Lunch at the Mediterranean.

*Record freezes*
*Record breaks*
*Record shatters*

Well darlings I have once again embarked upon yet another healthy eating adventure. If at first you don’t succeed, erase all evidence that you ever tried dust yourself off and try again and again. So here we go again. My skin is really terrible, this bloat is going nowhere and my general wellbeing is poor. I do zero exercise, eat zero vegetables, consume copious amounts of sugar each day. All this to say my lifestyle really is unsustainable and I need to change. But I do sound like a broken record, because I have sang this tune so many times. In trying to plan my latest healthy eating trial, I came across my notes from five years ago in which I was trying to do the same thing. It’s a little demotivating. I just want to lie in bed and stuff my face with all sorts of sweets and cheese and pastries and pancakes, but life is not fair.

At the tail-end of 2020 I came across an article talking about the best and worst diets of the year. I only peeked in the article to see what these were and that’s when I was introduced to the Mediterranean diet which was rated number one. (Keto was the worst by the way). In short, the Mediterranean diet consists of lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes; moderate amounts of protein (chicken, fish) and dairy (none for me), limited red meat, NO added sugars and processed foods and so on.

One of my friends pretty much just eats vegetables and protein; she’ll have a big bag of mixed vegetables and some fish/chicken and that’s her dinner sorted. I wish I had that willpower; rice or potatoes always creep in somehow. Plus she runs 10km once a week and I average 10 steps a day.

Last week was the first full week on this lifestyle. I just grilled some chicken wings and made a big batch of tomato rice and vegetables. A good way to incorporate vegetables is to mix it in with my food in one form of stir fry or the other (this is actually the only way I will eat vegetables). So I boiled rice, and then in a pan I fried onions, tomato paste, bell peppers, spices, mixed vegetables. Then I added the rice and spinach and mixed it all up. Put it in a container and ate it all week. I definitely was planning on exploring more recipes and cooking healthy things each day but I could not be arsed! The other option for me is grilled salmon and sweet potato chips with spinach on the side. For a period in my life that was my constant dinner (without the spinach and with lots of nando’s peri mayo). For a treat I may have one of the alpro diary free treats. I also got diary free ice cream. I am also considering dabbling into fajitas…

I wonder how long this stretch of healthy eating is going to last. In the past I went on these healthy trends because of my constant bloat, but now I have bad skin to add to my motivation. This time I need to do it for the sake of my skin. The sad part is that I actually thought my skin was getting better. I have not eaten any sweets in two weeks and I have been using a slew of serums (vitamin c, niacinamide etc) and salicylic acid. My face seemed to be getting better, I have a few leftover pimples from that weekend I binged on Haribo and twirl chocolates, and even though I still had a ton of acne scars my face did not feel as rough so I was happy about that. Well on Friday I had to Facetime a colleague for a meeting and when my face appeared on the camera I was shocked to see how it looked. I was super oily and all the scars was magnified to a million. It was jarring and depressing. One things I have realised is the massive difference in the iPhone and Samsung (android) cameras. The latter is helpful for boosting self esteem as it automatically applies a blur effect to the pictures. Of course when you use the Samsung camera everyday you don’t realise this until you switch to the iPhone and yikes!

For the longest time I thought that simply not adding sugar to my food and avoiding fizzy drinks meant I was sugar free. (Same way I was dairy free and eating yogurt and cheese). Now I realise that I need to take it a notch higher and actually read the food labels on things I buy. I will actively start monitoring my sugar intake because I suspect I am still ingesting way more than the recommended daily limit (25g for women). I have honey with my oatmeal every morning and I just realised one tablespoon has 13.1g of sugar! Add in the sugar in the oat-milk and I have almost hit my limit, and that is just breakfast. I just want my skin back to flawless for Pete’s sake! I am envious of people who can eat all the sugar and cheese they want with no consequences.

I also need to start drinking water! A few months into lockdown I started having sharp persistent stomach cramps and my pee smelled weird. Turns out I was not drinking enough water. In December 2020 my lips started cracking like crazy and I assumed it was just the weather. I noticed that my lips were also darker and just looked weird. Google suggested a form of ezcema/contact dermatitis which results from licking the lips but I eventually realised it was also because I was not drinking enough water. It is easy for me to just drink water. I won’t drink fizzy drinks or other sugary things, I just won’t drink anything. I have limited movement so I don’t feel thirsty and so do not notice that I am dehydrated until my body starts to act up. My skin issues are probably caused by this; because God knows I have not been drinking water and minding my own business.

The Mediterranean diet is not great for weight loss and I am really just trying it out because I need a lifestyle overhaul and this includes a good sustainable diet. In the long run I do hope that it will cleanse me from the inside out, resulting in clear skin and flat stomach. Fifth time’s the charm? Only time will tell.


Even though I am working through a backlog of shows/films on my watchlist, I am still constantly perusing Netflix for the next thing to watch. I do have a fondness for interesting foreign shows so when my sister suggested I watch LUPIN, a new French crime thriller, I said pourquoi pas? and immediately went to watch it.

Lupin is a Netflix original which follows the adventures of Assane Diop, the French son of a Senegalese immigrant, in his quest to avenge an injustice meted out to his father by his wealthy employers. Assane is inspired by Arsene Lupin, a fictional character who is apparently France’s answer to James Bond meets Sherlock Holmes. The show opens with Assane’s plan to steal Marie Antoinette’s necklace during an auction at the Louvre. This plan is outlandish enough and I assumed that is what the whole show would be about (a la Money Heist) but that is just one of the many rungs in his ladder of revenge (whatever this means).

If I had to sum up Lupin in one word, it is “unrealistic“. Arsene Lupin is described as a gentleman thief and master of disguise and Assane is portrayed as the same. Assane Diop is a 6’2 (at least), well built Black Frenchman with strong prominent features; this is not a bland man that blends into the crowd, rather he stands out anywhere, possibly even in Senegal but I assume especially in France. So presenting him as a master of disguise was frankly unrealistic, but that is what the show keeps telling us. His disguise mostly consisted of him removing his suit and putting on glasses which for some reason had the entire police force stumped. It reminds me of playing peekaboo with a child, and the child thinks you have disappeared simply because you covered your face. The chief police office, who saw Assane up close at the Louvre and shook hands with him, now doesn’t recognise him because he is wearing a beanie. Ridiculous. The stunts are also childish and meant for an age pre DNA, security cameras, and social media, which is when the books were written. All in all, there are plot-holes and everything is set up for Assane to succeed.

I also have a problem with shows in which a person is presented as the best at something, but the viewer is always been told this rather than being shown. There was a point in the show where Assane has enough evidence to destroy the family but rather than just release it he decides to play a silly game which of course doesn’t end well. It reminds me of that silly show Revenge in which the main character had a suitcase of evidence to exonerate her father with but instead spent the whole season doing nonsense. Just get it over with.

However once the viewer had suspended their belief to an extent, and accepted a degree of implausibility, the show becomes quite enjoyable to watch. It has been quite successful globally, and is the first French show to enter the US top ten (I think it even went to number one). A lot of people love it and don’t have my reservations, so this may just be a personal thing. Some people have complained about how bad the English dub is, but I watched it in French with subtitles on which is how I watch my shows and thankfully my Netflix automatically does this.

Another slight issue I have with the show is the diversity. Assane Diop is the main character, and apart from another Black man who appears towards the end, he is the only Black person. Now I find this weird. Sure, his parents immigrated from Senegal and are both dead, but is it really realistic that this Black first generation French man does not have any other Black people close to him? It’s like he was just dropped into this world, and I wonder if that is possible. A lot of these things are written by White people for White people and that is perfectly fine. It seems in the quest to appear diverse, they end up creating somewhat unrealistic worlds (to me anyway). I once saw a west end stage production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, and one of the brothers was played by a Black actor. The actor’s race was not relevant to the script and did nothing to take away from the play; there was a character and it just happened to be played by a man who is Black. However a core part of Lupin is the racial aspect, and race is referred to multiple times throughout the show so this isn’t a case of oh we just happened to cast a Black man for the lead. I see the same thing on TV when diversity is simply ensuring every commercial has an interracial couple. It is comical.

At the moment there are just five 45 minute episodes on Netflix, and this was part of what made me watch it as I thought it was something I could watch in one go. It actually took me a week and I was disappointed to find out that that was just the first drop. There are more episodes and more seasons coming out, and I will be watching them. I will also be checking out the lead actor Omar Sy in some of his other notable projects, starting with Intouchables which won him a Cesar (French version of the Oscars).

Waiting for something to happen.

Deep down, all the while, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a sailor in distress, she kept casting desperate glances over the solitary waster of her life, seeking some white sail in the distant mists of the horizon. She had no idea by what wind it would reach her, toward what shore it would bear her, or what kind of craft it would be – tiny boat or towering vessel, laden with heartbreaks or filled to the gunwhales with rapture. But every morning when she awoke she hoped that today would be the day; she listened for every sound, gave sudden starts, was surprised when nothing happened; and then, sadder with each succeeding sunset, she longed for tomorrow.”

-Excerpt from the book Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.

A spy in the house of love.

Two weeks into 2021, and after just one week back at work, I am tired and over it all. All the stress and anxiety from 2020 has rolled forward into the new year and it’s just this endless cycle of I cannot be bothered leave me alone what am I doing with my life? Ever so often I remember this tweet, which so perfectly encapsulates my vision for my life.

My dream job is no job” Yes Lord! I am grateful to still have a job and a source of income during these unprecedented times (one year later), but my soul needs more. A mansion by the sea with lots of windows sounds exquisite. I don’t even need a mansion; I will be happy with a two bed apartment with a balcony. My passions are existing- I love being alive and well- and being left alone. I am looking forward to the day when I can just be a woman of leisure.

In less dreary news, I am officially on my third book of the New Year! The first book was The Fishermen, and the second was Anais Nin’s A Spy in the House of Love. Granted, the second book is only about a hundred pages long, but I am still pleased by my progress. I have been familiar with the name Anais Nin, but I only really got into her a couple of years ago when I came across her quotes and felt inspired by them. I decided to check out her writing and I got this book in 2019 as it was supposedly her most popular book. When I first started reading this book, I could not get past the first few pages. I thought what the hell is this and put it aside. But after reading The Fishermen, I was in the mood to read and decided not to buy any new books until I have read (or attempted to read) all the books I already have. Surprisingly, when I picked it up the second time I found it much easier to read.

A Spy in the House of Love is set in New York and follows Sabina, a restless woman a la Madame Bovary. Sabina is a woman who seeks to live life like a man by enjoying sex with multiple partners without the emotional attachment that is expected of women. She is however married to Alan, a man who is presented as her safe space and whom she feels she cannot live without. She lives this double life by pretending to be an actress appearing in plays in other cities when in fact she is just a few blocks away in a hotel. The stress of trying to maintain this other life weighs on her and it is exhausting keeping her lovers secret from Alan, and vice versa. She likens her behaviour to that of a spy, and refers to herself as an international spy in the house of love. Sabina reminds me of Madame Bovary in that they both seem bored, and their attempts to find some stimulation do little to reduce this feeling.

The plot is pretty flat, and for me I think it is just Anais Nin (the writer) using Sabina to convey her real life feelings. Ms. Nin had several concurrent relationships, and at the time of her death she had two husbands. There is no climax, no resolution, just a hundred pages of writing. I did enjoy the writer’s use of words, but sometimes I found the descriptions long and confusing. The timelines were also a bit confusing to me; I could never really figure out if we were in the present or past. It is an okay book, but I will stick to the Anais Nin collection of quotes.

Tomorrow is Monday and I am dreading it. I have to clean my room and cook for the week, but I will more likely try to savour the remaining precious weekend hours by staying in bed, reading a book and finishing up my Netflix shows.


Every so often, a film comes out and is immediately hyped up to the heavens. The film wins all the awards and it’s all everyone can talk about, with celebrities falling over themselves to gush about it. The hype creates such high expectations that are sometimes impossible to live up to. Then there is a film like Parasite, winner of the Best picture at the 2020 Oscars, that completely meets and exceeds expectations.

Parasite is a South Korean film that follows the impoverished Kim family-made up of Father, Mother, Daughter, Son- who each pose as unrelated people to gain employment with an unsuspecting wealthy family. The “fairytale” doesn’t last for the family, as their plans soon unravel and they are tangled in this web of destruction. As usual I didn’t watch any trailers or read any reviews of the film beforehand as I like to be surprised, and I am glad I didn’t because each scene was a revelation that might have been slightly diminished had I known about the plot. I’m not sure how much was revealed in the trailer and how much will be spoilers so I’ll just move on to the gushing praise.

First off, the title is completely appropriate and perfect- It was amazing to see how each member of the Kim family managed to insert themselves into the wealthy Park family and leech off them. The Kim family is not the only one leeching off them either. There is the alternate explanation (supported by the director) that it is an anti-capitalist message which shows how parasitic the wealthy people are, but I suspect this theory is just for the woke crowd. What I will say is that the film does an amazing job depicting the class divide in South Korea, which I’m sure mirrors the situation all over the world. The Kims live in a damp basement while the Parks live relatively carefree in a highbrow mansion. I noted to my friend as we watched this that the look of the wealthy areas may differ among countries/cultures, but the poor parts all look the same. This juxtaposition is stark towards the end of the film, where the poor Kims deal with a sewage filled flood at their basement dwelling, while the Parks enjoy a nice party.

The story is original and unpredictable, the acting is decent, the directing excellent, the production immaculate, cinematography on point, even the music was amazing. Simply put, it was a good film. It is very beautiful to watch, and it captured my full attention from beginning to the end. I openly exclaimed “what a good film!” a few times during the film. My friend who had watched the film before reacted as though it was her first time- it is that good. I typically enjoy foreign films -and I always have the subtitles on even in English films, so this was not a problem.

Long story short, Parasite deserves all the hype. Between this film and The Fishermen, I am so inspired to create.

The Fishermen.

Those the gods have chosen to destroy, they inflict with madness.

Well folks, 2021 is off to a great start. I finished reading my first book of the year, which is an impressive feat seeing as I barely read five books in 2020. I read a book, full-stop and that is something to celebrate given my attachment to all my screens. A dear friend gifted me The Fishermen for Christmas and it was a very lovely present indeed.

The Fishermen is the debut novel by Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma. Set in the mid 90s in Akure, a town in Western Nigeria, it follows four young brothers who take advantage of their strict father’s work transfer to a distant city and subsequent absence from home to become fishermen. Unbeknownst to their parents, the brothers and their friends go fishing at the forbidden Omi-Ala river for six weeks, catching fishes and tadpoles. On one of these trips, they encounter Abulu the local madman who predicts that the oldest boy will be killed by a fisherman, which the boy interprets to mean one of his brothers. This prophecy sets off a tragic chain of events that wrecks the family and changes them irreparably.

The writing is so good. The story is told from the first person point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of the four brothers (who by the way have two additional siblings who are too young to meaningfully impact the story). Each chapter begins with a statement-a metaphor or simile comparing one thing to another- before then poetically expanding on the statement. Specifically, each member of the family is likened to an animal, usually a bird, and then the writer describes how that person embodies that animal’s characteristics. Two examples:

Mother was a falconer:
The one who stood on the hills and watched, trying to stave off whatever ill she perceived was coming to her children. She owned copies of our minds in the pockets of her own mind and so could easily sniff troubles early in their forming, the same way sailors discern the forming foetus of a coming storm.

Hatred is a leech:
The thing that sticks to a person’s skin; that feeds off them and drains the sap out of one’s spirit. It changes a person, and does not leave until it has sucked the last drop of peace from them. It clings to one’s skin, the way a leech does, burrowing deeper and deeper into the epidermis, so that to pull the parasite off the skin is to tear out that part of the flesh, and to kill it is self-flagellating.

Flashback is liberally used in the book; most of the pivotal moments are presented in flashbacks, and I did not mind this. I particularly enjoyed the way he wrote about the past and then connected them to present events. The writer’s descriptions are vivid! There is one scene where he describes the various smells of the madman and it was tough to read. I swear I could smell it. Ugh. He seamlessly wove in the political unrest of Nigeria in the late 90s: Sani Abacha, MKO Abiola, the 93 elections; and there are also references to the Nigerian Civil War.

This is the first book in a while that moved me and elicited a myriad of emotions. Actually that’s not true; I do in fact get too caught up in books and films, and I get so annoyed for the duration- but it is usually the stupidity of the characters and foolishness of the plot and silliness of the writing that gets my goat. In The Fishermen, however I was moved by the writer’s masterful skill in creating drama and suspense. I had my heart in my mouth several times and gasped out loud a few times. The sense of impending doom is heavy throughout the book, right from the moment of the prophecy. I felt so bad for the family as they became undone, one by one. It was fascinating watching Ikenna- the oldest brother- slowly deteriorate physically and mentally as he became engulfed in this cloud of fear and suspicion brought on by the prophecy.

I once heard that when fear takes possession of the heart of a person, it diminishes them. This could be said of my brother, for when the fear took possession of his heart, it robbed him of many things-his peace, his well-being, his relationships, his health, and even his faith.

I didn’t read the synopsis at the back of the novel, so as not to ruin the suspense even a little, so I was unaware of the prophecy until I read it. Even after the prophecy was revealed and the reader could guess what was going to happen, it was still a thrill getting there.

The book may not be for everyone, but I personally could find no faults. Quite a few people have compared this to Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, which is actually referenced in the novel. Perhaps it’s because Things Fall Apart was in a rural colonial setting but I did not see the similarities. The feeling I felt while reading The Fishermen is similar to the feeling I felt when I read Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie- just pure happiness and excitement at such beautiful writing, and the discovery of a new author. Similar to Purple Hibiscus, I found the end a tad confusing and I have a few questions. Still, this did not at all diminish the wonder of the book and I am glad to have read it.

Chigozie Obioma is a gifted storyteller and the story he tells is beautiful and rich. I am effusive in my praise because that’s how I felt while reading it. I searched online for reviews and to my pleasure they are largely positive, mostly echoing my own thoughts. The Fishermen deserves all the accolades. A book I won’t forget any time soon, and I will be checking out the writer’s other work.

YouTube WeTube Everywhere Tube Tube

When I’m not on Netflix, I am on Youtube and that sums up my life. For no reason at all, I decided to make a post about a few of the interesting clips I’ve seen recently.

This clip of Damian Marley putting his long dreads in a backpack so he can play football.

The Hand in the Trunk: When I first came across this clip, I thought it was clickbait. The thumbnail is a picture of a car with what looks like a hand peeking out of the trunk (boot). I watched it and alas there was in fact a hand in a trunk. In 1979, motorists were calling in with reports of a hand waving for help from the trunk of a car. Birmingham News photographer Jerry Ayres and reporter Mark Winne then pursue the car and manage to stop it for long enough for the police to come. The man in the trunk had in fact been kidnapped and attacked, and had been in the trunk for over 12 hours. Truly fascinating story.

The Onion: I recently came across the Onion youtube channel and I have had a blast going through their videos. It is difficult to select my favourites but I really enjoyed this video about the complex situation in Nigeria, this clip about two teenagers pleading for the return of their missing friend, and the one about the reporter who is so early to the scene that he literally has no new information.

Pigs running around mum: Children are exhausting in all species

This audio recording of a three year old child calling the emergency services after her mummy fell down the stairs is so touching, it almost brought a tear to my eye. I also like this one about a boy called 999 for help with his mum. Children are so precious.

Reckless driver causes an accident and just casually drives away.: A reckless driver missed their exit and stopped on the road to attempt to rectify this by cutting across a busy motorway in East China. This action causes two lorries to topple and crash, and the driver just drives away unscathed. It is like a scene from Mr. Bean, and if this wasn’t real life I might have even laughed at it. This is why I don’t drive, because I cannot guarantee that I would not do something that stupid.

Passenger causes an accident: This video pissed me off! It takes place on a bus in China; an idiotic passenger missed her stop and then proceeded to hit the driver who lost control of the bus which then plunged into the river, killing all 15 people on the bus. There are no words really. It is so devastating to die/lose a loved one in such circumstances. I know I would be embarrassed to be related to the silly woman.

I have no dreams or aspirations: Randomly came across this Youtube and related to it so much. I say randomly, but of course google has access to my mind and could tell this issue was on my mind, which is why this video popped up in my recommended list the same day I wrote this post about purpose.

Dog playing Jenga: I like seeing animals being cute and human-like.

Gypsy Kid dancing at club: Listen, I am not really sure what is happening in this clip but it is amazing. It is recorded in 1997 and shows a young boy in dark glasses dancing in a club without care. I like it a lot.

Bella Hadid’s Guide to LA: I like these types of videos- they have no purpose or meaning, just fashion and beautiful people. I-D has quite a few of these types of videos, and I especially like the language ones.