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The Marriage Interview

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Categories: BLOG, DATING, Latest, Tags: , , , ,

The marriage interview

Africa Utopia was a great time. The South bank hosted events and I got to reconnect with some old friends from Africa and meet some new.

One such guy was sitting next to me at a feminism talk. I was getting out a business card for someone else and he asked for one. Fair enough. He was an African Journalist and no harm in us meeting for coffee as he suggested. The next day I got an email asking for coffee as he had read the blog and wanted to discuss it. A business meeting? I could do that.

We arranged to meet on the same day as the African Fashion Week London launch. As we met he said “You look sexy as per usual”. The dude has met me twice? Strange comment and not very business-like but as lots of women out there know men in meetings are often inappropriate.  The burden we bear. I ignore any sexual comments and focus on my rumbling stomach.

So we go to a Planet Organic and I order some curry which claims to have meat in it but just seems to be a lot of white kidney beans and brown rice. As I play hunt for the lamb he starts telling me about himself. It begins to sound like he’s interviewing for a position. I find a piece of lamb and smile. He takes this as encouragement. He tells me about his notoriety in his home town. It all starts to sound a bit too far removed from London for me but hey, we all come from somewhere. I get that he’s traditional in an African older man way and he reminds me of one of my uncles. Yes you know the ones.

Anyway he is closer to my Dad’s age than to mine, he has a child and he’s a Gemini. He lives in a part of London outside of my 45 minute dating zone and talks about money struggles. All of this wouldn’t matter if I fancied him but I thought this was a business meeting? But then he tells me that he wants kids, loads of them and that he wants to get married. Oh goodie, I could match him up with one of my older friends maybe?

I tell him how bad the food is (I had just found another piece of lamb but still) and he asks if I can cook. I tell him yes but that I don’t cook. I’m way too busy to bother. Then he says “Then you should marry me”

[scratch record] huh?

He says he doesn’t want to do it [cook] all the time but that I meet a lot of his criterion for a wife and that we should get into a relationship with a view to have kids together. Huh?

I say no. He asks why and I, not in the mood to explain the laws of sexual attraction tell him it’s because he’s a Gemini as was my ex husband. Besides my psychic was clear that I was going to marry a water sign and definitely not an air sign. He looks at me like I’m crazy. Good. He can’t argue with crazy AND a psychic prediction can he.  Besides I’m closer in age to his daughter than to him. Nah!

I learned a few things from this interaction

1)      Always check that there is a real business reason before setting out to East London for coffee

2)      If a guy buys you lunch chances are it’s not business.

3)      May be worth upgrading from Planet Organic

4)      Older men don’t date. They just don’t have the time anymore I guess?

5)      Your psychic can also be your best friend.

Luckily he’s taken the news well and now thinks I’m a bit too crazy to be the mother of his children which is fine by me. I just have to find a water sign who loves him some crazy cosmopolitan chick.

© Chelsea Black

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African Fashion Week London part 1

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Categories: BLOG, EVENTS, Latest, Tags: , ,

I have found my write up from last year. Let’s hope this year is amazing. I’m already doubtful as they have failed to respond to emails. This doesn’t bode well but, resources….

Enjoy!

Surprisingly for all who attended this was the FIRST African Fashion Week in London. Held at Bishops Hall in the City there were two gala shows on the Friday and Saturday. There was definitely a buzz as you approached Bishopsgate. Filled with anticipation people had taken the effort to dress fabulously. Most impressive perhaps is that Nigerian based founder Ronke Ademiluyi managed to achieve this and start a legacy.

DISCLAIMER:  Fashion is a subjective thing and what some may believe to be fantastic others may think is ugly. What must be considered however is that fashion is a fickle beast and to capture the weary audience member any fashion show should be innovative, inspiring and different. Here is where African Fashion Week London failed. Overall the choice in designers suggested that there are relatively few African Designers out there willing to risk participation. A lot of the clothes felt dated and High Street, uninspiring and aside from Mia Nisbet slightly disappointing.

Alidookeh came from Nigeria brought us a collection of cocktail dresses. It was difficult to see the African influence bar a few trimmed hems and neckline details. Perhaps it was the colour choice but the collection felt more Coast than toast of the Gala.

I didn’t detect any African influence in Eva Gryge ‘s collection. It was a bolder and sexier collection with seams bondage sips and lots of geometric lines. I liked the white see through knitted stretch outfits and would have liked to have seen more of her knit wear.

I have never had a favourite designer but Mia Nisbet is my first. Of the outfits there were at least 5 I would wear in a heartbeat including the low backed dirty pink one the designer wore. Recycling or ‘upcycling’ Malawian print and t shirts these outfits were pastels and bold colours combined with an African and sporty girl about town finish. This was definitely the highlight of Friday night’s gala.

After Yaa Ataa traditional bags and the cute but unoriginal Berrys Couture the transparent theme seems to continue with Sve who added a dash of sparkle in her mainly black ball gowns and see through lace numbers. And finally we had Chip Bespoke. More ball gowns the colours were very African sunset with interesting gold stencilling designs. This was the boldest use of colours in the show with peacock blues, orange and pinks dominating.

The show was interspersed with performances . We had Gloria, a young woman singing. Singing a cappella is never easy to do. Singing your own songs a cappella about survival and moving on is even harder to do. A brave attempt? Or should someone have politely put their hand on her shoulder and said “It’s a no”? All that glitters are a performance troupe who combined Gospel South African songs with interpretative dance. I don’t think I got the message. Dwele was a young poet. It was difficult to tell if he was purposefully provoking the audience who were predominantly black but comments about Mugabe didn’t go down well. African Alliance are rappers, one with shades indoors and the mandatory Fergie female singer closed the entertainment portion of the gala.

But as this is the first show I’m sure we have more to come for the future and that the designers chosen next year will dare to be more bold and use stronger African influences without relying on dated concepts.  Well done to all for participating. Right?

© Chelsea Black

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The resolutions

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Every year I made the same 3 resolutions: lose weight, get into a meaningful relationship and buy lots of heels. I know my precious, there was little sign of any weight loss and there had been a few dates but none that were worthy of a permanent toothbrush. I bought myself a pair of red Carvela heels from Kurt Geiger so I figured I was winning. What was a girl to do?

I decided to start with the exercise programme as chocolate and champagne were becoming constant companions. I went online and an hour later fearing a call from my bank manager I logged off and waited patiently for the pink fleecy outfits to arrive. And arrive they did. I can’t deny they all looked really cute on but, none of them made it outside. It was just too bloody cold! Maybe I should have bought an exercise DVD instead?

As January dragged along with everyone complaining about the cold I knew that jogging wasn’t going to work for me. So I was left with one resolution to tackle. That of the meaningful relationship. Don’t get me wrong I’m always in relationships. It is just that they aren’t always in relationships with me …..or just me. And sometimes the relationships are virtual or ….in my head. It’s all about timing, location and my imagination really. It was  time to get serious and find someone to lust over who would lust equally back.

I had divorced internet dating after some incidents on some sites which involved men perverting the dating process and then it hit me that the only one that hadn’t failed miserably was eHarmony. I remember joining eHarmony a few years ago, spending ages filling in a personality form (something I love doing – answering questions about myself) and then waiting to see who they thought would be a match for me.

They sent me my first match and as his photo slowly loaded up I realised that darn it I already knew him! They sent a few more and of 5 I knew 2 I real life. I figured they weren’t doing too badly here but then black London is pretty small. I quickly lost interest in internet dating as I was on way too many sites at once and went back to what I do best; moaning about being in a #datingrecession.

So fast forward to 3 years later and a chance encounter with one of those eHarmony matches showed me that maybe there was more to this personality matching then I had first realised?  We tripped and fell into each other. What can I say, there’s no such thing as an accident and they were right we were a match. Just more of a one night match than a permanent one.

Curious I facebooked eHarmony and came across a mini questionnaire to work out what sort of dates you should be going out on. I was a little sceptical but then I looked at the prizes. Wine tasting, spa or bootcamp…I filled in the questions and prayed for the wine tasting or the spa. Both were opportunities to relax and get drunk. Can’t say fairer that that!

But alas I got…the bootcamp. And then I realised that this was not my opportunity to find a meaningful relationship. Instead this was the opportunity to kick start my exercise regime and use that luscious pink exercise gear I had purchased. But the key thing is that I needed to try something different. Cos after 6 years of resolutions I was still making the same ones every year. And who knows…maybe I’ll give the website a go again. You never know who else I may fall into right? Regents Park Bootcamp here I come!

 

To enter the eHarmony competition go to http://www.experience2012.info Good Luck

© Chelsea Black

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