Fashion: Go Bright This New Years Eve! A New Years Outfit

I love color (I know, I've said that before) and winter is an eternally depressing time for me, fashionwise. Shops are clogged with winter collections of greys, blacks, browns and all manner of mute colous yet, all I want are bright CoLoRs to counter the greyness! Feel my pain?

No...no...now ladies, I am in no way encouraging you to go the rainbow way in winter (we go crazy in summer, together...yes?).

So...

Here's how I go bright.
Here's how, you too can go bright ...and...
Here's a gorgeous and fast-to-put-together outfit for your New Years celebration.

Note: I've gone with Orange, but you could do teal green (I saw a gorgeous scarf in Orsay), red, even brown! Just, accessorise that boring winter knitwear until it pops!

It was windy...adding a lovely wind-swept affect to my hair :)

Mama Fashion: A Simple but Stylish Christmas Outfit

"A Mama has no time..."

...With a dash of the obligatory Red, and the least of fuss, you can't go wrong with this outfit. What's more? It won't get in the way of you picking up your little one. Do I hear two birds? It's easy to layer, so indoors -to- outdoors will be as painless and as swift as it can be. Merry Christmas!

** ...these were taken in less than 5 minutes by my SO, while our girl alternating between grabbing for the camera and running to me...The joys of parenthood :) **

If you are interested in having this same outfit, everything is this season's Fashion and probably still in stock. Designer information below the photos.



Geox MENDI boots

Mama Fashion: Going Vintage

I LOVE most things Vintage.  Fashion, furniture, architecture...and here's my best so far. I am still day dreaming about a hefty bank balance to splurge on the furniture :)...



Tom Ford Nastasya sunglasses / LisaLola dress / LIPSY London cardigan with buckle

Mama Fashion: Halloween Meow!

When I was little, my dream was to have a house decorated in animal print...curtains, cushions, bed linen.... animal print accents everywhere. I got older and my heart broke to pieces. I'd realised it'd be gaudy! I am still very much in love with animal print though.

I went all out this halloween. I made my girl a penguin costume (applause, applause) and took her trick or treating (daddy was home developing software).

Evening was mummy time. My makeup cooperated this time (thank goodness) and I was off to paint the town, with a couple of girlfriends.



Home made costume inspired by  makeit-loveit.com
 H&M Animal suit / Geox pointy pumps / Sephora cream lip stain

Mama Fashion: Overloaded at the Park

She wanted to ride her tricycle...I wanted to take photos of the beautiful autumn colors. It's hard to look 'fashionable' when  hefting two big bags, a camera and... I ended up having to push that trike too, but here goes...



LisaLola dress / ONA Bowery Camera bag 

Mama Fashion: A Riot of Colour

I am loud when it comes to wardrobe colour. The brighter, the better.

It's a different story though, with makeup and nail polish.

I am crap at makeup. My 'cat eye' never comes out the way I want, I've failed to figure out false lashes, I am very picky when it comes to eye shadow and hardly ever use any.

My love for red tones is a limitation too. My one and only blush is a pinkish-red. It also doubles as eye shadow (terrible, terrible).  I have 5 shades of red lipstick (I recently went wild and bought purple),  4 shades of Red nail polish  and 3 shades of pink nail Polish (two of which are so light it's hard to tell if I have any polish on and the other is so dark that's almost red).

I love Lipstick and it's all the makeup I wear, 90% of the time.



Photos by Jamie http://jamiebyrnephoto.shootproof.com/

My favourite pair of trousers by Zara / Zara leather belt

Mama Fashion: Yellow at the Beach...

Croatia 2015

The simple embroidery on this bikini top won me over. Bright is always good with my skin tone but detail is important too. I later covered up with a simple Kaftan after turning crispy dark...



Etam Bikini


Etam Kaftan


Mama Fashion: Bring Navy Blue to Life

This pair of navy blue shorts on black skin could easily swallow up all the light and present an incredibly dull picture. I brightened it up...several notches up with this gorgeous Desigual top!


Orsay Navy shorts / Desigual Multicoloured top

Mama Fashion: Footy Dressed Up

Yes, it does get dirty but that's why we do laundry...and if it stains, there's always a solution.




Orsay blue top / Orsay White shorts

Amsterdam In 3 Days


Amsterdam was beautiful, not magical, but gorgeous. I have a very soft spot for ancient architecture and Amsterdam is right up there with Prague, Rome and Vienna! Navigating the streets with a kid stroller though was a nightmare. Bicycles EVERYWHERE! The shopping streets are narrow and some with trams running through, leaving just enough room to flatten yourself on a wall to avoid getting run over. Okay, I've exaggerated a bit, but thats how it felt. The Red Light Distict wasn't at all as I'd imagined. There were homes, kids running around plating, churches and the occasional lit window with a semi nude girl. Nothing debouched. I suspect though that the scene is probably different at night.

Transport and parking in Amsterdam 

All Tram, bus and Metro lines go through the Amsterdam Central Station. It's impossible to get lost.

If you are in Amsterdam by car, park it in a residential area, in the town outskirts and take the Metro into town. It's cheap...better than cheap. It's free! Parking in the city centre will cost you upwards of €25 a day.

DON'T take pictures of the window girls in the Red Light District.
DON'T forget to check/swipe in and OUT your public transport ticket. Forgetting to check out will render your card useless.


My girl is in there, somewhere...

2015 Signal Festival Prague, Czech Republic

Prague's 2015 Signal Festival was spectacular. The installations were placed at different locations and one could either walk or use public transport. I walked. 4 hours and I still wasn't able to cover everything. This year had an amazing 20 installations and I only visited 13 and took photos of only 9 - sigh. I look forward to next year!

The ESCAPE Projection

A series of photos wouldn't do justice to this presentation. I took one photo and decided to enjoy the rest of the show.



OCCELOT


Why I'm Married To A White Man

The sight of a black woman dating a white man will have most Africans thinking fast and coming up with an obvious answer for the why. “She must be looking for a better life.” They are right but also wrong. Wrong because they reckon the black woman is a hard-nosed gold-digger, but right because she’s after respect, affection and security. She’s had it with dating black men who assume kingly airs just because they bought her dinner and fancy themselves irresistible Lotharios whose oats are wild and deserving of free rein in every female’s garden. Faithful African men are a rarity.

Don’t get me wrong. These men have a great side too. They are charming and fun. They might not kiss their girl in public but they’ll take her on shopping sprees and will not wait for her birthday to get her something nice. These gifts can be as extravagant as a new car. They’ll take it upon themselves to cover most if not all of her bills even when she’s holding down a good job. If she’s jobless, they’ll bankroll her business venture, mostly, a shop. That’s their way of showing love. Unfortunately, this lasts for a short time and comes at a price – absolute submission.

Once the initial excitement wears off, her ideas will be regarded as frivolous. She’s a woman and she must listen to her boyfriend. Visiting his place will mean cooking, cleaning his pigsty, hand washing and ironing his laundry as he lounges watching TV.  It’s nothing to be frowned upon. It’s a sign he is serious about her; letting her take on a wifely role. He will encourage long-stay visits to his place, but will then make night out plans with his friends that don’t include her, effectively ruining any ‘dancing with the girls’ plans she might have had. She’s the perfect housekeeper. He will not tolerate any questions about his attitude. She’s muzzled.

He’ll try to limit her nights out and she might protest. He’ll lay in wait and pounce as soon as he knows that a man talked to her on a night out.

Europe Can Be Lonely, If You Let It



The biggest shock to my system after my move from Africa to Europe wasn’t that I saw white faces everywhere instead of the usual black, nor was it the strange Czech language. No sir! See, Africa is a continent of (frighteningly) open people, whose friendliness any non-African might find overwhelming. A friend is family and families are close. Europe offered something different though. I walked into a stone wall of closed Europeans who came off as either unfriendly or pissed off to heaven. It was and still is quite difficult to make friends and here’s why.

Greeting a neighbor on public transport is a no-no


My very first brush with the European social freezer was on the Prague metro. Out of a well-honed 24-year habit (I’d previously struck up innumerable conversations with strangers on the Ugandan public transport), I attempted to engage a Czech stranger. My friendly ‘Ahoj’ drew a frown, then a puzzled look but no verbal response. Was my accent that off? Embarrassed, I smiled sheepishly and looked away. What was her problem? Two things dear reader. One, she didn’t know me from Adam. Two,  Ahoj’ as a greeting should be used amongst friends. I should have used the more formal  ‘Dobry den’.

Turning work colleagues into friends is a long and often, futile shot


Just because you see each other daily, go for lunches together, talk about your lives, celebrate birthdays and have nights out doesn’t make you friends. Once out of sight, say, like when I had to take maternity leave, all communication ceases. Some might come together and send you flowers and gifts, but don’t be offended if they have no interest in meeting your new baby.

Friends are mysterious too


You might know them for years before you get to meet any of their family, if ever. If there’s a change in their lives and they are in no position to

Plitvice Lakes National Park - Croatia 2015

Stay
Depending on how much time you have, a minimum stay of 2 nights is enough.
We stayed at Guest House Rustico (13 km from park) and were highly impressed by the service. There are guest houses EVERYWHERE! It's possible to find where to stay without prior reservations (the downside being, you won't get the best places).

Tickets
You'll find ticket booths at designated parking spots, and also, at the bus station inside the park.

Trekking
A minimum 6 hours is enough to see all lakes. It took us 9 hours, mostly because we trekked ALL ROUND most lakes (viewing them from all sides).  Forest trails are present too if interested.

Trekking with kids
Don't bother with a stroller...grab a carrier if possible.

Meals
There's a restaurant in the park, thought prices are not pocket friendly. If watching your budget, carry sandwiches and fruits.



Death Valley National Park

We drove from Yosemite, which was quite cold in September and into the hot, wide basin that is Death Valley. Endless, 'dead looking' ground...which wasn't quite dead as a few grasses and joshua trees hang on, albeit, weakly. The heat was overwhelming.

Camping
It was too hot to even contemplate camping here. There is a hotel in furnace creek though.

Trekking
Unless you have a death wish, don't attempt! We got out of our car several times to have closer looks and take pictures, the longest about 15 minutes. The view merge of the Sand dunes into coloured rock was breath taking. Artist Drive was our favourite spot....and onto Vegas baby!



Mono Lake

Mono Lake lay on our way from Yosemite to Grand Canyon. It was possible to drive up to the lake and walk a few 100 meters to the lake. An hour or less is enough.

Yosemite National Park - USA

Camping
Our first camp was descent, with Lavatories and running water. The second one, not so much.  It was essentially paid semi-wilderness camping ground; stony cleared patches of ground, a non flushing toilet and no running water.

We were turned away at two decent-looking camps. Make reservations well in advance. Camps are also big distances apart. Don't leave it too late to sort out your sleeping arrangements.

Trekking
We did minimal trekking,  ignored some of the tourist beat routes and made some wonderful discoveries.

Drive by tourist
It's possible to enjoy your visit and view most famous sites without trekking.



Sequoia National Park (USA) - Land of Giant trees

Trekking

There are several 'short' trails that'll take you into the surreal world of gigantic trees. I've never felt so small...so...insignificant - in a wonderful, fairy tale kind of way. 

Camping

Pictures at the end of this page...That is as good as it going to be. That said, this was one of the few decent camps we spent a night at, on our USA National Parks trip - it had running water, a place to wash your dishes and a flushing toilet (bliss!). Our neighbours had a blow-up mattress that took them the better part of an hour to fit into their tent - That was great entertainment...and we seriously considered buying one too!

Bears

DO NOT run after ANY bear you see :).



Los Angeles

That glamour on movie premiere night? Sparkling streets...red carpets? Smiling glamorous people that probably don't fart? That Hollywood? Well, forget that. Here's what you'll see....and of course, countless drug addicts and you have to keep your wallet REALLY close. 

Entering LA

How Ugandans View White People


Every Ugandan (I’d say African but…), born and raised, will at one time or other have thought that all white people (muzungu) are rich. Some have grown up, made white friends, travelled abroad, religiously read the papers and now know better. Most though, still believe that white people are….

Dollar bills on legs

Other foreign currencies don’t count. What’s believed is, a white man in Africa has money to burn. He’ll get invited to a night out by a spanking new Ugandan friend and will be excited. Lovely right? No. What he won’t have foreseen is; friend will multiply by 5 or more and the bar bill is for the rich to settle. If at the end of the night Muzungu looks unsure or confused, his disadvantaged friends will stretch, shuffle and leave the explaining to the waiter. “Another night out tomorrow?” Yes?

Beggars? What do you take me for…stupid?

No white beggars. Ahh! What the Ugandan doesn’t know is, white beggars are far ahead in the game. Theirs is a well thought out operation, each city unique. Some will be truly destitute, but most will belong to a network of beggars that employs lookouts (for police). Prague beggars wont hassle you for money. They’ll quietly settle in a spot where you could just about trip over them – say, a crowded pavement. They’ll hunch over, forehead buried in a cap bill that will be capped in their gnarled hands, which will in turn be resting on the cobblestone pavement with the cap crown held out for money. They’ll sometimes hug dog tightly while leaning over, displaying wretchedness that strongly tags at one’s heartstrings. Tourists always give…

I Pissed Off A Black Dude


I’d just arrived in the ČR and was on a mission. I was a black flamingo and wanted to find like birds to share that feeling with. I smiled and exchanged hellos with every black person I came across (5 on a very good day). I envisioned crazy bootie shaking nights out, evenings demolishing kilos of roasted meat without being shy about it and relaxed strolls talking about how beautiful but dusty sweet mother Africa is.

I did, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. There are some truly crazy Africans over here! Misunderstandings were bound to happen and I left one alpha male royally pissed off…

I got on the Metro one evening after work and flopped onto a seat next to the only other black person. I sighed my tiredness away, turned to him and offered my hand. Hello. He responded with such enthusiasm that any misgivings his outfit had provoked evaporated. He was about 35 and spotted a beard that must have taken hours to sculpt. His hair, worn in a short Afro, and his loud outfit combined to give an air of exoticism. He had on a pair of navy blue & white-checkered trousers, a colorfully patterned shirt and a glittery waistcoat to bring everything into perspective. A pair of snakeskin pointy shoes completed his look. We launched into an animated conversation about our respective histories and what-do-you-dos. He complimented my hair, outfit, engagement ring (!) and the way I talked (I know…. I too have no idea what that meant). He was married to a Czech woman, I was engaged to a Czech man and he reckoned there was quite a lot we still had to talk about. Phone numbers were exchanged and promises to meet soon were made. He seemed like a nice guy.

Lucky - unlucky part 2


Salesgirl or...?



Day 1


I arrived at work an hour early and whiled the time away at an Internet café close by. At 9:00 am, I made my way to the shop and found my new colleagues seated at a neighboring fast-food restaurant, waiting for Boss to come open the shop. We were 7 salesgirls in all, 3 new. Why so many? Hellos were exchanged and we’d just launched into get-to-know-each-other conversations when suddenly, the older girls stopped talking and bolted towards the shop entrance. Then, an urgent hiss, ”Boss is coming!” I looked in the direction one was pointing and saw Boss, 250m away and walking leisurely towards us. Boss expected his salesgirls to wait at the shop door. He sauntered over, greeted us in a pleasant voice, looked at me and exploded! Boss was deeply offended by the denim dress I was wearing. Jeans had no place in his shop. What made me think jeans were acceptable business attire?  Jeans are for weekends. I was given a week to overhaul my wardrobe. Sigh! One, he’d wrongly assumed denim was all I had. Two, what a laughable request! He’d offered me peanuts, which I’d taken only because he’d said my salary would increase with time.

We set about making the shop sparkle; cleaning the glass windows, sweeping and mopping the floor, dusting the shelves, polishing the display cabinets, tidying up and emptying chomi the cat’s litter box. One of the older girls cleaned the toilet, a chore we’d all take turns doing. That was fine by me, until I tried using it. Nature called and I’d just closed the toilet door when it rattled with a series of rapid knocks. One of the older girls motioned for me to get out and filled me in on the shop etiquette.

Lucky - Unlucky part 1


The interview


No, I’m no layabout. In fact, by the time I was 20, I’d crocheted to earn money, worked as a lawyer’s receptionist, a salon receptionist, a typist, as a cleaner/messenger at a reputable interior design store and more; most during school breaks but some alongside school.  

I was 19 and in the midst of a deep bout of self-pity. See, the US embassy had just stolen my golden egg. I'd been denied a student visa (My sponsor was American and I was an orphan with weak family ties to Uganda - a potential immigrant). I needed a job to keep me sane till the next University  intake in Uganda. As luck would have it, my brother had spotted an advert for a job he thought was right for me.

“The proprietor of Man About Town, an authorized dealer in Pierre Cadin men’s clothing is searching for beautiful and intelligent sales girls. Hand in your applications together with a photograph by xx.xx.xx. Interviews will take place xx.xx.xx at the shop located on xxxxxx road,  Kampala.”  

Damn! The applications deadline was long past and interviews would be the very next day, a Sunday. A quick online search revealed Pierre Cardin to be a high-end brand. The salary would be decent. I had to attend that interview. I’d wake up early and be first in line at the shop. I’d plead my case and try to hand in the application letter and hopefully, I’d dazzle enough to at least be granted an interview.

The Wedding Dress That Made Me Cry



I was engaged, wedding planning was underway way but this bride still had no dress. 56 wedding dress trials and I was done! I’d only succeeded in pulling off great impressions of an over dressed hippo, a plain mermaid, a surprised amoeba wearing lipstick and each time, the wedding studio assistants insisted I looked divine! I clenched my teeth; and smiled. It was thankless work and my poor girlfriends had to sit through all of it (I awe you Z, S and M). The few dresses I looked a little presentable in were strapless – a neckline fashion I don’t particularly care for. I wanted spectacular.

Planning A Wedding: 6 Tips To Get You Started




Hello,

In this Wedding Planning series, we go step by step, using my wedding as a reference point from the beginning to the end of planning. I share tips on how I came to single handedly plan and achieve my dream wedding. I had a bit of help here and there from friends and my husband too. I also share things I'd change or do differently,  how I overcame last minute challenges like being mailed the wrong wedding gown a month to the wedding and the photographer cancelling on me when I was on holiday. I give wedding planning advice from the 'I went through that' point of view rather than professional planner view.

I'd been living in Prague 2 years when my boyfriend proposed on Valentines Day 2011. Close to the heels of euphoria came terror. I had a wedding to plan and I could hardly speak the language!

Ceremony Venue: Church Decoration, Music and Wedding program


Selecting a venue for the ceremony is probably the easiest task when planning a wedding. A ceremony venue can be as simple as a nicely decorated small tent by the reception venue or as grand as the biggest cathedral.

If it’s a church, it’ll most probably be your home church.

If it’s at the registrar, you’ll have only a handful of options and you’ll go with one closest to your venue or salon or home etc.  I wanted a church wedding. Don't forget to give directions to your guests. I made use of the wedding website.

10 Things To Consider When Selecting Your Dream Wedding Venue





One of the very first things a bride-to-be should reserve is the venue. It's advisable to do this with an idea of the approximate number of guests you’ll be having.

Mine was fraught with frustration, then pure luck. I had my heart set on an impressive neo-Renaissance chateau on a hill overlooking the old Town of Prague. The only catch was, someone else beat us to it - a year and half to the wedding! We changed our wedding date to the day the chateau had an open slot and went through a period of reconciliation with this decision. Our original wedding date was special - it was the date my husband and I met. A month later, the chateau manager called to give us wonderful news - the other couple had canceled their reservation and we could reserve our date!

Wedding Menu Idea



Your wedding menu can be tailored to the eating habits of the larger number of your guests. I collected this information through my wedding website.

Some brides-to-be prefer sit down 6 course meals with a touch of elegance about them. Others prefer buffet. Others might just decide to offer only finger food. Budget is a key player seeing as it's not cheap feeding a large number of people.

How To Decorate Your Reception Venue




A reception venue is the one place you'll have your guests spend more than 6 hours. How about making that stay pleasant? Paying attention to detail when decorating the venue is important. Over decorating might make the venue look gaudy and feel stuffed, while under decorating might lend it an abandoned feel. It's possible to get the venue just right.

Take a look at the venue when it's empty and undecorated. This will give you an idea what's required to make it warm. 

Call in your florist or enlist a friend's help.  

Ask the venue management how it's been previously decorated. 

Wedding Cake: Tips, Transport and Decoration




Tips when deciding on a wedding cake


Design I selected 

Tips When Selecting Your Wedding Florist and Decorator




For most brides-to-be, their florist will double as a decorator. She or he might have an assistant. This is something you should discuss as an extra person means forking out a bit more cash. Need for a florist's assistant will depend on the size of your wedding; that translating into the number centrepieces required, the overall number of flower arrangements (bouquets) the florist will be required to provide and how detailed the decorating will be.  

My florist provided 

Wedding Reception Entertainment: Finding The Right Band






The three main entertainment options for a wedding are :-
  • Band 
  • DJ
  • Music playback over an address system
Reasons why a band and not DJ

Bride, Maid Of Honor and Bridesmaids: Everything They Need




Hair and Makeup


We all decided on really simple make up, going for a natural look. Find more in selecting your bridal salon.

4 Major Things To Consider When Selecting Your Bridal Salon




Seeing as bridal salons are everywhere, you'd think it quite simple to find one for your wedding day. On the contrary, it's quite difficult to find a makeup artist/hair stylist that'll do exactly what you'd like. "Hundreds of brides have gone through their salons and they know what YOUR makeup and hair should look like on YOUR wedding."  Take the advise but stay firm. Trying to convince a makeup artist you'd rather go for a red lipstick  rather than nude is an uphill task.

Points to consider when selecting a salon


The Wedding Dress That Made Me Cry: My Story




I took a gamble, something no bride should do when searching for their perfect wedding gown. I cried and went through sleepless nights but in the end, it paid off - big! The Wedding Dress That Made Me Cry assumes a narrative rather than Wedding Planning approach. I present the events that  unfolded,  some of my own making and others completely out of my control, the disappointment, the tears and the final joy.  Enjoy your read.





The Groom, Groomsmen and Picking Rings



The groom and his party, together with the Bride and her maids will take a big chunk out of your wedding budget. Lets look at some money saving tips I used when dressing the guys up. 

Rings


Jewellery store or goldsmith?

We went with a goldsmith. Jewellery stores get their merchandise from goldsmiths - Why not go to the source?

Simple or intricate bands?

Fun Wedding Photo Shoot Ideas and Video




The criteria while searching for a photographer and videographer is the same. Read reviews, watch their previous work and where possible,  get reviews directly from people who’ve worked with them.

Tips for perfect photos and videos


Wedding Invitations and Other Stationary



Invitation cards


How important is it to you the way your invitation cards look? One can spend a lot or a lot less on invitation cards. Some people might go really simple seeing as cards are just a piece of stationary that'll be discarded after the wedding, while others might prefer to convey the elegance of the wedding right from the start.

Wedding Car Rental: How To Save



It's a whole spectrum of choices when it comes to cars. One extreme prefers motorcades while the other prefers to walk and there are millions that fall in between. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a motorcade that would add absolutely nothing to my wedding, except of course, lovely motorcade pictures. So I went beautiful and cheap.

How I went cheap


Exhaustive Wedding Planning Spreadsheet

I found it very useful to have one place to put ALL the wedding information (which can be overwhelming sometimes). I scoured the internet for an exhaustive wedding planner template but came up empty handed. I found bits here and there. I put what I liked together, aided it and added more tabs as the planning went along, added calculating formulae and the result is what you see below. I constantly updated it with all information, deposits made on services, balance remaining, contact numbers of the different providers and much more. If you'd like to use it, download here.

Wedding Website and Gifts




Website 


Google sites probably had the best free wedding website resources. Template websites you can design and add to make it a quick and easy task. How simple or detailed you want the site to be is to your own discretion.

My Wedding Website had the following pages :-

Buying a Pineapple


Food markets in Uganda are all the same; bustling, boisterous riots teeming with noisy humans. A market day starts with sputtering from a continuous trickle of heavy-laden trucks slicing the peaceful  quiet of predawn. Fresh produce from farms, meats from abattoirs and freshly caught fish are quickly offloaded by an agile pack of muscle men, kanyama. The soft light of dawn reveals impressive, glistening muscles and pouncing bodies; market vendors, small-scale restaurateurs and supermarket owners all vying to get their hands on the freshest. A merchandise manager has an areal view of this chaos, keeping tally of who’s taking what and making sure nothing gets nicked. It’s organized in its disorganization. Wheelbarrow pushers, each chewing incessantly on a toothpick watch it all unfold from the sidelines, from where they’ll spring when called upon to transport produce to its final destination. You’ll have street urchins larking in everybody else’s shadow; picking anything that accidentally falls off the trucks, nicking some and later setting up on-the-ground popup stalls – small heaps of this and that, where those out of pocket can always get great deals on okay looking stuff. No questions asked. Meanwhile…

Raging at Dawn



My city, Prague

This week has been a blur. Nights last minutes! I get into bed at 10:00pm, close my eyes for a second and it’s morning!! Dawn at an infuriating 5:30!! It’s killing me. Knowing it’ll get worse and that dawn is bound to sweep in at an even earlier 3:00 am, has my stomach in knots.

My 6 years in Europe haven’t done a thing. This atrocious invasion of my sleepy time by an overly eager dawn is going nowhere! For 24 years in Uganda, my system was primed and tuned to waking up at the crack of dawn. As the bottomless, near emptiness of night gave way to a glow-y purple sky, my brain would automatically and softly be cajoled into a state of wakefulness. Birds, roosters and wailing kids were always part of it. Nothing…nothing beats the reliability of an African dawn; year around same time, 6:00 – 6:30am.

To Tango with Wine





I got done in by 3 glasses of wine!! Strange things have been happening to me since I turned 30!! I mean, 3 glasses, seriously? As a result, this post will be a piece of genius rubbish. The kind brought on by an alcohol induced, sleep deprived haze! Let’s crush and burn this post.  I know where to lay the blame.

Where was I? Yes, yes, the wine….

I know, I know (being especially bright this very instant). A mum at home, probably firmly immersed in unintelligible baby language (two years at home), and a sameness to my daily routine - each day looking just like the previous 13…puh! I should be swimming in the stuff, right? Well, I’ve been good (remember to let Santa know). I’ve been so good I barely touch the contents of my home bar. Any lustful thought of reanimating my lethargic, uncooperative, sleep deprived brain with that little infusion of the ferment is swiftly laser-ed! I’ve been so good, I don’t remember the last

What men get from pregnancy boobies


Men are weird creatures whose preference for a particular female body shape changes with their current state of mind. A guy who’s got his baby goggles tightly fitted will continue to see what eludes most – the intoxicating allure of a pregnant body. Yes, really! At the climax of his baby hints, my husband once exclaimed, “Oh my, her body’s so sexy!” He was poring over a photograph of a 6 months pregnant woman in a bikini.

News of a pregnancy is received in a whirl of whoops of joy and secretly, a lot of gleeful hand rubbing. The man’s eyes take on a salacious glint. He is ready to explore pregnancy’s tasty pluses - the magic twins. The natural size of his woman’s boobies doesn’t count. Flat chested or amply endowed, the expectation is the same. Bigger…B.I.G.G.E.R please! Men are greedy that way.

The tease is on.

The boobies don’t disappoint. The small get bigger and the bigger get enormous. Optical nutrition is a full on feature as brassieres and tops strain and groan and each tinny movement causes a chaotic but oh-so-hypnotic bounce to the chest. For the moment, he’s satisfied and very understanding of the unspoken restrictive rule because, morning sickness is a bitch but it’ll pass - soon. He’s been reading up on pregnancy for dummies, bidding his time. The best is on its way.

The second trimester creeps in and so does the forbidden wandering hand. SWAT!! They hurt like hell.

I'm a Gold Digger

Yes you heard me. Big ol’ gold digger and I don’t give a rat’s a…bottom! Oh no, I’m not alone in this illustrious career. It’s well sought after and apparently, quite a lucrative hit. I belong to a gang of black African women married to or in relationships with white men. As some people would have you believe, we ALL are seasoned, hardcore gold diggers. 

The romantics (mostly white) will ask, “ ….So, how did you two (lovebirds) meet?” There’s no doubt it was love. Very close friends (black, white, etc) wont ask -- they were there as the story unfolded and were constantly furnished with up-to-date details.

The WISE people, (the kind that’s not necessarily close to you but you’ve known them for ages and they claim to know absolutely EVERYTHING) finally allow their undesirable brittle disposition to shine through the friendly facade, “…Soooooo, how did you manage to catch yourself a white man…mmm?” (Replace ‘catch’ with any word that makes that sentence sound derogatory, like, bag etc.). I picked him off the road, idiot! A sweet ‘how we met’ story, oozing chemistry and thick with passion won't count. No sir! I’ll still be the little sneaky gold digger who knew where to hit and HIT HARD. I’ll often catch an eye roll that I wasn't supposed to, or an exchanged look that was meant to be discreet or sometimes, I get that annoying conspiratorial  ‘we both know the real story’ smirk. A smirk I’ve wished (many many times) I could wipe off with a punch that would hopefully dislodge a tooth or two…hell, why am I being nice…the whole goddamned set of teeth!  

According to wise people (I’ll go out on a limb here and state; mostly my fellow countrymen - black to the bone)…