it has been long since I was last running up and down, spending more time out in the cold and rain as opposed to reading the beautiful A Love Story on Sarah Kathleen Peck’s blog or figuring out what other lovely chicken stock ideas I can borrow from Sarah Wilson.

So they last time we talked, I was shortlisted for in a short story competition. One of my friends, Ngartia, was in the same list and his story was my favourite for the top prize. Neither of us got it, and I have a few things to say about that, but I’m letting it slide. Another friend of mine, Shedy, asked whether he could feature three of my stories on a site, Creative Writing, which dedicates its focus to poetry and stories. I submitted the following, as per Shedy’s request for these specific ones:

Empty Nest

An Accountant’s Journal

Dance of Death

I’d like to hear your thoughts on them; I need someone who isn’t a fan or friend or associate of a mine in some way to give me their objective opinion and ideas on how to build on my stories and characters and such.

The College Novelist’s post on The 4 “A”s of Characterization and follow up comments on various posts by her have gone a long way in making it easier for me to write.

I hope to start reading something chilled out this weekend. Something out of the Chicken Soup series.

Meanwhile, TGIF!!!

Cheers, good people!