Oprah Wannabe

Sunday, 23 November 2008


‘Hell no’. If you're an employer reading this and you have an employee negotiating full time pay on a four day or less week, with her protesting she is capable of doing her job from home whilst her two year old or under is present, then a) she is yet to try it or b) she's simply lying to you.

As regularly readers know, I'm self employed and work from home; however I work from home minus the presence of my 10 month 'boss lady'. Unfortunately for me and my older sister, but fortunately for my parents, they have run off to relax in Nigeria for two whole months! Do I have a problem with this? ‘Hell yeah’. Ok, well not a problem per say as it is their time to take long breaks, after working so hard for so many years, but from Monday - Friday, 9am - 6.30 (or whenever I'm ready), our parents normally look after boss lady and my nephew of 20 months. Worries of dropping off the baby late? ‘No, I’m my own boss and my parents don’t have a time where boss lady has to be dropped off in the morning. Any worries about being late to pick her up? ‘No. She’s with her grandparents, so they relish in any time they have with her.’ Worries about being charged a late fee because I missed my train home from work? ‘No, because 1) I work at home which is literally 10 minutes by car from my parents and 2) because if they ever charged me a late fee, I'd just laugh in their face.’J

It’s been two weeks since they've gone and I can honestly say I've probably done an hour or two's work in these two weeks, whilst having boss lady present. Admittedly, I've been off sick with a bad viral infection for three weeks, however even if I wanted to, I wouldn't and couldn't have got a few solid hours of work completed each day. Between the coughing up of my guts and mini naps the 'princess' has, by the time I get into the rhythms of work, I have to stop, due to madam wanting a feed or to be changed... Or even just wanting a bit of attention... (Sounds like I'm dealing with her father?! Just joking babe!).

So taking this all into consideration, how the hell is a working mum of a baby or toddler suppose to work, ensuring she achieves the same level of productivity she would have achieved back in the office? Answer? It’s not possible. For work to be productive at home I would hope you would all be realistic. The child should be looked after by others, whether it be the grandparents (if you’re lucky like me to have them around, living near) or with a childminder (sorry, I fell your pain re the cost of a second mortgage – cos’ it might as well be the case, the amount they charge now a days!). Either way, when you plan to become pregnant, these are one of the many things you and your partner NEED to consider. Will you become a housewife/stay at home Mum? Will you go back to work and send your newborn to a childminder/nursery? Or will your man be the one to change the nappies during the day whilst you go out to earn the cheddar? Either way, it’s something which needs to be discussed as soon as you’ve finished peeing on the stick.


I remembered I sent the below email to friends earlier this month and thought it would be something good to share with you all too.

Hi Friends,

Barack Obama’s win to become the 44th US President on the 4 November this year, did something to a majority of people across the world. It highlighted to most that ‘CHANGE’ is possible. Change in perceptions, family life, work, love – anything. To me, it hit home that anything is possible. Any dream, aspiration which I possess, runs with the knowledge that there is no reason why I won’t be able to achieve these aspirations, providing I have the passion, motivation and focus required to do so. After this monumental day, I made a promise to myself that if I had the ability to assist with changing any negative in life into a positive, I would stop, take time out and do just that. I hope you will too.

Friday, 14 November 2008


I’m not one to floss in order to show off, I just like nice things. Yes I admit, I do have expensive taste – however having ‘expensive taste’ is not something to be frowned upon. Well I don’t think it is.

I work hard at home in my role as a mother and girlfriend as well and at work. I want to be a success story, career wise and I want to eventually be in a position were I am able to ‘give back’ and work with those who are in a less fortunate position. I know I’m extremely ambitious and with such ambition the ‘want’ for the ‘nicer things in life’ spears its head from time to time.

Two years ago I was in a financial position where I was able to have the cash to buy myself a decent car. I had been through an emotional draining few months (and years), so I believed at the time I was allowed to ‘treat’ myself as in my mind, ‘it’s was bloody well due’. After much hmmming and ahhhing I decided on a BMW Mini then at the last minute decided to buy a second hand silver Audi TT (after finding a good deal on auto trader which I thought would be silly to miss out on). The car was and is fantastic. I love everything about it and I suppose to an extent, I loved what it said about me. Being a self employed black woman, I enjoyed when clients, saw me pull up or pull away in this beauty, they would have an 'additional' amount of respect for me; as being the owner of such a car, comes with many preconceptions which I believe, were mostly positive. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t the reason why I bought the car, however after purchasing it, this did make me smile whilst driving it.

Yesterday I took my car to the local Audi garage to be serviced and this morning my mechanic Clayton, called to inform me the turbo on my car had gone and the cost of replacing this part, plus labour was up to £2000. In my surprise, I didn’t scream ‘what’ or have a cry uncontrollably. Maybe the shock hadn’t hit me. I’ve been quite calm about it, up until now. Not long before I started writing this blog, I can admit, I did quietly sob into my hands. Anyhow, my options at present are to either pay the £2k and fix the car, or sell it at a discounted price and smile with the small change I get from it, which won’t be a lot considering people will now probably view the car as a ‘faulty’ car. I’m still looking at my options and currently looking at all angles in order to get the best deal, but one thing I have learned is that whilst I had the cash to purchase such a prestigious car two years ago , it didn’t mean I could AFFORD it. If I could afford it, then I would be able to afford the £400 plus price tag for servicing of the car (every 6 months or so) and also afford to replace such ‘expensive’ parts which need replacing when they’ve decided to die... credit crunch or no credit crunch. As much as I’m doing well with my work, I’m no ‘baller’. It’s a great shame I’ve had to learn this HARSH and EXPENSIVE lesson only now. I suppose I should be grateful that I’m dealing with this minor set back, rather than making a million and then spending it all only to then become bankrupt a la Will Smith style. If you’ve ever watched his True Hollywood Story on channel E! on sky, you understand why he talks so passionately re him appreciating his current financial position and the fact that he is thankful as well as grateful to God for each day as you don’t know what tomorrow brings… Whilst my misfortune may be a smaller price to pay in comparison to what Will experienced, it burns like I've just had 'Extra Hot' Peri Peri chicken from Nandos and its the next day. This is one lesson that I will definitely remember for the future. So friends, the next time you see me driving a car like my beloved TT, is the day when I’m a bonafide flosser’. A flosser who hasn’t hit her flossing status prematurely. A flosser, who owns her 5 bedroom house in Dulwich village with a field as the back garden.

Does anyone know where the nearest 'Ford' dealership is? Actually, where's my Oyster card?

Monday, 10 November 2008


Not sure what to say other than, 'you gotta' love him'!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


Last night I set the alarm on my blackberry to go off for 5am as I wanted to watch the US election results come in live. As I woke to the beep and turned my alarm off, my bberry began to beep a few times more, only this time it was notifying me of text messages coming in. I ran downstairs and started shaking my boyfriend to wake up as he had fallen asleep on the sofa in front of the TV which was now on standby – I had left him there at 1.30am earlier. I held my phone in my hand as I knew what the subject matter of the multiple texts was. It was only ever going to be something of significance. Plus the Facebook icon on my blackberry started flashing that I had 6 new messages/notifications. Something ‘good’ was most definitely happening.
I picked the remote up and hit the Sky button and right in front of me the words “BARACK OBAMA ELECTED US PRESIDENT” ran at the bottom of the screen. As I jumped up and looked at my boyfriend, a shiver went down my spine. The television coverage I had watched prior, before going upstairs to feed the little one, seemed pretty sure Barack Obama was going to become the 44th President of the United States, however seeing it on the screen and on the numerous text messages I had now viewed, was mind blowing if not to say the least.
Never in my lifetime did I think we would see such history taking place. I mean, I haven’t really followed the election campaigns as such, didn’t think there was any point as there would be “no way” America, a country where the KKK was notoriously present, a country which told Rosa Parks, a 42 year old African American woman to give her seat up so a white man could sit down instead, a country which saw the assassination of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X , a country where the film and book ‘Mississippi Burnings’ which is based on a true story and is something which captured me way back in the 1990’s during an English lesson; something, which still affects me to this day… no freggin’ way. Well, was I so damn wrong. Barack Obama has made it. On January 20, 2009 Obama will enter the ‘White House’. Jeez… saying it as I type is still making me shudder, however I have a fat ass grin on my face.
This is something which has affected me and it seems a majority of people whether Black, Asian, White, Chinese, young, old in such a good way, it’s unreal. I am so elated Mr Obama is in the White House. That he is the 44th US President. That he, an African American, is now the LEADER of the Western world!
I received an email from a close friend this morning which read
“This is not just a triumph for the Black Americans...... This is truly a monumental day for ALL Black people!! ....

It was truly touching to see my brothers and sisters striding with pride on their way to work this morning, despite the worries of the credit crunch....

..It's time for us to paint the White house BLACK!! Then the House of Parliament next!

I pray that Almighty God will keep Obama safe from the hatred of those who wish to keep us down as a people..... May he have a productive and successful administration

I will tell of this day to my grandchildren with pride...”
Her email echoes everything I’m thinking and feeling about this historical moment.
For me, I don’t actually NEED to see a black Prime Minister in 10 Downing Street to know we as black people CAN make it to be people in positions of power. Today has been etched in my mind that “Change” is possible. Anyone who tells me I can’t achieve my dreams, my aspirations, my ‘Oprah Wannabe’ goals, will just have to hear me utter the words of Mr Obama “YES WE (in this case, I) CAN”.
What an inspiration Mr Obama and his wife Michelle are. I pray the good Lord will guide and direct them to absolute success.