New every morning. 

Dear friends and other interesting creatures, 

All I wanted was to live a life where I could be me, and be okay with that. I had no need for material possessions, money or even close friends with me on my journey. I never understood people very well anyway, and they never seemed to understand me very well either. All I wanted was my art and the chance to be the creator of my own world, my own reality. I wanted the open road and new beginnings every day.

– Charlotte Eriksson

I remember a time in my life I honestly believed that I got to try again tomorrow. I’m not saying be an idiot and then all is forgiven when the sun comes up. 

A new day would emerge where transgressions were not a well indexed encyclopaedia. I got to try again without question as the sun came up. I’ve not felt that way for well over a decade. 

Peace. Acceptance. Happiness. Fulfillment. Love. 

You cannot find everlasting hunger, fed and satisfied by humanity. There is no solution to be found inside others. People are flawed, they are human. Their mood and emotions blow as the wind. It is the nature of the beast. The wind blows intermittently. Unpredictable. Storm and sunshine. 

The Bible speaks about “New mercies every day”, “Come to me all who are heavy burdened and I will give you rest.” While I cannot pledge myself as a devoted Christian, I do believe that if once you were held in the palm of God’s hand, that He will not let you go. I find a strange comfort in that. A solitude. He knows my name. Inscribed in His hand, I will find rest,… eventually. 

I’ve read the Bible. I can quote scripture. I grew up with a strong Biblical background. My grandfather is a Pastor. This is not saying much as the devil is quite proficient in scripture himself. I do not often speak about religion because I do not live in a glasshouse. I am not fond of stones. 

I attempt to act in kindness, acceptance, toletance and love. I do not always succeed. I try. I am flawed. I run with the wind. I’m human. 

I wish you enough, 

Wenchy

What is a blogger? 

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I have found it more and more difficult to align myself with the Blogging community as a whole. It has been a struggle between wanting to fit in, run with the cool kids, or my more inherent need to be recognised for who I am and my belief of what a Blogger is. Maybe I will just declare myself the cool kid. 

I have never fitted into a genre and there is no niche to my writing, except that I write my truth. My personal, human experience. Joyful or destroying. 

What was an online journal to many has turned into a Digital Marketing space. In my mind Blogging is personal. Marketing is selling. Makes sense?

I have endorsed products, places and people on this blog. I have never endorsed anything that is not truthful to me, but marketing on my blog is not #wenchytude. Authenticity is #wenchytude. Forgive me as wrap my mind around being both.
Is it authentic to tell you about a show I loved (#WestSideStorySA at Joburg Theatre is a must see. It excites my soul to *feel* the music.) or the truth about a restaurant I visited or movie I saw? What products I enjoy using or which book I think you should all read?

Off course it is. I was doing this by nature long before Twitter or Facebook came to be. Before stats,  sponsored content and rate cards.

Having an online presence and being called a “Social Media Influencer” certainly has exposed me to greater experiences, people and places. I am extremely grateful and humbled.  A tad in awe when being partnered with a brand, invited to Social Media events, meeting people I admire and visit destinations I may never have enjoyed otherwise. I’ve been incredibly blessed and I am very thankful. 

@SirNoid constantly reminds me that at times my wonder at it all, has left me vulnerable to my online space being exploited, that my time, effort and personal brand has worth in the digital arena. 

I acknowledge that I’ve worked hard at my personal brand. Perhaps because I enjoy being the Diva,  I do not always recognise what I do, as “work”?  

I will go forth believing I am one of the lucky few who get to do what they love, and love what they do. What an exciting time to be alive! 

I shall grow with the changing times, while keeping it real. I still identify Blogging as being a writer at the core. For me the tipping point remains authentic content, not forced to a schedule and truthful reflection. 

Not having published a book, I feel I cannot claim a stake at that exclusive word. Writer. 

Perhaps, it is time?

I wish you enough,

Wenchy

Comma

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

You were my first love as a little  girl. Waiting for you to come home from the Airforce. 

A R5 tucked into my hand when nobody looked. The first man to buy me perfume.  A comfort after my father died. 

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42 you said?

Dear friends, family and other interesting creatures,

Some bonds cannot be broken. Not even in death.

It may be 17 years since Tim died, but I had a very real sense of him yesterday. I could not understand why he lingered yesterday. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. Usually I am able to pin point an emotional from him, a smile, a look in his eye – yesterday I just felt him here.

He always visits, sitting on the right hand side of the bed, regardless of venue. Before he died, we had never even been in a bedroom together before.

Seeing Tim isn’t scary or creepy. It can be both comforting and heart breaking. Sometimes I smile, other times I feel renewed grief.

I am not big on “speaking to the dead”, or “crossing over”. I’m merely relating that somehow Tim keeps contact. Often followed up the next day or two in a quote or a song, an item that was of value only to us.

Have you ever experienced anything like this?

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

The Nocturnal Wenchy

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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…

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Check your mate

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Random thoughts:

* My anxiety is playing up at the moment and I am not loving it. My default emotion is anxiety so it does not require an event to plague me. It is not fanTy. Forgive me if I am not as chatty as usual. Although … I’ve become really good at hiding these issues.

* I love my husband, @SirNoid. He won a big ass TV and put it in our room for me toimage watch DVD’s. Not that I watch DVD’s all day long but it made me feel special that he did that. I do not want it hooked up to our DSTV! Perfect just like that.

Oh yes, dear @SirNoid gives magnificent massages. Not sure if I could return the favour in an equally fabulous manner with my lovely illness inflamed hands, but I will try.

* Before you pick up your phone to call me, think… Is this textable? I do not answer the phone (deep psychological reasons which surfaced after my Oupa Mike died. No therapy did not help). So, unless I gave birth to you, or I let you sleep in my bed, don’t phone me. I am not going to answer. Text or email. Flowers (yellow roses really do the trick) is lovely, and you are welcome to WhatsApp me. On the odd occasion that I may call YOU, know that you are incredibly special!

* I need to colour my hair at least every 7 to 10 days for the optimum #purplehairdontcare look. Been just over 18 months of having totally purple hair and I am loving it ! Even my @SirNoid loves it ….and he was very sceptical in the beginning. 💜

* After five or so years, it appears our furniture needs replacing… as does our linen. Electrical appliances seem fine but our bedroom, bathrooms, lounges etc need some attention / updating / love. How long does these things last in your house?

* @SirNoid and I do not share a bathroom. Very progressive thinking I must say. My husband says I’m odd to not share a bathroom, but why not, if you have another bathroom that isn’t being used? Would you like your own bathroom?

* ♡ I am posting my birthday #wishlist tonight, as requested. I love that I still get asked to do this. 😄 My friends are so proper.


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I’m posting this as a request from my friend Janice who tagged me on Facebook.

Four names I go by:
1. Momma / Mother/ Mom
2. Nancy / Nancy Pants
3. Aunty Stel
4. Wenchy / #MammaWenchy

If in any doubt, Wenchy is the name to go with (no surname – think Madonna, Cher – they don’t need surnames and neither does Wenchy).

Only my Mammie and Bank Manager calls me by my proper name. When my name is mess up. it annoys me LOTS. It is Christel-Michel or Wenchy. I dislike being called Chris, although I guess that would be the natural way to go for people who want to be friendly but don’t know me well. Yes, I may have some issues.

(My close family and perhaps those who would give me a kidney …call me Stel. I’m old fashioned that way, so respectfully, kids get to call me Aunty Stel.)

Four places I’ve lived:
1. In my head
2. In your computer
3. Potchefstroom
4. Johannesburg

Favoured things I love to watch on TV:
1. Game Of Thrones
2. The Blacklist
3. Chicago Med / Greys Anatomy
4. Blue Bloods

Four favourite places I have visited:
1. Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)
2. Uvongo Lagoon where the water is forever deep (South Africa)
3. Pebble Beach at Storms River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park (South Africa)
4. Grahamstown (The National Arts Festival, South Africa)
…..and as a bonus:
5. McGregor (South Africa)
6. Top of Sani Pass (Lesotho)
7. Drakensberg (South Africa)

Four things I love to eat:
1. Crème Brulee
2. Baked Cheese Cake
3. Pork Belly
4. Rare Fillet Steak

Favourite drinks I love to have:
1. Water
2. Strawberry Daiquiri
3. Cappuccino
4. Salted caramel milkshake

Four books I adore:
1. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
2. Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
3. Seks, Drugs en Boeremusiek deur Koos Kombuis
4. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Four people I TRUST will respond ( … and not be beige!) You can either respond on your blog, or in my blog comment section, or Facebook , but please tag me :

1. Birthsay Girl Jenny
2. Our Ky
3. My #bestie Gail
4. Tayla-Jade
….and bonus, dear 5. Shell (You can also join her group (all about beads) while you at it!)

Anyone else who wants to play is very welcome! 😇

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

I winked and you were gone.

Dear Kev, Liam James and Victoria,

I miss you tonight with a pain so intense in my chest, it makes breathing difficult. Tears burns my eyes silently.

Remember when we were all we had?

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Burning marshmallows over a candle on the bedroom floor because I was a “cool” mom like that? I always wanted to be a Mom.

All four of us sleeping in the same room because we didn’t feel safe? Kev doing us all a favour really…

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Fighting to get Liam James to put his socks on for school…or get out of bed … or brush his teeth … and “I’m sorry” letters late at night that made me cry.

Walking into the house and smell Kev made dinner. Never had any working mother given bigger thanks than I. Thanks my boy.

Victoria and her pet snails, chatting to the kids next door through a wire gate, and always wanting a story, which I most often felt too exhausted to read.

I’m sorry I stopped baking cookies from scratch. I was sad. I’m sorry I could not keep every drawing you ever made, although I wanted to. I’m sorry all three of you know how to deal with a person having a panic attack. I’m sorry I wasn’t more fun and I wish I didn’t take growing you so seriously… I worried a lot. We did laugh plenty at weird stuff nobody seemed to get. We still do.

To be honest, it was the worst of times inside my heart. I congratulated myself when we got through another day – fed, clothed, home work done, most school uniforms located.

I felt thankful that you all pretended to be so strong when I clearly wasn’t. I’m sorry I had no sense of humour when Lee changed lunches around as it pleased him. We were late dammit Liam!

You inspired me to always try again tomorrow. I always felt I could try be better tomorrow. You always loved me enough to give me hope. I was always saying sorry. Until this day, you say “it’s okay”. Thank you for new mercies every day.

Now? I regret I didn’t read you more stories. I wish you didn’t have to grow up. I regret we didn’t swim more together, although none of us could afford to pay Kev to get in the pool! I wish for a million more nights of bedtime to tuck you in.

Every night I wonder where you are, if you are okay, if I gave you enough skills to live life. All grown up, living life and stuff.

Almost 23h00. Soon I shall take my evening medication and chemicals will thankfully take over until morning.

Sometimes I don’t want to think. Coward I am.

I love you more …. and I’m sorry for my many mistakes. You deserved better.

I wish you enough,

The girl who happened to be called Mom by the #originalcast

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You’ll Never Walk Alone

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

My first real, solid true love…. The very first anything I felt was MINE.

He never gives up on me. He will fight for me and he will fight with me. He will care for me … while sighing a lot. 🙂 He will drink vodka with me. He will play guitar and sing for me.

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Dipped in purple and left to sparkle!

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Blogging use to be my journals screaming out loud. I’ve had loyal, consistent support (especially when I deal with REAL issues) but lately this Diva is running out of glitter.

Blogging in South Africa is rapidly changing. It is all about quality content, stats, views, visits from target groups. What to charge for, what to do for free …? All very valid points in my online workspace.

My blog does form part of my social media network. I know you enjoy the competitions and giveaway perks! However, because of your off line communication, it is clear, my audience need more …. Yes, bring on the social media, but please bring your own self with you!

My destination is a solid social media network across many platforms.

My journey is in the relationships with my readers and brands whom I work well with. My sponsors, my loyal online and offline supporters – personal and from a media perspective.

Yes! …. to the icing social media brings my family and I, as well as my readers!

Yes! … to going back to basics. The WHY you started reading my blog in the first place!

… and Yes! … let the stats speak for themselves. 🙂
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I wish you enough,
Wenchy

“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well…”

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I have readers, loyal and long suffering readers that have been around 20 years next year (party?), and when I don’t blog, they text, email or whatsapp me messages to ask “Everything ok?” “You ok?”You gotta love it, right?

Thank you for knowing me well enough not to phone me. No idea however why I have not received flowers, cupcakes or chocolate…. although to be perfectly honest, if you can deliver low carb meals, snacks or general groceries to my house I will be forever grateful. #Smile

Everything is OK. I am permanently completely exhausted. Not tired, not need a break, not take the day off… It’s a much more intense level of EXHAUSTION. Although in all honesty, I do believe @SirNoid and I are in need of a serious holiday.

It is on an I can’t deal, I can’t think, I can’t remember,  I can’t reason, I’m too sore, it’s too much, please help me, without me asking, kinda tired.

Naturally having very close to no iron in my body, does contribute towards my levels of exhaustion.

It is VERY unpleasant and I’ve really fallen very much out of love with having no energy. None. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Medically. Every level I may have skipped, please include it, and tick that box.

December and some of January, I was in severe pain, not coming downstairs, just staying in bed, “wish me luck as you wave me goodbye” kinda pain. Christmas, New Year is all a blur really.

I felt very aware of how scary or helpless this must have been for @SirNoid, but also for our 15 year old son Douglas. I think it was one of the first times Doug saw me mid pain attack, crying, asking @SirNoid to help with small things. Pour water, help me down the stairs, covering my legs like I’m 104 years old because the heat and the little pressure helps the pain,  while other times having any fabric touch my skin0 is hell. It is very confusing for all of us!

@SirNoid like many, expresses his helplessness and wanting to make it better, in getting angry, … but I’ve come to realise I don’t know who to direct my anger at. This acceptance bit is a bitch. I’m nowhere near accepting any of this.

I feel excessively exposed and vulnerable… Chronic illness has stolen from me, my husband and children which leaves me with more pent up anger.  Yes, it has been suggested a bit of counselling may go a long way.

I saw a new Rheumatologist &  Specialist Physician this past week.  For someone with “ailments”, I actually do not enjoy going to the doctor.

She was very proper and I liked that she saw ME, and spoke to ME as a person and not a number. The consultation was all consuming and as she predicted by the time I was done,  I felt a small tractor may have driven over me.

She has requested previous documents from other doctors and off course, ran more tests. She wants to compile a time line and see which of the illnesses is doing what, and seriously attack the anemia and find out why my body doesn’t hold onto iron.

The Fibromyalgia and Ankolysing Spondylitis can put on quite a show I tell you!

Looking at my anemic self, she took me off certain meds and gave me more pain meds to take until we have a plan of action.

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. –  Le Petit Prince (1943)

I don’t know the answers, only to try every day . Sometimes successfully and others not.

I wonder if anyone truly knows how much goes into pretending I’m feeling well?
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I wish you enough,
Wenchy

A Tumbleweed dancing in the light of the moon.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

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It was cold the day I arrived at Tumbleweed Cottage in McGregor. A crisp kind of cold where you don’t shiver, but you would not say no to a mug of the coffee from Strictly Coffee in Robertson which I had become accustomed to while visiting these little patches of vibrantly alive dorpies.

Besides, I had discovered a true gentleman with a winning smile in the owner, Hanno Schwartz. I rate a feeling of belonging highly on my scale of returning. My head always thinking too much, with a heart born from sentimentality, which my also be the death of me.

All this, while indulging in their delicious, banting friendly breakfast and cappuccinos. I admit, I did not expect these little towns to know about banting and was pleasantly delighted when in conversation I realized they didn’t just think “low carb”, they had done their homework. I watched as Hanno checked each plate as it left his kitchen. Winner, right there.

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Tumbleweed Cottage looked like my white picket fence would have, had I ever had one. The kind where the look is a feeling, and in reality had nothing to do with fences dressed in white.

The front door had a trick to opening it. Once inside, I dumped my signature purple luggage,  breathed in and exhaled a smile.  It was perfect.

Clean lines, modern yet rich in history. Quiet but not silent. Open space without feeling lost. I walked towards the window overlooking the backyard.

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The white paint of the outbuildings in contrast with the deep blue plunge pool water. For a moment I lingered over the space where I imagined children laughing in the pool in warmer weather, the unique smell of South African braai fires, adults sitting on the back stoep enjoying the ample grape selection of the surrounding wine estates.

I turned around, curious to see what the rest of the space held. The lounge with an inviting fireplace caught my eye. I made a mental note to get wood. It was cozy while big enough to cater for a family. Rich leather seating you melted in, with a throw neatly arranged to curl up under. I noticed a Tumbleweed hanging from the roof. I love attention to detail.

The kitchen was not very large, but big enough for the needs of the cottage. Well equipped with all one may need.  My need went as far as coffee and rusks which was stocked in the cottage. The blends from Strictly Coffee was clearly well supported by the community.

I made a cup,  folding my hands around it for warmth,  stepped out of my shoes and in my socks I explored the huge clay shower downstairs. Felt the textures under my finger. Experience all things with all senses. Towels neatly stacked with a piece of lavender on top,  just so, as you enter the bathroom. Purple whispers. What’s not to love? I disturbed the arrangements as I spread out the towel to see the size. I like big bath towels you can get lost in, oh and two ply toilet paper. A non-negotiable for me.

I walked up the stairs to find the most beautiful main bedroom. A sense of romance. A bath one could read, or be coy in. I imagined my husbands laughter. The room was spacious and light played across the white bedding. A sacred space. I missed @SirNoid as I ran my fingers over the linen. Beautiful. As I walked downstairs, I turned once more for another look. Just in time to invite night to fall eventually on this room of fifty shades of dancing light.

Putting my cup in the sink,  I looked into the second and third bedrooms,  positioned on the ground floor.  One room comprised of two single beds and the other with a rather large bed with a door that opened onto the front stoep.

I decided to make myself comfortable in the bedroom downstairs with the large bed, as travelling alone, I did not want to taint my vision of the romantic loft.

Before I could go in search of wood, a man with a wheelbarrow arrived selling wood. I was very pleased as I was starting to feel the chill. I paid for the wood and probably looking at my purple hair and acrylic enhanced long nails, asked “Kan ek Mevrou help met die vuur?

I naturally accepted and he systematically explained step for step how to make a fire and if I need more wood, he would be back tomorrow.

I smiled, thanked him and asked for a hug. He truly looked shocked, surprised and delighted at the same time. A toothless grin as I hugged him and said I would see him the next day.

White woman offering a coloured man with a wheelbarrow a hug. Clearly was not the usual order of business by his reaction. Well, I’m not a very order of business kinda Wenchy.

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I had a lovely supper out in town at Tebaldi’s at Temenos which is worth an entry all on its own. When I returned, I put the heater on and closed the door to keep the heat captive.

I phoned home. Stretched out under the white, fresh linen and was soon lost in a land where wheelbarrows meant smiles, a Tumbleweed dangled from the moon and I was sipping champagne in a bath, in a room of wonders.

I found in McGregor, dreams could easily become reality. What you thought to be your truth, was easily challenged by the sincerity of a toothless grin.

You should visit… especially if you enjoy watching a Tumbleweed dancing in the light of the moon.

I wish you enough,
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McGregor

McGregor is a small village in the mountains of the Western Cape, South Africa. It is roughly 150 km east of Cape Town. It is located in Ward 5 of the Breede River Winelands Municipality. According to the Census 2001, this Ward has a population of 10,254 people (Stats SA, 2001).
McGregor Accommodation
Contact Mira for accommodation, places to go, things to see and all things country pumpkin around McGregor and the greater community:

Strictly Coffee

Strictly Coffee

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  • Contact number:  083 270 9668
  • Email:  info@strictlycoffee.co.za