Idiot’s guide to consuming nsenene (without shame)

In the beginning, you eat everything. You don’t yet have the imaginative power that it takes to be disgusted by the squishy innards of insects. In fact, your babysitter has to keep you in a cage made of pillows and plush toys to stop you from crawling out to the yard at the behest of mind controlling parasites that are just dying to get into your little soft babybody.

This continues until you’re fairly old and might even go on forever if you don’t encounter those ‘cool’ people with Disney accents, the ones who were born watching M-net and Hannah Montana. Because one day, in the company of your pompous friends, you’ll wistfully voice your craving for fried nsenene or roasted white ants or pounded white ants, or sundried nsenene and they’ll fold their faces into sumbusas of disgust.

High pitched coos of, “ugh! Gross” and, “OMG, so barbaric!” will abound. If you’re strong of character and if your love of insect based foods is unshakable, you may continue to prepare and consume them, but your enjoyment will never be the same. Something will have popped. Much like the abdomens of tiny grasshoppers when you overheat the grill.

All is not lost though. Here are some tricks you can use to continue quaffing your favorite bugs with a straight face and an unashamed heart:

All of the yum

Work: This is a great place to practice before you progress to eating nsenene in front of your friends. So during board meetings, shun the Danish cookies that have been strategically arranged around the room as motivation (ideas arrive fastest when your mouth is full of biscuit paste, not so?) Enter the room with your red container, preferably plastic with a screw-on lid.

Be confident and unapologetic in the way you twist open your container and let out the smell of your now sweaty insects. Proceed to consume with relish. You see, the only way to deal with feelings of shame that shouldn’t exist in the first place is by forcing people to accept and even embrace your localness.

Clothes, accessories: Wear shirts that declare the indisputable coolness of these insects and the people who eat them. If you remember, kikomando was terribly local in 2006. Nobody even wanted to acknowledge the saucepans of beans next to the chapatti sikas. But now? People take pictures of the stuff and post on instagram. So wear a shirt that says something like, “Nsenene, better than sex” or “Nsenene, responsible for Nikki Minaj” and watch yourself rise on the scale of cool.

Cameras! Lights! You could make a youtube video, I mean, that’s what people do for validation and publicity. Views are guaranteed. Likes are guaranteed. Comments are guaranteed. Go forth and wax lyrical about how much you like insects in your alimentary canal and all that.

Meanwhile, now I’m reminded of a time when I was determined to make a video for youtube, a rendition of Cookie Jar, a song originally done by The Gym Class Heroes. My version would be called Popsicle jar. I’d be singing about how I’d tried and tried, but I just couldn’t get my hand out of the Popsicle jar. That would have gone viral, man! I’d have no friends right now, but the satisfaction would have been epic.

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A (not so) deep analysis of clothes.

The first thing you learn about clothes is that they don’t have much going for them personality wise. They’re very clingy; like that boy you made the mistake of dancing with that kadanke, not enough years ago.

You don’t learn the second thing about clothes because you’re too busy pumping your little legs as hard and as fast as you can in the opposite direction from your mother and the offending piece of fabric that she’s trying to force onto your pudgy two year old frame.

This shit be ugly.

This is why being naked in your room makes you feel so young and free and naughty. Your mind is transported back to a time when the only problem in your life was to choose which bed to hide yourself under, the moment mummy turned her back to pick out clothes for you.

After you’ve arranged them around your person, clothes are not very opinionated. Mostly, they sit on what curves you have and life goes on, unless you’re fashionable and then they do whatever humiliating thing their designer has instructed them to do.  This can involve curling away from your body in an attitude of fear (couture) or highlighting how painfully skinny your leg has become (Jolie’s slit).

Clothes can be made at home but the tragedy of the matter is that most of the women who have sewing talent are contented to sit around in lesu and head-wraps, on shop corners, taka-taking away at seemingly shapeless bolts of cloth. Some of us who are dependent on new, pretty things for our happiness can’t even sew a button straight. This doesn’t stop us from trying however. DIY is the way to go, if only because you can take a picture of your contraption and parade it on pinterest and feel validated as a human being by all the nice comments.

Clothes used to have names, like trouser, skirt, blouse, dress, but things have been going downhill from the time the skirt-mpale came into existence. At some point when we weren’t looking, clothes, aided by that breed of comedians called fashion designers, exploded in an orgy of ginormous proportions and now everything is pregnant with everything’s child and we have no choice but to wear these contraptions. Manya ‘shants’ and ‘skirt-dresses’.

If you want to endear yourself to a girl, gift her with an article of clothing. No, this is not shallow. This is truth. Bring a dress to the Plan B office (size 12, length-short, color-bright), right this very instant and see if I don’t swear loyalty and sisterhood to you (for as long as the dress stays desirable).

Yup! Something like this will do.

If you want to endear yourself to a boy, get him a nice shirt. One that says something amusing about Rolexes. What? It works. Bring a def.in.ition shirt and see if I don’t swear firm friendship to you. No, I’m not a boy, but tell that to the three conductors whom, on days that I’m wearing particularly bright and pretty dresses and flawless make up, have called me Ssebo on account of me having a bald head.

Is your significant other an oversharer?

Get a life! is no longer guaranteed to shut an annoying person up. Did you know? Because they’ll just drag you to the nearest computer/phone screen and point triumphantly at their facebook profiles that will appear blurry because of how much life will be vibrating on there.

Never has the world’s populace been so willing to masturbate their lives into the public space that is the internet. People want you to know, like and comment on their latest neuroses, deepest fears, shades of lipstick, etc and, you know, that’s OK. It’s fun to know people’s lugambo without having to indulge in gossip.

But what happens when your significant other/ partner in slime/ friend with benefits/God assigned housemate is the one who’s just…oozing their lives onto the wild world web (is that it?)? Things change, don’t they? And when they start to include you in their over detailed posts, then things get downright uncomfortable.

I mean, I assume you’re OK with them tweeting excitedly about your new shoes, but not the boil in your instep. It’s charming for them to write winding statuses about their love for you and your konadancing skills, but surely not about your recent alimentary tribulations. I mean diarrhea.

The most common effect of over sharing is kamanyiro. The lonely members of your collective internet circle become infested with opinions on your relationship, opinions which they’ll be shaking into your ears like some kind of dog wearing a jacket made entirely of fleas.

So if your significant other/ partner in slime/ friend with benefits/God assigned housemate takes facebook’s “what’s on your mind” too literally, walk over to them right this moment and pass them the paper.  This is for them.

Dear oversharers:

Do it for the love. If you truly can’t survive without the likes and the comments and the attention that exposing your personal stories has been affording you, make stuff up. Be absurd. Be outrageous. Be anything that will take your relationship out of the spotlight. Because the man/woman who just handed you this paper is about to dump your sorry self.

Do it for the gadgetry. The moment your person runs out of ways to justify your over sharing ways, their supply of sanity will dry up. They’ve already shrugged and said: she’s just sensitive. He just needs attention. He just needs validation. She’s just chatty; so the next step is a violent madness that will see them dropkicking your laptop/ phone into a latrine.

Do it for the love, again. Because word travels fast. If you get dumped for being unable to shut up a little, nobody is going to want to date you. You’ll end up alone.

For more love? Because nobody is really that interested in your details, I promise. Try not behaving like some sort of social network telenovella and see. Nobody will die. Go for a jog. Or something.

Over sharer, I have no sound advice for you. I think that is clear. Sorry for wasting your time. Pass the paper back.

So, What exactly is beef?

What?

Beef is what you get when you travel to a place with cows, identify one, stalk and kill it. If you’re one of those city types who aren’t really involved in the production or attainment of their food; those ones who buy meat from the freezers of nakumatt, then you don’t get to call your meat beef.

Beef is hatred that you may feel for a friend (in this case, temporary), an enemy (permanent), a kaloli up in a tree. If say, this kaloli has shat on you, you’re justified in hating it. But if you just hate it for existing, then you’re an animal hating psychopath and you’re going to hell.

Beef is also what a certain boy named Roger used to call girl’s butts in my senior three. But he was weird and way taller than everybody else, so we might all have looked like cattle to him. Who knows?

When?

You can have beef for a workmate who swankulas as he chews his popcorn or for an acquaintance who bitches too much.

You can have beef for your parent when they hide the remote control and try to convince you, an old person, that all the channels on Star Times apart from NTV have stopped working.

You are also allowed to beef boutique owners who sell clothes expensively, because are we supposed to walk around naked? Unfashionable? Just because we can’t afford their cute things?  Shya.

Where:

This emotion of hatefulness is very flexible. You can play with it in church (although the pastor’s sermon might water it down). You can let it fondle your mind when you’re in the boardroom, because, come on. How important is the HR’s rant on the proper use of toilet paper? You can direct beef at the HR chick as well, like: What’s wrong with making butterfly wings out of toilet paper? The toilet needed redecoration anyway.

Who?

N/A. Beef cannot be a person unless you’re Roger, and then beef is every girl with a vast behind.

How?

Hmm. When God created animals, cattle were among them. The first breed of cattle were monstrously large, up to double their current size. They were big and ugly and all had udders, even the boy ones. A la Otis from Banyard.

laba

So Adam said, “Really? Really God?  You expect me to milk that thing?” And God said, “Beera mu class. Don’t you remember what I said about you being the caretaker, overlord and king of all these creatures? Just visit the design studio next Tuesday at 3.30pm and redesign the cowethe!”

So Adam levitated to heaven but had a hard time finding the studio because all the signposts were written in whimsical fonts. When he finally got to the creation table and switched on the computer and found the folder named cowethe, and opened InDesign; he was exhausted.

You people, don’t insist on doing work when you’re tired because I’m pretty sure he’s the one who created mean chicks, commonly referred to as heifers.

TOO FAR. A short story.

Once upon a time?

Time time time?

There was a Princess And a Prince.   There was also a Queen. They lived in a palace.

It was bigger

One day, the Queen told the Princess, “You should get married in the holidays.”

The Princess said, “No. We shall not get married in the holidays. That is too far! We shall get married on Sunday.”

The queen said, “That’s a good idea. It’s night time. Let’s go to bed.”

They all went to bed.

In the morning, the Princess and Prince went to church and got married.

 

 

 

 

 

(Now married)

That’s the end.

 

Written by Gabriella Faith Laker.

Apenyo’s note: Yesterday night, I was writing a stubborn story. It was fighting me, throwing sand into my metaphors and spitting at my grammar. So when Gabby, my seven year old sister tapped my shoulder, I exploded. “Can’t you see I’m busy? Do you want me to stop being a writer? Who will buy you nice dresses then? mmh?”

She pulled a face and said, “You milo milo you’re fake. You’re always chasing me out of the room mbu you want to write. Now, I’m a writer too!”

My ovaries spontaneously exploded from the cuteness of the rough draft when I first read it, and I hope yours have too. If you don’t have any, grow a pair.

The shit we columnists go through.

There’s a panic, a horrible and desperate anxiety that the gods have reserved for columnists. It is called OH SHIT. This is what happens.  Columnist sends an impressively huge batch of articles to the editor and then floats in a pink bubble of pride, just feeling so great about how creative and productive they’ve been. This leads to a dumb kind of relaxation that will turn into PANIC when the editor calls at the last minute, demanding an article.

“What do you mean? I sent thousands of those!” the columnist will wail. “They can’t possibly be finished.” Well, the ones I’d sent Esther actually were finished, and I had to run around like a chicken on drugs looking for something to send for your entertainment this week.

I chanced on this old post, off one of my old blogs. Enjoy.

On Sunday afternoon, after I’d been to church, after I’d held hands with a lady called Esther and promised to go for new life classes (so that my tipsy, giggling unserious salvation can finally get a grip), I CURSED. I cursed on radio, into the ears of thousands of Ugandans. I cursed like a fool looking to blow her internship. I said F words. I said S words. I said B words. I said words pertaining to a particularly offensive kind of self loving. My co-presenter scowled at me, so I think I might be fired. To say that I offended most of that radio station’s guidelines is an understatement.

All this happened because the guys I was in Studio with ganged up on me. They backed me into a corner and said things like, “Be quiet Mildred, the cool people are speaking. Mildred, why don’t you give up on radio? Why don’t you go home? You remind us of Kendra.”  They tempered with, kicked, and boxed my ego’s ears. They were being nasty, man. And I was being a bad sport as usual. Sigh. Then I cursed.

Obviously, they started being nicer after that. The sneering stopped. One of them even said, “Mildred, you’ve got to be a better sport. You have to hit back without showing the world that you’re angry. Loosen up; this is only a gag for radio.” He’s nice and cute-ish and he’s got proper smarts, so I hope he’ll be there next week.

Because this is just a blog, I can switch from topic to topic, right? Yea. I make the rules.

I was in the car with father today when he whispered, “Take heel and let loose” or something like that. Whenever he’s itching to show his badass traffic-law flouting prowess, he says that “take heel” thing. When I ask him about it, he says that sometimes a certain spiritual force, a voice in his head gives him the go ahead to overtake cars and drive in wrong lanes.

I’m sorry, but I’m always praying for the owners of the lanes that he’s misusing to come claim them. I’m always hoping for him to get in trouble. This is bad manners. He’s a happy man who whistles and breaks rules, two things that should make me proud.

Meetings kill people. Act like you know.

Meetings have a special way of sucking. They have the ability to induce in you an extraordinary hatred for your life and everything in it. The biggest advantage that funemployed people have over we cubicle rats is that they don’t have to burn huge chucks of their lives sitting in uncomfortable swivel chairs, wising poxes on their workmates for repeating the same point five times over.

Most of the time, a meeting is only productive for the first five minutes. During this time ideas are propelling themselves out of people’s mouths like rockets. The room is on faya! And then everybody burns out all of a sudden, at the same time, and the meeting degenerates into a miserable, alcohol-less party.

One of the most annoying is the one on Monday morning that ends with everybody describing, in detail, how they spent their weekend. This is supposed to help workmates bond and feel a part of each other’s lives but really it only makes them hate each other’s guts. Just how much are you allowed to reveal and for how long? Can you describe in detail how you spent the whole of Saturday afternoon lancing the boils on your brother’s buttocks or is that too much? Are these meetings protected by a rule of non disclosure? What if one of your workmates is a spy? Then there is the issue of eyes. Where are you supposed to fix them?  Only psychopaths can look people in the eye as they narrate their banal weekend activities.

The absolute worst are the ones that morph into presentations. One minute, you’re doodling peacefully, nodding at intervals to avoid being picked on and the next, you’re being called upon to present a document. The last time this happened I stuttered, bled sweat, shot copious amount of saliva on the person seated closet to me and finally, exploded in a sad little firework of expletives. Not cool.

Meetings don’t always trigger feelings of anger and sorrow though. Take last week for example when my face was attacked by pimples so immense; they’d bob when I’d move my head.  Because I knew that my meeting with the dermatologist was going to put an end to me resembling a greasy chap from Chicken Tonight, I went willingly, without complaint. The point of this lie is that if a meeting has a discernible purpose and benefit, and promises not to drag on long after productivity has left the room, people will be happy to attend it.

There’s only one formula for meeting-rage that I know which doesn’t involve earphones. Baby ninjas (Thanks, Baz).  Close your eyes, take a deep breath and then snap them open (if the lids don’t make a chwa! sound, you haven’t snapped violently enough). Scan the room. Watch in awe and delight as baby ninjas reveal themselves to you. Try not to laugh when they start performing kwasa kwasa around the sugar bowl.

One day your body will rebel because of all the despair, boredom and heartburn that meetings cause it and refuse to transport you to the boardroom. This will annoy your boss so much that he’ll shoot you in the face and you’ll die (which is not a bad thing because the earth will be rid of your snarky, uncooperative meeting-hating self).


So apparently, I’m shallow.

I like sundresses, kittens and books. I can’t leave the house without lipstick. I’ll break an appointment with the (hypothetical) love off my life if my earring bag goes missing. I feel very miserable with untidy nails unless I’m dirt broke, in which case I don’t care. I like money, the spending of.  I love eating and I’m certain that good food can change your life, which is why I don’t understand or recognize that theory that food is food and must be gratefully wolfed down regardless of what it tastes like. Beauty is important. Seeing a pretty girl across the road can perk up an otherwise ugly day for me. I have issues dating people shorter than I am. I believe a good book can solve anything.

In admitting the above things to different people, I have met with derision. They’ve all invariably exclaimed, “Eh. The things that matter to you are…you are so shallow!”

When I said that my biggest motivation for finding employment the moment campus closed was so I’d get to play dress up and wear big girl shoes, the boy I was talking to immediately got bored with me.  It was as if I’d thrown a blanket over the fire of our conversation. Whatever potential was there died a cold death. Excuse me? Did I miss something? What reason should I have started work? Charity?

Life is frighteningly unpredictable and really short, which is why little pleasures are so important. In a world choking on its own ugliness, painted black and blue with depression, fear and cruelty, being able to find happiness in small things is a huge comfort; so if you see me smiling like a fusa and ask me why I’m so ecstatic and I squeal, “My earrings! They’re gorgeous, aren’t they?” don’t go away calling me a shallow bimbo under your breath.

Sure, we should all look at the bigger picture. Making a difference is important. In fact, don’t rest until you’ve become so sweet, relevant and helpful to the world that people get toothaches when they see you coming.

Things only become annoying when people become quick to accuse others of being less ‘deep’ because they’re interested in different things than them. For example, if John lives for ballet and Mary lives for politics, Mary will be a total tool to insinuate that she’s more relevant to the world than John is because he wears tutus and she wears shirts with political slogans. Generally, trying to impose your lifestyle on other people because you believe its deep and relevant doesn’t make a difference. It gets you punched in the mouth.

I’m not innocent of labeling people shallow either. Many of my male relatives (yes, plural) have suffered teasing because of their obsessive love of television soaps. These otherwise manly men will drop everything, shoo clients out of their offices, become blind to you and focus their entire selves on the TV the moment a soap starts. You and your concerns, however pressing, are irrelevant in the face of Marichuri. If I hadn’t quickly cultivated an interest in said soaps, I’d have died of a rage induced aneurysm a long time ago. So please people; tolerance.  

Here’s a fantastic, totally unrelated quote from Charles Bukowski: We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities; we are eaten up by nothing.’

Waste that paypurr. Like a fusa!

Those of you who get paid on the 5th of the month, well done! You got paid yesterday. How wonderful! You are richer than your contemporaries whose purses were sagging with cash monies before yours. How clever of you to have made them buy you drinks at the ULK party on Friday. Also, congratulations on having friends who feel compassion for the poor and the thirsty.

Now that you’re no longer a pathetic piece of empty pocket, here’s a guide on how to WASTE your newly acquired funds into NOTHINGNESS. Like a fusa.

What is a fusa? A fusa is what the ringtails call lions in Madagascar I.

A fusa is the person who used the bathroom and didn’t clean up after themselves.

It is, most importantly, a euphemism for foolish-spendthrift-who-will-return-to-poverty-very-soon.
Here are six things that you’re justified in splurging on:

Toilet paper: If you’re one of us, the elite who take a marked interest in the movement of our bowels, you know how important toilet paper is to the well being of your derriere and the contentment of your soul. Your bottom has tastes and preferences. There are brands that will make it very sad (constipation, which causes wrinkles) and others that will excite it to a fault (dios, which causes tears). So buy many brands of toilet paper and experiment. You are not wasting money. You are finding yourself.

Cute accessories: For your new phone. Oh come on. It’s a phone. A new, gorgeous, gorgeously red phone. It’s so fantastic; it deserves a sex (male) and a name (Thor). Indeed your phone rocks socks. If, like mine, your phone is just sparkling with beauty and awesomeness, don’t feel guilty about buying that baby a beautiful jacket and a pair of earrings. What, you didn’t know that clothes for phones existed?

Something ‘African’: For the past week, certain facebook friends of mine have made much noise about ‘over Africanness’ with status updates like, “What is up with people trying to be so African? Why can’t you just be?”
Because I have failed to imagine the kinds of things that people do to be guilty of this crime and/or the instrument by which Africanness is measured, I encourage you to spend some of that money on African prints! Yes. Bitenge. Let us further irritate these pissed off people until they come and explain their disturbing rant to us.

A self help book (and a host of others!): Persuade yourself that because you’re buying one book that promises to teach you how to manage your finances, you’re justified in spending ridiculous amounts on other more interesting books. Go to Amazon and purchase all those eye-nyomables that make minds tremble with joy and wallets fall open in pained resignation. For example, that Granta Book of the African Short Story by Helon Habila.

A pet: To make you feel fly when you’re feeling blu…You can tell, can’t you? You can tell that I’m trying too hard to think up productive things. I, personally, as an individual wouldn’t spend my money on things that don’t sparkle/ look pretty so I’m trying too hard and in the process, giving myself away as a child of capitalism and a big fan of diamante. Sad face.

So this Sunday, some incompetent FUSA forgot to put my byline at the top of this article. SNARL. A merry expletive to them, and many more to those who I caught doubting my genius abilities. My mentor and editor (Ernest Bazanye) is fantastic, but not even HE likes his job enough to write articles and attribute them to me.

A Day In The Life Of A ‘Newly initiated’ ‘corporate chick’.

Once upon a time, there lived an ungrateful heifer of a girl. She had all these things that people would call blessings, well not ALL these things, just a job, you know? One of those poor paying ones that involved writing a lot of articles about relationships. She wouldn’t have hated it so much if she knew a lot of things about relationships, but she’d never been in one and didn’t know squat.
By way of religion, she worshiped a trinity unlike any other in the history of trinities.  Shoes, books and hair accessories. Buying them was praise and worship, mehn.
One day, she realized that her collection had stopped growing. It wasn’t for lack of devotion to her religion-she bought them whenever she could. They just seemed…fewer, as if some of the bigger books were consuming the smaller or some of the shoes were sneaking off into a Narnia for shoes at the back of her closet and not returning.
Then her heart was filled with ambition and greed. She said, ‘man. Print media pays peanuts. Why don’t I join advertising? Why don’t I become a hot corporate chick? This stuff fi piss me off. Bomboclat me sey. Jamaican patois because she had dreadlocks. Every story needs its cliche.
So she walked into an agency, hopelessly oversold herself and the agency over bought and swish! She was in.

This is a day in her life.
4.00am : I toss. I turn. I dribble onto my pillow. I shudder violently, roll off the bed and receive my head bump of the day from mother earth whose love for me is so apparently great that she feels the need to head butt me every morning.
4.05am : I start awake from whatever genre of nightmare has been kicking over the furniture in my subconscious. My dreams nowadays are not cryptic, not hard to crack at all. I’m anxious as hell, so I dream I’m falling off a cliff, of being late for PLE. That I’m bolting through hallways to an interview that I was supposed to be at five hours before. That I’m in the middle of a fancy hotel butt naked. Etcetera.
6.00am : I fight my hair into what the corporate world expects it to look like. It fights back. I tie it up. It springs back up. Which is where the hair accessories come in, to charm my locs into letting me keep my job.
7.30am : Jam mulago
7.59am : Mulago jam. I stare blankly at the copy of ON Beauty on my lap, fail to concentrate and stare hatefully at every traffic officer whose eye I can catch.
9:00am : I bolt in, hoping that speed will disguise my arrival and head straight for the kitchen, where I finish the hell out of the milk in the nido tin. I hang around until the chick who works there starts to dart worried looks in my direction and then slip into the bathroom.
10.00am : Because I can’t sit in the loo all day, I plod to my desk where my supervisor is waiting for me with fights on ice. With only the thinnest layer of civility, we war. It’s a bombastic battle of wills, the gist of which is: ME: ‘expletive expletive. I’m a kickass writer.

HIM: No you ain’t.

ME: Expletive involving his mother. I know writing. This script is funny.

HIM: No. It’s cute but impractical.
11.00am : If you’re feminine and you’ve got wiles, now is the time to use them. We smell the sumbusa man from as high as the third floor- such is the wonderful dedication with which he marinates the meat in his samosas. He floats in and regards the hungrily expectant faces in the office and then snaps open his basket and really, all work jars to a stop.
11.30am: Work. Bitter regret. Work. Poignant reflection on the times when a hard day’s work meant rigorous facebooking and two corny relationship articles. More work.
4.00pm: Review meeting where so help me God I giggle and giggle and giggle because that is precisely what I’m not supposed to do. I hic with laughter when radio ads are presented. I guffaw madly when people who give me a hard time are liquefied by the no nonsense MD. I also draw caricatures of the bemused people in the room.
5.00pm: I browse office archives and squirm with envy at the brilliance of the silent brooding Buddha who sits at the back of the office and writes such beautiful ads. This guy thinks in ads. He probably can’t have a conversation that lasts longer than 50 seconds. For a mad moment, I consider coming up behind him when he’s hard at work, snipping off a bit of the wild kaweke that’s spouting like crab grass out of his head, eating it and merging our DNA.
6.00pm: I make an exhaustive list of all the pretty things that I’ve seen during the past month. I make a note of all the bookshops that I’m going to raid. I remind myself that the IT guy at my former workplace has nothing on the hot one here. I then get back to the grind.