image of mountain in clouds and quote by Confucius about travel

Come Away With Me to France & Beating Cancer

Welcome to another week full of opportunities. Currently, I have to remind myself that there are opportunities in all situations. I believe it is a question of attitude, even though my behaviour seems to suggest something different.

I struggled with the last chemotherapy

Unfortunately, I struggled quite a bit after the last chemotherapy. I am now in the second part of the FEC-T chemotherapy. The chemical that is given to me now is Docetaxel. My doctors decided to give me a higher dose on the first of those chemotherapies. Apparently, this is what they do because it provides a better chance of fighting cancer cells. Or so they explained to me.

But good grief did that knock me out after a couple of days. The first few days, I was absolutely fine and hoped: “Wow if that’s how the rest goes, I am happy.” At first, I experienced the usual exhaustion but was so glad that my unladylike bowel problems had receded. All seemed well until I developed thrush in my mouth. YUK! Then the soles of my feet started to burn. Then I got nosebleeds.

I tried to stay positive despite the chemo trouble

We went to the hospital every week so that my doctor started to call me a regular. It’s an excellent department I admit but hey: There is a vicious virus on the loose! I can do without visits to the hospital, especially as my blood tests showed that my immune system was underperforming.

Never mind, as much as I could I stayed positive and kept going, but I just couldn’t get myself into keeping the blogging up. Or more to produce newer content. Yes, yes, I know I do not need to blog. It’s my hobby, but I had planned to be 4 weeks ahead with my posts. And I love blogging. And why the heck can’t I just keep my habits going?

It bothers me.

However, I have started to suspect that maybe it’s time for me to learn to relax a little. It’s August after all, and some people have holidays. I could let go of some things for a little. I have also started to suspect that my inner critic has taken over (again!). Never a good adviser that one.

Are you coming away with me to France?

I am still in the process of figuring what’s going on. And no, I do not accept cancer as an answer. That would give the bugger power over my life, and that’s not gonna happen!!!!

Well, next week is the next chemotherapy, but until then we’ll come away to France. Are you coming with me?

I assume we know a lot about France, so a little different introduction

Ah, France! The country of legends. Romantic cities and castles, glorious food & wine and proud people who love to speak their language and nothing else. Oh, and I forgot the coffee. I love cafe au lait.

I think we all know a lot about France. It’s a famous place, after all. So I chose two videos which show a not so touristy France or places we know anyway. Please enjoy them as an intro into the country.

video credit: Peaceful Travelers via YouTube

video credit: Happy Hoppe via YouTube

I’ve been lucky enough to have been to France a couple of times

I was lucky enough to grow up in the South of Germany, where France is comparatively close. Germany in the 70’s ad 80’s when I grew up was very much into teaching its children that other countries are friends. To encourage that we had school exchanges with France, the UK and other countries. I had the luck to visit Alsace with one school and Paris with another. My step-mum used to be a French teacher which meant I had another visit to Paris with her, my father and a friend. I also travelled through France many times on my way to and from Germany/UK.

I have to admit though that I never felt as passionate about France than about the UK. Up until the Brexit referendum I had hardly any negative experiences in Great Britain being German. The British were always polite to me and encouraged my language learning. The British are very good with that in my experience.

I like France despite difficult experiences

France, however, is a different kettle of fish. So proud of their language. Once I ordered stamps in France, but the gentleman behind the counter pretended not to understand me. I asked my step-mum afterwards what I had said to get such a reaction, but she said I ordered stamps. He should have understood me. I also experienced people in France, treating me differently when I speak English and come across as a Brit. Well, maybe not now after Brexit. I haven’t been to France since. Unfortunately, these experiences have shaped my feelings towards the country.

No, don’t get me wrong. I like France. It’s a beautiful country, and I am sure most French don’t have these old WW2 hang-ups anymore. But I just could never connect as much with France than I did with the UK. But maybe that will change now that my feelings towards the UK are so much more complicated than they used to be.

Enough said. Now music.

I am going to make a little change to the music part of “Come Away With Me”. For all the countries that I have “visited” with this blog so far, I found it quite hard to “just” chose one artist to represent the country. There are so many out there. So from now on, I will showcase one artist but also offer a playlist with different artists so you can explore a little more.

video credit: Zaz via YouTube

Today’s artist is Isabelle Geffroy known by her nickname Zaz. She is an incredibly versatile artist, and if you saw the film “Hugo” you know one of her songs: “Cœur Volant”. She seems to be more famous on the continent and Canada than here in the UK. So please discover an incredible artist.

Zaz homepage

Zaz on French Music Blog

I searched on YouTube for “Top Ten France” and found a couple of songs that I liked very much. Not sure if they are in the charts currently or if it’s a YouTube top ten but what struck me was the humour many of these videos showed. Please enjoy.

Bee’s playlist: Come Away with me to France ~ video credits belong to the artists not me

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, August 17th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we move to neighbouring Switzerland. Please find Swiss rock musicians here on the Ultimate.Guitar.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

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

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 (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce

Come Away With Me to Cuba & Beating Cancer

Hello out there. How are you? I hope life is treating you well and if not, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

I am simply tired. Never have a slept so much over the day than I do at the moment. It’s probably the best to let my body recover. Someetimes I dream funny things. And often I have trouble to wake up again meaning my brain fog is even worse than when I do no sleep over day.

But well, it could be worse…

Today is one of those days so I won’t be making many words today. Hopefully you can enjoy the videos of Cuba and the music I chose 🙂

A lovely introduction to life in Cuba:

Video Credit: Henry James via YouTube

Cuba has such an interesting history. Here is a short run-down

Video Credit: Past to Future via YouTube

And, last but not least, some surprised visitors 🙂

Video credit: Kara & Nate via YouTube

Danay Suarez a a successful young singer from Cuba and I hope you enjoy her music as much as I do:

Video Credit: Danay Suarez via YouTube

For some more information please look here:

Danay Suarez on NPR

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, August 10th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we move back to Europe France. Please find French musicians here on the CultureTrip 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

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

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 (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce
image of mountain in clouds and quote by Confucius about travel

Come Away With Me to Mexico & Beating Cancer

Hello out there, all you lovely people. How are you doing? I hope you are fine and if not know: ” my thoughts and prayers go out to you daily!”

Today I thought I share with you some of the resources that I work with when it comes to cancer.

Directly when I got diagnosed, the breast care nurse took some time to give me some of the information material the hospital offers. She also took the time to answer my questions. I had already figured that I had cancer because they insisted I come to the hospital for results. Usually they sent me a letter.

So I didn’t have too many questions at first. I was, however, still grateful for any information for later. Especially the MacMillan info book about financial help.

Norwich is excellent because it has the Big C Center. It is a charity helping you with cancer. Besides information on finances and treatments, they would usually also offer massages, talking therapies to deal with mental health issues and advice on wigs, etc. in connection with the Weybourne Center at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals. However, I’ve got cancer in COVID lockdown times, so a,ny self-care self-spoiling treatments were out of the question.

One of the first things I did was contacting MacMillans financial advisors to see if we could get any financial help. Turned out we earned too much to get more than the grant the hospital offers. We had already taken it up as the best husband just had started to work again after his operation in November. We had trouble to feed ourselves and needed it to pay for travelling to the hospital.

I also signed up for the forum at MacMillan but have to admit I hardly ever use it. Am too busy with blogging :-). But it feels good as back up. MacMillan also offers advice and support for friends, families and carers.

If MacMillan can’t give me the answers I am looking for, then I look at the Cancer Research UK page. While MacMillan offers more practical help with cancer Cancer Research tackles the more scientific problems and information. Another good source of information is the YouTube channel of the Mayo Clinic. I like their more forward-thinking approach when it comes to cancer.

What I always wanted to listen to was the You, Me and the BIG C Podcast. However, I am not a podcast person. So I haven’t yet.

I know that there are lots more resources out there, but to be honest: I find a few useful resources more helpful than many. It would confuse me. I sometimes can hardly think straight because of brain fog.

So that was my short rundown on cancer resources. Now, please come away with me to Mexico.

I assume my US readers might know more about it than I because it seems to be a favourite holiday destination for Americans. My knowledge only comes from Rick Steins food documentary “Road to Mexico” and several documentaries about Frieda Kahlo. I haven’t even read a Mexican author… oops.

So, for all of us newbies, let’s have a look at an introduction by lonely planet.

Video Credit: Lonely Planet via YouTube

It would be worth a visit if I wouldn’t so afraid of flying ;-). So I found a longer documentary about Mexico by Expoza Travel:

Video Credit: Expoza Travel via YouTube

And some hidden beauties to check out:

Video Credit: MojoTravel via YouTube

I feel there can’t be a post about Mexico without Frida Kahlo. So here you go 🙂

Video Credit: TED ed via YouTube

And last but not least a blog about living in Mexico:

Surviving in Mexico: 7 Things you can strike off your Bucket List by Visiting Mexico

Sorry my dear readers. I am getting tired. So not much info about today’s chosen musician. Her name is Ely Guerra a strong Mexican songwriter whose music I find, needs getting accustomed to. But I started this project to challenge my music listening habits and maybe yours too.

Video Credit: Ely Guerra via YouTube

Ely Guerra on Tastebuds.fm

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, August 3rd, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we move a little East to Cuba. Please find Cuban musicians here on the CultureTrip 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

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

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 (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce
image of Bee after hair loss

Come Away With Me to South Korea & Beating Cancer

Hello dear readers, please come in, have a seat, a cup of your favourite hot beverage and relax a little. I am not sure I can relax particularly today, but there is no reason why you can’t. My next chemotherapy is hopefully happening today.

One thing is good: I am halfway through chemotherapy now. The FEC part is over. Now starts the T part and as far as I heard it won’t be much different from the previous chemotherapy sessions when it comes to side- effects. The only difference is that I am given this chemical as a drip, and the nurses don’t have to sit with me and give me 9 syringes.

When it comes to side-effects, I feel I got away lightly. Yes, I hate feeling sick more and more each time I have chemotherapy. But for me, it only lasts badly for a day and lightly for a week. The anti-sickness tablets I have work well, and I also work with herbs and teas. Both together do an excellent job.

I have to admit, though, that my anxiety goes up a notch just before and in the chemotherapy week now that I know more what it means for me. I wasn’t sick last time, which was a bonus. But I got depressed because I was already dealing with cancer for six months, and there are at least another four to six months to come.

Bee with purple scarf on head
me, myself and I

My attitude from the beginning was, “I am living my life and fight cancer” not “I fight cancer and maybe live my life.” So many people told me about someone they knew who had cancer but weren’t particularly bothered by it and just kept going. I felt that was an excellent way of dealing with it.

It also made me feel closer to my mother, who fought for five years when I was young, but the cancer was stronger in the end. Because now I know what it must have meant for her. However, it’s tough.

Chemotherapy, for me feels a little like fighting a house that has a mold problem with a nuclear bomb. You just kill off the whole district to get rid of one place’s problem. Chemotherapy throws a ton of chemicals at you to destroy cancer cells, but a whole lot of healthy cells are collateral damage.

And of course, I ask myself: “Is it worth it?” My usual approach in dealing with health problems is with herbal and old-fashioned recipes and no pharmaceutical products. But I do not believe that herbs alone help against cancer. And what you believe has a huge impact on the healing process.

Some theories say that 50% of tablets don’t work; it’s the patient’s belief that makes them work. Apparently, the so-called “placebo effect” is more powerful than we know. I strongly believe in the power of the mind no matter if you use herbal remedies or heal with pharmaceutical medicines.

I consciously chose this path to beating cancer. My way of choosing was a balancing act of what I know about cancer, what I learned since my diagnosis and what my gut told me. It feels counter-intuitive to my usual approach to health, but sometimes that’s the only way of fighting something.

Choosing a healing path and choosing my attitude is my way of feeling in power and keep going. But sometimes I need to remind myself of my strength and let all the grief come up. Still grieving my mother’s death, grieving a missed year dealing with cancer and on top grieving all these lost lives because of arrogant and scientifically illiterate politicians who go over bodies to stay in power. But that’s another story…

Now, let’s come away with me to South Korea. That is a place I never wanted to visit. I still don’t want to, but the more I get on with my musical world tour, the more I enjoy learning about this beautiful planet, it’s people and music. And South Korea has a lot in common with Germany I grew up in. A heavily armed border with a communist country. And families who are parted by this border. And propaganda on both sides. And communist defectors. But these are all different stories too.

Lonely Planet gives a lovely and short introduction to South Korea for all ofus who are still curious:

Video Credit: Lonely Planet via YouTube

We have been watching the BBC Travel Show for many years, and I vividly remember a documentary about South Korea and its rather curious habits. Please watch this one and make up your own mind:

Video Credit: BBC Travel Show via YouTube

And what do the locals say about South Korea? Asian Boss had a look into that:

Video Credit: Asian Boss via YouTube

Want to know more? Please check out Hallyism’s page and post about Korea

Let’s get to the music then. Most of us probably have heard of K-Pop. If you can watch this BBC Documentary, then please do, as it gives a great insight into the Korean Hit Factories. We also might remember the infamous Psy with his Gang Nam Style. I found that funny in the beginning, but it got on my nerves extremely soon. Can’t listen to it even now. South Korean music isn’t my thing, I think. It was the opposite with the band/Singer I chose for today:

Tearliner is the name and they started as a six-member band and now only consists of Park Sung-Hoon. At first I didn’t really like his musical style. But I liked the animation so I kept listening and, I have to admit the dreamy quality of the music grew on me. But please make up your own mind.

Video/Music Credit: MJ Chang/Tearliner via YouTube

I would love to give you some information about the illustrator who designed the video but he or she speak through his or her work:

MJ Chang on Behance

MJ Chang on Instagram

MJ Chang on FB

The band Tearliner is a bit more forthcoming 🙂 but not much. The Wiki on Last.FM is the one that is repeated on many other pages. So I might as well only leave you with this link

Tearliner on Last.FM


And where are we going next week?

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

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we move a lot more East to Mexiko. Please find Mexican musicians here on the Last.FM 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

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

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 (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce
Bee with purple scarf on head

Come Away With Me to the Republic of Moldova & Beating Cancer

Hello, all you lovely people out there. How are you today? I hope you are well. And if not, that you have all the help you need.

I am hugely grateful that my cancer has been found before COVID took full centre stage. My operation was a week before the UK went in lockdown. A week before that I had decided to go into my private lockdown because I feared cancer operations and/or treatment would not happen if the NHS would be overrun by COVID. Or my surgery would not happen if I’d caught the virus.

Luckily I live in an area of the UK that isn’t hit badly by the Coronavirus so my treatment can take place. I thank the powers that be daily for this. But we heard last week that many people didn’t see their GP’s for cancer symptoms because they were afraid of the virus. Also, many areas of the UK were so hard hit by corona that they could not deal with cancer treatment which might increase cancer deaths by 35 000. And not only the UK is affected:

video credit: NBC News viaYouTube

So much death, people! I cannot fathom how we just take all these COVID deaths and deaths that occur because “normal” surgeries etc. can’t take place in without being utterly shocked. In the UK that’s currently more than the Blitz! It’s shocking!

To make a long story short: I want to encourage you to go to your GP if you think you have any symptoms that might indicate cancer. Early diagnosis is so vital for your chance of survival. If you are unsure, check out the symptom checker by Cancer Research. McMillan has another page full of information about possible cancer symptoms. Find an updated version of Guidelines for recognition and referral for suspected cancer by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence.

Covid-19 or not it is so important to know the symptoms of cancer and to have them checked out because the earlier you know, the better your healing chances are. So please, inform yourself and act in case you have any signs!

And just to enforce my message another video:

Video Credit: Cancer Reaserch UK via YouTube

Now to something hopefully more joyful 🙂 : let’s get away to Moldova, the least visited country in Europe with a long wine tradition.

Please forgive this speedo-glad gentleman. It was hard to find videos that give a good insight in a small amount of time.

video credit: Alex Rothman via YouTube

“Interesting” looks like an understatement to me. That was enlightening, but we also want to get an impression of how this tiny country looks like. So let’s have a look at some tourist organisations presentation of Moldova:

Video Credit: Wine Tours Moldova via YouTube

That doesn’t look so bad, does it? I like wine even though I am not drinking any alcohol currently because of the cancer. I might also never drink any again. Depending on my self-discipline ;-). But I feel enticed to try some of their wine.

So what does another traveller who has been to Moldova already make of the country?

Video credit: Gabriel Traveler via YouTube

Hmmm, definitely intriguing. It very much reminds me of the East of Germany and Hungary in the Soviet area. If you want to know more about living in Moldova please check out Djulieta’s YouTube channel. It seems to be a rather curious place 🙂

And if you are interested in another more personal report about living in Moldova from a foreigners point of view, check out Lisa’s Blog American in Moldova.

But what about the music? Moldova seems to be an ardent Eurovision Song Contest country. I had a look for some female musicians but they all seemed to have taken part in The ESC. Not that I have anything against this happy music event. But those musicians would be at least a little known in our countries so I opted for the rock tag and came across a band called Alternosfera.

I guess my fascination with vampires got me to choose this one because it sounds so much like “Nosferatu“. If I’d had the mind I would research the connections but thanks to the chemo chemicals blocking my mind I just leave you with a song of theirs (find translation after the video):

Video Credit: Alternosfera via YouTube

Throw me ( Arunca Mi)

translation via LyricsTranslate

I sit next to my bed, my vision in smoke I haven’t slept in a while, not to wake up mad

What cure to take, a faint scream Till madness, I swear I still have one dream. To suffocate in deep waters To be tired from the lack of sleep and in my chest to gather Everything that makes me wake up

Completely insane. 

Throw me (something) from your mind Thousand-word chains A guilt burns me Because life seems foreign to me. Broken, thoughts cut off my hot head Throw me (something) from your mind!  

What cure to take, a faint scream Till madness, I swear I still have one dream. I sit next to my bed, my vision in smoke, completely insane. 

Throw me (something) from your mind Thousand-words chains A guilt burns me Because life seems strange to me. Broken, thoughts cut off my hot head Throw me (something) from your mind!  

Throw me (something) from your mind Thousand-words chains A guilt burns me Because life seems foreign to me.

Alternosfera on sensAgent

Alternosfera on Facebook

Alternosfera on “Good Music is Good Music


And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, July 20th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we move a little more East to South Korea. Please find South Korean musicians here on the Last.FM 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

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

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 (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce
image of mountain in clouds and quote by Confucius about travel

Come Away With Me to Slovakia & Beating Cancer

Hello out there, dear people of the blogosphere. How are you doing? I hope life is treating you well and if not know my thoughts and prayers go out to you daily no matter my situation.

I have learned three things in the 6 months since my diagnosis of cancer:

  1. Sometimes life sucks.
  2. Cancer certainly sucks.
  3. Cancer in the midst of a pandemic sucks even more.

Yes, that about sums up my mood. Guess what, even those who try to spread positivity have bad days. Or weeks. And no chemotherapy last week wasn’t that bad. Nor are the side-effects. No being sick this time, just swollen feet and a sunburn. Well, and feeling ill, but that goes by soon. And the tiredness and mind fogginess gets worse. Me not likey 😦 .

It makes writing something longer but still coherent a little tricky. So please bear with me when I cheat a little in some of my posts. I know, I know, I do not need to blog. No one forces me. But it keeps me going, peeps. It holds some normality in my life, and I do need that.

Ok, enough complained. Let’s get away to Slovakia and listen to some music:

According to Australian travel vloggers “Flying The Nest” Slovakia is surprisingly beautiful.

video credit: Flying the Nest via YouTube

I cannot vouch for it because I have never been there and I have not much knowledge about it either. So let’s see what Sebastian Ioan has to say about it:

Video Credit: Sebastian Ioan via YouTube

Slovakia Travel says about the country:

Slovakia is not one of the countries everybody’s been to. You will discover hundreds of unexpected curiosities and secrets in almost every village or a small town, in the mountains and valleys. It is Slovakia where you can feel as a real explorer who is always able to discover something new. Include Slovakia in your tourist routes.

Slovaks are emotional nation. We experience our joys, successes, disappointments and sorrows with emotions. We are sincere, friendly, open, hearty, generous, but also touchy. This is the way we differ from our neighbouring nations. But in the end, it is our heartiness and trustfulness that prevail. We are able to fully experience joys and concerns of our visitors and empathise with their feelings. We are a country of friends!

Folk crafts, costumes, music and dances in Slovakia are passed on from one generation to another.  There are different cultural traditions and folklore in every valley. Many folklore festivals and performances are held in Slovakia throughout a year. Slovak overtone flute called “fujara” as well as Music of Terchova were included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Heritage, the Radvan Fair and “gajdy” bagpipes are on the waiting list. 

Slovakia is a country of contrasts. It changes right in front of your eyes, yet everything and everywhere is nearby. It just takes a couple of hours to get from the Danubian Lowland to the Central European Highlands, still bodies of water are just at a stone’s throw from turbulent river rapids. You can get swiftly from urban agglomerations to secluded, romantic highway gateways with unspoiled nature.

Due to its geographical position, Slovakia’s always been an important trade and cultural intersection. In a relatively small area influences and remnants of western as well as eastern cultures or religions can be detected. In Slovakia you can find northern discipline along with southern temperament, and western rationality with eastern emotionality. It is reflected in eventfulness of everyday life.

Slovakia is a young, progressive country. During almost three decades of its existence we’ve gone through dynamic changes, new things emerge every day. We surprise the world by our advanced technical level which goes hand in hand with human touch. New companies are founded every day, new objects or city landmarks emerge, life conditions are improving, but we keep our traditional values as well.  This is Slovakia.

We can praise ourselves with skilful and resourceful people who have managed to succeed abroad, as well as with successful and innovative companies and projects which are respected by demanding international community. We are represented in science, culture and sports. World-changing inventions are associated with the names of Joseph Maximiliam Petzval (inventor of photographic objective lens), Jozef Murgaš (inventor of wireless telegraph), Jan Bahýľ (inventor of helicopter), Štefan Banič (invetor of a parachute), Aurel Stodola (founder of the theory of steam and gas turbines), Ivan Alexander Getting (inventor of GPS), and many others. In a field of culture we are famous for the founder of pop art, Andy Warhol, well-known are names and performances of tens of opera singers, painters, photographers and sportsmen. You can find successful Slovaks everywhere. 

Source: Slovakia Travel

That’s not bad for such a small country, is it?

Shall we see a little more of it?

Video credit: Hike The World via YouTube

Definitely worth a visit 🙂

And for the music?

I chose a lady called Zuzana Smatanova because one of the wikis said she sang in English too. Well, I could not find an English song of hers, but I like her style. I also did not manage to find much more information on her than what Wikipedia offers:

Zuzana Smatanová (born June 14, 1984 Súľov-Hradná, Slovakia) is a Slovak pop-rock singer. She sings in Slovak and in English, writing her own lyrics and music. She plays the piano, the flute and the guitar.

In 1998 she was accepted to Pedagogical and Social Academy in Turčianske Teplice, but was more attracted to writing music than to being a teacher

Let’s hear her then 🙂

Video credit: Zuzana Smatanova via YouTube

Lyrics translation via Google Translate:

The Only One

The only one and only one
I don’t promise you the arms of the stars
gold fish that fulfill your wishes
fast, to wait
I only have the palms that want to lead you
deep night and day
somewhere in real dreams

I don’t promise you more than I have
in the heart of the territory where we leave
grow love for us
I’ll make you feel like you’re not alone
the world around us suddenly disappears
and let the fire burn

We are the only one and the only one
on Earth alone and only for oneself
when the rooms of the house smell of you
then I experience everything again, again
the heart is the only sound
and only thanks to him can you hear them
that you are close…

I don’t promise you an air castle
I’ll give you a garden where you don’t need to
two chubby tree
I know you feel scared sometimes
I will do everything I can
that you will be with me and safe

I promise you no more than I know
in the house eternal spring and in the darkness
rooms smile and tea
I want you to know that I understand
if you start to feel distant in the distance
I will wait for you on the way back

We are the only one and the only one
on Earth alone and only for oneself
when the rooms of the house smell of you
then I experience everything again, again
the heart is the only sound
and only thanks to him can you hear them
that we are… the only one…

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, July 13th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we move a little more south to Moldova. Please find Moldovan musicians here on the Last.FM 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

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

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 (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce
Image of mountain and quote by D.H. Lawrence about life

Come Away With Me to the Czech Republic & Beating Cancer

Hello out there all you lovely people. Please come in, have a seat, a cup of your favourite beverage (hot or cold ;- ) ) and relax. Yes, feel free to put your feet up I do not mind.

Not sure how I am today. I am writing this post last Monday in the hope that I am going to have the third round of chemotherapy today. The week of chemotherapy has been a bit of an out time for me the last couple of times.

On the day of chemo, I am very sick. Then comes some sleepless nights. Exhaustion. Then the brain fog. I also had some trouble I do not mention on here. How strange. I just wrote “we” instead of “I”. I used to think as “we” rather than “I”. Hmmm… Maybe I still need to get a proper assessment for DID.

Today is going to be the last of the FEC chemotherapy. It is also half-way through. Afterwards, I get the T-part of chemotherapy.

According to BreastCancerNow:

“FEC-T is a combination of four chemotherapy drugs used to treat breast cancer.

 It takes its name from the initials of these drugs: 

  • 5 fluorouracil (also known as 5FU) 
  • epirubicin 
  • cyclophosphamide 
  • docetaxel (also known as Taxotere) 

FEC-T destroys cancer cells by interfering with their ability to divide and grow.” (source: FEC-T chemotherapy on BreastCancerNow).

I am not quite sure I want to know what these things exactly do but hey ho let’s get a little more into detail:

Fluorouracil is an anti-metabolism drug which means it stops cancer cells from having the ability to divide. It is used for

  • breast cancer 
  • head and neck cancers
  • anal cancer
  • stomach cancer
  • colon cancer
  • some skin cancers (as a cream)

(info from Cancer Research)

Epirubicin is a chemotherapy drug that destroys the DNA in cancer cells. It belongs to a group that is called anthracyclines and is used for a lot of cancers.

(info from Cancer Research)

Cyclophosphamide also helps to stop cancer cells to divide, however, it is also a immunosuppressant. It supresses your immunesystem which is why I have to shield currently. Getting into contact with the Corona-Virus wouldn’t do me any good. That is also why it is used for some other conditions than cancer like rheumatoid arthritis.

(info taken from: Patient.Info)

Taxotere is a drug of the taxane group which slow down cell growth.

(info taken from: WebMD)

The trouble is that all these drugs do not only work on cancer cells; they do affect healthy cells too. That is why there is this long list of side-effects.

I was just wondering if the T-part will be different than the FEC part. From what I read so far, there isn’t much difference. But I am going to have a phone appointment both with a nurse from the Weybourne Unit which is responsible for the chemotherapy and an oncologist too on Friday. So I will ask and find out.

Ok, let’s get away from this challenging topic of beating cancer and get away to the Czech Republic. I’ve never been down there. The only thing I know about the Czech Republic is that they make brilliant beer, that the capital Prague is beautiful, that it used to be a communist country and that Kafka lived in Prague.

Lonely Planet added to my knowledge a vast array of castles everywhere in the Czech Republic. Its location in the middle of Europe made it prone to raids by tribes and conquering armies. However, the rich and famous also allowed themselves some lovely summer escapes to beautiful chateaux. Sounds like it’s definitely worth a visit. Let’s have a look here:

video credit: Visit Czech Republic via YouTube

That made me want to go this very moment… if only… you know … cancer and virus and…. never mind.

Here is another video that should give you a lovely insight into this beautiful country:

video credit: Travel Vlogger via YouTube

Feel free to have a look at YouTube and check out the many videos about this lovely country. Even though I was rather shocked how many like to point out what shocked them about the country. But maybe that’s just a “headline” thing to get more views. I very much hope so.

If you want to find out more have a look here:

CzechTourism.com

Kafkadesk about the question which name is right: Czech Republic or Czechia

I think I saw a documentary once about this one: Cat and Duck Blog ~ Zemenka Earthship, Czech Republic

And “Grammy Writes” about their visit o Prague: City Scene: Prague

And for the music? Let’s see:

I have chosen a band called “Monkey Business” which according to News.Expat.cz exists since 1999 and does what it says on the tin: Monkey business. They are known for crazy stage shows and videos but according to the page are “clean fun”. I think the video I chose is a little provocative, at least when you are from Germany. I couldn’t find any lyrics to the video and didn’t understand much either, but I started to wonder if it is a parody of good ol’ Mr Trump. The part that I understood says: “Worse lover ever but I am so clever…”. Please make up your own mind 🙂

video source: Warner Music Czech Republic via YouTube

Well…. 😉

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, July 6th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we move a little more south to Slovakia. Please find Slovakian musicians here on the Last.FM 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

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

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 (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce
Image of a bench in front of a lake in autumn with quote by Frank Borman

Come Away With Me to Poland & Beating Cancer

Hello out there, how are you? Yes, I do ask again, and I want to know. So many lovely people ask me how I am, and I just want to return the favour. And you know, I am sending you good vibes daily (and a coffee or tea if you wish to 😉 ).

So, how I am? Astonishingly fine. It’s two weeks ago that I had my second lot of chemotherapy and while I was very sick on the first day, all the other side effects weren’t as bad as last time. I am grateful for that.

So today, I am taking on a topic that bothered me a lot before chemotherapy but turned out not to be that bothersome: Hairloss.

Hairloss happens both with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Here in the UK you are connected with a breast care and oncology nurse when you are diagnosed with breast cancer. They are there to coordinate your treatment and to give you all the information that you need. They also support you with any resources to help beat cancer.

When I met my oncology nurse for the first time, she asked me if I have any concerns. And strangely the only thing that came to my mind was losing my hair. I am a proud ginger. Having red hair is part of my identity, and the prospect of losing it terrified me.

Portrait of Bee Halton

So she suggested something called “scalp cooling” which terrified me even more than the hair loss. Scalp cooling happens while having chemotherapy. They put a cap on your head which cools your scalp down, and you have to keep it on for quite some time. It’s cold. Really cold as the nurse said and I answered: “No thanks”. A wig wasn’t an option for me as the virus and lock down got in the way.

However, I had already decided I would deal with any imminent hair loss with scarves. And so I did. But I felt like a proper pervert when I had my first chemotherapy, and as soon as I got home started to pull my hair to see if it was still save. And I kept doing it. By the second week after the first chemo, my hair was gone. Besides a couple of brave soldiers who decided to hang on by a thread.

image of Bee after hair loss

Now I look like a plugged chicken but don’t give a damn. Five weeks into chemotherapy, I even leave my scarf or beanie off if I get too hot, which I wouldn’t have done before. I guess the lockdown helps. We are home alone, and only the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world gets to see me.

Bee with purple scarf on head

He is a brave soul too. I could see how hard it was for him to shave off my hair before I had chemotherapy. My plan was to be bald before any hair loss would happen, but he couldn’t bear it. So we compromised on a very short hair cut. Since then he keeps telling me that I look lovely and he means it (We are together for 10 years we know when we lie 😉 )

And I am daily surprised how little I am bothered by my loss of hair. Thanks for that also goes to my cousin. As a young woman she had to fight a rare form of leukaemia. She had to go through chemotherapy and said to me: “I wore my bald head with pride. How else can you be bald as a woman without being looked a in funny ways!” There are some warrior women in my family :-).

But let’s leave this hairy business aside and come away with me to Poland. Such a beautiful country. Back in the day when the wall came down, my father had a girlfriend from Poznan which lies close to the German border smack bang in the middle.

Image of market place in Poznan, Poland
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

I was living in Berlin, and my then-partner and I went to see both of them in Poznan. It was a little less well decorated then, but you could see and feel the history of the place. What I most remember of my father’s girlfriend was her pride in the quality of Polish products. And her emotional strength. There are some warrior women over there too :-). I work with two of them here.

It is always good to ask someone from another country for advice when you want to show some rare gems of said country. That is what I did. Thankfully, I know Emilia from “My Inner MishMash” who isn’t only a warrior woman from Poland but also extremely interested in music. She says not so much in Polish music, despite that, she gave me some great ideas.

But let’s get an overview of Poland first with Rick Steve’s video:

video credit: Rick Steve via YouTube

Many of us think mainly about visiting cities when we go to see another country. But I always felt you miss most of a countries soul if you do not explore the countryside. Emilia suggested a well-kept secret. Smoldzino close to the mobile sand dunes in Slowinski National Park – This video is by Saverio Pepe about the national park.

Most people who visit the National Park come to Leba, which seems to be the hub to get into the park. A little to the west lies Smoldzino nestled in between two lakes. Lebsko lake is part of the National park, but Gardno isn’t. So if you are no fan of tourist masses chose to visit Smodzino instead of Leba to find some of the real Poland.

This video shows a bike ride around Smoldzino and along the dunes and lakes. Unfortunately, I could not find a video in English that showed the area so please enjoy this Polish one. The area is absolutely beautiful!

video credit: Sylwek Ustka via YouTube

Emilia gave a couple of suggestions about interesting Polish bands which you can see in her comment here. I am getting tired though and somehow got stuck with her favourite band “VavaMuffin“. “Vava” is the international spelling for “Wawa” which stands for “Warszaw”. No idea where the muffin comes from. Do Reggae musicians maybe like muffins? Or is it a slang word for something I do not know about? Well, we might never know. Oh, Wikipedia just told me it’s a reggae style. Never mind 🙂

They are certainly worth checking out if you like this sort of music. I like a bit of reggae now and then. It just makes me smile and boogy. Nothing wrong with that isn’t it????

Well, to get myself some rest, I am just offering you the video I have chosen. It is, of course, one without a translation so you either just have to enjoy the music or learn Polish very fast. Good luck 😉

video credit: Vavamuffin via YouTube

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday June 29th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we move a little south to the Czech Republic and you can discover some of its musicians here at expat_cz post: Czech Bands 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

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

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 (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce

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
image of small waerfalls with quote by Seneca

We Can Do It but what day is it anyway? (27.3.2020 just so you know!!!!!)

Hello dear readers, how are you doing? Maybe I shouldn’ ask this question at the moment? I still try to get my head around how life has changed since I had my operation and I suspect I am not the only one who thinks “reality” has become even more surreal than it was anyway.

However, my spiritual habits haven’t changed. I still send out my blessings to all of you daily. So if you feel like everything gets too much, know that someone thinks of you and believes you can do it!

image of small waerfalls with quote by Seneca
photo credit: Brainyquote

When I saw this quote, I immediately thought: “Now isn’t that true!”. All this panic buying that is going on all over the so-called “first” world societies is utterly driven by fear and not by reality. There is enough food. People just buy faster than any shop can fill up the shelves. And at the same time, food waste must have doubled because there is only so much you can eat no matter how much you hoard. What unnecessary waste that could have fed a nurse or cleaner who will help you when you get ill.

But enough of the moaning. We won’t do it if we concentrate on covidiots. Not that I have any answers but I strongly feel that motivating posts are more needed than ever. So I decided to step out of my cancer-induced reading spree and send you some encouragement, ideas and a giggle that might brighten your day.

gif source: giphy

Can you remember what day it is? Yes, it’s really Friday but I can’t get rid of the feeling that in quarantine countries that day has lost its valour. “We ARE home! Please let us out!” you might cry in desperation. Sorry, my dears, I can’t give that but guess what? There is a blog event for that 😉

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!

And I can only encourage you to take her up on the offer 🙂 . Here is her post from yesterday.

Yesterday, was the first day where I felt I could walk around a little and do something. It’s nearly a week that my operation was done ( lymph node clearance and removal of Tumor) and up to Wednesday, I was riddled with a drain and a bottle. The drain sat at the back under my left arm, which made sleeping a little tricky. At first, it didn’t bother me that much because I was still full of painkillers from the hospital. But on Monday my stomach had enough of all the chemicals it wasn’t used to so it put on a full-on revolt. After talking to my GP, I went on stomach tablets and left the more potent painkillers out. Paracetamol must do it. My stomach is now ok, but I am a little more in pain, and I felt the drain more. Luckily, it stopped draining by Tuesday, and the community nurse came along on Wednesday to take it out. What a relief. 🙂

I am posting this post at half twelve in the morning, so I can’t say much about today yet 😉 . Yesterday though I had for the first time some mind to start doing stuff. Yes, I am supposed to do stuff. No moving the furniture or writing for hours (typing with one hand is rather cumbersome I can tell you 🙂 ) but making a cup of tea and walking up the garden is absolutely fine. And that’s what I did. I even took to ripping out some dried up sweet peas so I could guide the new ones where I wanted them.

image of wooden trellis and sweet pea shoots growing along

Then I went inside and wrote this post. That’s currently enough to make me feel like I climbed Mount Everest 😉 . But don’t worry I’ll make it because I’m teaching myself to always look on the bright side of life.

video credit: Monty Python via YouTube

But humour aside what do you do all day at home? I assume if you have children or pets, it won’t be a problem to fill your time, but if you are alone? What about learning something new? Last year I had started a new download for my newsletter, which was called “101 Learning Possibilities for (mostly) free” and collected lots of links to pages where you can learn things for free. Some of them are entirely free, some have upgrades for their courses, and some just ask for a fee for proving you took part. In the next few days I’ll share some of them with you, and maybe you find something you always wanted to learn, and now you have the time to do it:

Academic Earth: The US site Academic Earth was launched in 2009 with the idea, that everybody deserves a high quality education. They started with college courses from first-class universities which are offered in video lists and broadened it to University courses. As far as I can see you cannot gain a degree with them or get a certificate, however, you can gain insight into many topics on University level and keep up-to-date in your field for free. The good thing here is that you do not need to sign up: Just choose your topic and start watching. Acadoceo: Acadoceo offers a vast range of free articles from improving study abilities to advice for startups. They also have an academy that you need to sign up for. However, there are only three courses available one of which is “How to start a WordPress Blog”. This topic is available widely for free on the internet so I feel its not yet necessary to sign up here.

Alison: Alison is one of the oldest free online learning organisations. They offer courses on topics from healthcare to lifestyle, and if you finish your course with an assessment score of 80%, you can become an Alison Graduate. There are certificates that you can purchase to add to your CV. Unfortunately, they fund themselves via advertising, which can be a little annoying. However, if you have 50£ to spare you can have it ad-free. It’s an easy way to learn in your own time, and the learners’ dashboard shows your stats which can be very motivating.

gif source: giphy

So peeps I am done here. Mount Everest is climbed, and I deserve to wander off to the long earth or simply to a cup of tea.

Take care of yourselves, be kind and don’t give up because we can do it!

video credit: Radio Free Europe via YouTube

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me for cancer 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.

Jetpack