Blogging and lockdown

Blogging for me (and maybe for you too) has been a saving grace for the last year and especially during lockdowns. Much social media has been awash with political indignation, pandemic worries and personal tragedies, but having an outlet focused on books has been one positive thing to look forward to and think about, largely because it is so concerned with creativity.

Having a book blogging community has therefore been a real boon, else it would have been calling into a void with only one’s own echoes coming back. I’m so grateful, thank you all, and I hope I have been able to perform a similar service back to all of you.

But I also know that fatigue can hit, as some of you have been posting, all while we individually try to cope with sustained levels of anxiety and stress caused by outside factors. And some of you have indicated that you’ve needed to take a break from a demanding schedule of writing and posting. I think I may be approaching that point.

The Black Mountains under snow © C A Lovegrove

For a few months now I’ve kept up a steady stream of posts every couple of days, normally alternating between reviews and discussions. Lockdown has definitely helped here, as has being retired — there being sod all else to do except watch telly, have a desultory play on the piano, make a foray to the shops, check social media, or walk from home. Or talk with my partner. Or speak with the kids… Actually that’s quite a lot, but many have to do that and raise a family, hold down a job and worry about assaults on one’s sanity.

And this last week I’ve neglected the blogging community: my partner was lucky enough to get a hip operation, but unlucky in that — there being a pandemic on, in case you hadn’t noticed — I couldn’t visit her, and I had to be ready for any news. She’s home now, thanks, and recuperating, but I fear I may be neglecting most of you for a few more days; also, I’m running out of scheduled posts to maintain the illusion of normality.

So, posts may be less forthcoming, as may interactions. And even though some news has been good (hey, a certain individual being an ex-president is good, right?) there’s still a lot that continues to depress me, anger and enervate me. I’m sure you understand.

But, books. Let positivity from reading energise us and help return us to equilibrium and good humour.

Image credit: unknown

68 thoughts on “Blogging and lockdown

    1. Thank you. 😊 Her recovery one hopes will be incremental, but I think she’ll not be considering extreme sports any time soon!

      As for time off, I’ll be making things easier for myself with reposts of early reviews and possibly shorter discussions slightly more spaced out, but ‘likes’ in bloggers’ posts are likely to be a bit sporadic for a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Your wish is my command, Sue, good books it is! And thank you, I’m sure her improvement will, as the current mot du jour has it, “ramp up”. (Don’t you just hate that phrase? I do!)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Chris I have wondered how you’ve kept up your reading and reviewing at such a high level for so long. Hope you enjoy a well earned break and maybe cook your partner some delicious meals. We will miss you. Don’t stay away too long.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We have a store of pre-prepared gourmet meals, thanks Gert, courtesy of our son’s ordering online, which she can choose from as her appetite improves and which I can bung in the oven and serve up piping hot. And I have pre-prepared reviews from years ago which I can tart up for your delectation while I get stuck into my next batch of reads… 😁

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lizza. Lockdown is a bit like disappearing into the albeit larger ‘wardrobe’ of the home, emerging into a cold and dangerous world now and again… But thankfully there are Helpful Companions to help us when we need them!

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  2. Chris, I have often wondered how you manage to post so thoughtfully and frequently and can well understand the need for a break. I hope your other half makes a speedy recovery and you enjoy a blogging break. I’ll be here when you come back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anne; I won’t have disappeared entirely, and I hope the hiatus won’t be for long, but if my partner’s progress continues apace I’ll be pleased to have helped her along. Just my blogging interactions may be somewhat haphazard!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope your partner’s recovery goes well. Blogging can feel like a treadmill sometimes and when that point comes, it’s always a good plan to take a break to refresh – we’re not going anywhere after all. Love the Narnia cartoon. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I realised the every-other-day posting was getting obsessive as well as a tad impossible to maintain, Annabel, especially this last week, and that recalibration might be necessary. I also feel bad that I’m not keeping up with the many excellent posts bloggers have lavished love and attention on—creativity should at least be acknowledged! But we can only do what we can only do.

      Yes, it’s a week since Emily had her hip op, and though there’ve been times when she’d almost wished she hadn’t had it done, she’ll get there. We take heart from friends who’ve had it done, one who’s even back to huge mileage cycling round the Black Mountains…

      I hoped true readers would appreciate the cartoon! But I wonder how big the divide is between those who identify with the child (?) in the wardrobe and those who take the stance of the parental figure?!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First off, so glad your partner is recovering – and I’m sure a break would be the best thing if exhaustion is setting in. I don’t think I could blog if I wasn’t enjoying it, and so far it has been a pleasant distraction from the nasty reality. Will look forward to reading what you feel like posting when you can!

    And that cartoon is excellent!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the reassurance, Karen, one does what one can! It’s less a question of exhaustion at the moment than anxiety following my partner’s op, and time to concentrate on extended critiques—but it’ll ease up soon I expect, new routines and all that. Glad the cartoon tickled your fancy! I think retreating to a wardrobe is comforting (unless it’s the wardrobe in the first series of Inside No. 9, if you ever saw that!).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You articulate this collective space we’re in very well, Chris. I have a similar experience. Such an odd, unfamiliar time to be alive….

    So glad you and your family are healthy and well. This is a time of ebbing and flowing. And maybe taking time for (re) discovering ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These are comforting thoughts, thanks, Laurie, knowing that others also appreciate being in a similar situation. And with everything else going on too. It’s at times like these that the most important imperative of all is ‘Be kind’.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I hope you enjoy a well deserved break and a speedy recovery to your partner – life in the wardrobe has a lot to commend it and I love the uncreative process (I’m not alone!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A spell in the wardrobe is preferable to being sent to sit on the naughty step for sure, thanks, Jane! For a little while, to swap metaphors, I shall be an also-ran in the blogging world, but hopefully normal service will soon be resumed! 🙂

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  7. JJ Lothin

    Hope you have an excellent break and that your partner is soon jumping around like a spring lamb (one of my sisters had a hip replacement in October and she says she is now!).

    And thanks for all the food for thought you’ve provided to date …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, JJ, I’m sure she’ll soon, like your sister, reap the benefits of what after all is a major trauma to the body, but it’s all she can do to manage the pain: rock climbing and heliskiing are scheduled for next week at the earliest…

      As for food for thought, you’re welcome, hope I don’t give you too much indigestion!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve had both my hips replaced, so can vouch for what a difference it makes, but also that recovery takes time. I wish your partner all the best in hers!!

    I always enjoy your thoughtful blogs, but also totally understand the time and energy they take. Have a good break!!

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    1. That’s extra reassuring to know, thanks so much Debbie, but we’re still hoping she doesn’t have to have her other hip replaced some years down the line! She’s needed to be hospitalised on so many occasions, sometimes for life saving reasons, and it’s an added mental stress each time as well as a physical ordeal, so you can imagine her distress.

      Thanks too for your very kind comments on my blog posts — I enjoy preparing them, as I’m sure most bloggers do, but they certainly use up the creative juices! I think spacing out my posts a bit more might ease things — and give me more time to enjoy other bloggers’ thoughtful contributions!

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    1. Thanks, Juhi, wishes gratefully received. And I see I promised to explore your posts many years ago but have fallen way short of that—I’ve followed you now as a reminder to do just that!

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  9. I always enjoy your posts, but I can understand the need to take a step back from blogging from time to time. Although I’m managing to read and blog as normal at the moment, I really struggled during the first lockdown – despite having more free time than ever to read, I found the whole situation so stressful I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Enjoy your break and I hope your partner’s recovery goes well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there’s comfort reading to retreat to when things are mildly stressful, but when there’s no end date it sometimes loses its efficacy, like prescription drugs over time. Perhaps easing back a bit on intense reading and blogging might help in the short term, but we’ll see how long I last!

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    1. Cheers, Bart, she’s struggling at the moment but she will start to notice the difference soon, without doubt. I’m rescheduling a few more early reviews to maintain a presence but slowing down slightly on new items.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good to know, Andy, but for her this first week feels more painful than the arthritis that preceded it; intellectually she knows it gets better but emotionally it’s a different matter! Glad yours was successful. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you too for being a friend out there in the void! I hope you and your family all remain well and safe.
    It’s a delight to read your posts whether there are many or few. Just take care of yourself. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And you too! In fact for a void it’s pretty crowded with virtual friends, isn’t it! The principal loved one improves day by day, which is good, and we’ve just been given appointments for Covid jabs so the future’s slightly brighter. 😊 And for you, one hopes, not so dark.

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  11. Take good care, Chris, and focus on your own and your partner’s well-being. Glad the hip op has gone well for her but I imagine recovery will take a while. I’ve been immersed in family issues as you know. We’re getting back on an even keel now and I hope to be back reading and blogging very soon. I’ll look forward to your return too, when you’re good and ready 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Sandra, and I’m glad to hear that things are heading in a better direction for you and your family. Slow and steady is the name of the game here and at least lockdown has meant no pressure to be more sociable than recovery allowed! I’m still trying to keep up a presence with a mix of reposts and new posts but I’m only looking in on our bloggers now and again until everything’s more settled. Not too long now, hopefully! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jo, it’s all incremental and small steps. I think I ‘follow’ close on 90 blogs (all excellent stuff but, seriously, ninety?!) and will only be occasionally dropping in on the for a week or two. At least I’m learning the art of juggling cooking, laundry, cleaning, and shopping as well as caring—thank goodness lockdown means no other distractions beckon! 🙂

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  12. I’m not surprised you feel the need to hit the pause button. You don’t need any more stress in your life – so what if you don’t blog for a few days or you don’t comment so much. You’re doing what you’ve decided is your priority – your partner’s recuperation.

    Whenever you make a return will be welcomed by us.

    Until then, take care of yourself Chris. One day – soon maybe – it would be lovely to meet you in person 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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