As 2021 stumbles to a close, it might be obvious to anyone who was paying attention (and I don't know if anyone was) that I was not writing in here much in recent months; to be precise, since September. In many ways, September and onwards was a big improvement over the rest of my life since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. I got a new job working with children's literature - so far, on course to be my best job ever - and before starting, I had time to visit my family in Canada. I also spent September weekends as part of the Sea Reconnection exhibition, which as an art-and-poetry exhibition was a first for me and certainly a highlight of the year.
I haven't felt much like writing, though. My pandemic experience has avoided the worst that many have experienced (severe illness, death of loved ones, prolonged unemployment, etc) but at times I feel like it's sort of flattened me out. I hope to get back into more of a writing frame of mind in the months to come, even in small ways, which I think will help.
Matthew Stewart, in his excellent Rogue Strands blog, has once again very kindly included this blog on his list of the best British poetry blogs of the year. Possibly a little more than it deserves this year, but at least we're still here.
On that note, in October 2021 it was ten years since I started writing The Stone and the Star. In 2011, I think I thought it was possible I'd keep going for this long, but ten years is always a long time to look ahead. It really has entwined itself with my life in unexpected ways, and helped to open up many worlds of poetry to me. I definitely urge you to go back and read some of my earlier blog posts; that's where a lot of the good stuff is. And thank you for sticking around for this long, or for joining in along the road.