I read this online and had to share, I'm sure it happens worldwide, not just in Britain......

A life of booze, fags and slothfulness may be enough to earn your doctor's disapproval, but there is one last hope: a repeat prescription of mates and good conversation.
A circle of close friends and strong family ties can boost a person's health more than exercise, losing weight or quitting cigarettes and alcohol, psychologists say.

Sociable people seem to reap extra rewards from their relationships by feeling less stressed, taking better care of themselves and having less risky lifestyles than those who are more isolated, they claim.
A review of studies into the impact of relationships on health found that people had a 50% better survival rate if they belonged to a wider social group, be it friends, neighbours, relatives or a mix of these.

The striking impact of social connections on wellbeing has led researchers to call on GPs and health officials to take loneliness as seriously as other health risks, such as alcoholism and smoking.
"We take relationships for granted as humans," said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a psychologist at Brigham Young University in Utah. "That constant interaction is not only beneficial psychologically but directly to our physical health."

Holt-Lunstad's team reviewed 148 studies that tracked the social interactions and health of 308,849 people over an average of 7.5 years. From these they worked out how death rates varied depending on how sociable a person was.
Being lonely and isolated was as bad for a person's health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic. It was as harmful as not exercising and twice as bad for the health as being obese. The study is reported in the journal Plos Medicine.

Holt-Lunstad said friends and family can improve health in numerous ways, from help in tough times to finding meaning in life. "When someone is connected to a group and feels responsibility to other people, that sense of purpose and meaning translates to taking better care of themselves and taking fewer risks."

Holt-Lunstad said there was no clear figure on how many relationships are enough to boost a person's health, but people fared better when they rarely felt lonely and were close to a group of friends, had good family contact and had someone they could rely on and confide in.
Writing in the journal, the authors point out that doctors, health educators and the media take the dangers of smoking, diet and exercise seriously, and urge them to add social relationships to the list.

A report by the Mental Health Foundation in May blamed technology and the pressures of modern life for widespread feelings of loneliness in all age groups across Britain. The survey of more than 2,200 adults found one in 10 people often felt lonely and one in three would like to move closer to their family.

Andrew McCulloch, of the Mental Health Foundation, said the latest study builds on work that links isolation to poor mental and physical health. "Trends such as increasing numbers of people living alone and the advent of new technologies, are changing the way in which we interact and are leading both the young and old to experience loneliness. It is important that individuals and policy-makers take notice of emerging evidence and of the potential health problems associated with loneliness." © Taken from the Guardian Newspaper
Three years of ranting and sometimes talking sense. Loved it. Loving it. Love it.
It was headache over a man and adventures in Lagos that made me start but I'm sure glad I did.
I love my blog.

Do you like my photoshopped picture? It was sent by a friend to cheer me up when I was under the weather. I laughed eh! Madness! My Mum was rolling on the floor. The picture though does remind me of my own notorious three year old story that my Mum's family won't EVER let me forget......

So as the story goes, three year old me had gone to a family member's traditional wedding in my Mum's home town with the Parentals. So my Mum thought she was doing a good thing by handing me over to her younger brother to keep an eye on me.
For some yet to be explained reason, my Uncle now thought that it would be 'healthy' for me to have some of his Guinness as it would help my digestive system and boost my immune system as well. That is how they gave my Guinness oh!
Yup I got drunk.
So by the time the wedding was winding down, I climbed unto the Chairman's table, took the microphone and said (in no apparent order and repeatedly);
"You Baskards! Go to your own house and I will go to my own"
"Stop eating my Aunty's food"
"I said go your own way jo"
"You are all Baskards"
My Mum said she wanted the ground to open up and take her there and then! She died five hundred times. She said she ran sharply in her wrapper and koi koi shoes and swiped me off the high table and out of the compound. Then I told her, "Mummy my head is turning" and promptly fell asleep! My Uncle didn't come near my house for a while after that ;)
PS That was my one degenerate incident till I pooed in my pants in kindergarten.
PPS I want to thank all my blog readers and commentators. You are the buttercream icing on my caramel sponge cake!
Just in case you all don't know what I'm talking about, two of our very own got married quite recently and Blogsville has been full of puns like:
Siriusly Freaky
Freakishly Sirius ( my favourite).

Freaksho married ~Sirius~ and it was beautiful.

Now every good story needs to start at the beginning but ermm quite frankly they might kill me. So I will skip a few details (but shah check on me in a week's time to make sure I'm still breathing). So Sirius came into my life when I was 14(ish) and I was later blessed to be able to have her as my landlady while I served in NYSC. That was when she met her future hubby (ohhhh hehehehe).

Now let's get this straight, the girl is one of the most beautiful people you could ever meet both inside and out, so of course there were some young gentlemen hanging around but my money has always been on Freaksho and see I backed the winner :) When the time was right and he proposed and she said yes, there was plenty of screaming and clapping (and that was just me) and so I settled down for some serious wedding planning.

That's when the emails and IM's started.

S: Caramel, I don't want a bridal train or anything like that.
C: Yup that's cool, nice and simple.

S: Caramel, I think we might be getting married in the middle of the week.
C: Huh?

S: Caramel I want a small wedding, 100 people max.
C: Are you crazy? In Lagos? Never!

But here is the topic that actually raised my BP and it wasn't even from the bride....

F: I'm not wearing a tie and I'm not wearing any flowers in my button hole. (Something something about it not being manly, I can't recall because at this point I was feeling faint)
C: Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? What do you mean no tie? You're the groom!!!!

Now, anyone that reads this blog regularly knows that in the past two years I have been in a wedding/bridesmaid explosion and I have suffered for it. You can get a bit fed up with the pomp and circumstance of it all but come on! I had to protest!

Yet these two were serious and this is why they suit! Sirius is so laid back she is nearly horizontal. She doesn't let things agitate her normally and she definitely avoids drama. Freaksho is such a geek, he is weird to the point of cool. These two do not do convention. In fact as I'm typing this I wonder why I was actually surprised.

So they planned and they stuck to their guns which is no easy feat when your parentals are on your case and EVERYONE has an opinion. I flew home to see two people I care about get hitched, as long as it wasn't on a rope bridge over a snake pit I was ready for the ride.

And it was beautiful.

Apart from the beginning where Freaksho looked stressed because we were only 9 minutes late (Dude, most brides average being an hour late), there wasn't a frowning face the whole day. Everyone knew someone, no one was lost in a crowd, and all eyes were on the couple who spent the whole day grinning.

I didn't miss the high table, I didn't miss the hall decorations, band, DJ, MC and over inflated ego boosting that happens at Naija weddings. Instead we had a room full of people overlooking a peaceful view of Lagos, with kick ass food, who were free to walk around and chat and kiss the bride and shake the groom's hand.

They actually pulled it off! In Lagos!

Freaksho did wear the red rose flower buttonhole though, thank God ;)

A note about meeting fellow Bloggers.

They never look like what you think they will.
Incoherent is a sparkling fizzing ball of energy with big brown Bambi eyes and eloquent hands.
Muse looks like what I think Igbo warriors of old would like back in the day. All brawn and such. I thought men who write such great poetry would be tortured souls that exist on air and coffee!
Rita does not look like her picture! I'm sorry Rita it is true. Take the picture down. You are getting younger not older (who did you bribe up there for such good fortune with your face??)
Finally I think I scared Laide (XSN) because I swooped on her like a crazed fan and forgot she hadn't actually met me before. Sorry Laide!

To Freaksho and ~Sirius~, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I know great things are going to come from your union. I feel it and I know it and I can't wait to see it.

Love always x


Update y'all!

I have been granted permission to clear up small confusion that came via my inbox ; (holla!!).

Freaksho and ~Sirius~ didn't meet on Blogger. Oya lemme gist you small.
While she was waiting for her call up letter for NYSC, Sirius was working at a very sexy magazine and Freaksho was at an advertising firm (oh full of fine dangerous men LMAO). See eh when I leave for work to go to my asset management office and Sirius leaves to go to her magazine, what we are wearing is completely different. I would mostly be conservative and classy. Sirius would be classy and sizzling hot!!!!! She put the 'P' in pencil skirt!

So I don't know what she did to Freaksho when she walked into his office to collect artwork for his company's ad in her magazine but I can hazard a guess! LMAO!!!!!!! For real though the guy had to work hard. Sirius doesn't send.

Case in point. Their first 'date'. I think that Freaksho had asked for a double date movie thing so that there would be no pressure. So far so good right? Well my girl brought me and another friend and we arrived about 50 minutes late. We missed the original movie and got stuck with Rush Hour 8 or something and Freaksho hated the movie choice (he still won't forgive me for picking it). So instead of a cosy foursome, it was five people watching a 'bad' movie, then Sirius makes sure that she wasn't even near him and spent the whole movie texting on her phone! Chai!

Well he hung in there............ isn't life grand?
Thank God for journey mercies oh! I came back on Saturday and I had been on 6 different flights so I really have to thank God because that is 12 different times of taking off and landing which is when your plane is under the most stress and more likely to blow up (yes I thought about that every time!!)

OK let me tell you all the fab stuff about my trip. First was hugs and kisses. From family and friends. My brother and little cousins are growing so fast, my friends are so glamorous and handsome and my cousins and aunts/uncles are shiny and glowing. I loved seeing each and everyone of them. And for the first time in my adult life all I heard was "you are looking so good Caramel, keep it up". Jehovah! That was a really big deal for me!

Second fab stuff. My new house!!! It was the first time I got to see it 90% completed. All my life in my home town we had been in my Grandfather's palace. Where your business is every one's concern and you walk around in the same compound as hooligans who are trying to kill your Father and there is nothing you could do about it because it was their home too. But now ehen, Caramel has her own room with en suite so I can walk around in my knickers and jump on my bed and it was all good. The house is freaking huge though, cleaning it lost me 3 kg in one week!

Third fab stuff. My sweetheart's wedding which is the main reason I flew home in the first place. I was soooooooo happy seeing the couple together, it was ridiculous. Exclusive gist is coming! I will write a post about that later because it was quite revolutionary for a Nigerian wedding.

Last fab stuff. Ube! Yes oh, you heard me! African pear and corn! I ate ube like it was going out of fashion. My tongue was perpetually green. If you analyse my blood it will be just ube, corn and coconut :)

Not so fab stuff (NSFS)

NSFS one. I was haunted by ghosts of lovers past. I had one who I have previously called Party Boy, explain to me that why he vanished for four months while I was doing my NYSC was because he felt we were getting too serious and he didn't want to hurt me so he decided in his infinite wisdom, to vanish off the face of the earth, cause me untold worry and increase my BP so as to cool down our romance and keep us just at friends level. Have you ever heard such BS?! The ear bashing I gave him is too long for this post. He apologised and said he didn't want to be an ex boyfriend who I would think of as an asshole but I had to reply that that was what he ended up being anyway. Anyway old gist. I have no beef for the guy, and there is still mad chemistry between us BUT my life is too short. I did tell him to review how he treats women though cos his policies have serious K leg!!

Also Baked Beans sister told me that he really likes me, crazy about me, and always talks to her about me and goes into a bad mood when we used to argue etc etc. Pekele pekele! Tales by moonlight! Are we talking about the Ice Prince of Anambra State? The one guy who was still calling me a friend with his last breath. She said it was all smoke and mirrors. True as that maybe it still doesn't change anything. Gave me food for thought though. These men in my life and their stories. Saying one thing and meaning another. I wish I had a guy who would look me in the face and talk straight for once with no games or egos.

NSFS two. I didn't get time to be anyone other than Caramel the sister, daughter and niece. I had worked my butt off at home especially with looking after my 98 yr old Grandma who needs help with personal care and feeding etc (OMG where was BSNC for advice???) that I had been looking forward to letting my hair down in Lagos. Unfortunately through bizarre bad luck I missed my flight and didn't make it back to Lagos till Monday. Missed my sweetheart's bridal shower over the weekend! I was also meant to meet some friends but that never happened either and I had been looking forward to that so much. There must be a reason I don't know yet. Maybe if I had gone out on Saturday I would have ended up being some Sultan's 18th wife in Saudi Arabia.......who knows? LMAO!!!

So questions to help me answer.....

1. Why are women spending N150 000 on fake hair?
2. Why is there a new roundabout on the Lekki express way?
3. Why did FIFA give Nigeria a football ban?
4. How does my Aunty get her puff puff so light and airy?
5. Why does my cooking taste better in Nigeria?
6. What good luck was on my side to make me get my foodstuff past customs in Heathrow? LMAO!!!!