Monday, 31 January 2011

Och Aye the Noo! That’s not Cricket!

I have never ever heard anybody actually say this – even with all our visits to friends and relatives in Scotland. No idea what a ‘noo’ is – unless it is ‘Ocheye the Gnu’, but then what is a gnu doing in  Scotland, eh?
Anyway, we had a frustrating morning – got a taxi to the Glo office to query our dongle which is not performing, but none of the staff had bothered to bring their laptops in, so in this major office for the Ilorin area they were unable to test their own product!
We consoled ourselves with a coconut fly and a fruit juice in the nearby Ostrich bakery to make us feel the taxi fare had not been wasted, though actually we didn’t pay it – a fellow passenger paid for us – wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. He was called Suraj and was a vet. He said he wanted to talk to us about England and could get us a dog if we wanted one. He took Caroline’s number and has not left us alone since!
The rest of the day was spent at Sue’s house, playing with the kids and watching the fourth round of the FA cup – in between bouts of tickling, playing spiders and making towers out of bricks and eating chips!!
Then Harold, Andrea and several work colleagues turned up and Harold coached us all in the basics of cricket which was great fun. The guards watching us must have thought we were stark raving mad! We plan to have a match against the Ministry of Education when we have perfected our skills – could be a while off yet! Harold put us through our paces with coaching on fielding, bowling and batting techniques as well as sandwich and beer consumption and the finer points of etiquette before, during and after the match. As I said, great fun!
When the children had gone to bed and the Man U match had ended, we belatedly celebrated Burn’s night. We did it with all the trimmings – piping in the haggises (haggi?) including a vegetarian one – a whisky toast to the haggises, neeps and tatties (without the neeps - can't get a neep here for love nor money - a completely neepless society) and Emma reciting the time-honoured verses in praise of them – in her finest Scottish accent. After we had eaten I read my poem ‘A Proper Student’ (see next blog) which was received well. To round off the evening we went outside and lit an eco-friendly Chinese lantern, watching it rise and disappear over the rooftops of Ilorin. I’m sure this would have been quite a surprise to any upturned faces – the star of Bethlehem perhaps, or a sign presaging the end of the harmattan or the world, whichever is the sooner; or a reconnaissance mission from some superior alien race, come to deliver us from goats, traffic and politicians. Anyway, it was very nice and prompted a meditative silence from our group as the lantern rose into the night sky. A geat day after all, spent with great people!

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