When one gets to the grand old age of *mumble mumble mumble*, it’s very important to place a high value on your work. After all, you’ve spent decades accumulating your skills and experience, and they’re now almost definitely worth something.
Let’s take my Photoshop skills, for instance. I was taught Photoshop about *cough cough* years ago by a now-world-famous artist and, if I say so myself (and I usually do), I am not bad with a magic wand. Of course, I am absolutely crap at using every single other tool and I routinely can’t remember how to create a mask, let alone what to do with it when I have.
Nonetheless, I once entered a competition at Design Indaba, using Photoshop to create a hideous poster featuring photographs of my toothy grin next to the somewhat confused grins of several random strangers. We had 30 minutes to design our posters and I spent 15 of those minutes trying to remember how to add text. Incredibly, I won. So I am, in fact, a prize-winning designer and Photoshopper, as judged by an international panel of (clearly barking) design experts.
However, this means that I am occasionally faced with a quandary. Some of my best friends are bloggers, and one of them is even world famous. But, while she has wisdom and insight beyond anyone else I know into this crazy little thing called life, she also thinks that I can design things. (She never saw the Indaba poster.)
And, if there’s one thing more important than not working for free once you’re over 23 (unless it’s for a registered charity), it is never to let friends pay you for work (at least, not with their own money). Because that is just awkward. And weird.
So when The Yummy Mummy came over this morning to suggest some improvements to the great work of art that is the header image I made for her blog, she not only praised my efforts with an effusiveness that reminded me strongly of those deluded design experts, but she also insisted on taking me out to lunch afterwards. (Ha! I bet you were wondering when I’d get around to the lunch.)
Now, she knows that, aside from Societi Bistro, which occupies its own dimension of restaurantaurial perfection, I am not fond of fashionable eateries. So we went jousting the taxis around the Salt River circle, then down the gorge of the vile beast that is Voortrekker Road where, at number 109, she led us into an unexpected treasure-trove.
Broadway Bakery is like a miniature, Portuguese version of everyone’s favourite German deli, Raith, minus the annoying accompaniment of Gardens shopping mall. There’s a bakery counter, a coffee counter, a few shelves of imported food-type things, and six tiny bar tables with high chairs where you can sit and order prego rolls, grilled chorizo and other great staples of Portuguese haute cuisine.
I almost ordered the bifana, a roast pork roll, but in the end we both stuck with classic beef pregos, responding with detectable levels of outrage when the waitress asked if we wanted chips or salad with them.
They were delish: soft, fresh Portuguese rolls, obviously baked right there this morning, with tender, tasty steak in perfect amounts of marinade, and hand-cut chips that were much less greasy than most (so probably as good for us as salad in any case).
And, because I am halfway to becoming another Mr Money Mustache, I was thrilled to see that our lunches were less than R50 each. (Back in 2011, my lunch budget was R40, but I’ve made a generous concession to inflation.)
Unfortunately, The Yummy Mummy still has a long way to go on her journey towards Mustachianism, because, not only did she buy my lunch, she then insisted on buying me half a dozen of the most fabulously flakey, crunchy, creamy pasteis de nata to take home. (R7 each – take that, Vida!) And she wouldn’t even take one of them for herself.
So there you go: I will do Photoshop for praise, pregos and pasteis.
(But only if I love you very, very much.)