The Writer’s Room
So, I did promise everyone that I’d try and find a creative way of staying in touch – and this is it. It’s called The Writer’s Room – it’ll be updated at least once a month and I’m hoping it’ll feature a nice (witty) mix of photos, diary entries, bits ‘n’ bobs about what I’ve been up to, what I’ve seen, places I’ve been, people I’ve met . . . the sort of stuff that’ll eventually become the next novel, in other words. I’ve also got a new Facebook page – Lesley Lokko, author – which I’d love you to share with friends and family. I’m not sure I’ll ever get a Twitter account (though everyone says, “never say never”) but in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy the monthly news round-up, and that you’ll continue following me, writing in, sharing my books and, most importantly of all, enjoying them! With much affection, Lesley.
P. S. The ‘real’ writer’s room is below…
Ghanaian food is uniformly delicious, intensely calorific and sinfully more-ish, which is one reason I always gain weight as soon as I land. My grandmother was a cook par excellence, and one of her signature dishes, which I can still taste almost twenty years after she passed away, is Fufu and Light Soup. Just to be wicked, I thought I’d share the recipe with you…
I’ve been rather slack of late (excuse: finishing up the last novel, out in Spring next year) so I’ve neglected June’s diary but I’m back in the swing of things now and just thought I’d share some of the joy (and pain) of choosing a cover with you.
Anyhow, given that I’ve been spending rather more time asleep than I ought to, especially since there’s a new novel due, I thought I’d at least make the bedroom somewhere bright and cheerful and what better use of all the fabric I endlessly cart back from Accra.
There are plenty of things we don’t have here in West Africa . . . electricity, water, internet and cooking gas amongst them, which makes daily life a rather unpredictable struggle. But there’s one thing we don’t lack – humour.
I think it was Robin Williams who expressed it best. ‘Welcome to Vietnam. It’s hot.’ I arrived in Accra last week and boy, is it hot.
Whilst I read a lot (and I mean, a lot), my mind always goes blank when I’m trying to list the books that are either beside my bed, next to the loo, on the dining room table, on my desk, next to the sofa, etc. So I thought I’d make a little record this month of what’s actually on the list…
In 2013, wishing you nothing but love . . . with touches of health, wealth and happiness thrown in.
So it’s the holiday season (just in case you hadn’t noticed) and this year, it’s all about food. Now I’m no Nigella (or Mary or Delia, it has to be said), but I do like all the fuss and fun of Getting Ready to Bake.
People often ask me what living in Accra is like. It’s an interesting question: on the one hand, it’s like living in any other big city – it’s busy, hectic, fun and frenetic, much like anywhere else.
October’s been a busy month – I was in Basel for a few days at the beginning of it – some lovely long walks (in the rain) with a birthday party in a barn with two lovely young calves (calfs?) looking on and then a week in Moscow, judging an architecture competition. It was my first time to Russia – and aside from not being able to read the signs, it was an amazing week.
I can’t believe it’s been three months already since I moved back to the UK and, alongside another author (whose name I won’t mention), I’m in a little seaside town on the south coast of England which we’ll call ‘Random-on-Sea’ – and absolutely loving it.
‘I must have been almost crazy to start out alone like my bicycle pedalling into the tropics carrying a medicine for which no one had found the disease and hoping I would make it in time.’ Richard Shelton, ‘The Tattooed Desert’ Don’t ask me why this wonderful poem with its wry wisdom reminds me of the year-long process of building my own home…but it does. After Sundowners was published in 2004, I decided to return to Accra where I’d grown up, buy land and build my own home – every architect’s dream.
Ada, a small town at the mouth of the Volta River in Ghana is where I often go to completely (and I mean completely) unwind. There’s hardly any cellphone coverage, there are almost no restaurants or bars, just the river that flows down to the sea, blue skies and the occasional hawk circling overhead, looking for a snack. For me, it’s the perfect reminder of how little we actually need – some firewood, a pocketful of change to buy fresh fish and a bottle of wine (which we tie on a string and dunk in the river to keep cool).