Monday, 29 June 2015

Jidenna, I'm A Classic Man

Jidenna translates to “embrace the father” (Igbo, Eastern Nigeria)


Son is Enugu City born and bred, moving to the US when he was 10.  Told you talent comes out of that City in bundles


Me, Myself & I...

My blog is like a mental weather vane, the direction of my thought.  Sometimes a gentle breeze (no posts or nothing weighty), at other times a strong furious wind.  I've gone through a recent period of post after post to complete shutdown/self censorship. Never sure if it's something I have no means of articulating on paper or just couldn't be arsed.  I'm on the gentle breeze shit, don't know why. For example, the brevity of my last post.

My last post.  I really enjoyed the BHF London To Brighton 2015 Cycle Ride for a lot of reasons.  It's the first time where I rode solo and not as part of a crew.  A lot of the guys dropped out till it was down to Steve and I.  He had left with the 6.30 am batch which I missed (I caught the 7am).  I rode in solitude for close to five hours and it was a beautiful thing.  I've not had that amount of quiet time in a while, mental space, especially in a huge participant crowd.  I watched people, fellow cycle riders, young and old, slim and fat, different races, some dressed up as clowns, many with messages pinned to their cycling jerseys, in memory of loved ones lost to cancer and heart attacks, others with amusing messages, a few expressing political ideals, world peace, that sort of thing.  I had the time to watch a microcosm of humanity, like really observe shit.  There was just me.  Then I observed me, I questioned me.  Failure and Success, Love and Hate, Self Confidence and Procrastination.  Fear and Bravery.  As I laboured up hills, endured stretches of hard pedaling, adjusted my cycling tactics, I hardcore questioned why certain things were the way they were.   I questioned my fuck ups and my triumphs, things I shouldn't be doing and things I should do more of.  I examined my personal goals and where I had allowed complacency let me down, giving away my intellectual property without seeking proper reward for it, toiling for nothing.  I reviewed future goals and how I might take a stab at executing.  But I'm not technical, I'm idealist, I have a strong conception of what is perfect, sometimes it gets in the way of being practical.  I thought of how I might temper this fault.  It was crazy I was thinking on the average of 15 - 20KM/Hour (my average speed).  I questioned myself as a man, my sexual appetites, existential leanings, everything.  I questioned love for within and without.  It's scary when one is very honest with one's self.  It's a beautiful thing too.

Another more (less?) esoteric reason was being surprised at my good general fitness as a result of constant cycling.  But I'm a strange one.  There are some things I do that are quite risky health wise, lots of junk food, questionable behaviour, crazy stuff.  But at the same time I do hit the gym, ride a lot, take vitamin supplements, listen to health advice and stuff, eat healthy.  I am a duality in one body.  I can eat a box of Quality Street Chocolate in one sitting and smoke 10 cigarettes, but on the flip I can avoid the two for a few months, doing mighty healthy stuff, not even try to over brain the change over.  I'm really fucked up like that.  Western white collar lifestyle means it's rare to test one's fitness without stepping off the rat race treadmill.  You have to seek the active side of life, modernity having all but taken it away.  The UK is pretty safe, in the physical sense, and exertion of any sort is absent.  So you can drive to the supermarket, or on a school run, take the punctual buses anywhere and anything.  Missed the train? the next one is in five/ten minutes.  Eat calorie rich food you don't need.  I missed all that physical strife coming over from Nigeria (fluck! I used to plant bloody vegetables!), and as I got older I realized the sit-down lifestyle can be the most dangerous of all to one's health.  I know I'm waffling but I learned not to make fun of the Sunday footballers, mountain climbers, skiers and such.  I came to understand why they did this stuff.  Cycle Riding is my balance, the Yang to my sedentary Ying.  It's the one thing I now do that I don't have to think about.  Go to work? Ride.  Go to the gym? Ride.  Go see the parents? Ride.  Go Aldi or Lidl? Ride.  I've learnt to ride everywhere, not as a health option, but as an active lifestyle choice.  I used to wake up some days groaning at the thought of 10KM ride to work but I don't anymore.  I could have a shitty night but jump on the bike to work, it's just what it is.  I've made it to myself that I don't have to think about it like exercise or keeping fit, whatever.  It's just how I get around.  fluck! I've completely forgotten why I was writing the paragraph


I was up till 3am watching YouTube.  I had been studying for some hours and at 11pm decided to call it a night, but first wanted to briefly catch up on some of my YouTube subscriptions.  I sure did into the wee hours of the morning (dude, stop yawning).  One very interesting viewing was a very abrasive interview between Damon Dash and the hosts of The Breakfast Club show.  I loved it, sparked a few brain cells.

What does it mean to be One's own boss?

There have been times when I've done really good stuff at work, stuff I know the Sales team are monetizing, stuff for which I gain zero equity (but my recurring monthly salary).  What if I had just stepped out of my procrastinating comfort zone and pedaled my Intellectual Property?  What am I scared of? After all I have owned a company in the past and done some of this Software stuff for self?  It was a reminder of what is important at the end of the day.  Family and the legacy you leave behind.  I thought about it deep and what Dash said made a lot of sense.  I have three sons that will eventually need University fees paid for, up keep that at my current rate of progress I will be unable to afford.  I've worked hard and studied hard for years, so why can't I take advantage of my intellectual wealth and swell my bottom line?  Why can't I do stuff I love but for myself?

What? Autonomy
Why? Autonomy
When? The Future Is Now
How? ...

That is the six million dollar question.  For real, get at me, I'm open to ideas, as whacky as they may seem.  Mobile apps, websites, my realm, doesn't even have to be profit driven, spiritual profit is just as good if not better.  If anything was to happen to me today all I have to show for it is a cheap pension scheme and a questionable company health/occupational insurance plan.  As I type I add these thoughts to my mental space.


Another parking fine to pay? Ironic as I cycle all the time.  So far in 2015 I've paid £130 in fines.  That's it!!!



Oh almost forgot, have a lovely day, enjoy the sunshine.  Pray for all those that lost their lives being human.  Amen

Rastafari lead us to the promised land of Kemet!”


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Tuesday, 23 June 2015


It's been a hectic week just gone, what with rounding off work to take a break, last minute preparations for London To Brighton.  The ride was great despite my lack of longer prep, still struggled with a couple of hills.  Roll on September 5th, will be doing the L2B Amnesty International Ride.  Hopefully next year I'll attempt the London To Paris ride, over 100K of riding.


Friday, 12 June 2015

TGIF: Jamaica Is Africa's 55th Country ... According to Edinson Cavani

"As any other African team, Jamaica are going to be strong"

Edinson Cavani, Uruguay and PSG Striker, on his country's chances against the Jamaica mens national soccer team. Copa America 2015 (Guardian)




Thursday, 11 June 2015

Peace of Man

Today I'm in much happier spirits, finally got my new bicycle back, all fixed and firing. Was in a dark mind zone yesterday.

My preparation for the London to Brighton 2015 ride hasn't got off to a good start. First the old bike went bust, procrastinated for a minute what to do.  almost two months passed. got a new one a couple of weeks ago, then that started giving trouble.  Had a right go at the Halfords store manager when I took time off work yesterday to pick it up, only to find out they hadn't fixed it yet.  Very unlike me, apologised to the brother when called to come to pick it up late yesterday.  So in essence I've only got a week and a half of training till Sunday the 21st of June.  Ain't gonna be a smooth ride I tell ya.  Luckily I've sorta kept my fitness up with jogging and gym training, don't feel too too unfit.

"yeah, yeah, stop sucking in the belly!"

It's a special ride this one, a memorial to our ride leader, Ben H, who passed away from lung cancer earlier in the year.  A sad occasion and big loss of a very cool dude.  Ben nagged me to death to join the ride in 2013 and I have looked back from cycling since.  As the day approaches I can hear his voice .. "dude are you ready?", "who's going to carry the wheel pump?", "should we stay the night and party?" ..

Man! R.I.P Benny!


A few posts ago I was banging on about Lupe Fiasco.  He just released a youtube video for one of the deepest songs off his 2015 album "Tetsuo and Youth", a track titled "Deliver".

"Pizza man don't come here no more!"

people in the ghetto get the crazy end of the stick. Even the pizza man won't come deliver.  Peace of Man don't come here no mo'

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Radio Juicy Vol. 151 while pissed off

feeling proper pissed off this afternoon.  

Need a hug, a bag of smoke, can't have neither.  I'll settle for this really dope instrumental mixtape by Radio Juicy, "Radio Juicy Vol. 151 (With Da Homies by Soulstruck)"

it will pass.  x

Monday, 8 June 2015

Hazeus View

"what's a coffin with a scratched ceiling"

Evokes all sorts of images. Entrapment, imprisonment, fighting against the status quo.  ill line from Lupe Fiasco's 9 minutes rap on the epic song 'Murals', off 'Tetsuo and Youth'. One of the great albums in any genre of 2015.  My kids always make me rewind it. Murals. A giant painting. 

I'm rambling but sometimes I feel like I'm doing just that, scratching. The futility is that even if you break through there's all that earth, 6 feet of it. Alot of digging my negus, a lot of digging.

But I'm ready to do it. The norm is mundane and boring. The thirst, the zest is unquenchable. I want to break away from safe and regular, do stuff that challenges things I hold as gospel. Reaffirmation of self. Rediscover the simple emotions, the love, laughter. Life. Dig till I'm down to stumps.

So my Monday mind state is semtex. Lets blow up the spot. Murals


Life's like that .. Little Bubba

I was idly surfing and this made me pause and stop for a minute. The baby boy (must've lost the leg in an accident, I don't know the story) repeatedly saying "Oh! I got it" as he was learning to walk with the zimmer frame .. felt it deeply

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Mami Wata: correction

In my last post I attributed the Mermaid graphic panels to tumblr guy chrissongzzz.  I was wrong and stand corrected (thanks).  The artist is a named Chevelin Pierre and his rocks the meanest pencils.

Chevelin Pierre is an illustrator and a comic book artist. In 2012 he founded his own studio.  Chevelin illustration is an Haitian art studio, dedicated to drawing and sequential art..

Friday, 5 June 2015

TGIF: Solar Panels b/w Mami Wata

On the BBC World Service this morning, listened to Kofi Annan and Bob Geldof passionately banging on about Solar Energy for all in Africa by 2025, 2030 at the latest.  Their arguments were very persuasive, citing 600K people dying every year from indoor pollution using fossil fuel indoors, half of them children under 5 years.  Another was the 5.4 trillion spent by the West and donor nations on Oil subsidies to help poor Africans, most of which really benefits the middle classes and lost to corruption.  In America the average daily cost of energy is 12 cents, in Africa $80.  Ridiculous init?  Bob, naively in my mind, posits that if the cost of energy goes down then kids can get a better education and climb out of poverty.

Well, if all the diamonds, crude oil, cocoa, bauxite, rare metals, gold right under the feets of the African kids didn't dig them out of poverty then how's solar energy going to be any different?

I'm being cynical, but it's a matter of trust when it comes to "Western Initiatives".  Trust is in very short supply.

So what of the African leadership?  I would like to say yes, energy for all, the perfect solution but I remain skeptical. OK, we are starting to see accountability and long overdue stronger governance in the West African region, but we are still beset with weak leadership.  I don't know, who's to say these Solar Energy projects won't just end up the same way as oil, all the energy exported to Germany, UK and other European countries, the same way oil has been?

Who's to say these Solar Panels won't come at a price too high?

I wish their endeavours luck and supportive, but I won't be holding my breath.

Oh Mother Africa! God dey weep for us!

Sathima Bea Benjamin - Africa (1976)


Mami Wata is creole/pidgin english for Mermaid. I remember as a kid watching the Mami Wata cultist parade the streets of my city at night, all sorts of crazy stories.  The owner of the tumblr post embedded below, chrissongzzz, does some really good morality cartoon strips, a lot of them with a touch of Black Erotica. Enjoy

Monday, 1 June 2015

Decolonizing Beauty - Your Eye Speaks Oracles

"You erase the lines, make pot holes into swimming pools, bumps into launching pads, leave a paved road, open for the journey, because life doesn’t have to be hard. You unlock the soul in your images, leaving an open space where divinity can speak. You replicate the womb, recreating the origins of safe space. You release rapture in A purification in amniotic waters. A waterfall to wash away fear, Wash away excuses Wash away suicidal similes of ugly that paralyze the soul’s voice."

First of The Month

"wake up! wake up! wake up! it's the First of The Month, get up! get up! get up!"

Always remember that Bone Thugs-n-Harmony joint, First of the Month, probably their only song I remember. Oh that and Crossroads (I'll spare you the blog sangin').  Whatever happened to them? (VH1 special coming soon).  Had this cool singy-singy rappy style to their music. Always some Obeah/Illuminati shit going on in their videos.  No, don't ask me what they rapping about.  RIP Eazy-E

Not been a very good first of the month for me, laid up suffering with Tonsillitis. Imagine that, fcuking tonsilitis of all things! very painful sore throat and earache, can barely swallow anything with my feverish self.  *wince wince*.  It has to be a good 30 years I last suffered tonsillitis.  Freaked me out the first day, like straight outta nowhere hit me, had a dude wheezing like crazy.  Son, you gotta watch where you put your dutty mouth!  Doctor reckoned it may be Strep so put me on a course of hardcore antibiotics, paracetamol and advised a couple of days at home till I'm ready to rejoin the rat race.  Bored already. But mending.

But not all doom and gloom still.  Got a new bicycle yesterday, so I can resume riding to work, yay! Bad news is I've got only two weeks to prepare for my 60 mile ride to Brighton.  Not ridden for over a month now.  Damn! can someone, Allah, Jesus, Orisha, stop this good news/bad news cycle already?  Shame hipster guy couldn't fix the old bike, I reckon it has a good 5 years in it still.  I'll put it out the front, some Armenian scrap collector will take by the morning, good metal.  New one is good, bells and whistles going on, I'll come to love it in time.


My workmate called today to see how I was, but cussed me off first lol!  We had a convo two years ago where I told him "You gotta knock up your woman, times running out".  He was like "huh?".  His woman was 29 at the time and I told him women could potentially have issue with childbirth once past the age of 30, that he needed to start getting busy.  Of course I had no scientific backing for my statement, was something I heard in passing.  Well on the call he tells me some Nhs Doctor lady (Senior NHS doctor tells women 'have baby before 30') is banging on about the same thing I said two years ago, like really wanting to know where I'd first heard it.  Laughed out loud, said I told him so, what's my name, oracle, ish ish.

I don't know, should a woman start before 30? Yes, of course, younger body and all, makes sense - logically. But in the 2015 economic climate?  That's a real challenge.  Like you first gotta find somewhere to live conducive for raising a family. Gotta be able to afford it. There's childcare to consider, the UK government not being particularly friendly on this front.  There's the career to consider, like how supportive is the corporate environment to a woman taking a year out to look after her new baby?  I know in my industry there are very few part-time positions for the professional worker, probably the same elsewhere. So a lot of women miss out on promotions, bonuses, pay rises, general career opportunities, because they've been away on maternity leave.  Can be career stalling if you're in the corporate classes.  Some of these women will be single mothers who have to bear this all alone.  And be expected to navigate all this and be good for before the age of 30? A big ask.

It's kinda easy for £75,000+ p.a Health Professionals with live in Nannies to make such blanket statements.  Typical Tory nonsense (hm, she might be a UKIP card carrier). The reality on the ground is completely different.

I could argue we need the Scandinavian Model (The costs of childcare: how Britain compares with Sweden), but with cut trigger-happy Tories? that conversation will never get off the ground.


Gwan Arsenal! The boys did it again, record FA cup win.  Aston Villa didn't know what the claat hit them.  I'm starting to feel good about The Arsenal again, definitely a turning point, I can smell the beauty in the air.  All we are saying is Messrs Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott give us a good solid injury-free 3/4 of the season, especially on the business end of proceedings.  Time to push on.  That and that one of my lottery numbers comes through (Goddamit!).



I'm thinking it's been minute I heard an R&B song about settling down.  Jamie Foxx's "You Changed Me" ft. Chris Brown feels like a early/mid 90s throwback, when artists got radio play for songs about love and stuff.  Dang! Intro, Jodeci, RK, Next, H-Town.. we fucked with that slow down section on a sweaty Saturday club night, grab a gal, wine.  Maybe Jamie's really from that era, grown man tings.

Chris Brown I've never been into much, but after that joint with Usher I've started to pay real attention.  He still gets a lot of stick for Rihanna, but I say a second chance to the man.  Autumn Leaves is a really dope tune, beautiful, touching.  been stuck deep in my mental for a minute.


History ey? Incredible. I'd never heard of the Gullah people of South Carolina. thx