Eclectic Collection

What’s in a Name?

Helios is currently in a scorching rage when he traverses our sky. I’m guavas canned in syrup (pink, with a shiny glaze), and flies are losing their buzzing heads over the smell of hot hounds and humans. Wind would snatch a wig (if I wore one) off my head. We’re grudgingly grateful for his churning blasts. Without him we’d liquefy into a steaming puddle of sweat.


make one think of changing identity, disguises, hair loss due to illness.

I’ve worn a name wig on my blog.

I understand why I needed to be TeaShell and, recently, PenMantis (with my full name tucked away in corners; a bit of a Where’s Wally ) but now…

I will no longer use a pseudonym

An alias doesn’t fit me, is never going to be my Cinderella slipper or Goldilocks chair, is never going to be just right.

We learn to trust that the way we are and who we are, that the name we sign, is loved, seen, honored. Our existence is intended and right. We make mistakes, can sometimes live our whole life in a mistake, but we’re not a mistake.

It doesn’t matter what people think of you. What matters is what you think of you.

When we envision ourselves meeting Death, when we imagine how we’d feel about ourselves if we died right now, and we sense we’ll relinquish our earthly body and life without shame-regret-fear stuff looming because of how we treated someone, how we solved a problem, how we got what we wanted, how we made our mark, we’re granted peace and grace.

My name is Michele Damstra.

Liberty Fleurjibberty might pop up again (she’s just for fun) and Polly Reed too (she’s a character in what I hope will be an ongoing project), but TeaShell and PenMantis have put their pens down.

Where to now?

I have things up my damp-with-perspiration sleeve (stop with these gross visuals! you say 🤢).

One of these things is a board on Pinterest. I showcase snaps and write little snippets (please read what’s below the pin, not only what’s on it 🧐) about our life on this farm in the Klein (Little) Karoo.

Let me be very clear here. I don’t own the farm, I don’t work on the farm – so no pics of me milking a cow or shearing sheep or driving a tractor (never say never because that would be fun) – and I don’t have livestock sticking their heads in my open backdoor (there’s a simple fence round the cabin that keeps the sheep where a Mr Bo-Peep can find them).

The board is a quick, fun way to share on a regular basis (and a quick and easy read for you). My blog is more of a let-me-say-something-long-and-strong-or-irreverent-and-funny-or-sad-or-sunny. It’s the Sunday roast. Pinterest is the cookie with your coffee.

Before I go

No, no, no – don’t worry. I’m not talking about Death again. You can breathe easy.

I want to share a YouTube video my eldest son put on his WhatsApp status.

I watched this guy talk to the camera with a sedating drawl while fiddling with his pipe (I’m not being rude) and giving the best down-to-earth, honest, trustworthy advice I’ve heard in a long time (especially for youngsters who feel way too pressurized to know who they are and what they want to do). It’s like listening to a wise old uncle (he’s my age) who arrives on horseback to visit for the day, and you hang on his every expression (verbal and facial). Do watch. You’ll smile, and sigh with relief.

This man’s advice is worth more than his weight in pipe tobacco

Toodle-oo, lots of love to you.

xxx Michele

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