This is my update on how I’m coping with Long Covid now it’s been nearly eighteen months since I first got ill, which I’m adding to my Sunday Post blog, hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Reviewer.

This is something of a momentous post. I’ve taken the decision that this will be the final Sunday Post where I’ll be focusing on the Long Covid that I’ve been dealing with since I got sick with Covid-19, back on 6th March 2021. That’s not to say I’m fully recovered. Yesterday, I needed to take it really easy as I suddenly ran out of energy the previous evening. But while I must always take into consideration how I’m feeling – the constant exhaustion that once blanketed me and turned me into a bedridden invalid is no longer defining my life and every single action I take. I will be writing another post, where I’ll sum up my experience with Long Covid and include the things that helped and those that didn’t. But unless I have a catastrophic relapse (fingers crossed that doesn’t happen!!) my regular account of my struggles with the ‘weird beast’, as my doctor calls it, are now ending. I want to thank everyone here. Many of you have been so supportive with encouraging words, while some have even been praying for me. Not being able to leave the house for months meant that all my interactions were online – and your kind comments and the knowledge that you were there and cared at a time when I didn’t know if I’d ever get better often gave me a burst of positivity and courage when I most needed it. Thank you, all of you, for being here and letting me know that you were thinking of me. Book people are the best😊.

We are now busy getting ready for school, as Oscar goes back tomorrow. He’s not looking forward to it, but I’m hoping that once he gets back into the swing of the daily routine, he will find it’s not quite as bad as he thinks. Ethan finished his summer job yesterday and resumes college next week. We are thrilled that he got a Distinction for his final first year project, which is such an achievement given his severe dyslexia.

I’m not quite sure where the summer went – I’m sure that when I was a girl, six weeks lasted a lot longer. Given the shoddy quality of politicians these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if the scallywags in the Government have gone and devalued the length of days behind our backs. It seems the sort of shifty nonsense they’d get up to. While the weather is now pleasantly cooler, we are still seeing plenty of sunshine, with temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s during the day. I just wish we were getting more rain – which is something I never thought I’d say…

Last week I read:-

AUDIOBOOK – Her Majesty’s Royal Coven – Book 1 of Her Majesty’s Royal Coven series by Juno Dawson, narrated by Nicola Coughlan
If you look hard enough at old photographs, we’re there in the background: healers in the trenches; Suffragettes; Bletchley Park oracles; land girls and resistance fighters. Why is it we help in times of crisis? We have a gift. We are stronger than Mundanes, plain and simple.

At the dawn of their adolescence, on the eve of the summer solstice, four young girls–Helena, Leonie, Niamh and Elle–took the oath to join Her Majesty’s Royal Coven, established by Queen Elizabeth I as a covert government department. Now, decades later, the witch community is still reeling from a civil war and Helena is now the reigning High Priestess of the organization. Yet Helena is the only one of her friend group still enmeshed in the stale bureaucracy of HMRC. Elle is trying to pretend she’s a normal housewife, and Niamh has become a country vet, using her powers to heal sick animals. In what Helena perceives as the deepest betrayal, Leonie has defected to start her own more inclusive and intersectional coven, Diaspora. And now Helena has a bigger problem. A young warlock of extraordinary capabilities has been captured by authorities and seems to threaten the very existence of HMRC. With conflicting beliefs over the best course of action, the four friends must decide where their loyalties lie: with preserving tradition, or doing what is right.
This has been one of the reading highlights of the summer. I’ve been suffering from a real book hangover since I finished listening to this one. The cracking story with plenty of drama and magic, alongside relevant contemporary issues has left me yearning for the next one in the series. Very highly recommended. 10/10

Witchy Reservations: A Paranormal Cozy Mystery – Book 1 of the Mystic Inn Mystery series by Stephanie Damore
There’s nothing practical about magic—which is why I ditched my wand years ago.

Thirteen years, to be exact. The day I left Silverlake.

Except now, a family emergency has called me back home, and quite frankly, I’d rather be anywhere but here. But when my aunt raises her wand to cure a friend and he ends up dead, it becomes abundantly clear I’m not leaving anytime soon.
This cosy murder mystery is escapist fun with plenty of twists and suspects along the way. I liked the engaging protagonist, whose first-person narrative makes the story go with a swing. 8/10

AUDIOBOOK – The Accidental Alchemist – Book 1 of The Accidental Alchemist series by Gigi Pandian, narrated by Julia Motyka
Unpacking her belongings in her new hometown of Portland, Oregon, herbalist and reformed alchemist Zoe Faust can’t help but notice she’s picked up a stowaway. Dorian Robert-Houdin is a living, breathing three-and-half-foot gargoyle – not to mention a master of French cuisine – and he needs Zoe’s expertise to decipher a centuries-old text. Zoe, who’s trying to put her old life behind her, isn’t so sure she wants to reopen her alchemical past… until the dead man on her porch leaves her no choice.

Includes recipes!
This is huge fun. And I loved the fact that the very scrummy-sounding recipes are all vegan😊. Apart from the food, other enjoyable ingredients are a quirky gargoyle, nicely snarky teenagers and a sympathetic protagonist with a long, sad past, who is desperate to escape official notice. I really cared for the characters and enjoyed listening to this one, as Portlanders begin to succumb to mysterious poisoning. 8/10

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean
Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book’s content after eating it. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries.

Devon is part of The Family, an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. Her brothers grow up feasting on stories of valor and adventure, and Devon—like all other book eater women—is raised on a carefully curated diet of fairytales and cautionary stories.

But real life doesn’t always come with happy endings, as Devon learns when her son is born with a rare and darker kind of hunger—not for books, but for human minds.
This is another reading highlight – I really have had a wonderful reading week. This dark fantasy packs a punch – it grabbed me by the collar and wouldn’t let go. I’ve seen comparisons with The Handmaid’s Tale and while I don’t agree, as there are far too many significant differences, I can see why some readers went there. Review to follow.

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. I’m beginning to be able to visit more sites, although it all depends on whether I’ve enough energy – so I appreciate your patience if you’ve dropped by and I haven’t immediately responded. Take care and have a lovely week.

29 responses »

  1. I am glad to see you step into a new phase. I hope the boys both enjoy the routine and get into their school work and seeing friends. We are having more heat again this weekend but it will cool a bit by mid-week. It’s still very summer weather. The heat was average this year but I think we got a bit more rain which meant I had less work watering.

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    • Thank you, Anne:)). I’ve been very conscious of your constant kind encouragement and it does feel like a big step forward no longer being defined by my Long Covid symptoms. We had a massive thunderstorm last night and it’s been a bit rainy this morning – but frankly we need a whole lot more, as we are still in drought conditions.

  2. I am glad you are in a better place and aren’t struggling as much with Long COVID anymore. It must be such a relief.

    I hope the school years get off to a good start for Ethan and Oscar. My daughter started back to school the beginning of August. She wasn’t happy about the school part but she was glad to see her school friends again. ‘

    Witchy Reservations sounds really good. I seem to be most into escapist reads right now. Anything to take my mind off of the real world for a short while.

    I hope you have a great week!

    • Yes – I hope that Oscar, in particular, finds that school isn’t as bad as he’d feared. It was hard sending him off this morning as he wasn’t looking forward to it… And yes – Witchy Reservations is great fun. Like you, I’m finding escapist reads very appealing right now. I hope you, too, have a wonderful week.

  3. Sarah, I’m really glad you are doing a little better. I’ve been sending good thoughts and prayers your way for months now, and I’m happy you are feeling somewhat better. It’s been a long path for you.

    I love the sound of The Book Eaters. I have been thinking about reading that one, so I thank you for sharing a little about it, and I look forward to your review.

    • Thank you, Deb. And I have really felt the weight of the positive thoughts and the prayers. There were times when I was close to despair – and then recalled all the people who were rooting for me and it made a huge difference:)).

      I will be posting my review of The Book Eaters later in the week – it certainly is an interesting read…

  4. It sounds like it has been a long journey for you, and with long Covid I imagine you never really know WHEN it will end. My wife often thinks she has a form of it, or some of the long lasting effects anyway. Not as serious as many suffer with, but she feels like sha has brain fog and fatigue that is not normal. I’m glad to hear that you are seeing improvements, even if it’s hit or miss.

    I agree about the time. Politicians sound like a good explanation. 🙂

    Thank you for your comment on my blog. I had to smile when you related what your mom had said that one time. I’ve had simialr comments from my mom about books I read. I’m not sure she approves 🙂

    • I’ll confess – the notion that Mum doesn’t completely approve of my writing (and reading) choices hasn’t defined my decision to continue with my preferred genres, but it does give me a frisson of pleasure to feel that I’m something of a rebel:)).

    • Regarding your wife’s issues. She has my profound sympathy, especially with the brain fog. I began watching TV quizzes, played memory and concentration games, especially Dobble, with the grandchildren and focused on computer games that relied on putting words and numbers together (Wordwipe and Suduko) and matching up (mahjong in a variety of iterations). It’s been a long, slow business – and there are still days when my brain feels out to lunch. But it is definitely improving with the constant practice:)).

      • That is good to know! I will pass that along to her. It is frustrating, no question about it! And we jsut received word today that my daughter’s roommate at college just tested positive. It never ends!

        And yes I confess to a bit of the same. My mom and I are close but she’s never understood my reading choices! 🙂

      • No… it isn’t over. Covid is still rumbling on here, and we know from experience that it will only get worse as the winter weather closes in.

        And ditto with mums – I’m very close to mine, as she’s absolutely lovely:)). But is clearly flummoxed why I’d want to read ‘those’ books!!!

  5. It’s a new chapter indeed: your decision not to give more space to the “weird beast” is a sign that it’s not the main “ingredient” of your days, and that optimism has finally won, being one of the best medicines one can employ 🙂

  6. I’m glad to hear you’re well enough to drop the Covid focus of these posts and get back to normal😁 You certainly deserve it after everything you’ve been through!

    • Thank you, Tammy:)). I really appreciate your constant support throughout the whole time I’ve been ill – it has helped enormously! It feels like a massive step towards some sort of normality – and while I am aware that I still have a way to go, it no longer feels as if my life is wholly dominated by my symptoms anymore – thank goodness!

  7. I am so glad to read that you are feeling much better! And I’ll also be interested in reading your “summary” post!

  8. I am so pleased with this post!! And very glad to hear that you are doing better. I will keep my fingers crossed for you that there will not be anymore big relapses, and that each day will get better and better from here on out. Yay! And I think we got all your rain yesterday and today. After months of hardly any rain, one and a half days of it and I’m already over it. Lol. 🙂 I have dogs to walk!

  9. I’m so happy to see how well you’re doing and what an amazing turn it’s taken. I’m so happy for you. And congratulations to Ethan! My father is severely dyslexic and is by far the smartest person I know. School was a struggle to him early on but he went on to get his master’s degree in physics! I hope you are having a wonderful week!

  10. I’m with you on the “where did the summer go?” (though, in my case, it probably got lost in the move between apartments: one forgotten summer somewhere in an equally forgotten corner).
    I’m happy that your energy levels are rising, and that you’ve gotten well enough to be considering the worst behind you. As always, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that those “too-tired” and “take-it-easy” days will be less and less for months to come, and soon the struggle will be only a memory.

    • Oh yes! Though unusually for me – I was indoors a lot of the time as sitting in the garden after 10 am was simply too hot!! And I now find I’m relieved every time it rains – which is usually unheard of in England as we normally have far too much of the stuff falling out of the sky.

      Thank you for your kind good wishes. Yes… fingers crossed that I continue onwards and upwards, but I’m taking nothing for granted as yet. My improvement has been very welcome, but I’m still not pushing things too much. I’ve come too far and it’s taken too long to mess up at this stage! I hope you have a great autumn and it’s lovely hearing from you, Joanna:)).

  11. Your struggle with long Covid sounds horrible and I am glad to hear you’re doing better. The most terrifying thing is how long it lasts and how only now you’re feeling a bit back to normal.
    We’re still having plenty of sunshine, but cooler temperatures here as well. We finally got some rain here too, which we sorely needed as it’s been a very dry summer here.

    • Thank you, Lola:)). Yes… it’s been a really long trudge and even now, I’m having to watch my energy levels. I think everywhere in Europe has struggled with the high temperatures and low rainfall this summer. I hope the coming week is a good one!

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