Day 7 – 8 Carry on up the Khyber‏

Day 7 –  8    Carry on up the Khyber‏
Saturday 15th – Sunday 16th November

This first week has gone so quickly I can hardly believe it but even I can see a real improvement in everyone we are teaching from day to day. I have actually managed to remember everyone’s names as well but I think all my new Indian chums on fb helps with that:).
Once the teaching had finished on Saturday we spent the rest of the weekend doing a bit of sightseeing around Kolkata. The simplest idea was to hire a car and driver to see as many sites as possible minimising any dramas. Surprisingly the main tourist sights are relatively few for such a large city and usually the good stuff is not always possible when time is limited. We managed to see an image of the Raj with the majestic Victoria Monument where some of the officers had 110 servants to 4 gentlemen. I say old chap…that’s a bit of a rum do isn’t it? Anyone for a game of cricket old bean? see you on the lawn at Tifin yah! So you get the idea very quickly of how things used to be.
We then sped off with our driver who had no white gloves on to our river trip, timing it perfectly for the sunset. Complete with live Indian romantic music. Splendid!  Why Janet’s husband Peter, has to snuffle about all the street vendors and mannies carrying noxious looking liquids, tasting everything he sees is beyond us two refined ladies. But we just watch knowing he will come to a sticky end eventually. And that definitely will not be very romantic.
Tootle pip!
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Day 6 – Blazing Saddles‏

Day 6 – Blazing Saddles‏

Friday 14th November

I hate Rick Stein….is he having a laugh? His take away restaurant recommendation in downtown Kolkta seemed ok at the time. It was the night before an hour and a half crazy school bus journey into the centre of town where the Schwarzkopf Training Academy is. The last thing we all want is too lose our dignity in front of 22 students who are hanging on your every word. However, I did not need to worry as on the journey into town I noticed a clever entrepreneur had opened ‘The Kolkata Toilet Emporium’. At least in a worst case scenario we could have a pit stop there on the way back in the evening.



Day 5 – The Good , the Bad and the Ugly

Day 5 – The Good , the Bad and the Ugly

Thursday 13th November

Great day in the SOS village today and Janet sort of made me run things today as she had other things to attend to. The Children are great and walking towards the classroom and hearing ‘Morning Mam’ 22 times just warms my heart. Some of the children are from other SOS villages in India and when I talk to them they want to go back to their are as and open salons or work in existing ones. I know they will do it.


Tonight we ventured into Kolkata city centre. The most alarming traffic I have ever seen in my life and remember I’m from London. Everyone drives two inches from the person NSEW of them constantly tooting ‘watch out I’m coming through’. I even think a motorcyclist wobbled into the verge when it hit our taxi and the driver didn’t even bat an eyelid. I passed a leafy bonfire in the middle of the road on my way to work this morning and we just drove right over the top of it it and twice we did a ‘Hollywood Nooooooh’ in the city centre when we thought we would be crumpled between two buses.

None the less it was worth every hair raising moment when we arrived at Nazima’s in the heart of the really mucky bit of Kolkata. There nestled amongst tiny, crouched tailors sewing beads onto saris was the scabbiest looking restaurant/take away advertising the famous Indian ‘wrap’ which had been recommended by Rick Stein on one of his foodie adventures. Standing in the street scoffing and wearing half of it was bliss and worth every terrifying moment of the journey back home.

Sarah x


Day 4 – Cirque du Soleil

Day 4 – Cirque du Soleil
Wednesday 12th November

Yesterday we tackled  a bit of Health and Safety but looking out my window this morning I thought why bother. There were the builders high up on office block scaffolding without those wooden boards to walk on. Nearby there were early morning risers ferrying up huge great sand bags balanced on their heads climbing up to the top of said scaffolding. They don’t seem to have all those gigantic vehicles that Kirkwood Homes thunder past my house with in Monymusk.  In Kolkata It’s like watching the circus come to town without the tigers….only you probably get that too further north.
As of tomorrow I will be without my mentor Janet as she is having to go elsewhere for a few days so hopefully I can stick to the plan and keep up the pretence that I know what I am doing:) So far we have hardly been out but plan to do a bit of sightseeing over the next few days. There is no rush as getting up early and a full on day in 30C would make anyone feel weary.
zzzzz Sarah Franklin

Day 3 – Little Miss Sunshine

Day 3 – Little Miss Sunshine
Tuesday 11th November

A very satisfying day with lots of new skills achieved and a growing confidence with these young people. Janet and I went to the supermarket last night to by some supplies for helping to keep the salon clean and tidy, all part of the H&S side of things. The joy and excitement that bucket and mop created was a joy to behold. They actually took turns in using it and fought over who would use the squirty household cleaners with colourful sponges….even the lads! No sexism on our watch! I have been awarded the title Entertainments Mam as we will put on a small variety performance next week for local employers. Some hairdressing demos but adding a bit of singing, dancing and a wee comedy sketch illustrating good/bad practice in the salon. I am hoping this will prevent the audience nodding off. It’s going to be a laugh and the students are quite excited about it.
On the wall outside the village there is a sign which says ‘a loving home for every child’ and as soon as you chug and bounce through the high gates in the village van you see how that mission statement has been put into practice with happy, giggly, smiley faces of all ages. Friends wandering round, holding hands, chatting and capering about. Truly lovely to see.

Day 2 – A fist full of Rupees

Day 2 – A fist full of Rupees

Monday 10th November

Spent my first day learning the ropes at the SOS Childrens’ Village in Kolkata and will have to devise a system in order to remember all the 22 names. My luggage  arrived in time for work this morning and I was mighty relieved I have to admit. Standing in front of a class without the proper gear could seriously undermine your confidence. On opening my case disaster had struck….the Tunnocks Tea Cakes were a sorry state and only fit for private consumption. India would have to wait to try those another day The jet lag is catching up with me now after such a busy day and the excitement of whizzing about in a Tut Tut with a large orange bucket and a purple mop…it’s a long story but one for another night.
Sarah x

Day 1 – True Grit

Sarah’s Indian Journey

Day 1 – True Grit

Sunday 8th November

After looking forward to this moment for so long I finally arrived in Kolkata this morning minus my suitcase. However, based upon the sage advice from a good friend who has grim experience in these matters, I had packed a spare pair of drawers in my hand luggage so things were not quite so hopeless. (Thanks Noel!).

The drive from the airport had me instantly smiling as we wove through the traffic merrily tooting and swerving, avoiding hot lazy dogs, lean angular cattle, rickshaws and vehicles of every description with wobbly wheels and even narrowly missing a reckless wheelchair user going the wrong way round quite a busy roundabout. Everybody seemed to happily,  yet calmly join in  this chaotic way of going about their business.


I spent an inspiring day with Janet Maitland, the Ambassador for Shaping Futures along with a hand over from the enthusiastic Anthony McMeiken and  a committed Sara McBride who  have done a fantastic job so far. They were both so sad to leave all the young people they have coached for the last two weeks and I am absolutely sure they will be back volunteering another year. They spent the afternoon showing me around the local area whilst they looked for gifts to take back home. Those beautiful silk fabrics along with Anthony and Sara’s wonderful personalities will certainly light up the streets of Durham and Perth.


Sarah signing off…..zzzzzzzz

The Hair Shop 20th Anniversary Party

20 Years of The Hair Shop Kemnay

A great afternoon of nibbles and champagne to celebrate a tremendous 20 years of the The Hair Shop Kemnay and fundraising for the Schwarzkopf Shaping Futures Charity.

We would like to thank everyone who attended,it was a great start to our ongoing fundraising endeavors, also a thank you to Noelle for the incredible food, find her at http://www.andreefinefood.co.uk/ and of course the girls for all their help! 1908389_806779886012578_7350333703602357517_n10410147_806779649345935_7051530512266414668_n10527606_806779452679288_6277007559715655818_n10533757_806779812679252_5349347330142345389_n10325366_806779016012665_4323153026479668247_n10489676_806779136012653_5009947046994986926_n


Up Close and Personal



In the Chair with…

Isla Henderson

Such a wise head on young shoulders Isla has now achieved her Modern Apprenticeship in Hairdressing and has taken to it like a duck to water. The brain child fae Rothie spends her free time with her family tinkering around attaching tow bars to cars, riding horses and dog sitting for family while they are enjoying themselves on holiday. What a heroine!

The best thing my parents taught me… Nothing in life is unachievable if you work hard at it, and I’m a grafter!

What I love most about hairdressing… You can make someone’s day.  Its always expanding

My proudest hairdressing moment… When I finished my SVQ Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship

I think my clients love me because… I try and put people at ease and really listen to want they are saying

My favourite part of the working week... Tuesdays, they are the start to my week

One thing I would change about the hairdressing industry… The stereotype given to hairdressers

If I wasn’t a hairdresser now I’d be… I’ve never really thought about it, I have always wanted to be hairdresser

My biggest influence… My Mum

My greatest weakness… Pizza!

If I could change anything about myself I’d… I would of learnt to drive sooner

It’s not good for my image but I like… To go home on a saturday a put my jammies on and dance around my bedroom!

The song i can never get out of my head is… Newton Faulkner – Dream Catch Me

The most expensive thing I’ve ever frittered money on was… Cigarettes 😦

My last meal would be… Hunters chicken and homemade spicy potato wedges, mmmm