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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Posted to WordPress from the Galaxy of Samsung from the second cloud on your left.

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

Posted to WordPress from the Galaxy of Samsung from the second cloud on your left.

The food isn’t up to standard?

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

The kids were already in their car seats. I didn’t know how to drive,  but I had the kids ready so we could leave the moment he arrives.  It was getting late.

I was in a concert at church and we had been rehearsing for weeks. I was very excited to be singing and didn’t want to disappoint.

I phoned him many times that day.  Pleasantly reminding him that he really needs to be home in time tonight. I felt too scared to say  “Please be sober”, but I prayed it.

I looked at him. Passed out on the bed after yet another Friday night of binge drinking. I had asked so nicely.

I felt the bile rise in my throat. The disappointment paralysed me. I just stood there. No concert for me. Only explanations I loathed to give. The sadness sat deeply uncomfortable within me. He does not deserve my tears.

After awhile you don’t fight.  You don’t cry.  You breathe.  You exist. You long for Monday to go to work to get away. You die. Piece by piece. Don’t confuse this behavior with acceptance. Coping. That is all. Time makes it easier, but it heals nothing.

I thought to myself that I cannot let my children believe destruction is what marriage is about. This is not how I grew up. This is not how my story ends.

My overwhelming desire was much more disturbing. “I could totally take you out.  I could kill you and feel nothing.” I would even phone the police.  I had no intention of running.

That is the game changer. I didn’t.

I stood in that doorway for a long time,  then I turned around and took my sleeping children out of their car seats. I carried them to their beds. I remember being so thankful that they remained asleep.

I sat in the lounge all night weighing up my options. My income was tiny,  my kids were so small,  I’m so young – how do I get out? Acknowledging all the difficulties to follow, I filed for divorce. I removed my children from an unhealthy environment and I left.

Christopher Panayiotou didn’t. I don’t know why he didn’t want to be in that marriage anymore. It doesn’t really matter.

He settled for premeditated murder. Abduction. Fear. Begging. Theft. Disbelief. I wonder what the young woman in those beautiful pictures were thinking as her life ended?

I hoped she was spared the realisation that the person she vowed to spend her life with, was indeed the mastermind of her death.
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Another element that angers me is that this specimens (You cannot call him a man,  a husband or anything remotely human) used the racial devide and tension in our country to help fuel the racist fire.

He successful got the public vote,  doting on his dead wife. Shouting in one voice against the “black barbarians”,  the senseless murder of another white woman.

People were asking for the death penalty…. and he amongst them I suspect. Bet he feels a bit more lenient towards himself now.

Christopher Panayiotou has been arrested,  charged and is asking for bail because life in prison isn’t all that grand and to quote his attorney : ” The food isn’t up to standard.”

With my biggest,  blackest accent, that only South Africans may get “Serious!”

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

Posted to WordPress from the Galaxy of Samsung from the second cloud on your left.

Love is timeless.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

When my children were little, I use to go to the movies every Tuesday morning. There has always been something magical about escaping to the cinema. The smell of popcorn and icy green slush aside, I just loved becoming invisible and lose myself into the great, big screen in front of me. It has always been a place of magic…. besides that is was an adult space for me on a Tuesday morning. No crying children demanding attention, or food, or beating each other with swords!

Add a decade or so to that exhausted young Mom and you will see an older Wenchy, visiting Cine Prestige on Mother’s Day with her daughter at her side. Cine Prestige is the grown up version of my escape with the luxury of cake, cappuccino and chocolate… with the popcorn and green slush if you like, but with all the thrill that the big screen brings. I was invited to attend a Mother’s Day event to see The Age Of Adaline and it was the perfect end to celebrate being a Mom Day.

After miraculously remaining 29 years old for almost eight decades, Adaline Bowman has lived a solitary existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones reignites her passion for life and romance. When a weekend with his parents threatens to uncover the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever.

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Adaline Bowman: Tell me something I can hold on to forever and never let go.

Ellis Jones: Let go.

Directed by Lee Toland KriegerThe age of Adaline is a touching and beautiful romantic, drama and a most believable fable.  Blake Lively is a most convincing young woman and you do believe in her sophistication of having experienced many more years.  I found her love affair with Michiel Huisman slightly sad, as in my heart, I wanted Adaline to end up with another love, the talented Harrison Ford … a love that belonged to another lifetime. Perhaps that made the story that much more intimate for those who believe love is timeless.

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My teenage daughter, Victoria and I left suitable warm and fuzzy as one should, especially on Mother’s Day. I highly recommend The age of Adaline for everyone who wishes to escape and dream for a little while. It’s soul food.

I have received many goodie bags as a blogger and as a Social Media Diva (Do like my page please – #shameless gasp!) but I must give huge credit to whomever suggested “Goodi Box” for this event at Ster-Kinekor at The Zone in Rosebank. I am hugely impressed with the gorgeous goodies we received. Suitable, high quality and I felt absolutely spoiled. Thank you so very much. I do hope to receive many more of these “Goodi boxes”!!

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Thank you sincerely for the invitation Ster-Kinekor. Cine Prestige was perfect. You made my day!!

I wish you enough,

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The ultimate freedom.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

We want to be liked. We want to be love, and be loved. We want to be included. We want to be needed. We want to be accepted as we are. We want to be pinned to a wall and kissed until we are breathless. Okay, maybe that last one was just me.

Very often we say “Yes”, when we actually want to say scream “No”.  We do not want to be rude,  perhaps inconsiderate or offend. We dont want to miss out, so we say “Yes” to a task, a favour, an event …. when we wanted to say “No”.

Sometimes we end up having a great time! We may learn something new or meet amazing people. You never know …. You could also end up resenting being on the roster for the school cake sale again with the nosy mom who is always fishing for information.  True story.

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I read a long time ago that declining an invitation without an explanation is the ultimate freedom. I yearned to do just that without feeling guilty or have all the reasons above as to why we say “Yes!” just tumbling in my head.

There is nothing wrong with saying “Thank you, but not tonight Josephine.” or something to that effect – right?

I wish you enough,
Wenchy