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2017, 25,

A Day In My Life: 8th October 2017

I have wanted a camera for a while now and I guess Mr Abidoye got tired of me talking about it all the time so he got me one for my last birthday. 

The new camera birthed the series ”A Day In My Life”. I will be sharing photos I take from time to time and giving a little background of the day I took them and why I want to share it. 

The photos in this post were taken on Sunday 8th 2017 at Yard 158 and edited by my good friend Tolu who manages Lifegiva website and Lifegiva Radio. We were just happy to be alive and decided to take photos. 

I hope you enjoy following me on my photography journey. 
25, letters,

Letters To My Children II

Dear Children,

I have a long list of things I want you to learn when you get here, like learn to speak Yoruba, French and Spanish, learn to play a musical instrument or two. Love literature, music and art the way I do.
I learnt how to play the piano for three years in primary school, I really liked my teacher but sharing practice time with my siblings was annoying.

My piano teacher in secondary school on the other hand was not that great, he told me during  my first lesson that my hands are too small to play the piano because they would not spread out enough, he proceeded to sleep about 10 minutes into the lesson.

I gave up learning to play the  piano after that. I regret taking the man’s words to heart. Recently I have been considering starting my lessons again.
I don’t want you to ever think there is nothing you can’t do, I want you to understand that you can break new grounds and do the impossible. I want you to be better than me! But I am managing my expectations, because I understand that what I dream for you may not be your dreams and I will have to support you regardless.

I will have to help you find you path and not guide you to the one I have selected for you and this isn’t an easy task because I will watch you be completely dependent on me for everything, watch you learn to walk and talk, be inquisitive about everything and watch you grow and not need me so much with every passing year.

Expect we will have conversations when I think you are making a mistake or throwing away your life by making impulsive decisions, neither of us will like this but we will both be better for it.
All these will be harder because every time you leave home I will want to curl up in one of your suitcases and come along to keep you safe, I know this is slightly irrational because God will always keep you safe, but this doesn’t stop me from thinking it’s my 24hr/ 7days a week job to protect you.  
I am teaching myself to manage my careful thought out plans for your live, I am learning that what I dream for you will probably not what you will dream for yourself.
I am telling myself every day that this is okay.

With All My Love; Mama.
25, letters,

Letters To July II

Random Photo From Graduation 
Dear Muyiwa,

I sat across from you at a fast food restaurant, I had the first bite of my fried rice and declared it horrible and a waste of my money, you said your donuts wasn’t any better. I struggled through my rice while you managed to eat half of your first donut which you quickly washed down with coke. I asked when you started drinking coke, you said you weren’t sure when, but you are trying to stop taking it.
How the tables have turned, I remember when I was a ‘coke addict’, I used to smuggle it into campus (hope you remember our campus had a strict policy against caffeine) in old yoghurt drink containers. Every now and again you will bring me a bottle and lecture me on how it was bad for my health. I stopped taking coke about a year ago and now I am the one giving you lectures on the ‘evils of coke’. This makes me think of how different we are from when we first met a few years ago, different yes, but the same people in so many ways.
On the day we met we had an argument about the dress code of our university, I was of the opinion that the formal dress code prepared us for life after university and you believed that it stifled creativity, that people were not given the opportunity to express themselves through their clothes. It is ironic that you pay attention to the details on your outfit and you read GQ Magazine to keep up to date with male fashion trends while I long for a job where I can express myself through my clothes and not be confined to a set of rules. Maybe we rubbed off on each other. In swapping opinions we questioned our stand on life ideas and we became true to ourselves in the process.
You have to remember the first poem we wrote together, it was about stars, the moon and the activities that happen in the comfort of the night. That was a first for me, I had never written with anyone before let alone taken my writing seriously. I really enjoyed the process of writing with you that we had a short-lived blog where we shared poems we wrote together.
That day, while we nursed our horrible meals, I had my first honest conversation in months. That was easy because there is no judgement, no reservations, I can be unapologetic about all the crazy things that go on in my head. It isn’t one-way traffic where I dump all my crazy and you just listen, you share too. It is honest exchange of burdens, this is one of the many reasons our friendship is important to me.
We don’t get to see or talk often, because I am horrible at texting and you live two hours’ drive away, so I look forward to the rear occasion when our paths cross and we can talk and share a horrible meal.

P.S I am looking forward to us writing again.

2017, 25,

Raining Season Reading List

I don’t enjoy raining season. I hate that my nose and chest don’t function right once the season starts and how this lingers till the dry season. Because of my poor nose and chest, I hardly go out so this leaves me with the burden of entertaining myself. On the plus side I get to binge watch series and read a lot of books. 
I love reading and each book takes me on a different journey and they have a way of staying with me long after I am done with the book. The emotions in the books linger and this makes me see the people around me differently understand and appreciate their struggles.
I am subscribed to a number of Reading Blogs and they release their ‘’Summer Reading List’’ about the same time the Raining Season starts. But for me it isn’t warm days where I get to go to the beach, I am curled up in bed reading and letting the stories take me on exciting journey.
I was making a list of the books I have read in 2017 and I thought why not share my list and get my book-lover friends to share their own list and thus the ‘’Raining Season Reading List’’ was born. I really hope you enjoy these lists and you discover great books to add to your reading list.
So let’s get into the list.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Fun fact about Ore; I was a science student in secondary school (not by choice) and I choose to study Literature and I believe this is one of the best decisions 14 years old Ore made. The classes were my first lessons in appreciation of books and the beginning of my love affair.
Things Fall Apart was a required text for my exams in my final year in secondary school and I don’t believe I really understood the ideas the author presented in the book or even appreciated the fact that it is a love story to precolonial Nigeria. So a few months ago I decided to buy a copy of the book and read it again. I am happy I made this decision and it was a good experience, I spent my morning drives discussing the themes of the book with my mum and learning about the Igbo people. I think it is important we take a walk into the past so we don’t make the same mistakes in the present.
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

I read this book in a day, it is one of those books that when you start you can’t put down till you get to the end. I fell in love with Yejide and Akin and I carried them around with me for a few days wondering about all the different way their story could have played out. At the heart, the book is a love story but, one marred by selfishness and desperate decisions.

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

I know you have seen the movie but, the book isn’t like the movie, for starters it ends differently. It is more of an emotional roller-coaster because the author makes use of the multiple narrative technique so you get a peek into how each character is feeling and picking sides is much harder. I had questions about motherhood, how much love is too much and when a mother needs to stop and listen to her children. Safe to say I cried my eyes out at the end of the book. You can skip this on if you have no tissue.
The course of Love by Alain de Botton

My friend Derin recommended this book to me in January and I am glad he did.  It is a realistic view on love, how a lack of understanding of our individual histories affect the love we share with our partners. How domestic routine, poor communication can lead to the death of love. Most important of all it was a challenge to me to examine myself, take a look at how I react in situations and do an over haul of the relationships in my life.
So that is my list, I hope something interests you, before I forget, there are a few books I picked up to read during the month of August and they are;

The Right Kind of Crazy by Adam Steltzner with William Patrick

Opening Spaces: Contemporary African Women’s writing

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

The Shack by William P. Young

Don’t forget to recommend a book in the comments below

2017, 25,

Letters To July I

Dear Kike,
Why don’t we have any cute photos together? I realized this when I finally sat down to write this letter, we have one that we took at my graduation but I don’t think it counts. When next we see we will have to rectify this.  
Kiks, I am writing because I miss you, I miss having you in the same time zone – now I have to look up the time whenever I want to text or call and it is stressful. I miss painting our nails to match our moods, black nails for weeks we were unhappy, red nails for weeks we were excited and all the colours in between, my brain can’t remember what each colour stood for.
Every now and again, I am transported to that summer we spent together. It was the summer you graduated from University and your mum’s latest shop attendant was discovered to be stealing so she was fired. You became the shop attendant and I became your assistant. We sat in the shop and talked about your budding relationship with “B” and how my relationship with ‘’Do Not Call’’ was doomed, you never failed to rub it in that you were right.
My grandpa died that summer. The day he died we went to see ‘The Avengers’, it was the movie to see that summer. I got home late and my mum was furious, she kept saying “your grandpa is dead and you are out seeing a movie”, she said this like a broken record. I was sure my mum was losing it that night. We spoke to my grandpa that week and we planned to visit soon. I wasn’t ready to deal with my mum so I apologised reassured her that he was alive and went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep that night, I could hear my mum sobbing from her room, I was at a loss on how to comfort her.
My uncle showed up the next morning with red swollen eyes to break the news to us, I cried and couldn’t stop for hours. I couldn’t bring myself to make anything to eat, so I walked to your house which was a street away from mine and you fed me rice and fish and let me cry. You didn’t say any of those annoying things people say to comfort you when a person dies.
I told you how creepy it was that my Grandpa died around 7:00 pm and that was about the same time we got home from the movie to my furious mother. You know in the Yoruba culture you don’t tell a woman her father is dead if a man is not at home and my dad was away that weekend so the burden of telling my mum fell on my uncle’s shoulder. I asked you if I will feel it too when my parents died, if I will know the exact moment and have the luxury to mourn in private like my mum did. You didn’t have answers to my questions, you just sat there and let me mourn, you suggested that we should paint our nails black. So walked to the salon not too far from your house and we did that, you walked me home after we got our nails done, told me I will be just fine and you were right as always.
The summer was different after that. My mum didn’t want to leave my grandma by herself so we drove up to Ilorin every weekend. I wasn’t excited about leaving the house for the shop anymore, but you never failed to check up on me.  When “Do Not Call” broke up with me that summer because I was too moody, you told me it was his loss while we had yogurt drinks at your mum’s shop.
I am sure you remember all these events, but I am not sure I ever thanked you for that summer, I am not sure I ever told you how much all you did was important to me. You kept me from drowning and I am always grateful.  
There are so many life updates I have for you but, I will keep them for another letter or maybe share them with you in person. I am counting down till the next time we are in the same time zone so we can finally take cute photos.
Love Always,

P.S. You should need to read ‘’Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo’’.