Stepping on the dreaded scale and other musings of mine…


What’s Up ?

Copyright Phototèque ACCOR.Photo Gilles TRILLARD.So, I am in Abidjan since 1 pm today, and although the hotel I am lodged at has greatly tempered my excitement to be here because of it’s ‘wifi which is out of service’ (and now works only at the recption), I am still happy to be here. This hotel was the first to be built in this country in 1952, and among their distinguished guests you have General Charles de Gaule and H.E Felix Houphuet Boigny – the 1st and awesome president of this country known as Cote D’Ivoire. I remember grumbling to mum I wasn’t sure I’ll be glad here because there’s no gym at the hotel, but then on flight I read the palmares of the hotel and I was like mum you see where I am? And it’s close to the beach meaning I can go there and jog, and my room gives out to that view oh my, just see for yourself…

View from my room, that's where am going jogging
View from my room, that’s where am going jogging

And what about stepping on the dreaded scale ?

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One of our backstreet medical cabinets, I have sour memories of going to one of such years ago

Ok, over to my stepping on the dreaded scale right ? No sooner had I posted the book review of the Latte Years which narrates Philippa’s brave journey to shed 30 good kilos and more life aches, than it came haunting me that I had definitely put on some ‘feelable’ weight since my return to Cameroon last August 2015. I returned home weighing and feeling 75kgs, but now although I hadn’t stepped on any scale since I returned, I felt ‘heavy’ to say it simple. I didn’t feel like I was back to 115kgs like in 2010, but I had to know what the scales said.

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Another of our backstreet medical cabinets

I bravely went out to find a scale I could step on, and see the verdict for myself. I did have to look around to find a scale because I didn’t have one at home, and the nearby ‘medical cabinets’ like this one which are in my neighbourhood, were either still closed or didn’t have a scale. I hadn’t had breakfast yet because I wanted to weigh ‘light’ you know, and I needed to step on that scale sun or showers even if only to justify my ‘skipping breakfast’.

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A famous polyclinique in my neighbourhood

I finally went to the nearest Clinic and gladly stepped on the scale. Bam 79.850 kgs. Let me honestly say the needle was very close to 900 grams and my face fell. It took me 2 tough years to lose 30 kgs, how many months now to lose 5 ? I just need to lose them by December latest and I am joining Dyane’s team on Lose It – No more excuses period.

Other Musings

I successfuly tried some new aspects of me out and am definitely pleased with the results :

1) I didn’t pack a month before my trip although I couldn’t do that on the eve either. I gave in to my anxious mind and did pack a week before. I used too when I was in secondary school, return home in June and be all packed ready to go back by July although school resumed only in September;

2) I didn’t leave my house for the airport at 5 am as I had been struggling in my mind to do, all in a rational that I could be late for my 7.50 departure if I wasn’t that early at the Airport. I chided myself and calmed down and left at 5.45 am, got to the airport on time ( a 25 mins drive from my home), and checked in fine and waited quite some at the departure lounge…

3) I didn’t ask for an aisle seat nor wear my winter jacket on the plane. There was a time my legs got all wobbly when I was on a plane and so I always asked for an aisle seat to stretch them out. I equally ever felt so cold in the plane I just had to have my winter jacket or several pullovers on. Sometimes even back home in the Douala heat, I will have a pullover on and I couldn’t stand neither a fan nor AC. Things are definitely getting better and now on the first time since my return from Belgium, I sat in an assigned middle seat, and I didn’t wear my winter jacket. I had brought it with me but at last minute shoved it in my hand luggage…

4) The flight was on the average cool, but I wasn’t in the mood to chit chat on the flight. I had ear plugs on anyway and I could feel my neighbour wanting so much to chat by the glances he kept making. I finally borrowed his magazine and smiled at him. I equally bothered him some to go to the loo and this is one reason I might as well ask for that aisle seat after all. I do use the loo way too much both on flight or on the ground.

5) Ah my luggage almost didn’t show up and I started panicking and near crying pitying myself it it didn’t. I have been through those scenarios more than once and if it happens in Africa, either I lose it altogether or it shows up on the eve of my departure. Some more polite countries like Tanzania sent it to my hotel, others just called and said it was at their ‘wherever’. I therefore started pleading with the luggage wherever it was and I begged that it surely wouldn’t want me filling one more of those forms right? After 20 or so minutes, it showed up almost the last piece and I was so full of love for it. I almost shouted out: “What took you so long Hon?” (I did say that to myself and I was the last guest on that hotel list who hadn’t shown up in the arrival hall yet)…

6) I meet friendly Isa the luggage help who told me much in 10 minutes and made me already plan to go visit his area which is opposite the lagoon where my hotel is. You first take a ferry to cross and then a bagoda to go to his area. When I told Isa I was from Cameroon, he gave me a military salute. Our countries seem to have a love affair especially since our ‘football star’ Samuel Eto Fils married one of theirs.

Oh me this area girl huh? And then I have just me a guy call Pape referred to me by our favourite foreign currency exchange agent called Marabout – more plans for after conference outings for dinner already being made… hmm la vie est belle la…

Dear World, I am learning and loving so much, and am filled with so much gratitude at the awesomeness of my Lord. I even got another big surprise on my arrival at the hotel and this one is still so much for me to share. I just wish us all so much well in all our corners of the globe and all our different endeavours…

Book Review: The Latte Years: A Story of Losses, Gains and Life Beyond the After Photo by Phillipa Moore


book-cover

I will title my review as follows:

A candid account about getting on the dreaded scale to shed more than the nagging kilos

I want to begin my review of this yet another awesome memoir by thanking Dyane for recommending it to me. Indeed, it mirrors quite a handfull of my own story.

Philippa nails her soul search in this anecdocte: “Growing up in a small town does one of two things to a person – it either breeds a fierce desire for independence and adventure, so you leave as soon as you can or it gives you Hotel California syndrome (as in, you can check out whenever you want but …)” . However, her lack of self esteem, her abundance of self doubt, her poor choices which ranged from all she stuffed in with regards to food, and the quick ‘yes I do’ to the first ‘suitor’ who barely proposed but took his dance lessons seriously; quickly shoved her desire to the back of her oversized closet.

Philippa got it when one day no matter how hard she tried to lift the size 18/20 pants up, they just wouldn’t zip up. She looked at recently developped pictures and all but threw up… that was it and as she put it: “Becoming conscious of what I had actually been doing to myself had frightened me”.

Gladly enough, this time she had had enough and something had to be done. She started out with the scale and both her eyes and heart near collapsed at the figure she read. Thanks to the encouragement of her friends, family and above all herself, she finally got to her ideal weight. But, it was a journey that involved so many loses and many more marvelous gains. Not only did she shed the kilos as the after photo will show, she shed her old self for a fresh new self confident and independent her. She even ran full and semi-marathons, travelled quite some and met her soul mate. She admits it to the core when she writes: “I had proof in front of me that if I tried, I would find out what I was capable of. It was an amazing feeling that I clung to with all my might”.

Thank you Philippa for sharing your incredible journey with us, your physical and mental aches, your bizzare and super friends, your ever supportive family, and above all a glimpse into your soul mate and your marriage. I will sincerely be failing myself if I give this book any less than a 5 star. I have pretty much walked some of her shoes and closet, and I do mean it when I say I wholeheartedly recommend this memoir to all.

About the Author

philippa-moore

Philippa Moore is a writer, editor and award-winning blogger who has held a lifelong fascination with language and stories. Her writing has been published widely and she also hosts a popular podcast, Book Ends, featuring interviews with leading contemporary writers. She was the author of the award-winning health and fitness blog, Skinny Latte Strikes Back, which was one of the UK’s most popular health and fitness blogs. Philippa now lives in North London with her husband Tom and many pairs of running shoes.

Relax Girl: Dedicated to all who struggle especially single mother


H.E Portia Simpson Miller PM of Jamaica and I
H.E Portia Simpson Miller PM of Jamaica and I: She told me that when I was so nervous and fidgity around her – mind not that smile

In November 2013, I was working for an organization for Women In Parliament and had a great boss – but the rest of team made it clear I was Despicable… I worked my whole self out there in my tasks as the ‘Regional Manager for Africa’, and got this autograph and more from my boss to boost me some… One of the most awesome things which happened to me there was the opportunity to meet some of my heroines in person and get to chat for even 5 minutes with them. On one single day, I met these 3 power women and that day was oh my…

Dlamini Zuma of the AU, Portia S. Miller of Jamaica, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia
Dlamini Zuma of the AU, Portia S. Miller of Jamaica, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia

This morning, I am feeling both low and overwhelmed. It’s kind of weird I don’t feel like replying to calls or text messages, but I am happy to blog. I acknowledge the therapeutic effects of blogging to my mind and it is indeed a corner stone of my Me Moments

I dedicate this short poem to all of us struggling from whatever that maybe, but especially to the single parents with fragile mental healths

Relax Girl

When it all seems like it’s crushing anytime soon

When you can’t put your hands on what’s going on

When you seem not to be cleaning hard enough

When the meals will apparently not be ready on time

When the kids are so uncorperative or so it seems

When you just want to smack and send them off

When you are freaked out you might miss the trip

When you just keep buying and buying while no earnings come in

When you seemingly don’t know or trust someone to talk to

When you think at your age you are sure a failure

When you really think you might be better off dead

When the negative thoughts and actions seem to outweigh the positives

Please remember to first of all:

Relax Girl

P.S: I feel much better now, I am going to fix myself breakfast and come start with my day’s task – hopefully before the boys are back a meal will be ready or there probably is some leftover in the fridge. Thanks to my readers and followers and I sincerely wish us all well

Pray thee: what happened to my Me Moments…


am so full of Gratitude
am so full of Gratitude

It’s been barely a year and month since I relocated back home from yet another of my ‘flights into the wilderness’, but I discovered one awesome thing this last time precisely in Belgium. I discovered there was a Me and that this Me deserved to have her own Moments. Gosh it was like an epiphany. I set out to become best friends with Me, and oh my we so treated ourselves to some moments.

Souvenirs like these boosts the moods tons
Souvenirs like these boosts the moods tons

When I returned home, we went on two great moments to the sea side cities of Limbe and Kribi, and we built further into our relationship.

enjoying some ccnut

On the Limbe trip, I got to finish my fourth memoir and looked at some of my biggest fears squarely, making firm resolves to deal with them thoroughly when the showed up.

These Me Moments have helped me tremendously, but alas they were toned down or near written off when I moved into a place of my own and took my boys with me… This was my main reason for coming back anyway, so that was hurray and neither Me Moments nor Blogging as I used to do it, could take my mind off from that Graceful Vocation of Motherhood…

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I have however come to realize to my pleasure and our satisfaction, that Me Moments are still possible… I take off for them in the minutes when I wake up and have time to meditate and pray; while I step out early for my workout in all that quiet; when on a work trip I treat us to a lunch and get to discover new dishes like Green Rice; and much more…

And now oh my, I get a week away in Ivory Coast precisely in beautiful Abidjan; and although it’s actually a conference am attending on yes a full scholarship, I would have all my nights and pre conference mornings for Me Moments. There is even a 20 free hours after the conference before my return flight…

So dear world, I am super grateful to the Universe and my Lord for these twists and turns, and for the possibility to embrace them and make the most of them for my holistic wellbeing. And you, any such Me Moments?

Happy midweek to us all…

He does His thing: Not all kids go for Playstations – Listen to Them


David with his local bow and arrow: A hanger and some broom sticks
David with his local bow and arrow: A hanger and some broom sticks

Hello world,

Since deciding to move back to bloggerville, I am also fighting the urge to post twice a day🙂 So for now, let me calm my fingers with daily post and hope the ‘bloggania’ dies out by Saturday…

Yesterday, I did a quick post on my boy David finding such joy in kicking the dang football. You know, I think he will bloom into an artist of sorts, and I just keep marvelling at his imagination and his style🙂

I just saw the above picture of his taken this past summer while he was doing his thing, crafting a local bow and arrow and having fun while his siblings were glued to the screen watching whatever🙂

I don’t prefer any one of them to the other, I just love that I can appreciate their styles and stars, and share same with us all. Maybe something in here will inspire us too? And I have learnt to listen to them all, and listen very attentively especially to David who still has a little difficulty keeping up his speech with his ‘age or age mates’, and who equally takes all his time to do whatever it is he is set at doing.

I even admit am glad he is not into play stations, nor are his siblings really because this saves me headaches and bucks anyway🙂

Dear gentle readers and followers, what do you think of him doing his thing? Do you have any such experience to share?

Happy Tuesday to us all🙂

His Joy is in the kicking: And yours?


Hello World,

Hmm another Monday, hope not so grumpy for most of us. When I worked corporate, Mondays were definitely my worst. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone to hate it, and so we voted for our department meetings to start from 9 – 11 which we somehow often saw drag to noon and hurray that was half the day gone… Well the work load piled up anyway… But one thing I learnt from those years, was to love what I was doing or better still make the best of my loss🙂

Yesterday, as I watched my boys play football, I concluded my middle son David 10 years (the special meek and docile one who grew up fearing those team games where he could be hurt), had found a way to mingle and play with joy. Oh my, you needed to see him get ready to kick the ball. The sound he’ll make like a goal was a second near… And he’ll literary clap for himself if he kicked right, goal scored or not…

It dawned on me there was another big life lesson again. What was I after? Winning at all cost, being declared a ‘success story’, or just living to my best…?

My joy today is definitely in living my best, being grateful for the least obvious instead of grumbling for not having the most glaring…

And you gentle readers and followers, what makes you laugh out? Keep going for it, and have a  great week🙂

Am Back and Am using His Phone…


Am trying to be safely anchored ship
Am trying to be safely anchored ship

Grief can make, mould or mare you… Take it from it I have experienced grief and its various effects… Obviously to different extents but … a recent Grief ( Ulla’s passing )propelled me to rush right back to my e-family via our communication outlet par excellence: our blogs or vlogs …

Dear world,

Am Back… I can’t say if it’s gonna be any consistent, but I know for sure Am happy to be back… I didn’t leave altogether, I stayed around reading some of my favorite blogs… But I just realise writing is part of the deal and going by the number of followers I had when I last checked, others sure like reading some of my posts… writing has equally been so so therapeutic for me, I really can’t leave it alone…

Another Grief, one of the most poignant next to the loss of my own daughter, is on another note making me currently… I never knew two years ago I’ll get to this point of smiling when I think of my brother… I think it’s because He Lives on in Me

Am using his phone since Thursday

That's Gaby's phone ontop of my fav kindle, and I put his lone selfie I sound in it on the wallpaper
That’s Gaby’s phone ontop of my fav kindle, and I put his lone selfie I sound in it on the wallpaper… his face is so swelled, probably the meds meds meds…

When he died in August 2014, I wanted so badly to inherit lots from the little he left. I was living in Belgium then, and couldn’t take back lots of his clothes or few house utensils you know… The clothes weren’t going to fit anyway, although I did resize a few and cared less wearing his big snickers… But, I so wanted his mobile phone ans I pleaded with mum then to no avail…Her own Grief was so raw I left it at that

Today, I am finally in possession of one of my priciest legacy from my brother, second only to the memories we shared of things we thought, said and did together…

I sincerely am grateful to mum for giving me my brother’s phone which was successfully unblocked and charged up after two years of non use… I have lots of him physically in my home like most of his house utensils and even beddings… And some clothes… And now the very phone he was using – and sure that on which we last spoke two days to his passing on… his call log was still there oh my …

And you gentle readers and followers, what are some of your priciest legacies from your departed ones?

Wishing us all peace, joy and love in abundance…

Ulla, let me grieve you out and wish you well…


Dear Ulla,

Vanilla scented candle with a butterfly for Ulla's Vigil
Vanilla scented candle with a butterfly for Ulla’s Vigil

I hope you smile at this candle I picked for you on my way home.

You see, I went to help a friend with some decoration project for a wedding she had lined up today, and while there I kept keeping in touch with what was up on your special day over on your street. I also reblogged a few post from other tribes’ buddies which celebrated you and what you taught, thought and shared… She freaked me out at one point by saying I was ever on my phone… I sighed saying if only she knew I was there just to escape from melancholy at home where I would otherwise have been glued to my laptop reading and writing away with tear filled eyes. She overstepped her boundaries when she sent someone into my handbag without my permission. I just screamed in me f… it and left.

I stopped by the supermarket and got a vanilla scented candle for you. Hope you don’t mind the scent. I think you’ll find that butterfly inside sarcastic or what…

You said I was a good writer and could do excellent if I kept at it? Ok now, I will need to find another proof reader and ‘candid sounding board’.

Ulla, today, I can’t and wouldn’t write much. I am reading all I come across on and for you, and keeping the vigil with the tribe. I know one day it shall be over for each and everyone of us too, but for now, we are here trying to strong for each other, trying to come to terms with life and its own ‘mental illness’, trying to survive this one more other day of grieving a dear one’s passing on…

I wish you well Ulla, sincerely and candidly I do… it just hurts to think it got so bad and there was nothing I or any of us could do… I thought I had learnt so much about the ‘illness’ to help someone since I failed so woefully to help my own brother (yes I know what you kept telling me about this), but hmm … I still have so much to learn even about my own self…

I grieve out you passing on, but I retain every memory of your gentle and kind soul. I’ll treasure the few emails and chats and I’ll always wish you well…

Burn away all night for Ulla
Burn away all night for Ulla
Hence I say Adieu Ulla
Hence I say Adieu Ulla

Delay, Light & Dark: World Suicide Prevention Day


Today is world suicide prevention day

sheila north

Here be dragon Here be dragon

A wise friend once told me that even the most negative of character traits can be helpful, in the right circumstances. Take, for example, procrastination. Also known, by those of us who use spellcheckers a lot, as delay.

Today  (10 September) is World Suicide Prevention Day, as per the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) As anyone who has tried or considered killing themselves, been bereaved by suicide, or worked in mental health would tell you, every day is suicide prevention day. So is every minute.

Here be dragon ... Here be another dragon

As someone who has tried to kill herself, and nearly succeeded, when it comes to feeling suicidal, delay can be good.

Want to die? Thought of a way to do it? Then hold on, and wait. Delay taking any kind of action long enough to think of what, for you, is at least one good…

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For Ulla: Because You Believed In Me


What comment will ease grief? Which will do this reblog justice?…

lettersnevermeanttobedelivered

10 September 2016.

The following contains quotes from Ulla, aka Blah from Blahpolar Diaries, in italics. I have no hope of reaching the locutions I feel are needed to remember her, so I used quotes. She wouldn’t want anyone putting words into her mouth anyway.


wpid-1445585268728-01.jpeg Beautiful, beautiful Ulla

Her death tastes like a handful of her medications: bitter. I gobble it down *gulp, gulp* in one bite but it chokes me and makes me sick.

“I believe that our tears honour our dead, but it’s got to be real.”

Oh, it’s real. Too fucking real. My brother suggested twice that the news may be some sort of sick joke. However much I hope to see an email from Ulla telling me that rumors of her death are largely exaggerated, I know I won’t see it. I knew it the moment I read the news: Blah is gone…

Are you still there? 5…

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