I do not recognise the #ANC of my youth.

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Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

You know when a family member does something unbelievably stupendous and everyone shakes their heads in disgust?

There is usually a touch of confusion at the magnitude of destruction. One thinking soul, giving a hefty sigh, in that “Ja swaer” tone :

“Oupa would turn in his grave if he had to see this!”

That sums up how I feel about the “leaders” in the picture.

Sigh. Tata, turning in his grave. The legend who was able to unite many. All the personal sacrifices he had made for others to carry an Africa with a heartbeat I feel pulsating from my very core.

The struggle I supported, alive with men and woman who believed and fought against segregation and oppression, has been lost. I do not recognise the ANC of my youth.

Paying back the money falls incredibly short on paying us back our dignity and respect as a people, facing each other and foreigners when we are filled with disgust and confusion at the reality of our designated leaders.

Its going to take more than a village to raise this “child”!

God bless Africa.

I wish you enough…
Wenchy

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An Old Flame…

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I was 11 when he died. He was 30. But tonight as I read everyone’s messages I think to myself…  I also had a father. My memories are few…  You bought me Strawberry milkshake and biltong. I could feel you before you came into the room.  It was as if music and laughter followed you. You were the party.

They say the greatest gift you can give your children is to love their mother. Well,  I have no doubt about your love for my Mammie, nor her absolute devastation at your death.

An old flame.

Lief vir jou Pappie.
Stel.

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#14forever with much gratitude!

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

This past week has been one of constant birthday celebrations. I must admit I love a birthday. It doesn’t even have to be mine!

I am tremendously thankful to have been blessed with wonderful family and friends who have made turning 42, an absolute privilege.

I truly did not expect gifts as I did not hint or ask for any.  Hence, I was totally surprised that my husband actually went out by his own self and bought me my favourite perfume “Angel”!  It meant so much to me that he did that. His schedule is extremely congested so this is huge. Thank you sooooo very much! I love and appreciate everything you do.

Great surprise at a catered dinner party (with chef, serving waitress,  beautiful food,  Portuguese champagne for my heritage –  the works!). Purple cupcakes.  A tea party with my Mammie, a Thai lunch, platters and cupcakes with my family in Durban, brunch, waffles, lamb knuckle pie and lemon meringue on separate occasiond in the Midlands Meander.

Belgium chocolates… Oh wow! Lots of chocolate for me to eat… (Which movie is that from?)

I had such an amazing extra long weekend with my youngest sister,  her husband and my nephews who hosted my husband and I in their beautiful home. Everything was done to make us comfortable and happy.

More than anything,  I got to know them as individuals and as a family better and I regret not looking for my baby sister sooner in my life.  This family has gone through tremendous trauma after a horrific car accident that left my very successful brother in law paralysed and in a wheelchair in his 30’s.  There is so much we can all learn from them. I’m in awe of the strength of this family unit.

I am leaving with a heavy heart. xxx

Over 500 messages on Twitter,  Facebook,  Wattsapp, BBM, SMS and the two phone calls I actually answered. (I detest speaking on the phone. Anyone who knows me would never take it personally.)

Sincerely thankful for all the love,  wishes and so many things you all did to add to celebrating my happy happy #birthday #June13th #14forever!

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

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42 you said?

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Dear Tim,

I’ve told you before.  The thing with death is,  I have no new pictures of you.  So I had to improvise a little.

As I have been preparing for my Grahamstown festival trip next month,  I could not help but think of you.  Do you remember?

You were in school uniform. Matric blazer. I was sitting on the steps of the church on the square in Grahamstown. I went to a private school so no uniform.  I remember I was wearing a very stretched out purple jersey and brown leather shoes I had bought at the festival.

(Remains the most expensive shoes I’ve ever owned. Haha! I would much rather buy books. I had no idea at the time how much purple was still to follow.)

The sun was setting.

You came and sat next to me. I had never seen you before. You sat,  silently.  I remember being intrigued. You walked up,  asked if you could join me and sat down. No words. Minutes passed. I turned my face and looked at you. Eventually you turned to me and said, “It is not everyone you can have a comfortable silence with.” I smiled.

We chatted for a bit about where we were from and what we have seen at the festival. I don’t know how long we spoke for but it was suddenly dark when your school chaperone called you. My friends came to tell me it’s time to meet for supper almost at the same moment.

We did not exchange any contact details. As you got up you said that if the universe wants we will meet again. I laughed with a “good luck with that” kinda feeling. You smiled.

We had gotten up and as you walked away,  you turned and said  “Do you know what the meaning of life is?” I probably looked as silly as I felt and said “No”.

You smiled and said “42”.

I had no idea what you were on about, which I confessed when we did meet up again, as the universe allowed, years later.

It is our 42nd birthday this coming week.  Saturday. I will be 42 years old. You will forever be, 25.

Btw, I think the universe has a sense of occasion. My accommodation reservation arrived via email.  Room 42.

I will look for you, on the steps, at the church on the square.

Stop the clocks,
Wenchy

PS.  Thank’s again for the nickname.  Wenchy stuck.  :)

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If at first a flu like symptom is not for you.

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Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I’ll be travelling a bit during June and July and thought it a great idea to have the flu injection to make sure I’m all healthy, pretending I’m wealthy and naturally wise. 

I have a headache, my throat is sore and somebody kicked my body in my sleep from the inside out. Yes,  a small annoying flu like symptom. Ugh!!!!

Is this how it works? Making it worse before making it better? My intention was skipping this entire episode dammit.

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

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Midnight train (thoughts) to Georgia (nowhere).

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Some general news… after midnight… Just go with it.

*  Can you believe at the end of June,  I’ve been banting for a year!? Many kilograms and cm’s later,  it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’ve reached the point where I can say *we* live a low carb lifestyle. I have never thought of it as a diet. Weird how the brain works.

* The scale has not been my friend lately but I’ve had a good week. Is better for my mental health not to weigh myself all day long, or I obsess terribly. Imagine PMS with a side dish of chili and a rainy camping holiday on a beach vacation with small children. Oh hell no!

*  I’m coming out of a Fibromyalgia flair, with a side kick of excessive anxiety. I’ve tried my best to “slow down,  don’t move so fast” (can you hear the adapted version of “Simon and Garfunkle”? *smile*) It has been a challenging time for me, and you truly do learn who your friends are.

*  Sometimes I take one day at a time but I am that idiot that on great days, attack many days at once (never a great plan as you pay for it later!).

*  I’ve shared quite a bit of discussion with fellow bloggers,  readers of my blog and the companies,  products,  initiatives I have awesome relationships with,  and I’ve had to acknowledge that while I’ve remarkably been able to keep a large section of faithful readers (some for all 19 years, way before we became Facebook friends!) there are new and exciting opportunities that my regular,  sporadic readership and new followers will enjoy. 

*  It has been time to regroup,  focus and commit (I must credit my husband for his vision here) and I’m excited about the future of my blog as well as my Social Media endeavours. You following me on Twitter right?

* I was involved in hosting an evening in collaboration with Buz PR at The Market Theatre for the extraordinary beautiful,  raw and tender production of “Crazy In Love“.

We had an intimate Q&A afterwards with performers Andrew Buckland and Liezl de Kock, along with Directed Rob Murray.

* The legendary Market Theatre guys! It has been one of the highlights of my year.  Total heaven! Imagine that. The honour, respect and pride I feel is overwhelming. Bridget and Christabel ( @BuzPR ) you have no idea how that little girl in red tap shoes danced in my heart that evening. The #JudyGarland in me is forever thankful.

*  Couple of months later I was invited to host a coffee and cake morning at Cinema Nouveau! These are the very places I escape to and now they embraced me!! My beautiful daughter,  Victoria and I had already been so fortunate as to have attended a press preview of “Serial (Bad) Weddings” and, being a serial bride myself,  absolutely loved it. French with English subtitles.  What could possibly make you feel more sophisticated? It was a hilarious movie btw. Again, a privilege. Thank you Janet and Cinema Nouveau! Can’t wait for the next one.

*  The Cape has captured my heart in a big way and in the past year I have been privileged to visit every four months or so.  I’ll be off to the mother city again for a little Social Media visit (more on that later) just after my #birthday #June13th #14forever to learn new things,  experience exceptional places and keep growing. I will be tweeting all about it!

*  I’m incredibly thankful for relationships expanding my horizons and the recognition of what I do online, who I am as a brand and as a Wench!,  that afford me the opportunity to live this loud! My appreciation is endless.
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* I am beyond excited… I am going to The Grahamstown Arts Festival !!! My level of thrill, surprise and unbelievable gratitude is off the charts. This particular year is an incredibly meaningful one for me. I hope to write the post as to why, sitting in an exact spot in Grahamstown.

*  @SirNoid I obviously cannot do this without your 100% backing! Thank you for rehashing ideas and thoughts,  being a sounding board  wiping tears and encouraging me to fly. Love you so lots.

*  Thanksgiving and huge gratitude to my lovely hairdresser who has become a dear friend,  Judy from Ultimate Hair, who endulges my ever hair whim!

*  I am passionate about supporting small businesses as it takes guts,  determination and endless hard work to start,  grow and flourish. Judy is exceptionally well priced,  located near Cresta Shopping Centre and you feel like a million bucks when you leave. 

*  Judy never pushes products like I have found in the big salons.  It makes me very uncomfortable. While I use salon products,  it was I who asked Judy about the range on display.  That is one thing I loathe.  Having products pushed onto me. Same in beauty salons. If I want something,  I’ll ask!

* Please do like Ultimate Hair’s Facebook page. I know it will make Judy smile. ☺

*  My Victoria turns 16 soon and already I’m thinking….  How ever does the mother of the bride cope!!! …..  and literally all we have done so far is look at cakes.  In our house 10, 13, 16 and 18 are BIG birthdays… after that you on your own!  Ha ha!!

* My own birthday… #June13th #14forever #birthday has presented some unexpected adventures of its own. My friends, life is unpredictable and there is always light in darkness. Always. Will blog my annual birthday dream gift list soon. It’s tradition!

Hey… after midnight, well, it’s 2am…. Jani Allen and I have a reading date.

I wish you enough,

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What a lovely thought but a tall order right?

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Have you ever screwed up? Royally. Have you ever behaved so badly that within yourself,  you found disgust? Have you ever felt without worth and that nobody could possibly love you,  just as you are? Ever felt rejected or not good enough? I could go on… with ease.

In my life I have felt all these emotions at one time or another.  Some more than once. Self acceptance and forgiving myself is not a strength of mine. I was clearly a Catholic in a past life, riddled with guilt.

My Oupa Mike and my Ouma Chrissie taught me many valuable things.  They also showed me who I could be through their actions and behaviour. Overall,  I believe I failed them. I may have been a Jew in another lifetime. All that guilt.

You see it had nothing to do with what they would say or think,  but more to do with disappointing them. I never wanted to let them down,  embarrass them and ever disappoint them.  I wanted to be worthy of their absolute pride, devotion and love.

I was their eldest granddaughter. They always made a fuss over me simply because I came before the rest.  (Sorry guys… but I win!) My Ouma Chrissie declared the day I was born the happiest of her life. What a lovely thought but a tall order right?

The details of my life include two divorces.  Regardless of reasons, showing up and facing my grandparents with what I viewed as my very public failures,  was horrible for me. I would rather have received lashings, dramatically endured. Facing them was far worse than the actual incidents themselves.

Cowardly I would stretch out physically visiting but when I did,  I was always received with unconditional love, literal open arms, huge hugs and my favourite pudding. There was no question of their support,  reassurance and they never understood my need for forgiveness. I was humbled. They never asked for details and would never interfere or give advise unless asked. My respect and admiration for them are endless.

What I learned was that my actions,  behavior or failures did not forever condemn me. I am human and as such will make mistakes. Sometimes the same one more than once …. but their love for me was not attached to conditions or expectations. They simply loved me. They made allowance that sometimes I would loose my way.

I was never loved less. I was loved more if that was possible,  because I needed to be loved even when I wasn’t very lovable. My failures did not define me. Sometimes my actions and behaviour were not ideal, and sure, not to be encouraged, but by no means did my failures diminish my worth or ability to be loved.

I was always worthy. Always loved. Forever forgiven.

I may not go to church, but that is how I think,  or sincerely hope, God will feel about me.

I was always enough.

Only 26 days to my birthday… I found this birthday card in Ouma Chrissie’s handwriting the other day. Thank you for these physical reminders of who you are in my life.
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Ek verlang met baie liefde.
Stel x

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