Friday, 29 May 2009

24 out of 100..... A fail mark in any book.

For the past week I have been tortured by the screaming, shouting hysterical wailing of one Jack Bauer. Iyawo in her wisdom picked up the latest series of 24 on DVD and it has been hell. Not only is our friend Jack, for me, the worst secret service agent ever, what with being the magnet for all the world's evils but he surely must be living in some sort of groundhog day nightmare. I think this is series 7 and for me there was no difference between this and Series 2, 3, 4, 5 and er 6. See terrorists plan to destroy America, see Jack come to the rescue, see lots of people that have any connection with Jack whatsoever get killed, see Jack being in almost constant danger but he manages to walk through glass, survive bullets, bombs, chemical poisoning and all the other atrocities these "terrorists" throw his way.

I tell you this stuff was riveting in Series 1, mildly amusing in 2, interesting in 3 or whichever series had the black President (a definite precursor for Obama I feel as the actor carried off the role with such dignity and charisma) but by now I am actually on the terrorist's side. I keep hoping that the next explosion, bullet, radio chemical will put paid to Jack but no, like a bad coin he keeps turning up saying the same things, doing the same things, chasing the same ghosts. From the various snatches of this latest series I caught, between giving Iyawo filthy looks and what not, it seemed at one point that he had one day to live. Imagine my surprise when Iyawo came out of her coma after a marathon watching session to tell me that the prat had survived and not only that but the "terrorists" had also captured his daughter (who had made some of the episodes in the other series watchable, cough) so that there would definitely be another series. No Jack please no. You have failed. Go to the back of the class.

Speaking of losers, my condolences go to the supporters of Man U. Delusional as they are and filled with false pride by the Scotsman. The air was slowly, painfully and embarrassingly let out of their balloon over 90 minutes in Rome. As a former footballer and still avid and passionate follower of the sport I cannot begin to tell you how magical it was watching that game. It was like a film. Several times I muttered to myself - this is like a practice match. The sheer domination of the game by Barca was so absolute after the first ten minutes of Ronaldo that I assumed that there was some sub plot wherein Ferguson would do something and then they would go on and win. However, God, in his infinite wisdom saved me from having to suffer the smug Scots's git after match press conference wherein he would blow smoke up his own bottom (a difficult task but he manages to do it consistently). Be quiet Sir Alex. You too have failed miserably.

For me however, the key thing was, and is, the difference between Messi and Ronaldo. On the one hand we have a perma tanned prima donna (the crooked teeth and greasy spotty face are now a thing of the past) who swans around as if he is owed everything and on the other hand you have a small pale genius who glides about the pitch without much fuss doing serious and maximum damage. The second goal from Messi will be played over and over in sport's highlights for years and demonstrates that one can be just as effective in one's work, believe in one's ability and be confident in one's self without having to always shout it from the rooftops.

Someone please tell Mr Bauer as he prepares Season 8 or is it 80?

Friday, 22 May 2009

Smoking the green shoots of recovery.....

House prices are up. No they are down. The price of land in Lekki has fallen. No it has gone through the roof. The worst is over. No there is still more to come. UK Ministers are claiming 40p chocolate bars on expenses. Nigerian ministers are sharing $60m amongst themselves (we always have to show off don't we?). BA suffers its greatest annual loss (serves them right). BT lays off another 10,000 people. Zain jettisons 300 in Nigeria.

All these headlines and still when I look around in Lagos I do not see a single sign of this so called Cadbury's crunch. Where is it? Or are we exempt from the words "Global credit crisis?". The number of new cars continues to grow. I have seen at least half a dozen of the new and even more ugly BMW X6 in the last week not to talk about new Merc 4x4s and the latest big boys toy - the Tundra - a car bigger than some places I have lived in. So where is it? Where are the signs of cutting back? Planes are still full. Parties a plenty. So what's going on? Are we fooling ourselves or the world? Are we thumbing our noses at them from the privacy of our beach front villas? Credit crunch? Oh please squire. How distasteful. Not a topic for polite company old chap.

My landlord is looking to sell one of his houses for N100m . He has not even finished building and the buyers are already jostling. And this is not a mansion o. Just a small, well built and finished four bed house on a small plot. He looks at me with some pity when I ask if he is not asking too much. He is probably thinking to himself. Look at this JJC. This didirin. N100m is weekend money for some big boys o. These guys have the credit crunch for supper and wash it down with Moet.

So is it me? Or are some people really smoking the green shoots of recovery?

Totally unrelated to the credit crunch (but in line with smoking green shoots ) is this photo of African first ladies. Cameroon must be a much livelier place than I had gleaned from my short visit there last year. As for our own first lady - kudos for decency and decorum.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Good people. Great nation. Lazy sod!

Well its been a long time
sorry I've kept you
without the updates you're used to
without fabu and gisting
I just went awol and missing
I apologise for my absence
too much travel to make sense.

Wow. A day is a long time in blogsville. I can only imagine how long a month must feel like. There has been so much happening that I don't even know where to start. I am discombobulated. disoriented and just dis.

Where to start? Today is the best place I suppose ,and the clearest. At my age things start to disappear from the memory banks sooner rather than later. The birthdays and other important events I have forgotten this month alone!! Anyway.

There are things happening on our estate that give cause for concern. Firstly, earlier this year they fixed the main road by which I mean you can actually drive on it without requiring a new exhaust; shocks; tires or liver. Then out of the blue just yesterday I was informed that all the streetlights had been switched on and were working! All the way from the gate to the bottom end. It was like a promenade apparently. This is fantastic news as two days ago I almost ran over a cow that was lying in the middle of the road chewing it's cud. No seriously. It was just lying there like "bros, how's things?. Yes I know I am lying in the middle of the road, just chilling but besides that what's jumping?. Me? Get run over? In this Lagos? Na lie. I pity the 4X4".

I am concerned about these developments- the street repairs, light fixing, new gate and heightened security because in Nigeria they have a way of building you up to the highest high then just when you think you can see and smell heaven they drop you down without a parachute.

I am holding my breath. The minute clean water starts coming out of our taps and we get more that five to six hours of electricity I am out of here. I won't let these people kill me o.

Tomorrow - I think some people have been smoking the green shoots of recovery.