This will be a quick one (famous last words) as I’m trying to also write another post for today, that may or may not be up this evening, but this is yesterday’s (Sunday’s!) offering on Monday. Just some thoughts from the weekend!
I’m currently unsure about what I’ll do about Twitter. It’s an important place for me – I originally signed up in 2009, didn’t really use it for that much until around 2011 when I started writing in earnest again. I used it to share links to this blog, and to connect with other writers, deaf people, and just to see what was going on in the world.
The way I’ve used it has changed over time – I still use it to keep a connection with the writing community but primarily it has also become a place where I find the disability community, neurodivergent community, information from scientists and professional laypeople about what is actually going on with the pandemic (how to mitigate and protect ourselves and our communities), activists of all stripes, and a plethora of carefully curated follows from different communities – for example I follow fat and body acceptance activists, book recommendation people, bookshops, and so on.
During 2020 and onwards, it has become a connection to the wider world for me. I’m one of those people who is still being cautious and necessarily so, not just because of family but because my immune system is terrible at the best of times. If someone so much as sneezes near me, I’ll get a cold. And there isn’t really much I can do about that, because I’m autistic, have PCOS, and have always been a bit susceptible to illness. I’ve mentioned last month was almost a washout for me because I got sick with one thing after another, and this was with masking and other mitigations.
So it’s become clear to me that I have to be very cautious and conscious of where I go and what I do and who I’m around, not least because in the UK the mitigations are now almost nonexistent despite a number of lethal new variants circulating. Not many people mask at all. There are very rare instances of ventilation or HEPA filtering. A number of people I know in the wider community have had multiple infections, increasing their chances of Long Covid. There is a developing flu epidemic in the US too which makes me worry for the rest of the world too. I’ve been boosted and flu jabbed late last month though so that is at least a layer of protection – so please do get boosted if you can.
Let’s get back to Twitter. Dan joined Mastodon over the weekend and has been trying to explain it to me but I can already see that the things that make Twitter attractive to me are not quite there (yet?) – discoverability, no siloed servers, that particular kind of thing that is catnip to an ADHD interest based brain like mine – you can jump around and follow your interests and go down random rabbit holes. It’s taken me years to get to 1,000 plus followers, and most of those came from 2020, so definitely it isn’t that I’ve got a big following (more people follow this blog for eg).
I don’t think Twitter is really the place for marketing or for selling things, but it can be a place to find interesting people who might be on your wavelength. I don’t really want to lose touch with them. I mean if we all jump ship then I’m sure people will share where they’re going so there is that. I may join Mastodon at some point.
It’s also looking unlikely that we’ll be moving until next year. The current housing market and mortgage situation isn’t good here right now and people are struggling with high interest rates, and even to get a mortgage. In some ways, that’s to be expected when we’re in the midst of political upheaval (and corruption), inflation, and the threat of austerity measures. I’m not even going to say much about the current political and economic mess the UK is in because if I do, I’ll probably be here all evening. Maybe another day!
But it does add more uncertainty to the situation and likely that my parents will have to reduce the asking price on the house again. It does mean, unfortunately, more viewings which are stressful for all of us, but it is a chance to have one more holiday season in this house, which is a beautiful Edwardian and it’s always lovely lit up at that time of year with garlands and the tree. Also a little bit of a respite as the thought of moving after or around December always sounded like too much!
This post has turned into a bit of a sad one, longer than I expected too, perhaps that just reflects my mood. It’s not that I can’t see the good things or that there aren’t things to look forward to, because there are, definitely. I always love December because it’s my birthday month and generally there are pretty lights everywhere and the world feels a little softer and glittery for a while. This is my nephew’s first December and that’s going to be lovely. I’m also hopeful that my health will improve as I’m already feeling a bit stronger. There are things to read, games to play, walks to take, and plenty to watch over the winter months.
Let’s leave it there for now, and celebrate the possibilities for the end of the year, in the midst of everything.
‘In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.’– Albert Camus.