In my professional career I have been a financial manager, a partner in an international accounting firm, a university lecturer, an international conference speaker and a banker. Now in my retirement years I write articles, commentaries and books in my areas of interest, create YouTube videos, and develop online courses .

I write a monthly online magazine called The Circle. The content features local and foreign travel, South African stories, famous people, book reviews, music, food and drink. Articles from The Circle can be seen on my blog page, and you will find the illustrated magazine version, at issuu.com/johnstretch.

My professional work has been published by Microsoft and in travel magazines, company newsletters  and websites, local newspapers and business school journals.

My books are available on Amazon.

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Sandra’s brides come from farming communities throughout the south, breeders of horses and producers of good cash crops - table grapes, export fruit, wheat, wine, and maize. Families in this region have owned magnificent farms in these mountains and valleys for generations.

Some brides arrive with photographs of a wedding dress, cut from a magazine and kept folded in a diary or bible for years. They are their father’s beloved daughters, groomed in the best schools and colleges in the country. Rolls of cash from dad’s back pocket ensure nothing is spared in providing the best wedding ever for mother and daughter.

Sandra is Madame le noces le mariage, expert at counselling brides-to-be and their mothers. But she has learnt there is far more to owning and running a smallbusiness. Sandra’s Bridal Boutique has given her new challenges every day, triumphs and disappointments, laughter and tears, adventures and misadventures, and a good living. In these stories (parables) of daily life we learn how small business owners can use their core strengths of optimism, self-confidence and resolve to make it in this world. Economists and politicians tell us the world needs more entrepreneurs, as if this talent can be taught. But not everyone can be a Sandra. This is her story.

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