Friday, 30 December 2011

Half full

I have had an absolutely lovely Christmas, I hope you have too. Unfortunately, I'm not at the computer where I stored my pictures so a full account will come later.

I have always known I am a positive person. Despite my sometimes cynic nature, I have a "glass half full" mentality and often repeat the mantra "PMA", or "positive mental attitude".

Nowhere was that more clear than yesterday, in the kitchen. After a marathon cleaning, I had just gotten the mop ready when Em's horrid cough lead to her throwing up, all over the kitchen floor. My thought? "I'm so lucky she did it before I mopped the floor".

Then, forty minutes later, when I had finished all my mopping, she came back, to the same spot and threw up two more times. Whilst I wiped up the worst of it, all I was thinking was: "Aren't I lucky that I still have the mop and bucket standing there all ready to go".

Now how's that for positive mental attitude! (And an insight into parenthood for those of you who are not there yet...)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a very merry Christmas!
More words (and pictures) tomorrow.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Santa Baby

I am exhausted after the Santa Clausian task of wrapping Christmas gifts for my one child, five nephews and nieces, two brothers and a father, AND the same amount of gifts on behalf of my mum. What on earth was I thinking when I thought it would be a cosy thing to do on the night before Christmas??? Still, it seems Christmas this year will be great (fingers crossed).

Today's song, Santa Baby by Macy Gray, calmed me down during the busiest time in the central mall, Nordstan.

Now, an episode of The Good Wife, whilst I wash the last of the pre-Christmas dishes.


Den här bloggposten innehåller nötkräm

”Det pågår en tyst katastrof. En katastrof som varje dag dödar 21 000 barn under fem års ålder. De flesta barnen dör av näringsbrist, diarré eller andra sjukdomar. De dör av orsaker som med enkla medel skulle kunna förebyggas. Det som saknas är vaccin, medicin, rent vatten och näringsriktig mat. Saker som UNICEF kan leverera. Saker som vi tillsammans kan leverera.

Den här bloggposten är mitt sätt bidra. För i och med att jag publicerar den här bloggposten blir inte bara fler uppmärksammade på den tysta katastrofen utan dessutom innebär det att re:member skänker sex påsar av den nötkräm som UNICEF använder vid behandling av undernärda barn. Tre påsar nötkräm om dagen är allt som krävs för att ett barn som lider av undernäring ska kunna överleva.

Har du också en blogg och vill göra något viktigt i jul? Hämta bloggmaterial här! Tillsammans räddar vi barns liv.

Ps. Vill du köpa fältprodukterna som räddar barns liv, besök UNICEFs gåvoshop. Du kan välja ett snyggt gåvobevis designat av bland annat Tove Styrke eller Elsa Billgren att ge bort i julklapp.

And here's an explanation in English:

Every year, 21.000 children under the age of five die, mainly because of malnutrition, diarrhea or other diseases. The Swedish division of UNICEF has launched a blog campaign aiming at raising awareness about this silent disaster and providing help to those who really need it.

If you have a blog and would like to support this cause, UNICEF asks you to publish a post about it, including some text snippets, photos and videos that they provide here (this campaign is targeted at bloggers writing in Swedish).

It’s the most important blog post you could write this year. And in addition to that you help raising awareness about this misery, re:member has partnered up with UNICEF and agreed to donate 6 bags Nutriset per published blog post. Nutriset is an oil-based paste of peanuts which is used to treat children with severe acute malnutrition (you can read more about it here).

After you have published your blog posts and included the text and media provided on this site, it is important that you ping Twingly about your blog posts (here is an explanation how to do that). By doing so, your post will appear in the blog feed on UNICEF’s campaign blog and become part of the campaign.

Let’s make sure that as many people as possible join the campaign and help the children around the world!

Thursday, 22 December 2011


I know, I missed a day, but I am sure you'll forgive me once you hear what I have been up to. It seems technology and I will never be friends, despite all the effort I make. So in addition to my motherboard going into a coma, my work-email moved to a new server and all my emails were lost.

All my legal documents and communication that I was hoping to use as a backup, now I no longer have my laptop, gone! Luckily we got our IT guys to revert to the old server temporarily. After spending h o u r s researching whether I could forward a bunch of emails at once, it seemed there was an obstacle at every corner.

In the end I had to give up and go through, select and forward as much as I thought I needed of my thousand emails. Annoyingly, actually forwarding the emails manually took less time than I spent researching mass forwarding.

This morning, I dropped my phone and when I turned it on, message after message popped up in my inbox. Suddenly I got all those messages that friends and contacts had told me they had sent since last Saturday. Imagine the added wahala of having to deal with each issue that was in the text (still not done!).

Today's Christmas song is a twi Christmas song by Kaakyire Kwame Appiah. To be honest, I hadn't heard it until today, but I am hoping others will recognise it. Why this song? I recall that the last or second last Thursday Before Christmas is usually carols' night at the Ghana School of Law and the best songs are without a doubt the Twi songs. Come to think of it, for me, carols' night there, or at Ridge Church is when the Christmas spirit really sets in for me. I hope those of you in Ghana have had the chance to attend some this year!

Also, I'm in the Ghana mood as I made some omotuo and nkatiekwan (rice balls and groundnut soup) for dinner this evening and it was lush! It may also have helped upgrade my Christmas present from the hubby...

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Midnight melancholy

I promised Raine I'd post a mulled wine recipe. Right now I am getting a slight déjà vu feeling as I know I have posted one either last year or the year before. Unfortunately I am to lazy to search my own blogg, so here's a recipe I've tried before:

1 litre red wine
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of cloves
1 teaspoon of cardemom
3 tablespoons of sugar

Pour everything into a pot and heat. If you want to retain the alcohol content, heat to 75 degrees (Celsius), then leave to stand for 15 minutes before straining the spices. The amount of spices and sugar can be varied to suit taste.

I usually use this recipe for non-alcoholic mulled wine. For that I use a dark red juice, e.g. red grape juice or cranberry & rasperry juice. Whether I use juice or wine, I actually allow the mixture to boil for a few minutes, as I am not interested in retaining the alcohol.

Serve warm, in small cups with a sprinkling of raisins and almonds in each cup.

Today's Christmas song is one of my favourite remakes of a classic. I first heard it on an episode of Grey's Anatomy, and since I'm seriously missing my show (how long a Christmas break do those actors need??), I've had it on my mind. The eerie melancholy of the song really depicts the TV-show and is just...beautiful. So enjoy, It came upon a Midnight Clear by Sixpence None the Richer.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Libraries in Ghana

Em and I head to the library at least once a week, either to the local library or the main city library. Sometimes we read a book, other times there are scheduled children's events, like Mama Africa sharing songs and tales from Africa. For me, the library has been a place to visit on and off since I was a child.

These recent, regular library visits make me think of Ghana. I have never heard of anyone going to the library in Ghana. Actually, I hardly hear of people reading at all! There is a saying that: "if you want to hide something from Ghanaians, put it in a book"

Awful saying, but somewhat true. It seems although our people love learning, reading for the enjoyment of reading is not as popular.

Earlier this year, I took part in a church-organised cleanup of the Tema Library grounds. I didn't even know I had been driving past a library almost everyday, at the end of Hospital road. The grounds were overgrown and the library building looked as though nobody had entered for years. So imagine my surprise when I googled it and found that it is actively running and there was even a relatively new wanted ad, for internet librarians!

Have you been to a library in Ghana?

Today's song: Gläns över sjö och strand by the Real Group.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Mulled wine and Saffron cupcakes

The day has been as perfect as a December day could be in Sweden. We woke up to snow-covered streets and buildings. I started off my day with a gym-class, then I spent the next 2-3 hours baking for Christmas. Lussekatter, gingerbread, saffron cupcakes, you name it, but photographic evidence will have to come later, when I sort out my many technological issues.

After baking and a bit of cleaning, we all headed to meet my friend MJ at Liseberg, Northern Europe's largest amusement park, which has gone all out, turning itself into Sweden's largest Christmas market.

We warmed our cold handds and faces over the charcoal grills that were found at every corner. A necessary stop was made at one of Liseberg's cafés for hot chocolate and mulled wine, before we headed home.

Now, within ten minutes of getting home, Em is fast asleep and I am just about to collapse into bed myself.

Can't think of any better way to sum up this day than with Nat King Cole's idyllic Christmas tune.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Computers, Comas and the Caribbean

My laptop is dead. Well, actually, it's in a coma. Or how else would you describe a situation where the light switch comes on when the laptop is turned on, but nothing else happens? Brain dead?

Well, yes, according to the little bit of googling I did, it seems my motherboard is dead. I don't know much about computers, all I remember is the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie had a problem with her motherboard and lost all the information on her computer. Needless to say, I am little scared, especially as I have been a bad, bad, girl who's omitted to backup.

After a call from my brothers who are chilling in the Caribbean (sense the jealousy!), I am happy to know that the programmer brother will soon be home again, and yes, he knows how to sort out a motherboard. Phew, the future may just be bright, after all.

Today's song is Mariah Carey's wailorama, All I want for Christmas. Not because I like it, but because it's been running through my head all day. (And I will retroactively post two Christmas songs, since the non-posting was caused by technical difficulties).

Friday, 16 December 2011

Happy day.

Today I got some good news. I mean really good news. I mean jump-up-and-down-squealing-with-joy kind of news.

Then, not long after, I had the nice surprise of randomly bumping into my kind of sister-in-law and on our way to the centre of town we caught an old fashioned tram where a Santa Clause was serving complimentary mulled wine and gingerbread to all passengers!

I couldn't think of a better way to get us all in the Christmas spirit. I think Boney M best represents the bouncy, up beat mood I've been in.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

No fufu on this table

I know at the moment this blog may be Christmas overkill, but when you've spent the last seven years celebrating in Ghana, being offered fufu and light soup for Christmas Day dinner (I don't usually swear, but WTF?) and wiping sweat away from your face when opening presents, every second of a wintery Christmas needs to be celebrated.

Sometimes with a classic:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Give, give, give!

What is the most fun part of celebrating Christmas? Well, I guess for a Christian, it is the birth of Jesus, but more generally in this modern world, it is the spirit of giving that signifies the coming holidays.

Today has been all about giving. I had a fruitful meeting with some inspirational people and discussions on how we could collaborate for a good cause. Then I took the family through town, passing Musikhjälpens Christmas tent which is raising money for girls' right to education all over the world.

I love giving at Christmas, or any time of year for that matter. In Sweden, one can offer money to Musikhjälpen, or donate to the Swedish Church in its mission to combat World Hunger. ActionAid has various options of giving to those less fortunate, or why not help Medicins sans Frontières work against malaria and other diseases.

In Ghana one could choose to support a charitable organisation, like Give Ghana, or even better, head to your local orphanage with some food, clothes or toys. You cannot imagine how overjoyed the children are over clothes that you may consider out of date and old.

In the spirit of giving, what better song than this fundraising giant:

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Water, water everywhere... 3

Seems this is an endless topic of discussion. It was with interest I've followed the water situation in Ghana, at times very happy to be here, away from any issues of water shortage. That was until I saw this: a notice informing us that today, between 13 and 15 they will turn off our water for maintenance works.

Two hours may seem like a little, but the scary part is the sentence that says, "these times are estimates only, the period may be prolonged without further notice". Like Virgo remarked, "This is Tema, isn't it?".

Needless to say, I've made plans for us to be out at the time, we'll be doing such exciting things as... the weekly food shopping!

Of course, today is Lucia, so before shopping, we'll make a quick stop in Nordstan for Virgo and Em to experience a bit of Lucia celebrations. So for you, today's Christmas song is a glimpse of how Lucia is celebrated.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Stress and surgeries

What a day. My friend MJ and I have both spent our Monday at separate hospitals, one anxiously following her parent's heart surgery, the other nervously waiting for her child to wake from surgery under general anesthesia.

It was with a sigh of relief that we could both text the other of the succesful surgery. Still, 12th Dec, 2011 will probably be fresh in our minds for a while.

I can't think of a more stressful way to start the week than to have a loved one being cut open by a team in green scrubs. So I'm ending the Monday with a powerful Christmas carol that will hopefully give me some necessary oomph to manage the rest of the week. Here it is, Go tell it on the Mountain.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

December Sunday

This Sunday has been as mellow as Sundays should always be. Apart from a quick trip to Nordstan, the main Gothenburg mall, it has been spent home, preparing anxiously for the important week ahead.

Em and I welcomed Virgo who just arrived in Gothenburg. I am excited for both Em and Virgo to experience their first Christmas in Sweden.

Speaking of Christmas, here's today's song: Dido's Christmas Day.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Water water everywhere... 2

Not too long ago, I wrote about the floods in Ghana. Little did I know soon they’d hit us in Sweden too. While I was looking out my window, late Thursday night, enjoying the snowflakes that were falling and watching the grounds, trees and houses turn white, I was oblivious to the fact that when I’d wake up the next morning it would all have melted away and rain storms would be heading in.

The storm continued all of Friday, I’m just grateful I had already planned to spend the day indoors (laundry day), so that I watched the winds cry and trees dance vigorously from the comfort of my sitting room.
(Picture borrowed from Göteborgsposten, "the Gothenburg Post")

In shock, I read that a woman nearly drowned in her car after taking a wrong turn onto a flooded road. This happened not too far from where I myself had to wade through waist (!) high water, in 2005 as we experienced Hurricane Gudrun. As I write, many roads and areas of the city have been sectioned off while work is done to drain the excess water.

Despite the ongoing winds and downpour, I am still dreaming of a white Christmas. So here’s today’s Christmas song, with one of my favourite artists of all time – the great Otis Redding.

Friday, 9 December 2011


What are the chances I'll be able to write something everyday for the next 15 days? Shouldn't be too hard, right? Well, I'm challenging myself by making my own advent calendar.

To me, Christmas in Sweden is all about the advent calendar. Not the nasty chocolate ones, but rather a home made one with simple surprises in it every day, or Swedish Television's calendar that we al used to watch as children, each day.

My blog calendar will be to post a Christmas song each day until Christmas Day. I'm sure by then, we'll all be fed up of it, but on a positive side, perhaps I'll be back in blogging mode by then and can continue writing about normal things.

I'll start with my favourite of all time: O Holy Night. Is there any Christmas song that is more beautiful? I challenge you to find one!

In Swedish:

And English:


Monday, 5 December 2011

A change... gonna come.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Water water everywhere...

...and it's not even rainy season!

I may be in Gothenburg, but I'm following the current situation in Ghana as best I can. I'd heard there had been heavy rain, very unusual for this time of year, but I didn't realise how bad it had gotten, until I read that five people had died in flood related events. And the full extent of what 'heavy rain' meant wasn't realised until I saw this picture on Joy's webpage:
However, a few moments later I caught this shot on a Fb friend's page. Don't tell me us Ghanaians don't know how to make the most of a bad situation!

Monday, 24 October 2011

The power of modern media

I'm sure almost every Swede on Facebook saw a link to a video of three girls singing Robyn's Call Your Girlfriend, using only empty margarine cartons as 'instruments'. This link started spreading sometime late last week, Thursday perhaps.

By Friday, I had about four different Fb friends linking it, the Guardian (that is the UK Guardian!) featured them and today the group, known as Erato, performed on one of Stockholm's radio morning shows (this time using empty cottage cheese "Keso" containers).

Not only am I impressed by their talent and innovation (dare I admit I prefer their version to the original?), I'm so inspired by how quickly a video of three girls can spread from a kitchen in Sweden to West Africa and the rest of the world!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

9/11 - Where were you?

Ten years on, I think just about everybody can remember exactly where they were when the news broke. Here’s my account:

I was working one of my first shifts at Starbucks in Kensington, after a long summer in Sweden. My friend, fellow Swede, LN got a call from her boyfriend Chris, who basically said, “Get to the nearest TV as soon as possible”. With no more information than that, LN and I continued working, not realising what was going on, on the other side of the world. Half an hour later, Chris called again and insisted that LN hurry to the Irish pub on the corner to watch the TV.

LN briefly left the shop and came back a whiter shade of pale. She told me, the Twin Towers had collapsed to the ground. At that moment, a million thoughts went through my mind, including; were the Twin Towers really what I thought they were, because surely such buildings couldn’t just come down? Before I got the chance to ask LN anything else, the front doors banged open and in true dramatic all-eyes-on-me style, that only an American could master, a woman stood in the entrance, arms and hands wide open as she exclaimed “The World Trade Center has just gone down!!!”

Kensington, and were our Starbucks was located, is a very highly American populated area, which unfortunately for me meant, we were too busy for the next 90 minutes for me to go and get a visual of what was actually happening. One person that I came across that day, has stuck in my mind ever since. It was a petite American woman in her mid-thirties. She came in, visibly shaken, lost and on the verge of tears. She almost whispered to us “Give me the strongest coffee you have, please”. LN and I looked at each other, and as she got her coffee, we couldn’t help but ask, “Are you ok?”

“My father works in the first building that went down. I don’t know whether he’s ok or not. He’s not answering his phone. I can’t get through on the netw...” She couldn’t continue, emotions took over her voice. Naturally, her triple shot Americano was on the house, she thanked us and left. To this day, I’ve wondered whether she would be one of the lucky ones, whose father, perhaps, was late for work or on sick leave that day.

Soon after, I headed to Victoria Station on the Tube. In the less than 10 minutes it took me to get there, rumours had started spreading, that the City (banking and financial centre of London) was being evacuated, London Bridge and Victoria stations were the next targets of this terrorist attack. I could not believe my eyes as I got out of the station, people were running around like headless chickens. The bus I’d usually take was full to the brim; nobody dared get in the Underground, in case that too would be the next target.

Once home, J Afua, Efua D and I spent the next 7 hours watching the news-clips, over and over again. Somehow, no matter how many times we watched it, it never seemed to look more real, it looked like a movie scene or a bad, bad dream. Half way through the evening, rumours started circling that MI5, a 5 minute walk from us, was also a potential target. Needless to say, it was with a very heavy heart and worried soul we all went to sleep that night, somehow hoping a night’s sleep would erase it all away.

That’s my recount of September 11th. Little did I know I end up meeting and marrying a man who was born on that date. So for the past years, and today as well, 9/11 has been a day of happiness and celebration as we celebrate Virgo’s birthday. I’m glad we have something positive to think and talk about on a day like this. And of course I’d also like to wish M in Gothenburg a happy 2nd birthday!

How do you remember your 9/11?

Friday, 2 September 2011

Hey there...

Wondering where I've been?

Just got back from another trip to Gothenburg, where I was smart enough to head to without my laptop. So I've been sharing Mr. T's laptop with him, somehow managed to get heaploads of work, which I had to handle on a computer with no Office programs!

On top of that, I also became the key person in the middle of an apartment move, which led me to have a total of 11 hours of sleep over the past 4 days! Needless to say, I'm exhausted and intend to spend this weekend catching up on sleep.

And of course... a bit of blogging!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Civilized advertising?

Whilst on the topic of racism, look what caught my eye today:
When I saw this picture on Facebook, I was completely gobsmacked. I mean, what can one say? Like one person commented, where was the diversity team when Nivea came up with this???

After receiving I-can-only-imagine-the-numerous-number-of complaints, Nivea posted this rather, erm heartfelt comment:

"Thank you for caring enough to give us your feedback about the recent "Re-civilized" NIVEA FOR MEN ad. This ad was inappropriate and offensive. It was never our intention to offend anyone, and for this we are deeply sorry. This ad will never be used again. Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of our company."

Now, as an avid Nivea Cream user, I don't know, do I have to boycott Nivea from now on? Or just accept the fact that this sort of campaign could slip out of any company's marketing camp?

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Back in Africa

Walking home late, last Saturday, after a looong day in South London, I happen to pass about six drunk people in their early 20s. I'm just a few metres ahead of them when I hear one of the guys say:

"What the f**k is she doing here anyway? Shouldn't she be back in Africa?"

As I hear his friends berate him for his racist comment, many thoughts run through my head. The urge to turn round and give him a piece of my mind is dismissed, I'm smart enough not to pick a fight at midnight on a Saturday, with a loser who's drunk.

I walk on a bit and realise I am smiling. Though these comments don't go by without stinging, the sting is so light now, because although I may be in England for a few months, my heart is in Accra (& Tema), my home is in Ghana, I have laid my roots in West Africa.

Your comments may sting, but like mosquito bites, they will quickly stop hurting; and before I know it, I will be back home. Where I belong.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Nothing compares

Do you know this person?
(Picture borrowed from

I didn't think I did either, until I read on People that this is Sinead O'Connor. That's right, Sinead O'Connor, whose song Nothing Compares 2U still gets played all over the world, whose lyrics most of us still remember, word for word, THAT Sinead O'Connor.

(Picture borrowed from the Daily Mail)

I remember a couple of weeks ago reading about fans booing her off stage, feeling they had been cheated because the woman they saw in front of them was clearly not the Sinead O'Connor. Well, it seems it was!

My first thought when I saw the photo was, gosh, she really looks different, what happened? Then, I happened to read some of the comments on People's article and it was clear that most people were shocked by her weight gain. Funnily, that was the last thing I had thought of. To me, the shock in her changed appearance has more to do with the fact that she previously seemed to be a rebellious figure, her shaven head alone made her look it. But now...that hair? That outfit??? Now she looks so...ordinary. Like... an average 40-something mother of 2 or more.

I am not judging her for changing, it's been over two decades, we've all changed since then. I just thought I'd let you know what she looks like today, in case you happen to bump into her some day! (And I felt it would be nice to think of something other than the riots.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

London Riots 2

I thought long and hard and tried to find something else to write about. Would have written about the Ghana-Nigeria friendly game I was going to, but that was, naturally, cancelled after threats of riots in the Watford area.

It looks like there is nothing else on the minds of those of us staying close to areas affected by the riots, so I have continued following the news. Today, I had to cancel all my plans as these included trips to Stratford, Croydon, Clapham Junction, bank and Watford. Well, it looks like now, we will all be able to plan ahead when heading out. The Guardian has created a map that will continuously update to map out areas affected by the riots.

Despite it all, there are some humorous stories around these riots. For example, that leaders of some of the most dubiously run countries in the world, condemning Britain. Or how about clips of a girl stopping to try shoes on before looting them from a JD Sports (and what's up with JD Sports, it seems overly popular in these lootings, along with more obvious targets, like the major mobile phone and electronics retailers)? The audacity!

The Daily Mail has posted pictures of several rioters and looters and I can't but wonder, do some of them have to look so happy, as if to say, "Christmas has come early" as they walk away with 4-5 jumpers.

What had me laugh most in all this though, was this picture:
(image borrowed from Daily Mail)

Looting at Poundland? POUNDLAND???? Where everything costs a pound ($1.60)? Come on, you must be really dumb, to face prosecution and potentially go to prison for that!

Monday, 8 August 2011

London Riots

I don't know where to start. London is up in flames and there seems to be no stopping it. What started out as a peaceful protest against the questionable killing of a Tottenham man, turned into riots in Tottenham, which has now spread across most parts of London.

It is frightening for anyone in London or with family or friends in London. We don't know where to go or where to stay, what is safe, what isn't? I watch Croydon in flames, knowing that friends are living just a ten minute walk from where the fires are. We all feel anger over this reckless violence that is hurting innocent people, destroying homes, properties and businesses.
(Picture taken by my friend Woolstey, from her flat, just a few hundred metres from the mayhem in Croydon)

In all this, I feel so frustrated with the moron Home Secretary, Theresa May and the rest of the authorities for not understanding that there are underlying issues. Instead of approaching the problem from that angle, she points out that those parttaking in this will be prosecuted and focuses on praising the police. Nothing wrong in that, sure, but when you completely ignore (or are so stupid not to realise) that there are underlying issues, the problems will never die down.

Whether it was the death of Mark Duggan that started this or not, there are so many more serious issues (most likely, political, socioeconomic, class and racial and police/community tension issues) that need to be targeted:

What on earth compels the youth to get up in broad daylight and destroy everything around them, in their own communities?
How is it that they even have the time to do this?
Why is their lack of respect for authority and the police, in particular, so great that they'll do this unmasked, in daylight and purposely confront the police at any given chance?
How best can the authorities open a dialogue with this disgruntled group of people and find a long-term solution to these issues, rather than attempt to shut them up by threatening to imprison them?

London is burning, London is crying. We need to act quickly before it all goes up in flames

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Good Wife

It's not often I enjoy a TV-show as much as I enjoy The Good Wife. Although I took a while to watch it, (I started about 6-9 months after the Poetress gave me her season 1 dvds), once I'd watched a couple of episodes, I was hooked. The well-known politician husband who faces politically motivated litigation? The strong, patient, super talented lawyer wife? Hello, it's practically my life!
(Photo borrowed from Channel 4, most likely owned by CBS)
Ok, so maybe not completely and thankfully I don't desire another man, as Alicia does, but I love the series and found that it reignited an almost dormant passion for the law. I also knew instantly, that I had found a serie Virgo and I could enjoy together, which does not happen very often (he's a House and West Wing kind of guy, whilst I am a Grey's Anatomy and (*bowing my head in shame*) Desperate Housewives kind of girl).

Little did I know, he liked the Good Wife so much, every now and then he'd sneak and watch an episode without me! Since we both work mainly from home, each of us gives the other the thinking space required to focus, so it took a while to realise what he was doing when it was very quiet in his work area. Shockingly, in the past week I have noticed that where I'd take breaks to catch up on Facebook and private emails, Virgo would sneak in an episode, without telling me about it! Despite my complaints, he never stopped.

As if that wasn't bad enough, when we'd treat ourselves to a night-time projector-screening of an episode, after each episode, he's say, "just one more, but you can go to sleep if you want to", knowing very well that I'd never be able to sleep knowing I was missing a whole 45 minutes of quality, legal drama. This has resulted in me being extremely tired each morning, having only received 4-5 hours sleep (the other 2-3 being donated to the Good Wife).

Needless to say, despite being really curious about what will happen next on the show, I am so relieved that we've finally watched all the episodes. This means no more episode-thievery by Virgo and no more unreasonably late nights! Til September, that is...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

What happened in July

I don't know what happened, I was on a blogging roll and suddenly, weeks have passed and nothing has been posted on my blog. Well, actually I do know what happened: stressful preparations for Anansekrom, then catching a flight to Gothenburg some hours after getting home from the event, then organising two toddlers (my own Em and her favourite cousing, L) in Swedish gateau-making for my mum's birthday, heading back to London within 72 hours and being bombarded with four new agreements that all needed express drafting. What happened to my legal drafting holiday???

Actually I would probably have managed to blog a little bit, over a week ago, if I hadn't been blindsighted with the Norwegian attack and Amy Winehouse's death. For so many reasons, that left me virtually silenced.

Now, I am going to try to finish my load of agreements, get back to blogging and catch up on my lovely fellow Ghana bloggers. While some have entered into motherhood, it seems the Chale Wote Street Festival caused a stir with others...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

My blogging self

I'm a bit bored (read: I have some work to do which I can't be bothered to at 10pm), so I am challenging myself to answer this blog questionnaire:

How long have you been blogging?
For three and a half years, although last year barely counts.

How many blogs do you regularly follow?
I’m estimating that there are 20 blogs I check in on, on a daily(!) basis.

Of the ones you read, how many are diary blogs and how many are subject-oriented?
Apart from Antirhythm, I think all of them are at least partially diary blogs.

Do those who know you think you are true to yourself in your blog?
I have never asked, but I think I am, sometimes to the point where I forget how words can be misconstrued in writing.

Have you found a functioning boundary for how private you want to be in your blog, or is that boundary continuously stretched?
Yes, I think I have managed to keep what I want private and on the contrary, the more people that know my blog, the more restrictive I find myself becoming. This is sad as I would like to share a lot more with my lovely readers.

To which extent do you blog for acknowledgement/affirmation?
I always tell myself I am blogging for me, but I lose my motivation when there are no comments, and I feel uplifted when readers comment.

Have you met people IRL after meeting them through your blog?
The only person I’ve met through my blog is Kajsa, but I have met many others through Ghanablogging, which I guess is partly through my blog.

Do you think it is damaging for some people to blog?
I think it can be damaging for those who do not realise the legal implications of what they write, e.g. the possibility of stealing copyright material or defamation. I also think younger bloggers may not realise that the blog will live on and be available to the world years after they ever intended it to be.

What are the cons of blogging for you?
I’ve realised friends who read my blog don’t contact me as much: they’re getting updates on my life through the blog, forgetting I’m not hearing from them. Other than that, it is at times too time consuming to maintain the blog.

Do you think you’ll be blogging in two years time?
Yes, possibly in a different format, maybe more business related and on another platform, but of course I’ll make sure to take my blog-friends with me if I do!

Monday, 11 July 2011


I'm standing at Vauxhall station waiting for a train from Earlsfield. My jacket's still a bit damp from this morning's rain, but now it's sunny and dry. In front of me, planes are appearing out of the sky.

Up they fly, drifting in and out of the clouds. It takes about one minute for each plane to pass above me, then it disappears out of my eye's reach, above the stations roof. As soon as on has passed, another appears in front of me. In between the planes, I hear announcements being made:

"The 10:20 London Waterloo train will be delayed by approximately 32 minutes. This is due to a suspected fatality at Wimbledon. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

As my own train's arrival time keeps shifting, 10:40, 10:48, 10:50, 11:01, it is only the sweet sounds of Adele that keep me calm, as I calculate how late I will be for my appointment. The train, finally, surprisingly shows up at 10:53 and I arrive 'only' 15 minutes late.

On my way home several hours later, with the melancholic "Someone like you" playing in my ears, the Evening Standard confirms that a woman in her sixties was indeed hit by a train and killed at Wimbledon.

Another day in London has just passed by.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Mobile number portability is here

Today is a very exciting day. Being in London, I guess I should first mention that I know it is the 6 year anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings that took place in 2005 at four different locations (including my own former Tube station, Oval).

That, however, is not what I was thinking of, but rather, that today is the day mobile number portability comes into effect in Ghana! This means one can quit a mobile phone network and sign up to another, yet keep the old phone number.

I know to the outside world this may not sound like much, but let me tell you, you don't know the kind of crap we've had to deal with as mobile phone customers in Ghana. From today, the networks are going to have to get their act together to ensure they keep their customers. I am hoping we'll see some competitiveness in terms of pricing, price plans and improved reception. No longer will we as customers be held hostage to a network because their phone number is what we have on our call cards, websites, etc.

Of course, before getting too excited, this is not a case where one can skip from one network to another at a whim. I have been informed that portability will only be allowed once every six months, but anything is better than nothing.

So now, shall we start taking bets on who might be the big winners or losers of number portability? I don't want to get sued so I'm not even going to hint on who I think will lose, but I will say I am happy to stay with my main mobile phone operator Airtel for now. And no, I was not paid to say that.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Death on Facebook

Speaking of death, I read an interesting article on a topic I have considered many times. How does Facebook handle the death of its members? Remember my friend G? It's been three years and I still get birthday reminders on Facebook. I am sure I'm not the only one of his friends who sees these as a painful reminder of his death. Still, it would feel strangely cruel to defriend him just because he's passed away (in the same way it is difficult to erase a dead person's phone number from your phonebook).

In the article, Liza Campbell mentions how one of her deceased friends makes a new friend a good four months after passing away. I too have seen that happen.

I know many prefer for the dead person's Facebook page to still exist, as it becomes part of the grieving process to look at old pictures and updates of the deceased. Would it not be relatively simple though, to say that upon the receipt of a copy of a death notice/certificate, Facebook will at least disable the deceased's account from being able to make new friends and from having birthday notices sent out?

Or am I thinking in too simple terms?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Rumour Mill

Two weeks ago, I bumped into an old friend, LC, in Gothenburg. After the initial excitement of seeing each other for the first time in 16 years, she told me she had some bad news; somebody we both knew, Mrs G, had passed away.

I, in turn, passed on the news to my mum and my brother (Mr. T). (LC and I knew each other because Mr. T and her little brother were in the same football team for over a decade. Mrs G, was the mother of another teammate). We all mourned together and were trying to work out how Mrs. G, who would be in her early 60s had passed away, especially as I had been informed it was a very sudden, unexpected death.

In the end we decided that, rather than Mr. T trying to approach his friend, which would be too blunt and awful (imagine, "hey, how are you? By the way is it true your mother passed away?"), we'd try searching for info on Facebook, where you can always find a clue to things, one way or another.

Well, as always, Facebook comes to the rescue. Today my mum abruptly interrupted me on the phone to say: " I have to tell you something, Mrs G is still alive!". And how we know? Mr. T search on his friend's Fb page, somehow managed to get onto the friend's brother's girlfriend's page were she had as her status: So happy after spending the Midsummer weekend with my boyfriend and his huge family. Then she goes on to list them and of course the list included Mrs G! And this was posted days after I received her death notice.

See how quickly people can be killed off and some of us spend (unnecessary) time mourning them? Still I guess it's nice to be able to spread the good news, like I did to my father five minutes ago, that, hey: Mrs G has resurrected!

Friday, 1 July 2011

KFC in Ghana?!?

I decided to take a break from some very intense drafting to check Facebook, and what do I see? Apparently KFC has opened its first branch in Ghana, on Oxford Street!

The news comes as such a surprise and I can't help but be excited. Not by the thought of eating their breaded, fried chicken in the heart of Accra, but as always, by the idea of something new happening. Of course I am also a bit anxious about what this means for us; will there be an influx of other unhealthy fastfood joints? How soon before we start seeing an increased number of US-style obese people on the streets of Accra?

Before my thoughts wonder any further, can somebody kindly confirm whether this news is true? According to this article, 4 outlets are to be opened in Ghana this year. Send me picture evidence, pleeeeease!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

I guess some people...

...have too much time (and fantastic imagination) on their hands. How else would you explain finding time to do this:

(Picture borrowed from Daily Mail's website)

And along with it is an article on how Princess Diana's life would have been today, her Facebook status and how many Twitter followers she would have had.

I just don't understand why they made her look that old! My mother, who's well into her sixties looks about twenty years younger than that.

People is currently running a poll on whether the photo is disrespectful or appropriate. Go ahead and vote, or even better, just let me know what you think by commenting.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Self realisation

Don't you love those moments when you see something and think:

"Oh my God! Who did thaaaat? What a selfish/reckless/inconsiderate/(add your own) thing to do!"

Only to, a few moments later, realise that: "Oh yeah, that was me, oops!".

Or does that only happen to me? :-)

Friday, 17 June 2011

Music, sweet music.

I'm going through what I can only describe as a music revolution. After years of not really finding time to listen to music (which I love so much!), I am making time for music in my life. Somehow, I've managed to squeeze it in to everything I do at the moment: upbeat music for walks and the gym, r 'n' b and quiet soul just before bedtime, but most exciting: world music and old school soul for when I'm working.

See, it has to be something mellow enough for me to still concentrate on work, yet keeping me in a good enough mood to continue working. So many songs are being rediscovered, songs I haven't listened to in years, even a decade or two (I know, I'm showing my age)!

From the World Music scene, I am falling back in love with Salif Keita's Moffou album, especially Here. And just as I can enjoy that song, despite not understanding the lyrics, I believe non-Swedish speakers can enjoy Marie Fredrikssons Ännu Doftar Kärlek, Eva Dahlgrens Vem Tänder stjärnorna or another Eva Dahlgren favourite, Ängeln i rummet


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Pest or Cholera - what to choose?

I'm feeling poorly, as my friend E would say. Yesterday, I went ahead with a very hectic work day, from 9am to 11pm (!), despite already feeling that I was catching some kind of flu. I took a couple of Cold & Flu capsules just before getting into bed at midnight and hoped I'd be much better after a good night's sleep.

After eight hours' sleep, all the symptoms are still there except the fever, so I lightly told Virgo "If I hadn't left Ghana two weeks ago, I'd have thought I had malaria". To which he responded that I'd better check the incubation period for malaria, it might just be that. So naturally, with my good friend Google, I started investigating. My symptoms yesterday were: fever, chills, muscle aches, headaches and nausea throughout the day (Imagine spending half of the day on the London Underground with that?!). According to a malaria website the symptoms for malaria are:
"Early or Uncomplicated Symptoms of Malaria
In the first stages of the disease, most people have early malaria symptoms that can include:

Shaking chills
Muscles aches
Nausea and vomiting
Diarrhea. "

The website states that the normal incubation period is 10 days to 4 weeks. Hm, it's not looking good. Would it be too optimistic of me to think that because I did not have any sweats or diarrhoea I can eliminate any malaria worries?

Whilst I lie here in bed, pleading "Please don't be malaria, please be the flu" I hope you have a lovely Tuesday!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Open Air...

There's a place I've been meaning to go to, an event I've been wanting to attend. Every time it's on, I'm either out of the country, booked somewhere else (with all the weddings and funerals we have on Saturdays, it's hard to find time for other things) or simply forget! Now it looks like I won't make it for a few months, as I'll be very busy elsewhere, but I feel the need to highlight this project/organisation that is in line with what I believe in.

The Open Air Stock Exchange is basically an eco-friendly marketplace that supports and provides a platform for Fair trade, Made in Ghana and ecological products to be sold in an open market about once a month (in Nyaniba Estates). Read more about it here on its Facebook page.

Some of the vendors that parttake are names that I've already come across, like MAKSI clothing and Kayobi, but there are other vendors whose products seem so alluring I can't wait to try them out. How about homemade pasta, organic bread, handmade cocoa butter beauty products (doesn't coconut milk and lavender body wash sound lush?) and more! Zedi Cross caught my eye, whilst I'm busy checking out their webpage, I look forward to making it to the market and hope you'll give me feedback if you make it there before me!

Friday, 27 May 2011


This year has been crazy. Absolutely crazy. I thought last year was bad, but somehow this year has just ran by, it feels like I'm chasing a train and just as I manage to get hold of it and I'm about to jump on, I lose my grip and have to start chasing again. The past three weeks just added to the madness. My mother (read babysitter who'd pick Em from school when neither Virgo nor I could make it back to Tema in time) left for Sweden. The week after that the househelp ended her year-long contract, as agreed.

A few days later I had my wisdom tooth removed surgically (surgically meaning, since it hadn't surfaced, they had to cut through the flesh, drill through the bone, split the tooth in half before yanking it out). Needless to say, once the anesthesia wore off I cried all the way home on the motorway from the pain. A few days later, Virgo was off to London on business. Of course we had no idea when we planned this, that I'd be in excruciating pain when we said our goodbyes. The next day, Em got some kind of stomach infection which meant potty training was put aside and a whole lot of diapers were used. Of course this coincided with our water being cut off for 36 hours (I'm sure I've mentioned that we NEVER have water problems in Community 10).

And how could I forget to mention that the washing machine decided that this would be the best time not to work! Still, that didn't matter much as once the water was back, we had 12 hours without electricity, three times in a period of nine days.

Now I know you think I'm lying or exagerrating, but this happened during the most stressful and challenging work-weeks this year, so on top of everything else, I'd be sitting in a meeting, not hearing what was being said because I'd be wondering how on earth I would ever make it back to Tema to pick Em from school before closing time at 17:30.

However, since yesterday, we're all together; Virgo, Em and I, and there's even grandparents around! I've given myself a much need 48 hour rest from work (well, not a complete rest, but I'm just reviewing one agreement before noon tomorrow) and I can finally take a few deep breaths.

No more chasing racing trains, just floating and gasping for air.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Missing you

Hello lovelies!

It's been a while, my internet connection is still unstable but I realised that's not the issue. Isabelle Halling (Swedish) put her finger on it; when you're not blogging, you have so much more spare time! Do you know how time-consuming blogging is???

Still, despite being ridiculously busy for the next three weeks (seriously, sleep is a luxury), I realised I miss blogging more than the spare time it gives me.

Speaking of missing, it is nice to be missed! The day after we got back from London about ten days ago, I had to dash to Airport Residential for an errand. Feeling completely battered, sleep deprived and with all kinds of aches from dragging suitcases, prams and an unruly toddler around Heathrow, I really felt down and beat. Then, as I handed over my 50 pesewas to the attendant at the motorway toll booth, the attendant said: "Madam, I've missed you oh! I haven't see you for a month or so, did you travel?".

To which I explained, that yes, I'd just gotten back from London. "Oh, then you are welcome" he said and I thanked him and drove off. Little did he know that he had made my day, nay, week!

After feeling so down, it was uplifting to hear that somebody (who I'd never spoken to before), who sees several thousands of drivers pass through the toll booth each day, had actually noticed little, old me and even realised I'd been gone.

Needless to say, I headed home with a big smile on my face, and for a while, my aches and fatigue were gone.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

How to gain 4kg in 4 days

No it's not a mistake, I'm going to show you how it is possible to put on four kilos in as many days.

1. Go on a low carb regime (it's not a diet, a lifestyle change!) for a bit over a month and lose 6 kg.

2. Fly to your home town (in my case, Gothenburg) with all the foods you've been missing for the past 18 months or so.

Here's the full confession of what I did/ate:

On the evening of arrival, eat barbecue (sugar!) chicken and potato salad at 21:30

Start the next day with Lingongrova bread and Herrgardsost (I have a lovely brother, Mr. T who knows exactly what I like and stocked his fridge with those things.

Meet friends for a "fika" at a cafe and eat a brown bread roll with ham and cheese AND a blueberry pie with custard.

For dinner, eat a scrumptious Cappricciosa pizza (well, 3/4 of it, Mr. T's son L and my Em took their share of it).

Start the next day with Lingongrova (brown bread) and Herrgardsost (cheese) again. Then meet a friend and have a semla. I have to confess that I didn't even enjoy it, the sugar high had reached an uncontrollable level by then.

Meet another friend, just an hour later, for Ballerina biscuits at her flat. Then, two hours later, head to another friend's flat for more delicious pastries, seriously rich stuff, then a potato and pot roast dinner, then ice cream!


Finally get back into low carb mode and have a boiled egg breakfast before heading out on Saturday. Spend most of the day, not eating, then get home and have a late lunch of...another pizza! Then spend the evening with a childhood friend at home, sharing a bottle of red wine and a pack of Ballerina Kladdkaka biscuits (basically Swedish Oreos).

Sunday, both Em and I wake up with colds and spend most of the day eating oranges and drinking nyponsoppa (rosehip soup), but also manage to squeeze down some jollof, pork chops and a delicious salad.

On the flight to London, Monday morning, I can feel that my trousers are a bit tight around the waist, but you know what? It was well worth it. For those four days of unrestricted pleasure, I do it again and again!

And the best thing? The house we're staying in here in London is so cold, it seems I've lost all those gained kilos just from trying to stay warm and not having enough energy to go to the kitchen and eat!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Dear friends,

I tried posting three times from my phone, clearly my Cookie and I have some kind of disconnect. Since I can barely get my mobile broadband to work, Zain's (sorry Airtel's) network doesn't reach my house, nor does Mobile 2i and in those desperate moments when I attempted using dial-up, even that didn't work, please consider me off the radar until March or April.

I will miss this little page, hope to be back soon!


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