Wednesday, October 23, 2013
For the Love of Surfing
Written by Jade Wright
The alarm clock jolts you awake during the early hours of the morning, before the golden contrast of colours illuminate the sky with another perfect sunrise. It’s 5AM; your boards’ are strapped to your roof-racks as you drive the silent roads down to the beach. All the while you can’t seem to shake that giddy and excitable feeling stirring inside at the thought that there is something special and new awaiting you down on the shores. Polystyrene cups filled with your frothy garage caffeine fix in hand, you head over the hills and smile at the perfect vision before you. Crisp, fresh waves ready for the taking; the salty spray back of water in the fresh off-shore wind – it’s all too inviting. Suiting up and strapping the leash around your ankle, you make your way down to a sand-dune accompanied with good friends and a bar of wax to share amongst yourselves. You watch the waves, you count the seconds between the breaks; choosing the perfect spot to paddle into. It is all part of the process to get to where you want to be… stealing down the face of a wave.
To be a surfer you need to have patience and loyalty toward the ocean. You’ll wear your heart in your throat at the drops you’ll take. You’ll be consumed with the undying faith you have as you fall, plummeting down, putting all the courage and trust you have into it. It is like falling in love – but better. Kelly Slater once said, “I have felt married to surfing and all it offers at times.”
As a female surfer living in the Garden Route, I am all too familiar with the right-handers dwelling in the comforting swells of Buffelsbaai. I attend the Ross Taylor Surf Competitions in August every year and finally had the guts to compete in 2012. I got owned by a girl of about thirteen, doing all these nifty little tricks that I had never seen or heard of before, but that is one of the beauties of this sport. Age and sex doesn’t matter – if you’ve got it, you’ve got it.
I took defeat with pride and respect, smiling admiringly at her as she grinned with pure delight. A salt-encrusted glowing happiness I remember so well when I first cupped my hands as I paddled for an intimidating wave, picked myself up and wobbly cut through the water on my first ever ride.
You learn to move with the rhythm of the ocean, you dance with the flirtatious waves with everything that you have got. Naturally, I am a terrible dancer. On land I have absolutely no co-ordination, but there is something about the ocean that brings everything together. Suddenly I am whole and able – capable of so much more. It connects me, it fills me; it makes me fall even more in love with the sport every time I surrender myself to it. In a quick, fluid movement I become graceful with bended knees, eyes cast forward; aided with but a board and a wave.
Surfing can be your best friend, your one true love. It can be your medicine after a bad day, your natural high. It revitalizes your body and soul; it cleanses your spirit of all negativity. However, surfing is not for the faint hearted. It takes power, commitment and muscle; but most of all, it takes passion. You have to have unconditional love for the waves. It is a love-hate relationship. Sometimes you will get knocked down and feel infuriated, yet at other times you will have the ride of your life. It is something you have to learn to accept for the love of the sport.
“Surfing is very much like making love. It always feels good, no matter how many times you’ve done it,” said Paul Strauch, a Hawaiian born surfer who has been doing the sport since the age of four.
Having recently come back from backpacking and camping my way through Europe – there was definitely one place that really stood out to me. In between gnawing on ginormous lamb knuckles and attempting to down litres of beer in the famous Hofbrauhaus am Platzl in Munich, I went on a bicycle tour with a company called Mike’s Bike Tours. Right at the end of the bike tour, after passing through the Englischer Garten we came to a river called Eisbach. An artificial wave has been created there and I was lucky enough to experience it first-hand. Surfer’s line up and one at a time they take turns in surfing this never ending wave.
A permanent wave has often been described as the best training ground for a new surfer but I beg to differ. As incredible and as fascinating as it was – nothing quite beats the feel of a natural wave forming around you. There is something about a wave being completely unpredictable that one should learn early on if they want to surf. As a beginner, that is what you need to learn, the unpredictability, to truly appreciate the sport to its true beauty.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Finely Quaye - Dice
That song tells a special story in my life. I remember listening to it while lying sprawled out across the floor with my best friend, Rachel. Surrounding us was scattered paper and scibbles - all ideas and chapters for a book we had started writing together. One thing that we were absolutely certain about was that our story was good enough to be made into a film... and the dramatic high spot of our film-to-be would be accompanied by this song.
The dramatic high-spot had been a scene where we would run through the Heathrow Airport and into the arms of the men that were in our lives.
To this day, even though the book we had started way back when is no longer in existence, every time I hear this song I think of that romantic moment.... running through the airport, trying to find the love of my life. The vision is so strong - maybe it will happen one day. Who knows?
The face of the man has always been clouded over, fuzzy and unknown... a face I can't quite put a finger on.
How exciting it is to not know the future.
How exciting it is to not know the future.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
This is such a lovely, simple recipe for chicken ala king... It's quite surprising how good it tastes because you really don't use that many ingredients at all! That's one of the beautiful things about this easy dish. (plus, it's kid friendly! All kids I know that have tried it have loved it! So enjoy this yummy recipe!)
What you'll need (serves 4):
- Chicken Breasts
- 1 Red and Green Pepper
- A pack of your preferred mushrooms (I like portebillini)
- A big chunk of butter
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- A chicken or vegetable stock cube
- 3 handfuls of Cake Flour
- 2 x egg yolks
- Salt and Pepper
First, put two pans onto your stove. One pan with extra virgin olive oil and another with a big wad of butter.
Slice your chicken into thin strips and put into the pan with extra virgin olive oil to cook through.
Thinly slice your peppers and once the butter is melted in your second pan / pot, add them in, sauteing until soft.
While your chicken and peppers are now cooking, keep yourself busy by putting your chicken or vegetable stock cube into a jug and add 150ml of boiling water. Stir until fully diluted.
In a second jug add in 150ml of milk.
Now slice up your preferred mushrooms and add them into the pepper pot. You'll see due to the butter that the mushrooms will go a beautiful golden color. Let this cook until soft.
Once this is soft, take the peppers and mushrooms off of the heat.
Take three handfuls of flour and mix it in with your mushrooms and peppers. It will fast become very stodgy and dry and it will not look very nice. Now put the pot back onto heat and add in half the jug of chicken / vegetable stock and half the jug of milk (make sure no lumps form in the sauce!):
After this, you should get something that looks like this:
Next, add in your chicken all cooked and ready to go! You'll notice the sauce thickening up really quickly now so add in the remainder of the milk and about 50ml of water - mix this is and put the heat down to as low as possible. Grind in some salt and pepper to taste.
Now, crack your eggs and separate the yolks. On this particular recipe I cracked my egg open to find a double-yolker inside one egg! How special :)
When your yolks are separated keep them aside in a bowl to add later.
Put a lid over your chicken and sauce mix on the lowest possible heat and let it simmer while you start on your rice.
If you notice your sauce getting dry while simmering just add little lugs of milk here and there to prevent it.
When you're rice is done, drain it and take the heat off of the sauce mix. Add in your yolks and a little bit of cream and stir quickly!
Sprinkle a little bit of fresh parsley over as a garnish and you're ready to serve up!
Hope you enjoy this delicious, easy and simple chicken ala king recipe!
Have a great Wednesday evening bloggers'!
Thursday, October 10, 2013
On Saturday morning I'm spoiling myself with something that I don't do very often - a hairdressing appointment.
As it turns out, my blonde hair literally NEEDS to go... sniffle. I went to one of the fanciest hairdressers in town (hey... if you're going to do it, might as well do it in style right?). Anyway, Oscar and Frank, the artists themselves, have refused to bleach my horrendous roots to remain blonde. They told me that it is beyond bad for your hair and they suggested that I go back to being dark.
I'm pretty sad - as I'd always envisioned being a blonde bride - which is pretty far-fetched seeing as that I need to snag me a fiance first of all..... BUT - I need to do what is best for my hair now.
Now, I like to be different. No matter if it's in what I'm wearing, my hair, my facebook status... I enjoy being unique.
Sooo... I went onto my beloved Pinterest site and Instagram and found some images of funky and different short hair colors I like but now I can't choose!!
To be honest, I really wanted to go deep dark red like this:
But here is my dilemma... I have a wedding coming up in November and I have just found my dress:
Red hair isn't going to suit it! And I'm dead-set on the dress so for once my hair is taking the back seat in the decision making.
So I've narrowed it down to the following choices:
And if you click the link below you'll see some of the old styles and colors that I have been in the past.
I'm leaning a lot towards this style and coloring:
Fringe, messy and ombre! But I need some help and advice. Please let me know what you think I should do!
(or should I just do the red and be done with it!!??! It does look gorgeous.....)
Thank you lovelies xxxx
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
I have a baby shower to plan!
Gosh - it feels weird to say that. How did life fly by so quickly!? It seems like just yesterday I was planning my thirteenth birthday party . . . a disco party in my father's restaurant. Not a time in my life that I think too fondly of if I'm being honest. I wasn't what you would call, 'popular'. Think 'Thirteen Going on Thirty' (the shitty film.. yes), - well yeah, at that stage of my existence that film was basically based on my life. No exaggeration.
Things, for me, have changed so much since then. I'm not a fan of hearing people say things like, 'I was a different person back then,' but in this case, it comes pretty close to be acceptable.
My little munchkin will be born in roughly three months time and so, to celebrate, my friends, family and I are planning the shower.
Tomorrow evening a few of us are getting together at a local pub to throw some ideas around and this is what I have in mind so far:
(Bare in mind that these are ideas for a boy's baby shower - and if you have any suggestions or ideas to contribute I'd be absolutely thrilled to receive them!)
(everyone wear mustache's to the party!)
The Sentimental Messages
(everyone write on a blackboard, something special for the little guy and sign his onsie!)
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Have you ever listened to a CD and found not one fault in it... besides maybe when the tracks are up? Well, that's Ben Howard's album - Every Kingdom, to me.
It's not very often I find a CD and enjoy every single track it has to offer.. I usually find myself skipping ahead to the one's I really love and relate to, overplay the hell out of them and them move on to something else.
I cannot choose a favorite song off this CD, each one is as pleasant as the next, but I've put in two really stunning songs below for you to have a listen to:
I really do love Ben Howard's music; I could listen to it at any time of day... before work, on my way to work, winding down after work with a glass of wine in the bath.. a dinner party, a lazy Sunday barbecue with the family...
Any time of day... Ben Howard is more than welcome.
(Had a good chuckle at a status I put up on Facebook the other day... Kindly commented on by brother and mother. They know me too well..)
(PS... for the record, it wasn't me who did this graffiti, that sign is far too high up for me to reach. But, whoever did, is pretty cool...)
Thursday, October 3, 2013
I can't stand short stories. I don't like reading them - and I especially don't like writing them. I don't like having to rush an ending, abruptly putting a stop to my writing that I usually just let roam free.
I am a novelist. I write without limitations - so when my last uni assignment reared its ugly head, I found myself in a bit of a pickle.
The task was to write a short story - based on anything... and no longer than three pages long. I like a challenge. It's a fulfilling feeling once it has been conquered. So I tried my best.
Well.... after repeatedly hitting my head against my keyboard for about three days - this is what I came up with.
PS: I would just like to mention here that I do not have a feel for short stories at all.... so I don't think this story is very good. I love the story-line but I would far prefer to write an entire novel based on this where I could explain the trials my main character goes through and describe the townships and poverty in more detail but unfortunately in this instance I couldn't.
PPS: The place that this little story is based in, is actually a beach about a thirty minute drive from where I live... which is such an incredible blessing! I have even attached a photograph of the place so that you can see the beauty of it for yourself. I actually had my 'prom' or as we call it here in South Africa, 'Matric Dance' in that big castle on the right!
Written by Jade Lee Wright
The blisters beneath Akilah’s dusty feet throbbed in agony as she traipsed down the winding road. She was on her way to the car park with her five younger siblings. It was a good three hour trek to get there from the township, but regardless they did this nearly every day of their lives.
The sun beat down onto them from the African sky, showing them no mercy. Thousands of tourists would drive through the township daily to get to the white sandy shores of Noetzi Beach. It was a place adorned with neglected castles perched up on the hill tops; castles that were slowly crumbling down. Akilah could never understand why no one ever restored these majestic buildings to their former glory.
Every morning, as the big mansions came into view along her walk, Akilah promised herself that one day she would live in one of them. It was a goal she could never seem to let go of, despite all of her family and friends constant mocking.
Noetzi Beach was an absolute tourist gold-mine and the tips she made by watching over the cars was worth the walk. Sometimes, if she was lucky, the tourists would offer her the leftovers from their extravagant picnics. When that happened, it was like Christmas. Akilah would divide the bits of bread between her three brothers and two sisters, being sure to wrap some up for supper later that night.
Today had started out just like any other day. Cars flew past them; flicking dirt and dust into their faces which made them cough and splutter miserably. Half way down, Akilah’s youngest sister started to whimper.
“Akilah, my feet hurt!” she protested. Akilah sighed, hoisting her little sister up onto her shoulders. The extra weight put strain onto her aching feet, making her wince slightly, but she soon got used to it.
Throughout the morning they earned R30.00 which was good going for the ten cars that came and went. The afternoon heat brought along even more tourists, leaving Akilah with a feeling that this was definitely going to be a good day.
As the sun slowly started to dip, Akilah and her siblings counted up their makings for the day. The few remaining tourists wouldn’t be long now. Once the sun was gone it got cold fairly quickly at Noetzi Beach.
“Have you heard of CharlizeTheron?” an overfriendly American man asked inquisitively after Akilah had helped him to reverse. She shook her head and watched the mixture of disbelief and disappointment flood over him.
“Have you…” he thought about the choice of his next words carefully before continuing, “ever watched television?” Another shake of the head left him dizzy and unsure of how to move forward.
“Look, clearly you need a lot of attention to get established, but your face!” he boomed proudly.
“You could be the next big thing! And what a story! From rags to royalty – literally! I’ll make you famous!” With that, he was punching digits into his ginormous BlackBerry and making calls.
Akilah felt numb. Half of what he had said had made no sense to her.
“I don’t understand what this will mean for me?” she finally croaked.
“It means,” the man said, pocketing his phone, “that we are going to take you away from this lifestyle.” He unsubtly looked her up and down and she knew exactly what he was referring to.
“If you choose to accept my offer, you can come with me to America. I will invest so much into you because I’ve never been so sure about something. You, Akilah, are the perfect face for my agency! We will teach you to walk and talk like a model. House you, clothe you; train you to be a star!” he said this last word with so much enthusiasm, Akilah was sure he was going to start hyperventilating.
“What about my family?” Akilah asked, seemingly unfazed. To this, he was stumped. He offered Akilah a lift back up to the township and requested that she think about his offer. He introduced himself as Kurtis, saying quite simply, “It’s one thing to fly you over to America and change your life, but I cannot be responsible for your entire family. The ball is in your court.”
He told her to meet him back at the parking lot at lunch-time the following day, with her mind made up. Akilah trudged back to her shack to a boisterous bunch of kids all demanding supper. She unravelled the bread she’d kept safely tucked away and split it between them.
The eldest was Velaphi, Akilah’s brother of fifteen. She watched him tear apart the bread with his stained teeth, finding herself wonder what it would be like if he was in charge. It riddled her with guilt.
After the ravenous pack had devoured their dry meal, she called a family meeting. The sisters all protested. The elders found it unfair. Velaphi looked petrified but sat in silence as he waited to be told that he would be left in charge. Akilah commended him for how well he took the news. She made sure they knew that she was doing this for all the right reasons. Every word she told them was true. Her goal was to earn big money, to amounts she had never dreamed about holding in her own two hands, bringing it back for them. She wanted to be able to afford a house that didn’t flood whenever the rain fell, that didn’t have new cracks every day that let in the breeze; a house that would keep them all healthy.
12 Years Later
They say they ‘found’ her, found her like they found Charlize Theron. Akilah hated hearing that comparison because in all fairness, their circumstances couldn’t have been more different.
Akilah rested her head back on the plane and watching the blanket of cloud around her float peacefully in mid-air. This would be her third visit home this year, and it was only May. She sucked in a grateful breath of spicy African air and caught a taxi to Noetzi. She waved pleasantly to the small children who ran, screaming happily, alongside the car until their little legs eventually tired. She sighed sadly as she passed the goats and cattle on the roadside, the falling apart shacks and the skinny township dogs wondering aimlessly around.
At 29, Akilah now had more than she had ever thought possible. She smiled blissfully as she took the keys to her three-story castle from her handbag, watching her family all venture into the front yard to greet her.
This was when she realized for the third time this year, that all of her dreams had come true.
As I mentioned... I hate abrupt endings but when you only have three pages to play around with it has to be so basic. You can't play around with descriptions or make it truly beautiful... although, I suppose you can actually. That's one of the reasons I am taking this course, to learn how.
So this was my first attempt.
I emailed it off to the university today and will hear back from them with feedback and my mark in a few days.
I cannot wait to receive some constructive criticism and to hopefully learn the art behind short story telling. After-all... a true writer sometimes has to do things that he / she doesn't like. It's the harsh reality of the job that we love. And in the end... it only helps us grow.
Hope you liked it somewhat!!!