Even when I was little, before I could swim, I was never afraid to be in the sea. We'd walk out into the waves. The Atlantic on the west coast of Ireland churns and gurgles, a milkshake of foam and seaweed. And we'd walk out into those waves.

We'd plant ourselves standing there and let the sea beat us. We'd laugh when it knocked us over and let it drag us to the shore and then we'd walk out into it again. You only needed to stand to feel it all move around you, the great pull of it, sand moving through toes, seaweed around legs, salt on lips.

Lately, I've felt like I'm walking out into the waves again. I'm being shoved by forces I can't quite fathom. I keep saying yes and planting myself for it again. There seems little point in running for the safety of land. I'd only be looking back out at the sea, moon-eyed and wishing to roll with waves again.

It's important for me to remember this when I find myself wishing for simple calm. When I find myself wishing for straightforward people and plans. Dream as I might for constancy, I'm mutable as the green and the blue. I walk out into the waves.

Happy weekend, friends.

Steven Nederveen

We're soaring up again into the high 30's (celsius, that is). Cue the cold showers, all-night A/C and dreams of the Atlantic. These artworks by Steven Nederveen are on my mind, from Bau-Xi.

A poem for Wednesday

Four days of beauty and indulgence, walking everywhere instead of riding the bus or subway, eating in parks and stopping to smell all the roses. You think I'd be sated from it all. But I lay in bed last night thinking I could handle more and dreaming about what else I could do and where I could go.

And then I thought how soon it will be August and I'll be near the sea again and I got up to read this. I wondered, in my half-dream state, if I love my material world too much to give it all up live beneath in the sea. And I didn't know the answer. There's a lot to be said for both really. This is by Mary Oliver.

The Sea
Stroke by
   stroke my
      body remembers that life and cries for
         the lost parts of itself—
fin gills
   opening like flowers into
      the flesh—my legs
         want to lock and become
one muscle, I swear I know
   just what the blue-gray scales
         the rest of me would
feel like!
   paradise! Sprawled
      in that motherlap,
         in that dreamhouse
of salt and exercise,
   what a spillage
      of nostalgia pleads
         from the very bones! how
they long to give up the long trek
   inland, the brittle
      beauty of understanding
         and dive,
and simply
   become again a flaming body
      of blond feeling
         sleeking along
in the luminous roughage of the sea's body
      like victory inside that
         insucking genesis, that
roaring flamboyance, that
      beginning and
         conclusion of our own.

Sage & sepia

Some images that have been capturing my imagination lately... I'm really drawn to these subdued sage greens and sepia-washed images. But I love the decadence of these images too.

There's a little story about the ring... I commissioned it from the amazing Kate Szabone as a birthday present for myself. I had been collecting images of vintage rings for the longest time and found that Kate had some in her store that were very close to what I was looking for. A few minor tweaks, stone and metal of my choice and I got everything I wanted! Kate was absolutely amazing to work with.

Image credits:
1. Houghton collection, photographed by Anne Moller
2. Ring (my own) - custom order from Kate Szabone
3. Chewy chocolate meringues from Food52, photographed by James Ransom
4. Peony BP 2313 wallpaper from Farrow & Ball
5. Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Bologna, Italy by David Leventi from Bau-Xi
6. Houghton collection, photographed by Anne Moller


The best gifts contain both something of the giver and of the recipient. On Saturday, Laura gifted me the rose thorn necklace from Montreal jeweler Harakiri. I was instantly smitten... it's one of those objects I may not have picked out for myself but I'm so glad somebody picked out for me.

Of course, I love roses... it's rare I go to the flower market and don't come home with roses of some kind. And I wear Rose Noir perfume. But while there are many things in my life that I readily identify as "my" symbols, I don't always think of roses in that way. But it made me happy to think I'm associated with roses in the mind of another!

I've worn my necklace every day since I got it. It's everything perfect. Thank you Laura!

Sunday best: Pulp

Yesterday, I hit the beauty counters at Holts pretty hard - Chanel, YSL and Byredo. Damage was done! I wear Rose Noir (signature scent-style), but there are so many fragrances from Byredo's range that I'm drawn to in different ways. Pulp is one I'd never wear, but when I smell it, it's like a tropical juice explosion in my mouth.

So, when today's Sunday best started looking so fruity, I thought for certain a little bit of Pulp, in body lotion form, should be permitted.

My weekend has had such a lovely cast over it, not least because I have tomorrow and Tuesday off work too. It takes all the pressure off today for the usual chores and, since I did more than enough spending yesterday, it'll just be me and my book for most of today, which is just the kind of Sunday I like.

And after a shocking heatwave last week, the temperature has come right down and it's even a bit overcast as I write. All of this has me in a gentler and unhurried mood, without the stupefaction that comes with heavier heat. There's something about a heatwave that narrows your vision right down to the day you're in. With the heat lifted, everything seems immediately more open concept and I'll enjoy feeling my way around that expanded space today.

Happy Sunday!

Products: Rag & bone slub-jersey T-shirt from Net-a-Porter | Citizens of Humanity Thompson jeans from Net-a-Porter | Pulp Body Cream from Byredo | Arceau watch from Hermes | Knotted Sandal from Toast | Baggu Leather Bag


Yay Friday! It's a well-earned four-day weekend for me and I don't even fully realize it yet. I've been so stuck in the day-to-day humps that I've lost my sense of larger context all week.

But I want to thank you for all your comments on my transformation post. It means a lot when people comment and e-mail in response to these more reflective and personal posts.

Yesterday, I read this article about singles' cultural invisibility and it seemed connected to what I wrote and some other conversations I've been having. It's hard not to fantasize about transformation or emergence when you sometimes feel invisible to your culture, when sometimes even those closest to you perceive you as a singleton waiting to become whatever it is we become when we hitch our wagon to another.

But, lighter thoughts: I have fun plans for the weekend and there are some exciting projects I'm working on. I've been doing good writing and reading, which always colours the days for me. And even this heatwave we've been having has been tiring me in delicious, deep-sleeping ways.

What are you up to? I hope it's lovely.

A poem for Thursday

From our desks at work, we look onto a bank of trees across the Don Mills road. And they're still, these days, in the heavy heat. But there's one tree that always shimmers and ripples like a mirage.
This is by Robert Hass. I always love when poets and writers admit the indescribability of their world—the compulsion to give utterance, the failure to give utterance.

The Problem of Describing Trees
The aspen glitters in the wind
And that delights us.

The leaf flutters, turning,
Because that motion in the heat of August
Protects its cells from drying out. Likewise the leaf
Of the cottonwood.

The gene pool threw up a wobbly stem
And the tree danced. No.
The tree capitalized.
No. There are limits to saying,
In language, what the tree did.

It is good sometimes for poetry to disenchant us.

Dance with me, dancer. Oh, I will.

Mountains, sky,
The aspen doing something in the wind.

Mud & sparkle

I saw these shoes over on Loeffler Randall and feel for the combination of mud and sparkle. I love things a little rugged, evidently handmade. But I also love clean lines and sweet sparkle. I adore how the two get played out in this combination.

Ring | Blouse | Cushion | Sconce | Vase | Shoes | Pouch | Nail Polish


Ever since I wrote this post, I've been thinking about vanitas. I don't usually have a taste for the macabre... I definitely couldn't live with this kind of imagery. But as a movement, I find it intriguing.

And one of my favourite places to visit in Dublin is the Natural History Museum, or the Dead Zoo as we used call it. And it's definitely macabre... you can tell the Victorians were really quite nuts. But there's something compelling about those places. I never quite got it.

And then last week when my peonies were wilting and fading, I found myself thinking about beauty and decay. And I suddenly saw all those curiosities with a wonder that had always escaped me. And, no, I don't think I'll be filling my apartment with taxidermy and skulls. But there's something nice when you find yourself drawn to something you thought you'd surely never fully get.

Products / artwork credits:
1. Vanitas 002 (2005) by Crystal Dent
2. Peonies | Thistle fabric | Nail polish | French Sea Fans | Cache pot | Mirror | Graphite Quill
3. Photography by Erwin Olaf for client: BS, via
4. Leggings | Sofa | French Sea Fans | Lover's Eye | Candle | Peonies


For many months, I've been thinking about transformation. About the emphasis we put on it in story-telling, in ideas of love and of self and reinvention.

I've always carried ideas of myself emerging in a wholly different (and, needless to say, better) manifestation. There's a before and after Jane in my head. And the real Jane, the Jane I am, is reproached by the idea of this other, better person. She's a Jane who isn't socially awkward, who is beautiful, but also good and popular and doesn't struggle with the bends in her brain the way I do.

I started letting all that go in the last few years. Maybe it's just maturity. But I've worked at it too... Understanding how polarizing these ideas are. Finding a middle ground. Being honest about what I really want to change and making sure those goals were real and true. But also acceptance... letting myself acknowledge that there are some things I don't really want to change (otherwise, why wouldn't I be doing it) And what I mostly needed to do was let go of this strange "shoulding" - that I ought to be transformed.

One of the areas that always seemed transformative to me was love. I never imagined my same life if I fell in love; it seemed to necessitate that I was closer to the "after" version I had in my head. Love became part of the emergence fantasy. But it scared me too... the idea of my identity being so connected to another, so changed by another. I was unsure how much I really wanted to be changed by love, by another person or for another person. I wanted to be more steadfast than that. Ideas of love as transformative conflicted with who I really am in myself.

The idea of transformation in love is integral to our story-telling structure. The Alfie is reformed, the Funny Face becomes beautiful. Love stories often work through a lesson learned... to earn love you overcome some foible or flaw, whether it's superficial or psychological. You become a better person and then you're ready for and deserving of love. Or you fall in love and become that better version of yourself, through love.

It all seems like bullshit. But I struggle to think of love stories where the person is single and alone just because that's the way it is; where it's not a symptom of something he or she needs to change and where finding love is beautiful, but not transformative.

Even movies like Beginners (which I loved) have this idea of transformation built into them. Christopher Plummer's character literally comes out. His son's transformation is less ostensive. But he learns to give up certain ideas of what relationships must be and his notions of love undergo a paradigm shift.

And it seems, in a way, the opposite of stories of friendship. Friends don't transform us, they accept us. In stories, we're never undeserving or wholly incapable of friendship, it's never something we need to soul-search and reinvent ourselves to earn. So, why does romantic love so often involve or necessitate transformation? And is this just because it makes a better story?

Perhaps love stories about two people finding each other and not altering in fundamental ways, just gently moulding to make each other fit, simply don't make good enough stories. Maybe we all crave transformation, to be made wholly different, and so a love story as a vehicle for that transformation becomes a potent mix.

I like the idea that all kinds of relationships help us grow and change over time, that we learn from each other. But I'm suspicious of the message that love entails or results in transformation. I don't want to be wholly changed - I'm not sure I believe I can be either.

More generally, I'm disturbed by how few stories are ones of being rather than becoming. And by how much that's articulated in women's magazines and blogs is this idea of transformation, becoming better, looking more beautiful and so forth. (Again, I'm not saying that working to change the things you want to change is bad. I think we all juggle our own balance of self-acceptance with wanting change.) But I keep thinking of that Bluets quote... wondering how much we ever really transform ourselves.

And when you've worked hard at letting go of those ideas of transformation, of there being some "after" version of yourself waiting to emerge, what do your love stories look like? Can we tell a good story without change?

As much as we constantly talk about change, reinvention, turning over a new leaf, growing and learning, I'm also sure there's a lot of staying the same. And I think we all need to learn and grow, (I'm not advocating static apathy or complacency!) But, I'm not sure we can or need to transform ourselves... and I'm not sure transformation is what stands between us and love, or happiness of any kind.

And that makes me wonder about the stories we tell and the truth of them and how all of this is supposed to make us feel.

Sunday best: Simple Sunday

Sleep was fitful last night but I felt myself gradually fall into it and under the covers as my room cooled down early this morning. And now the breeze is noticeably cooler after one of those syrupy hot days yesterday. So, sleep-deprived as I am, I'm happy to be up and excited to get out into it

I've been reading Paul Bowles' book The Sheltering Sky. I haven't read any of his work (nor seen the Bertolucci film). It's pretty rare I can come at a book with no ideas or expectations whatsoever about how I'm going to like it, and it's a nice feeling.

And most of my chores got done yesterday, so I can give today almost wholly over to nicer things. That will hopefully clear my mind of all that kept me from sleep last night, little thoughts that have been troubling me... people I've been trying to figure and fathom in vain. Simple things - a long walk, a stop at the flower market - should cure what ails me.

Happy Sunday!

Products: Goldsign Frontier jeans from Net-a-Porter | Tsumori Chisato Linen Gauze Knit from La Garconne | Cathy Waterman Rustic Scalloped Diamond Earrings from Twist | The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles | Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Happy Days from NARS | Sel Marin by James Heeley | The bungalow stripe sidewalk skimmer from Madewell


My summer soundtrack is turning out to be Great Lake Swimmers new album. I find myself singing it when I'm walking. I sang about driving across the the Luminous Veil as I walked across it this week. I find myself in the ravine humming the same little chorus, sometimes singing it out loud.

I never thought I could love Toronto the way I love Dublin. I thought I would always love it in different ways... in the ways I have loved it the last 8 years, in the ways I notice loving it a little more each time I return to it. But lately, it's more like the way I wrote about loving being on Howth. It's completely sudden and surprising to me.

And there's more. The way I'm feeling about the city is changing everything. It's changing the way I feel about myself in the city. About how I feel in my own skin too. It's all very difficult to articulate... a deep and comfortable sense feeling of belonging. And it's only now that I've happened onto it that I realize how hard it has been without that sense... how necessary it is for me, how it's the place where everything starts.

Chelsea blogged this little photo essay, Undone and I was instantly smitten. Often, I feel completely saturated by beautiful styled images (there's so much talent), but occasionally something breaks through and inspires me the way I remember being inspired, simply and with a desire to look and look again, to keep and reference.

I also loved so much of this Matisse post on Miss Moss. Matisse is rarely on my top list of artists, but he is one who I think changed the way I look, how I see what I see. This post reinforced that.

My weekend should be fun—I've got plans to be out and about, plans to work, plans to wander, plans involving flower shops and others involving coffee cups. Oh and happy Bloomsday tomorrow!

What are you up to? Have a good one!

Fading pink, steady green

My peonies have all faded to the softest peach and nude, petals strewn on the table and I leave them there, not ready to sweep them away. When you live with fresh flowers you're always aware of fading. It's deliciously sad to watch. There's a moment when the decay is utterly gorgeous and then it's gone.

And it's all over the city too. That deep and unshiftable summer has yet to hit. It still feels unreal; flimsy and delicate. And I find myself mistrusting the fleetingness of each beautiful day, waking up and a new flower in bloom and another one fading.

They all fade to pink and peach and eventually brown. And beneath it all - green, holding it all together. The steady one.

Shirts - Equipment | Bike - Beg Bicycles | Skimmers - Madewell | Interior - Lonny

Battledore & shuttlecock

One of my summer to-dos is to picnic and play badminton in the park. I haven't played badminton in years, but used to love it in school.

Really, though, I hate sports and my idea of fun is keeping rallies going for ages—sending the shuttlecock into high, perfect arcs until it sails down and thunks against another racket and starts its trajectory again. And me shouting "Battledore and shuttlecock!" just because it might be one of the most fun things to say...

Products: Racquets | Necklace | Sunglasses | Shuttlecocks | Skirt | Tee | Berry bowl | Tennis shoes
Painting: The Badminton Game (1972-1973) by David Inshaw, via

Weekend flowers

On Friday night, I made what has to be my all-time favourite flower arrangement. I love arranging flowers, but like most things I do, I feel like I have no real talent for it. When things work out, it seems more aleatory than by design. So, these ones made me very, very happy. Still, it's hard to go wrong with mock orange, peonies and roses...

Sunday best: Leisurely stroll

My weekend has been purposeful in a good way. On Friday, I made for the flower markets and bought up peonies, roses and mock orange... what a heady mix! And yesterday, I cleaned and ran errands, did laundry and fixed things that needed fixing.

The weather says today will be sunny, so I'm going to take a long and leisurely stroll in the ravine. I'll slather myself with sunblock (I don't like to get any sun these days) and I'll take my camera and my book too. And I'll find somewhere to stop for a coffee and a read.

I've been off balance lately... too busy to make good decisions about diet and exercise and in a funk because of it. Making time for workouts and forcing myself back into those happier routines has been a focus this weekend and, happily, I followed through.

It's always hard for me to carve out time for workouts when work gets nuts... it's easier to say "make it a priority", than actually do it. But that's exactly what I need to do since work isn't likely to quieten soon.

Tonight's reward is some good company, sorbet and HBO. Simple pleasures.

Happy Sunday!

Products: Small Bayswater Satchel from Mulberry | Sleeveless Henley top from Net-a-Porter | MiH Jeans Paris jeans from Net-a-Porter | Fern Bracelet from Conroy & Wilcox | No Sun by Institut Esthederm | La Laque in Rose Gold from YSL | Malta sandals from J.Crew


The weather set a strange tone all week. Rain and thunderstorms, sudden bursts of sunlight.

I'm falling back into that well-worn furrow: work-homework-work. Moving through the city without energy or engagement. So, it's been a hard week and there's always a certain momentum to these ways, one that I struggle with. But I hope to reset myself this weekend, wander away from the familiar routes and just be in the world more.

Tonight after work I'm going to buy myself a big bunch of flowers (I thought I had peony fatigue from Instagram, but then I swooned over these). And hopefully the rain will hold off long enough for a nice long stroll on Saturday morning (if I could wear Stephanie's imaginary outfit, I'd be a happy duck).

I'm between books right now and that's probably hurting me too... I literally bookend most days with an hour or more of reading. When I don't have that time, when there isn't a cast of characters or ideas seizing my attention, I feel rudderless and even a little lonely in my world.

What are you up to this weekend? Hope it's a lovely one!

A poem for Thursday

Some days my mind wanders to Delgany and to Blackberry Lane. One of my favourite people lived on that lane and this time of year especially, I think of her garden. It was full of rose beds and my sister once got a thorn in her knee playing tag and jumping over them and even that drop of blood seemed beautiful, basked as it was in light and rose perfume.

You know those people whose homes you go to as a child and you discover new ways to play there and they always seem to have those foods your Mum won't buy? That was what Blackberry Lane led to. And it was appropriately named too - we used to pick berries there and Mum would make jam, those blue rings staining our countertop where the jam was poured into jars. It became my favourite kind of jam, wrapped up in all this heady beauty..

This poem is by Sylvia Plath and though it's not my lane, it reminds me of it. Via.

Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes
Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.

Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks --
Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky.
Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting.
I do not think the sea will appear at all.
The high, green meadows are glowing, as if lit from within.
I come to one bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies,
Hanging their bluegreen bellies and their wing panes in a Chinese screen.
The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them; they believe in heaven.
One more hook, and the berries and bushes end.

The only thing to come now is the sea.
From between two hills a sudden wind funnels at me,
Slapping its phantom laundry in my face.
These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt.
I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me
To the hills' northern face, and the face is orange rock
That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space
Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths
Beating and beating at an intractable metal.

Inspiring women: Maria Sibyalla Merian

I've talked about Mary Delany and Rachel Ruysch here before. But I really ought to have blogged about Maria Sibyalla Merian (1647-1717) by now. Last night, I pulled down my copy of Amazing Rare Things from my bookshelf. It's one of my favourite books and it's an illustration by Merian that adorns the cover.

Merian wasn't just an artist, but a naturalist with a pioneering spirit. Specimen samples weren't enough to sate her appetite and at the age of fifty-two, in 1699, she went on expedition to Surinam to study its insect inhabitants, the results of which were published in her 1705 book Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium.

The colony was relatively new and Merian, accompanied by her daughter, went without patronage. Conditions were harsh and the heat unbearable. But her enthusiasm is infectious. I love this passage, quoted in Amazing Rare Things:

"One day I wandered far out into the wilderness... I took this caterpillar home with me and it rapidly changed into a pale wood-coloured chrysalis, like the one lying here on the twig; two weeks later, towards the end of January 1700, this most beautiful butterfly emerged, looking like polished silver overlaid with the loveliest ultramarine, green and purple, and indescribably beautiful; it's beauty cannot possibly be rendered with the paint-brush."

I feel like this wonder is conveyed through her plates... but there's also vanitas, a darkness, emptiness and decay in her plates, perhaps influenced by cabinets of curiosities or her contemporary paintings. She arranged caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly on the same tableau, placing them on the plants that she considered to be their food. But her awe is palpable and, even in the darkness, there is wonder.

Maria Sibylla Merian: Insects of Surinam - Katharina Schmidt-Loske
Amazing Rare Things - David Attenborough
Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis - Kim Todd
Insects and Flowers: The Art of Maria Sibylla Merian - David Brafman and Stephanie Schrader

1. Portrait of Merian by de Bâle, via | 2. Passion flower plant and flat-legged bug, (c. 1701-5) - Maria Sibylla Merian, via | 3. Taschen

Pink by the sea

Apart from my favourite watery hues - murky greys and blues, shades of green - I have a softspot for pink. So I love these three images because they bring together my favourite watery things with a touch of blush. The wallpaper is by Min Hogg. I've been in love with her papers since I first saw them and they're part of my dream home fantasies. Pink seaweed? Sign me up!

1. A Place of Silence, Gowla Bog by Rosemary Carr - from The Kenny Gallery
2. Sea Climber Plain wallpaper by Min Hogg Design
3. Jackson shirt by Katherine Hooker

All the pretty purses

I left a purse out of yesterday's Sunday best, so here's some over-abundant compensation. I'm on a purse bender, yet to manifest in a purchase but resulting in much bookmarking and ogling.

Products: Anve | ela | The Swedish Model (via Simple Blueprint) | Clare Vivier | Les Composantes (via Haute Design) | Reed Krakoff | Mulberry

Sunday best: Dreamlike

The first weekend of June has broken the summer spell a little. Time has been spent under blankets, in favourite sweaters with mugs and movies.

And yet I'm swept up in the imagery of summer. In ideas of flowing skirts and sandals. Of this lovely look from Morrison—so pretty and casual.

And the turn in weather hasn't broken the spell, but made it more dreamlike. I've retreated into myself and thought about wishes and goals. I thought about making some lists, but didn't quite muster that degree of discipline, preferring to linger in fantasy and a foggy sleep-like place.

I have a feeling right now. It's a good one. It makes me want to sort my sock drawer and vacuum hidden crannies. It makes me want to say things sometimes unsaid. And do things undone. And perhaps even believe things unbelieved.

Products: Illesteva Leonard Round-Frame Acetate Sunglasses from Mr Porter | Kain washed-silk tank from Net-a-Porter | Summer collection from Morrison | Elie Tahari Frida Skirt from Shopbop | Rose noir by Byredo | Holepunch flat sandal from Madewell


The first day of my birthday month! But I'm typing this on the last day of what might be my new favourite month in Toronto. I feel something new is happening between me and this city... a new level of feeling at home here.

When I lived in Dublin, there was occasionally a sense of discovery. I lived there a long time before I discovered the Iveagh Gardens, the Chester Beatty. Some things are ignored because they're right under your nose. Some things are forgotten because all the paths are familiar.

When you move to a new city, you hunt. You hunt for spots to become your new favourites. You dissect the city in a way a person born here is unlikely to do. You don't want to be caught unknowing. You amass. You press your nose against every window, thinking this place might be my new home. Or this. Or this.

And then after a long while (in my case, years) you finally stop hunting. You have your places, you have your home. And it's then that you can again be surprised by discoveries. And though you may think there can't possibly be any, that you've turned over every rock, the city has held something back from you, something that you only get when you stop searching and just look in a different way, without hungry eyes.

Tonight, the moon is in front of my window and I feel that this month, this age I'll turn in June, is a big one. I wanted everything to be perfect now, so that none of it could hurt me. But, of course, that was just one of my silly fantasies. Instead, I feel a strange letting go. In the same way I've loosened by grasp on the city, I've loosened my grasp on myself.

And so I feel, suddenly, like there might be all kinds of happy discoveries around the corner.