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:

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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:

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Quote by T. Pratchett on living

Beating Cancer While Blogging and some Good News

Hello out there, how are you doing? I hope you and yours are well. I also hope you always have your favourite hot beverage to the rescue when life gets challenging. And a friend or family member too. 

For all those who don’t know me yet: In January, my doctors diagnosed me with cancer. I spent February and most of March at appointments to find out how bad and where it came from because it was “unsuspected” as they said. It turned out to be breast cancer (two tumours, one of which was the primary one). 

At the end of March, I was lucky to have an operation in which they took out both tumours, and my lymph nodes as five of them were affected. The fear is that the cancer has spread to other parts even though the hospital hasn’t found any other tumours yet. I should have started chemotherapy last week but could not because I developed an infection. I got antibiotics and see the doctors on Monday the 4th of May to find out if I can start or not. 

For a couple of months now, I am figuring out how I can beat cancer besides the treatment I get from the hospital. I assume that I have better chances if I do not give cancer too much attention, and do something I love to keep me occupied. And I love blogging. So I do it as much as I can.

You can see it on my “Bee Wordless” Blogger blog: Originally, I “just” wanted to do “Wordless Wednesday” posts. However, one of my missions is to spread some kindness, and one of my passions is photography. I try to take a daily photo and share it with family and friends on WhatsApp with a little message that I think of them. This habit made me think; I could do that on one of my blogs too. So I did, and you can find the latest here

Another one of my passions is poetry. In 2014 and 2015, I did a project to write a poem a day, and it somehow became a habit later on. I share some of them on a fellow bloggers blog (find them here on Carol Anne’s “Therapy Bits”), and they are popular. Which made me think: “Why shouldn’t I spread the joy further?” Again, so I did. Now, I am not superwoman and can write daily poetry posts on two blogs. That is why I re-purpose some on my Weebly blog “The Bee Creates“.

Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

But the project I am most excited about is “Come Away With Me” here on my WordPress blog. Over the years I have taken part in several music blog projects from “Song Lyric Sunday” to “Love Is In Da Blog“. While most bloggers shared the music they’ve always liked, I became bored and wanted to discover music from other countries. YouTube had suggested some exciting Scandinavian artists to me, which made me wonder what sort of music other countries are listening. So I started to blog about them last December on “Music Monday“. Later on, I re-named it “Come Away With Me Musical Challenge“. For the next couple of years, I am going to write about a musician from a different country every Monday. I’ll also share some video’s to get an idea about the country we visit. You can even take part with your blog if you like.

I am not sure, if all these creative endeavours will get me through cancer treatment, but I feel it is definitely better than feeling sorry for myself. One thing I do not want to miss either in my blogging is JoAnna’s Good News Tuesday. That is why I am going to share a Good News Story for the end of this blog post.

I am looking for alternative ways to support my cancer treatment and this story made me think a lot:

video credit: eCancer via YouTube

This post takes part in “Good News Tuesday” inspired by JoAnna on “Anything Possible”. I found this story over at YouTube. Please head over to JoAnna and find more uplifting news.

So, I let you go to whatever is up at your agenda. Take care of yourselves and be kind not only to others but also to yourself. Happy Tuesday despite everything.

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
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge

Come Away With Me To Estonia & Beating Cancer

Hello dear readers, how are you rocking and rolling this week? I hope it is to a joyful tune and if not then feel good vibes coming your way. You can do it! No matter what you are facing!

The Bee with a owl cushion

I decided to make the “Come Away With Me” Musical Challenge my project to beat cancer. I love to travel, and while I can’t at the moment because of my situation and our decision to instead going on holiday to paying a mortgage, our last one was in 2015.

So I go traveling virtually. I love to watch travel programs, read travel blogs, and now to visit every country on this lovely planet and find an exciting musician. You can find out which country I have planned to visit over the next couple of years here on the “Come Away With Me Musical Challenge” page.

Brainyquote Image with quote about music by Jean Paul
photo credit: BrainyQuotes

Well, I hope beating cancer won’t need several years. At the end of this week, I will have managed the first stage. I am going to have an operation to have my lymph nodes and two affected areas from my breast removed. Thank goodness, I am not losing my breast. It is rather astonishing to me how much I was relieved to hear that. I never had a particularly good relationship with my body but would hate to lose any part of it.

My mother’s cancer also started on the left breast so maybe I subconsciously connect this measurement with a worse outcome. Who knows. I don’t want to fret over it because the only way for me is to beat it! (Yes, that ancient Michael Jackson song comes into my head a lot recently 😉 )

As long as no complications happen, I’ll be out the same day and can recover at home with the help of the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world and a district nurse. That suits me very well. The breast care nurse assured me that my operation would only be postponed if the whole hospital is shut down because of coronavirus, and it doesn’t look like its come that close yet.

However, that virus is rather resourceful when it comes to infecting people so who knows. But I have to admit I am not bothered. What comes, comes, and I will roll with it.

So, we are travelling to Estonia today. I do not know much about those little Baltic countries. Estonia sits at the Eastern end of the Baltic sea nestled between Latvia and Russia. From what I can see on its homepage “Visit Estonia” it’s cities and towns look rather mediaeval, and the Estonians are into fashion, food and music. Sounds a lovely country to visit as far as I am concerned 🙂 .

Photo of Talinn in Estonia by Falco
Image by falco from Pixabay

I think the Hairy Bikers went to Estonia on their Baltic Tour in their “Northern Exposure” series. I seem to remember a lot of foraging and modern cuisine going on but maybe I am mistaken. Enough though of geography and food. Let’s have a look at Estonia’s musicians.

For today’s post, I had a look at the Music Estonia page, and it’s a database of musicians. There seems a lot of Jazz and electronic music going on, but I chose a folk musician. There is nothing like a good accordion tune. I have to admit I used to hate the accordion and found it quite funny that a friend of mine learned it in school. Not that my recorder learning was much better LOL.

However, I have learned in the last couple of years that you can make rather experimental music with oldfashioned instruments and Tuulikki Bartoski’s tune “Tempest in a Teacup” fully captured me:

Video Credit: Tuulikki Bartosik via YouTube

How on earth do you come up with a title like that? You know how much I love my cup or mug of tea, and there has been enough tempest in my life to fill a thousand teacups ;-). This title is brilliant in my books 🙂 .

So who is Tuulikki Bartosik? Arusa Qureshi from The List wrote about her music: Bartosik blends the traditional with the experimental, with small phrases and her occasional wordless vocal accompaniment providing unexpected surges of emotion. The character and feeling that she injects into her compositions and arrangements allows for a renewed appreciation of the accordion as a contemporary instrument.

Tuulikki grew up in the South of the country in which two ethnic minorities reside. They are the Seto and Voro people with a distinct language and culture. Voro is captured on Wikitongues online library of endangered languages. Unfortunately, I could not find out more about either group.

They are native peoples of Estonia, and I assume that their culture is closely linked to the Sami people of Northern Scandinavia. But your guess is as good as mine, and unfortunately, I don’t have any time to research that further.

Tuulikki Bartosik has several music projects and is working with musicians from all over the world. She has two albums out but collaborated with several musicians, for example, with Hanna James, fellow accordionist and clog dancer. Doesn’t feel like I could find out much about Tuulikki Bartosik but maybe she’ll find more success in our countries and then we’ll hear more.

Are you intrigued by my musical journey around the world? Then feel free to take part. And here are the suggestions on how to do so:

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday 16th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit Belarus. Find out about interesting musicians on the BelarusGuide page about music.

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.
  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 now for 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.

And just to make sure you recognise the symptoms of breast cancer here a video that tells you all about it.

video credit: Oncology Central/MacMillan via YouTube

So, despite everything have a wonderful week, my dear friends, and don’t forget: You rock!

There’s life in her yet

hum for health and sanity

regard dancing clouds

Happy Music Monday to you all!

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Quote by T. Pratchett on living

So much life, and so little time

Hello, my dear readers, how are you today? I hope life gives you lots of lemons so you can make lemon sherbet LOL.

Five years ago one of my favourite authors passed over to another life.

I wrote about him then:

The above title is an adaption of a quote from the late Sir Terry Pratchett, who passed away yesterday morning.

His quote is “So much universe and so little time!”

He is one of my favourite authors. His Discworld novels are brilliant satires on today’s life and society but never in a nasty way. He showed so much humour and understanding for the human nature that always made me think and understand life just that little bit better.

For all those who do not know: He suffered a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s and had campaigned tirelessly both for more research into Alzheimer’s as well as a change of law about assisted suicide. It saddens me terribly that such a brilliant person and mind had to leave so early.

Ironically one of his most intriguing characters is Death, who is strangely interested in humanity and becomes more and more benevolent towards them. Terry Pratchett was a ferocious writer: he has over 70 novels to his name and wrote three books a year at times.

Again it taught me one thing I should know by now: Life is short! You do not know when your time will come!

Do now what is close to your heart. Don’t wait. Tomorrow might be too late.

RIP Sir Terry Prachett. I hope you could leave your anger behind for another one to write….

Terry Pratchett in quotes ~ The Guardian

Quote by T. Pratchett on living
Quote taken from BrainyQuote

While I am determined to beat cancer, I have, of course, pondered the possibility that it could beat me. This is an uncomfortable thought I have to admit. All the fears that come with it from fear of the unknown to leaving my loved ones behind bubbled up like a volcano just about to erupt. And they nearly got the better of me.

However, since I was off working for 1 1/2 years, I have started to practice Mindfulness and try to develop a mindset of “I am only living in this minute: not in the future and not in the past!”. I have also developed the habit to look those fears in the eyes and then thank the universe for all the blessings it has given me. That so often calms me down and allows me to accept the fact that I just don’t have power over everything.

And then I start singing:

video source: Doris Day on YouTube

I am sorry but I just can’t be fearful when I hear Doris Day ;-).

Being mindful and living in the moment does need some work and self-discipline. But you know, it is a huge relief to let those fears go and just enjoy the moment. It is worth the effort. Currently, I am just fatigued and where they took the biopsies, it still hurts a little, but nothing is unbearable. I have a family that cares enormously for me and friends all over the world who are sending me good vibes. What else can I ask for?

I do not feel alone. I feel like I am carried on a wave of positive energy and prayer, and that means a lot to me. I think that that is the best condition to beat cancer.

So much life is mine

Love and friendship carries me

See the daffodils

This is it for today my dear readers. I hope you are having a blast! 😉

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.

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Come Away With Me to Sweden & Beating Cancer

Hello out there dear readers, how are you? I very much hope you are well but if not, rest assured that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

portrait of Bee Halton in March 2020

Last week I decided to make this “Come Away With Me” Musical Challenge my project to beat cancer. I love to travel and while I can’t at the moment because of my situation and our decision rather pay a mortgage than to have holidays our last one was in 2015.

So I go traveling virtually. I love to watch travel programs, read travel blogs, and now to visit every country on this lovely planet and find an exciting musician. You can find out which country I have planned to visit over the next couple of years here on the “Come Away With Me Musical Challenge” page.

Quote by George A Moore on travelling
Image source: Brainyquote

Today we are travelling to Sweden, a country I have visited twice. It is beautiful and full of wonderful people. Of course, when it comes to music, we first think of ABBA, Ace of Base and Roxette. And while I love all three of them, I was looking for this challenge for something utterly different. Looks like the Scandinavians are quite a lot into metal music. I found a lot of those bands for last weeks post on Norway but also for Sweden.

It’s not that I am a metal fan as such, but I have times when I need something more aggressive when it comes to music. I think it is my way of letting go of aggression and rage, and I have to admit underneath all my bravado when it comes to my diagnosis; there is also a rage. I have for a long time expected that cancer will catch up with me one way or the other, but now that it is here, I am angry. It is unlogical anger, but I assume this is a phase like the grieving phases. I will get over it. But to help it along, I like to listen to bands like Metallica.

The band I have chosen for our visit to Sweden is called Meshuggah, which is a play of the Yiddish word for “crazy.” Last FM says about “Meshuggah” that they started with a rather straightforward Thrash Metall sound but refined their style over the years: ” As the group grew older, they further refined the technicality of their musicianship and songwriting. This led to a harsher sound, utilizing strong seven-string guitar (and later eight-string guitar) rhythms, manic sounding vocals, and a combination of jazz fusion elements as well.”

I chose one of the songs of their latest album from 2016 called “Violent Sleep of Reason.” It felt like this is an excellent image for today’s world. Reason seems to be asleep, but it is a fitful and violent sleep. Who knows when we will wake up.

This song challenges music tastes that like a more melodic song. But it expresses so much of the often violent changes happening in today’s world. At least that is what I think :-). If you want to learn more about Meshuggah head over to the LastFM wiki here. And if you want to learn more about life in Sweden, check out these bloggers posts: Life in the Land of Ice and Snow & Exploring Sweden. For facts and stories check out the official Sweden Site.

Video Credit: Meshuggah via YouTube

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday 16th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit Estonia and you can find some of today’s and yesterday’s Estonian musicians here on the Music Estonia Database page.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. https://www.facebook.com/ComeAwayWithMe2020/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 now for 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.

And just to make sure you recognise the symptoms of breast cancer here a video that tells you all about it.

Video Credit: HowCast via YouTube

That’s it for today my dear readers. I hope you are going to have a wonderful day 🙂

loving to travel

virtual or real

through all weather and season

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Blast from the Past Book Review: The Colonel ~ Mahmoud Dowlatabadi/ Der Colonel ~ Mahmud Doulatabadi

March 2020

So, it looks like I am going to have lots of time for reading in the near future. My doctor told me yesterday that I am going to have an operation soon to beat cancer in my breast. There will also further treatment but the operation will lead to which treatment would be the best.

Yesterday, I just let everything sink in. It is wonderful how the hospital is going about this diagnosis. Three times I have already met up with the breast care nurses who are able to explain any questions we have. I got a folder full of information not only about the medical situation but also any financial hardship and how to keep my well being up. All this helps a lot.

But it’s still a lot to take in and it is harder to be mindful and not to succumb to worry and fear. But I am determined not to let the drama take over my life. Been there done that. So I breathe, meditate, drink a cuppa and concentrate on keeping my life up as normal as I can. I work with music, mindfulness and at least 9 hugs a day from the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world 🙂 .

Well, that is the update from my side but now over to a great novel I read in 2012 and I can only suggest to you to check it out.

This review was first posted in April 2012:

The Colonel

The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi

15/03/12
Awwww am excited to read this book suggested for this month’s read at the International Fiction Reading Group in Norwich. When I read the back of the book it’s atmosphere reminded me of Isabelle Allende’s “House of Spirits” even though it is not magical realism. I’ll keep you updated what I think about it.

11/04/12
Today we will discuss it and I am glad I read it even though it was really hard work. Will go into more detail later on when I know if I am allowed to publish the review somewhere else as well because we were asked to write reviews by the publisher I think. But one I can say it is similar as well as nothing like the “House of Spirits”.

19/04/12
At last, I finished the review:

The colonel gets called in the middle of the night to attend to the funeral of his youngest tortured daughter. While going to the police station to get the body, preparing the funeral and getting home again he remembers the history of Iran from the Second World War up the revolution in 1979 as well as how his family is and was involved.

This seems to be the content of Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s novel “The Colonel” recommended by PEN, published by Haus Publishing in July 2011 and translated by Tom Patterdale. But when you start reading you get sucked into a nightmare of traumatised characters who try to make sense of decades of Iran’s governments which use violence and terror as means ruling.

This “making sense” is mirrored in the reading experience as the book works with changing point of views between the colonel, his oldest son Amir who has been tortured by the secret service of the shah regime and a third person narrator. The reader also has to make sense of characters turning up from the colonel’s and Iran’s past (his wife, The Colonel, a foreign ambassador….) and it is not clear if they are ghosts or “just” in the colonels mind.
Both the colonel’s and his son’s memories are intertwined with what happens in the present and the reader is challenged not only to make sense of another culture but also of the storyline.

Many have mentioned how accurate Mahmoud Dowlatabadi describes Iran’s history from the Second World War up to the revolution in 1979 even though the author himself rather wants the novel to be judged by its literary importance. He wants it to be published in Iran but this historic accuracy seems to make it dangerous to the actual government and therefore it is still hold back by the Iranian authorities.

For me this book is a brilliant description of the psychological reactions of citizens living in a society which is ripped apart by revolution. It uses the literary means of different points of view as well as the mixture of past and present to show how your psyche gets confused when there is hidden trauma and violence that you are helplessly confronted with.

“The Colonel” has many levels (a historic level, a personal level…) that need exploring which makes it a challenging reading experience but it is worth facing it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
15/03/12

Ahhhhh ich kanns gar nicht erwarten dieses Buch zu lesen, das fuer diesen Monat bei der International Fiction Reading Group in Norwich vorgeschlagen wurde. Als ich die Beschreibung auf dem Buchdeckel las, fand ich, dass es eine aehnliche Atmosphaere hat wie Isabelle Allende’s “Geisterhaus” obwohl es nicht zum Magischen Realismus gehoert. Ich werde Euch auf dem Laufenden halten, was ich darueber denke.

11/04/12
Heute werden wir das Buch diskutieren und ich bin froh, dass ich es gelesen habe obwohl es wirklich schwer war. Ich werde mehr dazu schreiben, wenn ich weiss, ob ich meine Besprechung auch woanders veroeffentlichen darf, da wir gefragt wurden, welche fuer den Verlag zu schreiben. Ich glaube es war der Verlag. Eines nur: Es war irgendwie wie “Das Geisterhaus” und irgendwie auch gar nicht.
19/04/12 (Diese Besprechung beruht auf der englischen Version, da ich die deutsche noch nicht gelesen habe)
Der colonel wird mitten in der Nacht aus dem Haus gerufen, um sich um das Begraebnis seiner gefolterten juengsten Tochter zu kuemmern. Waehrend er zur Polizeistation geht, den Leichnahm holt, das Begraebnis vorbereitet und wieder nach Hause geht, erinnert er sich an Iran’s Vergangenheit vom 2. Weltkrieg bis zur Revolution 1979 und wie seine Familie dabei involviert war.

Das scheint der Inhalt von Mahmud Doulatabadi’s Roman “Der Colonel” vom PEN empfohlen, beim Unionsverlag Zuerich herausgegeben und von Bahman Nirumand uebersetzt, zu sein. Doch wenn man das Buch zu lesen beginnt, wird man in einen Alptraum traumatisierter Charaktere hineingezogen, die versuchen, mit Jahrzehnten von gewaltaetiger Herrschaft von Iran’s Regierungen klar zu kommen.

Dieses “klarkommen” wird in der Leseerfahrung wieder gespiegelt, da die Erzaehlperspektive zwischen dem Colonel, seinem Sohn Amir, der von der Geheimpolizei des Shah Regimes gefoltert wurde, und einem Erzaehler wechselt. Der Leser muss sich auch mit Charakteren auseinandersetzen, die aus der Vergangenheit des Colonels und Iran’s auftauchen (seine Frau, der alte Colonel, einem auslaendischen Botschafter…)und es ist dabei nicht klar, ob sie Geister sind oder “nur” in der Fantasie des Colonels existieren. Die Erinnerungen des Colonels sind mit denen seines Sohnes und der Gegenwart des Romans verflochten, was den Leser herausfordert, nicht nur eine andere Kultur sondern auch die Handlung zu verstehen.

Viele haben darauf hingewiesen, wie genau Mahmud Doulatabadi die Geschichte Iran’s vom 2. Weltkrieg bis zur Revolution 1979 beschreibt aber der Autor selber moechte den Roman mehr von der literarischen Seite begutachtet haben. Er mochte den Roman im Iran veroeffentlichen und diese geschichtliche Genauigkeit scheint der dortigen Regierung gefaehrlich zu sein und so ist eine Veroeffentlichung im Iran noch nicht erlaubt.

Fuer mich zeigt dieses Buch eine grossartige Beschreibung der psychologischen Reaktionen von Buergern, die in einer Gesellschaft leben, die von Revolution zerstoert wurde. Es benutzt die literarischen Stilmittel unterschiedlicher Erzaehlperspektiven sowie das Wechseln von Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, um zu zeigen, wie die Psyche von Menschen verwirrt wird, wenn sie hilflos mit verstecktem Trauma und Gewalt konfrontiert wird.

Dieses Buch handelt auf vielen Ebenen (eine historische, eine persoenliche…), die es zu entdecken gilt, was das Buch eine herausforderne Leseerfahrung macht, die es aber wert ist.

View all my reviews

Photo of Brainy Quote by Helen Keller

Good News Tuesday is back on “The Bee Writes…”

Hello, out there all you good people of the blogosphere. How are you doing? I hope you are well, and life is treating you well. And if you have a challenge to face, then know that my thoughts and prayers are with you!

It’s Tuesday, and I think we all need some good news with Coronavirus, Brexit and lots of other challenges around. So isn’t it good that JoAnna of “Anything is Possible” hosts “Good News Tuesday?” I think it is brilliant.

First of all, I want to say thank you to all who have been kind to me in the last couple of weeks and include me in their prayers, take part in my blog events or just think of me. Even though I do not know yet at what stage my breast cancer is I feel carried by a wave of positive energy from family, friends and even strangers. I think that is an enormous help to face whatever it is that’s coming my way.

That is why I looked for a good news story about helping and encouraging cancer patients, and I did not have to look long. Over in the United States, Gina Mulligan created the non-profit charity “Girls Love Mail” after she received hundreds of letters when she was fighting cancer. She said she realised that a supportive letter has the power to heal and I absolutely believe in this. (please follow the link underneath if the video does not play here on the blog)

Video Source: Girls Love Mail via YouTube

Yesterday, I let you know about the breast cancer care unit the hospital I attend is fundraising for. But I know that not everybody has money to give away but still wants to do something. So if you like to write a good old handwritten letter and help a woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer then check out Girls Love Mail and support them in any way you feel you can. And please remember: you rock no matter what you do!!!!!

Also, find out what the Good News Network wrote about Gina and “Girls Love Mail”. Thank you very much!

This post takes part in “Good News Tuesday” inspired by JoAnna on “Anything Possible”. Please head over and find more wonderful and inspiring stories. Thanks!

Happy Tuesday to you all despite everything!