How the Sandwich got it’s name….

 

           It was a cold and rainy November night, when Duke Shamous found himself traveling through the little village of Tophin.

starsThe stars were out, brightly shining his way, but still it was a thick dark nights sky.

Dukes stomach began to gurgle and grumble, with every step he took. Reminding him its been hours since his last meal.

As he came to the far end of the village, he saw one, lonesome, shinning light ahead.

“A Tavern” He said to his men behind him. “We’ll go there and get food”

His men looked ahead, and then back at each other with doubt in their eyes. It was the middle of the night, what place is going to be serving hot food at all, let alone to the standard they knew the Duke expected every meal. But they kept their mouths shut and thinking of their own hungry belly’s, thought its worth a try.

As they got closer, with the rain stinging their eyes, the light sparkled. The duke reached out and pulled the heavy door open. As he did, the heat came pouring out. He stepped forward, his men following closely behind. Each one of them being enveloped into the thick warm air.

Breathing in the fresh wood smoke coming from the open fie, tingling their skin.

Duke stepped in, walking straight towards the bar. His men sat down at a table in the corner.

Not many people were in the tavern at this time. Only a few, old local men, sitting by the fire, mugs of ale in hands, telling each other stories of years before, that they must have told and heard a hundred times before.

Sam, the owner of the tavern, immediately recognizing the duke, came rushing over to him to take his order.

“A mug of your home-brew please good sir”

Sam nodded, and started pouring the ale.

“And make me 4 of your finest dinners, for me and my men over there”

Sam looked up from the tap, looked up at the clock on the wall. Dinner hour was well past finished, the kitchen was shut down. But this was the duke here. In His Tavern! He couldn’t possible say no. He brain started going a mile a minute, thinking through everything he has in the larder. He passed the Duke his drink, and quickly went out back. He shouted (As quietly as he could possibly shout without anyone hearing him!) up the stairs to his wife.

“Pst, Helen, come down. The Dukes here!”

Helen stuck her head down from the top of the stairs, her hair all tied up in cloth, her nightdress and slippers on.

“What do you mean the duke? Where? Here?”

“Yes, here, he wants food. Come and help me”

Helen grabbed her dressing gown, and came running down the stairs, sticking her arms in as she took the steps 2 at a time. Helen and Sam both rushed into the kitchen, turning all the lights back on that had been shut off for the night. Then both began frantically searching the fridge, the counters, the buckets, anywhere that food is kept.

After a few minutes of searching, and gabbing anything they could find that was left, they turned to each other, and both surveyed the food they had placed out on the counter.

They stared in silence at the spread in front of them. After a moment, Sam turned to his wife. Fear in his eyes.

“What am I going to do? The duke is here, in our tavern, and wants a meal. All we have left is some bread, a couple of chunks of cheese, and the last few slices of ham. I can’t give the duke and his men this to share on a plate. What am I going to do Helen?”

Helen looked from the food to her nervous husband. She didn’t have an answer for him, and she hated not being able to help him. She knows this tavern is everything to him, and she didn’t want to risk the duke leaving with a bad experience.

She went over to the cupboard, and grabbed some plates, she put them on the counter and began to slice some cheese. She cut the bread into slices, 2 on each plate. And divided the meat up. Giving the biggest bits to the plate or the duke.

Sam watched as she did this, his mind going crazy thinking of how to make this look like his best meal he could offer.

When his wife had finished, he walked over to the plates. He stood there, staring for a moment longer, and then he reached over, grabbed the butter and a knife, and began to butter the bread. He spread the perfectly whipped butter that his wife had made that morning onto each of the slices of bread. Then – reaching over to a shelf where he had a jar of homemade mustard, he grabbed it and began delicately spreading a thin layer of yellow atop the butter on one slice of each plates bread.  He then placed, ever so gently, the cheese on one slice. He looked again at the plate, picked up the meat, and placed it on top of the cheese. Took the other slice of bread, and put it on top.

He stepped back from the plate, looking at this stacked bread cheese, and meat.

Sandwich

 

He turned to his wife, who began to smile at him.

“It’s great Sam, take it to him. It’s the middle of the night, I’m sure he is starving. He will be grateful for whatever you offer him”

Sam, still hesitant, picked up the plate for the duke, and started out to the bar. Helen followed close behind, stopping at the entrance to the bar, poking her head around and watched as her husband walked up to the sleepy looking Duke still sitting at the bar with his mug of ale in his hand.

Sam placed the plate in front of Duke, and took a step back. Afraid to turn away he watched as Duke looked down at his plate of bread cheese and meat, turning the plate slowly, looking at all ends, each corner, lifting the top layer of bread slightly and looking inside.

After he had inspected the whole thing. He picked up the stack, and brought it to his mouth.

Sam watched as Duke took that first bite. Watched his jaw as he began to chew. Then when the duke looked up at him, and his mouth began to turn upwards into a smile, Sam let go the breath he hadn’t even realized he had been holding in since his fingers left the plate in front of Duke.

“Young man, what is this you have fed me with?”

Sam stepped forward

“Its Bread Sir, and Cheese and Meat”

“I know that much”

The duke said, again inspecting the stack in his hand.

“But what’s it called when it’s all put together like this?”

By now the Dukes men have seen what is happening at the bar, and so have the locals sitting by the fire. Even Helen had stepped further in behind the bar still in her sleep wear. Everyone is watching as Sam tries to explain to Duke how he had put these things together.

“So, it doesn’t have a name?”

The duke asked.

Sam shook his head.

“What’s your name?”

“Sam”

The Duke looked at Sam, and back at his food.

“Just Sam? Do you have a last name Sam?”

“Which”

Sam said.

Huh OK, well, this right here, is called a Samwhich.  I can tell you right now, many a man will be eating a Samwhich in years to come”

The duke smiled up at Sam, and went back to eating.

Sam smiled, turned to look at his wife, who was grinning at him from where she stood, with proud, love, in her eyes.

The Duke was right. Many a man, after that day, turned up at Sam’s tavern to try his famous SamWhich. Each time, not knowing entirely what to expect inside, between those two pieces of bread.

Over the years, and over the countries, in different taverns, made by different men, the SamWhich became known world-wide. Its name being translated into many different languages, different tongues, different cultures.

Eventually, ending up, as we know it now, the Sandwich.

….And that’s how the Sandwich got its name.

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Not Allowed to watch TV!!

When I was five, my mum, brother and I went to New Zealand. We had friends who had moved there, who we were going to stay with for a few months. 
There are so many stories I could tell you of our time there, but the part I want to tell you about, was when I went to school.

My brother and I were enrolled in a school in Parmistan north, for; I think a month of our stay. 
I was so excited to be going to a new school… a “regular” school, is what I called it (As back home I was at Steiner school – which, for those of you who don’t know.. is a whole different kind of education, look it up, Waldorf Steiner! – plus, at 5, I still hadn’t gone up to the big school, but here, I was in the big school with the big kids!)
Anyway, I was so excited, I felt like it was the most exciting thing ever to happen to me, I was looking forward to meeting new people, learning new things.. And getting homework! (Keep in mind I was 5!)
That morning, I woke up early, with butterflies in my stomach, I jumped out of bed and put on my beautiful, Lime green (yes, I did say Lime green.. just remember it was in the early 90’s) dress that Mum and I had selected days before, and ran into the kitchen. I sat at the table, eating my cereal; talking non-stop about the things I thought I would learn that day.

On the drive to school, suddenly the excitement began to turn into fear, what if none of the girls liked me? What if they all thought I was weird because I had an accent? (Little did I know at this point, that being the girl with the accent was going to become such a huge part of my life later on!) What if they thought I was dumb? I tried so hard to push these fears away, but they just grew and grew, as we got closer.
Pulling up to the school, my brother jumped out the car and ran into school with the boys he already knew from his class.

“I don’t want to go anymore mummy”  I said, looking out at the big scary building.
“Come on, I’ll take you to your class, you’ll be fine once you’re in there and meet some of the other girls”

I took my mums hand, as she lead me into the building that looked like a giant monster in front of me, we went and registered, and found out what class I would be in, and then my mum had to leave.

I was taken by the head mistress, as we walked down the long, seemingly never-ending but at the same time, nowhere near long enough, hallway to the classroom at the end. When we opened the door and I stepped inside, the entire class stared. I was introduced to my teacher, who then introduced me to the entire class. I couldn’t speak, I could barely even breathe, I just wanted to hide at the back of the room. Then, as my eyes quickly, shyly scanned the room – I saw her. Emma was her name. Her blonde ringlets hanging down to her shoulders, big blue eyes glistening up at me. She smiled. I knew, right then, this was the girl I had to be friends with. Obviously the most popular girl in the class, and definitely the most beautiful.

I was shown to a seat, just behind her. I tried to smile at her as I walked past, but it may have looked more like I had a twitch.

To be honest the next, middle part of my first day is quite a blur, I don’t really know what class we had, if I spoke to anyone,.. All I know is I had been waiting for a moment where I could speak to Emma, a perfect opportunity where I could become her new best friend, and I was about to be given that chance.. Or so I thought.

It was the class after lunch, we were all told to line up in the hallway, and that we were going to have a treat. We were going to get to watch a movie on Turtles! There was so much excitement bubbling around, people pushing in line to get to the front so they could get the best seat, chatter about who will sit next to who.

All I did was watch Emma, making sure I didn’t miss a single move, I was going to make sure, whatever happened that I ended up next to that girl.

The teacher finally got us all standing neatly in line, and we were about head into the movie room, when she asked if there was anyone who was not allowed to watch TV. I wasn’t really listening to what she said; I just saw Emma’s hand shoot up in the air, so mine followed.

“Ok, whoever is not allowed to watch the movie, will be the game room”

A huge smile spread across my face, I was going to get to spend time with JUST Emma, – not just sit next to her in a movie – but play games, just me and her! There’s no way at the end of this we wont be best friends!
Then I heard some giggling, and I looked around and saw that my hand was the only one up. The teacher began to walk over to me; she crouched down, so she was at my height.

“Ok, you’re the only one I think, are you sure you’re not allowed?”

At this point, I could have got out of it; I realized that Emma had only put her hand up as a joke. But if I then said, “Oh, no I am allowed to, I was just kidding” what would everyone think of me? They’d think I was a liar. I was a liar, I was lying that I couldn’t watch it, but if I say I was lying, they’d know I was a liar, and that would be even worse!!

My head began to nod, I looked down at the floor, my stomach turned, and my eyes began to burn. I swallowed back all the tears, and started to follow my teacher as she led me away from everyone else.
 We walked through the TV room, through a long, gloomy corridor, into the back room.

Inside, was a chair, in the centre, and a box full of toys on one side. It was like a prison, but for a five-year old. I looked around, and then looked back up at my teacher, with longing eyes. “Please don’t leave me in here” I wanted to say, but couldn’t speak, for fear that all the tears I had swallowed would all come tumbling out at once.

“Someone will come and get you when we’re done Ok? There are toys in the box, this door will lock as I leave, so if you need anything, just bang on it and someone we’ll hear Ok?”

I nodded, and looked down at the floor.
I watched her feet as she walked out the room, then felt a smash against my heart as the door shut tight.
I looked around my prison.
“This is what I get for wanting to be friends with the popular girl,”  I thought.

I looked up at the door; it was a big, strong wooden door, with a small window high up. I wasn’t tall enough to see out of it, but I could see the light from the corridor.

The tears began to spill down my face, at this point I didn’t even begin to try to stop them, the current was too strong.
I sat down on the floor, and watched the wet spot begin to grow as my tears pool-ed on the carpet.
Once the tears ran out, and my throat was sore from holding in the big sobs, I wiped my eyes, and decided I might as well make good use of the time. The best use of it I could think, was to use it to imagine what would have happened if I had been in the other room. So, I curled up in the corner, and began to live my imaginary life.

I was sitting in that dark room, the movie was playing, Emma was beside me. We laughed at the same things, we covered our mouth in shock at the same moments, we grabbed for each-others hands at the scary part.

As the movie was coming to an end, Emma leaned over to me and whispered in my ear “Will you be my best friend?”
I turned to her, and smiled, I was so happy, it finally happened. I was going to best friend with the post popular, most beautiful girl at my new school. I nodded and she grinned back at me.

I don’t know how much time passed, but I know my mind was very vivid as a child, and I could sit for a very long time, living my imaginary life.

But when the light in the hallway was switched off and all I could see was blackness out the little square window at the top of the door,.. I knew something was wrong. I had been forgotten.

I stood up, my body being overtaken by fear. I started to shake. Tears started to build up again like a huge wave being formed out in the middle of the ocean, knowing it will soon crash on the shore. I dragged the chair over to the door and stood on it. The only thing I could see, was at the very end of the long, black hallway, was a little light. The light at the end of the tunnel.
“That must mean someone is still in the school. I wont be here forever” 

A tiny glimpse of hope rose in me.

I jumped down from the chair, and began pacing the room.

I walked back and forth, back and forth. I started walking in patterns, imagining my feet were leaving a trail of glitter behind me. Until the room was totally full of sparkles. And then I would mix them all up and blow them around, so that they were floating all around me in the air.

Finally, after all I could see was the thick ocean of glitter filling up the entire room, and in front of my eyes was a foggy layer of tear glasses, the light flicked back on through the door. And then, the door opened…….

I stood still, scared to move, just in case it wasn’t my teacher, but a big scary monster.
It wasn’t, it was my slightly frazzled teacher, who rushed in and ran over to me.

“I’m so sorry, come on, you’re mum’s waiting”

My mum? Did they call my mum? Did they find out I lied and called her in to kick me out of school?  I didn’t’ say anything, I just followed her back to the classroom, with my head hanging low.

As we entered the main hallway, I realized my why mum would be there.. It wasn’t because she was called in. It was the end of the day.

I had been forgotten. I had been totally forgotten, for the entire afternoon.

When I saw my mum, I ran into her arms. She hugged me, said goodbye to the teacher, took my hand and we walked out to the car, in silence.

When she buckled me in, and went around to the driver’s seat, mum looked at me, and said,

“Why did you say you weren’t allowed to watch TV?”

I looked at my mum, thinking of all the reasons I could say, the truth, or I had a headache, or I was scared, there were so many options.

I looked back up at the school, watching as other girls and boys ran out to meet their parents, laughing, shouting goodbye to all their friends. Smiles on every one of their faces.

“Because we don’t have a TV at home”

My mum nodded, it was true, and that was a good enough answer. She didn’t need to know it was all to become friends with the five-year-old prom queen.

And that, right there –  was my first day at a New Zealand “regular” school
And, my very last.

Robbed on my 12th birthday – part 2!

So – to recap Part one  (which you should just read!) – me and my mum went to turkey – stayed in a cool place on a beach – and then got robbed! Then – after a sticky, hot, turkish bus ride – we finally arrived in the city we were meeting the robbers dad in, to try to get our money back….. So here we are:

  When we finally arrived, we had to find the café that we were meeting in. We were carrying all our things, as we planned on moving onto a different place after getting all this sorted (Although, even if we weren’t we probably wouldn’t have left anything at the last place anyway!)

We got to the café, and found Mr business man Turk sitting at a table out the front. Talking very loudly on his phone.

We both knew it was him right away.

We approached him, introduced ourselves, and we sat down. We ordered some ice-cold drinks, (Finally!) and got right to business.

At first this man, obviously very protective of his son, just outright denied that he had done it. Even though his sister had already said she knew it was him. He said we were lying, that his son wouldn’t do anything like that. Said his son was a good, trustworthy young man. But in his eye’s, I could tell he knew it was him. He kept making us offers. If he truly didn’t believe his dear boy had anything to do with it, why would he try to buy us off?

Well, after a while, he took out a wad of money and handed it over. It was a HUGE wad. A mix of Turkish money and also bills from some other country that he said his company earned money in – I cant remember what currency it was, but it was a big, big, stack of cash! He told us this would cover all the money we lost, plus my Walkman, and more on top for our troubles.

Mum was still deciding if we should call the police or not, as up until this point we had decided to just hear him out.

But when she brought this up, this man, who up until now had pretty much seemed like he had no emotion and was reading from a script – suddenly seemed to break a bit. His cold front began to melt. He told us his son was having problems, that if he got into trouble again, he would be locked away for a very long time. That he wanted to help him, to give him one more chance.

So, we took his money, we finished our drinks, and we left. Feeling a bit unsure of what had just happened, but feeling relieved to not be penniless anymore.

That night we stayed in a very cheap hostel in the middle of the city.

It was a really gross, dirty place, and when we went to look at it, I really didn’t want to stay there. There was a drunk old man sitting outside his room next door to ours. When we went into our room, I said to mum.

if we stay here, he’ll rob us too!”

My mum gave me a hug, explained we couldn’t afford any of the fancier city hotels if we wanted to go on to Cappadocia the next day. Which – I really did want to do, as I had seen pictures and heard stories of the houses built into the sides of rocks. The whole place looked like a stone, fairy village in pictures – and I had to get there!

So I agreed to stay there for the one night. At least the room had a good lock on it. So I knew this time if someone tried to break in, we would at least wake up properly!

After we checked in and put our stuff in our room, we went and walked down by the dock. It was a city on the water, with lots of fisherman, and, just men with fishing boats who made a living by charging huge amounts to take tourists out, telling them stories of all the fish they have supposedly caught. (But clearly had never caught even a little trout in their lives!)

We had a few offers of “reduced” trip for just the 2 of us, but, to my joy, my mum refused them all (At one point I thought she was going to make us go on one, when she sat talking to one of the guys for a while. I had my fingers crossed behind my back the entire time)

We ate veggie rebab from a street vendor that night, one of the best meals we had the whole trip I think, and definitely the cheapest! (We spent ages talking about, if food was as cheap as it was there, in England, we’d get to eat out more often!)

The next day, after a rather sleepless night, (I was waking up every hour or so, checking our things were still there, and checking mum was still in the bed next to me. I had a dream at one point that night that the fisherman from earlier snuck into the room and Kidnapped her, and I had to take one of the boats out on the water searching for her, always convinced sharks and sea monsters were going to get me before I got to her)

We got up early so we could go to the bank, change the wad of money into travelers checks again like we had before, as we didn’t really know how much we had when it was all in Turkish bills – And then get the bus to Cappadocia.

When we got to the bank, and exchanged the money, we had the next biggest shock of the trip.

The amount he gave us, the amount, that when in Turkish and other foreign bills, looked like it must have been thousands and thousands of pounds, did not even cover half of the already not very large amount we had stolen, let alone be enough to buy me a new Walkman!

We left the bank, both in shock. I didn’t know what to say to mum.

We went to a phone box, and she called all the numbers we had. First the number we had been given for the dad. That number was out of service.

Then she called the woman at the hotel, who told us she couldn’t help and hung up the phone, and clearly un plugged it, as every time we tried back it was out of service too.

Then after some deliberation, my mum finally called the police, she explained the whole story, and after everything they also said they couldn’t help! They said, if we had called immediately, they would have searched for him. But as we handled it ourselves, there is nothing they can do. They said to just claim it on our travel insurance.

That was the problem… Because this was a last-minute, very cheap trip we were on, we hadn’t got travel insurance – we had left with the very very basic requirements, a couple of plane tickets, enough money to stay in the cheapest places, and east some yummy food. But no insurance.

After the phone call’s, we sat in a café drinking a Turkish tea, my heart was racing. I kept thinking my mum would say we had to go home. That we couldn’t afford to stay the final week. That the last of our money would just have to go on changing our flights and we’d go home that day. I wasn’t going to get to see Cappadocia, see my princess village, with castles, with white stone doorway’s.

But after a little while, my mum smiled, and said we should just make the most of it. Make do with whatever money we had. And have a good time. She said we’d figure out my Walkman when we got home. (Although at this point I felt like I’d give up that Walkman just to see Cappadocia and see my mum happy!)

And that’s what we did.
We went to Cappadocia. We stayed in a hotel built into the side of a huge rock. We walked through the town market, got invited into people’s houses to try all different kinds of Turkish teas. Ate Real Turkish delight (Which is nothing like the stuff you buy in the shops. Way better!) covered our heads with scarfs to go and look inside mosques.

And my mum was offered camels, to buy me as a wife.

Fun times, in Turkey land 🙂


Robbed, On my 12th Birthday! Part 1

 As you can see from even the few posts I have posted so far – a lot of my stories are from different adventures and trips I’ve been on. (Like LA And Mexico – and many more to come!)

One of the trips I went on with my mum, was over my 12th Birthday.

My dad was taking my brother away on a big Father Son trip when he finished school. They were originally going to go to Turkey, so my dad bought flights. They then changed their minds and decided to go to Mexico. So me and my mum got the flights.
We were just going for a very cheap, 2 week trip. We weren’t staying in fancy hotels, not doing any big expensive touristy things. Just going for a 2 week Turkish adventure – with lots of lovely beach time!

My birthday was near the beginning of the trip – I think the 3rd day, so when we got there, we found this amazing little place to stay, with huts just a little walk up from the beach. We planned to stay there until the day after my birthday.

The place was a family run business. They were really friendly and we got on great with them. We had stayed for 2 nights before it was my birthday night. Having lovely relaxing day’s on the beach, (This was the trip that really got me into reading novels – I read literally all day every day!) and evenings in the lovely courtyard in the centre of this hotel (although I wouldn’t really call it a hotel but not quite sure what it was)

On my birthday, the woman who ran the place, wanted to throw me a party. We had such a great time, they made us a delicious dinner, and a cake, I had balloons. There was live music. Everyone was dancing and drinking and having a party – celebrating me! All the other guests also joined in. No one even knew me, but everyone loved an excuse for a party! I loved it!

That night, me and mum crawled into our beds in the wee hours of the morning, and both passed out sound asleep! (I say the wee hours of the morning – but, I was 12, so, most likely this means about 11pm!)

At one point in the night, we both woke up. We didn’t know what had stirred us from our sleep, and didn’t think much of it. We just woke up, got a drink of water, and both fell back to sleep.

When we woke again the next morning, we had the shock of our life.

Our room had been ransacked. Our things were pulled out of our bags, and mum’s pouch that she had our money in (Which, wasn’t even that much, but was all we had for our entire stay) was lying empty on the floor.

The next thing I noticed, was my Walkman (Yes, this was back then, in the tape day’s! I loved that thing!)

was missing from the bedside table where I had left it when I went to sleep.

Mum frantically searched the room. We didn’t want to believe we had been robbed. Maybe we put stuff in a different place? But no, why would we move all our money?

After getting our breath back, and the realization sinking in – We went and found the owner, who ushered us to a table and served us breakfast. Which neither of us felt like eating – but she kept bringing more food instead of listening to what we had to say!

My mum finally made her sit and listen, and she explained to her we had been robbed. She, at first, tried to act shocked, and helpful, but soon giving away that she knew who it was……it was her nephew, who had disappeared that morning.
She said we would have to go into the big city and meet with the guy’s dad – her brother. She said he was a very busy, very successful business man. She made some calls and set up a meeting.

She was apologetic, but didn’t seem like it fazed her much… I guess this must happen a lot when he comes to stay with her. Comes in, robs some guests, and vanishes! She acted like it was a regular occurrence, while we felt shaken, lost, and penniless!

We had to get a hot, sticky bus into the big city. It was about an hour and a half’s drive, but felt like 5 hours. We were squashed on tiny seats, surrounded by Turkish locals, chattering away.

If it hadn’t been so hot, and so loud, I may remember some of the scenery. Places we passed, what the landscape was like. But I don’t. All I remember, is being So thirsty, wanting to get off the bus, but not knowing what to expect when we did……….

Click here to read part 2!!

The Sting of Turning 22

For my 22nd birthday, like many others throughout my life, I was away on a trip. This time with my dad to Mexico!

Me and my dad had been talking about going to Mexico for years and years. He had spent a lot of time there before me and my brother were born, and then he took my bro when he was about 16. So I had always felt like Mexico was kind of part of him and one day he needed to show it to me.

Anyway, for my 22nd birthday,  we went! We didn’t have the first week booked – just a flight and a car hire, and once we got there – we drove around finding places we wanted to go and stay.

We stayed in some beautiful places, some strange places, some comfy places, and then… we went to the one place that we HAD booked in advance, the place we wanted to stay over my birthday, and for the rest of our trip. An Echo, tree house, resort.

We got to the “resort”, after a few day’s of beautiful beach time, and a day of city life, the day before my birthday. When we first pulled up, my stomach sunk a little. It wasn’t quite how it looked in the pictures! I saw all these bugs flying around, I saw the tree house cabin type things that didn’t seem to have doors, so I knew, just knew, that there would be crazy spiders inside.There was also No one else staying in the place, and a bunch of work being done on one side – so construction workers roamed around.

Now, look, I am not at all one of those girls that has to stay in 5 star hotels… I’m pretty good with Nature. I grew up camping, I have slept on beaches, I go to festivals and not wash my hair for 2 weeks (OK, maybe that’s not true, I do hate my hair being dirty, if there wasn’t a shower I would always just wash my hair under the tap in cold water if I had to) but you get the point, I’m not scared to rough it a bit. And I knew the place we were going in advance, I knew it was cabins, I knew it wasn’t a hotel… But when we pulled up, I just had a feeling.. a feeling like this wasn’t the place to spend my birthday (plus, the pictures on their website looked NOTHING like the actual place)

So me and my dad went in, we checked in. At check in, when we had to pay for whatever nights we were staying, the girl gave us an option, she said do you want to just pay for one night and then tomorrow let us know about the rest of the week, or do you want to just pay it all now. I looked at my dad, I knew I wanted to just test it out, I had this gut feeling that we needed to see how it went, and I said

“Why don’t we do that? Lets see tomorrow”

He didn’t think so though! So he paid, and we went to our cabin/tree house/hut, thing, not sure what to call it……..

During that night, I got bitten 10 times. I had some how, miraculously, managed our entire week so far without getting any mosquito bites (which for me is a HUGE accomplishment as I get bitten all the time) So when I woke up on my birthday, with bites on my face, arms, and legs, I wasn’t too happy. But decided to not let it bother me. My dad was achy from the bed – which was a wooden bunk bed made in the hut, with an extremely thing mattress on, and over all, it just wasn’t the best way to wake up.

We started the day with a walk up a Mayan pyramid. At the top I called my mum, and husband, had my birthday chats, and then me and my dad sat, looking out over the amazing Mexican landscape.

We talked about what we wanted to do that day, and what we should do about where we were staying.
Before we had gone to tree house village, we had been staying in this lovely little room in the town center in Valladolid. It was a really basic motel, type place, and only cost about $10 a night for the both of us, but, after one night in the hut, looking back on it, felt like it had been a palace. And it felt like home. We both decided we would like to go back and stay there for another few nights. We talked about the fact that my dad had already paid for the rest of the week, and how we may not be able to get all the money back.
We came to the decision, that whatever money they would let us have back, that would be when we’d leave. So we may have to stay there another night or 2, but if they wouldn’t give us Any money back at all, we would just leave right away and just have to lose the money – that’s how much we wanted to move. It wasn’t just that we were getting bitten, and that it wasn’t comfy beds. It was also just nothing like we had expected it to be. It was empty. There was no food places close by – It was quite a drive into town, and over all, just wasn’t what we wanted for our trip together.


So, after a nice morning of looking out off the top of an amazing pyramid, and walking through this tiny, village meeting an amazing, loving family, who made hammocks (and even the little daughters who must have only been 8 or 9 were making mini hammock for fruit, or, like I thought at first, for dolls!) and being shown around their house, learning how they make corn tortilla’s, and ordering a hammock off them that we could pick up later in the week. We headed back to our hut.

Before going to the front desk to speak with them about when we could leave, we decided to go back and get the things we needed to go into town for the afternoon.

As we walked up to the door of the hut, everything happened extremely quickly, I remember walking to the door, feeling something fly into my face, then my arm, then my hand, quick stabbing sharp pains, then an ache. Then flew around as my dad let out a scream grabbing his eye.

I had no idea what it was but something huge had just stung us both..

I grabbed my face, he grabbed his face. I think we were both in shock, and we ran to the bathroom. We looked in the mirror at the stings, my dad’s eye began to redden, my cheek began to swell.

We checked out our stings, splashed water on them, my dad checking my swollen face, as his eye puffed up, and we headed to reception. Everything was kind of happening in a blur (For him,a literal blur as he couldn’t see out one eye – for me, a shocked, in pain, kind of blur!)

We told the girl working what happened and she sent out some of the workers to look at what was around our hut.

My dad got out his remedy kit and creams, we took some rescue remedy, put some sting cream on my face and arm, and sat at a table in the reception. They brought us a cup of tea, and… basically we just sat in shock, and pain for a while, waiting to hear what had just attacked our faces!


There was a nest of hornets just above the door to our tree house hut. Angry, mean hornets!

We were asked if we wanted to move to a different hut. We said no, we wanted to leave.

We got all our money back for the rest of the week, managed to get into the hut to pack up all our stuff, wrote a note in the visitors book, and headed on our way.

Those hornet stings were painful, we both had pain the rest of the day, we were swollen, red and sore. But we got out of there with all our money, and headed back to our little home in Vallodolid, and got our room back, and then it was real birthday time!

We went to our favourite restaurant for dinner, where we stayed all evening listening to music, and talking with the locals, having a drink with a guy who sells stones and jewelry in the town center, getting a free birthday cake from the restaurant, had the Mexican band sing me happy birthday, and talked with the owner of the restaurant who had (somehow, I still don’t know how) found out I act and asked me to send him a poster of one of my movies! (Actually – never did that! Oops) and had a really nice night.
We decided to thank those hornets for answering our questions about if we should stay or leave. They knew the answer and maybe we needed to get a sting to kick us into gear!

The rest of our week was great, we were more settled in being in Mexico after that experience, we stayed in Vallodolid a few day’s, got my hammock from the lovely Mayan family, then headed back down to the coast where we stayed for our last few nights right on the beach. There, we met a Brazilian family, watched a huge sea turtle give birth, and teach its baby’s to walk into the water in the full moon,light. And then, on our final day, we packed up, ready to leave, and as we went to say goodbye to our new friends,…. I fainted! (which led on to a journey home of deathly high fevers and months of being sick and fainting – never really found out why, but was definitely an interesting end to our Mexican adventure – maybe something to do with those hornet stings – who knows!)

Even with bad huts, Bites, Stings and fainting – Mexico Birthday trip,  was a Great trip with my daddy – and I’ll always have the memory of, the sting of turning 22!

Dance amongst the stars

I used to fly away every night. Fly to the moon, and dance among the stars.

Fly to the clouds, and bounce between rain drops.

Each morning, I woke up tired from my nighttime adventures. Full of stories, and memories, to share with my family. I knew people’s wishes, knew their dreams and desires. The fairy’s would tell me, and I knew it was my job to help them come true!

I believed I flew through the night. I mean, I really, really believed. Not like, I said I did it, made up stories, but knew I didn’t really. The details that I knew were amazing, I could describe the feeling. How it felt to begin to lift off the ground, feeling completely weightless as I began to rise into the sky. The feel of the wind below me, above me, all around me. Cradling me – carrying me along. Darkness is different in the sky, at night. It’s not scary, its peaceful. Its thick. It’s all around. But its dotted with the brightest lights you could ever imagine. As I got closer to each star, I could see it’s shape. Feel its texture. I could go to the sun, If I was with sun fairies. I could move far far through the darkness of the nights sky, around the world to the other side, where the bright sun was glowing, burning, pumping out its heat. I felt the warmth on my face as I got close. I couldn’t see anything but brightness.

I could stay close to earth, and float past other children’s windows, seeing them dream. I would hear whispers as I passed each one. What they were dreaming, what they were afraid of, what they wished for.

I believed this so much, that one day, after my brother had been teasing me, telling me it wasn’t true I decided I just had to prove it.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, I had never flown in public before. But I knew I somehow had to prove I was telling the truth.

So that afternoon, when we got home from school, my brother and I were in the kitchen making sandwiches.

As he buttered the bread at the counter, I pulled a chair out, climbed up, and stood on the table. I was only little, so this was pretty high for me. We had this huge, solid wood table, in our kitchen and the floor was red linoleum.

I looked down at the ground – and I got a little scared at this point. I was trusting entirely on the fairy’s catching me. The floor was hard – I didn’t want to land on it! I wasn’t too sure on the rules they had for people who flew with them at night, deciding they want to show off their flying abilities. I was a bit nervous they would disown me after this. But I had to try something. I wanted to prove it was real – And I wanted to make my brother believe. I wanted to share the amazing world with him – I wanted him to be a part of my fairy life, and he couldn’t be if he didn’t believe!

I took some deep breaths, crossed my fingers and said loudly,

Look look I’m going to prove it to you, I’m going to fly!”

As he turned around to see what I was doing, I closed my eyes tightly, scrunching them as shut as they could possibly be. And went for it.

I jumped, off the table. I went. Eyes still tightly shut. I felt the air beneath me. My feet were not on solid ground. Was I flying?

Thud.

I collapsed on the floor. I slowly opened my eyes, looked up to see my brother smiling down at me. I looked around, and up, to see how far I had gone.

It was actually only about 2 feet. I wasn’t even hurt.

I felt my eye’s begin to fill with tears. Why hadn’t it worked?

I knew, knew knew, that at night, I did fly. I flew amongst the stars. So why wasn’t it working now? Why couldn’t I show my brother, prove it was real.

As the tears started to fall down my face, my brother turned to leave the room. He hadn’t said anything else, I guess he knew if he said any more I’d probably continue to try, and he didn’t want me to hurt myself.

Then it hit me.

it only works in the dark. It has to be night. Its night fairy’s that take me flying, not the daytime ones!!”

He looked around at me as I said this, and kind of smiled, then left the room.

I think there were other times I tried to prove this.. I know sometimes I hurt myself, sometimes I didn’t. I wanted so bad for people to be able to share in the amazingness of being able to fly.

I guess they didn’t really need to see it – all they really needed to do, was go back to that childhood imagination, and belief, that so many people shut off so young. But I kept it going, kept it alive. I’d like to think I still have it, still have child like faith, and imagination – in different way’s.. I don’t fly every night now. But I can imagine. I can remember the feeling. I can shut my eyes, and go back to my 7-year-old mind, and fly through the air, and dance among the stars.

Leave the soap – Part 2.

Welcome back! 🙂

First – read part 1

(Or this will seem even more random than it is!)

So as you can see – things were slightly awkward in the first few minutes of being in this room with mr crazyo. But it had only just begun.
I got dressed, (In the bathroom)  and went back into the room…. This is where he started with his war theory. I sat, for 10 minutes, staring at him as he moved around the room, explaining his theory of 40 million people dying. His hair flying manically around his face, his arm twitching and his little, crazy, laugh slipping out as he said something he really enjoyed like

“Only survivor”

“Everyone you’ve ever known killed!”

I didn’t know what to do. I  kinda started to laugh when he finished.

What did he expect me to take from that? So awkward!!

Then he picked up his camera, thought for a minute – put it back down, and then he showed me where I could move.
He had no lights – so, I had one corner of the couch that I could sit in – that happened to be the one corner of the room with a low lit lamp on the wall. I had to bend, to make sure my face was under it. But not just bend – like, tilt my head to one side, half laying down, but propping myself up because he wanted it to just look like I was siting… and – do all that while looking like I’m just casually sitting comfortably on a chair.
But then……

“Your happy, your sad, your frightened, your surprised, your scared, petrified, joyful, mysterious, curious, angry, loving, sorrow-full, disappointed nervous, hurt, sick, excited, and shameful.”

He picked up his camera again.

“Oh, all at once?”

Camera went down, his bouncing around the room, Flinging hair, and swaying arms started again. The excitement – or exasperation – or – just full on randomness – rose in his voice. He was louder, slightly squeakier, and suddenly much more pronounced!

“Yes, yes, all at once. You’re an actor, I am testing you, show me what you can do”

“OK”

So, I started again.

“No, No No, Too many photographers focus on your face, why do all  photographers you work with want pictures of your face?! I want to destroy art. But that, in itself is art too! I want you to show all these emotions, all at once, but not showing your face, show them to me, with your body – maybe even just a finger!”

I really couldn’t help but laugh. Bob here was officially crazy. I posed, I moved, I fell on the floor, (When I did that he loved it!) he asked L to smudge my make up, we made me look as ugly as possible. The more ragged, scraggly, awkward I looked, the happier he got. Not awkward in the, yeah cool this is great high fashion, awkward. More like, awkward looking after the longest  night of your life, no sleep same clothes for day’s – not brushing your hair, getting beaten up in a dark alley, crying your eyes out –  and then dragged through a bush and a garbage heap –  to a photo shoot – and put in front of the camera –  awkward.

So, after an hour and a half of all this crazy-ness, including some Shower shots (No, I didn’t take my clothes off.. I was fully dressed, standing in the shower, with no water running, holding a cell phone… Not quite sure what his vision was there, maybe he thought I’d start to strip once I got in the mood!?!?) 
It was time to go… so we had to take off the disaster he had made us make on my face. L asked him if we could use the products the hotel provide by the sink (soap, shampoo, moisturizer, etc.. at this hotel it was Kiss my face products!)
Bob shouted from the other room.

“Yes, feel free, take all that stuff from the bathroom, I’m leaving right now so need nothing!”

So we did.. We used stuff.. And took the rest.

After another bit of confusion, trying to understand the crazy scientists theory that because we didn’t do the army part of the shoot, he should pay me less than we had agreed on.(I don’t think so, Mr crazy!) And having to have my ID photographed, and my voice recorded on  his cell phone, saying I sign a release to the pictures (He had decided to take the whole “Paperless” thing very serious!)  Finally,  we left, picked up the car from the valet, and watching some interesting characters leave the hotel and bar, we drove away… quickly!
10 minutes later, I get a text message from  Mr Bob,

“You could have at least left the soap!”

Uh…. What? I was confused and reminded him that merely 20 minutes before he told us to take it all. (Although the soap – the tiny bar of soap, was actuuually the one thing we didn’t take, but had to use while we were there, and I guess the mess he made of my face needed to use the whole thing to scrub it all off!)
He then went into denying he said anything (Although we both heard it) and emailing texting and calling – basically just being a crazy person – and ending them all with:

“You took the soap!”

I was a little shaken up by it, it was after all, my first experience of a Hollywood photographer. However, I also found it pretty funny. L and I had a LOT of laughs that night, and ever since, about Crazy Bob and his flying hair.

But the bottom line is this girls and guy’s – according to Mr Bob, the lesson to learn is… when going to a photo shoot in a hotel, and the photographer say’s take what you want…

Always leave the soap!