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Let me explain my recent silence...

When I started this blog, I had ambitions of publishing posts every two weeks – and I’m not abandoning it. However, I haven’t posted for a while, and I thought I should let you know why.

Four weeks ago, I had a bicycle accident. I was cycling to a Zumba class on a one-lane road, next to massive houses I would never be able to afford. I like that route because I feel like I’m visiting another world, one that’s very different to my day-to-day life.

Anyway, I got to a pretty steep hill with a traffic island. Behind me was a large car. Maybe a four-by-four, maybe not. I can’t remember. All I know is that the driver was very close to me, as if he'd been trying to rush me or had thought he could take over but changed his mind last minute. I remember engine being revved, a slight feeling of panic and a desire to cycle faster so that the car could just drive past and let me get on with my route in a more tranquil manner, the way I like it.

My foot must have slipped off the pedal and I fell, hitting my stomach with the handlebars. I remember lying on the ground, vomiting, people running out of their houses, a woman covering me with a duvet, the driver behind me stopping and telling me to stretch and offering me water, one of the people telling me not to drink it, the driver calling my partner, the driver leaving, someone calling an ambulance, another person driving to get my partner. I thought that, even though I was in a lot of pain, this was probably nothing.

In the ambulance, I was cracking jokes and thought the whole thing was hilarious: I mean, I’d definitely be out of the A&E in a few hours, right? Fast forward to the next morning, when, suddenly, the pain got unbearable. Turned out I had a perforated bowel, and the leakage was more serious than what the doctors had thought before. I spent nine days in the hospital. I am still in pain every day, although it’s way better now.

Alicja wearing a face mask and a hospital robe next to a painting of a badger
I encountered some lovely art on my hospital ward walks

I’ve been off work and will be returning to the office on 5 July.

I missed ScotNet’s Shetland workshop on renewable energy that I’d been looking forward to since December 2017. I missed my first in-person ITI’s conference. I was very upset about it but soon enough I got too tired to be sad anymore.

It’s been hard (especially when a week ago I found out my beloved bike Ilana, named after Ilana Wexler from Broad City, is unusable and will have to be replaced, AND that I developed a small wound infection which set me back a little bit – both on the same day) but this time has also taught me that my health is my priority. It’s much more important than making sure I show up on this blog to talk about productivity, business and translation.

Alicja sitting in a chair at the back of her building; she's wearing sunglasses and a short-sleeved T-shirt
I've used time off work to read and embroider in the sun

I also learnt once again that my colleagues are truly the best in the world. Everyone who attended the ScotNet’s workshop sent me a card. The ITI Chair Nicki Bone and the CEO Paul Wilson asked all the ITI Conference attendees to wave at me (which I saw because I managed to attend virtually – thank you to Caroline Wells, the ITI Operations Manager, for changing my ticket at such short notice).

I’d also like to thank Paul Appleyard for the lovely chocolates, Ewa Jasinska-Davidson for the delicious tea, my ITI Polish Network committee colleagues for the beautiful flowers and Ania Marchwiak for bringing me a gift from Shetland – this lovely mug and puffin chopping board (which will serve as a wall decoration in my kitchen). And, of course, countless people who messaged me and sent their best wishes.

Blue chopping board with puffins, on top of it is a white mug with black painting of a man wearing a wool jumper and carrying a sheep on his back
Beautiful Shetland gifts I got from Ania Marchwiak, her partner Barry, my best friend Ania and her partner Will

I’ll return to posting here regularly

but for now I need to focus on recovering.

Speak soon!



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