Today, our favorite companions, two white cats, with the most expressive eyes. I, most times, believe they understand every word we say. They’re both girls and get those moments when they huff and walk away…..clearly, they’re speaking here.
I saw them playing in the flower garden and it reminded me of another Saturday not too long ago. As mentioned before, I love gardening, flowers growing around the house, digging fingers into the dirt…all of it is therapeutic and a great mind-clearing exercise, as Mum says.
So, on this Saturday, we (Mum and me, worked in the flower garden, while my sister baked) spent time weeding, loosening dirt for the flowers, kneeling right in to pull out weeds. It doesn’t take long. Afternoons are the best around three p.m., going into dinnertime. It’s funny, but when we start working, everyone in the compound gravitates to that spot, and wild conversations arise. The last time, my sister (the bakerette), was reminiscing on when we were kids and each of us got a small patch to dig and plant. We each had digging tools, and even planned out what to plant. Of course, Our Mum would be supervising, and we grew flowers mostly, while she planted veggies, but it was a fun way to keep us occupied. Many years later, looks like we’re all still tending to flowers, and pretty grass. Of course, our little helper, Bindi the cat, always inspects the job, to make sure it was done right.
Bindi checking progress
Mum trimming the fence
Afterwards, we all sat on the stairs having tea with pancakes made by our in-house bakerette. Thinking about gardening today, I went to check the flower gardens thinking next Saturday, we need to do some garden work…the cats seem to agree.
Starting my year with a bit of fun! Thank you Dora of Nilichoandika for the award nomination. It was a great surprise to discover as I jump back into the blog for 2018!
What’s The Liebster Award all about?
The Liebster Award is a blogger award for new bloggers, those with few followers, who are still getting the hang of this dynamic industry. It is a fantastic way of giving exposure, recognition, and motivation to these talented newbies so as to keep their blogging fire blazing!
Rules of the Liebster Award
Create a new blog post with the graphical image of the Liebster Award as the one above.
Thank the blogger who nominated you while also providing a link to their blog.
Answer the Questions you had received from your Nominator(s).
Nominate 10 bloggers and share your blog post with them so that they can accept their awards.
Create a set of questions for your Nominees to Answer.
Fantastic, let’s get started!
What would you say has been the highlight of your blogging experience this year (2017)?
The best part of blogging in 2017 was getting personal messages in my email from readers who discovered my stories. I can’t begin to express how exciting that gets, and I felt truly happy. Getting fiction out there is hard work, and it was good to get such positive feedback from readers.
If you could pick a theme to blog about, any theme that scares you or you know very little about, what would it be and why?
Stocks and Bonds!! Hahaha…Okay, to be serious, anything IT oriented. Stuff is changing so fast, it’s hard to keep up I think.
What’s the best and the worst part of being called a blogger?
The best part comes from someone following your blog, and connecting with you, truly. The worst part…I haven’t discovered it yet. Honestly. I will update that when it comes to me.
What Fantastic thing do you want to accomplish with your Blog this year 2018?
What is your favorite topic to blog about?
If you were to go on an adventure then blog about it, where would you go?
How has your passion influenced what you blog about?
I would love to know more from these great bloggers:
Heartbeat electrified, Jasmine followed Terry into the racing grounds Danny owned with Jimmy. They had to park their car outside the gates because there was no space left inside. Jasmine glanced at the time on her phone. Eleven
o’clock in the night, and it felt like she was walking through a busy street during the day. Danny’s races drew a crowd of spectators. It was a revelation to discover such a following in Nairobi for the races.
Loud music filled the night, it was lucky the property was removed from any residential areas. Excitement skated down Jasmine spine, increasing with every step, bringing her deeper into Danny’s world. Thrilling and frightening at the same time.
Terry took her right hand and squeezed, twining their fingers.
“Don’t be nervous,” Terry soothed, as they weaved their way through a sea of souped-up cars.
Gazes followed their progress. Jasmine suspected it was because she was a new face in the very tight circle. Despite the number of people in the place, they all knew each other. As if on cue, a short man in shiny white leather, who looked like he had married a gym and lived in it day and night, stepped in their way. His hair dyed blonde, Jasmine thought he would fit right in to a boy band.
“Who you with?” he demanded, his expression forbidding.
“Back off,” Terry said, her tone bored. “Rick, run back to your master.”
“No strangers allowed, Terry,” Rick insisted, his gaze on Jasmine.
Jasmine started to explain, but then Danny’s arm slid around her waist and she looked up in surprise when he pulled her against him possessively.
“Ricky, are you giving my gal a hard time? Coz, you know what that means.” Danny kept his tone low, his stance deceptively calm. His eyes though spelled doom. Jasmine hoped Rick saw it too.
Rick’s eyes widened and he took a step back.
“Danny,” Rick said, his tone apologetic.
Danny’s eyes narrowed and Terry sighed when Nic Mugera came to stand beside Rick, placing his arm on Rick’s shoulders.
“Do we have a problem here?” Nic asked, meeting Danny’s gaze.
“”I don’t know, Nic, do we?” Danny asked, his arm still around Jasmine.
She moved closer to Danny and Nic’s gaze shifted to her. Jasmine found she wasn’t afraid of much standing beside Danny. She met Nic’s gaze and smiled.
“I don’t think we do,” Nick said, returning her smile. “Rick, get back to the pit. Make sure everything is running fine. Danny, I apologize for my people. Jasmine Lima, welcome to the fold.”
Danny watched Nic stride away before he pulled Jasmine into his arms. Wanting to make a point, Danny kissed Jasmine. She clung to his jacket and gasped when he stopped the kiss as abruptly as he had started.
“Well,” Terry said, smiling. “You’re in good hands, Jazz. I’m gonna go mingle.”
Danny kept his gaze focused on Jasmine.
“I’m sorry for that,” he said.
“No need to apologize,” Jasmine murmured. “I suppose that makes me one of the babes. I’m not sure how to feel about that.”
“You’re not one of the babes,” Danny said, smiling. “You’re my woman, Jazz. My woman.”
“As long as you don’t call me the little woman at home,” Jasmine said, pulling back. “Now, let’s get this show on the road. How much money are we winning?”
Danny chuckled. “Babe, I like how you think.”
Jasmine frowned at him. “I thought you said I wasn’t one of the babes?”
Danny grinned and lifted his hands up in surrender when she threatened to punch his arm.
“No money tonight,” Danny said, taking her hand and leading her toward his spot. “We’re racing for a log book. Nic has a very smooth running Nissan Skyline. I want it.”
“Nice,” Jasmine said, excited.
“I’ll introduce you to my crew. By the way, my girlfriend, you get to start the race.”
Jasmine gasped at that. “What?”
“You look sexy,” Danny said, running his hand over her hip.
She had worn a short leather skirt and a light blouse for the occasion. Her feet in ankle-length heeled boots.
Danny grinned when she looked like she might stop breathing.
“You’ll love it.”
Yep, he had stolen her heart, she decided when all it did was flip-over in excitement instead of freak out. He was right about the start.
There was something absolutely exhilarating about standing at the starting point while five supercharged engines growled like beasts, itching for take off. Jasmine stood between Danny and Nic Mugera’s cars, her hands raised while Jimmy counted down on the sideline. When he got to one, she dropped her arms and the rush of cars whipping into motion past her let her breathless.
Terry rushed to her side jumping in excitement. They moved out of the road, to the closest screen to watch the race, documented by strategic cameras placed along the circuit. The competition was high-powered energy; Jasmine could feel the current on her skin. Everyone around them vibrated with it, watching with bated breath, she could hardly stay unaffected.
Watching Danny’s car muscle its way along the course was both hard and exciting. She clung to Terry’s arm when Nic’s car got too close to Danny’s or when the curves they took looked too dangerous. Danny was a great driver, but the maniacs racing him worried her. They drove aggressively, and seemed uncaring of safety. A green car tried to overtake Danny on a narrow part of the road, and for a full two minutes, Jasmine couldn’t breathe.
Danny freed himself from the crazy driver in the green car, edging ahead with Nic behind him in a white car.
Then, when Danny started on the last stretch, a brilliant blue car broke into the race. Forcing Danny to swerve out of the road to avoid a crash. The rogue blue car followed him, forcing him into the dirt field in the middle of the racing course. One moment, Danny seemed in control of his car, and then the blue car tapped his back and sent him into a wild spin.
Jasmine stood frozen, screams filled the night but none of that penetrated. The race continued on, but Jasmine’s gaze remained on Danny’s car bringing up a pile of dust in the middle of the field. She started to move, and Terry locked arms around her.
“Let me go,” Jasmine ordered, slapping at Terry’s arms to get free. She needed to get to Danny, save him, make sure he was okay.
“Let them pass,” Terry said, nodding to the oncoming cars.
A bitter taste filling her mouth, Jasmine stopped long enough to let the four remaining cars pass by the tarmac road, and then ran across, heading straight for the cloud of dust.
“Jazz!” Terry screamed.
She ignored the call, and kept going, wishing she hadn’t chosen to wear heels tonight.
Strong arms wrapped around her waist lifting her up.
“You idiot,” Jimmy cursed when she started to struggle. “Don’t go running into a mess you can’t see.”
Jimmy’s hold around her waist was tight, and for a minute, she didn’t understand what he meant until that rogue blue car emerged out of the dust. She felt Jimmy brace to push them out of its way. A scream escaping when the blue car missed them by an inch.
She clung to Jimmy then, her gaze on the blue car driving out of the property in unholy speeds, sending people scurrying out of its way. The driver clearly in a hurry to get away. When she could stand without shaking, she pushed off Jimmy and raced toward the settling dust.
Danny’s car stood still in the middle, parked haphazardly. Heart in her throat, Jasmine raced to the driver’s side in crazed madness.
It feels like it’s been a while since I went on a road trip, so this was incredibly fun. Nothing on the mind, but being on the road, noting random things, lush green scenery and that family of zebras, having their lunch.
What do they do with all these?
They make a picture
Nakuru was rainy when we got there, so our contact sent us a tuk tuk man. I now believe everyone should have Mr. Ngugi when you first hit Nakuru. He got us around town and answered a billion questions with patience.
We had a stress free transport time thanks to him.
The trip was a fun day out, but it was also for a conference, organized by Topserve Baking Accessories and supplies, who have relaunched their shop in Nakuru. The Conference was held at Hotel Waterbuck, Nakuru. While the event continued, it was hard to ignore these gems on the walls of this hotel. So much art, there is no chance you will be bored checking in to this hotel.
Nakuru is about 3hrs away from Nairobi. Very quiet, very laid back, and definitely a lot of fun to be had. New Goals after this trip –> Not to take everything too seriously, gotta take time to have fun.
Track 16 – Did you know there are a million sides to you…?
Later in the day, Danny stood in the pet supplies aisle at the supermarket, staring at the
range of cat litter products. How was he supposed to know which one was the right one? How strange was it to put a litter box in the house? The cat his mother kept had known to go pee outside. Why didn’t Jasmine’s cat know?
“Well, well,” Nic Mugera said, making Danny glance up from his perusal. Nic stood a few feet away, his right brow raised in amusement.
“What are you doing here?” Danny asked with a scowl.
“Seeing it for myself,” Nic replied. “Try the scented. Women like things that smell nice.”
“How would you know?” Danny asked.
“I have three sisters,” Nic answered. “I never imagined a woman would tame you into shopping.”
“Speak your mind, then leave Nic,” Danny said, irritated.
Nic sighed. “You are no fun. Fine. Anderson tried to hit up my warehouse in Industrial Area last night. Security stopped it. You should watch out.”
“What was he after?”
“A new consignment of parts,” Nic said. “You know I don’t get cheap stuff. Losing my stock would have set me back on my profits. Now that we have decided to exclude Anderson, he will try to hurt us.”
“I know,” Danny nodded. “Our best bet is to gather as much evidence as we can. Use it against him.”
“The CCTV feed at the warehouse is a good start,” Nic said. “We need more than that though. I suggest you tighten your security. He’ll hit you where it hurts most.”
“Are you having me followed?” Danny asked, wondering how Nic had known he would be here.
“Danny,” Nic said, his tone teasing. “The same way you’re aware of my movements, I’m aware of yours too. She’s hot by the way. Hang on to her, or I’ll make a move.”
“Don’t even think it,” Danny growled as Nick chucked and raised his hands up in surrender. Nic turned to leave, and Danny said, “Thanks.”
“Yeah, see you around, Danny boy,” Nic said with a wave.
Danny grabbed a bag of scented kitten litter and went in search of Jasmine. He found her reading a gossip magazine in the book section. She almost jumped when he placed the kitten litter in the cart.
Placing the magazine back, she turned on him.
“Where have you been?”
“Getting the litter,” Danny said. “Do you want the magazine?”
“No,” Jasmine said. “Let’s go.”
“You were reading it though.”
“Are you hungry?” Jasmine asked, walking away.
Puzzled, Danny followed her to check out. She was busy putting items on the counter when he reached her.
“Why did you take a day off today?”
“I wanted to spend the day with you. Why did you leave a magazine you were reading? Don’t you want to finish it?” Danny asked, lifting laundry detergent and placing it on the counter.
“I don’t want to buy it,” Jasmine said.
“Does that mean if I buy it, you’ll want it?”
“No,” Jasmine said. “Why are we having this conversation?”
“Because it’s fascinating how you start something and walk away from it, without a second glance,” Danny said.
“You’re reading too much into it,” Jasmine said, reaching for her purse.
Jasmine shook her head and turned to the cashier. When she finished with her, and her shopping was all packed up, Jasmine followed Danny out of the supermarket.
“You’re so defensive,” Danny complained, once they were inside the car. When she raised a brow at him, he grinned. “I’m getting used to it.”
“You’re not easy to deal with either,” Jasmine said with a snort.
“You must like me though,” Danny said, navigating traffic.
“I must,” Jasmine said on a smile. “Tell me about racing instead.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Is it illegal?” Jasmine asked, shifting in her seat so that she faced him.
“It depends on the perspective,” Danny answered. “The modifications on the cars are illegal for regular use, things like using NOS—
“Nitrous Oxide Systems,” Danny frowned. “They’re used to increase speed. Say for example you want to increase speed to 65mph in four seconds. You install NOS in to the system, but it has to be able to handle it. Their use is regulated because you can’t strap them into a regular passenger car, or public vehicles.”
“Do you have NOS in your race cars?”
“Yes,” Danny said, he wouldn’t lie to her. It was easiest if she knew every detail.
Jasmine nodded. “Go on.”
“There are many types of modifications. We’d need a separate lesson just for that. We race in the evening most times, in the racing course we developed. Though, there are times when we do close down streets and run a street racing round.”
“So, if police caught you—
“Yes, that part of it is illegal. We all work around it,” Danny gave a small smile.
“Can you use my car?” Jasmine asked. “Can I take my Chevy out there?’
“Your Chevy is too old,” Danny said. “Each car in any particular race has an engine that is built from scratch, tuned and maintained to perfection. So, we would have to change everything in your Chevy’s engine, change the type of tires, suspension, modify the chassis, that way, the car would have a fighting chance in a race.”
“What do you drive?”
“A Nissan Skyline,” Danny said, his voice filled with pride. “Jimmy and I modify and tune it with each race. It’s earned us a lot of money.”
“It must be really expensive doing all that,” Jasmine noted.
“The garage pulls in money, Jazz. We never make any serious financial risks,” Danny assured her. “Besides fixing cars, we also modify and tune other racer cars. We rent out some of the street racing cars we have. Income comes from selling parts in the shop. We keep a low profile, and make sure our tax payments are paid on time. Don’t want the KRA calling.”
“Does it scare you at all?” Jasmine asked. “Ever?”
“Only when my head is not in the game,” Danny confessed. “Driving takes skill, Jasmine. A car is a machine that requires a clear calculating mind behind the wheel. I’m not an idiot.”
Jasmine studied him for a moment. No, he wasn’t an idiot. Far from it. Still, she was scared to think of him at the wheel of a car flying at sixty mph in four seconds. How could he catch his breath under such speed?
Clearing her throat, she asked. “Will you take me on a ride one of these days? I mean not at your races. I couldn’t handle that, but—
She paused when he looked at her, surprise clear on his face.
“When you’re free,” she finished.
Danny smiled wide. “How about now?”
“Really?” Jasmine shook her head, not sure she was ready for this.
“Sure,” Danny said, before she chickened out.
Changing gears, he changed lanes and headed toward the exit that would take him to the racing course.
Thirty minutes later, Danny pressed on the gas pedal, steadily increasing speed and grinned when the hand on his thigh squeezed tighter, then relaxed. They had gone three rounds around the course. Each time, he’d taken them on a faster speed. Jasmine sat silent beside him, her expression one of excitement.
He didn’t talk, just allowed the atmosphere to fill with the sound of the engine, and his woman beside him.
It felt safe, Jasmine thought, her gaze on Danny’s hands as he turned the wheel. The movement so effortless, she wasn’t apprehensive and anxious. It was him. He made her feel safe, happy.
She started to say she loved him, then stopped, surprised that the words had almost escaped. She shut her mouth and turned to look out the window. The world was moving fast around them. Like her emotions, she warned herself.
“You what?” Danny prompted, placing his hand over hers on his thigh.
Jasmine smiled. “I’m glad we did this. It’s exciting.”
“Are you still scared?” Danny asked, easily navigating the car into a fast turn. Jasmine watched the motion, feeling weightless.
“No. Not when I’m with you,” Jasmine said, turning to study his face. He looked so happy, the expression on his face was memorable. She’d definitely never seen this side of Danny before. He was excited, relaxed, and content.
“You make it effortless,” she said.
“Isn’t it?” Danny teased. “You must come to all my races now.”
Jasmine breathed in and squeezed his thigh. She might trust him behind the wheel, but others—
That was another case.
Could she live through that kind of anxiety? Guess she would find out tonight, she thought.
A gripping tale of intrigue and war in precolonial Africa. Two young people — Kalinda, a page in the court of the King of Buganda; and Nagawa, one of the king’s beautiful young wives — are swept up in conflict as missionaries, rival tribes and soldiers of fortune vie for power in what is now Uganda.
It is a time of upheaval in Buganda, an African kingdom on the verge of losing its independence. Anglican and Catholic missionaries are rapidly converting people to Christianity, in the process stirring conflict with their kinsmen who have embraced Islam. Three main characters – Nagawa, a young but unhappy bride to the king; Kalinda, a servant in the royal courts; and Reverend Clement, a Scottish missionary, are swept up in forces that will change their lives and reshape the future of their nation.
Just got a message in my inbox about this book. Unhappy Bride to a king, A servant in the Royal Courts, and Conflict in the village….yeah, sign me up. Looking forward to jumping into this gem in the coming days. Meanwhile, get your own copy here:
I’m guilty of falling into a dark repetitive cycle when what I expected doesn’t happen, or changes into what I didn’t want. #ElectionsKe is a great example of jumping into this dark repetitive cycle that leaves you spinning on the same spot. Questions like, ‘Why is this happening?’ ‘Can’t they just stop or agree?’ ‘Oh my god, there is this side, and that side. That side is definitely out to get this side‘, fill the mind. The blaming, the shaming, the hating, the pointing fingers…this is just a small part of the dark repetitive cycle, earlier mentioned.
You have to make a conscious effort to pull yourself out of there. To remember the important things, despite the turmoil bred by politics.
Your Life’s Goals – Focus on that instead of negativity. Allowing yourself to be sucked into the dark cycle will only derail your life’s goals. This isn’t easy, especially for those of us in business. Every day Kenya continues in a state of anxiety, the harder it is to buy and sell, manufacture and deliver. Costs run up, so we’re forced to think of new ways to achieve our goals. It’s a challenging experience, but one that’s way more important than jumping into the dark cycle.
Kenya is not one person, it is all of us. Be kind to your neighbor as you have always been before, are now, and should be in the future. We can only grow together.
Let the Giants fight it out. The rest of us, keep living, building, growing what matters to us, in our lives. The giants won’t pay for your rent, give you money for your house, and family. They won’t know what you’re eating for dinner, or breakfast. You can only do one thing, vote, the rest, leave it to our more than capable Justice branch.
Meanwhile, raptly waiting to do what I can, which is vote as needed, then see new trends, like #githeriman #Chilobae on my nearest screen, and smile in amusement at the Creativity in this country. Gotta love it! While doing my own thing, through it all, because that’s what matters to me and my family.
This is a Blog Hop Post! For a writing group called Literati. The best bunch of people I’ve gotten to know. Totally inspiring you and making you aspire to do better too…