Blog: Spring 2019 – A General Update

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Hello again, and welcome to a wee chatty post on my corner of the internet. It’s been quite some time since I checked in with you all – and a lot has changed for me in the last few months, so it feels an appropriate time to do that! So, below the cut there is a 500 word update where I’m talking Fibromyalgia, the Wellcome Prize, Book Slumps, Theatre Trips, Language Learning and lots of other random stuff.

In January I had a flare up with my Fibromyalgia – which wasn’t good whatsoever. I talked briefly about this in my January Wrap-Up, but changing medication has been the best thing I’ve done for my health. I know it wouldn’t be for everyone, but while the first few weeks were the worst now I’ve been on the tablets for a few months the improvement is incredible. I have energy, I’m sleeping better, I’m feeling like I want to do exercise and try things. It’s exciting for me because I can’t remember ever feeling like this before.

However, my flare up did coincide with the launch of the 2019 Wellcome Prize. Usually that would be exciting news – all that bookish awesomeness. But no. I’m going to say it, for the 10th year of the prize the longlist (and consequently the shortlist) has been piss poor. Honestly I feel it’s the worst longlist in a long time. Reading just a handful of the longlisted books this year sent me spiralling into a full on reading slump. I have no idea who is going to win this year, and for the first year in 4 or 5, I don’t much care. Which is sad. I hope next year the judges actually read the books rather than picking ones that – for me – feel clickbaity. They have these incredible blurbs and dozens of quotes from people on them, enticing you in and then you read it (or just part of it) and it’s like they’re talking about something entirely different.

Next on the agenda – reading slump. The dreaded reading slump. I don’t know why but I have this annoying habit of supersaturating myself with books and then completely stopping reading. In March I read 1 book. In April, so far, I’ve read 2 and have a short story collection on the go. In January I read 10 books. It’s frustrating. So if anyone has any ideas on how to scrape myself out of this slump, please send suggestions my way!

In March I was lucky enough to go and see Romeo and Juliet at the Globe with one of my best friends. It was one of the most amazing experiences and whenever I think back to it, I can’t help but smile. I love theatre, I love Shakespeare, but I’d never been to see a Shakespeare play performed live. Honestly, what better place to see Shakespeare performed live than The Globe?! Highlights for me were Debbie Chazen being an awesome Nurse (seriously want to marry that woman), Hermione Gulliford being a very vampy Lady Capulet (note: would have been a perfect Narcissa Malfoy to Debbie’s Bellatrix in Harry Potter if their outfits were anything to go by), and the assistant director – Natasha Rickman – who on the day of the performance stepped in to play Tybalt when she was meant to be going to see the play with her family. Honestly, if you get a chance, Shakespeare at The Globe is something else and an absolute must for even the most tentative of Shakespeare lovers. It’s a beautiful venue, and they’re pushing boundaries of gender now – with all female casts, and switching some characters to female (which is no mean feat when it’s a case of changing a LOT of pronouns!)

I’ve been learning German via Duolingo this year. I’m slowly making progress. If anyone has any tips on how best to learn a language independently I’d be super grateful. My goal is CEFR A1 certification by the end of this year, and then I’d love to be at B2 level by my 30th Birthday, but finding self motivation is hard (shouldn’t be given I self-taught most of my GCSEs and A-Levels!)

Other things I’ve been doing instead of reading include playing a lot of Words with Friends, and Civ5 and Civ6 (if anyone has Steam give me a bell in the comments or on Twitter if you’re in to Civ6 and we can multiplayer, Civ5 hates multiplayer).

Anyway, I’m going to enjoy the afternoon sunshine here in Norwich with a G&T. I hope you’re all well and thanks for reading. Until next time.

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