Sting and The Police…

If you could tell a stranger anything you wanted, what would you say?

This was the opportunity presented to us after our Sunrise Special this morning as we each sat with a piece of paper while sipping our coffee… I challenged The Friend and The Sister to write down a few lessons they would want to teach their kids one day…

This is what we came up with…

The Friend: “Remember… Stop to take a moment and appreciate what you have/who you have and where you are… Keep your chin up and your eyes fixed on God, you can make it through anything – things will get better… Chocolate is good at any time of the day or night.”

The Sister: “You are never too far away to go home. It’s ok to admit that you were wrong and to start again. Life is about choices.   God loves you and will pursue you all your life.  Embrace Him.  It will be the best decision you will ever make.  Learn to laugh, live, love.  You don’t get too old to dance in the rain.  Wear sunscreen.”

And mine: “In my almost 30 years, I have learnt the following.  1.  A pretty face doesn’t make you beautiful.  People look at the outside but God sees your heart.  2.  Don’t waste time, don’t procrastinate… Time is a gift, not a guarantee.  3. Love loudly… Don’t let people ever be unsure as to whether or not you love them.  4. Life is too short to drink bad coffee.”

Great advice by all accounts. So we popped the messages and our email address into our bottle and headed off to the Sea Point Promenade… Finding a spot where there were fewer rocks and no sand for it wash up on immediately took a while…

Found a spot…

Looked around to make sure no one was watching (this was the moment I realised that i was in fact littering)…

Pulled back…

And there it goes…

Found it bobbing up and down in the foamy waters where it will probably hang out until the tide comes in and carries it out a bit…

So there it went, pearls of wisdom floating on the waters. Who knows where it’ll end up?

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From Cape Town to Seattle…

“Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna turn around and dessert you…”

Rick Astley at 5am? I’m up! I’m up! Enough already!

Early mornings are not my thing, not even a little. My central nervous system only kicks in after two, sometimes three, cups of coffee… Watching the sunrise with friends was problematic because not only did I need to get up at the crack of dawn but so did my friends. Luckily, I have amazing friends… The Incredible Flo and The Awesome Sister agreed to tag along. I hear some of you saying that that’s one friend and one sister, not “friends” but honestly, sisters make the best type of friends.

All the reports said sunrise was at 6:44 am this morning but as we drove down the N1 Highway, heading towards The Mountain That I Love, I caught a glimpse of yellow skies in the rear view mirror… Uh oh! The coffee stop would have to wait till after the sunrise…

We drove towards Lion’s Head and then kept on driving till reaching signal hill where we saw locals still in their pyjamas and locals who had obviously not gone to bed yet and were enjoying a liquid breakfast. Deciding this was not the spot for us, we drove back towards Lions Head and found a great place to pull over on the side of the mountain with a spectacular view of Table Mountain and the rising sun.

As we spent some quiet moments watching the ball of fire peep over the far off mountains, my sister and my friend beside me, it felt as if my soul let out a contented sigh. Golden rays washing everything it touches with warm light…

A spectacular sunrise, some awkward photo attempts and some laughs later, we said an official Good Morning to Cape Town and headed off in search of a very necessary cup of coffee.

Hello Seattle Coffee Co. *cue angels singing* Café Mocha with whipped cream and a Twix seemed an appropriate breakfast… A sunrise special!

Driving off we came across a delightful find! A photo op not to be missed… Guess and I share a history it seems…

30 Sexy Years!

That’s How We Roll…

If you got home after a long day at work and were told that it’s Sushi for dinner, I believe most of the general population would be pretty pleased… What is it about raw fish, cold sticky rice soaked in vinegar and dried seaweed sheets that we love? I have no idea, but this is a bandwagon that I am most definitely on!

The Mother and The Sister blessed me with a voucher for four people to learn to make sushi. Score since I really love sushi, bigger score, it’s on The List.

This time it was The Teacher, The Occupational Therapist, The Graphic Designer and The Journalist/Script Writer/Producer/Social Media Junkie/A Whole Lot Else who joined forces in the quest to become Sushi Ninjas…

Designer Girl and I listened to the advice of the person running the lesson and brought our own knives… It did feel weird and illegal walking around with a massive, sharp knife in my bag…

We arrived for our lesson in good time and did what any self-respecting girls would do, took photos of ourselves. I must admit though that it was mildly awkward setting the self-timer on my camera and all smiling at it for ten seconds before it finally took our picture. Awkward, but that didn’t stop us from doing it again, and again…

 

We were invited to join the sushi chef in his kitchen and watch and listen as each step of the process was explained and illustrated. The young chef made it look incredibly easy as he flipped, spread, filled, rolled and cut the sushi. We were shown how to create our own California Rolls, Maki, Fashion Sandwiches and (my favourite) Salmon Roses…

After that we were ushered back to our spots at the sushi counter and supplied all that we would need. Come on, how hard could it possibly be?

I knew I wasn’t off to a great start when I started on the bamboo mat instead of on the board… Oh dear! Come on, Sarah, focus here… I set to work with the sushi rice, squishing it onto the seaweed sheet… At this point, let me just say that sushi rice is much like glitter… You know how you can’t get glitter off your hands? Yip, the rice was the same and then I remembered that I hadn’t wet my hands… Fixing that problem I went back to my rice squishing and did a fairly decent job of it. A shake of sesame seeds, some avo and salmon slices later my California rolls started to take shape. A bit of shaping using the bamboo mat and things were looking good. I then had to cut them, not so easy, but I managed.

Next we were given rice and a thin slice of salmon to make the super easy salmon roses… My salmon didn’t really play along… A squirt of mayo and a touch of caviar later, it had more or less fallen apart… Super easy? Pffft!

So it may not have looked exactly like the sushi chef’s masterpiece but boy did it taste good! We enjoyed munching on self-made sushi and chatting away as girls do…

Sushi making? Check!

Things to do While Skyping…

 As I came into the kitchen earlier this evening I heard The Mother and The Little Sister skyping The Brother and The Nephew who currently live in The Land of the Long White Cloud… aka New Zealand.

I figured, why not get them in on the 30 before 30 fun and do something while we were chatting. So I put the pot on the stove, put in a little oil and added the popcorn kernels… As sad as this sounds, popping popcorn on the stove without a lid has been the thing on my list that I’ve always, ALWAYS wanted to do!

So we turned the webcam to face the pot, we switched on the stove and stood back, not quite sure what would happen. After about a minute we heard the first POP! Disappointingly though, it stayed inside the pot. I was just about to write off as a dud when I heard another POP and a fluffy white piece of popcorn sailed through the air and landed on the floor… Yes!

This was followed in quick succession by hundreds of tiny white missiles flying across the kitchen and littering the floor. All the while, The Nephew and The Little Sister were shrieking with delight at the sight of the flying popcorn and The Mother and The Brother were having a good laugh.

In less than three minutes, it was all over and there was popcorn everywhere! Well, everywhere but in the pot that is. It was awesome! So much fun!

My favourite part of it was that even though we’re thousands of miles apart we could share in something like this and all have a great laugh together. Distance doesn’t stop you from connecting with people.

Then began the clean-up… Copious amounts of Handy Andy, Sunlight Washing Liquid and boiling hot water later, The Mother and I had the kitchen sorted, the oil spray a thing of the past.

This one was a definite winner, you must try it yourself!

Smooth, Real Smooth…

Remember me? Sarah? The tall blonde with the ridiculously low pain threshold? Well I can’t believe it but I forgot to take my myprodol… A fact I realised only halfway en route to the Salon. Uh Oh.

Three teachers, an occupational therapist and a large amount of hot wax… Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, on the contrary it was the beginning of my evening. Tammy was my capable therapist who assured me that it wouldn’t hurt at all and that it’s not that bad. Not that bad? Excuse me? You are pouring hot wax onto my skin, sticking strips of fabric to that wax and ripping, yes, RIPPING, that strip and the wax AND MY HAIR off! But it’s not that bad?

I entered into this particular challenge with lines from an old email forward that circulated a couple years back. It detailed one woman’s journey into the terrifying world of home waxing… The thought of that email brought tears to my eyes and for a moment I couldn’t tell if I was crying from laughing so much or if it was mild hysteria… (Side note: Ladies, if you haven’t read that email, let me know)

So back to the saga at hand. Tammy the Therapist set to work waxing my legs. The wax rolled onto the back of my leg, warm and sticky, next the fabric strip was smoothed onto it… Felt quite nice actually… and then, oh my gosh! Blinding pain shot up and down my leg, stars gathered in front of my eyes and through the rushing sound of my blood pumping through my head I managed to turn around and look back to see what came off with the wax, my hair or my skin? I was able to enjoy the comfort of no bloodshed for a split second before strip number two was ripped… Barely breathing, the next few minutes were a blur as it was smooooth, riiiiiiiip, smooooooth, riiiiiiiiiiip…

“There you go!” What? Was it all over? Had I blacked out? I hoped so. Nope. Tammy had finished only one side… of one leg… Oi. As she continued rolling wax, ripping hair and the like I tried to keep up a steady stream of conversation… Every few rips, Tammy stopped, bent over double, laughing at my painful expressions, deep slow breaths and curled toes.

All the while Flo and Z were waxing bits next door. Soon there came a knock on the door as they joined us to witness my torture. By then Tammy was done with the legs and was turning my single eyebrow into two… Score!

Not satisfied with seeing my pain at having small fine hairs ripped out of my eyelids, the girls begged Tammy to do one more rip… She was only too happy to oblige. Just as she smoothed the strip onto the hot wax, The Sister walked in the door… Now it’s a party!

Cameras ready! And RIIIIIIIP! Grimace. Click, click, flash!

We hung around as The Sister had her brows waxed and discussed life and babies (Z is having one soon).

We walked out of there fuzz free and giggling, making plans for our next coffee catch up session. And my lingering thought on the drive home was the same as when I climbed Lion’s Head, “First and last time!”

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time…

“Oh OHHHHHH! We’re halfway there! Oh OHHHHHH! Living on a prayer! Liiiiving on a praaaaayer!” Nothing like a mix tape to get you rocking out on a roadtrip…

We gathered at the respectable hour of 10am to begin a day of much craziness, many laughs and loads of fun. The only real rule with roadtrips, in my opinion at least, is that you may not play “cool” music… Roadtrips are strictly for cheesy choons… I’m talking Spice Girls, Roxette, Billy Ray Cyrus, Cyndi Lauper and the like. Songs that everyone knows, can all sing along to and feel really good belting it out, even if it’s off key.

So we set off, in the general direction indicated by my navigator/co-pilot (in whose navigational skills I had very little faith – I wisely kept my mouth shut and followed instructions… who cares if we don’t end up where were going, that’s part of the fun, right?). The trusty, suitably girly mixtape in the CD player, doughnuts for breakfast and big smiles on our dials… We started tripping… Roadtripping!

The Sister was set to come with us but had to pull out due to other commitments, in her stead, she sent fourteen slips of paper. Weird, I know. Occupational Therapists these days. Each of these slips had a task that was to be completed during the course of the day.

These tasks ranged from the ridiculous to the hilarious and included:

  • Discuss at length in Austen or King James English how much wood a woodchuck would chuck if it could chuck wood
  • Using only small change, nothing bigger than one rand coins, buy something along the way
  • Play sweet and sour with the other cars, stop when you have four sweet and one sour

One of my favourites was to each decide our superhero names and update Facebook with them

Another slip commanded us to use a word to replace the words cool and lekker… This took some discussing…

Crispy?

Nah.

Slammin’?

Already been done…

Ziggy?

Hmmm, ziggy…

I like it!

So ziggy is the new cool. Not sure what I mean? Let me put in a sentence or two for you:

“Whoa! Check that stuffed lion cub wearing a sailor hat! That’s so not ziggy!” or you could say, “Wow, Dancing Diva! Your navigational skills are totally ziggy!” We are currently looking at copyrighting it… Now that’d be super ziggy! I must confess though that it may have been inspired by none other than Posh, Sporty and the girls, The Spice Girls… C’mon… You know you want to… “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends…” There may be a Ziggy Zig Ah! In the lyrics but I still say it was all us!

I am ashamed to say that even though we drove through flower country in spring, we did not stop to smell the flowers along the way, not ziggy I know… Next time though.

Our drive was a slow meander through the countryside on a journey to Paternoster. Where is Paternoster? No idea? What’s in Paternoster? Not much. But on Saturday, we were. Hallelujah it’s raining men… Actually, even a light drizzle would do.

We stopped at farm stalls with excess airfreshners, garages that allowed no swimming or other activities in the water and random signs… Really, the best name you could come up with for your B and B is “Juffroushoogte”?

We took loads of pictures, of ourselves naturally…

So we pulled up in the ‘Noster… Not Ziggy? Yeah, I didn’t think so either… Our first stop was graffiti central where we added our names to the millions of others…

And we discovered Paternoster rocks… no seriously, rocks from Paternoster…

After trying on flotsam and jetsam as fashion accessories we hit the beach. White sand, shells a plenty, gently rolling waves… paradise! Or pretty close at least. A slow amble down the beach and back again we went shopping with R5,10 in small change and then had fish and chips on the rocks…

The return trip was started with, “Look at that sign! Do you think my car will fit through there?” And of course we had to try! A quick four by fouring experience later in my trusty little Tata we drove right into a ditch, stopped for some pics (that’s what girls do) and then worked at getting the car out!

As the miles went by, the car got quieter but for the light snoring of The Courageous napping in the back. Being a superhero is exhausting apparently! The trip takes me one step closer to thirty and a whole lot closer to incredible friends… Let’s do it again sometime!

Not So Talkative Fish…

One of my favourite lines from a movie is when Ella in Ella Enchanted confronts the thugs and says, “Look, I think it’s only fair to warn you that I’m practiced in the art of Origami!” To which the thug replies, “Paper folding?” I have no idea why but it cracks me up every time.

I figured this one would be a breeze. I mean, really? How hard could paper folding possibly be? I can fold boxes and those whatchoomacallit doodads that you flick back and forth, check the photo to see what I mean…

I assumed that, naturally, this made me an Origami Ninja and I could fold anything… And once again I was surprised. Friday afternoon stretched out before me… An hour of invigilating, what fun…

So after starting my kids on their test I started folding paper on my trips between the desks… Earlier in the day my favourite design teacher had kitted me out with two Origami books, coloured paper, a ruler and even some scrap paper to practice with (like this paperfolding ninja would need to practice).

I scanned through one of the books (the prettier looking one… confession: I unashamedly judge books by their covers) and decided on The Talking Fish as my first attempt… A few quick folds later I realised that my “talking” fish was more of a sit-in-the-corner-and-rock-silently kind of fish… Fail.

 

My ego took a bit of a knock with that so I decided to set my sights lower and make something less challenging… A party hat! How could I possibly get that wrong? Obviously I underestimated my lack of Origami skills; I kept circling the classroom trying to figure out why my party hat was not coming to the party…

Finally I realised I had started with a square when I should have used an A4 sheet of paper… Still working with scrap paper I finally had my first taste of success! One complete party hat. I then spent the next few minutes putting stars on it and avoiding starting a more challenging project.

On what felt like my 100th time pacing about the room, I settled on making The Angel Fish… Starting with the scrap paper I successfully folded my first angel fish. The sweet taste of success! Victorious I realised I can now fold anything at all. That knowledge was enough for me, I didn’t feel the need to prove myself. So instead, I folded more Angel Fish, lots more, in different colours. And then, because I’m cool like that, I cut out water bubbles from blue paper and did a photoshoot with my amazing school of angel fishies (pun totally intended!).

And on my last trip around the classroom, cutting out bubbles, the time ran out. Their test and my challenge of Origami were over!