Rafferty’s Rules is being resurrected. It has been a dead site for about a year and a half and it was, for all intents and purposes, dying for several months before that. Here’s why:
Semester 1 2019
During my first semester of the University Preparatory Program (UPP) at the University of Adelaide, I began to struggle physically. I was always tired, always cold. The distance I could walk without feeling winded was less every day. I just put it down to my general lack of fitness and getting used to studying. During a routine visit to my GP, she took one look at me and ordered a blood test. The test showed that I had severe anemia. I was admitted to hospital where I recieved several iron infusions. I was also told to begin taking iron tablets in addition to eating more red meat. The underlying cause of my anemia was not found at this time.
Mid-Year Break 2019
By the end of the semester, I was exhausted, and completely ready for a break. It was not to be. I began to experience bouts of severe vomiting and diarrhoea. At first this was happening on a weekly basis , lasting a couple of days, but they became more frequent and lasted longer, until by the end of the break, I had been ill for a week straight. Mum got a bit fed up with my ‘I’ll be fine’, and took me to the local hospital. They did a bunch of tests which showed that I had a bowel obstruction. I was immediately transferred to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for emergency bowel surgery.
After it was removed, the obstruction was tested and found to be cancerous. After discussing my options, it was decided that, due to my age, the cancer would be treated aggressively.
Semester 2 2019
This semester was difficult for me. I was studying full time, while raising two teenagers. At the same time, I was dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy. It was an exhausting time, and I simply didn’t have the energy or motivation for extra curricular activities like blogging.
My final round of Chemo was in January 2020. I had intended to take a break, and just enjoy living for a couple of months, before resuming my blogging (and writing, which had also fallen by the wayside) when I began my undergrad degree in March. As we all know, that’s when Covid emerged as a global concern. Like many students, I struggled to adjust to online and distance learning, quickly becoming overwhelmed, and unable to devote time to anything outside of my studies and my family. I didn’t even have a lot of time for reading outside of what I needed to read for uni. On top of everything else, I have found myself falling ill more easily this year. I have had several colds and I have developed asthma. Thankfully, I haven’t had Covid!
Summer Holidays 2020/21
Now that I am completely well and feeling on top of the new university experience, I am finally able to resurrect Rafferty’s Rules. Over the past couple of weeks, I have made some changes.
- I have added an About page.
- I have separated my fanfics from my fiction, so the menu now shows Fiction Friday and Friday Fanfics separately.
- I have deleted the list of bookcrossing books which have been caught.
- I have deleted the list of books I can’t get from the library.
- I have removed several widgets from the sidebar, including the countdown to NanoWriMo, the LibraryThing widget, and my twitter feed.
- I have moved some lists from the menu to the sidebar, including my last ten books read, movies watched, and anime watched.
- I have added what I am currently reading and watching to the sidebar.
- I’ve tidied up my blog categories a bit, and made some name changes. I’ve also added any challenges I’ve undertaken, and any relevant blog posts to the Odds & Ends Menu List. For example, the 30 Day Book Challenge list is posted in Challenges under Odds & Ends, while my daily posts in response to that challenge are posted in Challenge Responses.
- I have removed sites I no longer use from the links under Hook Up, and I have removed broken links and sites I am no longer interested in from Have a Squizz.
- I have deleted a few things from my Bucket List.
- I have made some minor changes to my FAQ responses, mainly just wording it more succinctly and adjusting any changed favourites.
- I have deleted some blog posts which no longer fit with how I want my blog to be presented. Jokes which may be percieved as racially insensitive, for example.
From tomorrow onwards, I will resume blogging as usual. As stated on my About page, Fiction Friday will continue as normal, as will Miscellaneous Monday. I will still post Top Ten lists ocassionally, but not on a weekly basis. These lists simply take too much time to compile weekly while I’m studying. Over the next year or two, I might make a few more changes to the blog. For example, I am considering bringing back my fanfic rec lists, which some of you may remember was a thing way back when I started.
There may be other changes reflecting changes to my personality and interests over time. Who knows? I’m not making any promises, nor am I going to rule anything out. That’s why my blog is called Rafferty’s Rules!