Mrs Askew’s Class

I was only just five but turning six, don’t get me wrong. I was about to have my first year in a big school with all of the other big girls. My mom got my uniform – which consisted of a white golf shirt with my school’s name written in red very small over my heart and a pair of red shorts – and it was (like all of my future classmates uniforms) very big. In fact those red shorts lasted until I was thirteen.

On my first day, I was sorted into Mrs Askew’s class. We were assigned little lockers in which we could keep our pretty pictures and colourful crayons. Each locker had a cartoon with our name. My cartoon was a pair of sneakers. I met lots of little girls and we played games all day. I don’t really remember which girls I played with on that first day but I do remember my second day very well. We had been given the task of colouring  in a flower picture. I was so engrossed in my marvelous artistic talents that I didn’t notice that the crayon I was using was not my own. It belonged to the girl next to me, a girl that I had never really spoken to. I gave her back her crayon and we started to compare pictures. She showed me her locker and she was so proud to have a toothpaste cartoon. Before we knew it we were flying through conversations and took turns recounting fairy tales of all shapes and sizes.  We just couldn’t get enough of each other’s company.

We played games where we were fairies and princesses and twins and spies and ninjas and mommies. She would come to my house and I would go to hers. I got to know her dogs and her mom treated me like her own daughter. We started growing up together. I was there for her when her parents got divorced; she was there for me when we had to amputate my dog’s leg. We were always there. We went from sharing fairy stories to sharing scary stories. We began sharing music, movies, food and memories. When she got her first crush, we would talk about him non-stop. We went on holidays together and made new friends together. We were inseperable.

Until we were twelve. Then for the first time in seven years we were in different classes. But you know what? We made it work. We would meet up between classes and swap funny stories of the past lesson. But yet again the next year, we were in separate classes. This year was harder than the year before because not only were we in high school but we also had to face the fact that at the end of the year she would be moving across the world to live in Australia. Her step-dad got a new job in Melbourne. I tried to be mad at him and force them to stay but it’s like trying to be mad at your own dad and when you’re not yet an experienced teenage girl it can be rather hard.

The boxes got packed and the plane tickets were bought and before I could bare it, we were waiting at the airport terminal. It was a hard. Through sobs and hugs I gave her a scrap book I made of pictures from the nine years worth of memories and she gave me the book I leant her – The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. But I noticed that her book mark was at the end. I insisted that she keep it until she is finished. Today I found out that the movie for that book would be coming out next year.

We Skype regularly and text whenever we have exciting news that would normally be after school gossip. She came back to South Africa to visit this March. It had been one year and three months since we had been able to chat without a screen but it felt like she never left. She was still the little girl I met in Mrs Askew’s class.

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On My Bookshelf

Recently I finished reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. My class at school was assigned it as a set work for English. None of us were excited, we have all hated every set work that we’ve been given. We had heard the rumors of this book from the older girls at school; the long boring chapters of nothing but thoughts, the big and complicated words and the uninteresting plot. However, this year I decided to actually read the set work and not just look it up on Spark Notes. 

So I began. I made some hot chocolate, found a snuggly blanket and a comfy couch in my sun room and opened up the book on page one and started reading. My page turns began to get faster and faster and suddenly I was sitting in among swirling patterns of words and dancing letters that I was sure would spill my hot chocolate. I was completely captured by 376 pages of brilliance.

I don’t know what is so addictive about this book. Maybe it’s because the love story is the cutest love story in the world but isn’t a touch cheesy or maybe it’s the way the characters seem so real or maybe it’s because the main character is just so ordinary that we feel it could very easily be true.

The book is about a family of five sisters, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia Bennet. It is set way back when girls couldn’t inherit their land (like Downton Abbey vibes) so there is a bit of an issue when there are only five daughters. Their dad is quite intelligent but beautifully sarcastic and their mother is the utmost annoying character to ever feature in a book ever. You think your mom embarrasses you? Darling, no one could be worse than Mrs Bennet. Mrs Bennet is also incredibly keen to marry off her daughters to rich guys so when these two rich guys roll into town, she practically loses it. The story revolves around the relationship between the rich guys, the five sisters and a few other characters.

Granted that the language is difficult and the sentences are super long because, I don’t know, maybe Jane Austen made a pact with herself that every single posssibilty she has she will use another comma, I would definitely read this book again. If you dislike reading but you’re keen to know what happens or don’t believe me that Mrs Bennet is the most cringe worthy mother ever then you could watch the series with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. That series is the most accurate to the book and it is just incredibly cute. The Kiera Knightly movie version is apparently good but they miss out a few crucial details that really make the story so amazing. 

A Jaded Denim Jacket

Midnight Movie Review

Last month – or maybe two months ago – I went to the movies with one of my best friends to watch Chappie. After we had queued for salty popcorn and grape slushies we crept into the cinema because we were (as per usual) late. But don’t worry, there is always at least 15 minutes of ads. Greeeeeeeeeat.

I could not have expected that this movie was going to be so amazing. The movie was set in Johannesburg, South Africa (my hometown!) .It’s about a guy who designs robots for the police force but he wants to take it further to get the robots to feel emotions too. So he takes a robot that seems broken and uses it for his tests. There is also a jealous collegue of his trying to design bigger and stronger robots. While all this is going on the audience is introduced to a couple of “gangsters” who are trying to get money (duh) and so they decide that if they can get past the robots they can rob anything they want. They start to search for the maker of the robots so they can acquire some form of control of the robots. They find emotional-robot-designer-guy and together they rebuild the broken robot with emotions and begin to teach it skills. As the story progresses the audience begins to grow more attached to the robot that has been nicknamed Chappie. It’s like a rollercoaster of emotions.

The movie has quite a famous cast. Dev Patel stars as emotional-robot-designer-guy and you might know him as Sonny in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel or as Jamal in Slumdog Milionaire. Hugh Jackman is the jealous-designer-guy (I was constantly expecting his Wolverine claws to come out). Sharlto Copley plays the robot, Chappie. He played Wikus van ser Merwe in District 9 (another famous South African movie). And the gangsters are played by none other than Die Antwoord, a world famous South African band consisting of members Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser.

I recommend this movie. It’s pretty kick-ass.

You’re welcome