After the first COVID…

I’ve been a bit quiet since my fling with COVID in early August but I’m very much alive and kicking.

(You may have gleaned that my blog title is a reference to After the First Death, the Robert Cormier novel, which took its name from a Dylan Thomas poem called A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London. But neither of these things bear any relevance to anything I experienced or anything in this post – I’m just a pretentious weirdo who wants people to know I can read. πŸ˜„)

I had a mild case of COVID and kept working from home the entire time so I was one of the lucky ones. And in my household of four, only two of us tested positive.

But there was the fatigue. It could’ve been seasonal affective disorder, or low iron, or something else entirely… but I definitely felt like my energy levels sapped when I had COVID and for a few weeks after that. Or maybe I just don’t get enough sleep. According to Fitbit’s Sleep Profile, I’m a Giraffe, which means my sleep tends to be on the shorter side… like my height, which is most definitely not giraffe-like.

One thing I’ve been trying to do since I recovered is to start getting up early and working out before heading to the office. It hasn’t been daily but I do generally feel better on the days when I make the effort. More energy, less mid-afternoon slump. The early start goes against my nature but I’m trying to retrain my brain (and body, I guess!).

Any tips for turning a night owl into an early bird would be much appreciated. πŸ˜›

Blue/Orange review for Perth Walkabout

I didn’t actually know a whole lot about Joe Penhall’s award-winning play Blue/Orange until this week but I reckon I’ll be thinking about it for a long time. It’s set in a London psychiatric hospital and explores race, prejudice and mental illness.

Read my review of Blue/Orange by Theatre 180 at Perth Walkabout.

COVID got me…

It finally got me, y’all. After 2.5 years, I’m COVID-positive.

It happened in a fairly predictable way.

On Sunday, I became a household close contact.

I tested negative with a rapid antigen test on Sunday and Monday, and remained asymptomatic both days.

This morning – Tuesday – I woke up with a sore throat. Took another RAT and the two lines came up almost immediately.

My household’s Patient Zero was very apologetic but I’m all good. It’s only my first day, of course. But so far I’m just getting typical cold-like symptoms. My nose is alternating between runny and blocked. I have a bit of a cough but nothing I’d describe as “spicy” yet. No sneezing though, apart from when the test swab was up my nose. No fever as of right now.

I’m triple-vaxxed, physically healthy, and brimming with privilege, so I’m confident I’ll be fine. Besides, it’s always been other people I was most concerned about in this pandemic (and still am).

I was able to work from home today (by choice – my employer didn’t coerce me and if yours does, they’re garbage). I’m pretty tired now, which is probably the COVID… but to be fair, I also spent about an hour informing all the relevant people this morning, which is an awful lot of communication that early in the day. πŸ˜„

Anyway, long story short, I’m no longer a COVID-free unicorn… but I’m definitely one of the lucky ones in the world. πŸ™‚

WALK review for Perth Walkabout

Have you ever experienced something and thought, “I don’t really know what’s going on but it’s pretty cool”?

That was me watching experimental performer Bobby Russell in WALK. πŸ™‚

Read my review of WALK at the Blue Room Theatre on the Perth Walkabout website.

50 cups of coffee can’t be wrong?!

Y’know, I never used to like coffee.

Yeah, yeah, sacrilege, whatever.

I think the first time I tasted it was when I took a sip of whatever my dad was drinking at my grandmother’s house in Malaysia. It was probably Kopi-O or something like that. Regardless, it was too bitter for this little Aussie girl’s palate.

Aside from coffee cake and various coffee flavoured things that were more sugar than coffee, I don’t think I had coffee again for over 10 years.

I started drinking it a bit when I was pulling all-nighters to finish assignments. Which I don’t encourage, of course, but it’d be hypocritical of me to tell you not to do it.

When I started working at my current job, I was mostly opting for a hot chocolate and the occasional mocha. Post-lockdown, the balance tipped towards the mocha and now the barista no longer needs to ask me what I want.

I mean, it’s basically the best of both worlds (espresso and chocolate). Can’t overdo it though – too much caffeine is bad for my anxiety and gives me heart palpitations. πŸ˜›

But I feel vaguely incomplete if I don’t have one in the morning. Kinda like when I want to read on the train and realise at the station that I’ve left my book or eReader at home.

(I did just google “caffeine addiction” and I don’t get the listed withdrawal symptoms that came up if I don’t have a morning coffee, so I think we’re good for now.)

I’ve seen some writers define themselves as creatures who turn coffee into words. Some replace “coffee” with “tea”, but it’s rare to find a writer/author who drinks neither. I’m partial to both at different times of the day.

HonorΓ© de Balzac allegedly drank 50 cups of coffee a day and was crazy prolific in his lifetime. That lifetime was only 51 years but the average life expectancy in 19th century France (or 19th century anywhere) wasn’t terribly high. But the rumoured Balzac method sounds like an excellent way to break your toilet and die of a caffeine overdose. Do not recommend.

Besides, I can honestly say I haven’t noticed any difference to my writing output or quality from caffeine. It might help me feel more equipped to deal with certain social or professional situations, but I don’t think it’s made me a better (or worse) writer. Your mileage may vary. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, if you’re looking for some reading material over your next coffee/tea break, there’s a teeny mention of me in Books+Publishing’s recent Hybrid publishing in Australia article — and a fair bit about Book Reality and Leschenault Press, i.e. the publisher of Black and Blue. Definitely worth a read if you’re a writer who’s interested in going indie. And I’m happy to chat to anyone about my own experiences. πŸ™‚

%d bloggers like this: