Saturday, February 28, 2009

Volte face

'When the Lord closes the door, somewhere He opens a window.'
---Fraulein Maria

I'm not sure where this quote originated, but I will forever associate it with Dame Julie Andrews' character in the movie The Sound of Music, and it aptly describes the situation in which I found myself, a situation which ended this morning when W1302 landed in Lagos.

My decision to leave the UK three years ahead of the schedule I had planned was necessitated by the current recession, a situation which I strongly feel would get a lot worse than it currently is. I had flirted with the idea of making the job since October of last year, but the little comforts that one would have to give up kept me undecided. That was until the wildcat strikes of last month.

Don't get me wrong, I cannot, and do not blame British workers for feeling like their under siege, especially given their government's duplicity in the current financial crisis, the emergence of stories such as Fred Goodwin's money pot, and worse from my perspective as a someone foreign to the UK, the seeming willingness of both the current government and the opposition to play on the (real and imagined) spectre of the foreign worker. The report by the idiots at the Daily Telegraph which was published yesterday only serves to buttress my point. Two points that were scariest to me, first, I predicted events such as these (but in more apocalyptic terms) a few months ago, and also the fact that forget The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, tabloids like The Telegraph and The Sun command a much larger followership in the UK. And their tone is becoming increasingly xenophobic, and naturally as the recession/depression gets worse, voices of reason such as Mark Pack will be lost in the storm.

Time to move back home, but to what?

My current frustration at the moment is that what passes for broadband internet where I am putting up is creeping. Very annoying!

Since I got into the house at 0658 WAT this morning, they have been running the generator. Power according to everyone has gone from bad to worse.

I took a tour of the Lagos Central Business District with my cousin today, and I must say that I am impressed with the continuity from the administration of Bola Tinubu to that of Tunde Fashola. In my opinion that has been one of the problems of governance in Nigeria. The predecessor is doing something, and a new man comes and repeals everything, then starts new stuff, which in its turn gets repealed, and so on...

Very depressing.

More depressing is the fact that two years after he repealed almost everything that Obasanjo did, current president Yar'Adua is actually embarking on those same projects! Fuel subsidies are going to be removed in order to allow market forces determine the price of petrol for the average Nigerian, government is going to stop funding the refineries (a fancy way of saying they are going to be privatised). What makes this one particularly annoying is that given the current global crisis, the government would be hard pressed to sell them off at the same price at which they were sold previously. Ergo, we are going to make an even bigger loss than what was earlier alleged! Remember that we were talking about this same issue in 2004. That means that in terms of self sufficiency in fuel production, Nigeria has lost 5 years and loads of cash!

Another volte face by this administration is the recent approval of $5.3 billion to try and tackle the power problem. Pardon my cynicism, but I can hear the bottles of champagne being uncorked and the university girls being invited to dine with the big boys. Yes, we need to sort out the power problem, but how come no one is asking what the hell happened to the previous $16 billion? It has been swept under the carpet?

And this government still talks about the rule of law...

Friday, February 27, 2009

The real competition

It seems Microsoft doesn't believe the data from Net Applications regarding Linux any more than Slashdot readers do. In a recent presentation, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed a slide showing, from Microsoft's internal analysis, that Linux client use is clearly ahead of Apple's.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The death of language

"Vox audit perit, litera scripta manet"

I've been rather busy in recent times due to some personal events. That fact has not left me with enough time to service this blog. Hopefully normal service will resume very soon. I checked my mail this morning, and saw this article by a friend of mine. His name is Idemudia, and I always assumed that he is a Bini chap. I was wrong. I very clearly remember the conversation he alluded to, it occured in our fourth year of University, and my views from that day have not undergone any paradigm shift.

I believe that language is a living thing like any other, and like any other thing that has a life, it grows, matures, evolves, and those that cannot compete will die. This is my bluntly harsh assessment of Idemudia's own native tongue; it would be all but dead before then end of his life as those who spoke it most fluently belong to a generation before his own parents, and what is worse, they didn't write it down. Hence, the opening quote I appended is very correct.

It is funny this thing about indigenous speakers, because one thing I know for certain is this: my grandmother, born in 1918, knows that the Igbo word for spoon is ngaji, but the trend in my mother's generation is, 'Biko nyem spoon' (Please give me the spoon), i.e the word ngaji is slowly being overtaken by the word spoon and by the time my own generation is dead and buried, there will be precious few people who would know what ngaji is. How many Igbo speakers know what enyinya means?

In Nigeria, it is my opinion that of all our indigenous languages, Hausa would survive longest, and that is because of all of them it is the one that was most standardised before the colonists came around, thanks to the Ajami script. The Yoruba also had the Ajami as a result of Uthman dan Fodio's Jihad two centuries ago, but they promptly discarded it when Samuel Crowther transcribed their language with the Latin script half a century later. The Igbo had the Nsibidi script, and we weren't the only ones who used it. Unfortunately, like us, the Efik and Ibibio kept knowledge of Nsibidi within a very small elite, and mainly for religious purposes. When the British came around with their religion and a lot of our people converted, the people who had knowledge of Nsibidi became irrelevant and died. With them died a lot of knowledge that would have been very useful. Nowadays, even fluent speakers of both Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba would read and comprehend English a lot quicker than they would any of their own dialects.

Personally (and on these pages), I once wrote a few sentences (I can't in all good conscience call it an article) in Igbo, and felt slightly embarrassed when an Igbo friend of mine asked me to translate it. He simply couldn't get it. But my own dilemma (I learned Igbo at 17, and up until today my accent sucks) is increasingly reflected in kids all across Nigeria. But there isn't anything to worry about really. The entire process of our languages dying is as natural as the fact the we would all one day be dead.

When I had that conversation with Idemudia Abaku and Michael Okoto back in our 400 level, I was of the opinion that Hausa should be made compulsory in Nigerian schools since of all our local languages it has the best chance of survival (it is the most widely spoken). Michael pointed out that while it was a bit strange hearing that come from an Igbo man, he understood where I was coming from, but that we must realise that any such move would bring about a serious backlash in the Nigerian state as the ethnic jingoists amongst us would never see the bigger picture. All three of us agreed on that point. But there was something that we didn't talk about that day which has become clearer to me in the eight years that have passed since that day.

Pidgin English is becoming more the de facto official language in our country, and it is gradually assuming a life of its own. Words are borrowed from indigenous languages to 'funkify' a conversation, and suddenly those words supplant the original English word in Pidgin. The result is that 'fashi dat syd' now means the same thing anywhere in Nigeria and almost all Nigerians get what it means despite the fact that the root word 'fash' is of Yoruba origin. The English word leave has been dropped.

This seemingly little thing caught my attention the last time I was in Abuja. Jamiu, my favourite
mi shai in Wuse II now understands perfectly what I meant in Pidgin, and I didn't have to speak Hausa to him. When he goes back to Kaura Namoda, he will take with him his knowledge of Pidgin, and with time, Pidgin would also begin to supplant Hausa as the language of trade, then ultimately as the language of choice in Northern Nigeria. An entirely natural process which means that a language that can truly be called Nigerian is slowly emerging from the corpses of our ethnic tongues.

My view: from this slow but certain event, we are witnessing the birth of a nation. Our local languages may just have to die so that Nigeria can live.

P.S: For the records, enyinya means horse in the Igbo language.

Idemudia's article:

My language is dying, and really it is not a funny matter. My speaking (or lack of ability to properly speak) my native tongue has never been a big worry for me, but matters have come to a head when I recently discovered that a lot of the youth from my hometown also have the same problem that I have. Without the current generation to take the language to the next generation, my language will soon be as dead as a dodo.

I come from a minority tribe in Edo state, an Ika speaking tribe: actually the name of my homestead is Ekpon (sorry to disappoint those who know me by my middle name Idemudia and concluded I was either Bini or Ishan). Population of 300,000 or more if you count those in Diaspora.

My journey into discovering that my language would soon become extinct started from a quite unexpected source. My mom. My mom had begged, threatened, cajoled and pleaded with me to start going to the youth version of the Lagos chapter of my village weekly meeting. Being a very apolitical and introverted person by nature, I had naturally resisted most of her attempts. And I was suspicious that what she really wanted was for me to mingle more with members of the opposite sex from my tribe as the proverbial settling down period for her son was around the corner. But moms knowing their sons always know which button to press. So at last I agreed give the meeting a try.

I went to the youth meeting (and my mom was right, there were a lot of pretty damsels there, but that is a topic for another day). I had already been told that the official means of communication at this event was going to be in our local tongue. So I was a little bit wary, being a mono syllabic speaker and of my native tongue. But my mind was set a little bit at rest when I discovered that most of the individuals talking were freely exchanging words in English or Pidgin English. Then the chairman of the occasion cleared his throat before announcing as we were officially starting the meeting, all further communication was to be through the Ekpon language. No problem, the meeting was to start by someone leading the gathering in a prayer in my native language. I was about to get my introduction into how not to use a native language in prayer. The
clearly nervous individual that had been selected went to the centre of the gathering, pursed his lips and hesitantly told everyone to close their eyes, still all well and good, then he began to
pray/speak very very slowly, thinking each word out and continuously increasing the number of English words used in each sentence as the prayer went on. I dramatize his speech by using the Sign "+" to represent each word spoken in Ekpon, and use the Sign "—" to indicate each word spoken in English. To show how well he did in the first sentence, it would look like this:

+ + + + -- + + - + --+ + + + - - - + + + ++ + + ++ + + +

The second and third sentence which slowly deteriorated to speaking queens English would look this way:

+ + -- -- -- -- -- -- -- + + - + --+ + + + - - - + --
-- -- -- -- + + +.

+ -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- + -- - + --+ ---- + - - -
+ -- -- -- -- -- + ---- +.

The now clearly agitated reluctant native speaker prayer warrior finally licked his lips one last time, opened his mouth one last time but no native words could escape them, after a few more 'hmms', 'ems', he was mercifully put out of his misery by a more expert speaker taking over from him but not before rebuking him with, "Ghomo nu ke u, e ka la su Ekpon" ; roughly translating to, "Close your mouth, you still do not speak Ekpon".

I learnt later that the reluctant prayer leader was a first timer to the meeting like me (how lucky can I get). But it would seem coming to the youth meeting for the first time was not the only thing we shared.

After the comical relief given at the start of the meeting, I paid more attention to the choice of language used to communicate among the members of the youth meeting, and it led me to the damning conclusion that my native tongue was probably less than two generations away from dying out. Not that there were no fluent speakers present at the forum, infact there were quite a few of them who did justice to the language the way my grand-mother handles it. It was that those individuals were just not the majority. Most individuals present spoke a mixture of English and Ekpon mixed together which English seeming to dominate more depending on how well educated the individual was( fortunately I was not called out to speak other than acknowledging myself as a new member). A quick survey round and I discovered that most of the not too fluent
speakers were 2nd generation Ekpon people who had grown up predominantly outside the homestead- most had grown up in Lagos.

As the meeting flowed and ebbed around me, my thoughts wondered how we had ended up at this precarious situation. I wondered at my own lack of ability to learn properly the language of my ancestors, I had always typically attributed it to my lack of natural ability with languages (I do not speak Yoruba fluently, even though I lived in Lagos all my life), but on seeing so many other individuals from my tribe of my age group having the same problem I wondered if that was the real reason. I wondered on the influence on parents in this issue, my own parents both speak the native language to each other, so it follows that the child should have learnt the native tongue from the lap of the parents during childhood, but I wondered if the subtle approval a child feels from the parents when he confidently spews out the whiteman's words do not lead him down
the road to mastering the another man's tongue. I wondered on the influence on the society to this approaching tragedy, I had once had a discussion with Joppy's cousin, he had just come back from India and he had pointed out he had noticed that this particular trait of the youth not speaking the language of their parents is most prevalent among the minority tribes in the South and Niger Delta regions of Nigeria. I agreed with him. And I wondered if our society in propelling our children to acquire the wisdom of the whiteman had forgotten the wisdom retained by having future generations communicate in the local dialect.

I wondered about the future, if my mum does not get her wish and I do not settle down with one fluent members of the opposite sex in the village youth meeting, then of the gifts I would be passing on to my children, my native tongue would not be one of them, because you can only teach what you know. It had all so seemed academic when I was discussing with Cheta and Okoto at the back of DO4 years ago, we had all agreed (using the famed logic engineers are trained to use) that surely some languages would die out and that the process was irreversible. But seeing the reality of it steering me in the face was a rude awakening.

But surely a solution to this seeming intractable situation must exist. On my own I have resolved that if the gift of speech does not allow me to pass on my native language skills to the next generation, then I will teach them the next best thing: Pidgin English, abi it is also part of our shared cultural history!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

We don't have a team

Like everyone else who saw it, I was unhappy about the game last Wednesday. These are the words of CICOB on Cyber Eagles...

We do not have a football team. The primary emphasis here is on the word "team". I am also inclined to believe that perhaps we are playing a whole new ball game totally different from "football" as I have come to know it.

First off, a team needs a coach. Right now, we have a crooked businessman pretending to be a coach. I believe obtaining money under false pretences is the definition of 4.1.9. So without a proper coach, we can say goodbye to our hopes of creating a "team" out of the bunch of odds, sods and Hey Yous that claim to represent Nigeria.

A "team" is meant to be a set of players working together for a common goal - in football terms this means winning. Every time I watch us play, there is no indication that these guys are working for each other, no team play, no cohesion, no pattern, no movement, zero understanding about the use of space, no signs of a well-drilled outfit emerging out of disjointed bunch of individuals. Anyone that watches a proper football game and then watches us play should easily discern that:
a) we are not a "team";
b) we don't really play "football".

We have established that you need a coach to play like a team. That last time we played like a team was possibly in 94. That was probably when we last had someone that could call himself a "coach" without raising questions about obtaining money under false pretences.

We have been trying since 94 to play football without a "team". This has worked on occasions b/c we have sometimes been blessed with wonderful footballers like Okocha, Kanu, Oliseh, Finidi, West, etc. Now that most of those guys are retired and Kanu is playing on memory alone, we are just about managing to play football without a "team" and even without "footballers".

I know several of our players would describe themselves as "footballers" if you asked them their occupation. But a guy standing in front of a classroom with a chalk doesn't automatically become a "teacher". He would need to "teach" - impart knowledge on his charges. A "footballer" should be able to play - control a ball, pass it to a guy wearing the same colours, shoot straight, make the right decisions, etc. Many of the guys that claim to represent Nigeria - especially those that turned up last night - could not adequately demonstrate that they could perform these simple tasks.

Ejide was an honourable exception. He did his job manfully and bravely on at least a couple of occasions.

Odiah thought his job was to look like Okocha. He got the braids right, in his mind he thought he was Jay-Jay, but his feet told us he was just a slight improvement on Mobi Okparaku.

Shittu is built like a heavyweight boxer and has a heart to match his size, but he looked like he would be better at rugby than footie. He was slow, ponderous and had the flexibility of an articulated truck. No country with designs to be among the very best in world football would have a Shittu in the heart of their defence.

Yobo is an average footballer that acquires delusions of grandeur whenever he turns up for Nigeria. Maybe he has started believing the hype from his Number 1 supporter on this forum. He thinks he is a Franco Baresi, but nobody that good plays for Everton.

Taiwo packs a cannon in his left foot but shoots and crosses with the accuracy of a rusty blunderbuss. He is arguably the clumsiest footballer on this planet and always seems to play like he left his brain in the dressing room (a trait he shares with Obinna Nsofor).

Olofinjana could have served Nigeria well as a long-distance athlete. He is full of stamina, full of running, but plays football like he is full of sh!t. He is one-paced, pedestrian, can't pass, can't shoot, makes poor decisions, but is a genuinely nice guy. You can't aspire to be a "football team" if you have this guy in the centre of your midfield.

Obi is a boy wonder - the boy has made us all wonder where it went wrong. Was it not going to Manure, was it Mourinho, was it the money? We all thought he was the next Okocha, right now he is not even near becoming the next Oliha. The boy that potentially had the talent to be our most creative midfielder is now neither fish nor fowl. One minute he is trying to be a Makalele that pulls out of tackles, the next he is pretending to be Ballack - strolling around arrogantly as the game passes him by. You know your team is in trouble when the guy carrying the team's future hopes does not take responsibility to make things happen and spends most of the game passing square balls to the more limited Olofinjana.

Kanu has more talent in his eyebrow than the rest of his team-mates combined. But no one in the right frame of mind would play him in midfield. The fact that Onigbinde thought this was a good idea told you all you needed to know.

Osaze with his choirboy looks and honest endeavour is a fans' favourite. He will always give 100% to the cause. Sadly, his effort does not match his ability. So he ends up being the best headless chicken in our team.

Ike Uche is fast, works hard and occasionally pulls off the odd trick or two. Trouble is, his brain always struggles to keep up with his speedy body. As a result, a guy that sometimes does something spectacular, most times finds it difficult to do the simple things.

The least said about the rest of the bit part players that showed up yesterday the better.

I have seen some people suggest that our game should improve with the return of the likes of Martins, Yak, Ogbuke, etc. This is a vain hope. Individuals, no matter how talented, can only bring about very marginal improvement to what essentially is not a "team", and is made up of people that can't play "football" - at least not in the way I know it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

If it were you?

Monsters exist but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions
--- Primo Levi

Thanks to the good fellows at
The Pirate Bay, I get to watch quite a few movies well before they come to the cinema near me. Such facilities help in deciding which of them is actually worth going to shell out cash on. For example, I knew way before time that even my corpse would not be found in a cinema paying to watch the latest instalment of Underworld, same way I'd rather see 2004's German production Stauffenberg than pay to see Hollywood blockbuster Valkeyrie. Just a matter of preference, but then that isn't what is under discussion here...

A few weeks ago, I got to see each of the three films that are the rave of this year's Hollywood awards season. Much has been made about Slumdog Millionaire as the ultimate film of the year. It is expected to cart home the Best Movie award in this year's Oscars, much as it has been named movie of the year in the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs. It is a good movie, nay, an excellent movie. But I would be loathe to place it in the same sphere as The Godfather as some people are already suggesting. Slumdog is a feel good movie in which people's fantasies come to life. Poor, little guy from the ghetto makes it good and recovers the love of his life in the process, and against astonishing odds. Personally I'm of the opinion that the movie is not much better than Dr. Zhivago. What works in its favour is the fact that we are in a particularly bad depression, and people need something to take their minds away from the day to day realities of today's life. That is where The Reader falls flat on its face, but more on that movie later.

The other movie that the critics are going all orgasmic over is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In my opinion that is a good movie, but nowhere near great, and I am struggling to understand what people see in that film. In my opinion it is nothing more than an unbelievable love story adapted from a book that took a highly improbable event as its storyline. I simply can't come to terms with all the noise being made about Brad Pitt's performance in the movie as the vast majority of it was enhanced by CGI. I'm still of the opinion that Mr. Pitt's best ever performance was in The Twelve Monkeys, but then again, that is just me. The story of Ben Button for me is one very forgettable love story which will not stand the test of time. And ultimately, that is what differentiates the regular, good movies from the all time greats. Gone With The Wind is an all time great. People still talk about it today seventy years after it came on screen. The Godfather is an all time great, people still quote whole passages from that movie, and it is unarguable that all movies from the Mafia genre lift ideas from it up until this day. That is what distinguishes a truly great movie.

I wonder why The Dark Knight was not nominated for Best Picture in this year's Academy Awards. That only goes to confirm what a lot of people have been saying that the Hollywood Academy has a thing against blockbusters...

I for one I tend to be very cynical, but I have to admit that this is one movie that lived up to the hype. Heath Ledger's performance in that movie was excellent, but besides all that dick sucking (Chxta remember your New Year's resolution), the movie had an excellent plot, and the acting all round was great. I would go slightly against the grain here and say that Ledger was not even the best actor in the movie. Aaron Eckhart played a superb role as 'Harvey Dent' and Gary Oldman was excellent as 'Gordon'. Now I can place my head on the block and say that The Dark Knight is a movie which would be referred to in another half century as a shiny example of how an action film ought to be made, and that my dear readers is what a great movie is. I believe that Slumdog and Ben Button would sadly, but ultimately, be forgotten in the sands of time.

One of the other movies that was nominated for best movie is The Reader. Of all the movies that were nominated for that award, this is probably the most lambasted by the critics. However, in Chxta's opinion, this is the most cerebral of all of the movies on display in this year's Oscars. Well of all that I've seen anyway.

The movie's start I must admit is rather damp, and if I were interested in looking at sex scenes I may well just make a beeline to Youporn. However, the film starts to pick up just after Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslett) disappears and poor Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes/David Kross) is left heart broken. Then we fast forward to the young man's rediscovery of his erstwhile lover. As the allegations unfold of her role in selecting prisoners for death, he must face the terrible truth that the woman he loved, and still loves (love is a bitch isn't it?) and who loved him in return, had committed terrible atrocities.

But who was the real Hanna Schmitz?

The truth is that Hanna Schmitz is not based on any one real life character. She is more a composite of various members of the SS-Oberaufseherin. Bernhard Schlink - on who's book of the same name the movie is based - has said in interviews that he once met someone when he was a student on vacation from university and working night shifts in a factory. In the confessional small hours of the morning, he was told a personal tale that set him on the path towards the character of Hanna. Who she was and what she did, however, he will not elaborate on. But though Hanna cannot be linked to a real person, she has a chilling reality about her. She is in all of us!

Hanna became a camp guard for the simplest of reasons. At the Siemens factory where she was working, she was offered promotion to foreman because she was a good and diligent worker. However, this promotion would have exposed the fact that she was illiterate, something that was her innermost shame. To avoid having this shame exposed, she took a job at Auschwitz, the most notorious of all the concentration camps.

The shame continues to haunt her life because as a tram conductor after the war, she was a very diligent worker, and was once again offered a promotion. A promotion which again would have exposed her illiteracy. Like she had done a decade before, she took off, leaving young Michael Berg heartbroken. Her pattern of running from her shame ultimately destroyed her because in court, she could have exonerated herself over the deaths of hundreds of women by confessing she could not read or write, but she refused to do so.

In her mind, illiteracy was more shaming than murder and as a result, in her world, all normal sense of right and wrong had been destroyed. This view point must not be seen as forgiving or excusing what people like Hanna do or have done. But we must bear one thing in mind here: the human mind is probably the most powerful force on earth, and one of the most difficult things to come to terms with is that not all people who do monstrous things are monsters.

In his book, Schlink suggests that there is a line that individuals may step over for the smallest of reasons, as Hanna did. But, once that line crossed, anything goes, and there is no way back. Because she had crossed that line, Hanna never understood that what she did wrong. When asked in court why she had selected women for death, she explained, logically but absurdly, that new inmates were arriving and sending older inmates to their deaths was the only way to make room for them. What else could she do, she asked, bemused. Then she turns the question on the judge. 'What would you have done?' she wants to know. He does not answer.

This for me was the fulcrum of the entire movie. It is a chilling and telling moment. As people, we all hope that if and when the time comes, we would stand up to be counted, that we would do the right thing. But none of us can be absolutely sure we would be brave enough to occupy the moral high ground. Every one of us has that little secret, that moment of excruciatingly painful shame, or sinfully shameful yet orgasmic pleasure. That moment that we would rather die (Hanna Schmitz would have gladly taken the gallows than let the world know she was illiterate) than let other people know about. As to the question of who the real Hanna Schmitz was? She was the fallible human being in each and every one of us.

Recommended reading:
The Reader
The Divine Obama
The Bitches of Buchenwald
The Guardian's review of the book
Translating love and the unspeakable

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Windows vs KDE

As you have probably guessed, I lost some of my passion for IT a while back, and it's been a struggle to recover it. Maybe that is coming back, only time will tell. One good thing that came out of that loss of passion though is the fact that I'm no longer a Linux fanatic. Don't get me wrong, I still love Linux, use it everyday. But I've come to realise that true software freedom means allowing people to use what they want when they want, and yes, that includes Windows.

In the meantime, I've tested Windows 7 which came out in its beta form some weeks ago. Impressive, but it still have its problems. I won't slate it though as it is beta software. KDE 4 was released a while ago and very recently version 4.2 came out. 4.2 has ironed out a lot of the kinks that were evident in 4.0. It brings up the question, which is easier and/or better? Watch the video below.

People must always compare. I guess that's why we are human...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A thousand words?

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Not all the time I would say. It would be interesting to see what y'all have to say about the story behind the pictures. Maybe someday we will talk about it...

...thanks to Febeke for the pictures.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Snowed in

So it was that on Sunday, Chxta went to Heathrow to pick up a fallen blogger. What should have been a routine task of pick her up, pick up her sister and nephew, take them to the retreat at Surrey, then go home has turned into a 60 hour funfest. We were snowed in!

No complaints so far. Chxta has the Chxta laptop and mobile internet, that keeps Chxta company. Kid is amusing himself as only kids can. Girls are, well, girls are not exactly pleased. The one who came from Naija is moaning about the weather in a way only Brits should have a right to. Hehehe...

By the way, since they are protesting about all things foreign, why don't they protest about the weather, afterall, this bout of snow is Russian, not British...

We are holed up in the second Wotton House, the one built by John Evelyn in the seventeenth century. Pictures here.