A euphemism is the substitution of a mild, inoffensive, relatively uncontroversial phrase for another more frank expression that might offend or otherwise suggest something unpleasant to the audience. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, while others are created to mislead or at least put a positive spin on events. Euphemisms can also be used in the place of words considered profane.

It’s hardly a secret that I have had what may be, euphemistically, an Annus horribilis. After two glasses of wine I’d be less wary of profanity and label 2011 as the most dreadful of my life, with some very salty adjectives thrown in. My team (yes, there is a team) of physicians agreed strongly that the antidote to my burnout from working too hard was – paradoxically – to ‘get a job’. A menial job which would bring me into contact with people, as my life was too populated with solitary pursuits.

Enter my old friend, Debby; hair salon owner and now my boss. A woman with an innate understanding of the human psyche, she asked few questions before taking me into her fold. Her staff welcomed me with open arms and now, just a month after starting the job, people ask me if I have had a facelift.

We celebrated Debby’s birthday yesterday, with a tea party at the appropriately-enough-named Weltevreden Farm.


‘Weltevreden’ is a Dutch word meaning ‘well satisfied’ or ‘content’. It is a much-guarded secret jewel and a surprisingly tranquil venue right in the middle of hectic suburbia.


Tables are tucked in amongst trees and roosters sit about on antique farm implements, preening while their hens tend their offspring.

Baby Guineafowl nestle on the shoulders of the waiting staff as food is brought to the table.


The menu options are myriad and offer sweet treats, light lunches or more robust meals. The smell of slow-roasted lamb from an adjoining table was very tempting.

It’s a place that is the geographical metaphor for Debby’s character; an oasis.

Happy birthday, Debby.
And thank you.



  1. In West Africa they would say “Abati alakpa; a ba a ti,a ba a re.” or ‘It is a shakey wall; we push against it, and (finding that it does not fall) we make friends with it (by sitting down in its shade). So too a hard year provides some shade for the new one…take care my friend.

  2. What a great post. What a marvellous place for a birthday celebration. You are a brilliant writer, and though I cant say what your food tastes like I can say you take the most amazing photos of food and flowers, plus chickens (I love the chickens.)

    May I swipe one of your chicken photos?

  3. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had a terrible year. I hope your new job with Debbie works out really well and that 2012 is the opposite of 2011. That ‘oasis’ place looks so relaxing.

  4. may 2012 hold none of the horrors of this year my friend! May you be stronger and more loved and may you find the peace you are looking for. I hold only positive thoughts for you my twin xxx

  5. So glad things are better for you now, Cindy. Getting a job certainly was good advice.

    The farm looks like a wonderful place to relax. Thanks for those wonderful plictures.

  6. Darling, forgive me. When I read “euphemism” and “annus horribilis”, I immediately thought “haemorrhoids” again.. 😉

    Seriously though, I am sorry it’s been such a rough year, but I’m so happy that you’re now weltevreden. Long may it continue. And bless your friend for coming to your rescue!

    Oh, and lovely chookie photos, thank you! 🙂

  7. Wonderful news, Cindy – I’m so happy for you. Beautiful photos, Weltevreden Farms sounds (looks) lovely, calming. And I love Charles’ comment above – I’m familiar with the concept, but I’ve never heard (seen) it described so beautifully.

  8. I’ve read between, the lines, empathised and sympathised, and now cheer in celebration – nothing beats emerging from a ‘long dark winter’ – solitary prusuits are all good and well but they have a way of doing our heads in.

    Fantastic, Cin – Have a very Silly Season 😀 and stay connected and happy in 2012

  9. How sweet it is to see your eyes shining with hope and happiness – through every word of this post. I’m so glad to know there is more of that stuff out there – hope, I mean! Actually, I have caught a glimpse of it on occasion, winking at me just over the horizon, so I know it’s on its way here!

    Here’s to Cheers – in 2012 – and until then, a bright, merry, and joyful Christmas to you and yours.

    XO Paula

  10. I’m all about trying something new, in fact, I would be working in a flower shop right now if I could.. Good for you taking a positive step, I’m sure your next year will really do a 180!

  11. Cindy, what a beautiful post. The job at the salon has clearly been such a tonic: the simplicity of the solution is so simply elegant that I feel like broadcasting it to the world. Would it be right to say the year has ended well?

  12. Morning Cin, I do hope 2012 gets to be a good year for everyone, bad times never last. The saying is true that it too shall pass!
    JHB has a lot of nice places which I think is just bliss for the people who live around.
    Have a great week and happy holidays!

  13. interestingly, your experience mirrors mine in that as a writer I was spening more and more time alone so early this year I joined a writing group — there are twelve of us — mainly for the social contact and it has been great: we start with a coffee gathering before the meeting and the critiques then retire to the adjoining cafe for a well earned meal where we linger for an hour and a half or more

  14. Looks like a superb shoeshop – oh, no, that would be sole repair …
    Even the name has a soothing and reassuring quality to it. Funny that a similar name for a farm in English simply woulnd’t work.

  15. Let’s not even start at how a Trojan this year has been, I wish you peace, love and all success for twentytwelve.I’ve just lost too much this year myself! Thankyou for your gift of ‘cyber’ friendship, Joyful Blessings, Yvette x

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