Sunday, 22 November 2015

Pain: The Price of Beauty?

"I'm going to cut that off," Dr Z said, grabbing the skin on the underside of my upper arm and squeezing it firmly, one day after seeing me in a sleeveless summer dress.
"Okay," I nodded, thinking he was joking.
"I mean it," he said and I grinned.
"Sure." I nodded and we both smiled at each other, as though we'd just made a deal.


"So, when are we doing the surgery?" Dr Z asked, eyeing the "bat wings" on the underside of my upper arm with visible distaste.
"The what?" I asked. "You already cut into me once, transplanting skin from one part of me to another, isn't that enough for you?" I was genuinely confused and had no idea what he was talking about, our conversation from some weeks ago long forgotten and out of my mind.
"The surgery," Dr Z said, pointing at my upper arms. "A simple cut, from here to here, on the underside of your arm naturally, so nobody sees the scar, s-shaped incision. I'll cut off the excess skin, remove the fat issue, pull both sides of the skin together and sew it all up. Easy. Simple."
I swallowed hard, visualising what Dr Z had just explained to me and contemplating just how strong my sudden need to puke up the dinner I'd just finished was.


"The surgery, you'll do it yourself, yes?" I asked somewhat sheepishly, having spent the last few weeks contemplating Dr Z's offer, still none the wiser whether I actually had the guts to do it, but wanting to be sure either way.
"Of course I'll do it myself!" He replied, looking at me long and hard, clearly hurt by the underlying suggestion of my question.
"Okay." I nodded. I could live with that answer.


Two years ago, after successfully losing about 35kg, I blogged/bragged about my weight loss for the first time (you can read about it here, if you haven't yet), because what girl doesn't like to be told that she looks beautiful! I've now lost more than 40kg which has made a huge difference to how I feel and act as well as what I wear or should I say "can wear"? I've written about my fitness regime and how it has changed me for the better. I believe I've probably managed to somehow talk about my regular exercise in the gym in every blog post I've published since. It's really made a huge difference, not just to my weight and shape but also to the person I've become, but especially to my self-confidence. I've never been one for sports before I joined the gym but now I can't live without it. I'm currently benched until mid-December, but given the circumstances that's okay.

My efforts with cardio, aerobics and regular classes with my trainer (who has unfortunately left my gym *sob sob*) have definitely shaped me up and the results show. Sadly some things simply can't be fixed by regular exercise and a healthy diet, so throughout these last year or so, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get my upper arms to shape up. Of course my trainer managed to whip my muscles into shape but the excess skin flapping about the underside of my upper arms like bat wings even he couldn't fix. My regular exercise resulted in a lot of burned fat but the saggy skin just wouldn't go away, there was just too much of it. At times it made me quite self-conscious and very hesitant about which clothes I'd wear. Sadly I had no idea how to fix my problem, not until Dr Z mentioned brachioplasty or arm lift surgery for all you layman out there. It is a type of plastic surgery that removes excess, saggy skin from the underside of your upper arm. It also reduces excess fat issues, tights and smoothes the underlying tissue and in simple terms makes your upper arms look nicer, giving them a more natural shape. 

I was blissfully unaware of this photo session, since I was already fast asleep under the heavy influence of a beautiful drug cocktail commonly referred to as general anaesthesia, courtesy of the anaesthesiologist in charge of my surgery. As you can see the saggy skin really doesn't look nice and makes (or should I say 'made') my arm look like the trunk of a tree.

A couple of months ago I decided I definitely wanted to do the surgery and Dr Z agreed that he would personally take care of it but he told me to wait until the weather gets cooler to reduce the risk of post-surgical wound infection. Wuhan gets seriously hot in the summer and you sweat a lot so Dr Z's advice made perfect sense. Also, I'm a complete wuss when it comes to needles and scalpels, anaesthesia or not! When Dr Z did the skin graft to close the burn wound on my thigh, he actually had to join me in the operating theatre way before the anaesthesiologist was ready to put me under just to distract me and keep me from doing a runner, which I by the way couldn't have done since I wasn't able to walk very well at that time.


"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Owwwww!" I yelled, extremely displeased when the male nurse in charge of my IV drip missed the vein in my foot for the third time, causing me extreme discomfort on top of my feeling ridiculously cold and nervous.
"What's wrong?" Dr Z asked in Chinese, striding into the operating theatre.
"Speak English, okay?" I begged, grabbing his hand and squeezing his fingers so hard that he winced.
"Why aren't you sleeping yet?" He asked outright and I started to shiver so much that the anaesthesiologist supported my chin for fear that I might bite my tongue.
"They think I'm a burn patient, I'm not," I complained, squeezing Dr Z's fingers even harder, hearing yet barely registering the anaesthesiologist's request to her nurse to prepare some relaxants. "They don't know what kind of surgery you're doing, I tried to explain this to them but they don't understand what I mean. They also can't find a vein. My feet hurt like hell, I don't want them to try and stick another needle in there. I'm nervous, I'm scared and I'm cold. The anaesthesiologist that I'll be in a lot of pain after the surgery." I almost cried and squeezed Dr Z's fingers so hard that the skin turned white and he winced again. He'd just managed to change into his scrubs but hadn't scrubbed in for the surgery yet when one of the operating nurses had called him in a panic, asking him to talk to his crazy (she didn't say that) patient, flipping out on the operating table (she didn't say that either).
"Put the needle in her neck," advised Dr Z speaking directly to the anaesthesiologist while squeezing my shoulder with his free hand to keep me relaxed.
"What?" I squealed, definitely not in excitement but on the verge of a full-fledged panic attack. "A needle in my neck? Are you crazy?"
"Now," Dr Z instructed the anaesthesiologist. He could tell that I was about ready to jump and run, this time not being incapacitated by a nasty burn wound. I felt something cold on my neck, a very mild sting, and then the needle was in and the anaesthesiologist secured it expertly, then started the drip while one of the nurses covered me with a second blanket to keep me warm. "Seriously, of you're this nervous then we'll just cancel the surgery and you go home." Dr Z said to me, eyeing me seriously.
"No," I mumbled.
"Well, you clearly don't trust me." He mocked.
"I never said that. I do, I do, I do trust you," I whimpered.
"You don't." Dr Z stated flatly.
"I'm just scared because she (I was referring to the anaesthesiologist) said I'd be in a lot of pain after the surgery." I almost cried.
"I told her you're scared of pain so she said that because she was offering you an intravenous analgesia pump post-surgery, you silly, silly girl." Dr Z laughed and his eyes (they were all I could see) twinkled mischievously.
"Oh" I mumbled, "I'm still scared. I couldn't explain the surgery to them and that nurse just couldn't find a vein."
"Your Chinese isn't good enough." Dr Z taunted me. "Are we doing the surgery or not?"
"Are you sure? Do you trust me?"
"Yes, I do." I nodded, then started shivering again. "Why is it so cold in here, I'm freezing!" I shuddered more, my teeth clattering louder than a thunderstorm. I squeezed Dr Z's fingers again, holding on for dear life.
"Okay, that's it. Cancelled, you clearly don't trust us. Fine, let's call Dr W, you know him, he's a plastic surgeon, he can do the surgery!" Dr Z snapped, fed up with my paranoia.
"No, no. You, I want you, just you." I begged, focusing on him and squeezing his fingers so hard that he winced and shifted uncomfortably from one foot to another. Still, he didn't pull away.
"Okay, you sure? You need to trust us."
"I trust you." I repeated.
"That's not good enough, you need to trust all of us, we're a team." Dr Z tried to look menacing but what with the surgical cap and the face mask he didn't quite manage... or I just couldn't tell.
"I trust you." I mumbled, feeling more relaxed than before but none the wiser as to why. A unknown face to my right distracted me from my conversation with Dr Z and it took a moment for me to register that it was the assistant surgeon and the doctor in charge of my case. She'd appeared right out of nowhere and it took me a moment to recognise her in her scrubs, surgical cap and face mask. "Oh it's you," I eventually mumbled and she nodded.
"Yup, me." She chuckled, slipping her hand into mine, squeezing gently.
"Alright, put her under." Dr Z ordered and I watched the anaesthesiologist add something to my IV. Seconds later I felt sleepy, then my eyes started to feel heavy. I tried to say something but I'm not sure I made any sense. The last I remember is a mask over my nose and mouth and Dr Z telling me to breathe...then blissful nothingness followed.


As you can tell I'm a total wuss when it comes to surgeries and that day when talking to the anaesthesiologist and the nurses in the operating theatre my Chinese completely failed me. I got too worked up and too nervous and I scared the crap out of Dr Z's the entire surgical team. I scared them so much that they didn't dare to do anything without Dr Z's presence. He told me later that I only released my iron grip on his fingers when the general anaesthesia kicked in. He also spent about five minutes massaging his fingers since they'd gone numb from all my squeezing, but he said it with a smile, not because he was holding a grudge.

Originally I was supposed to have both arms done in one surgery but Dr Z had to split the surgery into two parts since the entire procedure took longer than expected. I was under for nearly six hours while he took care of my left arm. His part of the surgery took over four hours and since I was so nervous most of the pre-op preparation was done while I was under to avoid causing me any more distress, adding serious time to the amount of time I spend under general anaesthesia. It obviously took some time to bandage up my arm and then it also took some time to get me out of the general anaesthesia and ready to return to the ward.

With regards to immediately post-surgery, I don't remember much since it took me forever to return to a semi-conscious state. At that stage I was already well out of the general anaesthesia but I tend to feel seriously groggy and tired after surgery so even after they brought me back to my room and introduced me to the Ayi, Dr Z had called to take care of me, I just slept the whole afternoon and evening. I remember eating a few grapes in the evening and hoarsely asking for some water but that's about it. I think I briefly looked at my phone, then slept most of the night.

Post-surgery day 1, left arm all bandaged up and incapacitated, drugged up but overall in good spirits. Me and my intravenous analgesia pump had some serious fun for the first 48 hours post-surgery. The first 72 hours post surgery are most painful so I was grateful for the relief. I'm really not good with pain and my ability to withstand pain has gotten worse since my burn accident, something Dr Z knows since he had to listen to my wailing cries every single time he changed my dressings.

I never thought I'd ever end up having plastic surgery but I don't regret my choice. I worked hard on my weight loss and failing to fully tone up my upper arms due to all the excess skin ended up frustrating me more and more, to the degree where I didn't even want to look at myself in the mirror while wearing a sleeveless top. Even in 40 degrees heat, yes Wuhan summers do get hot, I would insist on a cardigan or shawl of some sort, much to the utter astonishment of my friends. "It's freaking hot, you'll sweat to death!" My friend would exclaim but I would insist. In most pictures I would hide my upper arms behind a shawl, long sleeves or I'd keep my arms behind my back. If I wasn't happy with the photo I would threaten my friends with the death penalty if they even as much as thought about putting the picture online.

So while I was shit-scared to have the surgery, it's a decision I don't regret at all. I'm still not a fan of breast implants or double-eyelid surgery, which is really famous here in China, though I can understand it, but I stand by my decision and defend my choice to go under the knife to change something about me which I failed to change through hard work in the gym. I did have to endure some pain and I'm still enduring it, but it was worth it.

My lead surgeon, Dr Z, and his assistant surgeon, Dr C, were absolutely fantastic, the whole hospital was. From the beginning Dr Z said he would take care of me and he did, a real friend will always stay true to their promise. Dr C had to do all the dirty work e.g. stitching, dressing changes, removing the stitches since Dr Z claimed that he was too busy to take care of that. As the director of the department he's indeed a busy man, but I think he just doesn't like seeing me in pain so he pawned me off to somebody else. I do forgive him though since he spent eight hours cutting huge flaps of skin off me, which isn't exactly a walk in the park, even if it's his job. I had the joy of seeing a picture of the amount of skin they cut off, but I'll spare you that.

On the morning of the second surgery, all smiles (though I'm not entirely sure why), and ready to make a second trip to the operating theatre.

It took me decidedly longer to recover from the second surgery due to an unforeseen little incident which might or might not be related to the pain medication I got post-surgery, the doctors aren't sure, though it scared them good.

Yes, I do have a knack for scaring the doctors and nurses around me, here in China. This incident started pretty inconspicuous with me feeling groggy, tired and most definitely not in the mood to get out of bed one day after my second surgery. At all started with me lying in bed, because that's what you do when you're stuck in hospital with both your arms out of action, when my right arm suddenly and very painfully reminded me of its existence. The Ayi in charge of looking after me, handed me by intravenous analgesia pump and I pressed a pretty yellow button for an extra shot of pain meds, which did nothing to take the edge off. Dr C checked in on me after I continued to complain of unbearable pain and she even called Dr Z to ask whether she should give me extra pain medication, he told her not to give me anything.

The pain stopped after a while but speaking became such a chore and while everything made sense in my head, what came out of my mouth was incomprehensible gibberish. The Ayi taking care of me couldn't understand a single word and when she left the room to get the doctor for the second time, I freaked, since I had no idea where she'd gone of to. With both my arms out of action and unable to sit up without help to press the call button I simply freaked. It was around that time that I realised nobody understood a single word of whatever I was saying. I tried to speak English and managed two words - HELP ME - which I yelled repeatedly and loudly until the head nurse and a Dr X came running into the room, panic written all over their faces. 

I repeatedly tried and royally failed to explain my discomfort and Dr C, Dr Z and an anaesthesiologist were called for help to determine whether the drugs in the intravenous analgesia pump were screwing with my brain. Another Dr Z and Dr H, good friends of mine, came to visit and they too were clueless about my strange behaviour and incomprehensible babble. My fabulous medical team eventually managed to rule out any serious problems and Dr Z explained to me that I wasn't about to kick the bucket, so could I please relax. I still don't know what actually happened, but the pain medication wasn't the cause for my inability to coherently express myself.


"Oh my God, you really drive me crazy!" Dr Z snapped, displeased with my ridiculous behaviour while doing his rounds.
"I'm scared, I'm scared of getting the stitches out, I'm scared it hurts." I whimpered, attempting to get out of bed, which proved to be rather difficult, since there were about six doctors standing around it.
"It doesn't hurt, okay? Not much, I promise." Dr Z sighed, his voice somewhat more gentle, but still clearly displeased with my escapades.
"I'm scared, I've never had stitches before so I've never had to have them removed."
"Fine! Fine! We'll remove them in the operating theatre, we'll put you under and remove them," Dr Z glared, "You can spend another 3000 Yuan on that for each arm! Do you have that kind of money! Really? Okay, no problem, we'll do it your way!" Dr Z didn't just look furious, he actually was furious with me for the first time ever. "Just so you know general anaesthesia can kill, nobody ever died from having their stitches removed!" Dr Z said angrily, the rest of his medical team standing around him in silence, not wanting for him to possibly direct his anger towards one of them.
"I'm sorry," I mumbled, handing my head in shame.
"Hmm," Dr Z grumbled, stalking out of the room.
"I'll come back later to change the dressing and remove your stitches." Dr C said quietly, patting my left forearm gently, before following Dr Z and his medical team.


You see, Dr Z is an excellent doctor, a marvellous surgeon and a very good and patient friend. Over the course of our friendship he's listened to a lot of crap from me so usually he is calm, collected and funny. I've rarely seen him angry. Sure, I previously managed to piss him off a little (his words) but never did I manage to actually make him angry, not even when I acted all crazy before my first surgery. He's really understanding but even he has his limits and there was no way in hell he was going to agree to me having any kind of anaesthesia for a simple procedure such as the removal of some stitches.

I brooded a little bit after he bit my head off like that, then realised that I'd been utterly childish and profusely apologised to him for being an idiot. At that point he'd already forgotten all about it, although I'm pretty sure that he's going to hold this over my head for his own amusement and my embarrassment. Oh the joys of our friendship!

My left arm, all bandaged up in metres of dressing and layer after layer of cotton cushions and gauze. It actually looked quite scary.

My favourite food, courtesy of a friend who works at the hospital. It is truly astonishing how quickly you learn to use a spoon and chopsticks with your right hand when your left hand has been put out of action by a surgeon and his scalpel. I gotta tell you though, since I'm naturally left-handed it feels pretty weird (and a little wrong) to use chopsticks with my right hand.

Dressing change complete, my arms will have to remain wrapped in these elastic dressings for the next three months or so, but even with the elastic dressing the change is obvious: no more saggy skin!!!

The cute and handsome Dr X and me. I sort of forced him to take a photo with me, pretending to be jealous when he posed for a photo with another girl, for work-related reasons. My sajiaoing skills melted his heart and he agreed that we should take a photo together.

Two very cute bears and beautiful pink carnations

Those white lilies smelled so, so, so good! 

I didn't get flowers for ages, then decided to have surgery and in the space of three days I received three beautiful bouquets of flowers.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A Golden Week Vacation

There's nothing quite as perfect as waking up without the annoying nuisance that is an alarm clock only to realise that it's your day off and you can either grab your earphones and chill in bed with music, roll around and get another forty winks, or get up and make yourself a big cup of coffee.

If you know me even just a little bit, then my choice is obvious:

Starting a day with a steaming hot cup of black coffee is the very epitome of perfection in my world. I totally blame this on my dad, though I'm pretty sure he has no objections to taking the blame. Knowing him, all he'd say is: "I sure raised that kid right."

Although I'm not working today, my Mid-Autumn Festival/National Day holiday is well and truly over. I got to enjoy a marvellous 7-day-holiday from the 28th of September all through to the 3rd of October. On Sunday it was back to work for me but as luck would have it the electricity went out at about half three that day and stayed out for more than an hour. I was already imagining the joys of climbing down 35 floors when the electricity came back and on top of that we got the good news that all classes for the evening had been cancelled. It doesn't happened often that I get to finish work at 5pm on a Sunday so I firmly grabbed that opportunity and raced out of the building straight to my gym down the road to work up a sweat.

I did initially have some plans to go travelling with some friends during the National Day holiday but then again half of China travels during the "Golden Week" so I changed my mind and decided to stay home. Wise decision, the crowds in Jiuzhai Valley National Park, Guangdong or anywhere else for that matter, would have ruined any attempt at a peaceful holiday and I would have come back feeling tired, not in the least relaxed and probably also cranky. Not a good cocktail when you're a teacher, surrounded by naughty students who never really bother to do their homework and speak Chinese all the time. Taking the subway here in Wuhan these last few days were dreadful, the "queuing" crowds (China doesn't really queue) were enough of an indication of the nightmare that would have awaited me had I hoped on a train to somewhere cool.

Despite all, I did have a nice time off. I got to cook plenty of healthy food for myself, sleep in (though that was mostly due to my insomnia at night) and most importantly indulge in my morning coffee, I spend quite a lot of time in the gym, working out, exercising, keeping fit.

Dancing to my heart's content.

Gangsta Style
Pick any Chinese festival, Dragonboat Festival, Labour Day, Mid-Autumn Festival, etc. and you'll always find the gym deserted. Everyone just goes home, or on a mini-holiday, and spends all their time with family and friends, eating and whatnot. I was having a lot more fun in the gym since I had the entire place for myself. Occasionally the one or other lady stopped by to run on the treadmill for a while but apart from that I could follow my exercise regimen without having to wait for some gal to finish checking her WeChat Moments while pretending to exercise her thigh muscles. 

Honestly, those chicks drive me up the wall. They don't even attempt to break a sweat, they just slightly exercise but spend forever checking their phone and chatting to friends online. Most of the time I'm seriously struggling to fight the urge to grab their phones and flush them down the drain. When I finish exercising my clothes are actually soaked with sweat, those ladies however look like they only just started exercising, they don't even need to shower when they finish. It takes insane levels of willpower to control my impulses when I see those ladies 'exercising'. Sometimes I dream of what it would be like if I was their personal trainer, I would so turn into their waking nightmare.

Apart from exercising I also managed to pick up on my studies for my Diploma in Educational Psychology and if I stick with it I might just manage to finish the course before the end of the year. I only have a couple more modules to complete and two assessments to pass. It shouldn't be a problem to finish this before the end of this month even, but I'm extremely good at procrastinating. It took me three days to finally sit down and write this blog post (I deserve a medal actually, three days is a record low). I did start on it on Friday and then again on Saturday, found myself stuck for the right words and just abandoned the post without even trying. On Sunday I made plans to write, finish and post but after about three hours in the gym and an hour of housework I really just wanted to indulge in one or two (maybe even three) episodes of some TV drama or other. 

On another note altogether, I finally took the time to visit my friend's Hotpot Restaurant and wantonly indulged without inhibitions. It doesn't happen every day that the boss of a restaurant invites you to join him for a dinner date at his restaurant, 一味一鲜小火锅. 

Yes I totally am bragging, but so would you if you got to eat mouth-watering food in the company of tall, dark and handsome. *wink* You make of that statement what you want.

Tomato-flavoured Hotpot, mouth-watering beyond words.

I've become quite good at taking Chinese-style selfies.

The foodie is happy.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A Butterfly Flitting Between Ideas

Well one thing is certain, a good blogger I am not. It's been almost four months since my last post and in the blogging world that ought to be enough to fall into the 'retired' if not 'deceased' category.

Life here in the Middle Kingdom has been anything but boring, loads of things have happened, I just chose not to write about them. Partly because an epic bout of writer's block hit me right out of nowhere and partly because the summer months are busy at work and after a long day of exercising at the gym and teaching five classes all I want is a cooling shower, my air-conditioning and my iPad to watch some TV Series or other.

These last few weeks I had plenty of ideas for blog posts, I usually got those some time in the middle of the night, but I never realised any of them. Until tonight that is... I went on a lovely date, had a fantastic conversation with a pretty interesting (and handsome) guy and most importantly the fish we ate was so darn delicious that I didn't even remember to take a photo before we digged in and let me tell you that's got to mean something.

Here in China all my friends know that the perfect way to keep me happy is to take me out for fish. I've pretty much given up on all other types of meat, though since I'm allergic to beef and lamb, my choices when it comes to meat are fairly limited. There's just something about fish that insanely excites me, probably more than it should. Cooking fish is an art and the Chinese have mastered it. Fish has become by cure of anything. Feel sick? Sad? Tired? Hungry? Angry? Recovering from a hospital stint? A good time with friends? Auspicious dinner? Celebration? Don't know what to eat? Somehow fish is always the answer and regrets are scare since fish is healthy and pretty much fat-free. There are a million ways of preparing fish in China and I haven't had nearly enough time to eat my way through all the different ways of preparing fish, another good reason to continue my stay in China.

I feel somewhat bad for not making more of an effort to share more things on my blog, I keep telling myself that I really need to change things, but my procrastination skills are amazingly strong. Actually it's not so much procrastination that keeps me from blogging, it's mostly time. Since I usually work from 1pm to 9pm I have the morning free to do things around the house (food shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.) though I have to admit most mornings are spend in the gym having classes with my personal training, doing boxercise, aerobics and working out on my own.

Do you dare?

Exercising has become such a big part of my life that I'm struggling to adjust to the forced break I'm currently on. Somehow I managed to really pull or twist or sprain (or all of the above) my lower back which landed me in the hospital for two days. The doctor is still in the dark exactly what I managed to do to cause myself so much pain but I can tell you, it wasn't fun at all, it was everything but. The last time I injured my back was more than five years ago and the reason for that was too much office work, too little exercise and too much weight. I've since changed all three back pain causing factors but I still managed to injure myself. It seems that I mightn't have stretched very well before/after my exercise hence the injury, but I can tell you one thing, the experience isn't one I'm looking forward to making again any time soon. Needless to say the nurses and doctors in the hospital treated me really well and helped me to get back on my feet as quickly as possible. I've since pretty much recovered and a few more days of rest will suffice before I can get back to what I love the most: working out till the sweat pours!

I'm not liking being on the bench, it doesn't suit.

I'm struggling to recall all the things I got up to in the last nearly four months of not bloggling. There was obviously my birthday in June which I should have really written about because it was just perfect. My friend and favourite doctor in the whole wide world, made sure it was darn special. There was amazing food, great company, laughter, music, jokes, the most delicious chocolate birthday cake, flowers... All I had to do was to show up with a few friends and when you're lucky enough to have a friend who really cares about you then he'll make sure that your special day is perfect.

Other than that most of my time has really just been spend working. The summer months are busy since I work for a training school and am not awarded the luxury of having a two month break. Somehow the heat makes it all seem extra-busy but even that time passes and now it's time for a more relaxed two months with the extra September holiday to commemorate the end of the WWII coming up and then there is of course the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Holiday. I definitely need to find the time for a vacation, there's no way I can stay at home all this time. I need to leave Wuhan for a bit, change of scenery, see/experience something new. It's probably going to be a solo-trip since I can't find anyone to join me.

There's one more thing I've taken up that I haven't yet had the chance to mention to everyone, I've dug out the inner child and in me and started colouring. Lately everyone seems to be obsessed with a colouring book named "Secret Garden" by Johanna Basford and after initial resistance I finally gave in and got my very own copy (the Chinese version) and some colouring pens and so far I've been enjoying the challenge. I've never been very good at this whole 'artsy' thing but I thought colouring can't be so difficult after all, so here's one of my first masterpieces: