Posted in Writing


I’m late with my February update. That’s because I have been plagued with back problems – old age does not come alone as my grandmother used to say! This is historic from when we travelled down to Cornwall in a friend’s car back in 2000. Stopping off to stretch our legs before travelling on to the farmhouse B & B we had booked, I stepped from the pavement into the road and a pain shot from the base of my spine up to my waist. Since then, despite physio and chiropractor appointments, it surfaces now and then, and at the most inconvenient times! I had been clear for a couple of years, but once a weakness opens up in your back, it’s there for ever, lying in wait, ready to cause chaos. The irony is, I can bend, kneel and stretch for 99% of the time without anything happening. But then there is that one day, and when I’m least expecting it, that the pain strikes. At its best it lasts a few days, at its worst – as in this last bout – nearly a fortnight. During that time sitting at the PC was fine, but only for very short amounts of time before my back locked up. That meant writing had to be abandoned completely.  Walking about I was fine, but even sitting to watch TV could cause problems.  Sleeping too was difficult. I had to roll out of bed and on some nights it was almost impossible to move without experiencing this awful sharp grabbing pain. A steady application of ice cold compresses, anti-inflammatory rubs and Ibuprofen eased but failed to shift it – and yes, I do use the Ibuprofen very sparingly. I have a booklet of physio exercises tailored to help lower back pain and these have proved a godsend. During the years I have lived with this, I’m aware that the onset is swift and unexpected, as is its departure. Last Saturday morning I woke up and there was no pain, no difficulty moving. I am now wondering whether I might be dealing with a trapped nerve – maybe I need another trip to the chiropractor? At least it means for the moment (crossing fingers and toes) I’m back to normal and the writing is back on track.

So what other news is there for February? Well we had our Covid shots mid-Feb. The vaccine centre had been set up in The Pavilion, a local events venue. The date coincided with that very cold spell we had. Our appointments were 5.10 and 5.20. We actually got our shots at 6.15. It was absolutely freezing outside and normally we would have gone into the building, but there were around ten people in front of us, more inside and the queue didn’t move very quickly. Once we got through the doors, however,  there was a radiator near the bar which we made the most of when we reached it – and thankfully the queue inside moved much quicker. The actual shot was painless. My only reaction was a swollen  aching arm and OH said he felt a little shivery but the next day we were both fine.  

Yesterday (Thursday) I had an optician appointment and caught the bus into the city. I had not been on public transport for nearly a year and apart from the Covid shot at the Pavilion, had not been into the city either. Typically getting public transport to work in with the appointment time was not easy. But, it did give me a little time to wander and have a look around. There were queues outside M & S and the Apple Store and Boots was open, but other than that, just a handful of people walking about. Of course the weather didn’t help. Heavy showers and blustery winds; the sort of days that will keep people away from city centres, especially when they is no access to shops or tourist attractions. It was strange to see a place, normally filled with people, so ghostly and quiet. I hope we get back to some form of normality back later in the year. I’ve missed just about everything to do with life as I knew it, although meeting friends face to face must be one of the biggest, as I know it is for most people. I’m looking forward to the end of this month when we can at least meet outside (weather permitting). 

As far as writing is concerned, my back problems sadly brought everything to a temporary halt. Very frustrating when you have scenes and dialogue demanding to be written. Looking at it in a positive way, it gave me a chance to step back for a moment and take stock of what I had already done. I’m almost at the end of the first draft. It’s then that the real hard work begins.

I not only write, I read and review as well. I am currently on my Goodreads 2021 reading challenge of 40 books, I have completed 16 so far, which means I am well ahead of my target. There are so many good titles, I’m spoilt for choice. I’m usually a committed romance reader, but recently my reading preference has moved to psychological thrillers. And there ae some amazing ones out there!¬

So that is it for another month. I live in a world where currently the Sainsbury’s delivery is one of the week’s highlights – yes I know, very sad. However, I’m hoping by the end of the month things will be slightly better. It’s all about getting those Covid figures down to as low a level as possible. Then maybe we can break out the bubbly!

Take care, all of you,  I’ll be back soon.




Directs fictional destinies. Living on the edge of a wonderful Georgian city. Addicted to Arthurian legend, good wine, and rock music. Writes...mostly about love


  1. Jo, sorry to hear about your back pain. I can empathise, sadly. I hope you get some relief soon and for a long time. It stops everything I know. What a time we are all having, yet I doubt anyone will want to write a novel featuring the characters in masks, doing nothing much. It would be a challenge to make it interesting. It could be psychological in extreme. Have a fab week, and I hope you are writing again soon.

    1. Thanks Jane, am back to writing and the WIP currently at 84,000 words. Nearly there with 1st draft. Last year I did see someone had managed to write a romance which took place during lockdown. That must have been an interesting plot! It is a weird place we are in at the moment and I think getting back to ‘normal’ will take some time. Hope all good with you x

      1. I wonder how you get ‘romantic,’ if not up close and personal. Bit like Hollywood and the one foot on the floor requirement in love scenes. Beyond the mask! Good to know you are writing, good luck xx

  2. Good to know your back pain has gone now, Jo, and hopefully it will stay away for a long while. My grandmother used to say ‘old age doesn’t come alone’ too, and as a child I couldn’t imagine what she meant by the phrase – sadly, it’s all too obvious to me now! Hope your latest draft is going well!

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