Tag Archive | Pictures

Meet my friend, The Candid, Vivacious and Smart Lady, Daisy.

Daisy’s refreshing posts filled with candour drew me to her. When you read them, the bubbly spirit of the soul behind the writing seeps out and she has a way of making me smile. She’s been a supportive presence in this space and I enjoy our witty banters.

Daisy dear, thank you for taking the time from your busy life to share more of you with us. I truly appreciate you and extend my warm regards.

Jacqueline

Hi – I’m Daisy as I like to be called on my Blog. My real name can be  found on my website. I love the daisy because like it, I have felt like a weed most of my life and like the daisy when it turns its face to the sun it blooms. I liken myself to the Daisy because I am 100% imperfect. I’ve done terrible things, some amazing things too. I’m human.

Daisy 1

I have had a colourful life. I was born in South Africa and lived there until I was 18.

I am a French nationality, mixed with Russian and English and would liken myself to what I call ‘a pavement special’ or a mongrel. A good mix.

I have travelled a lot and lived in many different parts of the world. Miami, Marseille, Grenoble, England, Barcelona.

 

I am proud of my family. One of my aunts is from the Dominican Republic, another is Mexican and my cousin is married to a Chinese woman.

So, to say I was brought up in the Apartheid era, I can say that the government’s plan failed atrociously when it came to my family. Ha, Ha!

I love to socialise, write, connect, act, and write.

I am two months away from starting my Masters in Creative writing with the Open University. My aim is to become a creative writing specialist in the mental health sector.

Here is  a video of  me graduating  with my BA (Hons) in Art and humanities  in November 2015.

https://www.facebook.com/daisyinthewillows1/videos/10205820565647360/

I do a lot of volunteering with different mental health charities. I love doing workshops to raise mental health awareness and reduce Stigma.

We all have mental health and are all subject to good and bad moments. I think people need to really wake up and face up to the fact that having mental health issues does not make you crazy.

It’s something I am passionate about.

I really love going to music gigs, festivals and the theatre, movies and I love drinking cocktails.

Unfortunately, I have not had much of a social life for the past 3 years – we were saving up for our wedding. This is my G and my beautiful daughter Bella Bee – (as I like to call her).

I love writing stage scripts. I think I have always been creative but I had a few issues and many people saw this vulnerability in me and I let people take advantage of me .

I started this blog because I am always up for a challenge. If someone tells me, I can’t do something or have something or someone even.  🙂 I have a damn good go at making it my goal to get it. I sound terrible. Yes, I can be but I do have a good heart. I wear mine on my sleeve.

NANOWRIMO 2015 GOAL ACHIEVED

NANOWRIMO 2015 GOAL ACHIEVED

It has taken me many years to realise I am a good person and not crazy or insane.  I displayed “crazy” symptoms at an early age. I got involved in drugs, bad eating habits – I grew up way too fast and people judged me for it. I hear about people I used to know going through similar problems only now in their own lives.

It’s so easy to judge.

An example. In a place where I lived, there was a person who happened to dress as a woman. I do not know if he wanted to be a woman or just enjoyed it. It wasn’t my problem. It wasn’t a problem to me at all. People used to make fun of him. Take his pictures and put them on social media websites. It’s deplorable. I found out a bit about his background and it turned out his mother wanted a daughter but got him instead and forced him to act and dress as a girl.

So, I am one of those people with a lot of passion and drive and will stand up for the issues I am passionate about.

I remember way back in 20008/09 – I had just come out of an 8-month stint in an Eating disorder clinic.

GETTING NAKED FOR ISSUES I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT

GETTING NAKED FOR ISSUES I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT

I signed up to do a degree in acting performance. My confidence was way down in the gutter. People didn’t know how to take me. I know I had moments where I went manic and went on benders and was most certainly not stable- some people did try and reach out to help. I didn’t even know how to help myself. I got into a bad relationship.

Think: black, blue, purples, and yellows.

Lots of drinking and over-dosing to escape my situation. Arguments. Sexual boundaries blurred.

I had an abortion.

I then had my daughter Bella Bee and when I finally left the relationship – I got punished for it.

Long story short, social services got involved – I was fighting my ex and a draconian system to prove I could look after my child with support and some life-style changes. After 16 months, I won.

So, yeah – I am no innocent but then again not many people are. I think what bothers me the most is people who pick out vulnerable people to cover up their own insecurities.

The amount of secrets people have confided in me then  make out as if I am less of a person because nobody knows their story. They are not my secrets to tell but don’t wonder why I react the way I do when someone I know acts like they have never done a wrong thing in their life and well…..Whatever, right.

Smell your own crap before pointing fingers at someone else. Some people are in a better place than others and others are  not.

Life changes all the time. Nothing is fixed. The wheel is always turning.

I think I am a good person. I do shitty things,  but mostly my heart is in the right place.

So , back to why I started this Blog. I was sick of whispers and finger pointing so I went public and said – I am this person who is awesome, has a life, a heart , a brain , goals –purpose and so what if I have mental health issues.

I was very passionate about sharing my experience of  a 12-week course I had done with a volunteer charity – the program is  called WRAP.

HERE IS THE PROMO VIDEO:  https://vimeo.com/153148446

My WRAP  page: https://daisywillows.wordpress.com/category/wrap/

WRAP GRADUATES CLASS 2015

WRAP GRADUATES CLASS 2015

One year later (end of September 2016 )  and I will have done the training to be a WRAP group co-facilitator:  ready to reveal and create a supportive and safe environment  for other  people to explore other ideas about how they might like to look at how they deal with their lives and issues.

I’ve been completely blown away by just the WordPress community. I can’t believe how much support and praise I get. I don’t get this from people I have known or even met in my life, yet a total stranger can read my story and read what I have to say and actually validate that, in a positive manner.

It has really given me a new perspective.

I used to think everything that went wrong was because of me.

That’s kind of egotistical –I mean –there is more than little old me in this world. I finally know that many people like to project their shit on to another person.  I am not saying I haven’t done some messed up things. I’m the first to put my hand up when I do wrong.

Blogging has helped me see people differently. I am learning where and who to invest my emotional energy on and who is not significant. This is an ongoing process.

In the real world and the blogging world.

I –uh –am active in the WP community. I get to know people. I am learning that sometimes, there are only so many times I can reach out and if I get no reciprocation then I have to move on. There are only 24 hours in a day and life is short. Life is be lived.

I have found better-coping mechanisms over the last few years. There is a part of me who is impulsive and does want and does go out and seek out my chosen vices.

These moments –gladly are becoming less and less frequent as I grow as a person.

Yeah, what you see is what you get. Ha ha.

I don’t know what post links to share. My blogging content has evolved massively. I even write poetry now. Which is something I  have never thought I could do  –  until a few months ago.

I’m very much a free flow writer… I don’t do a lot of prepping unless it is to do with writing a script or fiction but even them I think the less planning and the more doing is where the work and my  best ideas and creativity are found.

I have said so much already…..

What is a typical day like for me?

I have my daughter and my Husband. I am very close to my Mom and my two Grans. My Gran is in the last stages of Vascular Dementia, I try and support my Mom as much as I can, even though it breaks my heart to see what this illness has done to my Gran and to my Mom.

I Blog, a lot of time goes into volunteering. Soon that will include lots more work with me studying again.

I think it is good to keep busy. Idle hands and all that … ha, ha!

I have a first born who happens to be a Bengal – here is Miss Tatiana

MISS TATIANA- FIRST BORN

MISS TATIANA- FIRST BORN

I do normal stuff, really. Nothing terribly exciting.

I was turned  down for a writing job recently but I got some feedback so that helps.

In terms of what is next for me and Blogging or publishing something. I don’t know yet. I need to find some balance and time for myself too. I want to use my Blog in some way as a platform for what I do in volunteering, in the future, to help people.

I’ve published one short story (totally on impulse) at kindle. The First story of mine ever graded in uni and I was super proud.

Here is the link: http://bit.ly/EBOOKNUMBERONE

Yeah… Lame, right. I know I am on a good path, right now. I’m enjoying the journey. The destination is moving forwards and bettering my life.

As I grow as a person –my idea of what is the “perfect” life may change. Happiness is the main goal –

That is it really. I have gone on for quite a bit.

Thanks Jackie for giving me this opportunity to share a bit more of myself with others.

It always seems impossible when I think about doing something and then I start writing /typing or doing whatever it is and all of a sudden I am at the finish line. I look back and I go” How the hell  did get here? “

‘Always Look for the silver linings’ is one of my favourite quotes.

Below is a song I love to listen to when I feel despondent “Make believe by Nora Bayes.”

Many people tell me to become a life coach.

Ha ha! The skies the limit.


P.S: If you are interested in guest posting, send an email to JacquelineObyIkocha@gmail.com.

You are cordially invited to our monthly blog party happening right now. Join in through this link.

 

 

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Photos In Phonetics…

The Daily Post Photo Challenge Alphabet.

Take us to school with your photos this week, and show us some ABCs.

This n’ That….its a variety

The word companionable is synonymous to gregarious and that is an adjective that would describe companionme fittingly, though I have my moody alone moments when I want to marinate in those horrible, leave me alone juices.

My spirits are perked up most of the time and as a companion to my gregarious personality, my taste runs to eclectic style in things, even with the blogs that I follow which are over Five Hundred in number and range from vibrant pictures, cute pets, sage counsels, wise quotes, health and wellness, security consciousness and so on.

They motivate and inspire me. They enlighten me by teaching new things. They take me places with the clicks of their cameras. They make me smilelaugh and cry and I am glad that I belong to these group of they.

A day spent going through this and that on my reader or email would find me dropping little likes and comments here and there. It finds me laughing, or with my brows furrowed in mindful thought. It finds me in awe or whispering a silent prayer in my heart for someone. I have close encounters with soothing sights and thoughts and belly rumbling bites teasing my eyes.

I truly don’t have a favorite, favorite blog, because I seek out what each blog as an entity has to offer and probably because my reading taste is also myriad, it is pretty difficult to narrow down on one choice. ”Never ask a mother to choose between her children.” Always know that with each day that passes, beautiful ones are born.”

It would be utterly boring if I had to stick to the same kind of blogs and all. A sprinkle of sparkles, a dash or colour blends better to make the muted grays more tolerable.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to The Daily Post prompt Companionable

Head to one of your favorite blogs. Write a companion piece to their penultimate post.

Fruits of a Hustle….a short story and a link to my neighbours

Motor park

The Hustle Part 1

The Hustle Part 2

The Hustle Part 3

Collecting his accumulated Isusu from the thrift collector Mama Nchekwube was like a dream come true for Ikem. His skepticism had prevented him from participating in one before, until his friend Ifeanyi showed him the dividends of his own effort.

He had never held such an amount of money put together as his own. It felt good. All the ideas of what he planned to do ran around in his head.

Now, he would buy a nice Ankara wrapper, vegetable oil and share a bag of Abakaliki rice with his neighbour to take home to Mama for Christmas. She prefers the local rice to the foreign ones that have been de-husked. They seemed to loose the real taste of Osikapa, but the art of cleaning the Abakaliki rice which was known to contain stones, was only perfected by old hands like Mama.

There was a hurried excitement of Christmas in the air. Wheel-barrow boys were pushing around cassettes of Christmas songs by ABBA and also blaring them from their cassette players from one end of the market to the other.

You could hear the exchanges of customers and vendors over the noisy din:

“Ha! Nwanyi Bacha, biko, I need to travel with this blouse o.” ”When can I come and collect it?”

”Nne, you should have brought this material earlier than now.” ”You know that this is the season for us eh!”  ”I will try my best but maybe on 22nd, you can come and collect it.”

”Hei! Mbanu! ”Please 22nd is too far.” ”I am traveling on 23rd to the village.” ”Please try for 20th.” ”Biko!”

Indeed, it is the season of harvest for the tailors. They are turning brisk business churning out Christmas and New year attires as expediently as possible for all the holiday galore.

Ikem was gripped with nervousness. The money in his pocket felt hot that he could almost feel it burning through the lining of his trouser. Every brush of another human in the buzzing, cramped market made the butterflies in his stomach flutter some more. He felt as if eyes were watching him and he decided there and then to go and open a First Bank account.

He had never owned an account before and this time of the year is known for spikes in highway robberies and pick-pocketing. He had no plans of falling victim of such nefarious activities and losing his hard-earned money.

The remaining days fly past in a flurry of activities. As he excitedly packs his meager belongings to take back to the village. He knows that he will miss this place and pangs of melancholy occupy his thoughts, but he has to journey forth to pursue brighter tomorrow’s at Onitsha.

****

The motor-park is a commotion of human traffic and vehicles. Wagons are filled with families all loaded down to the teeth with their luggage for the forth-coming days of merriment. Conductors are shouting their destinations on top of their voices to draw passengers attention. Hawkers of all sorts of items, bread, boiled egg, chin-chin, kuli, kuli, soft drinks are doing their best to entice the traveling customers to patronize them..

Quick bargains are struck, last minute purchases are made, buses loaded to the last perimeter takes off with passengers, to Enugu, Ozubulu, Awka, Okigwe, Orlu, Owerri, Aba etc.

The Igbos are well known to sojourn home en-mass during this festive period. It is almost like a general return of indigenes. Some would travel for days on top of lorries all the way from the northernmost part of Nigeria to be with their families for the holidays.

Ikem boards a bus going to Oji, he cannot wait to eat Mama’s authentic Okpa and Abacha Ncha. These are some of the delicacies of his people.

Quick Glossary for words that you may not know:

Abakiliki: Abakaliki is the capital city of Ebonyi State in southeastern Nigeria. The inhabitants are primarily members of the Igbo nation. Abakaliki, as in the past, is a center of agricultural trade including such products as yams, cassava, rice,

Abacha Ncha/aka African salad: Native snack/meal peculiar to the Igbos but has become a well-known delicacy all over Nigeria. Made from cassava flakes, with palm-oil, oil-bean seeds, dry fish, garden egg etc

Ankara: African print known to symbolize African fashion.

Biko: Igbo word for saying ‘please.’

Chin-chin: A fried snack popular in West Africa. It is a sweet, crunchy, doughnut-like baked or fried dough of wheat flour, and other customary baking items.

Hei!/Ha!: An exclamation which could mean, you don’t say, indeed, what, really and a myriad of other meanings.

Ifeanyi: A popular Igbo name shortened from Ifeanyichukwu which means, nothing is bigger than God.

Igbos/Ibo: The Igbo people, historically spelled “Ibo”, are an ethnic group of southeastern Nigeria. They speak Igbo, which includes various Igboid languages and dialects. Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. They are renowned for their tough, resilient adaptability as business people, traders and for their art. The largest migrating tribe in Nigeria.

Ikem: An Igbo name for boys shortened from Ikemefuna, meaning may my power/strength never be lost/or founding.

Isusu: An informal means of collecting and saving money through a savings for the enablement of kith and kin ventures.

Kuli-Kuli: Hausa food that is primarily made from peanuts. It is a popular snack in Nigeria. It is often eaten alone or with a mixture of garri, sugar and water popularly called “garri soakings”

Mama Nchekwube: Nchekwube is shortened from Nchekwubechukwu which means to have hope on God.

Mbanu: An expanded NO with a bit of cajoling added to it.

Nwanyi Bacha: A nickname given to the female tailor occupying the prefabricated shed where she sews. It’s like saying ”the lady at the shed” or nicknaming someone after their trade e.g. egg seller, truck pusher, driver etc.

Oji: A Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria to the south bordering Anambra State and Abia State

Okpa: A traditional Eastern Nigerian delicacy, made with ground Bambara beans.

Onitsha: A city with one of the largest commercial markets in West Africa. It is situated on the river port on the eastern bank of the Niger river in Anambra State, southeastern Nigeria.

Osikapa: A local Igbo name given to cooked rice.

Enugu, Ozubulu, Awka, Okigwe, Orlu, Owerri, Aba etc. Some of the towns and villages found in the Eastern Region of Nigeria inhabited by the Igbos.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Links to the earlier series of this short story can be found at the top of the page. Thank you for reading.

As I foraged this past week, I found loads of treasure in the neighbours yard. I can only share these few with you and save some for another time.

Heenieblogsfood This Japanese rice omelet jumped at me begging for my attention.

Oneta Hayes I loved Oneta’s poem to the passing years.

Tagging ain’t hard people. A sensible blogging advice from Danny at Dream big, Dream often.

Women as builders a must read from the stables of David Snape.

10 things people say to creative writers (but shouldn’t) I found this humorous yet annoyingly true via Sepultura’s blog

Llama at sunset Bogota Piran Cafe’s photos always captivate my mind.

Love a girl who writes Pancake Bunnykins made me smile with this post.

Could you live with less stuff We need to ask ourselves this from time to time.

Lighting up the World with Edison’s bulb an old story from Shadab Rogers that gripped my heart 🙂

I’m engaged!!! Call me a romantic, but this had me smiling all through.

That’s it folks. Kind regards. It’s a weekend. Now, shall we dance?  😉

Some Nigerian Pictures