Thursday, 19 August 2010

My Sushi Experience

I am very adventurous when it comes to food. Aside from my usual taste of African foods, I like to try out different dishes ranging from continental to oriental. My instinct would be to try it first to see whether its something I would like or not and if I decide its for me, I always tend to make it my own, to the extent that I can sometimes go out of my way to learn to cook it. But if not, I stay away from it completely. I have always been a huge fan of Chinese and I like India as well, particularly tikka masala. Recently, I have just tried the Spanish 'tapas' and 'Paella' - lovely, by the way. But having said that, I will let my focus be on sushi for now.

I stumbled on sushi on a wimp. While I love Chinese, I would never dream of taking myself to a sushi bar for a meal, no offense to the Japanese. In fact, I was just around Westminster in London on a visit with a friend when I walked past Yo Sushi restaurant. We both were very hungry and wanted to have a quick snack before dinner which wouldn't be till later in the evening. Looking into the restaurant, which I thought looked very inviting, I could see the arrays of color-coded bowls being rotated on a conveyor belt, and I couldn't help but be enticed and curious. Going against my better judgment, I thought, why not? Sometimes some risk are worth taking. But in all my acquired taste, I still find Sushi very daunting. Perhaps this is due to the fact that majority of its components are raw never mind the taste of seaweed which I wouldn't normally eat on a good day.

Each step towards the restaurant filled me with doubt as well as anxiety but I didn't look back. Even as the waiter lead us to a seat on the bar, with the menu shoved in our hands, he asked us to choose from any variety of classic dishes ranging from sashimi,tempura, salads and sushi s being passed around on the conveyor belt. Looking at the ladies who were busy and fast at work, making and cutting freshly-made sushi from rice, sea-foods, fish and seaweed, I was encouraged to try my first taste of the sushi which can be compared to mamyte (you can either love it or hate it). And they are not all raw by the way. Its all a matter of choice, depending on the color of bowl you choose from. I settled for a cooked option which was a cooked prawn and chives with mayonnaise with my drink clasp in my hand ready to be gulped down just in case it doesn't go down well. To my expectation, it wasn't bad at all! I liked it. And that gave me the courage to try the raw option (their signature dish) - salmon, avocado, masago (fish roe) and mayonnaise. That also tasted excellent. Others followed, California roll, spicy chicken while also keeping a tab of out budget. Because even though the price of one dish could be as low as £1.70 or £2.30. You could end up with a huge bill if your main target is to fill up.

I left the restaurant feeling satisfied and accomplished. The whole experience was worth it. At least now, I can boldly say, I have tried sushi before. So its a case of 'Been there, done that and got the tee-shirt :D'. But if you ask me if I would want to go back again, I would say probably not. Its not something I would want to have as a meal. So no thanks. I think you should also try it and let me know what you think :D.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Necessities - mother of invention

My apologies for the late entry this month but like they say, its better late than never. I have been neck-deep in a lot of work which has pretty much kept me on my toes and somewhat away from my little pleasures.

You know how it is when you are looking for a job and you wish that anything comes your way, since you know you have got the capability to do it. But eventually when the job comes and the floods of challenges that comes with it is almost drowning you - you then start to wonder where those precious moments you have somewhat taken for granted have gone. So be careful what you wish for.

But I'm not complaining. As a matter of fact, my reflection is the main inspiration behind my recent discovery. Because my freelance copywriting job permits me to work from home, I tend to get most of it done right on my bed. This is an ideal creative environment for me, aside from the ease and comfort of just picking my laptop up beside my bed.

However, the downside to that is an acute back pain which I makes it very difficult to stand up straight sometimes. Besides that, I notice my laptop gets overheated due to blockage of its air vents caused by my duvey or sometimes my clothing - needless to say the strain and pain exerted on my lap in the process ( which makes me question the reason why it was named a laptop in the first place). My laptop has also taken a fall several times from the bed due to one wrong shift or movement.

The list of disadvantages is endless but you would think I would be put off from working on my bed by this. I think not! Instead, I sought for ways to make my working conditions better. I was having a conversation with a friend one day when he mentioned that he had just bought a breakfast-in-bed table to have his meals and then to read afterwards and it occured to me that I could do the same for my laptop. I also wondered why the idea never occured to me all this time! And believe me, it works! But when you are buying, buy a good one with firm legs to carry the weight of your laptop so it doesn't give way while working.

When I made my purchase on, they suggested an orthopedic pillow (designed for back, shoulder and neck) which I bought together with my break-in-bed table and since both products arrived on my doorstep, life couldn't have been much easier!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

First time experiences

There is always a first time in life when we get to attempt new and different things. I seemed to have experienced a lot of 'first times' these past few months. And my experiences, nontheless, were fondly memorable. I will try as much as possible to make it short so as not to bore you.

It was the first time I ever tried dumpling and chicken - loved it! I attempted to make it afterwards and luckily it didn't turn into a disaster. Except when I got to find out later on that I should have mixed the corn flour in a little water to thicken the broth. Of course, that was like administering medine after death. Needless to say that I ended up with a few lumps in my broth because I had sprinkled the dry corn flour directly without mixing in water.

It was the first time I ever visited a Museum. You can scoff all you want. But yes, a museum! I visited the Natural History Museum in South Kensington on boxing day. And it was a far cry from the preconceived ideas I held about museums. I was awed by the many attractions this museum has got to offer. I was particularly intrigued by the dinosaurs, the birds and the human analogy galleries. It wasn't boring at all.

Although it wasn't the first time I have been an auntie, but it was the first time I was at delivery, held a day old baby and get to change a nappy. My nephew, Onyinye was born last month and watching his development is interesting at the same time amazing (I'm not talking about the late nights though).

Aside from my writing and online blogging experience, I officially got my first freelance copywriting experience. It's been challenging but very fulfilling. Challenging in the sense that it involves a lot of intense researching which can be mentally draining at times and having to combine writing several articles in a week with my part-time job. Fulfilling in the sense that I'm finally getting to do what I have always enjoyed doing. Seeing your creativity out in the media is the best feeling in the world.

I could go on and on about the experiences I have had within the last few days and months but I wouldn't want to bore you with my stories. Rather, why not share your own first time experiences with me and your feelings at the time.

Monday, 17 May 2010

A plausible excuse ;)

The month of April took me by surprise and I couldn't believe it went past without a single post from me. I take full responsibility for that - my apologies. I have this bad habit of leaving everything to the last minute. This is mainly because I perform best under pressure which had always worked well for me. But unfortunately this time, circumstances worked against me.

I had my article ready exactly on the afternoon of the 30th of April and I clicked on the 'Publish post' button when I was done with my editing. But I noticed the internet had gone off. I didn't think much of it as that happens once in a while especially during peak periods and I thought I could always post it later in the day as at the time, I was also running late for my part-time job.

So off I went to work and came back in the evening only to find out from my sister, to my horror, that a BT staff who worked on our neighbour's phone line had in the process tampered with ours. She found out too late and by the time she called the BT office, they were closed for the day and since it was a Friday, their staff dont work on weekends. Monday was a bank holiday, so not until Tuesday before they can send someone to fix the problem.

Aside from the fact that it was going to be an unbearable long weekend without internet or interesting and favorite programmes on TV, it occured to me that I wouldn't be able to publish my post for April and I tried to device alternative ways to get it published.

Initially, I tried using my BlackBerry as an internet modem for my laptop (Thanks to my friend who is a network engineer). First we had to check if my phone supports the operation and to my greatest relief, it does but that could only be possible through bluetooth. At least, no hope lost. But checking the icons on the right bottom of my laptop, I couldn't find any bluetooth symbol! And I never found any even after going through the device manager in my computer!

Once I settled the fact that my laptop hasn't got a bluetooth to work with my phone, I decided to try the last desperate attempt to try and post my article. I tried posting through my BB! But working on internet on my phone is like that of a snail crossing a tarred street. I was still trying to log into my blogger account when 12am ticked by! And I thought, what the heck! I might as well wait to write a better blog for May.

I know it's not a good excuse but maybe a plausible one ;). But having said that, excuses are pit-holes I try to avoid most of the time. This brings to mind a favorite quote from an unknown author and drummed in by one of my pastors.

"Excuses are the tools of the incompetent, the monuments of nothingness,those who use them are not wise"

To end on a good note, I thought I would atone for my sins by submiting an early post this month and maybe even compensate by two (although that is not a promise). But I promise to make the next post an interesting one :). I know this because I'm already brewing up something good.

Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

When Steam Run Out

My apologies for posting this entry very late. I wasn't intentionally trying to ignore you. Its been a crazy month but I wouldn't let it go without a fight.Thats why I have this determination to post this, even if it was the last minute of the 31st of March.

I had to rack my brain for a suitable subject but couldn't come up with one, so I decided to share my own experience perhaps someone would relate to that.

Have you ever started something cheerfully and then along the way got discouraged because things are not going as expected. Thats the feeling I had when I started the month and even the year generally (as you all know, one-third of the year is gone already. And before we know it, the whole year!)

Its a similar feeling to when I got a new job one time and I was excited to start this particular job. Each morning, I would wake up with excitement knowing I have a job to go to. But as days rolled into weeks and weeks into months and years, I began to loose interest and the motivation wasn't just there anymore.

The same feeling can be applied to job hunting. When you feel excited and motivated after applying for various job vacancies. You must agree that job searching, itself is a job. You can imagine the boredom and mental exhaustion you get trying to scale through the same rigorous questions from different employers. And the feeling of immense relief when you finally press the send button for your application to be accepted. But after endless expectation, one or two reply to say the dreaded word 'We are sorry your application is not successful'.

Or lets take a look at another scenerio, when you have an idea of a business proposal and you were able to finally put your business into action. But along the line, you feel discouraged when the effort and capital you invested still hasn't resulted in much profit

We can go on and on to count a thousand and one cases of situations and challenges that arise to test our patience and tenacity. But they all come under one umbrella, no matter the angle from which you want to look at it.

It is okay to run out of steam or feel discouraged at certain point in life as we are all human. I think it would be untruthful to deny those feelings ever existed within us. We can either ignore it and keep feeling sorry for ourselves or pay attention to it and use it for our strength.

When we pay attention to those feelings, we can turn it around for our own good because strength and resilience comes from acknowledging that we are running out of steam and need to energise ourselves so we don't die down.

If you feel one strategy isn't working, why don't you try another approach. Or if you feel you are not where you are meant to be, then maybe its time to move on. I know it may sound too easy but I think its best to be accused of trying than to give up and attain nothing. (I had to rephrase that and I kinda liked it :).

Hope someone is inspired by this because I just did. In a way I was speaking for myself :)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

My Views on Blogging

Phew! It’s another month already! How the weeks flew by so quickly is beyond me, but what can a poor girl who is overwhelmed with a job and less time for writing do?

I thought I’ll hand in my post early this month before it becomes too late to do so. You must also agree with me that maintaining one blog can be arduous let alone three! I had wanted only one blog that I can focus on but somehow, I ended up with three. The simple reason was the fact that I found some more popular and user-friendly than others. I think my frustration came after I tried to share some of my articles on twitter and some other search engines, only to find out that my blog wasn't listed among the most popular services for sharing :-(. And even though I have been with this particular blog since 2007, I think my loyalty stopped at that moment.

But having said that, based on my experience, I have come to the conclusion that every blog has got its own strength and weaknesses, no blog is the same. So my advice will be to stick to whatever blog you have so you can have maximum control over the time you channel into it.

However, it’s still not too late if you have opened more than one, like I have. The good thing is with one blog, you can incorporate your other blogs so your writing doesn't become obsolete. On this blog, which is my new one, I have set one of my blog on my profile as a wish list and the other one as a web page. By doing so, I am giving all my fans equal opportunity to read my articles.

I have decided to use this particular blog as my personal journal. I think I have been a bit too professional in my other blogs. I haven't really given my fans a glimpse of my personality in my other blogs. So this is strictly going to be my personal views on different matters and a way to self discovery. Please excuse my mistake, my subjectivity, my typos and my choice of words.

The thought of airing my view on this itself is exhilarating. I think I am beginning to enjoy myself already. This is the way it should be, isn’t it? Blogging should be more about fun. It is also about expression and giving voice to your thoughts because most times, spoken words are lost in translation.

The secret to a successful blogging, in my opinion, is to keep writing more and more articles, also make as many friends as you can and give as much as you want to get. By this, I mean reading and contributing to your other writers' blog. This way, you are also advertising your own blog on theirs. It will increase people's curiousity and direct some traffic to your blog as well. Believe me, it works!

I think I’ll leave you with this note. I hope to make the next post better with the consolation that writing can only get better and better with practice. Goodluck with your blogging. Cheers.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

A New Start

Let me first start by saying a Happy New Year to you all. I hope this year brings many great opportunities and I hope it also gives us the maturity to face challenges. Because lets face it, challenges would always come but how we deal with it is the true test of our character.

However, I am surprised at the rapid rate the year is already moving and I am struggling hard to move at the same pace. I had planned to post this a little earlier but due to other things competing for my attention and undeniably procrastination on my part, I had delayed it to this very moment.

This is the more reason why I don't try to set unattainable targets for myself. Although it might work for some people but I have stopped making New year resolutions because I have let myself down several times. I have learnt to take each challenges as it comes and to be as organized as possible. This is because most times, I start the new year with great expectations and enthusiasm and then run out of steam along the way. Then disappointment sets in and the worst feeling to have is the feeling of failure. I have been down that road several times but 'touch wood', I have always picked myself back up again.

Reflecting on the year 2009, it had been a roller coater really. If I were to draw a graph, I would be exact. It had started off alright (in spite of the recession) with my sister's wedding and then went down a bit, with the school on my neck for the payment of my school fees and back up again with a new relationship (Believe me, I was walking on the cloud) and then down (you must have guessed), when the relationship broke up.

Although I have to admit I have never ended a year on a sad note but I did in 2009 and that had to even happen two days before New year!. But I like the saying, 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'. Although at the moment, I don't know about stronger as that is relative, but I have come to accept the inevitable and stopped blaming myself for what happened.

In everything I try to remain positive. Believe me, that always works. It might sound like a false expectation or a way of escapism but so does worrying. Worrying is even worse because of its health risk. So of what use is it then?

I think writing this, in a way, is therapeutic for me. And as I am still trying to get a grips of the good things to come this year, I hope someone out there is also encouraged by this. And if you are also facing a heart break, the song 'I haven't met you yet' by Michael Buble might be helpful. I think I must have listened to it a hundred times now. It sounds very positive to me.

And if you would like to share your views on New year resolutions and your experience of the year 2009, please feel free to post your comments.

Happy New Year! :)