Tag Archives: blogging

pulmonary fibrosis

Bereavement blogging break

The last time I blogged was September 17. The last time I posted on Instagram was September 18. While I was never prolific, 14 weeks is a significant gap, especially as I was almost getting into the swing of things. But after years of making pulmonary fibrosis look like a head cold, my dad suddenly worsened.

We’d had a content, peaceful few months together. We already knew things would never be the same, as our 20-year-old cat was clearly basking in her last summer. Then in the middle of September, dad started to decline. I had to call three ambulances in ten days, and eventually he spent several weeks in hospital before finally leaving us in October.

Obviously this isn’t a very festive post, but today, Boxing Day, was his birthday, and I couldn’t just return to blogging in the New Year without explaining my absence or mentioning that my entire life had changed forever.

I didn’t exactly have a typical relationship with my dad. He was a very popular and funny man – in his final decade he had become something of a local legend/eccentric. But underneath the jokes and the outgoing persona he hid trauma, and grave mental and physical illness.

He was very brave, incredibly tough, and his faith only got stronger.

Having witnessed his determination, held his hand at the end, and barely survived a funeral, I finally think I might want to write again.

I’m very hopeful that I’ll be back in 2019 with my light-hearted reviews. I always did find comfort in books and movies; so far this holiday I’ve watched his favourite movie (Elf) twice.

Perhaps I will have more time and energy and will belatedly gain a new efficiency. (This post alone is a slight leap of faith – far more personal than usual.)

So here’s to 2019. xx

FILM REVIEW: Black Panther

The Hollywood Reporter recently pointed out the obvious; even Jennifer Lawrence can’t open a movie. Studios don’t look to big star names any longer, but to brands like Marvel.

I’ve always thought superhero, or comic book blockbusters, were empty calories. Unpopular I know, but Marvel makes me feel like I overindulged on Haribo candy (and the DCEU feels like toothache).

My most charitable reading of Black Panther – a Marvel product – is that it’s a self-contained story about family, duty and honour.

Set in the fictional African country of Wakanda, the War of the Panthers is a kind of kid-friendly Game of Thrones, with warring cousins and tribes, and where the future of the kingdom hinges on revelations about an individual character’s parentage. (I’m not alone in spotting the GoT parallels; Panther star Daniel Kaluuya made the link a year ago.)

Wakanda’s language, artwork, and costumes are meant to be grounded in real-world African traditions, while its secret high-tech infrastructure is powered by magical sources of an alien element called Vibranium.

New king T’Challa isn’t a flashy show-off à la Tony Stark, even if his royal duties include dressing up like a panther. A noble character haunted by his father’s death, he’s trying to  protect his people at the same time as overcoming his nation’s isolationism.

It’s to Chadwick Boseman’s credit that he doesn’t get blasted off the screen by Michael B. Jordan’s swaggering, vicious Killmonger, who wants to swipe the throne and the panther suit, planning to lead the country in a more hawkish direction.

Killmonger might even claw his way into the Top Ten Movie Villains of All Time. Because the superhero is king, the superhero is the brand, but the performances should be key. If Hollywood is committed to saving the endangered species of the mega-movie star, it won’t find a better candidate.

Inspiration and blogging

When you don’t have the traditional support network of family and friends, chasing your goals is particularly challenging. If, like me, you’ve also learned to be a private person, blogging and using social media can feel odd.

Yet people are achieving goals and connecting with others via Youtube, blogs and social media platforms. I workout to fitness-entrepreneur Cassey Ho’s Pilates videos and follow her blog for recipes and exercise plans.

Jaclyn Glenn has forged a career on Youtube, with videos centred on atheism and social issues. Although I do not agree with Glenn on everything, she is creating some of the clearest, most intelligent and compassionate content around.

I’ve found it easy to go beyond the ubiquitous fashion bloggers into, for example, the world of women who shoot. I’ve long been interested in US gun culture, and following various new social media stars and outspoken proponents of the Second Amendment offers fascinating insights not otherwise available through mainstream coverage.

So some of the most vibrant content providers, role models and entrepreneurs are internet personalities. Some of these successes are genuine celebrities now; they have ‘fans’ in the same manner as the more conventionally famous.

In a society that has somewhat snobby and contradictory ideas about the accepted paths to fame or success, this aspect of social media and blogging is an interesting one.

Having drawn so much inspiration and information from online commentators and creators, I decided to take the step from follower and consumer to active social media participant and blogger, and be a part of an incredible community.