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.

Continue reading “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

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

  • Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/StrictlyCoffeeCapeTown
  • Twitter:  @StrictlyCoffee
  • Contact number:  083 270 9668
  • Email:  info@strictlycoffee.co.za

The first time ever I saw your face.

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My darling chicken little,

I miss you tremendously this morning. A sore that runs from my heart to my hands looking for yours and ending in a tear.

♡ #SmileBeautiful.. That is what you taught me. You need to © that shit.

♡ Be kind,  you never know which chapter of their book another person is on. Especially a teenager person…. or an old and frail person like me.  (Stop laughing!)

♡  Go give a random Grade 8 a hug today.

♡ You are funny,  without trying!

♡ You are perfect,  just as you are. (OK,  I’m sorry about that small hereditary illness, but hey… I didn’t choose it either!)

♡  You are an artist in so many ways. It comes with the freedom of never having the explain yourself.  Don’t.

♡ Some people will never get you. That’s OK. You were never meant to be a “one size fits all”.

♡ When I die,  you will inherit all my books. Remember this is not a valuable reason to kill me now!

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I wish you enough unicorns,  fairy dust and empathy to keep you real,  enough rainbows to keep you wishing but mostly enough magic to keep you sparkle.

The flawed Momma xxx

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

… love never ends, if you keep it alive.

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Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

14 December 1984. I always count until a second before 19h00 thinking…. I also had a Dad. After that, nothing.

At 19h05, I dry my face and resume life. I’ve done this ritual for as long as I remember.
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My life was forever changed from that moment. I was 11 years old. Oupa Mike was crying. I felt confused. Oupa Mike didn’t cry.

I remember just observing, not grasping the depth of what just happened. I do remember my Mammie’s desperate grief, the tears that made her physically ill, the hopelessness and the forever you were not going to come back for.

I remember how loudly you laughed, I do remember you playing the guitar and singing. I remember milkshake and biltong. I remember someone placed a guitar made from flowers on your grave. It reminded me of Elvis.

I remember you, but you voice is silent in my memories. I hate I can’t remember what you sound like.

Oupa Mike stepped in and became my Dad. Solid. Dependable. Protective. How very blessed I am! Then, Dad Alex took us all on his shoulders.
imageYou are the fallen leaf on my new tattoo, on the left. There are two falling to the ground in remembrance of Oupa Mike and Ouma Chrissie.

Ek onthou.
Stel.

Shut your eyes and see.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures, 

Every year,  I do my best to approach December as a passage of time, just another month. Some years I do better than others.

The anniversary of my father’s death is on the 14th, and my Oupa Mike on the 12th… Just before Christmas is Oupa Mike’s birthday.

I remember the eleven year old me running into the safety of Oupa Mike’s arms the night my father died.

I remember a 14 year old Kev holding me the morning Oupa Mike died. The unsure reassurance we offered each other.

December holds memories I don’t want to remember, but just can’t forget.

I have found Christmas more difficult since the kids moved out. At least when the kids were home,  I had a reason to go through the motions. They all have their own lives.  Own friends.  New traditions and memories to make. I never want to guilt them into visiting.

It leaves me yearning for a yesterday  when I would decorate the table, put gifts under the tree and we would pretend whatever I burnt,  undercooked or completely stuffed up was the best thing ever.  🙂 I usually would redeem myself with pudding at least!

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I know if we stay home it will be like any given Sunday.  I want to feel something, go somewhere, make my heart dance…. but going out is double the price for Christmas, and having the kids all together is near impossible. Besides,  wherever you go,  you take yourself with you.  🙂 

How do YOU hold a moonbeam in your hand and have yourself a merry little Christmas?

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

Posted from the galaxy of Samsung from the second cloud on your left.

A name, I call myself…

Dear friends and other interesting creature,

My parents shared they were desperately wanting a little girl when they were pregnant with me.  Which is awesomeness cause I never wanted to be a boy.

As I understand it, my almost 20 year old father went to register me and decided Christine, the name they had chosen, after my Ouma Chrissie is not for me. See, he clearly already understood me them.

My mom tells me that my father was very much like my son Liam James. Charming.  Good looking. Always busy with a budding business idea.

My father and the lady behind the counter decided Christel is a gorgeous name. My father thought my Oupa Mike also needed acknowledgement and added Michel. ( … a Beetles song I’ve had both sober and drunk men sing to me. #bless) Having dyslexia, my father did not go for the usual spelling of either name.

It was the age of the double barrel name, and when the lady behind the counter suggested it to my father, he could probably just hear how fanTy that truly is.
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Christel-Michel is one name. One initial.  Its not Christel.  It’s Christel-Michel. Force yourself. The people behind my father in line is owed at least that.

Wenchy is who I am or who I became as life happened.  If you love me and can’t imagine your life without me, then it’s Stel. I’m am Afrikaanse boeremeisie at heart and its Aunty Stel if you remotely younger than me and I am very old. 

I do love the name my parents gave me. I do love Wenchy because it holds very dear memories for me. Most of all I just love how you say my name as if it’s just been born.

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

Miraculously recover or die. That’s the extent of our cultural bandwidth for chronic illness.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

The above quote is from S. Kelley Harwell.

Btw, when you read this, remember that everything good I have done, I did with these issues alongside me, just as everything crappy I have done. I’m still just me.

Living with chronic pain, fatigue (mentally, emotionally and physically) striving to be a loving, supportive wife, involved, caring mother and blossoming DIVA with many roles attached, is a challenging task. Sometimes I drop the ball all together.

For those late to the party, I was diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder when I was 14 as well as Generalised Anxiety Disorder. At 28 I was diagnosed with Ankolysing Spondylitis which most woman in my family has (including my 16-year-old daughter). At 37 years of age, Fibromyalgia joined the party. The following year I stopped working in a corporate setting. Social Media found me and we have been in love ever since.

Sitting for hours is impossible for me. It feel as if someone used me as target practice. I have a blade stuck between my shoulder blades. I can’t dislodge the stupid thing.

A combination of meds is in place to make life as productive and dull ache instead of stabbing pain as possible. The bipolar part is very much stable with medication, anxiety remains an issue but living a life of not overstepping my physical limitations are much more difficult.

I am HUGELY thankful for my husband who does his best to provide me with medical care, cooking a roast dinner and rubbing my back like he did yesterday. I don’t think it is easy to live with anyone who chronically is in pain, or has an illness that always needs consideration.

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My lower back makes itself known if I am in one position too long. Bending forward, carrying grocery packets, all simple tasks that equal pain.

My body pains. My legs, arms and hips just hurt. Nothing happened to them. They have an illness onto themselves.

One of the most annoying, irritating and completely insane things, is the pain and lack of grip in my hands. There are days I cannot grip a pen, open a water bottle or pour from a jug. Holding a phone, a book or even typing on a keyboard can become impossible. I hate that!

The entire combination of symptoms leaves me with no point of escape. It is completely without warning for the most part. Ta da! I have great intentions but my body does not necessarily agree.

Then, there are times I am just dandy. The pain becomes dull and doesn’t consume me. Medication controls, and I am awesome. My mental state is without any issues, my body is playing nicely and in those moments…. hours, days, weeks, or months… I get a huge amount done. I’m running around and living it!

Unfortunately, the entire process is very unforgiving. For an awesome few days where I run flat out, it may take two weeks to recover and return to dull ache status.

Best part, I look fabulous to everyone most of the time. Oh yes, I’m the great pretender. #wink

I wish you enough,
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Tonight our hearts drown the distant drums

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I listen to the things my many children, husband and friends speak about, the way they see the world and experience the people beside them….and I reflect on my own long and cobbled stone road.

The universal pull is that people want to be loved, wanted, appreciated, listened to and acknowledged. We want to matter. We want to fit in, yet be our own person and march to our inner pan flute. Stuff that, I hate pan flutes…. the sound of a lone saxophone. That’s what I choose to be….. and we have music all right.

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Lonely. I have seldom felt more lonely than within a group of people. Sometimes they are pan flutes, some even play the triangle. They are lost to the sound of the saxophone. I don’t mind being alone. On my own. I’m really smashing company. Especially at 3am.

After I did my Radio Today interview, I felt utterly naked on a foreign stage to be judged. Bare. I’m not sure how I expected to feel, because nothing I said was different to what I would write or speak about. You can listen to the podcast:  HERE

Oh and do people love a small public lynching amongst themselves!

I totally forgot the topic as my mind ….. wonders around interesting spaces all the time. How great others would have done, never been in a studio before… “here is a microphone love, knock yourself out“. Well, I admit, while I truly enjoyed it and I would do it again in a heartbeat, I have learned a number of things during my 22 minutes on air. There are things I would do  very differently. Some technical, some behavioural, breathing would be good and not mention nymphomania in the first five minutes may be a stretch… but at the end of it, I always want to be unashamed me….and that I was. True to me.

Why do we all want to fit in so badly? We want to be ourselves. Okay forget the pan flutes you can all be drums if you like, but … “Please… oh do like me and and add me or send me an invitation to the A list of bloggers / school lunch break cool group / geek group / social outcast group / social media supreme luncheon / media drops / influencers / interesting creatures list. Just don’t leave me out here… with my nose pressed against the window looking in.” Love me. Care about me. Don’t exclude me. That is what we ALL want. Even the bad asses. We want to fit with someone or something…somewhere.

Did you know… there is no medal at death for being part of a herd? None. Well, none that any near death experiences documented that I have read, spoke about. Bright light and peaceful I’ve heard… even harps (right up there with pan flutes – save me!) but no medals. No reward. Not a pat on the back.

“Oh you were a fantastic herd person. Just stand in this line… no, oops ….sorry, wrong line, you were not an interesting person .. frankly we do believe you died while you were still alive. You were a mere flute… Our mistake… off you go.” tra-la-la (Bee I hear you now!)

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We really need to stop apologising for who we are and embrace ourselves. Nobody can be a better you, than you can be! Nobody is the world knows you better! Okay… maybe God and the Devil. I do believe they make it their business to know. Well, the Devil does. God already knows your details before you were born,… it is not God’s fault if you wanted to be a flute.

If you must, … rather play the triangle. At least we remember the triangle! …. but there is NOTHING like a lone Saxophone.

a cry that tells us love goes on and on
played on a solo saxophone
it’s telling me
to hold you tight
and dance like it’s the last night of the world
– Miss Saigon

I wish you enough,

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