Tales from the National Express…

There is a young woman on my journey today who keeps jumping out of the coach every time the driver makes a stop to check her case in the hold because she “gets really worried” about it. 

Judging by the look on the drivers face, I think her case has a much better chance of making it to her destination than she has! 

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The Danny and Oti Show…

I’ve had no regrets about not watching the X Factor (or as some of my friends would call it the ‘Fix Factor’) this year as the weekly Honey G related posts seemed to give me all the info I needed. However what I have now realised I’ve really been missing out on is this years Strictly Come Dancing and in particular the amazingly aesthetically pleasing pairing of Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse. Thanks to the miracle of Social Media and the internet I’ve been able to keep up with their jaw dropping performances and am pretty sure if they carry on like this they’ll end up being the first couple on scd to actually FLY! Well done guys and keep it up…from an utterly unbiased Chief Wakawaka! 😍😍😍

#StrictlyComeDancing #DannyMac #OtiMabuse

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One sleep till Pride in Brighton& Hove and like everyone else here I’m really looking forward to catching up with friends who’ll be coming down from other parts of the country as well as friends who live in town but we hardly ever get to see each other as much as we’d like because of work and other commitments. Rainbow flags are appearing all over and stands and tents of all shapes and sizes are being erected in Preston Park in preparation for the march that will start from the seafront, wind through the city and make its way up there where the festivities will ensue throughout the day and go well into the evening. The party will continue well into the night and the next day at the street party in St James street and surrounding area. While we celebrate with our loved ones, let’s not forget how fortunate we are to live in a society in which we can. Only yesterday I saw reports in the news about a 17 year old who was killed in Iran because he had (consensual) sex with another male. I also read of a gay Syrian refugee who has been beheaded in Turkey because of his sexuality. Sadly in 2016 there are still many parts of the world where you have to be extra careful about living your life as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans person. My parents moved my siblings and me to Lagos, Nigeria where my family roots are originally from when I was eight years old and I lived there till I was twenty one. I knew I was attracted to other males as early as from my early teen years but living in West Africa, I knew that was something not to share with anyone out there. Over zealous conservative and evangelist individuals with hateful agendas have helped promote homophobia in those parts of the world and gay people have to live in fear on a day to day basis. It’s not just in Africa. We hear of acts of homophobia from all corners of the globe and the victims in these cases can only dream of spending a day where they can be themselves in a public space experiencing love and inclusiveness from those around them. It’s also hard to imagine that less than 50 years ago in the UK it wasn’t that different either. So as we raise a glass with our loved ones in the bar, the park or at the street party. Let’s also think of those who fought so hard for us to have these liberties today and those who still can’t. Happy Pride everyone! 

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Still waiting for my official time. The SF Marathon App is a bit pants but otherwise I had a great time. Finished in an unofficial time of 2:01. Great atmosphere, crowds nowhere near those of Brighton or London but they most certainly made up for it with enthusiasm! The best two boards I saw were “I trained for months to wave this board around today!” and “OMG!!! You look SO skinny today!!!” carried by a Frankie Grande lookalike. I also got told by a brother as I approached the finish line to “Own that finish like you’re a Kenyan Bruh!” Dinner at the Cheesevake Factory later today with colleagues. Life is good. Thank you San Francisco. 

Sunny O. 

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Ready Steady…

It was always going to be an interesting day today.  I’m off to San Francisco. One of my favourite cities in the world. I put in a special request for this trip so that I could get to participate in the 2016 SF Marathon. Not the full 26.2 mile run, but one of the halves. I’ve run the full one 3 years ago along with UltraMan and some friends. And as much as SF is one of my favourite places to run, I did suffer a bit over the 2nd half of the race route. Leg muscles cramping, IT band playing up. I was in agony but still got my medal. In fact it’s one of my favourite medals as it doubles as a coaster (what a fabulous idea!)

2013 SF Marathon Medal.

Coaster side. Definitely worth the hurt! 

Putting them to work later that evening! 

 I thought a while back how nice it would be to be able to run that part of the route again without the drama involved and decided to request a trip there from work. It wasn’t guaranteed but worth a try. To my delight, I’ve been assigned a trip there which means I’ll get to take part in the race tomorrow. Now the drama bit… My flight touches down at SFO at 2:30pm local time. The expo where I’m meant to be picking up my race Bib closes at 5pm. When I last did the race here, the expo centre was located downtown. This year it’s at Fort Mason which is quite some distance away. Not sure how this one will work out but let’s see. Positive thinking required! 

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Cloud gazing…

It’s an afternoon of contrasting weather conditions here on the South Coast today. Cloudy with bursts of warm sunshine in-between.  I’ve been sitting in the living room enjoying the sunshine coming through the window and watching the most humongous clouds drift by (quite quickly too I must add, it’s been a very breezy afternoon) while listening to RuPaul and Michelle Visage chat to Candis Cayne on their podcast. UltraMan has travelled ‘Oop North’ to participate in a race in the Lake District so am enjoying having the place to myself after indulging in several domestic Housegodly chores and packing for my next work trip starting tomorrow morning. I went to the kitchen for a glass of water and looked out the window there wondering and marvelling at the purple clouds in the sky…hang on? Purple clouds?? What’s going on here??? Have the aliens arrived??? I then realised I’d been staring up at the clouds for way too long and my vision had been affected by the Sun’s rays. Muppet. 

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Hever Castle…

The day after getting back from Beijing, ultra man and myself were busy packing again. This time for a friends wedding. They were getting married at Hever Castle in Kent and we had been invited to the evening reception in the Castles grounds. We also had the option of staying in one of the rooms in the Astor wing.  Now I’ve visited quite a few castles in my time but have never stayed in one before so this was a very exciting experience for us. 

The main entrance and drawbridge. 

Back of the main building and part of the moat surrounding it.

Immaculately manicured gardens leading to the castle. 

The castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second wife and mother of Queen Elizabeth the 1st. In 1903 it was bought by an American millionaire by the name of William Waldorf Astor who put a lot of work into the grounds and added features such as the mazes and the Italian garden. It is now a very well loved tourist attraction in the county of Kent. We had an amazing time at the wedding with Kelly and Lisa and their amazing families and friends. So much of an amazing time that we missed breakfast the next morning as we needed some more sleep. But after we had checked out of the Astor Wing we were ready to explore the Castle itself and grounds. 

Part of the Italian Garden…

The lake.

Another part of the gardens.

Castle inner courtyard. 

It took us roughly about an hour to walk around the lake using the walking trails and taking in the various attractions along the way and stop for a cheeky cream tea as we missed breakfast earlier 😇. 

We really enjoyed our time at Hever Castle and thoroughly recommend it to anyone thinking of a day trip there. I’ve added a link to the official castle website below for anyone interested in finding out more and visiting…


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