Dear Blog,

I feel I must write and apologise for having neglected you for so long. From someone who spent last year communicating with you in a daily and disciplined way, this is a travesty of manners and I am abject.

Why have I not written for so long? Well, I’ve been busy doing other things. Yes, I know that’s a lame thing to say but it is the truth. I’ve been trying to catch up on a lifetime of neglected reading – duty reading someone called it – first Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying which I didn’t enjoy as much as those who listened to its Radio 4 serialisation; then The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, about which MsDD has been haranguing me for ages. I enjoyed this far more but feel I need to read it again to understand the full import of Stevenson’s language. It’s a short book. It won’t take long. I’ve intermittently been reading Sunil Khilnani’s Incarnations, about 50 Indian lives that have shaped the country of my roots. It’s enlightening stuff and a good read.

Then, of course, there was the Brahms German Requiem, which we performed for the first time last night. I haven’t felt this under-rehearsed for choir in ages and it reminded me of the lead-up to my disastrous ATCL attempt. In fact, despite a general #Sopranofail in one of the movements, it sounded good. It will be fantastic by the time we take it to Germany next month, though I imagine that we’ll struggle to find an audience even as large as last night’s. The general post-performance milling about was an opportunity to catch up with the choir pub crew. Inner devastation about failing my diploma combined with general downheartedness has meant that I haven’t been able to face going to the pub after choir. I managed to explain this to some of my friends and promised them that I’ll go this week. A wordless hug also meant I was able to file away a box of bygones with someone with whom I’d really rather not fight.

Life has been difficult for me. The OH is so stressed and tired and his ever longer working days are talking their toll on all of us. You’d have thought that, after 30 years, I’d be accustomed to life with someone who has difficulty seeing anything beyond work but the fact is I’m not. I never wanted you to be a whingeatorium. There is so much stuff whirling around in my head that I cannot share here for fear of taking liberties with the privacy of others and because my subjective view would probably give an unfairly gloomy picture of life here.

So, given that it’s difficult to talk about anything personal and that all the more worldly things that are exercising me have already been talked to death, it’s difficult to know even where to start with a personal view. Various events and people over the last few months have gone to work with the force of power tools on my self-esteem so much so that I’m loth to even start saying anything here for fear of throwing a full blown pity party. And the problem with a non-specific blog rather than one about, say, food or life with a disability or human rights is that sometimes, when inspiration strikes it is fuelled by negative, inchoate, emotions and it’s difficult to get things straight in one’s head. Again, I’m aware I’m not making much sense here.

What else have I been up to? Well, I’ve been worrying about my post-Christmas weight gain: there’s no point having new clothes if they’re too tight, so I’m trying to correct that now, which is always a big thing for me, if you’ll excuse the pun. Dieting (fasting) is so miserable, isn’t it, but I feel much better about myself when I don’t have so many lumps and bumps. I’ve also radically changed my skincare regime in a attempt to rid myself, finally, of the hyper-pigmentation that is the blight on the lives of so many people of colour, that is scarcely recognised by European cosmetics and skincare companies. I suppose that’s why people use bleaching products in India and elsewhere. I think this might be interesting for some but it is very much a niche interest so I was reluctant to blog about it. Likewise, I’m really enjoying and rating the Sensationail home gel manicure system but I’ve already written about that!

So I’ve been in the blogging doldrums unexpectedly for a few weeks. Is it worth carrying on? Well, I think so. And I am lucky to have strong supportive friends who seem, for the most part, to agree. Give me a bit more time: I’ll be back.