Frankly my dear

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.
– Charles Baudelaire

On Route 317 between Bonnievale and Robertson in the Western Cape you will find Esona Boutique Wine owned by Rowan & Caryl. Esona is a Xhosa word, that translates to “The Very One”.

I first visited Esona Boutique Wine 🍷 three or four years ago on a media trip. Today I returned with @SirNoid and his parents.

I wanted them to taste a wine I had enjoyed on my previous visit, with the cheeky name of “Frankly my dear”. “Frankly my dear” is described on Esona’s website as a “Pinot Noir Blanc de Noir – with delightful candies on the nose, a fresh palate and a lengthy aftertaste that lingers like a sunny summer afternoon.”

Wild things we are, we had our first glass of wine before midday paired with the recommended platter which included dried Strawberries. A first for Mother-in-law and I, it was a treat!

“Frankly my dear” retails online at R75.

I wish you enough,


* This is not a sponsored post.



Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I just had this realisation that I need to write down.

Be it mental or physical, everything I have achieved in life, I have done with these contributing factors as part of me.

I did not get to leave my issues at home while I worked full time, raise a family and was successful. I lived a good life regardless.

Then, the plague came and gobbled me up. #fibromialgia – May 2011. Still there have been moments I have soared but also splashes of time I have crawled.

Seeing these two roads before me, the before and after the plague.

I have always got up again, and still I rise! It hasn’t been easy, but for whom is life a joyride daily – always? Nobody.

Absolutely nobody.

Our challenges may change, but who we are at the core remains the same. Perhaps it is about getting rid of the shackles. Not everything we think are true. Thankfully!

We can find our answers. We just have to ask ourselves the right questions.

I wish you enough,



Trust your inner unicorn.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

People prefer when they ask “How are you?” in passing to hear a frivolous “Fine!”, because they were not really interested in your response in the first place. If you can throw in a fake smile, all the better.

Don’t waste your truth on such individuals whose eyes are already scanning the room while waiting for “Fine” to escape your lips only so their insincere selves can move on.

One soon learns who actually cares about your response. It is usually the same people cheering when you achieve.

I wish you enough,



Get help brave heart.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

It is a well-known fact, and the punchline of many jokes and silly conversations behind my back, that I do have bipolar disorder. I feel pity for ignorance.

I was diagnosed at 14 years of age with manic depression and over the years the medical fraternity came up with a new word to scare people. Bipolar! Bring the holy water!

I want the stigma removed and by being open about it, I know from the emails I receive, that it helps others come to terms with mental health. Climbing and admitting there is a mountain obscuring your positive view, is brave and courageous, not mental asylum potential.

Nobody looks the least bit shocked or horrified when I say I am also diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. It seems your bones fusing and your soft tissue cells attacking each other is just dandy…. Just please don’t add depression, then people fear what they don’t understand.

I’Il take my medication religiously, but it is no guarantee for a free ride. Oh hell no! That would be way too easy.

I have rapidly cycled. Quick ups and downs.

The ups are unbelievable. Your brain is 100% in overdrive and your thoughts are clear, quick to the point and you kick productivity in overdrive. You are bullet proof. It is my favourite stage as it is with most bipolar patients. Powerful. It is to be alive with all your senses firing on all cylinders.

The downs are dark and you get there fast. Stay in bed, head under duvet kind of dark. Not eating. Not talking. Silent. Sometimes tearful, other times howling at the moon crying or plainly feeling numb to the world at large. It is horrible. Yet to meet one of my kind who likes this phase, however if you channel that pain, by far the most creative. You write deeply. Real. You reach people. Those that draw produces unbelievable pieces of art. Music is raw. Acoustic. Deep. Breath-taking.

It is documented that many creative creatures have bipolar. I am drawn to the arts like the smell of fresh Kitka to a Jew on Fridays (that includes me). I become alive and the bravery, vulnerability and generous giving of a performer fills me like a sponge. I cry at many performances for it touches an open raw wound. It is a beautiful mind.

There are those that think you must simply decide to feel better and you are better. Positive thoughts I believe in… but good luck with curing cancer!

Bipolar, depression and anxiety is treatable and can be managed. Being suicidal is not like riding a unicorn at all. Get help brave heart*.

*Call the Cipla SADAG free helpline on 0800 456 789

I wish you enough,


  • #DONTLabelMe
  • #ItsOKtoTalk
  • #ItsOKtoAsk
  • #ItsOKNotToBeOK
  • #StopTheStigma
  • #mentalhealth
  • #depression
  • #hope
  • #whatif


It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I know people would love for me to just move on, but good luck with that. I miss my child.

Liam James, London, 2018

My therapist says to just feel it. The missing of my Liam James. Sit with it as long as I need. It feels so much like grief although Lee is very much alive, and *only* 10 000km away.

Six months. It’s a long time to sit… and feel. I’m tired.

Please stop asking when I’m going to visit. There is no money for such things. I know you mean well.

I wish you enough,



Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,

They say they still can’t see.

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need for my care.

’Cause I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

– Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise.Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.

I wish you enough,


Just Add Peppadew

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Last night I attended a beautiful function at Workshop55 where the town was painted red with Peppadew South Africa!

We enjoyed an extensive menu of dishes that included Pepperdews®.

It included a Spring Garden Salad with seasonal vegetables that was pickled, roasted and pureed with herbs. It featured hot, sweet piquanté Pepperdews®.

One of my favourites were the White Fish Goujons. Hot mango atchar (also part of the Peppadew® range), hot, sweet piquanté Pepperdews®, pineapples, chimichurri, coriander and pickled carrots.

The Spicy Chicken was a bit hot for me, although the sweet piquanté Pepperdews® were mild! It was served with black rice (a first for me), ginger, garlic, mild Pepperdews® Vegetables Atchar Yoghurt and green peppers.

While the rosemary vinaigrette kicked my butt, I did enjoy the Orange and Ricotta dish. The dish included mild Pepperdews® sweet piquanté, fennel shavings, slow roast tomato and sunflower seeds. It loved the fresh orange, roast tomato and ricotta combination. Love!

The Ostrich Fillet was prepared to perfection and thus dish disappeared from the serving dish the fastest! Hot, sweet piquanté Pepperdews® with hot vegetable atchar, re-fried bean chilli, smoked baby corn and sour cream.

We ended the evening with mild, sweet piquanté Pepperdews® chocolate ganache, pistachio ice cream with rosemary and berry coulis. I enjoyed the pastry, crust texture with the smooth ganache.

Workshop55 is a gorgeous venue with a well stocked gin bar. I’ve never dined there before, so I cannot comment on their regular menu, but the service was superb. I often ask for my water to be kept topped up, and I love when it actually happens! I’m into details. 😉

I wish you enough,



Die Ellen Pakkies Storie

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I attended a VIP screening of Die Ellen Pakkies Storie tonight at Ster Kinekor.

It was one of two occasions where I was so emotional that I chose not to interact with the cast, but leave to cry in my car.

To grasp #DieEllenPakkiesStorie would be to open yourself to the unthinkable. A mother killing her adult son.

You have to see this heartbreaking, raw, unbelievable true love/life story to understand the depth of a mother’s love, and the width of her despair.

I cannot rate this movie higher than I do.

Jill Jazz Levenberg portrayal of Ellen Pakkies is authentic, crippling with emotion and without pretense. Wow.

Jarrid Geduld in the role of Abie Pakkies, is pure to the point of cringing at the pain, evil and psychologically feeling the desperation every time the word “Mommy” escapes. Phenomenal.

I wish you enough,



Guest Post: A part-time transgender woman.

Male Privilege: Yes, It Is Real

HPIM0011 (2) (002)When typing the heading to this piece I felt myself fighting back the words ‘no shit Sherlock’ and then wondered, ‘should I carry on writing this?’ Then I remembered why I wanted to write this and resolved to carry on bashing the keyboard relentlessly. You see, I have been told, sometimes by women close to me and very definitely by many men of varying degrees of closeness, that male privilege does not in fact exist. But, I know that it does. I experience it daily both as the beneficiary and the ‘victim’ of it.

As a part-time transgender woman, I make my way through the world, sometimes in the guise of a man and sometimes as the woman, I know myself to be. I am not ‘out’ at work and very few people I know socially know both iterations of me. I am therefore privy to much of the unedited, ‘normal’ male decision making, thought processes and behaviours that underpin society. I also enjoy some ‘passing privilege’ and am assumed to be a woman rather than the dreaded ‘man in a dress’ by many I meet socially. This changes at some point after meeting, but even after I have been discovered, being feminine means I am treated fundamentally differently to the way I am treated when presenting as a male. I know this because I experience it.

So let’s get this out the way … I’m a cross dresser

As a man, I can walk freely down the street, without fear.
As a woman I feel afraid to walk down the street, wondering whether I will be sexually harassed or worse, be the victim of a gender-based assault.
As a man, I can visit pubs and nightclubs (should I want to) at will.
As a woman, I am afraid to go to the mall at night, let alone a nightclub or bar alone.
As a man, I have little fear of my drink being spiked.
As a woman, I have to think about what I order, how it is delivered, who has opened it and where it is at any given time.
As a man, I can engage in debate and argument (both online and in person) and have my ideas respected (even when I am not agreed with).
As a woman I have my own arguments repeated back to me and I am regularly mansplained to.

HPIM0003 (2) (002).jpgThe sad truth is that men think less of women and men dominate work and social spaces. Their ideas carry more weight, their voices speak louder and with more authority and they move through the world with little (if any) fear. Some women accentuate this. They listen more attentively to men, they reinforce the male ego and they often do not support other women in business. Some women even think those who experience gender-based violence were ‘asking for it’. I have experienced unwelcome sexual attention. It has happened to me in mid-winter wearing jeans and jackets, it has happened to me in summer wearing a skirt. I have never welcomed it. This proves that this is a fallacy. I am fortunate in that I have never had anything escalate to physical assault, but men feel empowered to act like this. This is not normal it is not acceptable.

We need to change the way we think. We need to change what we think. We need to assert our power in the face of this male privilege. Men get away with thinking it does not exist because that is the nature of privilege, it is so entrenched it seems normal. We, women, have no such excuse. We are in this together. We should stand together.

You can reach Daniella on her Blog , and on Twitter as well as in a business capacity, Priscillas Services – Assisting the Gauteng LGBT (especially transgender and cross-dressing) community, with make-up, accommodation, storage, fashion (personal shopping) and transformation services. Safety and discretion guaranteed. Fun and happiness assured. Johannesburg, South Africa.