Thursday, December 31, 2020

What's your favourite Christmas memory: An Unexpected Journey

I'm here! I'm here! Still here! 

I know I'm fashionably late, even with my showbiz 10 minute call but that's a divas prerogative. 

You're probably either having a late lunch or already preparing your Stockholm syndrome New Years Eve party by now. Shoes, frocks, hair, wig, makeup and mousse or slaving away over a hot stove. It's time for yet another one of those hurry up, get ready, get your sh*t together so we can all sit down and have a lovely night together - hygge! It's that race, sweat running down the face, wild and crazy hair, then stop right before the finish line to adjust everything and gracefully walk across for that finish line photo opportunity. Remember to put it on Insta because if you didn't then it didn't actually happen. Also remember to tidy up in the background before you share those midnight kitchen disco Insta videos because no one wants to see *THAT*.

As you can probably tell, I've been treading water because I sat down here and with a purpose. I wanted to share at story with you but then as I stared at the white, empty page it disappeared but now it's back. So be prepared to get bored to tears. It's about Christmas because really, it's not over until we take down the decorations in the end of January, right?

I was speaking to a friend a few days ago and as I enthused and regaled about how wonderful Christmas is I suddenly and very abruptly asked "what is your favourite Christmas memory then?". I completely blanked. I didn't know. I couldn't remember any specific Christmas that was wonderful. They were all lovely, was my answer. That didn't cut it for me though, so I actually search my memory. I don't have any family photos available and by god, I wasn't going to ask my mother because I'd never get her off the phone again. So as the spoiled little brat I was, I decided to go with the presents. What do I remember getting for Christmas and did I have any specific memories attached to them? Seemed like a good place to start or so I thought.

This spoiled brat - yours truly, the beloved legendary guest star of yore who is a mere kitten at age 29 42 can only remember getting 4 presents which are as follows

Lego Technic excavator

Lego Italian restaurant

Second hand CD - Sabrina - Super Sabrina

....and a white digital clockradio. I don't have a picture of it. It was like a cube only it had a rounding slope from the top to the bottom at the front where it showed what time it was. I tried googling but if you google "white digital clock radio 80s" (or 90s), well let's just say there have been made a lot of clock radios back then.

It's not a lot to remember is it? It's a bit sad but to further this along a bit, because we are running long. Kind of like the Lord of the Rings movies - or that Hobbit thing. Remember that? Tolkien wrote a tiny little novel and this overhyped director and producer decided to milk it and outstay his welcome even further by making a book of 310 pages (first edition) into 3 movies of in total 474 minutes you'll never get back. Ever. But I digress.

From the presents I remember most getting was actually the clock radio and the Sabrina CD which I got the same year. I was a fan. So here goes...

No, wait! Like Peter Jackson you'll have to get back here and watch the next one because ha ha ha this is just the pre-pre book. Hah! Come back and bring those £12 and I do advise you to buy refreshments and the shop because it may run a little long.

Until then, Happy New Year to you. Have a fabulous time and do remember to clear away the dirty dishes in the background before shooting those midnight New Years kitchen disco videos for Insta and if you need any inspiration look no further than our Kylie

I picked this one because of the outfits and effects. She was wearing the most horrendous dress on Jonathon Ross when she performed it there.


Friday, December 25, 2020


Hello again,

Your favourite special guest star is back one more time to milk the celebrity status, bask in the faded spotlight one more time and perhaps in some alternate universe make a little money so as not to have to buy the smoked salmon at IKEA. 

Of course you must all picture me sitting here in my long night dress, furry stiletto slippers sipping my café latté (Nespresso holiday Il Café blend which I must admit that for a pod coffee is rather lovely) and eating Kransekage - follow the link (for a most shocking and deeply controversial look at how Paul Hollywood thinks a Kransekage should look like. I couldn't find a video. The kransekage rings are circular, yes but not like a tube but rather like if you made a Toblerone into a circle and the icing is never any other colour than white). I'm still shocked, appalled and traumatised by what I saw.

You may possibly be asking yourself why on earth I ended up watching the Great British Bake Off and the answer is very simple. 'Tis the season! 

Christmas and the holidays around this time is many different things and means different things to a lot of people. One of the things I have become very aware of this month watching or at least listening to the Danish equivalent to This Morning - a lovely, slightly fluffy morning entertainment show that passes the time until the news at noon - while I was working, was that to kids it's all about the presents and what they can Instagram or tell their classmates they got for Christmas. 

Our morning show is called Good Morning Denmark and it does everything in one ridiculous and slightly awkward mix. One moment they're showing how to make some sort of ridiculous vegan duck dish and chia puddings, the next moment they have a lengthy segment of how there are Danish families who cannot celebrate Christmas because they can't afford it. They can't give their children the new iPhone to brag about on Instagram or other. I'm paraphrasing and possibly have a slight opinion about what being poor is. Yet next moment the host is standing at a table of new designer table lamps that are battery operated and can be charged via USB. The man was very enthusiastic about the lamps (I ended up buying one online and have to return it again as the red was rather like a light brown poop with a tint of blood in the stool. I'm sorry, I don't suffer in silence and I'm more traumatised than you, believe me. It's a hideous colour) and he said that the price tags were so everyone could afford it. Only £90-130 depending on the model. It was most entertaining to see the host who then went straight back to the hideous chia pudding making. I'm getting sidetracked.

It got me thinking about what the holidays mean to me. I'm not religious and I don't attend church unless it's a wedding or a funeral and even then I fear bursting into flame or the gargoyles turning me away at the door with flaming swords. To me Christmas is in my heart. It's there all year long. It's festive, tinsel, happy music, being nice to one another, the festive lights and perhaps also the good food. Like the cake for breakfast. Kransekage works very well it has to be said. It's also all about the holiday movies and those obnoxious TV shows where they make you feel bad about not being creative, have the energy or time to do all those things that are oh so cheap, time saving and easy to do. I watch a lot of that. It's like a drug and with the flick of a switch on December 27 it's all gone. Back I'm left like old, cold and dry turkey. Sad and pathetic just shaking until the lights come up again next year. New Years is usually festive too but that's just one or two days then BOOM! Dark, cold, sad and never-ending January trudges on.

That took a turn, sorry!

This year I caught up on all the old series of Great British Bake Off, watched some Danish baking show (Mette Blomsterberg - she is out baking goddess around here) and as well as watching just about every sappy MarVista produced holiday movie ever made, I also discovered something called Kirstie's Handmade Christmas.

Kirstie's Handmade Christmas takes the cake, as it were, when it comes to creative 'suggestions' of how to make your Christmas perfect. It's AMAZING! It's the perfect programme to watch, watching store bought Kransekage and drinking Nespresso based café lattes. You are both inspired and think 
  • Oh! that takes only minutes! 
  • Oh, that's not expensive and I could do that while um watching this! 
  • Why didn't I think of that?!? 
  • I can actually do this! 
  • That looks like fun!
the list is endless. There is after all many, many episodes and that Kirstie Allsopp does really cram in a lot and it really packs a punch.

Turns out you can get inspired into being creative or in Danish 'kreativ' and I've 
  • bought the baking ingredients - turns out that if you don't really have any that can be quite the investment, especially if you never get around to using them.
  • bought some hobby supplies - turns out that costs an arm and a leg and if it just ends up on top of the bedroom cupboard in a box that's a bit of a waste.
  • bought pine cones and silver spray paint. Don't ask. 
  • bought two poinsettias and a tiny prickly 'pine tree' - yeah, it'll die. The poor things are doomed.
It's expensive but if I ever want to make those sugary raspberry jello vinegum cubes then I'm all set! 

Other than that I've been working from home. Since September 21 and it looks as if I'm not going back to the office until at the earliest February 28. I'm also genuinely enjoying Christmas and as the City has finally cut down some trees I am now looking out at the most incredibly beautiful uninterrupted blue sky. Life is good.

Sending lots of love, happy holidays and a merry Christmas 


'Petra - your favourite guest star of yore.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Fine wine

I've been struggling finding out my role again. 

In life, perhaps. 
As a 'blogger' (I'm using this term loosely like most other terms to describe myself), absolutely. 

Well, that's not 100 percent true either, I always fancy myself a bit of a diva. Not unlike a mixture of the 3 most important Joans in the world. Joan Crawford, Dame Joan Collins and Joan Rivers. 

By of Dame Joan Collins I mean the later years. These days where she occasionally pops up in something, is her own over the top self, waves a little, says something snooty and gets kicked out of the local Ikea in the South of France when holidaying in St. Tropez with friends. 

Now that would have been a great soundbite except it's not true. It's a very misleading thing to say because upon doing a bit of research it appears that Dame Joan Collins have been quite prolific of late. I just haven't watched it. All I knew about was her stint on American Horror Story and an episode of the delicious Hawaii Five-0. 

The Ikea incident is true, and isn't that just delicious. Just what we need in these COVID times.

Truth is when it comes to the actual work. As in the paid work department I don't say no, I am completely Joan Rivers and have even managed a promotion of sorts. The issue is when I'm not working. At that point I turn into the DIVA. 

DIVA 'Petra is quite something and especially in these COVID times. Nothing gets done around here. I have deadlines selfgiven and otherwise that come and go. Mostly it's procrastination - like why I'm writing this and not ACTUALLY cleaning my kitchen and bathroom like I'd promised myself. Instead I watched Kirstie Allsopp do all sorts of Christmassy things, like make her own soap, stuffed teddybear, beaded tassels and paper Christmas tree baubles. She also made chocolate truffles that looked like poo. It was quite an eventful day. In total I've spent 15 minutes in the kitchen clearing up today.

I think it's partly because DIVA 'Petra is broken. Perhaps DIVA 'Petra is simply too fabulous for manual labour. It could also be bad habits and laziness. The too fabulous option sounds best though.

Perhaps I've been too convincing telling myself that I'm fabulous and I deserve chocolate cake for breakfast and filling the metaphoric bathtub with Champagne because to quote the fabulous Sparky Tim 

'because it's been a difficult year and we deserve nice things'

On a sidenote that quote, has been my slogan most of this year anyway. I've bought so many LPs that I could start my very own 1980's radio station.

To be completely honest the DIVA act doesn't work when it boils down to it. While I don't have an actual bathtub to fill with Champagne, I have had the chocolate cake for breakfast. I've also had chocolate cake, chocolate and any other thing in the sweets and/or snack department for dinner. It's not advisable. It may sound fabulous, and washed down with fine wine or Champagne and doesn't it just.

It's not cute.

Gaining weight like that and constant hunger is not cute. I mean, I'm all for being hungry if it means losing a bit of weight (HIGHLY UNADVISABLE AND IF YOU SUFFER OR THINK YOU SUFFER FROM SOME SORT OF FOOD DEPENDENCY OR EATING DISORDER YOU SHOULD GET HELP. THERE ARE GREAT PROGRAMMES OUT THERE). I have personally been brought up by HER (my mother) who had the manifestos (there weren't any blogs or tweets back then)

'I know what skinny feels like. Hungry, it feels like hungry'

and isn't that just kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck, fantastic. And just before Christmas too!

I suppose this fabulous DIVA 'Petra should stop typing for now that it's stopped making any sense whatsoever, get to bed and wake up early tomorrow and with coffee in rubber gloved hand shall get the housework sorted in time for a Monday of working from home, apartment inspection and what other fabulousness a Monday can bring.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

I want to speak to the manager

It's been longer than I expected.

I really had it all planned out. I had things to write about. I was inspired. I was riled up and then BOOM! It was back to work. Or at least back to commuting a good 3 hrs and change each day to get to and from work. It took us all by surprise really. One day it was extension upon extension and our team manager had said not to expect going back to work until at least after the summer vacation but then a plan came out of nowhere.

It was all a political decision and for me it meant a going back to work plan over 3 weeks and I was asked to go back in the first week, so there we are. I haven't been sick (knock wood) of Covid-19 or otherwise that I know of at least. So there's that. Yay! It's all good and now the second wave is taking off whooshing in over us. Callous people, not maintaining our social distancing, staying alert, sanitising our hands with alcoholic gels. It's not good. We can do better. I can do better.

Anyway enough excuses and deflecting from the fact that I haven't been updating my blog.

There's been lots of topics to bring up, small things happening that could become a fun long little story to entertain the easily amused and whatnot. Today is all about two things.

First of this is super important because it involves the nectar of life apart from Champagne of course. Coffee. Coffee, coffee, coffee!

Years ago I went out and bought myself a Sage Barista Express because I wanted to become a skilled coffee nerd. The kind that knows everything about coffee and who could get out of bed at 5am and brew the perfect shot of espresso with my eyes shut.

Needless to say that after a about a million pounds of wasted espresso beans, gallons of milk and two years of adjusting brew time, grindsize, the amount of coffee used for a double shot and my sanity gone I gave up. It's now the most expensive milk steaming device known to man. I did manage to steam a decent pitcher of milk though.

So I bought a tiny Nespresso capsule machine and now get the best of both worlds. In reality a fine morning coffee to go that I manage to drink on the bus/train to work. Yum!

With this Sage Barista Express comes a little rubber disc for backflushing which is part of the extensive clean cycle you need to do. I've kept it in a clever little drawer inside the machine designed for storage. Imagine the horror when a couple of weeks ago the CLEAN ME light came on and the rubber disc was missing.


Gone where? I don't know. I've looked EVERYWHERE! So I naturally went online to buy a new one. How much trouble could that be. To answer your question, very.

It was SOLD OUT, BACKORDER and UNAVAILABLE. I managed to attempt ordering it from 3 separate online shops - the only 3 that carried it - and got the same messages about delivery late August and perhaps mid September. Don't they know that they are - pardon my French - fucking with my morning coffee?

Anyway all is well as I found one and it was delivered today. It is unbelievable that not only does a tiny rubber disc cost £32 and I was happy to pay it. How about that.

In other news I hide on Facebook. I'm one of those annoying people who tend to share what kind of pizza I am. I think it's fun. I bore people and spam people with memes from time to time. It's a pleasure. I don't feel guilty about it. If people don't want to know what kind of pizza I am they can unfollow me. I don't mind. On the other hand I have very strong opinions on TicTok which have nothing to do with the American stance on the matter.

I did grow a little bored with Facebook until a dear friend of mine asked me if I wanted to be a Karen. She'd joined a group where people pretend to be Karens and wanted me to join. Of course I did and I've been having the most marvelous time. Sometimes I scare myself and have to check in with myself. No, I'm not Karen and no, my husband Eric Bob and precious daughter Polleighannah-Leigh aren't real.

Excuse me, I have to go speak to the manager because the updates on here are not acceptable. Where are the commas?!? Unbloodyacceptable!

Friday, May 15, 2020

Pro Pro Procrastination

I got a call from the janitor who does maintenance on the building I live in. He had a call from the new people who've moved in downstairs. They complain that water was coming down from the ceiling and that I might want to take a look at my drains. Shower especially.

I did this. The janitor offered to come by and take a look around. He's very nosy. I declined and said I'd be letting him know what I found. So I cleaned the shower drain. Not just the usual plughole clean. Yuck. Actually it wasn't that yucky which surprised me. Apparently I am not a yucky shower person. Kitchen was the same. No issues but I cleaned out what was there. As I'm not very handy I obviously googled and YouTubed everything. Yuck. Don't do that. Although, you also don't want to break anything so perhaps you should google and YouTube stuff first or better yet, hire a professional.

Anyway, I relayed the news. Everything was fine. I showered, had my washing machine running - the water goes into the shower drain and even ran my dishwasher in the kitchen (kitchen sink drain). Then he called AGAIN. It was leaking again so now he wanted to come by and take a look around. 

Since I was tired, busy working from home and my flat is a mess I faked illness *cough* I am ill at the moment but promise not to use the shower until I'm better and you've had time to fix it *cough* *cough again*. There, so officially I'm ill now. I am showering elsewhere at the moment, just so you know. So there we are. I was supposed to clean, tidy up and invite up the janitor for a nosy around.

Last weekend I was tired and oh look Escape to the Chateau marathon is on! Oh, go ahead and judge me. I like it. I find Dick and Angel charming and their taste level deliciously gauche. I mean, no. I've got no words.

Then Monday I was obviously working and in the evening I worked for a few more hours so obviously I didn't have the time to do anything then.

Tuesday I was tired after work and treated myself to an evening on the sofa watching a courtroom series on ViaPlay called For The People. I'm not hating it. So that was Tuesday.

Wednesday I felt really productive so I *HAD* to do something. The floorplan to my flat is odd. It's not an open concept living room/kitchen flat but the kitchen is open into the living room on one side and the entrance into the kitchen is done from the entrance area where there's a door. Anyway my home office setup is in a bay window where I'd pushed an old wooden desk into. It's right off the weird opening from the kitchen to the living room. There really should be photos but that's not happening.

The desk situation has been a development for years. When I moved back from my swanky Copenhagen flat to this place I brought with me a great big black high gloss desk. It was too big to fit anywhere without sticking out like a sore thumb so it's residing in my basement storage room. It pains me. So my parents were moving from their house to a smaller apartment and couldn't bring the old wooden desk so I got that for free until I found something better. Years went by, my office area moved from bedroom to bay window in the living room and the desk is an eyesore. In the meantime I bought a black metal and black glass desk that fits perfectly in the bay window. The eyesore moved back to the bedroom for a while, then for reasons beyond my comprehension, I moved it back into the living room. and new swanky desk went into the bedroom. At a later date the desk made it back into the living room. Actually sat basically in the middle of the room because I was considering getting rid of the eyesore which has shelves (yes, I know. Practical but also hell on earth to empty) so naturally it didn't happen..

Until WEDNESDAY! Because what's CyberPete to do when he can either tidy up and clean his flat or start moving furniture around. Yes, I managed to pull and push the old desk out of the bay window area and into the weird space between kitchen and living room where it actually fits perfectly and adds work space for actual cooking because the kitchen is rather tiny (or I have too many kitchen appliances, damn you KitchenAid!). Then I had to deal with however many years of staplers, tape dispensers, hole punchers, pens and other office delights (and dust, lots of dust too), empty swanky desk and move it into place and setup my office stuff. There went my evening. In the process I managed to push bags of broken glass, folded up cardboard boxes etc. into the kitchen and spill all over the floor.

The office looks alright though.

Then Thursday I worked all evening because the work systems closed at noon today Friday. So nothing flat related was done and here we are Friday. Logged out of work early because the systems have been taken offline for maintenance and I'm writing this. There's no way I will get much done today. I don't want to. I should but I don't.

Procrastination is my middlename. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

My secret garden

We were told to stay home, stay safe. Social distancing is key to the ordeal the world and our great countries are going through at the moment. If we didn't do this things would look dire.

I remember the day I was told to leave my workplace to begin working from home. It was March 12. It was grey, stormy and as I'd packed all my workplace stuff together into bags and stepped out of the front door to catch the bus, the hail started. The hail and rain and wind was full on and I almost couldn't see the bus as I drove up to the stop. That's my memory of the day.

Then quickly the sun came out, the wind stopped and the temperatures soared. Spring was springing. There I was, inside working. Looking out onto the horrendous trailer/construction village/place the municipality has decided to place right opposite me. Large building machinery vehicles driving past. Building shaking. My records skipping. The blue portable loos are a real treat. Joy. I digress.

I've been working on looking at the positive things during all of this. So spring was springing. I think that's where I lost track. The Danes, uncouth, the unwashed have struggled understanding not only the simple instructions but also the ramifications of not practicing social distancing and staying home. So naturally those blessed with a garden have been spending their time home clearing out the old stuff and have been running to the nearest garden center to buy new flowers, trees and whatnots to add to their lovely garden so they could sit there with their feet up enjoying a glass of wine and posting the image on Instagram. Because if you don't post it on Instagram it didn't happen, don't you know.

The problem was capturing that perfect image of the beautifully manicured lawn with the spring flowers in the background with the sun reflecting in the wine glass in the duckface selfie without wrinkles because the face has been so heavily edited that it might as well be Barbie herself. Especially when there was a pile of old wood, branches and garden whatnot in the corner that's been in the garden for 8 months already. What's a local wannabe Instagram celebrity with 30 followers to do. Obviously they just drive out to the nearest reststop and dump it there because the recycling centres were closed. Yes, that's right. It became such a problem that the municipalities had to reopen the recycling centres.

I'm one of those who buy my flowers already dead. They die rather quickly in my care anyway so why get ones hopes up. This spring it's been all about the daffodils and white tulips.

The tulips started off much taller but someone was a little bit rough while tending my garden but there, that's my garden.

Being on ones own and happily single at some point one would like to have ones garden tended to. That's life. We all have our crosses to bear, I suppose.

The health authorities in Denmark have lifted the veil a little bit here saying that it's ok with a little bit of birds and the bees and tending of the garden. Just be safe.

Monday, April 20, 2020

A riveting story of tech

I grew up with computers.

Suffice to say it all started with a very state of the art Commodore Plus4 or +4 or however it was branded. It was my brother who introduced computers into the family. I used it for games and my brother was the programmer type. Obviously I was perhaps 10 or younger at the time. Then came the Commodore Amiga 2000 and then the PCs took over. I was even an intern at an IT company for 2 years and if you needed your harddrive changed, your Windows setup changed or the graphics card, sound card etc. changed I was a good bet. 

I honestly don't know what happened. I got a job in finance and more or less without thinking about it I stopped being interested in it. I guess my job was more interesting because one day I found myself owning a MacBook and what a slippery slope that was.

If you ask my friends who didn't know me as a child or during my intern days, they'd be very surprised that I wasn't a technophobe. Sure, I have a relatively new iMac and I have an iPhone X so I do like new gadgets but when it comes to knowing how to work it they'd say I'm all thumbs.

Ok, thinking back I do know when I seriously stopped caring about how to work all things tech. It was when I bought my first (still works and is my only) flatscreen TV. It was like you needed an engineering degree and a doctorate in flatscreen TV'ing. It's a thing, I'm sure. You can study anything these days. In the end I asked a coworker at the time for the specs he'd get and walked into the Sony Center with a great big SUCKER sign on my forehead and handed the salesman the list. I said "I need that, and it needs to be pretty". I got what I asked for and it's still a lovely TV. Anyway I digress.

Since then it was all downhill. I ask for help from friends followed by this
Then with my job I obviously knew very little about anything that went on there so I had to be able to contribute to something. I reluctantly mentioned my techie past and as coworkers now expect me to know the answers to all things Word, Excel, Windows 10, MS Teams I'm finding that I'm learning by doing. To quote the very fishlike looking fashole CELINE!: It's all coming back to me now.

That was Celine, right? Not Meatloaf? I can never remember. Is Meatloaf still around? I don't know, but I digress.

So I mentioned that I own an iMac. I also own an old Apple Cinema LED extra screen I got for my old MacBook. So you can imagine as I work from home these days my home office desk is crowded as I also have my work HP laptop and as HDMI doesn't play well with an 8 year old Apple Cinema screen I had an old HP monitor packed in there for good measure. I was so frustrated that I had that Apple Cinema that I also couldn't hook up with my iMac because the cords were all funny looking compared to the holes in the back of my iMac.

There you go, the techsavy 'Petra was very techie as he googled and googled and ended up asking the great unwashed of Twitter for help. I was feeling a little down by that point. It's a techie Covid-19 world and I'm just living in it. Someone was nice enough to even send a link to a £12 cable which looked like it was wrong. They insisted and alluded that they were "in the know". So obviously as a desperate tech has-been I clicked on that buy button and the next day the cable arrived. Excellent service I may add.

It was the wrong cable.

I told him, well I didn't. Instead I looked at the description on the torn package and went to the website again (because wow, excellent service) and found a cable thing that was the opposite of what I'd received. I bought it and the next day the cable was in my mailbox. AMAZING SERVICE!

It was the right cable!

The cable was plugged into the back of the iMac and connected to the Apple Cinema and WHOOOPPP! it worked. I'm using it now.

Naturally I went on to think of a cable that would plug the Apple Cinema into my work HP laptop. It's not possible. Apparently. At least not without some outdated gizmo gadget that is allegedly lousy. That's not something 'Petra likes to hear. My desk is crowded, the HP monitor is slow on the update and the graphics pretty bad.

Then last night I was in bed being hot and bothered about this very issue. I don't have the Covid-19 symptoms. Not yet anyway. Until at around 1 am I had to get up and look at the cable to see if it could be plugged into the laptop. It could. It works. So now my desk is a little less crowded.

Obviously on a high at 1am I couldn't sleep so I was a little tired this morning and during the meeting where me and my techsavy self was shining like a pure white diamond I couldn't remember if it was Monday or Tuesday.

Oh, how we laughed. 

That's office humour for you. Hah! As I hung up after the meeting I still wasn't sure if it was Monday or Tuesday or Pancake day.

Perhaps I should have made myself an espresso martini and taken to the sofa. Instead it was laundry and a Nespresso café latté.

So there you go, how have you been?