You know when you’ve known someone for so long and can’t pinpoint how you became friends so you resort to Whatsapping them in the hopes that their memory is better?

That may or may not have been what I did this morning.

In my mind, I always knew of Saz from year 7 as her mum was one of the teachers in our school (a brilliant teacher, I might add, back when I studied AS Philosophy) and I remember seeing her in the corridors now and then because her form room was on the way to the lunch hall. I have a memory of receiving this lovely MnS bath set from her for Christmas in year 7 but I’m not 100% sure how accurate that is as Saz thinks that we properly became friends through a mutual friend in year 9…maybe she was just my admirer back then?!

Nevertheless, how we met isn’t super important as it’s what came after that is.

SSS is really easy to talk to, awfully smart and funny. She’s thoughtful and inquisitive – always asking questions and interested in what you have to say while bringing top chat to every conversation. I sometimes marvel at how eloquently she phrases things, it really is a skill!

We have lots of happy memories together:

  • Sharing a woolly New Look visor (one of the best investments I made in 2006)
  • I can’t believe that we only had one class together despite being in the same school for 7 years – thank you for making GCSE French bearable
  • Day trips to Dartmouth, road trippin’ to see The Days in Plymouth and how could we forget our first Brixham Hap’nin?!
  • Your visits to Camberley when I lived there in 2018
  • Catch up dinners with most of ‘the crew’ in London

Hi Saz, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Sarah Sadler-Smith – fortunately, I don’t have lisp apart from the time when I was little and my two front teeth fell out.

Full-time Daughter to Julie and Eugene for the last 28 years. Also, now a full-time Geographer and part-time runner powered by Vitamin D (best source = the sun! I love it. My fair skin doesn’t always feel the same though)

I spent most of my childhood in Devon until going to the University of Leeds, all that way was totally worth it. I have such fond memories of the life I made for myself there as an honorary Northerner for 8 years before gravitating back to the South to work in London for Shell 2 years ago; all that academic learning about creating sustainable energy systems is now my job – don’t let anyone tell you can only become a teacher with a Geography degree kids!

In these unprecedented times, how are you doing and what are you doing to keep yourself occupied?

I’m probably an 8/10 as I write this (but I can admit that has dwindled at times, hasn’t it for us all?!)

I have been working from my parents’ home in Devon for the entire lockdown. I feel indebted to this county and the weather during this time, the countryside and seaside really has felt like luxury in comparison to what some people have endured of late. The fresh air has been my tonic; I am an ambassador for people coming on a staycation to Devon this summer – they don’t call it the English Riviera for nothing!

And, I have run a fair few miles. I ran a lot BC and don’t ever get bored of it although my legs might not agree. Now my usual commute on a packed train to Waterloo in the morning is spent running for 1. giving me head space before work but 2. banking miles ahead of my place in the London Marathon planned for this October (although conducting in a “socially distanced” marathon will be interesting, so they may be banked for 2021)

What are you most looking forward to doing when freedom is upon us again?

Being (safely) in a crowd. Remember those things?!

Specifically, a crowd on Centre Court at Wimbledon would be amazing.

It was supposed to start next week – the thought that it ever happened or will happen again right now is quite abstract. But one I will relish when it does.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

A “shop lady” – quite why, I do not know.

What is your proudest achievement?

Passing the 11+ (the exam you take to go to a state run selective secondary school)

At the time I didn’t appreciate the impact it would have.

I truly believe this was a vehicle for many good things that have been and continue to be part of my life – and I hope will be for many years to come.

If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?

To infuse everyone with a vaccine for COVID. And a multitude of other debilitating diseases whilst I’m at it.

To pause time. I’m more conscious of time speeding up as I get older and its quite frightening.

If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?

Only one thing?!

Of recent times…Johnson getting elected.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

Ha Me? Daring?! I don’t know what daring means…

What’s your favourite quote from a TV show/film/book?

Notting Hill.

Spike: “There’s something wrong with this yoghurt”

William: “It’s not yoghurt, its mayonnaise”

I don’t know why but it gets me every time. In fact, the whole film does its an “absolute classic” – another quote

Do you live by any piece of advice or motto?

“Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation” – it’s from the philosopher Seneca. But I won’t try and kid anyone that I’ve read Seneca I heard this from a mentor and it really resonates with me.

Describe your perfect weekend.

Ooh, generically a perfect weekend would include sunshine, seaside and champers with my nearest and dearest for company.

Ideally, how would you like to spend your birthday this year?

Not celebrating at all. In recent years I’ve I felt uncomfortable with the attention and the acknowledgment of time passing by. Typing this makes me sound terribly miserable, maybe I need to get over it!

What personality traits do you share with your relatives?

My Mum will go “Oooo you’re so like your Father”, whenever I have a stubborn moment (quite often).

Which of your personality traits are you most proud of and why?

I believe I’m quite an inquisitive person – I think if you’re inquisitive you’ll never be bored. I don’t like people who judge things without understanding the motivations or reasoning so, I endeavour not to do the same. I think we live in a fickle world and it would be a better place if people were more considerate of the consequences of their actions.

I’d also like to think I’m quite rational/level headed but maybe I’m not the best person to judge that…

What’s the first thing you look for in a partner and/or friend?

Intellect and humour in equal measure.

What is your favourite memory of ours?

I hope we haven’t yet had my favourite memory of ours, otherwise we peaked too young 😉

But here are a couple…

2006. French lessons 3 times a week in Room 56 in the MFL Block and being the third wheel in yours and Mrs Spurr’s amore. French lessons wouldn’t have been the same without you Queenie.


Two words. The Visor.

Share your favourite photo of us 😀


Animal: Humans

Film: Notting Hill

Book: An Atlas

Drink: Tattinger Champagne or, my more humble favourite, a cup of tea.

Type of cuisine: Italian. Specifically pasta – every day for the rest of my life would not be an issue.

Subject at school: Geography (/French @ GSCE for reasons aforementioned not for the actual subject…!)

Country that you’ve visited: Greece (the islands in particular) – the rich history, varied landscape, top notch climate and cuisine are all boxes ticked for me.

Season: Summer

Saz is one of those rare millennials not on social media but I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into the enigma of SSS!


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