Guest Post : Behind the door

I have always been fascinated with doors. I find myself photographing various shapes and types of doors wherever I travel throughout South Africa. My Pinterest account has a board aptly named ‘Doors’ and on my ‘France’ and ‘Architecture’ boards, you’ll find numerous beautiful photographs from around the world featuring… you guessed it… all kinds of doors.

Some beautifully carved front doors are comfortably nestled in a blanket of soft green ivy creepers. Brightly coloured rows of striped beach houses sport crisp white doors, where shafts of late afternoon sunlight play a game of hide and seek. Stately homes parade ornate doorknockers, some inviting and others to scare away evil spirits. Doors in far-flung destinations fit neatly into architectural masterpieces where arches stretch to the stars. Other buildings have fabric doors that flap in the dusty winds.

Elizabeth Arden, founder of the well-known cosmetic house chose a red door to capture people’s attention when she opened her famous Red Door Spa on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1910. This famous red door still stands today and became the symbol of female independence around the early 1900’s. Behind this red door, women who joined the Second World War were given lipsticks in varying shades of red to match their uniforms, to show support to their war efforts. The iconic name of Elizabeth Arden still provides confidence to women all over the world 108 years later. It all started with a single red door.

My favourite doors are the well-worn ones, held together with rusted hinges and heavy metal locks. This makes me wonder. Do these doors protect family secrets inside or keep strangers out? Or perhaps both…? If these doors could talk, what stories would they tell?

My fascination with doors, has made me think… what do these doors represent to us? Doors are part of our everyday lives. Church doors may bring consolation or conviction. Hospital doors can cause anxiety or bring relief. Doors allow us to enter and leave. The doors where we live protect us and let the sunshine in. Doors give us choices…

If I had to create my perfect door, it would be a huge wooden door, painted red and adorned with solid brass hinges and an impressive round doorknob. I would see my reflection in the brass fittings and know that no matter what the world thinks of me, I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (I might have to remind myself of this every now and again though.) I believe that I would not be afraid to confidently take hold of that beautiful round doorknob and push open my bright red door.

I wonder… what would I hope to find behind my red door? Hopefully I will find a fresh desire to live my life with newfound passion. I want to see new words tumble down from heaven in a myriad of colours, penetrating my heart and mind. Words that will set my pages alight and inspire my readers. There must be words of excellence that inspire others and make them think. And bucket loads of kindness and compassion to heal the hurts that cross my path.

What does your favourite door represent to you? What does your door look like? What is hidden behind your door? Are you hesitant to open it because you are afraid of the unknown?

I dare you to take hold of that handle that has been beckoning you for days or even years and let a new world into your life.

All right here goes… my hand is on the cool brass. My palm is sweaty. Let us see what life holds for me behind my door.

You can contact Laura at:

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*Photo – http://inspirage.info/cool-the-door-photos/
** All other photos courtesy of Google images

Guest Post: Being a woman

My name is Melanie but often I can’t pronounce it so let’s stick to Miss Pretorius or Lu.

It’s no state secret that I stutter and that it gets worse when I’m nervous…and I’m nervous a lot. It’s funny that I would choose a career in the media that involves interacting with strangers and often requires interviews, the things that triggers my nervousness and therefore intensifies my stuttering. I didn’t choose it, it chose me and I’m happy. It taught me to get out of my shell, overcome my social anxieties and live my best life, be the best me I can possible be.

I’m often told I’m weird and I don’t get offended by that statement. If being my authentic self constitutes to weird, well then I’m the weirdest person around. I’m awkward, socially and otherwise and relate to animals better than to humans. I take eons to open up but when I do it’s because I trust, irrevocably. I love the colour black and feel it has a lot to do with the Greek meaning of my name, which is literally “darkness”. I’m drawn to it, like a moth to a flame; it’s my security blanket, my safe haven.

I’m often in battle with myself over insecurity issues that stems from my youth. You’d think by now I’d have a fail-safe way to overcome it but alas some of it still haunts me. I’ve been teased endlessly about my tiny frame and I’ve come to accept it with time but on some days, when you already feel low and a random stranger makes a remark, you’re sucked into that cycle of self-doubt again. I’ve learned that my strength comes from accepting my weakness and apparently caring about others’ opinions about me is one of them. I don’t lash back, oh no, I won’t stoop to their level and the art of meditation has helped me through many such battles.

Being a woman means being strong. Dealing with constant scrutiny, stereotypes and being judged by different standards than men, well it requires a lot of strength. I’ve written several posts about sexual harassment, slut shaming and now pink tax that we as women constantly have to deal with, often on a daily basis. Frankly, I don’t feel that it will ever stop so we need to arm ourselves with the necessary tools to withstand the temptation to get embroiled in fights by our male counterparts. How do we do that?

Ignore them; nothing makes people angrier than you not acknowledging their existence. Show them that you’re a better human being than they could wish to be. We have one thing that they’ll never possess, that try as they may they can’t take it away; we give life! We are your first love as we are your mother, sister, aunt and grandmother.

The strength that comes from being a woman is unlike anything you’d ever be able to acquire artificially. We love hard, even though we know pain is inevitable. We forgive often, even though the cracks will always be visible in our fragile hearts. And yes, our hearts are fragile but it’s strong, stronger than a diamond. When we give our hearts, it’s a treasure rarer than said diamond as it would be unlike anything you’ll ever possess.

I’m always open to hear new opinions, random thoughts and late night musings so let’s be weird together.


Melanie is a Lifestyle Blogger and Editor at Rhose in Bloom.

You can get in contact with Melanie via:

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In celebration of #WomensMonth, I open my platform to guest blogs. You are welcome to send your posts to wenchy@mweb.co.za for publication.

#wenchytude

#IamTheLegacy with @TheSADAG

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I have shared openly with regards to my struggle with depression and excessive anxiety during my 21 years of blogging.

In South Africa, one in three people are affected by mental health problems. I am that one.

There are 23 deaths due to suicides in South Africa every single day. 460 attempted suicides are reported every 24 hours. Imagine how high this number actually is for those of us who have never spoken up?

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group need your help to continue providing crucial support – #BeTheLegacy and help save a life :

R67 will pay for 14 key-rings with our Suicide Helpline number, to be given to Students, so that they know they can call us for help.

R100 pays for the call costs for 5 calls to our Toll Free Crisis Helpline.

R167 will pay for a Teen Suicide Prevention Speaking Book that can reach over 100 youths. These Hardcover books contain 16 pages of colorful illustrations, a celebrity narrator to listen to and text to read.

R1,670 helps train 25 Community Members in rural areas in Gauteng, Limpopo or Mpumalanga, on Depression, Treating Trauma, Starting Support Groups and learning how SADAG can further help in their community.

#67minutes
#BeTheLegacy

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

Guest Blog Posts for Woman’s Day.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Every August I invite females active on social media to share who they are on my blog in honour of Woman’s Day.

It can be on any subject. Be it health, sexuality, infertility, relationships, careers, abuse, mental health, parenthood, human rights, etc. – as long as it is authentic.

Around 500 words with a picture that has preferably not been used online before. You are welcome to provide your social media details so that readers know how to contact you, or your business.

If this appeals to you, please mail your contributions to wenchy@mweb.co.za

I wish you enough,

Wenchy


#wenchytude

Soulstice Day Spa at Silverstar Casino

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I can’t be all that annoying as my eighteen-year-old daughter Victoria still loves to spend time with me. We are a noisy due, me and my mini-me (she hates being called that).  My only biological daughter is a non-conformist, she speaks her mind, doesn’t tolerate any kind of discrimination and makes the most delicious biscuits. She is also funny, kind and quick-witted.

We go on a weekly date, so when the opportunity arose for us to go on a mom and daughters treat at the Soulstice Day Spa at Silverstar Casino, I said yes before checking with Victoria. It would be her first-day spa experience …and her first facial! #MomDaughterGoals

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Victoria and I were welcomed by professionally trained therapists and were taken on a tour of this top-class spa. The spa offers a wide range of hydro facilities which I thought added to the relaxing atmosphere. Some of these are available as a Day Guest, while others you need to book. You have the options of a luxurious Jacuzzi, floatation pool, a Rasul Chamber, a Swiss Shower (… bring your own Swiss national!) and a steam room. Fun Fact: I love me a good steam room! The Spa also has a hair salon and manicure and pedicure lounge.

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You are spoiled for choice with an outdoor pool, an inside heated pool with a great view. The one that caught my attention was the third option, an outdoor hydrotherapy pool which you can book to be completely private. I imagine one could host a beautiful pre-wedding, birthday or valentine spa day with those close to you at this luxurious location. The outdoor shower looks super inviting and revitalizing.

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 “… an extraordinary experience in spa wellness”

There are thirteen treatment rooms which include dual treatment rooms should you wish to share your experience with a partner, friend or in my case my darling daughter. This was actually a big deal for me as it was my daughter’s first Spa experience and I wanted to be there for all of it!

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After our tour, Victoria and I changed into the necessary gowns and slippers. Very fancy. We lounged having cucumber and strawberry water which was lovely. There are also many kinds of teas which Victoria loves but I prefer water. The tiny choc chip muffins we both appreciated plenty. It is just a lovely relaxing waiting area.

Our large treatment room was the perfect lighting for transporting to some far off tranquil place and I literally exhaled. I cherished the experience with my daughter. The therapists were very friendly and answered all our questions. Each product used was explained. It was a very positive experience for us both and I am very grateful for the opportunity to share special times with my daughter.

“Soulstice Day Spa  Johannesburg is a proud member of the prestigious, award-winning, Spas of Distinction Collection”

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I highly recommend this offering under the Tsogo Sun umbrella at Silverstar Casino.

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

Lee.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

My chest feels heavy and every now and then I feel myself gasping for air. There is a lump in my throat as a cry wants to escape. A wetness in the corner of my eyes. Breathe.

I miss my Liam. Writing the words, the wetness escapes my eyes and I feel the tears running down my face.

It has been a month since my boy left for England, yet it feels much longer. It is painful. I feel a desperation I don’t know how to describe.

Every smidge of news I absorb. Every picture shared I save and print it into my memory. I don’t want to miss a thing.

I don’t want him to feel sad. I want him to see things, do things I’ve never done. Go places. Laugh. Be you. Touch the world as only you can.

My Liam James is doing just dandy over the sea. It is only me who is not. There is this hole, this empty space in my life where Lee fits in that I don’t know how to fill.

Does it get better?

I wish you enough,
Liam’s Mom.

I’m not a Queen 👑?

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Let me set the murder scene.

The husband is sitting outside, very proudly looking at the fire he made. Fast forward to after the Boer War.

The fire is inside a built in braai.

In the wall.

With a light inside it, so you can check if you are Afrikaans or English.

The husband is drinking a beer. I ask him where my Strawberry Daiquiri is. He replies bravely… actually, I should be serving him drinks as he is making a fire for me.

A fire for me? I’ve already suggested the use of the oven twice, and yet he keep mentioning a fire. (Must check out his schizophrenic tendancies with therapist.)

Back to the drink. Now … I know my heritage is a touch of Portuguese, a slap on the ass of Italian and a karvoevel with a Cape Coloured somewhere, but none it includes me serving beer! (Wench – – – naaah!)

Then the realisation hit me. I’m Egyptian! Clearly right? I’m Cleopatra. A queen!

Husband says “Even if you were Egyptian, which you are not, what makes you a Queen?”

#LeSigh… “Well, there is no way I was going to be Egyptian AND a peasant!”

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

The Tale Of The Potent Brownie

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

If you have grown children with a sense of danger, humour and me as a Mom… this delight may await you.

BTW, calling your kids assholes can be a term of endearment. #wink

I am NOT impersonating a vlogger. I don’t have the skills for that. This was totally just me telling a story!

Click here :

The Tale Of The Potent Brownie

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

#wenchytude

The silence that is me.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

“…and, for that little while,
the darkness was kind.”
~ Stephen King

The past year has been filled with contradiction. Life changing decisions which lead me to feelings of elation, dread, hope, happiness and despair.

Perhaps that is life. Not being stagnant is positive. Change is the one thing we can count on. How we deal with change is the game changer I’m told.

Right now I’m dealing with my blue eyed wonder, Liam James having relocated permanently to the UK. Anyone who knows our story, know that a chunk of my identity and heart got on that plane. I am very happy for my boy. I want him to do things I never did, see places I’ve never been. It is however painful to not have him with me.

I was ill for over four weeks with a crazy case of bronchitis and for the first time in my life, fainting. Ovet-rated for sure. Three antibiotics, wheezing and feeling unsteady on my feet. For weeks. We really should place more emphasis on celebrating our health.

I could not meet my media obligations. I feel like a failure. I’m behind in my writing course, my reviews and attending events was impossible. I don’t like doing the bare minimum just so that “something” was done.

I also realised that I over complicate writing, as well as blogging. I want it to be my idea of perfect. I read other blogs and I feel dissapointed. It seems simplistic. I expect more. There is nothing wrong with their posts, but I always expect it to extraordinary. I’m being unfair. Stop the search for perfect. Just be dammit. Just enjoy things for what they are.

I decided to return to basics. Write. Come on Wenchy. Just be you. Write for you. Even when it isn’t perfect….. because darling you are far from perfect. Writers write, so WRITE!

It is 4h36am. I’m going to post this because my friends miss me just writing about every day kinda stuff, and me being just being me… and writing is one of the few ways I know will assist me with the murky waters of the taunting depression I feel lurking.

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

Closing Circles

The Nocturnal Wenchy

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.

Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.

You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that.

But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister.

Everyone is finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.

Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them.

Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.

Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.

Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.”

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.

Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.

This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.

Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.

Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.

– Paulo Coelho