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‘I don’t see a knife so im not a hostage.
I see someone beautiful in trap and has all the keys with her in the cage. It’s just to dark from the inside to find the key hole.
I will help you find the key hole on the outside. You need just give me the right key
I’m with you and I will see to it where you can’t hold on I’ll catch you.
If one rope breaks there is plenty more… we will get you out of this’
– An unexpected source
Blessed yet broken.
Makes broken look beautiful. Carries the world on her shoulders and makes it look like a pair of wings – Arianna Dancu
Those of you that follow me probably at one stage wondered why melacholymons was silent for two years. Just after I returned from France in 2014 my career took a turn and I found myself lending my hand to content and creative control of the corporate website. To cut all long stories short, I am now back in my home town of Cape Town, South Africa (SA), having studied and qualified in what I love, I am Monique at PR.
So what inspired to me set my fingers to the keyboard on a more private rather than professional note? For those of you that do not know the story, I am going to let you in.
Since a young age I have loved to write. The natural flow and order in chaos of the English language is fascinating to me, the delightfully daunting game of my OCD in words, the right fit, focus and the right feeling.
I completed my American High School Education through correspondence course in half of the 4 years assigned and was accepted with flying colours into the University of Cape Town (UCT) to study a Bachelor of Arts (BA): English, Media and Writing. Shortly after that I discovered that I could not begin study as SA did not recognise the SATs (US American High School Diploma). The way forward was an exemption certificate from Department of Home Affairs, to which I have applied 3 times and the government of our fair land being as it was/is, I have not yet received it 14 years later. Crushed as I was I enrolled in a Secretarial course and my life took a different turn.
I tell my fellow Capetonians now that I found myself in Kwazulu Natal.. When I was living in Cape Town I didn’t know who or what I was, 10 years I was in Durban and I went through hell for heaven’s sake. Through the avenues and gutters, victories and burdens, butterflies and sorrow, love and loss I battled, a quiet Friend alongside me guiding me to finding me.
From 2012 – 2015 I was running, albeit in the right direction. Studying an average of two courses per year, I qualified in Writing for the Web (SA Writers College), Web Design (Web Design Academy), Safe Work Practices (Chevron – qualified High Risk Permit Issuer and Harmful Gas Tester), Retailer – Service Station – Operation (Chevron), and lastly Public Relations (UCT‘s online division – GetSmarter.co.za).
God brought people in and out of my life, and few of them are in for life. Without these helpers I would not be the gift I am today.
Looking back I see the incredible power of God’s hand over my life. I have realised that if I had completed the BA I would not have been able to write like I do now. Up until last year I have not before felt the peace, closeness and constant protection and love I do when I get into that quiet place with Jesus. I am complete. What I sometimes liken it to is the feeling of being in the womb (I am guessing); complete, encompassing wholeness, peace and comfort.
I cannot wait to go home. This life is temporary, real life begin after this. But I know I have too much to do. There are too any people that need to feel this way, need to know this wholeness, this is what we are all searching for. Not religion, church, nor people, but that wholeness. If we all have this, we will all be complete, living in love, religion will be nonexistent, churches as they were supposed to be, mankind temples of the Holy Spirit, Jesus here on earth.
This is my philosophy, and this is what I have found. MELANCHOLY, the word I have felt a strange kinsman-ship to over the years. I found out why: with this love comes a deep burden of sorrow, pain of the others emptiness and wondering.
Monique means alone or wise councilor, this too is a wonderous and true introspection. I love to be alone, I love my own company. I spent so many years running, always trying to fill it with people. Yes, I still run, I have not yet arrived. I am a human being, not a godly being, and I will fall, but my peace comes from proof. The evidence is in the past. Each time I have thought there was no where to turn, His way is perfect, His plan is perfect. In little things, in big things. And to be alone with Him is a piece of paradise.
It is amazing to wake up everyday and know that you are walking in victory and you are doing what you love. The excitement is contagious. I write on a daily basis, I cook regularly for my job, just two of things God has given me that I love to do.
She made broken look beautiful, strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings – Ariana Dancu.
Jesus makes beautiful to perfection, invincible to everlasting. He makes my wings unfailing, my soul fly in the clouds – Monique van der Walt
From there were went to Colmar, mainly to see the statue of liberty replica
The baby pine trees
We stopped at the top of the road down to Bourbach-le-Haut, and took a short walk to view one of the war monuments.
The view over the valley was breath-taking, even though we only appreciated it for a couple of minutes, due to the icy wind.
Below us us lies the sleepy Bourbach-le-Haut, a town of some 300 people.
This is the road we took a good 6 times while staying here. The Tour de France travels along this route.
Bourbach-le-Haut nestled below
The next day of our adventure was to the Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle and the Christmas Shop
The town is another tiny village, nestled in-between endless winelands
We wound our way through the town, up to the Castle
The Castle was built by Frédéric le Borgne, duke of Souabe and a member of the Hohenstaufens family – view more history
It is cold and eerie inside the castle, you feel like you are back in the 12th Century, when the Castle was built.
Throughout, small period windows allow you this astounding, breathtaking glimpse of what the duke saw on a daily basis
After the Castle, we went down into Orshwiller for lunch, and ended up at The Hupsa Fannala
It was a quaint place, the food slightly higher priced, but most delicious
And from there, on to Riquewihr, in search of the Christmas Shop
This was my favourite town of the trip
The main street is only pedestrian (and delivery vehicle) access, the cobbled wonderland becomes from the start
For those who prefer not to walk, the little tourist train will show and tell you around the fairy tale town
Here, I found something I have never had before (and would not normally eat, should I not have been on holiday)
Banana Sorbet !
Made with real bananas, it was absolutely delicious, so much so that I hunted for it in every other place we went to, but did not find it
We wandered through the village, taking in this surreal, movie-set like village
The smell of mouth-watering treats, sweet & savoury capture every sense
Tourist and locals alike congregate in the the gorgeous winstubs (or wine rooms)
Just one of of the boulangeries (bread-ery) / patissteries (bakery), its windows lined with multi-coloured macaroons
Ha, and finally, the famous Christmas Shop
The Feerie de Noel is the main reason why this town holds the best memories for me.
The store is set up like many of the stores here, almost like a ride, one way in / out. And, as soon as you enter, it feels like you have climbed aboard the Polar Express
As you venture further into the wonderland, you feel as if you have just woken up in the Santa’s Factory, it really gives you that warm-and-fuzzy feeling.
No cameras inside – check it out here.
One of the nearby towns, the perfectly picturesque Masevaux
The entire town is like a movie set, small quaint houses, shops and cobbled streets
In the town centre, is the Hostellerie Alsacienne.
Everything about the place is fabulous; from the Star of David chairs, to silver cutlery, and mouth-watering meals; fantastic enough to warrant a second visit before leaving the region
The above is the Trout Amande
And the Duo de Poisson
The whole town is like a movie set
The silence of the midday break shattered by our touristic presence
The flowers are not yet in full bloom, but still breathtaking.
The midday day break is from 12:00 – 14:00 daily.
You will find all shops closed, with only restaurants welcoming customers.
We found this affected particularly the smaller towns.
The spring flowers creep from behind the wood pile
Almost everything one sees it photo-worthy
Citizens are rewarded for beautiful gardens – Concours maisons fleuries
A couple of weeks later and we would have seen even more glorious colours
But all in all, Masevaux is easily one of the prettiest towns
Adding to its appeal, is the surprising small number of tourists about town