Belle of the Ball

Again. She’s done this before.

Jess was invited to accompany Lelam to his matric dance at her old alma mater Wendon Academy. Yes, she’d go; No, she wouldn’t; Yes. No. I won’t enjoy it Dad. You’ll love it my girl. Cold feet. But we got going:

We bought a dress.

We used her silver shoes from her own matric dance in 2016, then got (shh! cheap) jewellery and a clutch bag to match them.

Charmaine up the road did her hair.

– Jess all serious –

Her childhood friend Annabelle did her make-up.

– while Belinda took the pictures –
Jess & Annabelle
– Jessica & Annabelle go WAY back –

Lelam’s Dad phoned and organised things. He would fetch Jess and take them to the dance. He sounded like a lovely person, but a dark secret cast doubt on that assessment: He is a Michaelhouse Old Boy! I’d be keeping a close eye on him.

Proud Dad Mphathisi and Lelam arrived with a beautiful bunch of roses and a stunning corsage:

They had a lovely evening. We fetched them afterwards, so we got to see the star-studded hall.

Wenson Dance Jess Lelam 2018 (15)

They had danced all night; We had eaten, drank and solved the world’s problems all night. Mphathisi is a lovely guy even if he did go to a dodgy school – the one Tom whipped at rugby.

Next morning a beautiful Pearl Charaxes found the single malt dregs:

. . . and a skein of birds flew overhead:


What a lovely day. The world is a good place to be.


Aftermath – I wrote to Mphathisi:

I enjoyed this little snippet from last night:

Lelam told me at the hall when we fetched them that ‘he had taught Jess to dance’. I thought that was brilliant and interesting, as I have paid for YEARS of dance classes for Jess!

So this morning I probed gently:

How was the dancing?

Fun, says the monosyllabic one.

Did everyone dance?


Was the music good?


Oh, and the DJ’s assistant was “hot” – she’s opening up here!

Did you do any different dances?

What do you mean?

I mean did you learn a new dance or something?

Oh, yes, Lelam showed us a new dance and we did it.


Mphathisi replied:

HAHAHAHA – oh the trials and tribulations of parenthood. 😊 – And HE has not shut up about how he taught Jessica to dance. Big moment for him, that – LOL!!!


feedback from friends and big supporters –

Terry: This made me cry twice. She looks just as Trish would have wanted Her too. What hugely handsome beaus too! Beautifully written Pete. 

Rita: She looked amazing – both times. Jess has really grown into a beautiful girl. Aitch would be proud. And don’t run yourself down. You do a good job.


Well, Are You?

Jess made a confession today.

When she got to Wendon she was eleven. In her class was Michael Z. He has a fulltime au pair who accompanies him to school and sits in all their classes. Mrs Tracy S soon became a firm favourite of the girls. They now call her Mrs S after a firm lecture was given to them about not thinking she’s their classmate.

But at the time they called her Tracy and Jess lurved her! (still does). One day after break in which the girls had been discussing a matter of some importance to them, 11yr-old Jess plucked up the courage to ask 32yr-old Mrs S – who had been in the staffroom at break – an important question:

Tracy, she asked, Are YOU going to smoke when you’re older?

Jessie, Gareth, Tracy and tarryn
– Jessie, Gareth, Tracy –