The (no) sugar diaries: Part 1

My mother reviews films, and she recently watched That Sugar Film. Afterwards, she rushed home to study all the products in the pantry to assess how bad the sugar situation in her home really was. During her childhood, low-fat was always good and too much fat was a bad thing. So you can understand the little bit of confusion or surprise that low-fat can actually be less healthy because of the added sugar to make it taste better after the tasty fat has been removed. So that low-fat, vanilla, sweetened yoghurt may not actually be the best option. This matches with my choice to go for low-fat PLAIN yoghurt and add honey instead. Yoghurt, however, is just one product.

After deciding to take a final stand against my extra weight and eat well and exercise more, and after all the sugar discoveries and discussions…I decided to do the no sugar, no bread 21 day challenge, an initiative created to challenge South Africans to eat less foods that spike blood sugar and insulin levels. I seldom eat bread anyway so that’s not a challenge, the sugar part is.

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A story is never finished and never perfect

I could have written the opening line to this article about 10 or 20 times. You as the reader will never know (unless I explicitly tell you) how long it took for me to write something, how many times I redid or reworded the opening and closing thoughts or why I chose to leave out the things that I did. You will also certainly never know (whether or not you like it or think it is a great story) if I actually like my own work that I have just produced for you to read.

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Man On Wire bored and enchanted me

Man On Wire is a 2008 documentary that supposedly inspired the feature Hollywood film (releasing in October) starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley and 100 Foot Journey’s Charlotte Le Bon.

Throughout watching this documentary,  I was trying to figure out the angle from which the director was coming or his purpose in creating the film the way he did. This documentary by James Marsh tells the story of a man who walked on wire, literally, starting with practice just a few metres above ground and moving up to 410m when he walked between the twin towers. Although a documentary is meant to represent what is much closer to reality than a typical Hollywood blockbuster, there is still an element of story-telling done in such a way to entertain the viewer.

This was certainly true for IMDB: Man on Wire (2008). The film was filled with scenes that re-enacted parts of Philippe Petit’s story of planning and eventually walking on a wire between the World Trade Centre’s twin towers. There was dramatic music and moments of what I think was purposed to be tense silence in scenes that contained Philippe and his team sneaking into the building, and hiding from a security guard under a blanket for a couple of hours.

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To write is to be silent and still

Photo source:
Photo source:

For some people, writing a story comes naturally, as if you’ve known how to breathe their whole life. For others, it is enjoyable yet comes with difficulty and practice as if you’ve been playing piano for a couple of years with a few lessons to help, but still others, it’s a complete and utter laborious chore as if you have dishes to be done from three months of collection.

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My yellow bird laughs

I went for the scrawniest one in the sawdust littered little box, granted there were only two, but I wanted to take the one that I thought would least likely to be chosen by the next person. There was not much difference between the two Indian ring-necked parakeets in front of me. They were both featherless, apart from a few sprouting mini tufts of yellow, and they were both craning their necks forward and back while making a crusty crying sound. Why have a bird as a pet you may ask? Well, I’m allergic to many things, practically anything you could have as a pet, I WILL have a sneezing fit around dogs, cats and horses. I won’t sneeze around bearded dragons or snakes, but I’m not about to embark on trying to have a cuddly snuggly loving relationship with those creatures. I am, however, incapable of feeling a fit of sneezes (or fear) coming along around birds. It was just meant to be. Sigh.

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There’s too much to do

By Roxanne Daniels Doing work experience at the local Grahamstown newspaper may seem like it’s going to be a waste of time: it’s a paper that publishes stories about a very small town where nothing much seems to change. The potholes are still here, there is still a divide between the West and East of town and the most exciting new thing in town is the Mugg & Bean that is due to open in July. How wrong that assumption is. After two weeks of working at Grocott’s Mail, I have discovered that there is too much I want to do, see and experience while in this town. The fortnight spent at the paper was an intensive version of what I’ve been doing all year, that is, working for Ukufunda, a blog about all things education related. I want to learn music

I took this photo at the St Andrew's Festival of Large Ensembles event, it's my favourite by far and shows two AMP! musicians, one concentrating fervently as she looks down at the instrument and the other focussing but enjoying himself so very much while jiggling his body to the beat.
I took this photo at the St Andrew’s Festival of Large Ensembles event, it’s my favourite by far and shows two AMP! musicians, one concentrating fervently as she looks down at the instrument and the other focussing but enjoying himself so very much while jiggling his body to the beat.

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Not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy – blasphemy or not?

Eric Idle (Baritone), Rosalind Plowright (Mezzo), William Ferguson (Tenor),  Shannon Mercer (Soprano) and Christopher Purves (Bass). The five soloists in the show.  Photo source:
Eric Idle (Baritone), Rosalind Plowright (Mezzo), William Ferguson (Tenor), Shannon Mercer (Soprano) and Christopher Purves (Bass). The five soloists in the show. Photo source:

Not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy is not strictly speaking a documentary. My local DVD store categorised it as such though, so I took the opportunity to watch something different to increase variety in the small repertoire of film reviews I’ve done. I have recently resolved to watch films or TV shows  with as little blasphemy or swearing as possible. I value my relationship with Jesus Christ and don’t enjoy hearing certain things, so if I can avoid it, I will.

With that wonderful intention, I looked at the little ‘B’ attached to the PG12 age restriction on the back of the DVD cover. What could that mean? I asked the man at the cash desk who tried to look it up and could not find the answer. I cycled home after paying a mere R10 to watch the ‘documentary’, and it clicked into place! Considering the topic of the film, ‘B’ must mean blasphemy! Oh dear. I looked it up for myself and my conclusion was confirmed. Needless to say, I approached the watching of this film with caution and suspicion while enjoying the well-crafted opera.

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