It's been a very...let's say 'interesting' few weeks.
Firstly, I caught mumps. There is something ridiculous about catching mumps as an adult, especially when the swollen cheeks and neck kick in and you look like a chipmunk.
A few interesting things about mumps:
- It's highly contagious.
- You're infectious before the symptoms appear so you can infect a lot of people unknowingly.
- You're still infectious after the symptoms appear.
- The first symptoms are fever, headache, tiredness and muscle pain.
- The swellings arrive later.
- Complications can include meningitis, pancreatitis, male infertility, deafness and encephalitis.
- It's horrible!
I'd been feeling tired and headachy for a few days leading up to Christmas but just put it down to being busy and the time of year. Then the fever hit. It was 26C up here in Helena Bay and I was sitting outside in the sun with my teeth literally chattering like castanets. It was so clichéd that I couldn't help but laugh.
It was around this time I decided to shut down lifestyleblock.co.nz. How much of that decision was influenced by mumps I'll never know. Maybe it's a complication of mumps that's not widely known.
Announcing the shut down brought an avalanche of emails and messages, all but one were supportive but most people hoped the site could continue in some form.
I did what any reasonable person would do and went to bed for a few days.
After reading and re-reading story after story about how LSB had helped people and their animals I got to work to find out a way of continuing to have the information and support still available but with less work and expense. The result is that LSB will be slightly slimmed down but will continue for at least another six months. By that time, I hope to have a long-term plan that will ensure LSB's continued existence. I also hope my neck will have shrunk back to normal proportions.