How I became a professional Cleaner


Wow, what a title as in what really are you, right? 

Cleaning

In my tale and profile and all, I describe myself as a dynamic woman. I have several passions which I guess were nurtured as I grew up free spirited and met and still do meet all sorts of people from all walks of life, countries, religions and all.

Cleaning just like cooking should be a given for every African woman, right?

At least I didn’t have a hard time learning how to clean up my mess after I played behind our house cooking with sand, hahaha.

I didn’t also have a hard time arranging my clothes and stuffs in the room, because when you share a room with your siblings you have to take care of your stuffs or lose them outrightly.

I have thus always loved to clean or tidy up and wash things right from childhood, and I remember my elder sister paying me with any dress of hers I wanted if I washed her basket of laundry and all.

This post is not just about cleaning, but about how I became a professional cleaner.

When I got married, my marriage didn’t start off right – nor end off right huh?

My husband didn’t care about ‘home’ and didn’t like staying ‘home’. I would wonder and ponder until I started neglecting ‘home’ too. l neglected the state of my home to the extent that it was almost comparable to a Chine pawn shop?

Chinese Pawn shop

I jolted back to my senses and thought maybe it was actually the mess at home that kept him away.  I decided to work on our ‘home’.

With regards to cleaning, I regained my passion for washing clothes and doing the dishes and all, and even though we had a maid, I did our laundry myself. I also got a painter to redo the painting and took an online course and then gave away many things and re-decorated our home.

It henceforth looked more of like this
It henceforth looked more of like this

I met a guy who made some cleaning products one of which was very good for tiles shining. A friend of mine gave me an idea to start a cleaning service for homes and that’s how I took off.

alternative-cleaning-materials

 

I teamed with this guy and giving my social networks, I got quiet some contracts especially for weekends. I even got to employ two guys.

cleaning_services

Well, not only did my house makeover not bring or keep my ex-husband home, but my new business venture “Angelu Cleaning Services”, was shut down by myself thanks to his pressure and insinuations.

Ange is my name and Lu for Lumiere was my ex-husband's
Ange is my name and Lu for Lumiere was my ex-husband’s

However, that is not the end of my cleaning services. When I came to Brussels, I realised it was a good thing I knew how to clean as a pro.

I got jobs to clean homes and was paid by the hour. Wow I was excited. I love to see the end result of my work and really don’t  feel I am ‘slaving’ or anything.

Ironing and doing the dishes are my favorite
Ironing and doing the dishes are my favorite

Today, even with a regular job, I still take on cleaning jobs every now and then on the weekends. My salary pays my fee installment and provides some for my boys back home, and so any extra income from my cleaning pays my bills out here.

Dear readers and followers of mine, here is my journey to becoming a professional cleaner and keeping my various passions nurtured. What is your take?

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#BringBackOurGirls


#BringBackOurGirls.

What is happening in Nigeria, is simply outrageous. I can add any other words to this post I found on the Girls Globe. My heart bleeds for those parents, most of whom may not mean a damn to the Nigerian Government in the first place. Please share this on, sign the petition, and let’s hope for the best for those families.

June my Jamaican Heroine: series II


I am so excited at meeting June my Jamaican Heroine, at long last, that I am starting this post even before I leave for London. Or don’t you find this exciting?

I could do with some ganja?
I could do with some ganja?

Haha, oh, following series one, I should have met June by now right? Ok, now to :

The report in full
The report in full

I had hoped to meet June after I land in London and get to spend the night with her (hoping to get some her strong spirit while we slept) but my flight was not only a late night, but the computers at London Gatwick airport chose that very night to stop working. This caused a five hour wait to go through border control.

I didn’t lose hope and we quickly agreed on having dinner on Sunday, thus guaranteeing my finally getting to eat a real Jamaican dish. Trust me to arrive 30 minutes before time!

Hmm, June my Jamaican Heroine,

June my all year summer!
June my all year summer!

is all what she tells us in her blogs and much more! It is hard not to fall in love with her. I believe fervently that I walk by faith and not by sight especially when it comes to human relationships. Yes I am an extrovert too and many a time, I have sensed if that relationship or person will be a + or a – (sure you understand).

She is so far the only friend and heroine of mine to get series in my blog and this should tell you more.

We had such pleasant discussions and if she had never told me, I would have thought she was my elder sister’s age mate.

Oh my, June is a woman of faith. She is such a strong woman who has been through so much too in life and who is leaning in.

We may not share the same religious affiliations and passions but that doesn’t matter to me. Her believing in taking giant steps of faith like leaving a ‘teaching job’ to become a full time copy writer and blogger, is courageous, fascinating, inspirational and motivating!

Yes, I am definitely so proud to have met June online, to have reached out to her, to have kept our friendship going, and to have visited her.

I was honoured above all to offer my dear June an autographed copy of my book. She was duly acknowledged therein and wrote a blurb for the back cover at such short notice and with no hesitation at all. She encouraged and still encourages me, gives me valuable advice and was even willing to proof read my book if I had wanted to bother her with that mindful of her hectic schedule.

June and I
June and I

Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, as we grow older, we learn a lot of lessons in life and meet all sort of people.  Amongst those I have met in my blogging life and even out of it, June stands out. I sincerely wish we all get to have such a friend in life, who even if they don’t necessarily agree with all we do, will not let that mare our friendship.

Do you have a similar experiences you may want to share? What do you think about my series on June my Jamaican Heroine? 

Emotions and Categories: My series


I continue my Monday posts on emotions with this research on Emotions and Categories. l assume oh gentle readers and followers of mine, that you must have noticed a pattern of my blog by now right? Yep I am excited about my newest passionate journey and hope to weekly share something on that!

I am calling any categorization I attempt in here as my series because:

Psychologists have yet to fully tackle the question “How many emotions do we have?” Hence Categories of Emotions abound.

Just looking closely at this image, we can try to figure out how many categories of emotions there are or how many we identify with and how we manage or let them ‘manage’ us and much more:

Plutchik-wheel-of-emotions
Plutchik-wheel-of-emotions

Today, I wish to concentrate on the category I will call Great Emotions – what may otherwise be referred to as positive emotions. These are those emotions which keep us ‘happy, jovial, enthusiastic…’ and optimistic and you name it.

Here is an infographic I found on the internet from another blog:

 

Able Absolved Abundant Acceptable Accepted Accepting Accomplished Accountable Achieving Active
Adaptable Adequate Admirable Admired Adored Affluent Agreeable Alert Ambitious Amused
Appreciated Appreciative Approved Approving Assertive Assured At Ease Attached Attentive Atrractive
Authentic Awake Aware Awesome Balanced Beautiful Believing Blessed Blissful Bonded
Brave Bright Brilliant Calm Capable Captivated Cared For Carefree Careful Caring
Cautious Centered Certain Cheerful Cherished Clean Clear Collected Comfortable Comforted
Committed Compassionate Complete Composed Comprehending Confident Congruent Connected Conscious Constant
Content Cooperative Courageous Credible Daring Decisive Defended Delighted Dependable Desirable
Dignified Discerning Disciplined Distinguished Dutiful Dynamic Eager Easy Going Ecstatic Edified
Efficient Elated Elegant Elevated Emancipated Empowered Encouraged Energetic Energized Enthusiastic
Euphoric Exceptional Excited Exhilarated Experienced Expressive Exuberant Faithful Fantastic Favored
Firm Flexible Flowing Focused Forceful Forgiven Fortified Fortunate Free Friendly
Fulfilled Gentle Genuine Gifted Glowing Good Graceful Gracious Gratified Grounded
Growing Guarded Happy Harmonious Healed Helpful Heroic High Honest Honorable
Honored Hopeful Humble Humorous Important In Control Included Independent Infatuated Influential
Innocent Inspired Intelligent Interested Invigorated Invincible Invited Jovial Joyful Jubilant
Judicious Kind Learning Liberated Light Lighthearted Loose Loved Loyal Lucky
Magnetic Marvelous Masterful Mature Meek Merciful Methodical Mindful Modest Motivated
Neat Noble Observant Open Open Hearted Organized Pacified Pampered Pardoned Passionate
Patient Peaceful Perfect Persevering Pleasant Pleased Popular Positive Powerful Praised
Precious Prepared Present Productive Proficient Progressive Prosperous Protected Prudent Punctual
Purified Purposeful Qualified Quick Quiet Radiant Rational Reasonable Reassured Receptive
Recognized Redeemed Regenerated Relaxed Reliable Relieved Remembered Replenished Resolute Respected
Respectful Responsive Restored Revitalized Rewarded Rooted Satisfied Secure Selfless Self Reliant
Sensational Sensible Sensitive Serene Settled Sharing Simple Skillful Smooth Soothed
Spirited Splendid Stable Steadfast Stengthened Strong Successful Supported Sustained Tactful
Teachable Temperate Tenacious Tender Thankful Thoughtful Thrilled Tolerant Tranquil Triumphant
Trusting Understanding Understood Undisturbed Unhurried Unique United Unselfish Upheld Valiant
Valuable Valued Virile Vital Warm Wealthy Willing Wise Wonderful Worthwhile
Worthy Yielding Zealous

 

Wow, what a list? How many of these do we identify with? How of these are glad to possess, manifest, portray, look forward to having, actually realize we want to have, should have and can have? I am curious myself and am studying as I make these discoveries.

So what do I hope to do with my research on Emotions and Categories?

Once I get established, my aim will be to help my clients amongst others, to manage their emotions. It is imperative to do so for this greatly impacts our well being. I will work with them to realize that it is ok and normal to discuss their emotions, both men and women alike and sure even children and that we have watch out the extent to which we allow the intensity of our emotions to affect us and our relationships (and I mean both Great and Not so Great emotions – positive and negative).

I truly wish to be able to accomplish this passionate mission of mine and to help more than I could otherwise have done.

Please, feel free as usual to leave your generous comments on emotions and categories as you see it. Don’t forget to also share this post so that many more are touched 🙂

Learning to Cook


Going from the title of my post I think we may be wondering if any African Woman should even write such right?

Learning to Cook
Learning to Cook

I mean, we take it for granted that we are supposed to know how to cook and clean especially if we ‘rightly’ grew up by our mama’s side right?

When I was growing up, it was all but very normal that girls stay in the kitchen with mama and the boys go round with papa. Yes, the kitchen was ‘out of bounds’ for boys and men.

Well, I wasn’t a ‘normal’ girl then and my book or even my tale tells it all. I spent more time around my papa or out in the ‘wild’ than anywhere near mama’s kitchen.

But today, my post is not only about learning the simple technique of cooking a plain meal, no it is much more.

Given that I spent the barest minimum time around my mama’s kitchen, she and all all but ‘wrote me off’ as even an amateur cook. I remember promising myself one day I was going to surprise them. In the mean time, I consoled myself cooking kids ‘sand meals’ for my dolls.

Cooking for my dolls
Cooking for my dolls

What they didn’t know was that in all those homes I visited, I stayed with the girls and their mummies in their kitchens every now and then and learnt a thing or two. Yes at home I was never trusted to even fry an egg and my mama will say I could only cook for the ‘dog’ and she didn’t have food for me to ruin for him.

When I got married, my Mother in law took it up too as if she knew what I had grown up to/with. She hammered and haunted me how I had to first live with her for some time to learn how to ‘cook what she knows her son loves to eat’. She made it a habit to show up (starting right the day after we got married) often and of course unannounced with some dish or the other for her son. This was the last straw.

I started learning however l could and read all l could and practiced all l could until l became the amateur cook l am today. Wow, my darling darling says l cook so well and have a 2/3 star – coming from a French Man – means a lot.

With cook books and all
With cook books and all

I so much loved to cook and cook that I can’t blame only child bearing or stress for the hefty 115kgs I once weighed.

That’s not all however, because there is a sad note to my learning experience. The more I did my best and cooked even three course meals hoping my husband will even be Gentleman enough to come back home early, eat my food and leave even a slim compliment, the more he ignored me.

Well, I continued learning and nurturing my passion, I even encouraged my sister in law who wasn’t making any headway in school, to go into one of those ‘cooking schools’.

I cooked for my kids and ‘friends’ and all.

Cooking with Love
Cooking with Love

Today, I cook for my darling darling and he loves it so much that he has opened a ‘private restaurant’ for me.

French Cuisine includes dressing a table
French Cuisine includes dressing a table

Haha, I am even learning French cuisine pretty fast can even bake so well me who never baked or watch my sister bake (she loved and knew so well to bake and still does) until coming over.

Learning French Cuisine
Learning French Cuisine

So dear readers and followers, I don’t know if this is my experience alone but what I have learnt from this is that we can thrive in anything we truly set out to do.

I would be glad to read and respond to your comments and sure if you share then it means much more!

Meeting June my Jamaican Heroine: series 1


June my summer and heroine
June my summer and heroine

I am so excited because by the time this post goes life, I should have met my dear friend June.

I mean who wouldn’t fall in love with someone with such a name? You can guess right that with her it is summer all year round huh?

And then, you can add much more when you read her motto:

 ‘Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win.’

I fell in love with Jamaica as a kid when listening to the great Bob’s music and watching how some people still swore by him, wore his memorabilia and talked Babylon all day long.

Bob lives on
Bob lives on

When I got to Belgium last year, Usain Bolt was already making headlines and at least making Jamaica proud so much that when I met the Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at a conference she told me she was honoured to be PM of his country.

By then, I had discovered the blogging world out of curiosity and because a friend of mine told me I wrote well and should give it a try.

The very next day I put my blog up, I went to visit another blog and fell on June’s comment. I followed the link she provided and got to her blog and there I read this great post on “AM I A BLOGGER OR WHAT”?

I contacted her and she quickly responded giving me such advice that prevented me from drowning in the word press and blogger ocean.

It’s been so much love at first sight huh?

When I visited London in March, I couldn’t get to see June because our schedules where hectic. I wasn’t discouraged for I decided to go back again if only to finally get to meet JUNE!

She wrote the post on a powerful and strong woman which I sort of re-blogged last week, she talks with me every now and then and yes I am blessed to call June my friend, an inspiration and motivation.

I am hoping to try some real Jamaican cuisine at her place because I must admit that I was dubbed at a festival l attended here in Brussels by some hawkers claiming they served Jamaican cuisine. They had some real succulent banners but when we ordered, we got served a pale rice and beans.

Authentic Jamaican Cuisine it says
Authentic Jamaican Cuisine it says

I am also enamored with Jamaican stories and my best Jamaican author so far is J.L. Campbell whose hit Distraction I am currently mirroring myself in and have also shelved Don’t Get Mad Get Even 1+2 as next!

Hmm, let me hold my breathe and we’ll see in my series two how our meeting went – trust I will sleep over at her place after having come this far right?

Dear gentle  readers and followers of mine, you tell me how much closer to Jamaica could look forward to again?

Emotions and Intensity


Some intense emotions
Some intense emotions

In my special and passionate journey towards becoming a personal and emotional well being coach, I am equally letting myself coached.

My coach asked me a question which sparked further self evaluation.

First, let me begin by admitting that I am derailing from my initial plan of doing a post this week on the categories of emotions and al.

I however promise my dear readers, that this will come soonest. I just found his question intense – hence the title of this post:

He asked me how bad I felt about …

Oh my, so feeling bad wasn’t enough to deal with and now I had to dwell into how bad I felt and how intense was that feeling?

I got down to doing some research to help myself and of course YOU! 🙂

in·ten·si·ty  (ĭn-tĕn′sĭ-tē)

n. pl. in·ten·si·ties

1. Exceptionally great concentration, power, or force.
2. Physics The amount or degree of strength of electricity, light, heat, or sound per unit area or volume.
Is it my choice how intense I want to feel about something and how I want to express that feeling?
Can l do something about that emotion which is currently manifesting itself so intensely that I even feel overpowered and sort of compelled to act in a particular way?
I looked at emotions and well being recently and was of the modest opinion that if only we could believe that it was ok for women to discuss our emotions, if only men could see that it was also ok for them to open up, then we could and should take the edge over our emotions.
I know and once learnt that emotions are here to stay and come on, could we perceive living emotionless?
Yet, we have numerous examples in life when we or people we know got carried away especially by ‘negative’ emotions, and became ‘serial’ you name them.
My book tells of my tale and I admit wholeheartedly therein that I was lured by my emotions and or inability and yes even unwillingness to discuss them even with my own self.
My emotions of sadness at the life I got myself into, the pity I felt for myself, the hatred l felt for my ‘abusive’ husband, the ‘rejection’ l felt for my family etc etc, grew from weak – mild – strong.
Intense emotions get us do things we often regret
Intense emotions get us do things we often regret
Now, without facing them when they were still just weak (on the intensity scale), not pushing on to discuss them after a first try, I became more restless and verbose and yet withdrawn all at the same time.
The emotions were gradually taking control of me and I couldn’t mage them no more.
They got so intense that I was afraid of what I could do to myself if I even thought about my life, my pain, my future. Oh, I even at some point preferred death – yes my senselessness hammered in me that I was good for nothing. Had not even started running into the arms of other men just for some consolation?
Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, I hope I have by this modest post shared with you what I am learning and hope to be working on in my next career path. Do show some love, share, comment and why not stay tuned?

Life Lessons


While wishing my Friend Vincent a happy birthday, it is in all appreciation for his generosity that I re-blog this post of his. Do we identify with some of his life’s lessons?

Vincent Egoro

Photo Credit: fin6.com/ Photo Credit: fin6.com/

Today is my birthday. As I look back at my life’s journey over the years, there have been several experiences and lessons that have altogether shaped me into the person I have become today. Nothing reflects most of my life experiences and lessons like this piece I found on the internet:

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them;

I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back;

I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned that you can get by on charm, for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something;

I’ve learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I’ve learned that no matter how hot and…

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Fati my Senegalese hairdresser and heroine


I truly love writing about my heroines right?

I found an Unconditional Friend in Fati
I found an Unconditional Friend in Fati

Many of them are in my little world and some are out there known by many. Well, that’s life and I am a woman who has never stopped counting her blessings.

So here we go for today.

I have always loved to have a particular ‘service provider’, be it my tailor, hairdresser and all. The best reason is that I hope to have someone I could bond with in that regard and not just see as a ‘trader’. Even in the markets back home, I had my special ‘mamis’ from whom I bought this or that foodstuff etc.

When I came to Brussels, I started looking for a hairdresser. Men, I even shaved my hair at some point so that I could have more time to decide on what next to do about braiding giving the cost, and trouble finding ‘a  hairdresser’.

I asked some Africans I met in the streets, bus anywhere and most sent me to ‘Matonge’ (an area like one of those open markets we have back home). My guts however did not want to go there.

And then someday last August, I was referred to Fati and since then, she has become my ‘sister’ from Senegal.

Last monday, I went to do my hair as usual and Fati gave me an appointment to meet up somewhere. She was a bit late and I was getting nervous. A friend I spoke to adviced that I go to ‘Matonge’ but I decided to wait for Fati.

As if the delay wasn’t enough, when she came she insisted we go to her new ‘cot’ which was like 45 more minutes away. Well, I went along after all, we were already together.

Fati loves chatting and she let me in on so many things in her life and family and all and I was just glad to listen and note how glad she was to have a listening ear.

When Fati started braiding my hair ‘at last’, we were soon interrupted by her Uncle with whom she lived that it was lunch/dinner (5pm or so) time and he wouldn’t take any excuse.

So you can see for yourself how it went the Senegalese way : I was glad to drink two cups of their lovely chai though 🙂

Sharing a meal the Senegalese way
Sharing a meal the Senegalese way

Fortunately, Fati does the braiding pretty quick too and so in like an hour later, we were done:

I looked like a barbie doll huh!
I looked like a barbie doll huh!

Sometimes, I have an idea of what I want but Fati often tell me what she thinks will be best for me giving the weave I bring and all.

What matters in the end is the love I find in Fati.

She is a Muslim and that’s not our concern.

She is however a strong woman who has equally been through so much and is out here on her own with her 3 kids back in Senegal with her mother. (Maybe you can talk of birds of the same feather?)

The best part is, Fati thinks she should pay for my transport fare and always insist on returning 5 euros whenever I pay her which already is a very modest amount.

Someday, I may have to offend her and not take the money or what do you think gentle readers and followers of mine?

A Strong Woman by June Whittle


I am very excited because in one week’s time, all going well, I will visit my dear friend June in London.

I copy paste a large excerpt of what I consider her best post since discovering her blog (there isn’t a reblog option on her posts but I know she wouldn’t frown on my sharing it this way 🙂 )

A Strong Woman Is a Powerful Woman

Posted by June Whittle in Inspiration 

A strong woman is a powerful woman
A strong woman is a powerful woman

A strong woman is a powerful woman. Why? First of all let’s look at the definition of ‘strong’ to find out. The first thing that may come to your mind is ‘Physically powerful.’ However, there’s another definition in the dictionary which is, ‘Having or showing ability or achievement in a specified field‘. That’s what I am going to focus on.

I class myself as a strong woman. That’s because I have had to deal with some major challenges in my life. Instead of those experiences breaking me, they made me strong. I was determined to fight my way through because of my girls. Not only did I develop unusual emotional strength, I also learned how to fight negative thoughts that wanted to drag me down.

Some of those negative thoughts were:

  • I can’t go on.
  • I can’t deal with this.
  • I wish I was dead.
  • Life is too hard.
  • I just want to go to sleep and not wake up.
  • I don’t want to talk to anyone.
  • I want to be left alone.

And the list went on… But guess what? I knew that I couldn’t give up because my daughters depended on me. Their love helped make me a strong woman. Plus I am a fighter.

The reason for this post is to encourage you. I want to tell you that you too are a strong woman. I’ve got some quotes to share with you to motivate you.

  • A strong woman

Pain is something that can cut deep into your soul. I know! I’ve been there. In 2000 I had to deal with the deaths of three people I loved. They died within the space of nine months. The pain was extremely bad because those deaths were untimely. But through that pain, I became a strong woman.

  • A real woman

If you’ve been knocked by love and heartaches and bounced back, you’re a real woman! You know how to dust yourself off and start all over again. It’s great when you’re able to get back on track. Especially when you learn from whatever it was that knocked you down.

  • A prayerful woman

Praying has been my lifeline. It’s good to be able to pour out your troubles and forget them. Praying isn’t just about getting down on your knees with your hands clasped. I pray by simply talking to God. I always get a sense of peace afterwards. And He does answer prayers.

  • A successful woman

A successful woman will use her problems as stepping-stones to get to where she wants to go. She doesn’t see them as setbacks but as opportunities for growth. Have you had people laugh at you and tell you that your idea is stupid? Or that you will never make it? Or why do you want to give up your job to pursue a silly dream?

Negative remarks will make a strong woman determined to become a successful woman. My favourite quote is, “Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win.”

Kindly read on the interesting rest at June’s fabulous blog (more images and quotes there too), while I repeat her closing remarks:

  • Have you experienced the harsh realities of life? What made you the strong woman you are today? Please share your story in the comment box below. If you liked this post, share it with your friends …

 

 

 

mum, author, mental health advocate, therapist, inspires & motivates with personal experiences

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