I sat down to write this after what feels like a ridiculous length of absence. I tried to write an update on my current work; about being creative in a time of crisis and war but none of it seemed the right way to return. And then I realised what I ought to be writing about: why I’ve been gone so long.

Although to be accurate, I haven’t been completely gone. I’ve haunted Twitter and occasionally joined in and I’ve written Letters from the Jazz Age (a little email updates-y list, in case you fancy joining) but I’ve not been involved in the daily presence and weekly posting in the way that I had been.

So what happened?

I hear you ask.

Well, actually, I don’t hear you, but I’m going to answer anyway. In short, I got poisoned.

Well, sort of. You could call it technically food poisoning but that wouldn’t be accurate.

Come back with me to November, if you will and I’ll fill you in. Now, I’ve been allergic/sensitive to dairy and soy for a long time, so I haven’t had a pizza in years. I mean like two decades. Last year I found a company that makes dairy free pizzas that are also soya free! I was overjoyed. No, I’m not exaggerating, I did a little dance when I found it. But there was a problem. There was a bit of an aftertaste. A little like disinfectant.

I thought it was odd. My mother thought it was odd. But we reasoned ourselves out of our concern: we said; I’m being fussy, I said; they’ve just been a little over zealous with the hand sanitiser, we said; it’s good they’re taking safety seriously in the Covid Days, we said. And it’s just a little cleanliness. It’s no big deal, right?


Within about 20 minutes I started to feel dodgy. I spent three days vomiting (sorry, tmi – that should probably have come first, shouldn’t it) and feeling rotten. I was exhausted and weak.

This was around the time we’re were just going back into lockdown in the uk. The third wave was spiking and I didn’t want to clog up our doctors or the hospital with something seemingly so little. It was a slice of pizza for goodness sake! So I decided to ride it out.

For a few weeks I felt bad and decided to skip NaNoWriMo and it wasn’t too long before all that was left was a bit of tiredness and some brain fog. But … oh the brain fog. Once it had descended I was useless. If you’ve ever had it, you’ll know but if you haven’t it’s as if a large part of your brain has gone on vacation without you. I couldn’t keep track of anything, let alone the complexities of what I’d written. I had to put pretty much everything except essential daily survival things on the back burner and sadly, writing became one of those things I jettisoned. I fell behind on so many goals and tasks.

And then in March, just as I was beginning to get back into the swing of things, I came down with the dreaded Covid, something I had been terrified of because of my CRPS and it was it’s own special kind of hell. Until it wasn’t. And I found, after about three weeks it had gone and I felt better. Whatever that disease is, it killed the chemicals/poison issue.

And that brings us back to the present.

Although I have been playing catch up for a couple of months, I’m feeling so much better now. I’m more on top of things; ready to start thinking about participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in July.

So anyway, that’s why I’ve been away. How have you been? Leave me a comment below.

Oh and if you’re wondering how Covid affected the CRPS, because information seemed scant when I searched, it spread up a section of one leg, hurt for five days and then seemingly went back to its normal.