Brainyquote Image with quote about music by Jean Paul

Come Away With Me to the Netherlands & Beating Cancer

Hello everybody, how are you rolling? I hope not off the sofa because you had too many snacks or pasta :-). My weight is still ok. Currently, I am basically living on natural yogurt, dried and fresh fruit, vegetables and the odd piece of bread and potatoes. Chemo-side effects can be quite filling if you get my drift.

Later on today, I am going to have my second round of chemo, and I am not looking forward to it. The first one was definitely easier to deal with because I did not know what’s in store for me. Now, they say the first is the worst, and if that is true, then I’ll be absolutely fine. However, I had a chat with the oncologist, and he mentions something that the side-effects might get worse.

So who to believe?

Who knows. I just roll with it 😉

Video Credit: University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust via YouTube

The above video shows quite well what I have been told how to get about having chemotherapy and what side-effects I might encounter. However, we are at different times, so some things are different at the moment. I have to take my temperature in the morning and in the evening, and I have to call the Acute Oncology Department in my hospital if I have a temperature under 36C or over 37.5C because both can indicate an infection.

Everything today goes through a phone call first, and they try to avoid patients having to come to the hospital. So anything that can be dealt with via the GP’s should be done via the GP’s. And I can’t have anyone with me while having treatment because of the virus.

But now to something more positive 🙂

Let’s come away to the Netherlands, a country that I know a little as I used to live in Germany at the Dutch border. When the European borders opened in the early 2000s, it was heaven for me because we could go over for a coffee or do some shopping which in some cases was cheaper than in Germany. I started to learn Dutch because I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to learn another language and actually use it. But I didn’t get far. I am currently using my time to learn it again via Duolingo.

video credit: Amsterdam calling via YouTube

We usually went to places closer to the border for our shopping but I thought it might be more interesting to have a look at Amsterdam which is definitely worth a visit.

I have travelled the canals on boats with friends. No that’s not us but gives you a good insight on what that means.

video credit: Bert Vermeer via YouTube

Traveling on canals is a beautiful way to relax. You absolutely have to slow down, and if you do not have steering duties, you can literally let the world go by. You can see a country from a totally different angle, and if its a country that is built on canals like the Netherlands, you can often stop smack bang in the middle of towns and cities and enjoy everything you usually have to do by car. Absolutely gorgeous.

And we had a look at the sights like Fortress in Bourtange

Video Credit: Wilco De Jonge via YouTube

This video gives you a good insight into the area I used to live. It is lovely if you like it flat and wet 😉 . The fortress in Bourtange was one of my favourite places to go on a Sunday afternoon and have a cup of coffee and take some pictures. However, that was just at the beginning of the digital revolution, and no mobile would have made any good pictures. Amazing how far we have come in the last 20 years.

The artist that I have chosen isn’t a new one nor one that isn’t famous. She had a couple of hits in Germany around the time I was leaving for the UK. I used to listen to her all the time.

Her name is Anouk, and she sings in English and in Dutch. I find her voice incredible, and her straight-talking lyrics often make me laugh. But they are not for soft-spoken people. Just to warn you 😉

video credit: Anouk via YouTube

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday June 8th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit Belgium. Find out about interesting musicians from Belgium on the Medium.com Page: 5 world famous Belgian musicians you should listen to

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link:

WordPress.com
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge

Come Away With Me to Latvia & Beating Cancer

Hello out there, dear people of the blogosphere. Have you missed me? I missed you but had to take it easy last week. However, I still kept sending out my blessings to you daily, and hope you and yours are well.

I am a little more than halfway through the first cycle of chemotherapy and am feeling much better than last week. After I got my non-lady-like side effects back under control I started to help a little in the garden and did some housework too. That seemed to have brought my energy levels back up, and prompted me to start blogging again.

Still, I can only do things for a short while and then have to rest. That is now fine by me. In the first week after chemo, I felt rather useless. Now I think, that’s just part of the parcel. I feel incredibly grateful for the NHS and its staff. They are doing an incredible job in these strange times and have been there for me whenever I needed them.

So far, my hair is still on my head. I have no mouth sores just my gums are sort of rough. I wash my mouth with a light salt solution a couple of times a day as I clean my teeth after pretty much every meal or snack I have. The inflammation that stopped me from starting chemotherapy in April is gone, but I am still taking antibiotics. So all in all I am grateful that there are not too many side effects (yet). More is for sure to come but I deal with it when it arrives.

So, shall we get away for a little to Latvia?

Latvia is the middle country of the three small countries on the Eastern side of the Baltic sea. It is bordered by Russia to the East, Estonia to the North and Lithuania in the South. According to Wikipedia, it has a very high standard of living and its governments take democracy seriously.

It was ruled by Russia, Sweden and Poland over many centuries but German aristocracy seemed to have executed the rule. In the late 1980s the so-called “Singing Revolution” gave way to the modern democratic state of Latvia. So strange I can’t remember hearing about it then. But I guess Germany was pretty occupied with its own throwing out of communist rule. I can remember though the human chains all along the little Baltic countries. Sigh. Where is all that hope gone from those days for a better world?

I’ve found you a couple of videos that give an overview of Latvia. If they do not play on the blog, follow the links underneath to their YouTube location.

Video credit: Mojo Travels via YouTube
Video credit: Deutsche Welle via YouTube
Video credit: BBC Travel Show via YouTube

The band I have chosen today is not entirely unknown to the West. Prata Vetra or BrainStorm as they are also known were the first Latvian band to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest. I think they did quite well. They also won some accolades at the MTV Music Awards and even played at Glastonbury some years ago.

The reason I chose them are the lyrics to this song:

Copy right: Brainstorm via YouTube

In the dawn/ Na Zare

via LyricsTranslate

No-no, I know already, I know that my youth is gone. Now I can only recall. And I remember: then, in youth, I didn’t feel happy. It seemed vice-versa: everything was difficult, they didn’t understand me, they didn’t hear me, but now I know that I was happy then and there. But I didn’t know it then. I wanted so much! I was waiting for something! And it seemed to me that I heard something calling me… The voices are calling me in the dawn! The voices are calling me in the dawn! What was I waiting for? I was waiting for the amazing destiny, unique life. I wanted to feel everything, to try everything as soon as possible. I could walk down the street, see my reflection in the shop-windows and hope that I would be loved anyway, that I am awaited for. Also I could dream till morning and feel tremblingly that it will happen soon, this morning, very soon… very soon… And there, in my youth, when I looked at the morning mist above the river while coming back home through the sleeping city, it seemed to me always, or more exactly, I was sure that they called just for me… just for me… The youth is gone… But life goes on… It gives us the happy moments, but sometimes tries to destroy us… Many-sided, many-faced life… Ten years later we’ll realize again that we were happy, but didn’t notice that… It’s necessary just to appreciate it here and now as it is… Life is a happiness itself..

This song just expresses so much of how I feel recently.

Find out more about Latvia on the Camels & Chocolate Blog. And Image Earth Travel offers some stunning photos not only from Riga.

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday May 25th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit the Netherlands. Find out about interesting musicians from the Netherlands on the Culture Trip Page: 10 Dutch Musicians You Should Be Listening to.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link:

WordPress.com
image of hot spring and quote by Bertrand Russel

Something Powerful For You

Hello out there, remember you rock!!!! Please never forget that you can manage anything life is throwing at you! Yes, you can!

I have allowed myself some downtime in the last couple of days. While I do not have massive side-effects (yet…), they are still taking their toll, and I have promised myself to rest when needed, no matter what blogging plans I have.

This morning though I was listening to a song that I love, that gives me hope and makes me cry every time 🙂

I believe besides Love Hope is the most powerful thing in the world and that is why I want to share this song with you today:

Woyaya – Wiyala

Please check out this incredible and versatile singer from Ghana which I discovered at the beginning of 2020.

Wiyaala on Wikipedia

Wiyaala’s Homepage

Wiyaala on Circumspecte

Lyrics

We are going
Heaven knows where we are going
But we know we will get there

We are going
Heaven knows where we are going
But we know we will get there

We will get there
Heaven knows how we will get there
We know we will

It will be hard we know
And the road will be muddy and rough
But we’ll get there
Heaven knows how we will get there
We know we will get there


We are going
Heaven knows where we are going
But we know we will get there

Woya ee woyaa yaa (repeat till fade)

Happy Tuesday despite everything!

Image of Little Mermaid sculpture in Copenhagen

Come Away with Me To Denmark and Beating Cancer

Hello out there, dear readers, how are you doing? Don’t worry if you aren’t coping that well. We all do at times. That is just the nature of life, I guess. But know you are in my thoughts and prayers and I believe you can manage anything life throws at you.

I have been a bit quiet in recent days and am behind my planned blogging but that is fine. On Monday 11th May 2020 I had my first chemotherapy session which was ok. For the first couple of days I felt well and kept doing what I had planned. But then I got some trouble a lady doesn’t speak of so I spare you the details.

Let’s say I wasn’t at my best and let myself rest and recover as much as I could. It’s hard. I never realised how much I need to learn to take good care of my body. So many things to think about when you have chemotherapy anyway as your immune system is stressed. In COVID-19 times it’s even worse. But the best husband and I decided to take care but not to overdo it.

The weather is beautiful, so I try to go outside daily and do a little gardening. Currently with a pair of gloves under the gardening gloves to avoid any cuts that might get inflamed. I love to pull out weeds with my bare hands to have the feel of the earth (unless its thistles or nettles) but don’t at the moment, and it feels slightly weird. But hey ho, here we go. It won’t be forever, and I will be able to get my hands dirty again.

Unfortunately, for you, my brain is a little boggled with all the chemicals in my body, and that is why today’s “Come Away With Me” is a bit boring. We are in Denmark, a place I have visited a couple of times and love, but that story will have to wait for another day.

The music I am sharing is an artist I have shared before, and I love her music. Her name is Agnes Obel, who creates very atmospheric and experimental pieces of music. I needed to get used to her style at first but am now a huge fan. This song is from her new album and is called “Broken Sleep,” which many of us might be experiencing at the moment.

copy right: Agnes Obel

And if you want to know something about travelling in Denmark please check out Cyranny’s blogs. They are a joy to read and gives you lots of insights into Danish life.

A Turtles Journey

Cyranny’s Cove

And if you rather like to see some videos about Denmark check these out:

video credit: Denmarkdotdk via YouTube
Video credit: Rick Steve via YouTube
Video Credit: BBC Travel Show via YouTube

Happy virtual travelling!!!!!

Image of Little Mermaid sculpture in Copenhagen
Image by Sharon Ang from Pixabay

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday May 25th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit Latvia. Find out about interesting musicians from Lativa on the LastFm page Latvia.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link:

WordPress.com
Image of Mountain landscape with quote By Francis of Assisi

Come Away With Me to the UK and Beating Cancer with Food

Hello out there. How are you today? I hope you and yours are well. It is my habit to pray for all my readers every morning, and even if you are not a spiritual person, please accept my good thoughts for you. I hope this encourages you to face the challenges that you are facing. Let’s rock this life!!!!

gif source: Giphy ~ South Park character in front of a red curtain, moving its arms up. White writing saying: “With tha said, let’s rock and roll.

So, the cancer journey update. Well, today isn’t an update as such. I am writing this post 1 1/2 weeks before it gets posted and I don’t know yet how everything turns out with chemo. Please stay tuned until next week when we know more.

Today, I share with you the food changes I have adopted to beat cancer. I am glad I didn’t have to change that much because we are Vegetarians, so one of the biggest culprits that support cancer cell growth is out of our diet anyway. Another one is refined sugars. These I substituted for honey, maple syrup, raisins and dried dates as soon as I was diagnosed in January.

It works very well, and I am surprised at how tasty it is. I am not sure if these natural sugars are harmful to you, too, when you have cancer. I knew though I wouldn’t manage only to eat raw veg to avoid anything bad for cancer growth. So a compromise it is. I have tried baking some biscuits with honey, but they are not the like “proper” biscuits. That is why I grab dried fruit or nuts when my sweet tooth needs feeding ;-).

Image of a pile of vegetables
Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Two other things that I cut out of my diet is alcohol and coffee. I never drank much of either anyway but I thought I don’t need to push my luck so that’s out in favour of plain water and herbal tea. I still drink black tea and at the moment lots of it. That might be counterintuitive because it includes caffein which is bad for cancers but hey: “Nobody’s perfect”.

One thing I want to add to my diet again is green tea. Green tea is known to help against the development of cancer cells. However, it is slightly more expensive than black tea and has sometimes made my stomach worse so I haven’t used it for a while. But I think I might go back to it soon.

These are my diet changes to beat cancer. Have you survived cancer and have changed your diet? If so, do you have any more suggestions on what I could change when it comes to food to beat the bugger 😉 ?

So here a video about food and cancer from the Mayo clinic just to give you some more ideas if you need them.

video credit: Mayo Clinic via YouTube

Now it’s time for my “beating cancer” project “Come Away With Me.” As many of you know, I would like to find a musician from every country on this lovely planet. Initially, I wanted to find musicians from countries that we usually do not listen to. However, I thought there are unknown musicians from our own countries, so I included them. This year it is mainly countries in Europe. But this project goes over about four years, as you can find out here on my page.

This week we are in the UK, and please forgive me that I am not writing much about it. I live there, you know :-). If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, and I am happy to help. But I leave you with a video that shows you some of the most beautiful places in the UK.

video credit: Top10UK via YouTube

British musicians are known and loved around the world. They often top the charts in many countries, and that is why again I am not writing much about them.

However, there are incredibly creative new musicians developing in colleges and universities in the UK. One of which is my son from another mother who studies music in Brighton. He started to take his love for music seriously at the City College in Norwich, and it turned out that Norwich has a vibrant musical scene. So I share with you a short film by Francis Butler about new artists from Norwich and what difficulties they face. (No, son from another mother isn’t one of them 🙂 )

video credit: Francis Butler via YouTube

Now I am not sure about the copyright of the material used in this film that is why I share the Fair Use Disclaimer of the filmmaker Francis Butler:

Fair Use Disclaimer: Footage from the music videos for ‘Bag Of Cans – Houseproud’ and ‘The Neutrinos – One Way Kiss’ does not belong to me and was used solely for the purpose of this documentary. All rights go to Alfie Johnson/The Mill, Eugene Riecansky and the other original copyright holders as made clear throughout the video and in the credits. Whilst the above video may contain some copyrighted material not specifically authorised to be used by the copyright holders, I acknowledge this and believe it to be upheld by the fair use defence for the purposes of news reporting.

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday April 26th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit Denmark. Find out about interesting musicians from Denmark on the Culture Tip Page.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link:

WordPress.com

Come Away With Me To Ireland and Beating Cancer

gif source: Giphy ~ Yellow Star Wars writing saying: “May the Fourth Be With You”. It looks like you are flying very fast through a starry univers in the background

Hello out there, how are you coping? I hope life is treating you well, despite everything. If you feel overwhelmed, remember you are not alone. We all feel like this, and you are in my prayers daily.

I am a bit embarrassed. Last week I told you I start chemotherapy and then didn’t. I got an infection and the doctor decided to wait a week. They gave me antibiotics, and they seem to work. So today, I am not writing; I stared chemo because when I am writing this, I do not know if I start or not.

How am I coping? Ok at the moment but the week before chemo should have started was a hard one. The best husband and I tried to figure out how to deal with shielding. The advice in the UK is that everybody who has his or her immune system compromised should keep to their own. So, in theory, I should stay in one room on my own and just get out to the bathroom when no one is around. Not possible in a small house like ours.

Image of a young woman having her hand on her breast. Several glas candle holders and a shadow which appears to be a monk
Image by Grae Dickason from Pixabay

So we compromised. I will wear gloves and something over my nose and mouth at all times. The best husband already strips down when he comes home, puts his clothes in the washing machine, and has a shower before we come close. He also disinfects everything he took with him that can’t be washed. And we will clean all surfaces after use as best as we can. And we don’t worry about the virus because if we do, we certainly catch it. That must do.

Otherwise I occupy myself with reading, blogging, TV, light housework and every now and then some gardening. Since my operation I have only been out of the house to go to the hospital and go for a walk in the morning. I just fully started this last week because tiredness is one side effect of chemotherapy which can be counter acted with light exercise.

And I started to learn Dutch via Duolingo and to improve my French with reading books in French. I found out that you can translate foreign language books with google translate if you highlight what you need to have translated on google books. That is ingenious. I read a sentence and try to understand as much as I can. Then I look it up with google translate. I know its translations aren’t always perfect but its better than using a dictionary.

image of a dilapidated hut in an Irish coastal landscape
Image by Christian_Birkholz from Pixabay

Not to forget my ” beating cancer” project ” Come Away With Me.” This week I am rather excited because our journey leads us to Ireland, one of my favorite countries in the world. I was lucky enough to travel around the republic of Ireland ( Northern Ireland is part of the UK) in 1992. I can’t believe that it is nearly 30 years ago. Ireland was a different place then. More rural and, of course, the conflict in the North made everything more difficult.

I had met my first husband when doing a gap year and luckily he liked travelling. So at the end of said gap year we decided to visit Ireland a place I always wanted to see basically because the rumour went there are many people with red hair. I don’t remember seeing many more than otherwise but it was a wonderful journey. We went from the West of Germany by car to Belgium and from there too via ferry to Dover in the UK. We then manoeuvred our way around London to Fishguard in Wales. Again a ferry and two days after we started we managed to end up in Ireland’s Roeselare.

Colourful houses in Kinsale
Image by Klaus Hausmann from Pixabay

Our plan was to go around the coast of Ireland and camp, which worked very well. What stood out most for me were the people we met. In Kinsale, a young woman asked us for money, but she didn’ just wanted to beg. She sang us a song. A shopkeeper told us that the Irish prefered Germans to the British because they fought the Brits in the war. I found that rather strange to hear, but it also made me feel welcomed because German tourists didn’t have the best of reputations.

We met two German students in Waterford. After chatting for a while, they figured we were camping and never had stayed in a B&B, so they offered us to stay with them. So we did. But it was night by the time they took us o heir house in the middle of nowhere. Literally. I got somewhat scared bu just at that moment one of them said:” Don’t worry, we live entirely remote, we are not going to kill you,” and all of us laughed.

Image of a ancient lighthouse called the beacon in Baltimore Ireland
Image by Klaus Hausmann from Pixabay

And then there was that pub in Baltimore, I think (yes there is Baltimore in Ireland 😉 ). It had a music festival on, and a band of three were playing. Their expressions were severe, like they were playing for the government. Suddenly a patron stood up, grabbed an accordion, sat down with them, and played as fast as them with exactly the same expression on his face. You can’t make it up.

Ireland’s pub had to shut down at 11pm in those days. So the landlord called for the last orders at a quarter to 11. Then he asked the audience to close the curtains behind them and the concert went on until 1am. It was awesome! Oh, and we were in Hollywood too :-). That lies in the Wicklow Mountains by the way 😉

I know that Ireland today is a different place than then but I am still very fond of the country and hope to have the chance to visit it again with the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world. And to give you an idea how the country looks like a video by Wandering Wolf and their journey around the island.

video credit: Wandering Wolf via YouTube

Ireland is renowned for its musicians, and at least when we were there back in the day, there were musicians everywhere. It was brilliant. The band I have chosen today is called TOUCAN and consists of 10 musicians all from the county of Munster but different towns. They brought out their debut album last year and are on tour on and off. Conor Clancy and Martin Atkinson, the founders of TOUCAN, played together at a house party in 2015 and thought about creating a band. But it didn’t hit off until recently when they started to play live shows. But find out more at ILoveLimerick and their page. And now to one of their songs without more words.

video credit: TOUCAN via YouTube

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday April 26th, 2020

I am taking a somewhat random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit Great Britain. Find out about interesting musicians from the UK on the Culture Trip page.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks, my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. May the fourth be with you 😉

Affiliate link:

WordPress.com
black & white photo of a lake and a forest and quote by B. Auerbach

Come Away With Me to the States and Beating Cancer

Hello out there in isolation sphere, how are you holding up? I hope you and yours are well and safe.

It is nearly 1 AM where I live when this post goes up and later in the morning I am going to have my first chemotherapy session. Hopefully, I am sleeping right now, but you never know. Right now (I write his post a week earlier) I am starting to get nervous.

Chemotherapy has rather nasty side effects even though it has come a long way from when my mother had to deal with. The oncology nurse advised me not to have a too close look at them beforehand, as I might not get many. I felt though I needed to be a little prepared because I will have to call the hospital in certain circumstances. So I read up on them, also to know what I can do to make things easier for me.

Most information I found didn’t help much though because it wasn’t written for COVID-19 shielding times. Never mind. In the end I decided to get as much blogging done as I can, be as resed as I can and meditate the life out of me 😉

I will soon know if it worked 🙂

gif source: Giphy ~ a beige creature looking like hamtser with a green leave on it’s head says: If you are reading this, I hope something good happens to you today”

So, for now, let’s come away on our musical journey around the world. Today we travel to the United States of Amerika and to a band called “The Cactus Blossoms.” While I have never heard of them, Twin Peaks fans might know more. The band appeared in one episode of the 2018 season, according to the Rolling Stone. Page Burkum and Jack Torrey are brothers despite different names. According to All Music, Jack adopted a stage name when he started as a musician aged 19.

Every source I read (I admit they weren’t many) compared them to the Everly Brothers as they seem to play a similar country-music-influenced rock style. I have no clue about 50’s or 60’s American rock music (besides Elvis, of course, but that’s another story) so I can’t comment. They were on a European tour in 2017 (please read more about one of their concerts on Pete Viney’s blog), and that’s about what my tired brain could manage to convey to you.

Please forgive me and find some links about The Cactus Blossoms after the video. And as always: Follow the link underneath any video to their YouTube location if they don’t play here on the blog.

video credit: Cactus Blossoms via YouTube

Find out more about the Cactus Blossoms on their page

All Music wrote about them here.

And the Rolling Stone mentioned them too here

Yes, I know we can’t travel in person at the moment but we can online. To come away with me to the States with these two videos:

video credit: BBC Travel Show via YouTube

video credit: Danny McGee via YouTube

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday April 26th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit Ireland. Find out about interesting musicians from Ireland on the EXTRA.ie page.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

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We Can Do It… but What Day Is It Anyway? (23.4.2020)

Hello dear readers, how are you doing? I hope you and yours are well physically and mentally. We are living in extraordinary times and will see incredible changes in the future. Rather scary stuff that. I also hope you can face these with optimism. No matter what is the case with you, my thoughts and prayers go for you and yours.

Let’s start with something positive, shall we? British artists are coming together to paint and draw NHS workers portraits to say thank you. What a wonderful way to immortalise these heroes:

video credit: sky news via youtube

It is Wednesday morning at 3am when I am writing this. I woke up at twelve to go to the toilet and take another painkiller. Then I went back to bed but couldn’t get back to sleep. Never mind. I felt the best way to get about this was to use the time for something I enjoy. So I got up; made a cup of tea, and played a little with the tv on. That is where I saw the report about the artists drawing portraits.

It’s strange how the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world and my sleeping patterns seem to have reversed. Usually, it is him staying up half of the night, and I am asleep. But he is working full time, still recovering from a severe operation and basically does all the housework now, and it takes its toll. I am in awe how he manages it all and deeply grateful for his love and support.

I don’t worry too much about not sleeping. I am basically bound to the house for the next four and a half months so I can write and read whenever it fits. Plus my sleeping pattern seems to be one night up one night sleeping. I can live with that.

Of course, I have a reason for being worried and not sleeping. I start chemotherapy on Monday, and in COVID-19 times nothing is straight forward. I need to have blood tests done before every session. Usually, I would just get an appointment with the surgery and go. I wasn’t sure though if they still do these. Luckily our surgery has a brilliant homepage. You can basically do everything online. So I asked and they told me they do, but they could also ask the community nurse to come around because I am now classed as vulnerable. At first, I wasn’t sure which I’d prefer but decided to ask for the services of the community nurses.

Image of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals

The hospital I am attending has lots of information as leaflets and online about their cancer treatments. Usually, they do an information evening in the radiology department and for chemotherapy but that’s not on right now. Also, chemotherapy is moved to a private hospital close by to keep vulnerable patients safe. The appointment letter I got told me though to go to my regular hospital. Confusing. So I called my oncology specialist nurse to find out. They are only in their office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and I didn’t expect a call back when I called on Tuesday. But a co-worker of theirs picked up the call and reassured me I had to go to the private hospital and they would call me closer to the appointment. I feel I can start working as a PA after all this with this much organising and finding information.

And then there is this little thing with shielding. I should hide in one room in the house once I start chemotherapy, not seeing the husband and only use bathroom and kitchen on my own. Our home is small. We have no en suits. I can’t fully shield and also start to realise how much close contact with my husband helps me to get through this. We cannot afford to both stay home as our employer wouldn’t pay him. ( Government advice is that family members can still work but need to stay away from the person who is shielding and as a groundskeeper, he can’t work from home.). We sill figure out how to deal with this. So what day is it anyway?????

image of blue purple mountain cornflower and dark green leaves

Linda over at “Life in Progress” has started the “What day is it anyway” blog event. She invites us all to share a little of our new daily routines, struggles and successes. She writes: “

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!

Thanks Linda, your rock!

I can only encourage you to take her up on the offer 🙂 . Here is a list of her #WDIIA posts.

Now to something different. A blast from the past

I posted this first in 2017 and it is still so cool:

YouTube Tuesday was a blog meme back in 2012 that I took part in. It has stopped or the blog has moved or whatever, the thing is I can’t find it anymore but I love the video’s I had posted then and so repost them and just take over the YouTube Tuesday meme. If you like it, feel free to share your own choice of video and link to this post so that I can visit yours. Have fun!

thanks for the video to via http://www.youtube.com

Find out more here:
http://www.blublu.org/

A short film by Blu: an ambiguous animation painted on public walls.
Made in Buenos Aires and in Baden (fantoche)

http://www.blublu.org/

music by Andrea Martignoni
assistant: Sibe

And that is it for today.

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link:

WordPress.com

We Can Do It …but What Day Is It Anyway? A little bit of everything version (21.4.2020)

Hello out there, how are you doing? Are you a little like me not wanting to know the answer? It feels so much easier not to ponder the feelings of grief, fear and anger that seem to go around a lot. But I think it is essential not to ignore them. That is why I ask you and myself anyway.

video credit: Swedish House Mafia via YouTube ~ This is a song that always gives me hope

So how are you? I am more anxious now that I have a date for the beginning of chemotherapy next Monday. The oncologist nurse suggested not to look too closely into side effects before treatment started, but I feel I need to prepare myself somehow.

From what I gather, feeling and being sick is one of the most experienced side effects. The doctor will prescribe tablets against it, but I will also work with mindful breathing and herbal teas. Supposedly ginger helps too. I will find out.

A friend in Germany has cancer too and goes through chemo at the moment. Hers are tablets though that can be taken at home, so she does not need to shield. I asked her if she has any advice for me. She was frank with me, which I appreciate, but she told me about some side effects I hadn’t heard yet: Losing teeth and incontinence. REALLY?! Well, really… Sigh!

She suggested to be gentle with my loved ones and myself; not to allow the illness to take over my life and to believe in full healing. That just increased my guess that my mental state is my most important weapon for the next steps of my journey. That is why I prepare next weeks posts and practice mindful breathing even more than usual. The more relaxed I am, the better I get through it, I assume.

image of a mug that looks like a fox on a stone slate table in front of a garden and houses
The small joys in lock down times

Linda over at “Life in Progress” has started the “What day is it anyway” blog event. She invites us all to share a little of our new daily routines, struggles and successes. She writes: “

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!

Thanks Linda, your rock!

I can only encourage you to take her up on the offer 🙂 . Here is a list of her #WDIIA posts.

Sherky the black greyhound looking rather indignant
Sherky misses her second walks and meeting other dogs

But now to something different:
It’s Good News Tuesday so I can’t keep some good news from you:
What makes you happy? We probably all have different answers to this question, and it has been a topic for philosophical ponderings for centuries. However, in recent years science has found some baselines hat help, and the University of Berkeley offers its ” The Science of Happiness” course for free for the time being. What better way of using forced isolation to figure our happiness out?

Find the story here on the Good News Network.

video credit: Universiy of Berkeley and Edx via YouTube

I haven’t written a poem in two months. Sunday night when I couldn’t sleep I realised it. And I wanted to write one again. So I started this post and pondered: What could I verse about… but there is only emptiness in my poetic mind. I appologize and send you over to the Academy of American Poets which has a wonderful newsletter called “A Poem a Day”.

It’s what its called: They send you a poem a day and often challenge your ideas of what a poem should look like. You can discover creative upcoming poets as well as classics. It is a beautiful present in these dark times when many of us might get deeply speechless.

Video credit: Academy of American Poets via YouTube

Please head over to poets.org and find out more about this poem and sign up for their newsletter.

And that is it for today.

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link:

WordPress.com
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge

Come Away With Me to Japan and Beating Cancer (20.4.2020)

Hello, all you good people of the blogosphere. How is your day going? I hope you have a wonderful Monday despite everything and that the new week brings only good things to your door.

Last Wednesday, we learned the next steps of my cancer journey. I told you a little about my experiences on Saturday. Next week Monday I am going to start chemotherapy which in COVID-19 times means I am going to have to shield. That means I basically need to stay away from everybody including my family. We’ve spent the last couple of days figuring out how to do this but are not sure yet. I keep you updated.

From what I gather, the first cycle of chemo (I have to go through six, each lasting three weeks) is going to be the hardest. Of course, I am apprehensive but am working on a mindset of taking things one day at a time. Currently, I am feeling fine just dealing with the pain of healing muscles. It’s uncomfortable, but working with painkillers, laying down, and doing a little housework makes it bearable.

I am, of course, wondering how I manage the blogging. My goal is to use it as a journal of my journey as well as a distraction to get through chemo. But everybody is different, and I don’t know yet with how many side-effects I have to deal with. Please stay tuned to find out more.

In recent posts, I gave shoutouts to those who lost someone to the virus as well as keyworkers. I have moved these to the sidebar of my blog as I feel I need to be a little frugal with my writing just in case. Today I wish to say thank you to all of you, my family, and friends for all your kind words, encouragement and support. You rock! I could not do it without you.

gif credit: Giphy ~ a white animated dog sits while a huge grey rock falls down. It points to it and white writing appears on top saying: you rock.

But enough of the words. Let’s go travelling.

I am rather intrigued about going to Japan. We probably know about more traditional Japanese music or the good old Japanese Pop, but what about electronic music? Now that is not my natural area of music. I do like a couple of dancefloor songs but don’t usually like listening to it.

Industrial JP though fascinates me. They are a music label which dedicates itself to shine a light on small family businesses in Japan who produce things which are called Machikoba. Industrial JP captures the sounds of the Machikoba workshops and transforms them into dance music. Their mission is to show these businesses in a positive light. According to the Japanese Times, Machikobas have a hard time because small scale production is more expensive. However, they seem to have a place in the heart of Japanese people as it reminds them of better times.

So they have quite some media attention with many documentaries and tv productions showing their hard work and excellent production. It seemed just natural for Industrial JP to bring another point of view into the equation.

Industrial JP was founded in 2016 and have 12 productions since. Their work does not only include music but also videos which show the sources of the sounds used. But I don’t want to keep you any longer from a different music experience. Please listen to “Sugiurum” which was made at Ashigara Film. Please follow the link underneath the video if it doesn’t play here on the blog.

video credit: Industrial JP via YouTube

Please read about Industrial JP in the Japanese Times.

And find out more about Industrial JP on their page.

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday 27th April, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit The United States. I know, I know my original idea was not to travel to places which music we know well but hey. We can’t travel now in person. We might as well go everywhere 🙂 . Find out about interesting (maybe still upcoming) musicians from the United States here on the GoodDeedSeats page.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

And just so we can travel a little in our imagination here some videos about Japan. Have fun. If they don’t play here on the blog, follow the links underneath to their YouTube location.

Video credit: Allan Su via YouTube
video credit: BBC Travel Show via YouTube
video credit: BBC Travel Show via YouTube

And now to something different 🙂

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Charity Boudicca Appeal

I would also like to encourage you to support the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Charity’s Boudicca Appeal. They are fundraising 800 000£ to create a dedicated breast cancer unit. The hospital today sees almost double as many breast cancer patients than they did five years ago. That is an enormous rise and puts a lot of pressure on the current facilities and staff. 

For me, that meant so far five journeys to Norwich within a month. That is between 35 and 45 minutes travel each way and the worry, not knowing what comes. On Thursday the 5th of March, we went again. We found out that my cancer needs an operation and probably radiotherapy. But I won’t know for sure until two weeks after the operation. While I am holding up well, it still puts a lot of pressure on my family and me. 

They say on their page they want to build:” An enhanced environment. Purport-built, spacious waiting, diagnostic and treatment rooms. Counselling rooms for women with a breast cancer diagnosis.
Better experience for patients with fewer days of anxiety while patients wait for results.”

That would help a lot. According to the NHS, 1 in 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer in their life time. So it is essential to create better facilities for breast cancer care. The staff I have met so far are doing an excellent job. They are so caring, being extremely effective and supportive. They do deserve a better work environment.

So please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

No more videos for today but if you like to find out about symptoms of breast cancer have a look at the earlier “Come Away With Me Challenge” posts.

Happy Monday to you all despite everything. May you stay safe and healthy!

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