Our Writing Competition winning-entry by Saskia Boonzaier.

The writing competition was a great success, and Saskia’s story was deemed the winner by our panel of experts. Her story is republished below and has also been published in the latest issue of Wildside TIMES. which is available at the SPAR and various other outlets.

“Saskia recently partnered up with Cathy Kilroe-Smith to form Dune Daisies, a local copywriting, editing & blogging business. If you’d like to read more about what these daisies do, check out their website: www.dunedaisies.co.za or drop them an email: admin@dunedaisies.co.za

 

Small Town Swops

Small towns are known for their charm, special ways, and individuality. I am sure you’ll agree St Francis Bay is no different. We have our own sports clubs, pizza combos, pale ales, surf breaks, and bumper stickers. The views are breathtaking and there is a plethora of unique opportunities for its citizens. And let’s not forget the blissful lack of robots or rush hour.

One of my (many) favourite things about the small town we call home is its brilliant barter system. Have something to offer? There’s a good chance that you will be able to swop it for items you desire. It’s all about knowing the people around you; something which is possible in St Francis Bay. And the beauty of a good barter is that you always give and receive more than the monetary value of the goods in question. I would love to share with you one of my bartering bonanza experiences …

Growing up overseas, I went to a high school where matric dances were not the massive productions that they are here. We borrowed dresses, did each other’s hair, and were lucky if a photo or two were taken by the math teacher outside the school hall. So, it was with disbelief that I learned about the extent and complexity of my daughter Jemma’s upcoming matric dance preparations. The dress code for her school was long and white. Seriously? Make no mistake, I am a huge fan of tradition, but ‘long and white’ sounded very much like a wedding dress to me – help!

Desperate to find a dress that would make both Jemma and our budget happy, I went to my favourite clothing shop; Gently Worn. This boutique is home to not only a wide range of pre-loved clothes, but the owners also happened to be customers of my organic vegetable business. The arrangement we had was this; I would deliver a weekly box of veggies and Angela would translate that into a credit, allowing me to ‘purchase’ her pre-loved clothes. No cash ever changed hands, and we both felt we were getting an amazing deal.

On the hunt for a miracle, Jemma and I browsed the rails and there, tucked in between a 70s floral house coat and a maroon jumpsuit, we found an utterly gorgeous, beautifully embroidered white wedding dress. When she stepped behind the changing room curtain to try it on, we all held our breath. She emerged triumphant. Not only did it fit, but she loved it, and it met the dress code! When we arrived at the till to settle up, Angela happily announced that I had enough credit (from my veggie sales) to cover its cost.

The day of the matric dance arrived and Jemma looked stunning, graciously receiving many compliments on her appearance. I overheard a friend of hers asking, “Your dress is to die for Jems! Where did you find it? In Johannesburg? Or did you get it especially designed for you in Cape Town?” Jemma looked over to where Anton and I were standing and, with a slight, sardonic raise of her eyebrow replied, “My mum bought it for a box of vegetables.”

And that is why I love this town.