Celebrating the last week of summer – Part 2

Technically speaking, according to the calendar, it is not really the last week of summer, that won’t be until the end of September. But looking at the weather forecast ahead, temperature wise, it might well be. This doesn’t matter though, right? Also yesterday was Wednesday so the 3rd day of my so called last week of summer, not the second. I know exactly though why I got confused about the day of the week: I did not work on Monday – the first Monday in September is the day where the traditional Braderie – a summer sale street market – happens in Luxembourg City, and our office is closed that day. This is pretty cool, you know, because a) I get a day off, b) It is a paid leave day and c) I am allowed to go shopping. Reason c) would actually be every girl’s dream, right? Just not really this girl’s.

I actually hate shopping (with “shopping” I mean clothes shopping, because I LOVE grocery shopping as well as shopping for the flat – especially kitchenware.) But in my eyes, there is nothing worse than being in those changing rooms, having to dress, undress, go look for a different size and repeat the whole process again. Clothes shopping was always a traumatic experience for my mum and me, and our shopping trips usually ended tears and arguments. That is why I tend to go shopping on my own, at my own pace, not upsetting anyone with my grumpy shopping mood and only then when I really need to (or more accurately when the poor state of my wardrobe’s content forces me to the shops), which happens about twice a year (but believe when I do go shopping I return home with an incredible amount of bags.)

A quick look in my drawers a few weeks back established though the dreaded time of the year had arrived: I needed new clothes, and as I had nothing better to do last Monday, I decided to go to the Braderie – the annual summer-sale street market in Luxembourg City. But frankly why on earth I decided to go shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year in the Grand Duchy’s capital, is in to some sorts beyond me, I mean I hate crowds, they scare me, I feel like I could suffocate. However, somewhere in my subconscious, I had this idea in my head that I might be able to get a good deal – I soon had to realise though that the stuff I really needed was not the stuff that was on sale. Great! What I needed were new towels to match my new bed sheets and some picture frames so I could make my chateau more homely with some nice photographs on the wall (yes it seems that I have turned into one of those people who now talk about “colour schemes”). What I found on sale were winter boots and children’s clothes….However the fact that I had a gift voucher for my favourite home and furniture store made the prospect of shopping in a claustrophobic setting way more bearable. To avoid the biggest rush of shoppers, I got up at a decent time in the morning and a had a clear list in mind of what I needed to buy – that strategy worked really well and within a couple of hours I was on my way back home with these “babies” :

Shopping Bags

However, no trip to the Braderie is complete without the compulsory “Letzebuerger Grillwurscht” (a Luxembourgish hotdog) so I headed back out for my sausage with mustard, followed by desert of pasteis de nata – a Portuguese egg custard pastry – which was really nice, but not as nice as the ones baked by Mr Guitar-Heartthrob. J

So, all in all, I have to admit that my shopping trip was actually a really pleasant one.

And now the more important things in life: ICE-CREAM.

The two flavours I tried on Wednesday were Kiwi

Kiwi Ice-Cream


Tobletto Ice-Cream

Tobletto ice-cream, which MFC described to me as a frozen chocolate moelleux (chocolate cake with a liquid centre) melting on your tongue. So my expectations had been built up really high, only to be crushed and remain unfulfilled – the scoop just tasted purely artificial. Sorry MFC J, however your company was worth a lot more than a flavour related to my ice-cream resolution (and thanks for all your professional help this week, my dear).

What worries me a bit though is the fact that I seem to be losing my taste for ice-cream as well, bad enough that I do not seem to like chocolate that much anymore (unless it is rice-cakes with a dark chocolate coating), but not liking sorbets and or other chocolate and nut flavoured ice-creams (last week I had a walnut ice-cream and was not keen on that), just makes me sad. I keep wondering whether chemo might have had a long-term impact on my taste buds. Maybe on Friday, for my last new flavour, I should keep to another yoghurt flavoured ice-cream as I liked the one with the peach swirl I had on Tuesday.

But as Allan Karlsson keeps saying, in the The hundred-year-old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared, “Things are what they are, and whatever will be will be”.


Celebrating the Last Week of Summer?! – Part 1

I have to admit, I am a bit ashamed of myself. I cannot believe that it has been 4 months since I have posted something on my blog…. Apart from the one insomnia-induced writing session two months ago, I had not felt the urge to write again. But nevertheless I missed my writing routine, in a way without it I felt incomplete. So that is why tonight, on this beautiful summer’s day, 11 months after my cancer diagnosis, I am sitting on my balcony, writing again as I need to get some random ideas on paper, or excuse me, on screen I guess is the more accurate word.

Random Idea No. 1 –I will dedicate this week to ice-cream. The weather last week was really cold and rainy, so I thought, this is it, summer is over, autumn is coming, and I might as well consider putting my summer clothes away. But oh no! Summer came back with beautiful sunshine and blue sky yesterday. There were around 25 degrees today, and it is meant to go up to about 30 by the end of the week. Great, this means that my skirts and dresses can have a quick comeback (good thing summer decided to reappear at a time when my ironing basket is overflowing with jeans – I guess I can put that chore off for another few days J). So this might well be the last proper week of summer, so which better way to celebrate than with ice-cream? Right? That is why I have decided that rather than going with my usual ice-cream choices, I should try at least one new flavour every work day this week! As soon as that resolution was made, I decided to put it into practice straight away. On today’s menu: apricot and yoghurt-peach, what a yummy delicious combo.


I have to admit though I preferred the yoghurt ice-cream with the swirl of peach sauce over the apricot, maybe I am just no longer fond of sorbets that much, even though the fruitiness of the apricot was quite refreshing…. I cannot wait for tomorrow’s scoop! Plus the trip to my favourite ice-cream parlour (on foot) and back to work nearly takes me an hour (with a quick stop at the library to pick up a book in between), so I am literally burning off the calories with my walking and I get the benefit of soaking up some sunshine. I have to admit, I am genius for having had this idea.

Random Idea No. 2 – It occurred to me that it would be an absolute fabulous thing to have a reunion at my alma mater, the University of East Anglia in Norwich, so I went on my favourite social media site and contacted a dozen or so people from the class of 2007 (yep we graduated 6 years ago, and we started studying 9 years ago, does that make me old now? Naaaah…), to see if anyone was up for catching up over a pint at the uni pub (or any other pub in the fine city of Norwich). And guess what – there is genuine interest. A date has been suggested, and at first I thought, I cannot do that weekend, as I will arrive back in Brussels from Liberia (ooooh another piece of news, I am off to Liberia for a bit less than a week to visit some of our projects out there) that same Saturday, but now I am like, hold on, I can actually get a train from Brussels to London and then another one from London to Norwich, I do not need to fly…. And trains are more flexible than planes, and I get more time to read! So…. Ok, right I have not been that crazy that I have booked anything, but a trip to my beloved “home away from home” is shaping in my head. Excitement is in the air!

Random Idea No.3 – So I got myself library card – which is in no way a breach of my Book Rule No.1, which states that I shall not buy any new books until I have read all the remaining ones I have at home unless a) it is from one of my favourite authors and b) it is for book club (yes, I have joined a book and wine club last month, hence why the Book Rule No. 1 had to be amended slightly, but the amendment passed unanimously in the House of the Warrior of the Pen). Because you know, with a library card, I can actually decide to pick up something new to read, if I need a break from the reading material at home, without actually having to buy the book. This is also a) better for my bank account and b) makes me happy. Moreover, and this is where we are actually coming random idea no.3, this week’s daily trip to the ice-cream parlour will have also help me to keep my Book Resolution No. 1 with which I have set myself the target to beat my 2010-Book-Reading Record, which stands at 43 books. To keep track of this I have compiled My 2013 Book List (well more accurately it should be named My Christmas 2012 until Christmas 2013 Book List), which so far features 24 books. This means that I have to read at least another 20 books in just 16 weeks, a daunting task, which is pushing the limits a bit, but I think that I should be able to manage. I have been making good progress on book No. 25 – The hundred-year-old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, which I am reading for this month’s book club. It is fantastic, and I really have to work hard at not giggling aloud on the bus (my daily reading time).

Right, it is becoming chilly out here on the balcony, and my bottle of chardonnay should be chilled by now as well. So if you will excuse me, I have some more reading to do while sipping on some wine (so no free hands to type!)….

The In-Between Life AKA Life between the last radiotherapy (24 April 2013) until the last Herceptin IV (19 December 2013) An introduction

So, the majority of the really hard-core cancer (lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy) is done. WOW. I initially wrote this sentence without giving it much thought, but when re-reading it, I realised that it is a big thing. I have made it, I have made it through the treacherous waters of cancer treatment; I have come out of it, alive, breathing, walking upright with a big smile of my face. I just need a minute to let the enormity of this sink in, contemplate it and embrace it. YES! (Just imagine me doing a symbolic, figurative victorious punch in the air, Rocky style, or even better doing one of happy warrior dances)

But what now? What will I be writing about now?

Technically speaking, after having referred to my medical treatment plan, I still need to go into hospital every 3 weeks to get hooked on the Herceptin IV. However, this does not give me any serious side effects, I just a get a bit tired afterwards and for a few days following this treatment I have cold/flu-like symptoms, but that is already about it. So this will not provide anything exciting to write about.

Having pondered over this state of affairs, I have decided that I will label the time frame between my last radiotherapy, which was on April 24th, and my last trip to hospital for the Herceptin IV on December 19th, as my trial period for my life as a cancer survivor. It is a phase where I can gradually learn how to rebuild my life again while still receiving support from various medical and hospital staff, who will be coaching me along the way.

I guess this will also be my more philosophical part of my cancer journey, where I can consider some big questions like: What are my dreams? What are my goals? I have been asked these questions a few months ago and I found it really difficult to answer them. From October 2012 to April 2013, my life was pretty much suspended. In a way I only lived, or functioned, with a single goal in mind: beating cancer. During this very intense period of my life, my most singular important dream was to become healthy again – I was aiming for a life without regular hospital visits and frequent medical check-ups. Having to some extent accomplished this, I now need to refocus my life again – what do I really want to get out of life? What do I want to accomplish? I need to figure this out, and I guess the remainder of the year will leave me enough time to reflect on this.

Over the next 6-9 months I will probably also have to acquire the skill of dealing with the fear and anxiety attached to every check-up visit, adhering to the maxim of “Learn to live WITH the fear, but do not live IN the fear”.

It will also be a time where I can explore and discover new topics for my blog, work on some new material that I can write about, reworking and posting all those ideas on which I have notes on – at the moment I have a notebook filled with scribbles that can easily fill 4-5 travel memories, one on love, and a couple on a few books and then there are enough pictures to document my culinary achievements in the kitchen.

I am back on a journey to normality, and that is a journey I want to take you, dear readers, with me… It is a bit scary, but also massively exciting and if the next 5 months will continue in the same fashion as the past two and a half month (involving a long weekend in London, spending a week for work in Innsbruck, Austria; moving flat, spending a lot of time with the Scouts and having friends coming to visit from all over the world), then all I can say is that oh yes, Life indeed is wonderful.

P.S. This entry was written in early July…. Shame on me for not posting it earlier.

A long overdue update

It is June 25th, 2013 11:58 pm. I can’t sleep. Lying awake, staring at the ceiling in my dark room, I have been wrecking my brain trying to find things that could put me to sleep without having to take 2 Temesta (sleeping tablets). Then it dawned on me. There is one thing, which is seriously therapeutic for me. One thing, that will help me clear my mind, de-clutter my brain, and put me at ease.  Writing. Incredible enough as it sounds, it has been two whole months since my last serious (I mean actually-proper-written-post, not sharing a quote-by-someone-famous-post), how time flies. Now I am sitting here at my dining table in my flat, with a cup of linden tea, in my cuddly pink bathrobe and my snoopy PJs. I guess there is quite a bit of info here, updates to be honest, that I need to fill you in on. So here I go:

  • My flat: Yes, indeed. I have moved out of my parents’ place and into a rented one bedroom apartment. Technically speaking, the apartment is not mine, as I am renting, but the furniture is definitely all MINE. Whoop, whoop, and look at me all grown up, owning furniture, like a big massive dining table that can easily fit 10 people. Wuhu and I got a proper adult bedroom now, with a double bed, massive wardrobe, and two nightstands, proper grown up right? My chateau, as I have lovingly called the flat, is gorgeous. It has got a massive dining/kitchen/living room area, a huge open space which is great for entertaining friends. Also, I have got, what I think real estate agents would call a Master Bathroom, or a Master Bedroom with an Ensuite Bathroom. Now, if this does not sounds like proper grown up, I don’t know. It is the nicest flat I have ever lived in, and I am gradually starting to enjoy living here. I love cooking again (I have been posting a few of my dishes on Facebook, like a Thai Green curry and Tortilla, and my youngest sister was like “What? You can cook? Why did you never cook for us?”). I am also reading loads again – I have stacked all my unread books together – and I really, really had this rule that “I-am-not-allowed-to-buy-any-new-books-until-I-have-read-all-of-these” but then there was Church Fair and they had a second hand book tent and you could like buy like 7 books for 5 Euros, which went towards charity, which I think was completely acceptable excuse to break the rule. I never used to buy second-hand-books, but seriously, I think this has been a big mistake, like ever. And the best of all? Well I have not moved in on my own. Nope. I had a fella move in with me. Yup.  He just turned up on my door step one day, and it was love at first sight, and well, you only live once, so why wait when you got to live now, so he moved in with me. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy to introduce you to Carlito, my Carlito.




He is a great house guest, he never leaves the toilet seat up, he doesn’t complain about what I am watching on TV, he gives endless cuddles         unconditionally, he doesn’t make a mess or leaves dirty socks lying around. Only down side is that I still have to train him on how to make my cup of coffee in the morning and bring out the trash. But no guy is perfect, right? LOL!

  • A cup of linden tea: the last couple of days I have felt unwell, nauseous combined with headaches. A migraine possibly, or food poisoning, or my hormones just going on a rollercoaster, so to have peace of mind, I ended up going to see my GP (another doctor’s visit). As it turns out I got an intestinal virus infection. Nothing major though. I just needed another day to recover, got some meds, and am drinking linden tea to soothe my upset tummy and am eating dry biscuits… I am gutted about this, I hate being sick and unwell, and having to pay doctor’s bills… but as my health is my most precious treasure (no Lord of the Rings punt intended), and I really did not want to take my chances. I guess you kind of want an update on my health: well, I still need to go into hospital every 3 weeks for my Herceptin IV. A few weeks back I actually got a port as sticking needles into my veins had been a torturous process leaving me in tears – my poor veins are also clocked up, so once the nurse found the vein, the latter decided not to give any blood, and we had to look for another vein. Agony, I can tell you that. So that is why I got the port implanted in a minor surgery (under local anaesthetic), but it still meant a whole day in hospital, an appointment scheduled in the middle of me moving flat, apparently there was not enough stress in my life yet. Apart from that, I am doing great. I feel like I have lots more energy, find it easier to concentrate and handle my workload. I even when one a two day hike: 15 km on a Saturday, and 10 km on a Sunday, what an achievement for someone as unfit as me! Have a look at some of the pictures I took:




  • Snoopy PJs: I am a massive Snoopy fan, just so you know. I love snoopy PJs and my Snoopy mug. I am also a massive Eeyore fan, I have Eeyore PJs and Eeyore mug. The mug is my favourite, no one is allowed to drink out of it but me, and if that one would break, I would get seriously cross. Just so you know, in case you ever come and visit me J. But honestly, you guys, my love for Snoopy and Eeyore just makes me adorable, right? I know this is completely useless information and utterly random…

Ladies and Gentleman, I am officially back (maybe eve in full swing), so stay tuned for more posts.

Lots of love,

Your Warrior of the Pen

P.S. Yes, writing this post has really helped for me to go to bed and fall asleep, Mission accomplished.

Art Therapy VII – Strenght and Energy – Part II

During last week’s Art Therapy session I continued with my Strength and Energy masterpiece. In the previous session I had ripped the painting into little pieces, which I know re-assembled mixing colour and white paper pieces and sticking onto a new piece of paper completely randomly. In a first step in then looked like this:


In a second step I then continued with writing phrases, thoughts, questions and ideas on to the reassembled painting, whatever really popped into my head in that particular moment. In a way I entitled the painting “The Warrior of the Pen rebuilding her life”, but that so far is only a working title for me. At the moment I am dealing with questions like: What are my dreams? What are my ambitions? What is giving me strength (writing is a definite answer to that)? What is normality? How is the post-cancer life going to be like? I know that the word crept up as well when I worked away on my piece.







I know that the exercise of strength and Energy is not over yet, something is missing still, and it is not finished, far from it. By now I am thinking that there is not enough red, orange and yellow on it. Maybe I should repaint it with a combination of these colours…. Food for thought.


Radiotherapy Graduation

After 6 months of treatment, involving surgery, 6 cycles of chemotherapy and 25 cycles of radiotherapy, it was time to celebrate. On April 23rd, on my last day of radiotherapy, I had my own private little “Yeah, I did it”, celebration. Over the last few months, Miss Crémant, had been spoiling me with gifts, ranging from soap and shower gels, to chocolate, to a little bottle of crémant, which I had saved for a special occasion. So last Tuesday, in the evening, I opened that piccolo bottle and had a glass of flavoured sparkling wine with snippets of 22 carat gold foil and a good measure of cassis liqueur. It was great and I felt victorious. 20130423_221715 On Wednesday, the celebrations continued: after encouraging words and hugs from colleagues we toasted to my good health with kir royal before grabbing some fair food at a small market, set up to accompany the religious pilgrimages to the cathedral in Luxembourg at the moment. In the evening I had asked some of my friends to join me in my favourite bar for sushi and cocktails. The bar has a little garden area with outdoor seating, which was open due to the good weather. I was showered with a few gifts: a lovely bouquet, in a red-yellow-orange colour scheme, of my favourite flowers (roses and gerbera) and a pair of lovely blue earrings, which matched my outfit of the day perfectly (blue cardigan and blue headscarf). I had a great evening with lots of laughter and smiles.


20130428_192323 (1)


20130428_192818For the rest of the week I just enjoyed the fact that the daily trips, which had become routine over the last 5 weeks, were over and that I was able to work full time again from the office. I have been soaking up some sun while having ice-cream and this weekend I have been catching up on some much needed sleep. So all is good so far.

The Melody of Radiotherapy – Epilogue

The Melody of Radiotherapy – Epilogue

This is hopefully my last entry for this chapter called The Melody Radiotherapy. So what could I possibly write here now that I am done with radiotherapy? Well I thought I would like to share with you all my playlists which have helped me get through the last 5 weeks. Thank you to all of my friends for their music suggestions!!! My favourite tunes are in bold. (Oh and a little note on the end – one of my friends made me a mix CD with some of my favourite tunes from my playlists – how AWESOME is that!!!!! Thank you!!¨)

Day Outward Journey Return Journey
1 Diane Warwick – That’s what Friends are for  Eminem feat. Lil Wayne – Not afraid
2 Kris Menace – e-love  Steve Tyrell – On the sunny side of the street  
3 Jack’s Mannequin – Swim Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Home  
4 Coldplay – Life in Technicolour II    Sanatana– Jin-Go-La-Ba
5 Tim Buckley – Goodbye and Hello     Jon Lord– Pictured Within
6 Simon and Garfunkel – The sound of silence      Juan Luis Guerra– Las Avispas  
7 Tone Damli – Butterflies Frou Frou – Let Go
8 Sirius Plan – Call me (Blondie cover) Shakira – Gypsy
9 PJ Harvey – Horses in my dream Adele – Someone like you   
10 The Jayhawks – Smile   James Morrison feat. Jessie J  – Up
11 Mumford and Sons – I Will Wait    Silbermond– Das Beste
12 Counting Crows – Mr. Jones     Christina Aguilera– Fighter
13 Joni Mitchell – The Circle Game      Rhianna– Umbrella
14 Fun – Carry on R. Kelly– I believe I can fly
15 Spirit of the West– Home for a rest Melissa Etheridge – I run for life  
16 The Script feat. will.i.am– Hall of Fame   JD Samson & MEN – Off our backs   
17 Survivor– Eye of the Tiger    Azealia Banks – 212   
18 Jet– She’s a Genius     Amanda Palmer – Map of Tasmania  
19 The Mighty Mighty Bosstones– Someday I suppose     Dizzie Rascal – Bassline Junkie    
20 They Might Be Giants– No One Knows My Plan Billy Currington – People are Crazy     
21 Destiny’s Child– Survivor Faithless – Insomnia
22 Radiohead– Nude Thais – Meditation
23 Bee Gees– More than a woman Regina Spektor– Fidelity
24 Gloria Gaynor – I will survive Regina Spektor – Ne me quitte pas
25 Celtic Woman – You raise me up Of Monsters and Men – Dirty Paws


Back-Up Songs

Mumford and Sons – Lover of the Light
Seasons of Love from the movie Rent
Kings of Leon – Be Somebody
Kings of Leon – My Sex is on Fire
Levellers – What a Beautiful Day
Coldplay – Every Teardrop is a Waterfall
Dire Straits – Romeo and Juliet
Sim Redmond Band – Life is Water
Israel – IZ – Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere over the Rainbow
Lenny Kravitz – Believe
The Rembrandts – I will be there for you
Kate Voegele – Sweet Silver Lining
Mozart – Divertimento no.1
Silbermond – Irgendwas bleibt
Bruno Mars – When I was your Man  

The Melody of Radiotherapy – Day 25

After a much needed nap, a sleepy warrior, put on her pink battle shirt and, accompanied by her mum, who is her bravest solider in this battle, headed to the National Radiotherapy Centre for the last and final cycle of her radiotherapy. I was greeted by a cheerful and beaming secretary with the lovely words “This is your final session Miss Raspberry”. After having completed the paperwork, I presented her with a box of Belgian chocolates to thank her and her colleagues for the warm reception I had received every single working day for the past 5 weeks. Their smiles had made such a difference to this annoying daily hospital routine. The procedure today was like every day. Red light. Green light. Click. Clack. Red light. Green light. Click Clack. No funny ginger-lemongrass smell though. A final photograph was taken of my radiated skin for my medical folder. Then I was out again, with a reminder to go see my radiotherapist for a final consultation, and the words “Bonne Continuation”, which means as much as good luck with the remainder of my treatment. I did my silly happy dance in the changing room, and looking at myself in the mirror, all I could see was a massively big smile on my face. The doctor was pleased with how my skin looks, all normal he said, and just added that I need to come back in a year’s time for a check-up. I got that appointment from another secretary who then sent me off with the words “We really hope not to see you again. Get well soon.”  I really hope that I won’t have to see them either again, unless it is for an annual check-up. Then I was in the taxi and all I could think of was “It is OVER. Round 3 is OVER.” A sleepy warrior is back home now and is treating herself to a few Manon Blanc Café from Leonidas, her favourite Belgian chocolates with a light coffee-flavoured fresh butter cream filling topped with a roasted hazelnut and covered in white chocolate. Maybe the warrior should crack open a bottle of bubbly as well, if she does not fall asleep trying to do it….



Outward Journey: Celtic Woman– You raise me up  

Return Journey: Of Monsters and Men– Dirty Paws


Diamonds in the Sky

Tonight I travelled. I didn’t go very far. In fact I only took a step, but discovered a new universe altogether. All I did was walk onto the terrace of my childhood home – I only did one single step – from the kitchen to the terrace, but it was like I entered a completely new world. Miss Lovely had brought to my attention that a meteor shower could possibly be seen tonight –this was a chance not to be missed. Unfortunately the sky was too cloudy and the moon to bright, so I could not see anything. With each shooting star I had hoped to release a wish, a dream, or a hope. It was not meant to be, so I will find another way to set them free. However sitting outside, wrapped up in my blanket, I felt like I had taken my leave of absence from a busy medical world for a short time. I looked up the sky and could see a few stars, sparkling like diamonds, and the moon was so wonderfully bright, in the distance I could see the lights from the industrial estate, and hear the noises from the cars on the country road close by and on the motorway a bit further away. I held my glass of wine, took a sip, and enjoyed this particular moment, trying to take it all in, not thinking about yesterday, or today, or even tomorrow, but just enjoying the now. Our magnolia tree looked lovely in the background, so I walked over to it, and leaned against it. I touched the flowers and stroked the petals (a rubbery texture), the leaves (velvety) and the branches (a very interesting texture, hard to describe, not like a tree at all). I held the flowers in my hand – they are really big and there was only enough space in my palm to fit one. I even smelled the flowers – an understated sweetness and softness, yet not overwhelming at all. The magnolia tree is my tree – strong and beautiful. The night was cool and fresh, but it did not make me freeze. I remember taking a really deep breath, let the air fill my lungs, and then exhaled… all was good. I closed my eyes and let my mind wonder…