Welcome to Cactus Pop! We are four girls who aim to share, inspire and discuss the things we love. Cactus Pop is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and is devoted to discussing books, TV, movies, travel, food, craft, musings on life and the stuff in between. Here’s some stuff you (probably don’t) need to know about us:
Celebrity crush? Charlie Hunnam and Patrick John Flueger.
Favourite snack food? Cheese popcorn
Favourite Nicholas Sparks movie? Safe Haven. Only because The Notebook and A Walk to Remember make me blubber.
Favourite Disney princess? Aladdin. He’s fabulous.
Favourite travel destination? There’s no place like Santorini, Greece.
Funny travel story? My sister and I were taking a bus to a shopping mall in LA wearing trademark Melbourne all black when a girl, mistakenly thinking we were beauty salesgirls, asked us: “Which counter do y’all work at?”
Favourite literary hero? Karen Brewer (Baby-Sitters Little Sister). My first role model! She was so imaginative, assertive and sassy. Plus she looked so cute in her pink and blue glasses.
Celebrity crush? I’m not going to lie. Benedict Cumberbatch. He exudes talent and charisma.
Favourite snack food? Lollies in any shape or form. I’ve been known to practically inhale them.
Favourite Nicholas Sparks movie? It’s got to be A Walk to Remember. The cool guy falling for the nerdy girl…need I say more?
Favourite Disney princess? As a fellow redhead, I’d have to say Ariel.
Favourite travel destination? Paris.
Funny travel story? Being in Europe in winter meant that I one day I caved and decided I needed some good gloves. After purchasing some one morning in Paris, I then dropped one while getting into a taxi. I had no idea I had done it until a man on a motorbike came riding up next to us and shouted ‘gant’ into the window. The taxi driver kindly stopped for me and I ran through the rain back to where we’d got in. I stood on the corner of a busy street in Paris searching for one missing glove for what felt like forever. Luckily I managed to find it but it was all wet and mangled. I’d only owned them for a couple of hours!
Favourite literary hero? So many to choose from! But I would have to say Harry Potter. At school I was obsessed, my diary was covered in pictures and it counted down to every new book (and movie). It was just not an option to go to school without finishing the latest book, the thought of overhearing spoilers turned my blood cold. At the height of my obsession I even translated my timetable into a Hogwarts one. English was Charms, Maths was Arithmancy…yeah, like I said, I was obsessed.
Celebrity crush? So many. It varies. A lot. But at the moment, Taylor Kinney is sitting strong at the top of my list.
Favourite snack food? Chocolate. Always.
Favourite Nicholas Sparks movie? So tough!! I think the original and the best is A Walk to Remember. But runners up to The Last Song and Safe Haven.
Favourite Disney princess? Ariel from The Little Mermaid was a favourite growing up.
Favourite travel destination? Kuala Lumpur for the food (roti canal, wonton mee, and milo ais) and excellent shopping.
Funny travel story?
Ok. It’s a long one, but a good one and a true one. No embellishments. It has been retold many times, including at my 21st. So I have to do this justice.
I’m in Bali with three of my friends. My friend Mark and I are doing some last minute shopping before we leave Ubud. I stop and buy a couple of pashminas and we continue on our way. For those unfamiliar with Ubud, there is the Monkey Forest. Basically an open air forest filled with monkeys that roam about without a care in the world, or for you and your possessions. Anyway, this is about 4.30 in the afternoon and as we round the bend nearing the forest we notice all the shops in this area are closed. Early.
That’s when we notice the monkeys. Everywhere. All over the street. Running amok outside the forest like they’ve been let out of school. Balinese people are sitting in chairs outside their shops, watching the mayhem with an air of resignation. There’s no other way to get to the store we need, but to walk through. So we do.
As we do, a monkey locks eyes with me – yes, locks eyes – and comes at me and grabs my bag with my carefully selected pashminas. In a moment of, what I can only describe as absolute stupidity, I decide, no! this monkey isn’t taking my pashminas! And so a short, but nevertheless stupid, tug of war begins. Meanwhile my friend Mark has taken off up the street and is screaming from behind a wall “Sam! Drop the bags and run!”.
I come to my senses, drop the bag and run to Mark and we watch in horror as the monkey scales a shop roof, opens up the bag, pulls a pashmina out and starts to pull at it with it’s teeth. I’m devastated. And, as only a truly stupid story can continue, who happens to come past on a scooter? But the woman who sold me the pashminas. She asks what happened. “Monyet mencuri pashmina saya!” I cry. (A monkey stole my pashmina!) She laughs and takes off.
Mark suggests we wait and see if the monkey gives up eating my pashmina so we might get it back. It was then a kind man grabbed a stick, climbed onto the roof and shooed the monkey away and got me my pashmina back. The crisis was over!
Since then, that pashmina has gone on almost every single holiday I’ve been on. It has to be a good luck charm. Surely.
Favourite literary hero? As tempting as it is to say some attractive dashing hero like Jack Pallas (see my review for Something About You, coming soon!) or similar, I think I could say, Stephanie Plum (from Janet Evanovich’s series). She is a funny, relatable character and even though she is written in jest, I think she shows how a woman can take control of her life, do something out of the ordinary and kick butt, and not care what other people think of her. Doesn’t hurt she gets to be followed around by two stud muffins like Ranger and Morelli. How does she choose?!
Celebrity crush? Joshua Jackson because he was Pacey Witter and wore hideous 90s shirts like a boss, and Steve Buscemi because he is an amazing actor with a delightfully weird face.
Favourite snack food? Anything sweet. Scotch Finger biscuits, chocolate chip cookies, coffee cake, blueberry muffins – well, you get the picture.
Favourite Nicholas Sparks movie? A Walk to Remember. The first Nicholas Sparks movie I saw and still the best.
Favourite Disney princess? Mulan. She kicks butt. ‘Nuff said.
Favourite travel destination? New York, New York. Jay-Z and Frank Sinatra don’t lie.
Funny travel story? I went to Vanuatu with two friends in 2014. We were walking alone through the forest when we were suddenly surrounded by a bunch of guys. They were wearing grass skirts and pointing spears at us. At first I thought it was a joke, but when they didn’t put the spears down I got legitimately scared. Panic set in and my friends and I were screaming and running to find a way out of the forest. At one point, I yelled “What do you want from us?”. Something I will never live down. Of course, it ended up being a prank and I’m sure that the guys were laughing about those silly Australian girls for a long time.
Favourite literary hero? Ella from Ella Enchanted. Ella is strong, smart and never gives up.