A name, I call myself…

Dear friends and other interesting creature,

My parents shared they were desperately wanting a little girl when they were pregnant with me.  Which is awesomeness cause I never wanted to be a boy.

As I understand it, my almost 20 year old father went to register me and decided Christine, the name they had chosen, after my Ouma Chrissie is not for me. See, he clearly already understood me them.

My mom tells me that my father was very much like my son Liam James. Charming.  Good looking. Always busy with a budding business idea.

My father and the lady behind the counter decided Christel is a gorgeous name. My father thought my Oupa Mike also needed acknowledgement and added Michel. ( … a Beetles song I’ve had both sober and drunk men sing to me. #bless) Having dyslexia, my father did not go for the usual spelling of either name.

It was the age of the double barrel name, and when the lady behind the counter suggested it to my father, he could probably just hear how fanTy that truly is.
Christel-Michel is one name. One initial.  Its not Christel.  It’s Christel-Michel. Force yourself. The people behind my father in line is owed at least that.

Wenchy is who I am or who I became as life happened.  If you love me and can’t imagine your life without me, then it’s Stel. I’m am Afrikaanse boeremeisie at heart and its Aunty Stel if you remotely younger than me and I am very old. 

I do love the name my parents gave me. I do love Wenchy because it holds very dear memories for me. Most of all I just love how you say my name as if it’s just been born.

I wish you enough,

He travelled very far, over land and sea…

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I wanted this child so very much. I prayed him down from heaven, including asking God that please,  I do not want a boy with red hair! Have mercy. I never found out the gender,  but I was having a boy. My boy.

I wanted to give him the world but my ruby slippers was dusty and instead life dished us a bone crushing of a white picket fence.

My Kev was there for every happy and every sad…. Every sunshine and every rain,  every peanut butter sandwich and every one with chreese.  I cringe with heartache when he casually shares what he remembers. I wish he didn’t.

Not long ago I was once again apologising for something I felt I could have done better in his life.  He looked at me with empathy (which he reserves for few, mind you) and said :

“Nancy,  thank you for leaving my father. If it wasn’t for your bravery I would never be where I am today. Those experiences made me who I am now. I am grateful. Thank you. You did good. ”

Besides that I still don’t know why the kid calls me Nancy… I cried. What do you say to that? Sure? Anytime!? Twice on Sunday?

None of my biological or adopted by heart kids are wall flowers. They are all opinionated.  Loud in happiness and sorrow. Very me,  but don’t tell them.  They want to be their own people. #dammit

Be Kev’s principles right or wrong… or at very least extremely questionable,  you can forget about him changing his mind.  Wonder where he got the stubborn streak from?

Kev did not mention his intention,  nor design of this tattoo with me. I stumbled across it on Instagram in the middle of the night and looked at it for a long time,  a lonely tear falling down my cheek.

The bear paw (an easy nod amongst to the Gay community) Kev got in remembrance of his Daddy Brian (the second in my long list of husbands – which sounds less exciting than it is), who came into Kev’s life when he was four years old. You do not need DNA to be a Dad.

The butterfly inside the bear paw is for me.  I have a huge butterfly on my right arm representing my kids which is why Kev decided upon the butterfly. Skin colour,  no ink. Thank you Kev. It means so much to me.

Kev did laugh and say he was thankful we were at least both born in 1973!


Love is patient,  love is kind and love never questions another man’s ink.

I love you my boy.

I wish you enough,

One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.


This blog came up on my Facebook timeline today, and one I would like to share with my loyal readers.

I wish you enough,

Originally posted on The Nocturnal Wenchy:

On the banks of the river I sat near the house, under a tree. Close to the water, but not close enough to get wet. I watched Oupa Mike with an old, dirty hat shielding him from the sun on a canoe, chipping green paint in colour,  drifting in the middle of the river as he fished.

The sky would change colour. occasionally he would shift position.  He sat in that tiny canoe for hours and I would observe him and smile. It was wonderful and he was beautiful to me. Even as a child I appreciated solitude and bored was not a phrase I connected with. I never really gave much thought to my sitting watching Oupa, it is just what I did. I was safe, happy and we were alone – but together. Eventually as night came, he would make his way to the bank. I would help him carry his gear back to the house and…

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Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Long ago,  in a land far away where the sky were less blue and colours were faded, Fridays were hell.

There was a small family living in a pretty house with a little pool and green grass. It seemed peaceful and kind, but on Fridays the colours ran down the walls into the earth. The grass started dying.

A young mom would hold her breathe while smiling to her children assuring them that all was well in the land far away on Fridays.

The mom was naive and held on in hope of change. Hope never visited the land far away with faded colours.

The brown bottle would come on Fridays. It ate colours and stole hope.  It broke promises and told lies. It was not a magical brown bottle. It only did what it’s master instructed.  It showed no mercy to the mom and her children.

For many years the mom lived in fear of Fridays. It stopped her heart by lunchtime as she waited and wished against hope for colour to return.

The colour never came. Only dread.

One day in the land far away with faded colours, the mom decided that her children deserved to see colour,  the smell of the earth after rain and sunshine. It was a difficult and painful choice.

She left Fridays


I wish you enough,

Posted from the galaxy of Samsung from the second cloud on your left.

Miraculously recover or die. That’s the extent of our cultural bandwidth for chronic illness.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

The above quote is from S. Kelley Harwell.

Btw, when you read this, remember that everything good I have done, I did with these issues alongside me, just as everything crappy I have done. I’m still just me.

Living with chronic pain, fatigue (mentally, emotionally and physically) striving to be a loving, supportive wife, involved, caring mother and blossoming DIVA with many roles attached, is a challenging task. Sometimes I drop the ball all together.

For those late to the party, I was diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder when I was 14 as well as Generalised Anxiety Disorder. At 28 I was diagnosed with Ankolysing Spondylitis which most woman in my family has (including my 16 year old daughter). At 37 years of age, Fibromyalgia joined the party. The following year I stopped working in a corporate setting. Social Media found me and we have been in love ever since.

Sitting for hours is impossible for me. It feel as if someone used me as target practice. I have a blade stuck between my shoulder blades. I can’t dislodge the stupid thing.
A combination of meds is in place to make life as productive and dull ache instead of stabbing pain as possible. The bipolar part is very much stable with medication, anxiety remains an issue but living a life of not overstepping my physical limitations are much more difficult.

I am HUGELY thankful for my husband who does his best to provide me with medical care, cooking a roast dinner and rubbing my back like he did yesterday. I don’t think it is easy to live with anyone who chronically is in pain, or has an illness that always needs consideration.


My lower back makes itself known if I am in one position too long. Bending forward, carrying grocery packets, all simple tasks that equal pain.

My body pains. My legs, arms and hips just hurt. Nothing happened to them. They have an illness onto themselves.

One of the most annoying, irritating and completely insane things, is the pain and lack of grip in my hands. There are days I cannot grip a pen, open a water bottle or pour from a jug. Holding a phone, a book or even typing on a keyboard can become impossible. I hate that!

The entire combination of symptoms leaves me with no point of escape. It is completely without warning for the most part. Ta da! I have great intentions but my body does not necessarily agree.

Then, there are times I am just dandy. The pain becomes dull and doesn’t consume me. Medication controls, and I am awesome. My mental state is without any issues, my body is playing nicely and in those moments…. hours, days, weeks, or months… I get a huge amount done. I’m running around and living it!

Unfortunately, the entire process is very unforgiving. For an awesome few days where I run flat out, it may take two weeks to recover and return to dull ache status.

Best part, I look fabulous to everyone most of the time. Oh yes, I’m the great pretender. #wink

I wish you enough,

Me and Godfrey and the friend who died.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

My very first internet friend I made was almost two decades ago, Belinda Norman. She lived in Cape Town and we bonded immediately.  For years to come we would e-mail our excitement and heartaches through life events,  our laughter and our tears. We met up in person a number of times.

Initially we did the Bar-Bee & Wenchy show on ###SouthAfrica on Internet Relay Chat. Our humour was one and we fed off each other.  I can honestly say that our times together was always filled with laughter,  even during sad times.

Over a year ago,  Bee died. I remember the initial tests and her saying it’s probably nothing. Bee was a year or two older than me and we are too young to die…  Tra-la-la! I hate cancer.

Over the months that followed we have all continued to post on Belinda’s Facebook wall.  I saw Godfrey Johnson had left a message too.  I had seen him with my friend Wilhelm at a show with Pieter-Dirk Uys,  “Bambi” and wondered how he knew Bee. I sent him a message and it turns out Belinda and Godfrey are related.

A couple months ago,  we literally bumped into each other in the local Mall. Turns out Godfrey had relocated to Johannesburg and lived across the road from me.

Being in the arts, we had interests and people in common…. besides sometimes Godfrey’s facial expressions would so remind me of my friend. So reassuring. It felt like I could close my bubble around Bee because Godfrey knew her too and understood.  I felt relieved, I didn’t hurt alone.

For the past couple of months we have met in the mall numerous times,  later changing it to “quick” visits at my home which is never quick. :) 

I’ve been able to introduce Godfrey to some people and places he didn’t already know, and he in turn introduced me to his fiancé and bits of theatre knowledge I lacked. He connected with my kids and my husband. Together, we just work.

I am very grateful.


My dearest Godfrey,

So superbly talented you are.  Last night at @LALT_JHB I could feel the audience rise and fall with your interpretation and arrangement of music. Your pause and your humour.

I listened to the soft voices singing along around me and again was astounded by how a performer connects and draws an audience into the world created for them. 

You were so,  so,  so very beautiful to me.  Thank you for your friendship,  love,  humour and the platform to be real and never judging.

It has been a treat having you nearby and getting to know you and darling Nicholas. 

…. my Love to the fish!

I wish you enough,

I know why the caged bird sings.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,


Behind this Wenchy who rose again are an army of kids who sometimes literally picked her off the floor…

… a close group of friends and family who supported, loved, laughed, cried and faithfully promised to bury those who trespass against her in an apple orchard.

Most importantly, a life filled with people who humbly recognise their own humility, forgave her as they hope to be forgiven for the silly things they do,  keeping no record of wrongs, and provided comfort to her …. eventually a man came who gave her hope again… on a mountain top where you could see forever.

…. and a God who holds it all in the palm of his hand.


I wish I could say I don’t depend on anyone,  but that not true and not who I am.

I depend on dozens for countless many different things, on so many levels and in layers. Emotionally, practically, physically,  mentally,  financially and psychologically.

I’ll never walk alone, which means you will never walk alone.

I wish you enough,