Tag Archive | nostalgia

Nary A Bug in Sight…SoCS

Forget about the fabulous, ginormous buildings and flashy highways, this is an arid desert. It’s so dry to such an extent that even the bugs have reservations about inhabiting this space. When I take my morning walks, I look at the plants/flowers around hoping to catch a bug or two, but nary any to be seen creeping about. They have done well by planting flowers and trees – well maintained and fertilized by our defecation and pee-pee which is routinely collected by special trucks, if I may say so. Luckily, some of these trees can withstand the scorching heat to a large extent, but it seems like all the bugs, butterflies, bees, birds and creepy crawlies hibernate or migrate till the cooler months at the end of the year.

Come to think of it, I haven’t seen a caterpillar going to three years now. I guess it’s one of the prices that one pays for living in a big city, you miss out on being out and about in nature as much as you would like and as a result, you don’t get to see Earths minutiae creatures going about their business. One thing that I’m looking forward to sometime in the near future is living again in a proper house with its own grounds where I can grow vegetables, plant flowers, put out birdseed…

Writing this just made me feel nostalgic. I had no idea that there would come a point when I would miss the Squirrels that used to scurry up the tree in my front lawn back in Cypress Fairbanks.

P.S. For some reason I forgot yesterday was Saturday. I have no idea where the days are racing to.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Bug

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Christmas Nostalgia – Have a Merry One My Lovelies.

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I don’t know why but in the midst of present Christmas celebrations – low-key in the UAE – I suffer from deep pangs of nostalgia for Christmas’s of my childhood. I relive them with heartfelt gratitude to my parents who always made each Christmas special.

I hope you have a wonderful time of the year with your loved ones.

I am sharing an old Christmas post of mine. It’s Christmas made in Nigeria.

Jacqueline

Castle On The Hill – Ed Sheeran

I am hooked on this song by Ed Sheeran. It makes me feel all sorts of things.

It hits me in the solar plexus with powerful nostalgia, bittersweet memories wash over me each time I listen to this awesome song.

I’m singing along loudly, tearing up over little reasons I can’t place my fingers on. It’s playing right now in the background as I quickly type this.

I thought his Shape of you is fabulous (it’s still fabulous), but this one right here is a heartbreaker and breathtaking.

Bittersweet Nostalgia…

Our memories are woven into the essence of who we are just like our DNA. Some memories are fleeting, while some stick and go with you wherever you may journey to. Even when you are far away from the source of such memory, little things bring thoughts of them flooding you with bittersweet nostalgia.Image result for images of memories quotes

I’ve found myself easily moved to tears in the past few weeks and coincidentally, I’ve been running into things that quickly transport me to my carefree days of childhood when I was under the loving protection of my parents and didn’t have to worry about finances, World politics and if the World’s going on a one-way ticket to hell in a handbasket.

Here a few of the things I’ve seen in recent weeks that transport me back to my growing up years in the close-knit campus community of The University of Nigeria Nsukka.

Nostalgia – The Daily Post Challenge

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

P.S. Are you coming to the party? It’s LIVE right now and you can join the fun through this link. See you 🙂


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Prepping the feet – Every day beautiful people.

Toe nail cutting

Watching the old man go about the seemingly mundane business of trimming his toe nails takes me back to my younger years when my grandparents were still alive.

I would trim my grandma’s nails and massage her feet with a special ointment made out of shea butter and I recall how she would praise and call me pet names that only she had the privilege to 😊

Now, I feel nostalgic.

Jacqueline


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Here, There and Where else?..

This glitzy city of Dubai is growing on me in its own way and I think that it could probably burrow its way much more into my heart if the inhabitants looked less like they sucked on sour grapes half of the time.20150508_093925_3_bestshot

Whats with all the serious look, that to wangle a greeting or a smile is almost like a visit to the dentist, where you reluctantly have to open your mouth?

Hard forbidding looks, frowns and cold stares are offered as if you would steal their smile or as if the smiles are worth pots of gold.

With a little more observation, I have found that the warmer ones around here are the Filipinos, who are quick to offer a greeting with a smile as they try to cajole you to patronize them.

They are closely followed by the Russian and Ukrainian ladies, then the Indian and Chinese who all want to make quick sales and who know that these foreigners visiting or living here might have a little extra cash at hand.

The Pakistanis are a bit rough around the edges, though their sleek tongued sales men are usually dressed more dapper in tight tailored to fit suits and Mohawk shaped crops gelled into place with enough fritz that the spikes will not even waver under a windstorm.

The Pakistani drivers hurtle down the highway at aggressive speed, hardly allowing you space to inch in on the road. They duly remind me of my Lagos brothers whose method of  ‘shan’t gree’/not allowing you to enter the road, is similar to theirs.

The blacks around are as black as they come. The Ethiopians who are half wishing they are Arabs, therefore not quite sure whether they should fraternize with other blacks or not and then the hustling Nigerians who are looking for goods to ship back to an ever demanding and increasing consumer Nation of over 173 million.

It is an incredible potpourri of Nationalities and I am discovering them as I go on.

The rest of the crew are their usual lukewarm selves, neither cold nor hot, just pursed lips like people who have bad case of gas.

If I could spend my time equally divided between two places right now, I would choose my home’s in Houston, Texas and Lagos, Nigeria.

I miss both places, with severe doses of nostalgia sometimes, more so at this time of the year with the holidays floating in the air. I miss my friends in Houston, I miss the Texas Multicultural Women (a Non-Governmental Organization that I belong to), I miss my library runs, my parish – Christ The Redeemer, I miss school volunteer work, my quiet neighbourhood, the parks that were close to home and so much more.

There is no Christmas like that spent back in my native land in Nigeria. I miss the crazy hustle and bustle.

I miss the warmth of family, friends and even strangers alike. I miss the smiling faces and the loads of social events.

These pangs are not easy for me to capture in words.

The Daily Post prompt A Tale of Two Cities

If you could split your time evenly between two places, and two places only, which would these be?

A Step back into Childhood….

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Life’s a Candy Store.”

BookstoreWhat a delightful day this would be! I am six years old again and I get to spend it as I please and with whom I choose.

Well! Well! Whoever says that life doesn’t have it’s pleasant sweet spots and that the lines don’t fall in the right places is a big, fat lying Pinocchio! Just watch me 🙂

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. Of course, I am still young enough to get excused from doing serious chores, apart from brushing my teeth properly, taking my shower and eating sumptuous helpings of mummy’s homemade pancakes with dripping drizzles of maple syrup, nicely done omelets (no vegetables please), sausages, baked beans and a nice warm cup of cocoa.

We all pile into my daddy’s lovely blue Renault Saloon car. It has seen a lot of good mileage and made lots of beautiful memories.

Off we go to Leventis super stores in Enugu; a forty-five minutes drive from our abode in Nsukka, through the old road and past the Milken hill.

Milken hill is a verdant wilderness and as I peer through the wound up windows of our beloved Renault with plate number ”ECH 480” winding, its way through the snaky, precarious, hilly road with its scary drop, my child eyes imagine the trumpeting Elephants, the roaring Lions and the curious monkeys that inhabit that wilderness.

The scary drop seems like a bottom less pit and one must negotiate it with care. Many cars have been known to meet a fatal stop on this part of the road.

We make it safely to Leventis. It is a store of a child’s dream and every book and toy that my mind can conjure is stocked here.

Chinny, you and your siblings can go and select three items each for yourselves.” ”Two books and one toy each.” ”We have two hours to spend before we go to visit your cousins, daddy says to me.”

Daddy is such a wonderful man. He knows I love books and he stokes it rather nicely by buying lots of them for me 🙂

I make a beeline for the huge outlay of more books than I have ever seen.

Rows and rows of beautiful, vibrantly coloured story books fill my eyes. A browse and a selection of the two books that I want to go home with are made. I then settle down at the children’s corner where I quickly digest  another one whilst waiting for mummy to finish making her purchases.

I debate in my mind whether to exchange my toy option for a third book. I know that on a good day when we are not squabbling, my sister will allow me to play with her new doll and I want all the books in the book store to belong to me.

I negotiate very nicely with daddy and I end up with four books instead of two. I have diligently checked the prices on all the girly toys and they far outweigh the price of two extra books; somehow, I feel sensible and smart. I think daddy appreciates my consideration.carousel

Don’t be mistaken, I love toys like all children, but my love for books far outweighs my love for toys. Besides, I already saw my parents looking at Raleigh bicycles. I know that they would be purchasing one for each of us.

Our shopping is done! We make a quick stop at No 1. Chief Alex Ekwueme street, the home of my favorite cousins. They don’t need too much coaxing to join us for a picnic party at Polo park.

At the expansive Polo park grounds, we take turns on the rides, on the swings and slides. We play ”Swe” and ‘‘Uga” until hunger pangs kick in and it is time to tuck into the goodies that mummy has dutifully packed.

The picnic basket  bulges with all sorts of goodies – enough to feed an army.  Fizzy pops, cake, cookies, sandwiches, jollof rice with chicken, etc are generously marshaled out on paper plates by mum. picnic at the park

Daddy has a sweet tooth (I think the sweet tooth thing is genetic) and never fails to get those lovely ice lollies on cones for us for dessert.

Our palates are sated and our tummies nicely rounded from food.

Evening is fast approaching. A quick decision on whether to drive back home through the Milken hill or to spend the night at the cousins is made. Auntie Christie always graciously opens the door to her home.

She would always say “Jay-Jay, Alberta (shortened for my dad’s name: James Joseph and my mum’s name Alberta-Bianca), it is too late to go driving back to Nsukka o, you guys must stay over till tomorrow o.”

With delight we turn the house upside down with our horse-play until we were tuckered out.

They had a very big house, with lots of room.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

P.S. This article is based on ”my real life story” as recalled from my minds eye as a child.

Quick Glossary

Milken Hill: These hills are found at Ngwo in Enugu North LGA, they are 100 meter above sea level, offering beautiful standpoint for a panoramic view of Enugu metropolis, especially at dawn and dusk. The hill was named after one of the earliest colonial administrator in Enugu. The first road into Enugu city winds through the foot of the hill bounded by a deep gully. Underneath the hills are relics of coal mines and its beautiful tunnels. Beneath the Milken hills is the Iva valley. The hills are good for mountaineering. However, drivers are advised to drive slowly with caution through the meandering roads.

Enugu – One of the State’s in the Eastern part of Nigeria.

Nsukka – A town and Local Government Area in South-East Nigeria in Enugu State

Chief Alex Ekwueme: Former Vice President Alex Ekwueme is one of Nigeria’s most respected statesmen alive today.

Swe – I think this is what is called hopscotch.

Uga – synchronized clapping rhythm of hands followed with feet competition to outwit the other.

Jollof Rice – A popular meal eaten in most West African homes, a one-pot meal made with fried tomato and pepper stew, rice, meat and spices