UPsize your sleep

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I’d given up on the 40 winks illusion around the time of my 10th birthday. Which technically means I’ve been sleep deprived for 36 years.

No wonder I’ve made the odd mistake. Like that first ex-husband. I clearly didn’t know what I was agreeing too. I was a beautiful bride, however.

It is estimated that 35% of Americans suffer from chronic insomnia. I wonder what the statistics for South Africa will be?

My gorgeous sister lives in Florida in the USA and besides the heat, she is not suffering from lack of sleep. She has air conditioning!

Back home in suburbia in South Africa, you may just get comfy, roughly throw your leg over your partner, let out a big sigh (the same one you make when you take your bra off at the end of the day) and bam the thought hits you… “Did I lock the back door?”

You will reason with yourself… but in the end, you will get up and go check. Yes, it is locked. Immediately you remind yourself that you have joined #ImStaying and you honestly should be more positive!

Continue reading “UPsize your sleep”

City of colours, hearts of gold.

Dear friends and other interesting people,

Sometimes there are so many things I feel passionate about that I feel my heart will explode. My mouth already can’t speak fast enough! Really do we need me talking more? Don’t answer that. 


When I came to Johannesburg in December 1984, at eleven years of age, weeks after my father died, I hated it. It was grim, grey and dreary. The Hillbrow tower was the way I directed myself in the maze. Still. Today the feeling, it is my pulse. It gives me rhythm. The skyline brings me joy. The smiles of my people. The hugs of strangers, the smiles of friends. This is my City. Filled with contradictions – just like me.

I love being alive! So many things, people, sounds, books, food, art, joy, laughter, pain, tears – all of it.

I wish you enough,



African Hips Don’t Lie

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Am absolutely thrilled to have collaborated with JS Designs in printing #wenchytude inspired T-shirts! 🙂 So much excitement my friends!! 🥂

#AfricanHipsDontLie is available from R180 (S to XXL standard price), and since I’ve got them hips, I’ve made sure that bigger sizes are available up to 6XL! 💜

Postage excluded in price.

I wish you enough,



Love your curves and all your edges. 

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

To be vulnerable is to be alive. I would not live my life any other way. Nor would I write anything but what is my truth. So here are my perfect imperfections.

My rhythm and blues.

We easily share our smiles, what amuses us and definitely our successes, so why should we shy away from sharing our sadness? It is surely the other side of the coin? It is not a fault, a negative and certainly not a weakness.

It is the truth. It is living out loud. It is being you, abundantly without restraint.

If you want to live out loud, you do not handpick the parts to share. You own it. Every high. Every low.

In a world of pretend, be you! You only have this oneself, this one life. Be brave – throw every colour you have at it. 


Continue reading “Love your curves and all your edges. “

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.
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,

Jokes about menstrual cycles are not funny. Period.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Seriously.  When can this period thing end now? I’m really toooo old for this crap.

My lovely gynaecologist replied that I could easily have four more kids. Did he forget he already delivered a fair amount of children from my womb?  Or that I am 42 and the meaning of life hasn’t arrived? (I may have resentment issues about that) Awesome “in shape reproductive system” I have…. besides that so far, while my kids are loved more than they will ever understand, I’ve happen to have passed on some really awesome genetic illnesses. Besides that I do not want to raise a baby all over again. I have zero patience. If the baby could stay a baby baby size for a very long time… that would be super cool! Love tiny babies.

Telling you, my forefathers were kick ass Portuguese pirates who ate delicate French cuisine until a great,  great,  great grandfather Kruger found the coloured help enticing (our family tree branch – a lot!). The Bible does speak about “the sins of the fathers to the 3rd and 4th generations…“… I am sure these sins were diverse and they probably thought they were having a great time. We love Ankylosing Spondylitis and the depression / anxiety combo is a great treat guys.


Please take my writing with a pinch of salt,  I’m well aware of repentance … yet I hope one day God will explain to me why some believers suffer so greatly.

Also, my friends will know this post does not make light of infertility at all. That is a different kind of hell all together. One I was obviously not strong enough to handle. There is a special heaven in my heart for moms who have difficulty with conception, or give up their babies for adoption and adoptive parents.

I wish you enough,


Midnight train (thoughts) to Georgia (nowhere).

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

Some general news… after midnight… Just go with it.

*  Can you believe at the end of June,  I’ve been banting for a year!? Many kilograms and cm’s later,  it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’ve reached the point where I can say *we* live a low carb lifestyle. I have never thought of it as a diet. Weird how the brain works.

* The scale has not been my friend lately but I’ve had a good week. Is better for my mental health not to weigh myself all day long, or I obsess terribly. Imagine PMS with a side dish of chili and a rainy camping holiday on a beach vacation with small children. Oh hell no!

*  I’m coming out of a Fibromyalgia flair, with a side kick of excessive anxiety. I’ve tried my best to “slow down,  don’t move so fast” (can you hear the adapted version of “Simon and Garfunkle”? *smile*) It has been a challenging time for me, and you truly do learn who your friends are.

*  Sometimes I take one day at a time but I am that idiot that on great days, attack many days at once (never a great plan as you pay for it later!).

*  I’ve shared quite a bit of discussion with fellow bloggers,  readers of my blog and the companies,  products,  initiatives I have awesome relationships with,  and I’ve had to acknowledge that while I’ve remarkably been able to keep a large section of faithful readers (some for all 19 years, way before we became Facebook friends!) there are new and exciting opportunities that my regular,  sporadic readership and new followers will enjoy. 

*  It has been time to regroup,  focus and commit (I must credit my husband for his vision here) and I’m excited about the future of my blog as well as my Social Media endeavours. You following me on Twitter right?

* I was involved in hosting an evening in collaboration with Buz PR at The Market Theatre for the extraordinary beautiful,  raw and tender production of “Crazy In Love“.

We had an intimate Q&A afterwards with performers Andrew Buckland and Liezl de Kock, along with Directed Rob Murray.

* The legendary Market Theatre guys! It has been one of the highlights of my year.  Total heaven! Imagine that. The honour, respect and pride I feel is overwhelming. Bridget and Christabel ( @BuzPR ) you have no idea how that little girl in red tap shoes danced in my heart that evening. The #JudyGarland in me is forever thankful.

*  Couple of months later I was invited to host a coffee and cake morning at Cinema Nouveau! These are the very places I escape to and now they embraced me!! My beautiful daughter,  Victoria and I had already been so fortunate as to have attended a press preview of “Serial (Bad) Weddings” and, being a serial bride myself,  absolutely loved it. French with English subtitles.  What could possibly make you feel more sophisticated? It was a hilarious movie btw. Again, a privilege. Thank you Janet and Cinema Nouveau! Can’t wait for the next one.

*  The Cape has captured my heart in a big way and in the past year I have been privileged to visit every four months or so.  I’ll be off to the mother city again for a little Social Media visit (more on that later) just after my #birthday #June13th #14forever to learn new things,  experience exceptional places and keep growing. I will be tweeting all about it!

*  I’m incredibly thankful for relationships expanding my horizons and the recognition of what I do online, who I am as a brand and as a Wench!,  that afford me the opportunity to live this loud! My appreciation is endless.

* I am beyond excited… I am going to The Grahamstown Arts Festival !!! My level of thrill, surprise and unbelievable gratitude is off the charts. This particular year is an incredibly meaningful one for me. I hope to write the post as to why, sitting in an exact spot in Grahamstown.

*  @SirNoid I obviously cannot do this without your 100% backing! Thank you for rehashing ideas and thoughts,  being a sounding board  wiping tears and encouraging me to fly. Love you so lots.

*  Thanksgiving and huge gratitude to my lovely hairdresser who has become a dear friend,  Judy from Ultimate Hair, who endulges my ever hair whim!

*  I am passionate about supporting small businesses as it takes guts,  determination and endless hard work to start,  grow and flourish. Judy is exceptionally well priced,  located near Cresta Shopping Centre and you feel like a million bucks when you leave. 

*  Judy never pushes products like I have found in the big salons.  It makes me very uncomfortable. While I use salon products,  it was I who asked Judy about the range on display.  That is one thing I loathe.  Having products pushed onto me. Same in beauty salons. If I want something,  I’ll ask!

* Please do like Ultimate Hair’s Facebook page. I know it will make Judy smile. ☺

*  My Victoria turns 16 soon and already I’m thinking….  How ever does the mother of the bride cope!!! …..  and literally all we have done so far is look at cakes.  In our house 10, 13, 16 and 18 are BIG birthdays… after that you on your own!  Ha ha!!

* My own birthday… #June13th #14forever #birthday has presented some unexpected adventures of its own. My friends, life is unpredictable and there is always light in darkness. Always. Will blog my annual birthday dream gift list soon. It’s tradition!

Hey… after midnight, well, it’s 2am…. Jani Allen and I have a reading date.

I wish you enough,


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

It’s a shock!

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I visited Ultimate Hair today for our regular colour adventure. I love Judy and we have a great time during my visits.  Lots of laughter,  chatting and discussion.

I have been thinking about playing around with my hair colour a bit (more) and Judy is always up for the craziness I come up with. I’ve been colouring my hair since I was 14. I’ve been every shade of red, black and violet… I once had some blonde streaks but I’ve never gone lighter.  Maybe today?

My family is all rather dark of complexion.  Brown eyes and darker shades of brown and black hair.  My Oupa Mike use to say blonde hair and people with a light complexion looks washed out to him, not much substance. I wonder if someone of that description had let him down,  or if dark hair was just his preference… (like my husband)?

The Ambre look is currently very hot.  I have seen it done looking spectacular, but also shockingly… So in my adventure leading up to my visit,  Pinterest and I became very close!

One look that I entertained was going grey, also trendy right now… My regrowth is 100% grey and maintenance on dark hair can be taxing. So, I was thinking “Oh Shirley!” Shall I embrace thy grey? I’ve been loving the dark with the purple mixed in, but again the contrast of the regrowth is irritating. My hair grows fast, so every two weeks, we back to grey.

Judy listened to all my ideas and pictures. We agreed that bleaching my hair excessively in one sitting, as you need almost white hair for the grey to take properly, would not be sexy as the condition of my hair would be severely compromised. As we are in a long-term relationship, we decided on a plan of action.

Judy did a bleach bath on my hair to strip the colour. This sounds much sexier than it is. Where the hair was previously bleached for the purple bits, the bleach removed the colour. Where my hair was predominantly a dark colour, it naturally went orange as expected, leaving me a delightful Strawberry Blonde!


To lighten your hair the tint or bleach has to either remove (bleach) or cover (tint) those pigments which are darker than the target shade. Black is the first pigment to be removed or covered, assuming it is present in the hair, then brown, red and yellow in that order. If your hair has come out orange then not all of the red pigment has been removed or colored.


From the lack of positive responses on Twitter and Facebook, I can tell you that nobody loved me as a Strawberry Blonde. Don’t worry neither did I. I posted the pictures and left it at that. We had a good chuckle as to the lack of responses from my usual busy social media platforms!

I messaged my husband a picture who said he is not coming home and is taking up residence in his car as he does not want a #instaginger wife. (My husband likes my hair dark, short also works for him.) My son Liam James said to please shave my head. I did have a good giggle.

As the future vision is grey purple, no more tint was applied, but instead a purple strainer which naturally fades to grey. I’ve noticed over the past few months that the fade starts from the bottom so hey, I’ll be rocking the Ambre look by default.

A rich treatment was applied to assist in repairing the damage which follows when bleaching hair. I sat under the dryer, like an old lady. Haven’t done that dryer thing in forever. Btw, the old ladies who speak really loud when they sit under there are not necessarily deaf. You seriously can’t hear very well from there!

Finally, the purple strainer was washed off, hair blow dried and I left rocking the purple! It is going to take some time to get all the red pigment out, have the grey grow out more gracefully and stained with the purple… have no fear, while embracing the grey with a side kick of awesome!!


Thank you Judy for a job well done with #purplelove. @SirNoid it is safe to return home and Liam James I won’t be shaving my head. Mammie you can breathe now! 🙂

I wish you enough colour to keep you shocking in the face of beauty!

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PS. I used the exact same setting on Retrica for the #instatginger and the #purplelove pictures.

“The Spice of Life!” – My @Tripadvisor review of @DCTours_za cc @CombrinkD

5 of 5 stars

Darren from DC Tours hosted my husband and three teenagers for a day of wine tasting at Backsberg (“Backsberg has been chosen as one of the Top 100 Wineries of the Year by Wine & Spirits Magazine in New York“) and all the flavours of relaxation at the introduction of The Spice Route (” … a sensory feast for today’s connoisseurs of craftsmanship and authenticity”) in Paarl.

Darren communicated clearly and accurately before our trip, making sure he understood our needs, giving tips and ideas, as well as on the day which included updates on expected weather conditions.

He is a knowledgeable guide, easy to engage with and one felt totally at ease (an excellent attribute when you are essentially spending hours with a ‘stranger’!) with his friendly and consistent manner.

Our tour bus was spotless, air-conditioned, soft but suitable music, had free wi-fi and one is able to charge your phone “on wheels” so remember your USB cable. We were offered bottled water and biscuits (which the children just about finished!) after our first stop Being a true gentleman, Darren opened the doors for the ladies especially. (Love that!)

We were absolutely impressed with Darren calm and patient manner with three (moody at times) teenagers, one adult who spoke non stop (me) and a husband who needed to smoke, eat, taste wine and attack on “Clash of Clans” all at once!

It is clear that Darren is passionate about his profession and the enjoyment and satisfaction of his clients are at the very height of how he measures his success.

We look forward to exploring more places with Darren as our guide to the best the Cape has to offer!!

(As posted on Tripadvisor)

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Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated and this is my honest review of the service experienced.

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