Blogging in a Time of Coronavirus & a severe case of Can’tBeArsed-itis


Hi guys. Hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe, whatever the situation is where you are. What a strange time we are living through.

I know the blog has been really quiet lately and I can only apologise. It’s not just been the blog either. All my social media, participation in Facebook groups, WhatsApp chats, online friends and family meets – I haven’t really been doing any of it. Truth is, I’ve been suffering for the last month from a severe case of Can’tBeArsed-itis.

It hasn’t been quite as bad as the photo above suggests. I haven’t been laying motionless face down on the sofa (with my shoes on? Who does that? What are we, savages?). I’ve actually been really busy. I’ve just been doing it all within the confines of my home and garden.

When lockdown first started, I was like everyone else. Chatting with friends and family on Zoom, probably more than I did pre-quarantine. Taking part in loads of online challenges and chats. Blogging and Instagramming up a storm. Then I had a little accident and gave myself quite a severe burn on my hand which necessitated a trip to A&E late one Friday night. (The absolute last place I wanted to go at the height of a pandemic and it was as awful as I expected. If anything convinced me how completely unlike normal life is, it was that trip to A&E on a Friday night. It was an eerie, zombie-apocalypse-movie-like experience.) As a result, my left hand was completely bandaged for a week and I had to type one-handed, which brought blogging and writing to a grinding halt and, even as I gradually got the use of it back, my mojo seemed to have disappeared.


Back in February, I took the decision to cut right back on blog tours for the spring and summer to try and get through my NetGalley backlog, so luckily I had few commitments that needed meeting and I could embrace my lack of enthusiasm for blogging for a while. (I wonder now if I had some weird premonition. I also wound up my travel business in Autumn 2018 because I had a bad feeling about where the industry was headed, and I’ve never been so glad about a decision in my life now. Spooky!) Instead, I have been focused solely on myself and my daughters and our life at home.


I’ve been quite lucky on the homeschooling front as my daughters’ school are providing real time lessons for them as per their normal timetables via Google Classroom. However, this has still necessitated constant interaction, especially for my 12-year-old who is very gregarious, is missing her school friends desperately, and has co-opted me into the role of new best friend. For someone who is used to working from home and spending many hours by themselves every day, being on constant call is mentally draining. Honestly, I always had a lot of respect for teachers (my sister is one) but now my admiration knows no bounds. The strain is exacerbated by the fact of being a single parent, solely responsible for all of this as well as running the house and all the attendant tasks that go with it (oh, the endless dishwasher emptying and re-stacking…). After spending hours explaining the difference between direct and representative democracy, analysing Beatrice’s role as a woman in ‘Much Ado About Nothing,’ timing circuit training exercises and playing netball for PE lessons, searching for photos of the friezes on Trajan’s Arch, dissecting the contrast between socialist and capitalist viewpoints in ‘An Inspector Calls’ (which I had to read first), to be honest, I’ve had little brain space left for any intelligent commentary on the books I’ve been reading. It’s also almost impossible to concentrate on anything when you know there is a strong possibility of being interrupted any second. (My daughter required my help three times just during the course of typing this blog post.) To all you parents who are doing all of this whilst trying to hold down your normal full-time job in this abnormal environment as well, I salute you, I have no idea how you are doing it.


Instead, the girls and I have been doing lots of fun stuff together. Playing badminton and giant Jenga in the garden. Walking our dog in the fields behind our house. Baking up a storm, making our own pizzas, having cooking lessons. Building Hogwarts Castle from Lego. Doing jigsaws. Sharing TV shows we love. I’ve been introduced to Riverdale and Brooklyn 99 and my daughters are now being spoonfed Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the beginning. It’s been great fun spending proper, quality time with my girls. They are growing up so fast, savouring this time with them is something I will remember as a positive once this is over.


Basically, over the last month, I’ve pulled my head and tail into my shell like a turtle and shut off the outside world. I guess it’s been a form of self-preservation. The constant negative news, combined with missing family and friends, was dragging me down so I withdrew from it all. And I don’t think I’m the only one. I saw on Twitter some other bloggers discussing the fact that their page views and follower numbers were up, but interactions on the blog were down. I think maybe people are looking for content to consume while they are stuck at home, but the constant need to interact in the virtual world has become draining. I read a fascinating article about why this may be the other day. It suggested that it just reminds us of what we are missing in real life, a momento mori of the lives we had before which are not going to be the same again for a long while. This certainly resonated with me.


Anyway, I now have a massive backlog of reviews to do, so I’m making a concerted effort to get out of this funk and back into the real world. But for anyone who just doesn’t feel like blogging at the moment, don’t beat yourself up. The world is topsy turvy and we all need to do what we gotta do to stay sane and get through. We’re all adjusting to our new normal, and are doing the best we can. And, if all else fails, there’s always Buffy.


Take care and stay safe.

12 thoughts on “Blogging in a Time of Coronavirus & a severe case of Can’tBeArsed-itis

  1. That lego Hogwarts is beyond fantastic. If you all achieve nothing else during the lockdown, that in itself is a mighty achievement!
    Homeschooling while getting anything else done at all is virtually impossible. Just keeping my kids in snacks is a full time job…
    I really hope your hand continues to mend up. And I think the can’t be arsed feeling is something lots of us relate to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really relate to this. I also, weirdly, had decided to take a blog tour break this summer….a few I couldn’t resist, but it’s nice to do a bit of a mood reading because I can’t handle anything too dark right now. I’ve all but given up on traditional home schooling. We read everyday and through a bit of maths in, but he’s 6, and he’s amazing at setting his own projects, writing, creating, designing treasure hunts etc. Most of all he’s happy. Trying to force schoolwork makes me angry, him angry – it’s just not nice. I figure, he’s learning – just not as per the national curriculum! Right now, it’s about surviving mentally. For all of us. Take care x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are doing the right thing. Mine are a bit older so it’s tougher. My eldest is in the first year of her GCSEs, so we can’t really abandon it altogether. They are good about doing it really, my youngest just misses the interaction of the classroom & needs me to substitute.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can imagine!! It must be so hard for them when they’re used to learning in a classroom based environment. I’ve never been more thankful than now that I didn’t fill in the application form for the PGCE I was tempted by ten years ago!! X

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fortunately for me, my two are well past the school stage – both of them are key workers, as it happens – so my life hasn’t changed too much, Julie. I certainly don’t envy you and, like you, can’t imagine how hard it must be to have a full-time job and young children at the moment. In a way, it’s an opportunity to count our blessings – which is what you seem to be doing. And let’s hope, when we do come out the other side, we all appreciate the important things in life.
    Take care of yourself x

    Liked by 1 person

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