In conversation: Chantal Stanfield

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I have met some endearing and fabulous people during my social media journey, one is the authentically, engaging and talented Chantal Stanfield. I will let her introduce herself!


“Hi, I’m Chantal Stanfield and I get paid to not be myself!” Haha! I’m a performer, whether that’s on-screen, stage or in-studio, in various guises.

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Most people would know me from my television role as “Cecile Whittaker” on Sewende Laan and “Dalene Phillips” in Montana including my music video for “Nothing There“.

I’m also a new Mom which is a very different role altogether!

What does the “white picket fence” look like in your head?

My “white picket fence” is a place where I can be fully myself and be comfortable. That doesn’t mean that it’s perfect all the time or right for anyone else but it’s real and works for me and us.

Realistically, does your partner or your children come first in your life?

Realistically, and almost selfishly, I still come first in my life. Best believe I sacrifice time and energy for our new baby – that last cuddle that makes me late to a meeting or not showering at the time I want to, for example – and my partner and I are still reconfiguring our relationship with a newborn in charge. But I always remember the in-flight announcement on aeroplanes – fasten your own mask first before helping others. I can’t give from an empty vessel. So I have to remind myself to look after and think of myself too, so I try to continue my gym routine, go to yoga or finish one of the many bedside table books I have!

What about marriage and motherhood has surprised you?

We’re very protective of our marriage and relationship so you’d be hard-pressed to find any intimate details floating around the ether! But I will say that I’ve actually experienced a great sense of freedom in our relationship – freedom of self and security. It’s taught me, as one of my new lyrics describes, that love is not a cage.

What’s surprised me most about motherhood so far is how “naturally” it came to me. I’m not saying it hasn’t had its challenges. Parenthood is not easy and this is still the first few months! I was fearful as a first-time Mom about not bonding with baby or developing post-natal depression.

I, or we, still had great difficulty with breastfeeding which made me weepy. But I realised even before birth that it was okay to feel however I would feel and I didn’t need to be perfect, this thanks to various online articles and blogs I’d read. There’s such a wealth of knowledge and advise – some good, some not. Having an understanding and supportive partner has made such a difference!

Name two things you will not skimp on buying groceries?

Milk – for a decent coffee (or three per day!) and All-bran breakfast (I definitely need the energy more now). Underarm spray – because, stank ain’t cute!

Who and how do you manage time alone outside your home in your relationship, as well as separate outings as a family?

We’ve only recently had our first “date” without our baby, who’s just two months old. I’d actually asked one of my friends, who’s has two kids, for her advise with leaving Baby with Granny for the first time. Her invaluable advice was basically to trust that everything would be okay and to be present with Hubby on our date. Other than that, the mall around the corner and Joburg granny’s house, we haven’t had many family outings yet! I have had a few outings with friends – book club and the theatre, which has really helped me feel more like myself than just a milk machine. It definitely helps that my partner is fully hands-on and involved.

Do you celebrate your birthday in an elaborate manner, or is it just another day?

My birthday celebrations depend on where I am in life, mentally, physically and financially. But I do like to have a good, memorable “moment”! For my 25th birthday – I must’ve been doing really well! – I hosted a private party and paid for ten friends at a fancy hotel and I stayed the night in the penthouse. My 35th last year was hubby and I having pain au chocolat and café au lait at Charles De Gaulle airport after our first Eurotrip together. This year was a coffee and slice of cake at the Woollies café at Killarney mall with our little family, just four weeks after giving birth.

How much time do you spend on social media on average per day?

Gosh, I think on average about five hours! It’s definitely increased since having a baby – scrolling through my phone while breastfeeding is the culprit!

Do you have a daily to-do list or do you just wing it?

Right now, I wing it. There’s a general plan i.e. write a few lines for a new play while baby is sleeping or go to the park for our Vitamin D fix. We now have to work around what admin needs to get done, like a bank visit with various certified documents, with timing baby’s feeds and nappy changes. It’s a challenge but do-able!

Share something most people do not know about you?

I did sailing in high school!


You can catch Chantal in the upcoming production of “Rock of Ages” #yassssqueen!

Rock of Ages

From: Thursday, 26 September 2019 to Sunday, 20 October 2019

Venue: Montecasino Teatro

Times: Tuesday – Friday: 20h00
Saturday: 15h00 & 20h00
Sunday: 14h00 & 18h00

Tickets: R150 – R350 per person


I wish you enough,

Wenchy

🌿 🥂

In conversation with Liam James

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I’ve slowly been building up a series of interviews I have done with the kids in my life. Kinda get their perception of me…. So far I’ve published Kyle and Kyla ‘s answers to my many questions. Go check them out.

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Today’s is a little different. I found a post where I had interviewed my son Liam James when he was 12, and also now the answers he gave me at 19. I think you are going to laugh at this one. On the 12-year-old interview… I especially enjoyed his response to question 10 and number 18 is a comedian in the making! Don’t even mention his reply to question 21!!

LIAM JAMES (12)

Liam as a 12 year old

1. What is something mom always says to you? You can do better.
2. What makes mom happy? When she is with her kids, knowing she has enough money so the kids will have food on the table.
3. What makes mom sad? When we disappoint her, when she doesn’t get her way, when we talk to her ugly.
4. How does your mom make you laugh? She says those fanTy words… and these interviews!
5. What did your mom like to do as a child? She liked to read books, ride her bicycle and spend time with her uncle Chris.
6. How old is your mom? 35
7. How tall is your mom? Like 5.1 cm?? I don’t know. Whatever the right height thingie is.
8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV? Grey’s Anatomy. Idols.
9. What does your mom do when you’re not around? She spends time with @SirNoid and tries to have fun.
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Acting. She is such a drama queen.

Liam James

11. What is your mom really good at? She is really really good at singing, acting and cooking.
12. What is your mom not very good at? She is not very good at maths and getting to places on time and that’s about it.
13. What does your mom do for her job? Does accounting and manages people’s monies.
14. What is your mom’s favorite food? Souskluitjies.
15. What makes you proud of your mom? She has been there for me and is always looking after me.
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? I think Donald Duck.
17. What do you and your mom do together? We shop.
18. How are you and your mom the same? We take medicine, we both very emotional and we both not very good in the head.
19. How are you and your mom different? I think we are different because I’m a dude and she is a dudette and I don’t care about my weight and she does…. And I love to eat allot and allot.
20. How do you know your mom loves you? Because she goes out of her way to do things for me, except for the one time when she went to Gold Reef City without me. I know you love me because you care for me and always try to make things better.
21. What does your mom like most about your dad (the x-person)?This may take a while… give me a few hours or some days… Sorry I can’t think of anything.
22. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go? Cape Town (without us). Is this interview over?


My Lee has a truly beautiful, sensitive and giving heart who loves to go to the gym and eat cheese. Cheese is a big deal in his life. He always tells me he eats Strawberry Pops when he misses me (May I just mention, I have not had any since I started banting a year ago).  It is only Liam James and Ouma Chrissie that I know always puts on body lotion whenever they come in contact with water. He is big on hydration and installed a water drinking challenge app on my phone to make sure I drink enough water.

He understands me very well (my weaknesses and strengths) and while he can come across abrupt at times he is actually a very thoughtful person. He likes to visit with friends but like me, also needs solitude. He prefers living “in the countrybecause he says “not even the birds sound sincere in the city”. Ha ha ha! I loved that comment.

We do laugh and talk enthusiastically (meaning loudly!) when we are together. Lee adapts to a situation with ease. He is able to walk up, introduce himself and off you go. He may hook up with the cleaner and the CEO in one evening. No problem. He speaks to anyone and treats people equally. He does not judge. He has a very low threshold for people who they think are better than another because of their financial status. The boy also did not come with tact. His words are out before his brain has any chance of filtering that information... remind you of anyone?

He is the one who will take off his shoes and give it to another, with no second thought. I will never forget that he asked for a Bar One as a Christmas gift one year, … and another time he just wanted packets of jelly for his birthday. (We are not alike in this department.) Lee is a dreamer. Lovable, never boring and quick-witted. He is also as naughty as hell can handle, and creates mayhem with ease!

Liam James is really easy on the eye, and has a certain charm about him… he calls me MOTHER btw. Nutter. Who does that? 🙂

My blue-eyed wonder whom I love very, very, very much….. My one and only shot at any of my kids having I LOVE MOM tattooed on them! 🙂  Love you my darling boy. Wishing all your big dreams come true, that your life works out the way you would like and not in the corner you have been pushed. Remember, push back.  (Things Maureen says… inside joke…)

LIAM JAMES (19)

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1. Is there something I say to you often? I love you

2. What makes me happy? Purple giraffes and seeing your kids in one place.

3. What makes me sad? Feeling helpless and when you cannot help your kids.

4. How do I make you laugh? You just be yourself around me.

5. What do you think I was like at your age? Fun, exciting – not a trouble maker.

6. How old am I? 14

7. How tall am I? 5ft 5

8. What is my favourite thing to do? Besides the obvious spending time with your family… Reading.

9. What do you think I do when you are not here? I think you work.

10. If I was famous, what would I be famous for? Social Media Empire.

11. What am I really good at? You are good at making people feel loved.

12.  What is I very bad at? Hmm very tough question aha making pancakes!

13. What do I do at work? Make other people famous.

14. What is my favourite food? I think salmon and eggs and cream cheese.

15. What makes you proud of me? You will to survive and adapt in any situation.

16. If I was a character on TV or Movies , who would I  be? Judy Garland.

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17. What do you and I do together that you enjoy? Talking I think.

18. In which way are you and I the same? We have sympathy for poor people.

19. What do you and I disagree about? Lol everything!

20. How do you know that I love you? You keep me out of jail.

21. What do I like about @SirNoid? I actually don’t know … he is really awesome and makes you happy.

22. Where do I love to go? Cape Town and Drakensberg.

23. Is there a song that reminds you of me? Jolene –  Dolly Parton

24. Where is my favourite place to go on holiday?  Uvongo, use to be don’t know if it still is. 

25. If you introduce me to your friends,  what do you call me?  This is my mom Wenchy or Aunty Stel.

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I wish you enough,

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In conversation with Kyla Jean

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

The second in my series of interviews with my kids.

I always knew I would have many children. You know, I collect stuff. 🙂 Yes, it is meant as light hearted as it sounds.

It never occurred to my younger self that I did not have to conceive, nor give birth, to love without condition and support without being asked. Some connections just are… and I seriously have enough stretch marks already.
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I see my heart stumble and fall, finding it’s own place in the world. I worry, I guide, I do not want to interfere…. I smile when Ky is happy and I cry when sadness crosses her path. The living water flows between us.

Kyla Jean is 22 years old and to be honest, age is irrelevant to the soul she carries. Ky is exceptionally strong in her spirit. Stubborn. Moody. Principled. You will not break her, and if you did try, @SirNoid and I will be forced to step in and break you.

She is loving, generous, kind and loyal. Streetwise and naive at the same time. She sends @SirNoid and I long voice notes, pictures and random thoughts. I know I’m alive in her.

Our Kyla has great compassion for people and animals and is one of the most passionate Liverpool FC supporters I know. She introduced me to the colour grey which is not beige at all, I assure you.

I don’t think people realise how spiritual our Kyla truly is. Her religion is kindness and what she can do that is good in the world. A world that has not been a very kind host to her.

She gives of her time, she is smart, funny and much like Liam James, she says she won’t, but she always gives people another chance.

She is my Princess, who woke on a bed with many layers and a hidden ‘pea’. Together we will destroy every ‘pea’, until there is only Egyptian cotton left.

Blood may genetically link people, but a love you choose for yourself, is forever.

Mommy loves you Ky.

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1. Is there something I say to you often?
You miss and love me lots.

2. What makes me happy?
My peanut butter cookies.
All things purple.
Having us kids around.
Love.
Your love life.
Going to Drakensburg.
Laughter.
Long chats with me.
HUGS!
Yummy cocktails.
Theatre.
Other people’s happiness.

3. What makes me sad?
Not having us kids around often enough.
Being in pain.
Crap days.
Rude children.
Thinking about the people you miss dearly.
The crappy things from your past that occasionally pop up in your mind.
Others pain and sadness.
Racism.

4. How do I make you laugh?
Laughing is just our thing mom, we just happen to laugh at and with each other about almost anything. I think we’ve learnt it’s cheap and easy exercise for the body and mind.

5. What do you think I was like at your age?
FUCKING STRONG!

6. How old am I?
14.

7. How tall am I?
Tall enough.
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8. What is my favourite thing to do?
Be you, duh.

9. What do you think I do when you are not here?
You miss me like crazy, sometimes cry. And you live your life.

10. If I was famous, what would I be famous for?
Mom, you’re like a diva celebrity to me.

11. What am I really good at?
Being the most amazingly authentic, crazy self. You’re everything opposite of mediocre.

12. What am I very bad at?
Sometimes you suck at living in the moment.

13. What do I do at work?
You be fabulous.

14. What is my favourite food?
Lamb chops?

15. What makes you proud of me?
Your strength, authenticity, your huge fucking heart, your ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude, being my mom 💜.

16. If I was a character on TV or Movies , who would I be?
Dorothy Gale

17. What do you and I do together that you enjoy?
We talk about everything, we laugh, we love, we just vibe together.

18. In which way are you and I the same?
We love unconditionally and occasionally live in the past.

19. What do you and I disagree about?
A particular man.
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20. How do you know that I love you?
I add value to your life and vice versa, therefore I know that we have both made that decision to love each other for the qualities we both bring to our relationship.

21. What do I like about @SirNoid?
His unconditional love and support.
The fact that he challenges you.

22. Where do I love to go?
The theatre.

23. Is there a song that reminds you of me?
Black Velvet.

24. Where is my favourite place to go on holiday?
Drakensburg.

25. If you introduce me to your friends, what do you call me?
My mommy.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Ky. I look forward to doing it again in the future and see how your perspective on me changes.

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

In conversation with our Kyle.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

In the years past, I use to write in depth about my children but as they got older, I’ve tried to be more mindful of their own sense of privacy. Also, my family structure became more complex. I still write about my many, many children, but more topical than as individuals.

With inspiration from other Bloggers, I decided to do an interview with the kids in my life.

My kids are older than the Mommy Bloggers kiddies I interact with, so I adjusted the questions a bit.

Posted the questions to the kids individually via WhatsApp. I am publishing their replies as they wrote them. 

In no particular order, I’m randomly starting with Kyle.  🙂 We call him “Superman” because of his physical likeness to the character.
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Kyle is 22 years old and I love him sincerely from the very depth of my soul, while being born from my heart.

He is a genius when it comes to art and is generally extremely creativity. He loves body building, working out and food!

Kyle became an instant, loving and involved Dad to Abigail’s when he married her mommy Emma earlier this year.
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So, here are my questions and dear Kyle’s replies.

1. Is there something I say to you often? 
I love you.

2. What makes me happy?
Your children.

3. What makes me sad?
People close to you suffering, or struggling emotionly.

4. How do I make you laugh?
I laugh when you tell me interesting stories of people you’ve met or silly things you have done.

5. What do you think I was like at your age?
Hard working, stressed but happy, maybe a bit emotionally confused about where you were at that time of your life and where you wanted to be, but you lived in the moment.

6. How old am I?
42

7. How tall am I?
5.4
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8. What is my favourite thing to do?
Blog.

9. What do you think I do when you are not here?
Cry cause you miss me 😋.

10. If I was famous, what would I be famous for?
Taking photos.

11. What am I really good at?
Writing.

12.  What am I very bad at?
Drawing.
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Clearly Kyle drew the above and not me. I’m hopeless in that regard!

13. What do I do at work?
Blog.

14. What is my favourite food?
I dunno.

15. What makes you proud of me?
Your ability to love.

16. If I was a character/actress on TV or Movies , who would I  be?
Judy Garland

17. What do you and I do together that you enjoy?
Seeing each other.
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18. In which way are you and I the same?
We both love Kev.

19. What do you and I disagree about?
Nothing.

20. How do you know that I love you?
You tell me all the time.

21. What do I like about @SirNoid?
He’s cuddly.

22. Where do I love to go?
Isabella’s.

23. Is there a song that reminds you of me? 
Not that I can think of.

24. Where is my favourite place to go on holiday? 
Drakensberg.

25. If you introduce me to your friends,  what do you call me? 
Mom.

Thank you babe for indulging me and answering my questions. I know when I read them over the years to come, they will be like gold glitter to me. Sentimental silly girl I am.

Obviously, some answers are subjective but once I’ve published all the kids replies, I’ll answer a few of the less obvious ones. 🙂

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

The 11th season of @IdolsSA might feature a drag queen @ShenayOBrien !

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

After reading this article in The Citizen, I knew I had to chat to my friend Shenay and hear all about the Idols experience! 1-shenay

Shenay, firstly thank you for making time for a Wench in your seriously busy schedule. Entering Idols Pop! It is fantastic that I can say ‘Hey I went to @Sterkinekor’s #girlfriendsgetaway with that girl and she was at my birthday party… and now she is winning golden tickets!’  

I am very proud of you for auditioning and facing the wrath of all who do not believe in fairies and glitter. I bet the other contestants were jealous of you rocking those killer heels!

I know that you love performing. Besides your talent, what do you hope to share with the greater public?

Shenay:  Being able to perform is such a blessing and a privilege and to share my talent with others – I couldn’t ask for anything more. But I want to show the public, that no matter how different you are, its more than okay, and just to be you IS enough! 🙂

When did you first put on a dress and feel the power of pouting lips? Was it frustrating or liberating?

Shenay: WOW, uhm … I think when I was still a in Primary School. I didn’t really understand “why I was different” and to be boxed and conditioned by society what THEY WANT you to be, and not what YOU WANT to be was extremely frustrating! But my first empowering moment came in 2009 – when someone approached me and said: “You have GUTS, and I admire you for that”. I was on cloud 9. It was then that I knew that I have the power to inspire others and to perform and enjoy what I do, whilst being able to help others is simply, remarkable! 🙂

A few quick questions just for fun!

1.    Song that cheers you right up?

Shenay: At the moment it has to be Ellie Goulding: Love me like you Do.

2.    Favourite movie and why?

Shenay: Saving Mr.Banks. Emma Thompson is phenomenal and again its the story of of hope , trust and taking risks!

3.    Mr Grey or Mr Darcy? Shenay: Neither! Haha Ooooohhhhhhh but definitely James Franco!

4.  Is there anything you would absolutely not eat?

Shenay: Mopanie Worms and Tripe!!

5. Do you share that feeling at the end of the day when you take your bra off and it is like “Sigh! Yes! Freedom!” … or is it just me?

Shenay: Oh YES! I think all woman do that at the end of the day, unless you are wearing Victoria Secret, then its a Hell-to-the-NO!!

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Wishing you enough for all those dreams to come true and as you always say “glitter kisses!

In conversation with @zavionk “What did I do to deserve this?” cc @infiniteComPR

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Like many South Africans, my first introduction to Zavion Kotze was on Survivor SA. The moment he dragged the mighty Solly across the beach as if this huge black man weighed nothing, he had my vote. Not only did he come across as sincere and truthful, he was seriously athletically talented. A true contender. I enjoyed watching this openly gay man, break the stereotypical homosexual profile and kick some serious straight ass in the process.

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I have met Zavion a number of times with thanks to @infiniteComPR, and I can assure you, he is everything you thought him to be. He is confidently soft-spoken, has an infectious laugh, a great sense of humour, a true romantic and you cannot help but to respond to his humble and appreciative nature. He is somebody who truly lives life to the maximum.

His accomplishments are endless, on a great number of fields, but he is quick to point out that his mom has taught him not to take praise for granted and he very quickly will steer the conversation away from himself.

Although Zavion was raised in a family where his parents were divorced, he spoke about his family with great love and obvious affection. Zavion plays a number of musical instruments and headed up the choir at Kearsney College in his matric year. We chatted about his very promising rugby career for the Sharks and his decision to focus on athletics as you are only as good as your last personal performance. His words reminded me of a quote that focuses of being better than you were yesterday. He clearly drives himself to greatness.

His honesty was refreshing and we had a good laugh about Survivor SA. I asked him what surprised him most and he said he truly thought maybe the crew would pass you an apple when you truly have no food! I loved the innocence of his answer. Apparently, there is no such thing as Zavion lost 18kg while filming Survivor SA.

I congratulated him on the huge amount of medals he won at the recent Gay Games. He told me about a 99-year-old athlete completed the 100 m race and that the games were so much more than sexual orientation, quickly diverting from himself. It was about acceptance, love, competition and ultimately representing your country. Well, if there is one man I do not mind representing my South Africa, it is this man. We chatted about the great adventure that visiting the USA was, the fun times, his desire to bring the games to South Africa, but overall, the feeling of love and acceptance….. and yes achievement. Taking part in the Gay Games to Zavion, is part of living a life worthy of celebration.

This diverse personality has the patience to deal with brides (more power to him!) and their mothers, while creating beautiful, stylish, sophisticated weddings. Picture perfect. In his first year he only did six weddings, almost double that in the second year and in the third year, just over 30 weddings. Clearly the man knows about what girls want.

But what does this boy want? He became silent for a moment as to reflect on his answer and swallowed. I waited. He said softly that he would very much want a family of his own, to get married and share his life with a man he loves and who loves him. Zavion is in a loving and fulfilling relationship, describing it as more than he could have hoped for. He smiled, looked down and then straight at me and said, “What did I do to deserve this?”

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On the official website for Zavion Kotze Events Company, the very apt quote welcomes you. Well, if I wasn’t already a huge fan, this would have sealed the deal, as we know my thoughts of Ms Garland!

“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”

— Judy Garland

You are enough Zavion. Happy, happy birthday. I am so glad you were born.

Wenchy