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Update: Absent Without Leave

A photo of a snail on a bubble below the words "Take it slow..."
The world has changed a fair bit since my last update, in ways that many of us couldn't have imagined. We've all had to cope with levels of isolation and anxiety for which society as a whole was unprepared, and I'm sure that a lot of us have had to adapt our plans for the year quite dramatically.

Whilst I was fortunate not to have a family holiday to cancel or a dream wedding to re-book like many of the people facing disruption, all the well-intentioned ideas I'd had to post regular Lockdown Listens have fallen by the wayside. My complete radio silence (aside from the few pre-scheduled SYNC updates) was an unexpected side-effect of the UK's coronavirus restrictions, as I found myself very suddenly without access to the care that helps my increasingly-wonky body to function in any meaningful way. Losing my usual help around the house was a challenge but one I thought I could meet in the short term if I was careful. Unfortunately, I severely underestimated the impact of the additional activity and anxiety, and failed - rather spectacularly - to avoid the sort of 'crash' that usually involves an adventurous testing dummy.

Throughout the flare-up of the various conditions I've collected in my twenty years as a lab rat, all my specialist doctors were, quite-rightly, redeployed to fight the Great Plague. The addition of a viral something-or-other (which retains an air of mystery as our government was not initially testing in the community) meant that my lockdown has been spent without the energy to engage in much besides coughing, and completely unable to share the updates, reviews, recommendations, and distractions that I had hoped would help bring our little community together during these strange times.

The tentative easing of restrictions and a slight reduction in the pressure on the NHS is beginning to mean that I have a little help once more, which I hope will mean that I can begin to resume reviewing again soon. It allowed me to rest enough to dictate this post at least!

I will endeavour to contact all the people who have been in touch over these past weeks, but the rate at which I can do so will, sadly, be very dependent upon the necessary support remaining available. Experience has taught me that recovery from anything is slow, and never as smooth a process as I'd like, which is a frustration that I think most of the world is grappling with at present.

I am incredibly grateful to all those who have reached out with well wishes, interesting projects, and news of their own experiences throughout lockdown, and I hope to be able to 'join in' again very soon! In the meantime, I'd love to hear about the audiobooks that have been keeping you entertained; whether as the soundtrack to working from home, to help homeschool your kids, to distract you from isolation, or to keep you sane while out there as one of the key workers who allowed the rest of us to stay at home.

Yours, if still rather feebly,
-Kate x

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