Thursday, December 15, 2011


Before we had children we used to eat, literally every week, at a restaurant called the Bengal Tiger, which kicked off my obsession with Indian food.   Once we had children we cut back on the endless restaurant dining and so I had no choice but to cook Indian at home, which I have done, almost every week, ever since.

There is something very life affirming about Indian food.  The orange chilli powder, the musky clove and cinamon smells, the saffron yellow turmeric, the grinding of spices, the slow slow braising of chicken, the snowy fluffy rice, all those pulses and grains, the little dishes filled with yoghurty condiments and spicy salads.   And of course there is no such thing as 'Indian' food just as there is no such thing as 'Chinese' food.  So you can endlessly discover new dishes.

(some of my Indian cookbooks)

Which is why all I really want for Christmas is this book by Christine Manfield:

And then one day, off to Agra I will go, to do something like this:

(courtesy Brandon Van Slyke *)

On Saturday it will be a year exactly since my cancer diagnosis.  On that day I will be heading off to my hairdresser to address my unsatisfactory way too short mousey brown boofy hair.  As much as my hair is driving me berko, as I keep saying to myself, at least I am not dead.   My Oncologist Who Doesn't Believe in Remission** (and who also told me that cancer is just the wrong form of energy, which is why I love him) doesn't want me to dwell on this awful anniversary, and I think that makes sense. 

Last year, unusually, I had bought all my presents and even set the table for our twenty person Christmas lunch a good 10 days before Christmas, unheard of for me. And then the next day I had the diagnosis. It was as if on a subconscious level my body knew what was about to happen.  If nothing else, this year has completely convinced of the powerful mind-body connection. Not that you can cure yourself by positive thinking, no not at all.  Those who read this blog will know I do not believe in that at all.  Rather that there are so many things our bodies know, we just have to listen. 

This is our Star Wars Advent Calendar.  I know.   Unbelievable isn't it.  Who would have thought that Star Wars was so Christian.   But my goodness the children love it.

So to the point, which is that last night we went on our once every 9 years trip to the opera.  It was La Traviata, by Verdi.  You know, the One with the courtesan (ie prostitute) Violetta who sacrifices her love for her penniless young man Alfredo only to be reunited with him and then dramatically drop dead from consumption.  That one.  

And I sat there and thought, really, so much of last year has just been about surviving.  Getting out of bed and making it from one day to the next.   Dreading the little twinges.  Over Googling recurrent secondary breast cancer.  Lying in bed at night, sleepless, convincing myself that I am fine, and just a very lucky person.  Wondering if I will even be alive to see my already slightly moody daughter become a teenager.  Hoping I will be around to teach my son the correct way to treat women and to make sure he doesn't break his neck playing football.  

Next year, I hope, will be more about living. 

So it needs to be more about swimming and sunshine:

(Byron Bay - courtesy Adrian McGruther*)

and pointless beautiful things:

And whilst we are enjoying Christmas I want you to think, as I have been, quite a lot, probably too much, about the three amazing ladies, Lisa, Ellie and Sophie, who are listed under the C-word at the right (see Alright Tit, Written Off and Sophie Feels Better), who, all three, have this year had devastating news in varying degress of terribleness.  Every day they amaze me with their guts and spirit.  And every day I curse (just a little bit) the horrible random nature of life.

* these images were in a Christmas Ecard sent to me by this law firm.  Taken by their lawyers on various travel trips. And who said lawyers were boring. 

** this is kind of a long story so I might leave it for another post.  Suffice it to say he is more about curable\incurable than statistics.  And I might note I have never shown any cancer spread, so there is nothing really to be in remission from.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Hair Question Part 2

I have never considered myself particularly vain.  No more than the next person.  Not straining to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.   Reasonably happy with my laugh lines.  Not a face full of makeup person.  I have always believed that what lies within is so much more important than the exterior.  That is what I try to teach my children (who are taught otherwise by so many fairy tales - ugly people are bad, beautiful people are good).

But I have to say, losing my hair was a challenge almost as great as being diagnosed with cancer in the first place.

And it was not just because I didn't look that great without hair.   Let's face it, who does?  I don't have a round face so I concede I may have looked a tiny bit better than some others, but still.

It was just that I missed feeling like myself.  I have always had longish (shoulder length) hair.    I felt colder with no hair.  I had nothing to run my fingers through, nothing to fuss with.  Nothing to wash and blow dry (well I admit that part was good).  Nothing to tie back, or clip up.   

When I wrote this post I was full of ideas for head scarves.  In reality, I never wore a head scarf.  Not once.  I did wear hats, and I was given some lovely ones.  And I wore my trusty wig.   I have been wondering why, and I think the answer to the question is quite simple.  I didn't want people to know I had cancer.  You might think that is strange given this blog.   It's not that my cancer was a secret. I just really didn't want the flash of pity I would see in people's eyes when they saw my hairless state.

So I went with the Big Con of the wig.   And really it is amazing how many people did not realise it was a wig.  Even now, people who have seen me regularly all year find out and can't believe it.

(My Wig Disclosure Policy was as follows: if someone who didn't know about the cancer (some clients, cafe people, school people) commented on my hair more than once (including comments like please tell me the name of your hairdresser), I would tell them it was a wig. I felt mean about this because I could see the surprise in their eyes but I think if someone has commented twice on how nice your hair is you can't keep up the charade of pretending it's yours.  This situation happened to me just last week with the divine girls who run the before school program for my son.  I could see them thinking: WTF?  This woman we have seen three times a week all year has had chemo for cancer and wears a wig?!)

In fact as it turns out I never lost all my hair.  Just about 90% though.  And in the mire of chemo treatment you tend to lose track.  But I never shaved it off.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it.   And it is true it does grow back very quickly.  But the inbetween stage from pixie and cute to normal is just interminable.

I always said I could cope with hair loss if I kept my eyebrows.  Then when I lost them I said I could cope with that if I kept my eyelashes.  But they went too. 

And do you know when that happened?   In a cruel twist, my brows and lashes went, almost overnight, about 2 weeks after chemo ended.  I had read that might happen but thought I would escape that fate.  

I have learned that you really need eyebrows you know.  They add definition and structure.    I appreciate them more than ever now.   Anyway they did grow back quickly.  And eyebrow pencil works wonders although I am pretty sure you don't kid anyone with it.

So what now?  Well, slowly slowly it grows back.  I looked like Jean Seberg in the photo above for about a week.  And now it is tufty, sticking outy, boofy and not that nice to look at.  Or as my mother said, in that inimitable tactless way mothers have 'Why your hair looks just like your little brother's.'  Who wants to look like their brother?  I don't. 

And so I still cover it up.   Cowardly, I know.  But my son still prefers me to have a wig on when we go out.  And the least I can do is bow to his wishes for the moment.

For any of you reading who may be going through the hair thing, here are somethings I have learned.

1. Get your wig cut by your hairdresser.  This is really important and they probably won't charge you for it (mine didn't). They can just make it a bit more uneven, a bit choppy.  Much more realistic than the bowl shape most wigs come in.

2. Do not wash your wig. I haven't washed mine once.  You may think that is disgusting but bear in mind I don't wear it to exercise, and it is thoroughly aired every night. If you wash it is gets that way too clean look. 

3. Do not believe the hairdresser who sells you expensive 'post chemo' conditioner and shampoo.  You don't need it. You hair will come back strong and thick and new.     But do take colloidal silica.  I have and it helps.  It also helped my nails.

4.  Don't listen to others about when and how to wear wig \ scarf etc.  Do what you feel like doing. It's all about confidence after all.

And one day I hope that all chemo will not involve hair loss.  And that will be so much better for all of us.

(Images Pinterest - but sorry have not saved pinners).

Monday, November 14, 2011


A couple of years back I did a 5 day raw food retreat at this place in northern Bali.  I am useless at these kinds of disciplines.  I dreamed of charcoal-y beef steaks and oven baked potatoes every night, and convinced myself that white wine was a raw food stuff because surely fermentation is not the same as cooking. 

And if you can't do raw food looking at this all day then one has no hope back in Melbourne.

(Massage hut at Puri Ganesha)

I do like the pristine clean feeling uncooked food gives me.   And if you like salads it is relatively easy to do quite often. 

Sunday night is raw food night.   It used to be omelette night.  Or noodles night. 

I recently bought this book by Kimberley Snyder.  She of the Green Smoothie I have mentioned before. 

Her eating plan is about beauty and skin health.  I am interested in it for overall health reasons.   Her eating plan is also vegan, which I struggle with.  I did vegan once, and lasted about 10 hours. I know.  Hopeless, right?

However, as bizarre as it sounds, her raw cold cauliflower soup is divine.

I won't show you the finished soup because frankly it's not that appetising looking.  But here are the ingredients and they look pretty nice before they are pureed.

Put in a vitamiser the following:

  • juice of a lemon
  • half or quarter of a cauliflower, chopped
  • half an avocado
  • good splash of tamari
  • teaspoon of turmeric
  • large pinch of sea salt
  • a cup of water
Blend until smooth.  You can adjust the wateriness if you like.  Her recipe involves a teaspoon of miso but I don't have that so I left it out.  I also put in heaps of tamari.  You could also put in some dried chilli flakes. 

This makes a generous bowl for one or small bowls for two. It's not enough food for me so I also have some of her 'burritos' which consist of celery marinated in lemon juice, mustard and savoury yeast, avocado, sprouts and spinach wrapped in a nori sheet.  

Do you have any raw food treats I can try?  White wine counts as raw food.  So does red wine. 

Monday, November 7, 2011


We bought a beach house a couple of months back. (Kept that quiet, didn't I?).

I will post some pictures at some point. 

The house is at Fairhaven, on the west coast of Victoria.  An English friend described this area to me as like Cornwall, and the northern beaches of Sydney as like the Mediterranean. I think this is quite apt.  We have certainly had some blustery grey blue weekends down there.     

The house doesn't need really any renovation, which was one of my pre-conditions.  I have hung some new curtains and that is it.

However there is one room which needed a lot of work. It is the downstairs bunk room, which was used by the old owners as storage.  We need it as occasional accommodation so that we have enough room for the children plus guests. 

I mentioned in a previous post that I love the Scandinavian grey and white and wood beach shack style.  Of course not all of that is really suited to the Australian summer, which does get hot, even down here.  And I think pure white walls are can be an issue when you have lots of sun glare. 

So, here is the plan for the bunk room. If I could do a mood board then I would, but I can't, so I am laying it out old style. 

One wall to be wallpapered in this:

(Ralph Lauren from the Family Places range) 

Other walls painted in Chalk USA:

(thanks A-M - I found this on your blog!)

Bunks along one wall maybe like this:

Curtains like this:

(from Pottery Barn)

Floor coverings like this:

(from Freedom Furniture) 

Other furniture is completely undecided.  Although I have bought this lamp from Ikea because I liked the colour:

And I would like some ticking stripe linen like this:

(via Toast) 

I love stripes in children's rooms. 

Oh, and here is a shot of the room itself just before we bought the house.   This room has a Few Issues.  It has a very very low ceiling, less than 190 cm.  And a triangle window!   And a strangely positioned woodenly pole.  And the tiled floor is not ideal but I can cover that.  Arrggh...

So far it has taken me four coats to paint out that blue stripe. I am by no means an expert painter so that might be why. 

The wall to be wallpapered is the black one.   And what oh what could I do to cover that triangle window? The best I have come up with is a plantation shutter, but it would have to be custom made. 

This is where I have got to. 

Wish me luck! 

(Images (1) and (5) from My Scandinavian Retreat (3), (10) and (11) Pinterest.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A New Blog for Jane

It has been pretty serious around My Pear Tree House this year, what with the cancer, and all that. 

(Kaleidoscope Dolls House, dating from 2002, now in the V&A in London) 

I wanted to do something a bit light and childlike.   

So have created a new blog, about Dolls Houses.  Something my daughter can read.  And something to remind us all of being a carefree little child.  

Sadly my little blog has no followers.   

If you are interested in Dolls Houses, please feel free to visit, and follow or subscribe.  (The link is to the left.)

Correction: the link is to the right.  I still don't know my left and right! 


Monday, October 31, 2011

Good Things Spring 2011

(pearl barley and aduki bean salad with char grilled asparagus and salsa verde dressing)

This salad, adapted from the book pictured below. This book is so amazing, I feel like stopping people in the street to tell them.    Brilliant warm salads, lots of wonderful baked vegetable dishes and everything in between.  You do not need to be a vegetarian (I am not).  But if you want to reduce the amount of meat in your life (I do) and need decent interesting recipes this is the book for you.  

For example, quinoa with parsley pesto, cranberries, toasted hazelnuts and mushrooms, a divine raw vegetable and avocado soup, parsnip and rosemary rolls, baked red onions stuffed with toasted, spiced couscous and oven baked pea, barley and broad bean frittata.  She also has instructions for making your own sprouts from any seed (sprouts are a great super food), labne, yoghurt and tofu.    Buy it! 

This Phillip Treacy hat worn by Dita Von Teese to Derby Day, in defiance of the black and white rule of Derby Day.   I like Dita, but I have to ask: why do we Australians persist in importing celebrities from 'overseas' to the Spring Racing Carnival?  Are we so insecure that we need validation by a non-Australian?  Or does it make it a truly international day?  The imported guests over the years have ranged from a charming Rex Harrison to a very bored Paris Hilton.    The celebritizing of the races generally is part of the reason I gave up our Victorian Racing Club membership this year.  Read Francesca Cumani's take on it here.  

This house at 58 Millswyn Street, South Yarra.    I played in this house as a little girl when family friends owned it. It is now renovated and on the market for (no doubt) A Bomb.

Beetroot cheek and lip tint from Ere Perez.  Yes beetroot.  Better on the cheeks than inside the tummy, raw, I think! Great organic Australian makeup.  I also have their mascara. 

This fondue set.   Doesn't ship to Australia, sadly.

(from Jenna at Etsy)

This artist.  I love her.  She makes me feel like a little girl again.    And who wouldn't like a tame fox sleeping on their head? 

(Marisol Spoon on Etsy)

I think I am officially the last person on the planet to get Etsy.  I have browsed many times of course but never bought.   In a possibly fruitless attempt to de-plasticise my life I have bought some non plastic lunch bags for the children.  And sandwich bags.  And snack bags.   Coming from all around the globe, and all really good value. I will show you when they arrive. 

Oh, one more thing.  The children are obsessed with Star Wars at the moment and in a moment of idle googling I came across many people with a similar obsession. To wit:

(sorry couldn't find source)

At that moment, TK-788 and TR-114 made a pact to never speak of this day again to anyone (from


Friday, October 28, 2011

Cancer FAQs

Hi there - here's hoping you are all well on this blustery Melbourne day.

I have posted a new page, called cancer FAQs, which will  hopefully answer some or many of the questions I have had from you wonderful readers.   It's over on the right.  

Go ahead, read.  There is happiness even in cancer, I promise you.

xoxo happy weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Yesterday was a lovely day.  We had breakfast here (a place I highly recommend, and I am not the only one who is a fan - there was a queue out the door when we left) whilst the sun shined.  We went to the food market at my daughter's school, whilst the wind was cold and icy.  I came home and cooked lunch and watched a hailstorm begin outside.   The hailstorm then cleared and the the sky was blue.   Later on daughter went to a Halloween themed birthday party and it rained a bit.  And then a bit later the sky cleared up again.  Just a typical Spring day in Melbourne.

I bought these radishes at the market. Something new for me, I have never bought them before.  Ever.  I think I am scarred by memories of the crudites plus dips my mother served at her glamourous parties in the 1970s. Or something.  But they have a wonderful crispness.  

I have been dipping into the new Sophie Dahl cookbook and she has a very simple recipe for radishes.  I had no truffle salt so I improvised with truffle oil.

You take the radishes and slice them very thinly (I used a mandoline).   Layer them in a dish, allowing their ruby rims to show through.    In a little bowl mix up a tablespoon or so of truffle oil, some sea salt and some very finely chopped mint.  Pour over the radishes and let them sit a bit.  Completely divine.  I had eaten most of them by the time lunch was ready!

I know I have been in some weird places this year, medically, but these radishes reminded me of a brain MRI.

I highly recommend the Sophie Dahl book.   If not just for the chipped Granny's bowl and lace tablecloth photography, and lots of shots of Sophie in flowery tea dresses.  Seriously though, she likes my kind of food - soups, salads, hardly any sugar, chicken and lovely picky things to eat.   I feel that she would be a great laugh to have a drink with.    

Here's to another cancer free week.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Green Sugar Free Breakfast

Breakfast time for me:

(home made sugar free granola with Greek yoghurt* and rhubarb and a green smoothie)

In Mid July 2011 I gave up sugar.  Specifically fructose.   Why?  Well not for weight reasons, and not for anti cancer reasons, although I have read that cancer feeds on sugar.  Really it was for I Wish I Could Stop Falling Asleep At My Desk In the Afternoon reasons.   And I have found that giving up sugar is not one of those annoying life changes where you only feel marginally better, or a diet change where it takes months and months to kick in.  No not at all. I found within literally days that I felt so much better. 

This is how I got there.

First, I have been reading Sarah Wilson's blog for a while.  If you don't know it go there now. It is informative, and inspiring, in a world where the word 'inspiring' is overused.     She gave up sugar for medical reasons, and is about to issue an e-book on her journey.

Second, I became very tired of the sugar highs and lows I was getting from my sugary cereal with fruit juice breakfast, little bun or muffin at morning tea, more juice at lunch time and then chocolate and more in the afternoon and then maybe a chocolate biscuit after dinner. Or ice-cream.  Or, on weekends, lots of ANZAC biscuit mixture on a Sunday afternoon.   The sweet things are not great but the real culprit is fructose.  Read here about David Gillespie, author of Sweet Poison, and his take on sugar.  

Third, I thought how much I would love to have the same level of energy throughout the day.   So I made a plan. Did some more reading. Thought a bit more. The real challenge is breakfast because it is so sugar dependent.   So I knew I had to find something for breakfast which is quick and sugar free.  

Fourth, I made my cereal, based on a Nigella Lawson recipe.    It is very easy.  Turn oven onto 180, spread two cups of oats over a lined baking sheet.  Get two cups of raw nuts and pulse in a food processor until you have half crushed and almost powdery but with some large nutty chunks.  Put them on the tray too, along with a cup of sunflower seeds.  You can also add coconut (but note it will be brown within about 10 minutes so you will need to take it out first), pumpkin seeds, or really any other seed which can be roasted.  No fried fruit (this is a fructose heavy as fruit juice).  Put in the oven for about half an hour turning regularly until the oats and nuts are all toasty and light brown.  

Fifth, I found pretty quickly that I got sick of coconut water for breakfast.  I didn't realise how much I relied on the quenching nature of fruit juice.   I really needed that in morning.   Then I found Kimberley Snyder's glowing green smoothie.   I love this so much.  And she is such a relentlessly 'up' person that I feel just that little bit more perky every time I read her blog.  This drink gives me a complete energy boost until lunchtime and it really doesn't even taste very vegetable-y.   Try it - you will not regret it. 

(looks like a science experiment...)

Do I miss chocolate?  Yes oh yes.  And I am still seriously considering excluding chocolate from my list of sugary foods.  However, on the few instances I have lapsed, I find I get a sugar rush from a tiny bit of cake or biscuit and after my mouth feels weird and sugary.   I have filled the hole with sugar free chocolate which is surprisingly nice.   I am not going all crazy about this.  If I  want a piece of cake I will have one.  However the removal of my staple endless fruit juices and sweet lollies has made such a difference to how I feel that I don't think I will ever be able to go back.   

And to be clear, this is not deprivation territory.  You can still have coffee (lactose is okay), beer (maltose is okay), wine (not sure what sugar is in there but it is apparently okay) and fruit (but whole only maximum two pieces a day).  

Go on y'all.  Give it a try. 


* beware of low fat yoghurt - it is loaded with sugar.  I love this Greek yoghurt which is available in all supermarkets - almost no sugar and just like the yoghurt you get in Istanbul which is where I first fell in love with yoghurt for breakfast.  

Monday, August 15, 2011


Lately I have been wondering whether the last 8 months have changed me.  Objectively I would expect that a diagnosis of cancer at 42 would change me significantly. 

There is no point dwelling on the nasty changes like increased neuroses or bitterness or resentment. (Mind you sadly there has been a bit of that floating around the house this year).  No, I am thinking more about positive behavioural and personality changes. 

And yet I am still not sure really if I am that much changed inside.  I continue to surprise myself - first, on diagnosis I didn't cry and scream for a week in manner of Bronte style heroine with heart broken by cruel man.  Second, I feel so different physically (much better, in fact) that it is a bit odd that on the outside I appear to be the same person (albeit with some Hair Issues).  

When I finished chemo I got a lot of little booklets from the hospital about how to cope with this new period with no treatment (excluding Herceptin, which continues till next April). 

If all the pundits are correct, this is a hard time, where you feel empty and a bit directionless, and even depressed.   The treatment provides structure and something to think (or even complain and moan) about.  Life with no routine treatment means that a large gap opens up, which is there to be filled with horrible thoughts of the future and possible recurrences of cancer.  Every little twinge makes one think 'arggh shoulder cancer, or stomach cancer or foot cancer or lung cancer or mouth cancer or eyelash cancer..........'  My surgeon calls this hypervigilence and it is very common in post chemo patients. 

In the manner of a controlling lawyer I have developed a 6 point action plan to try to get me through the next little period. I have implemented most of the steps, and it is really helping.  I will post on that next. 

But even then I still have moments when I despair just a tiny little bit, and think why on earth has this happened to me?  But those moments then go, and I look at the blue sky, and think that things are probably okay.

These are the areas where I think that I may have changed. 

1. I smell the flowers.

The absence of picking flowers in my garden has been annoying me for sometime.  But if there is one thing my garden can produce in spades it is Daphne.  Here it is looking flush and smelling lemony.

My husband occasionally said to me during chemo 'please don't rush around' and I would say 'you have no idea how completely incapable I am of rushing around.' And now I am still in a rush free zone. Yes I am busy busy of course isn't everyone, but I am deleting things madly, walking slowly, and smelling the world outside. 

2. I feel more empathy.

I think I have always been a reasonably caring person, but now I can feel others' pain more tellingly.  If you have been pregnant you will recall how the tears start to flow when you see images of famine in Africa or lost puppy dogs on TV.  Well I am like that the whole time now.  This of course is the true meaning of compassion - that feeling of sharing the pain, of connectedness.  I still feel raw to the touch, I think, and that makes me feel things really intensely.

I was given quite a nice camera for Christmas. I have barely used it but am now starting to experiment with super close ups of flowers.

3. I am more aware of how I spend my time.

I am aware every day of how many books I still have to read.  The pile on my bedside table is towering, and that doesn't even include books on my Kindle. 

As an aside, can I recommend another book to you all?  If you read one book this year please make it this one.  In Anti Cancer, Dr David Servan Schreiber talks of his brush with cancer and what he has learned since about leading a life which repels cancer in all ways. This is not just about diet, although that is important (he mentions specifically green tea and turmeric and many more), but about ensuring despair and helplessness (not necessarily stress) have no place in your life. 

So with all these books to read I am trying to rationalise wasted time.  And sadly that does mean less time on the Internet.  I just can't justify it anymore.  I am still visiting you all, just not commenting as much.  I hope you all forgive me.

4. I am less interested in controlling my children's behaviour.

I still have some way to go on this one, but I am learning to pick my battles a bit more.  I have a very strong willed son, and it is exhausting trying to get him to conform all the time.  And what's more, I think it is bad for me and causes me anxiety. 

So now, if they want ice cream for dessert when they haven't eaten 100% of their dinner, then frankly, that is fine by me. 

(son having roll into ball tantrum in the street. One of his specialities)

Do you know what happens when two stubborn strong willed impatient and argumentative people live together?   It is fireworks and that has long been the way for me and my son.  But now, I am trying to learn new ways to manage him.  I am still disciplining him, but trying to be so much calmer in doing so.  

As an aside this is how I get the children to eat meat.  Slit open some little pork or beef sausage and fry gently with some butter and chopped garlic, pressing down with a fork to create smaller bits.  Add half a tin of chopped tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Serve with spaghetti and Parmesan. 

5. I want to make the most of things

During chemo I bought a new car. I suspect some people thought that was a bit strange, but once it happens to you, you realise that life doesn't stop just because you have cancer.  You still have to live, work and love.   You can't say 'oh I might die so I had better not do that'.   In fact it is the opposite. 

Next on the list is a little shack with a sea view, something we have always wanted to do but avoided for reasons to do with debt.  Do you know what I say to debt now? I spit on it.  Or laugh at it.  Conservatively and with a fair interest rate of course.

In an ideal world my beach house would be Scandinavian, a bit grey and brooding, salty but with clean lines.  Here is something to really live for:

6. I don't feel as sorry for myself as I used to.

Someone left a comment here about the 'downward social comparator', which is about realising that no matter what you are living with, there is always always someone going through something worse than you.   Like the young woman in my meditation class with three small children who has been told her cancer has spread and that there is no hope for her.  She is on chemo and a drug trial indefinitely, which is of course code for as long as she lives.   Or the woman I met at a dinner with a slipped disc and such chronic back pain resulting from a failed operation that not only can she not lift or hug her children but she cannot even get out of bed without taking 7 painkillers.

To me, these situations make my recent life look reasonably okay in comparison.  And they certainly make my regular Sunday Afternoon Folding And Putting Away 10 Loads Of Washing (something I was a bit apt to complain about) a walk in the park. 

What about you?  Have you been changed by an event? 

(Images (1) Pinterest (6)(7)(8) My Scandinavian Retreat)
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