Hello everyone and I hope you have had a lovely Christmas and New Year break and are enjoying January even though here in Britain it’s cold again at the time of writing this. Today’s post is a bit of a life update sort of thing where I’m going to go into a bit about what’s been happening in my life recently, a few things that have gone awry which have affected my reading and blogging, and also what I’m hoping for the future of the blog moving into the new year. So let’s begin with the big things that have happened recently…
So, my family did not have the best start to this year. In fact just over a week ago there was a terrible flood in my home! This wasn’t caused by rain however, but rather a burst pipe in my kitchen! 😮 This in itself was a bit of a disaster, especially as I wasn’t able to turn the stopcock off myself due to how much strength you need to turn it but also its awkward placement under the sink right near the floor, at a clear angle I found hard to reach with my recent health problems (more on that later). However, when the plumber managed to show up and turn the stopcock off….this did not stop the leak! 😱 No, instead of the the leak ceasing, it continued to gush water at such a fast rate that it had started to enter the next room which we had to clear out to avoid any damage to furniture and other belongings!
The plumber, rather than fixing the problem though, decided he had no idea what to do and called his company back to tell them as such. He couldn’t find a mains pipe outside the house and had no idea what to do. He said the leak must have been before the stopcock and left us to it to await what they called the ‘escalations team’. Well, you can imagine that nobody was very happy with this turn of events, seeing that we were stuck waiting for someone else to come with no idea when they would even show up. The thing is I curently rent my home, so I’m at the mercy of my landlord as to who is called about this problem. By now it was after hours and it was dark and late and we had a flood in the kitchen and the beginning of the living room. We had to wait a further two hours for someone else to show up, a more competent plumber than the first guy who, quite frankly, just didn’t seem to care.
Thankfully this guy was speedy. He was rushing to fix the problem, running all around the neighbourhood looking for a mains water supply to turn off the crazy gushing water which we were only managing to contain by contstantly (and I mean constantly) mopping up – I now realize the importance in investing in a wet vacuum cleaner. However, despite managing to turn off a mains supply up the road in the only mains supply he could find in the whole neighbourhood (I live in a cul-de-sac)…it did nothing for our water and it kept on gushing! In the end the plumber (who don’t worry, did turn back on the neighbours mains supply) was asking around the neighbourhood if anyone else knew where a supply was, but nobody did. 😮 This was like a nightmare, I have only lived in this home a few years and have had countless things go wrong telling me that the people who built it were shoddy workmen, and now I know that even the mains supply isn’t visible when it should be!
Thankfully, after panicking some more and this guy refusing to quit (unlike the first plumber who you could tell just wanted to get out of there) this guy searched underneath all our kitchen cupboards until he spotted something crucial. I had no idea what it was at the time, but he did try reaching whatever it was using all sorts of tools. However, because of the obvious issues with it being a diagonal cupboard, eventually he had to tear apart the kitchen cupboard, in fact two of them to finally reach…the original stopcock to the house! With the water finally turned off, we all felt a huge relief, until we then realised we’d be without water for a further twelve ormore hours as this guy was only allowed to make the place safe (i.e. stop the water running) but a routine repair of the burst pipe had to be done the next day by another guy. So me and my family had to live without water for the best part of nearly 24hours, and I mean no water at all to the house, as the first guy had turned the stopcock off meaning we had no water at all except a few bottles kindly given to us by the second plumber who went out of his way to make sure we were ok before he finally left for the night.
I now know how terrible it is to place a stopcock further along down you kitchen pipes without having easy access to the original one. Honestly, the house I moved into a few years ago has had no end of problems and I am now looking to move out, I now have a huge chunk of kitchen missing, but at least the flood is gone and if this kitchen is fixed soon I don’t have to foot the bill! The one good thing about this ordeal. 🤪
For the last few weeks I’ve been struggling with new health problems which I haven’t wanted to write about because I always like to focus on the positives and not dwell on what might be going wrong in my life. However I can no long ignore the fact that I’m suffering some very strange symptoms given what has been happening lately and it’s beginning to affect my health in a pretty horrible way. 😦 Two major things have been happening in my life. The first is something that’s been happening for quite a few months now, although it came on quite suddenly and I haven’t really wanted to talk about it, especially as I’m still none the wiswer as to the root cause of my problem. Well, I’ve been suffering some pretty horrid allergies for the last few weeks/months. These allergies have led me to break out in hives and even have a sort of slow anaphalaxis style swelling of my face several times! This has been scary on a few occasions when I suddenly swelled up on my lips, cheeks and once my tongue even swelled up while I was asleep, making me panic when I woke up and found swallowing anything pretty difficult! 😮
Unfortunately I’m in one of the worst GP surgeries at the moment it seems as all they can say is to take antihistamines and they’ll review me in future. So far nobody knows what’s causing the allergy. I’ve done elimination diets, and sometimes I even fast for days at a time, but nothing seems to be causing it, I even get it when I wake up from sleeping, so I don’t know what’s causing this new problem, but having to take antihistamines daily has had a negative effect on my sleep and has made me feel very tired a lot of every day, so I’m falling asleep and am up at all sorts of irregular hours now which really feels horrid! 🙄😭
The other problem I’m having is that my body is returning to having some of that chronic pain I felt back throughout 2021. 😦 I was suffering from some strange bone pain affecting my ability to walk properly, and it’s happening again. We’re not sure if it’s again to do with a lack of certain things in my blood like phosphate or something, I’m going to have to have more tests again. But it’s scary to wake up one day and find your body not wanting to cooperate with you when you want to move and instead making me feel in pain for the simplest of movements like walking up the stairs. 😥 It’s like I have the extreme pain and stiffness you’d have if you woke up the day after exercising when you aren’t used to using your muscles in that way, except it’s not my muscles that are hurting and it doesn’t get better with time. 😦
However ,I am hoping (and slightly praying to the powers that be) that both of these issues might be aleviated by the warming weather when we finally get it back in the spring, though with it being frosty and chilly recently and especially cold at night still, that might be a while away yet!
For those of you who don’t know what Febookary is, it’s a reading challenge I devised about four years ago now when I wanted to help more people learn to enjoy reading, especially as I used to be a reluctant reader when I was younger and found it hard to enjoy books as a child. There are many adults who find reading hard, whether through having dyslexia, or just a bad experiece when they were young, I wanted to help readers of all kinds find a new love of reading and found a way of devising a simple reading challenge where I asked everyone to try to read at least one book that they wouldn’t normally give a go. This was met with some success the first couple of years when there were people who wanted to try the challenge, but as the time has gone on, and I confess my efforts to keep Febookary going, have waned, so has the interest in the challenge. I now have probably only one blogger friend who actually still takes part and while I’m grateful, recent events in my reading have made me question whether Febookary should continue in the same way that it has been in the past few years.
Last year, in late November to December I ended up reading several books in a row which were very dark. These books were ones I didn’t expect to be as dark as they were and in most cases were ones I wasn’t expecting to ever read really if I’m honest. I went outside of my comfort zone in reading, the way I expect people to do so in Febookary, but this was to my detriment as I ended up overcome with a feeling of depression in the week leading up to Christmas. Rather than feeling wonderful I ended up feeling not very good at all. I’m not ahamed to admit that I’m a sensitive soul and I find that I can only watch, read or encounter negative stimulus for so long before it ends up moving my energy into a negative place where it makes me feel too emotional and sad. However, despite trying to spend my time reading books that I knew would be able to suck me out of this depressive zone, I have been stuck a little due to several things happening in my life (the latest, the flooding which a lack of water played havok with my OCD symptoms, didn’t help) and instead of feeling better all these weeks later, I’m still feeling oddly sensitive even though I’m back to reading a variety of more cheery fiction again.
To this end I’m not sure if I want Febookary to be about getting out of my comfort zone this year and trying a new type of book, or to be (at least for this year) a challenge that’s more about finding a true love of reading by reading something that will make you happy. I want to feel good about reading again so am looking into maybe changing up the challenge to be something a little different this year. Let me know what you think of a change of challenge, at least for one year, or a second version of Febookary if people stll want to try the original too, or tell me if you’d still like to try out the original yourself (you can read more about it here). 🙂
Now to talk about more positive things. In terms of art, I do want to return to my more creative days where I used to share more of my arty side online. I’ve always enjoyed sharing some of my art on other earlier blogs I used to run some years ago and when I began this blog I had a plan to do more than just make it a book blog with ocassional poetry, but after the last couple of years were very tough on me mentally, losing two family members, it made doing anything other than getting through each day difficult to do. However these days I’m feeling more and more creative and want to start showing off some more of my creative side. This includes going back to sharing more of my colouring pictures, showing off some more crafting and also something I haven’t done on this blog yet and that’s to share with you some of my photography. Some of these will be older pics as well as newer ones I’ve taken, but I miss sharing online some of my photography of the past and present online as I have a lot of fun images and some of them even give me inspiration to write stories or poetry alongside them. So I hope you’ll enjoy seeing a return (or in this case, a new side to the blog) with some more creative posts coming soon 🙂
Articles and advice
On this blog I also used to share posts about lots of different topics including my own experiences with health, wellbeing and even blogging and writing advice. I want to return to doing more of that in the future of this blog and moving forward I am really looking forward to delving into some new topics as well as returning to some I promised to post about but for some reason or other (most likely the loss of family) meant I had postponed indefinitely what I was planning to do. This means that although this blog has had a very obvious bookish feel to it, I do want to return to some more varied blog posts which not everyone reading this blog might want to read, but I hope that you will still be happy to stay subscribed as the bookish content isn’t going anywhere, and in fact you might even find some interesting but different bookish posts included in this new content too! 🙂
Well, I’d like to finish off this life update by telling you that despite all the negative things happening in my life right now, namely my health and the flooding of part of my house!, this year is still one I hope to be a very positive one moving forward. I’m not going to focus too much on my ill health, because I don’t want it to define me, despite having chronic illness and all the difficulties that leads to. Instead I want to enjoy this year after the last two years felt a little like my life was in a limbo. So, apart from the fact I want to focus more on enjoying life, I also want to celebrate my sucesses, and one of those this last year gone is one I forgot to mention on the blog during my round up of 2022, and that is this cool new badge I got for my blog which you can see on any page when viewing the blog (not in AMP mode). It’s this:
Yes, this badge shows that last year, my post all about fun things to make and do at Christmas was actually featured on Twinkl’s website and I got to keep this cool blog badge as a result. Isn’t that cool? 😀 I also had a second review featured during another Halloween Twinkl post (last year it was my review of The Beast of Harwood Forest) which was my We Were Wolves book review, which I found pretty cool too. 🙂
So, while my health is all over the place and I try to cope with the new pains life has given me, I’m also celebrating the new gains too! Thank you everyone for reading, visiting and being a part of this blog’s life. Every time you take the time to read a post, like and comment, it makes writing this blog and taking the time to do all that I do really worth all the hours and time it takes to keep this place going. So a big thank you everyone! 🙂 ❤ May we all have a good year and a better month than this last one. 🙂 ❤
-By the way, I realise the above image has nothing to do with the blog post content, except that I feel like that wrapped up pug after all that’s happened! :p
What has been happening in your life the last few weeks? What do you think of the future plans for this blog? Are you planning to do anything special or different this year? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂
Thank you for the update. So sorry to hear about all that has happened! Flooding is horrible, it happened to me with the upstairs and had to be evacuated until the electricity had been checked. I hope you have some relief for your health problems soon. Allergic reactions are awful, and there are so many potential causes it’s v difficult to work out what it is. It could potentially be an ingredient in a medication (I’m allergic to a particular ingredient found in various formulations and cosmetics etc). I look forward to whatever you have planned for the blog, bookish or otherwise! 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you ❤ 🙂 Wow, that's terrible, I hope your house was ok after that and not too much damage was done? I have no idea what's causing it, but am starting to wonder if it could be even things like the washing powder I use or some other substances like the paint o nthe walls or whatever, it's so hard to find the cause.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I think making Febookary more about recapturing the love of reading is a good idea. Sorry I’m only getting in here to say so almost half way through the month, but I’ve been having a rough time healthwise myself. Speaking of which, I’m sorry about your health issues. I deal with pain all the time, and lately it’s been worse than ever, so I can sympathize with you where that’s concerned. Anyway, I hope someone does something to figure out what’s going on, and/or things improve for you soon.
I’m also sorry about the issues with the flooding. I’m glad the second plumber actually did something and cared at least. I hope nothing was damaged besides the property itself. Not that the property being damaged is a good thing, because it definitely isn’t, but I’m hoping none of your belongings were damaged with the flooding.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thankfully nothing was damaged, but if the second guy hadn’t come when he did and we’d had the flooding go on any longer some of the stuff would definitely have been waterlogged. I’m sorry you are suffering health problems and pain too. 😦 It’s never nice when our health seems to take a step back. I’m doing everything I can to get through the day and some days seem to be easier and less painful than others but I’m still trying to figure out what’s causing all the problems and if there’s anything that can fix it.
As for Febbokary, unfortunately, I haven’t blogged about it yet, but I think Febookary just isn’t happening this year. Apart from being behind with everything lately, I actually didn’t have internet or even my laptop for nearly two weeks and February began and I had no way of creating Febookary posts or even think about what I was going to do. I’ve only had proper access to the internet and my laptop back (which had a broken screen and cable which kept making the whole thing flicker making it unusable for me) for a few days and because I used my phone when it could connect to use up all my draft posts to keep my blog going I now have a lot of posts to create to make sure my blog isn’t behind anymore and with that Febookary I think I’ll just leave for now as it’s already the 13th now I’m writing this, and I just haven’t been able to create a post about it yet. I will however take my idea that I had about it this year and expand on it for next year and try to change up the challenge to make it that much better. Maybe with more planning I can make it much better next year 🙂 I hope you are ok and things for you will be better soon ❤
LikeLiked by 1 person
Glad the second guy came in time to stop none of your stuff being damaged. Sorry about the laptop issues, and I know what you mean about some days being easier than others. *hugs*
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yes, use the extra time to plan, and next year Febookary will be better than ever! 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person