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.


74 Comments Add yours

  1. christine says:

    Angels in human form!
    So glad you are ending the year on a high note! Xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Diarise the 8th of January, Chris 🙂

  2. SidevieW says:

    a good reflection of your state of mind, preaceful, beautiful and full of life

  3. dinahmow says:

    A facelift? Or judicious application of a certain ointment? 😉
    Here’s to next year, Cindy.

    1. theonlycin says:

      A combination, Dinah 😉

  4. Sue Green says:

    That looks like a lovely venue. I think your team were spot on! may the forthcoming year be kind to you.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Sue 🙂 xxx

  5. slpmartin says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Beautiful comment, thank you, Charlie xxx

  6. dearrosie says:

    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?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Please do, Rosie 🙂 And thank you 🙂 xxx

      1. theonlycin says:

        You are welcome, anytime, Rosie 🙂

  7. souldipper says:

    This is very good news. Very good news indeed. Well done, Cin.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Amy, you helped, a lot xxx

  8. Brenda says:

    I’m glad things are turning around, Cindy. You deserve all that is good.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Brenda, so do you ❤

  9. Hotly Spiced says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      2012 will be better, Smidge, I believe in even numbers, the odd ones don’t seem to work as well 🙂

  10. Tandy says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      I hope you know how much you helped me 🙂 xxx

  11. earlybird says:

    May 2012 bring you many good things, Cin.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, earlybird, same to you 🙂

  12. leigh says:

    Upwards and Onwards 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      A ladder in high heels 🙂

  13. Leeswammes says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Judith, I am going back there for more today 🙂

  14. Tilly Bud says:

    A lovely post, Cindy. I’m sorry about your year but I’m glad things are looking up for you.

    1. theonlycin says:

      The daily smiles from you meant a lot, thanks Tilly 🙂

  15. 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! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re welcome, Celia, and thank you 🙂

  16. Here’s to the year nearly being behind us all Cindy and looking forward to an awesome 2012!
    Happy Birthday to your friend and what a magnificent place to celebrate.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    1. theonlycin says:

      I will pass on the greetings to Debby, thank you Mandy 🙂

  17. Tammy says:

    What a fantastic place for a party and what a lovely setting to hear that you are feeling better.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Tammy, you would love the place, all the ingredients come from the farm 🙂

  18. adeeyoyo says:

    Such a lovely setting, Cindy. Glad you are relaxing… I think this job is doing wonders for you.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It sure is, adee 🙂

  19. Ruth says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Charles did put it well, Ruth 🙂

  20. This is a wonderful place to relax or celebrate, feel better and imagine a Happy New Year. This is what I wish you, Cindy. Take care.

  21. bluebee says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      I will do that, bluebee 🙂

  22. 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

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Paula, your support was very valuable 🙂 xxx

  23. nrhatch says:

    Looks like a wonderful place for a birthday lunch . . . congrats on the “face lift.” Happiness subtracts years from our lines and wrinkles. 😀

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you Nancy, our virtual wine-clinks were a joy 🙂

  24. 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!

    1. theonlycin says:

      There is a flowers shop downstairs, come on over 🙂

  25. 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?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Kate, that is exactly the right thing to say 🙂

  26. The Hook says:

    People are great -sometimes – but solitary pursuits rock! Then again, I spend almost all my time around people, so what do I know?

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s all about balance, Hookster 😉

  27. I need a job that will give me a Facelift!! How wonderful!! Your pics are very good, Cin!! Hugs and XXX

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hugs back at you, Pinky xxx

  28. suzicate says:

    Love these photographs. I never realized chickens are so pretty!

    1. theonlycin says:

      They’re gorgeous, SuziCate 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Me too, Myra 🙂 Gonna get me a pair …

  29. Sparkle says:

    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!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Same to you, Sparky, hope we can get together in 2012, would love to pinch your sweet little girl’s cheeks 🙂 xxx

  30. johnlmalone says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      What a great idea, John, enjoy the group and keep on with your wonderful writing 🙂

  31. colonialist says:

    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.

  32. Pseu says:

    What an uplifting post.
    You encourage me to think about changing my job…..

    1. theonlycin says:

      The world would be so poor for the loss of a nurse like you, Pseu 🙂

  33. Yvette says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      My thanks to you, too, Yvette 🙂 xxx

  34. What a fun place! Your photographs are so beautiful. Glad you are feeling much more relaxed. Although I am not sure how a job does that. Maybe I should get one too. Well I know I should…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Your dogs would miss you so, Linda 🙂

  35. pegbur7 says:

    That place looks amazing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s