RedRocketPanda Soft Relaunch

Hey everyone, I’m back!

When I started RedRocketPanda in April 2017, I never expected it to grow into what it is today or hold such a central place in my life. The combination of the absolutely amazing stars of the blogging community, the opportunity to read and review brilliant books, and having my own little piece of the internet to talk on spurred me on to keep growing this blog and posting more content. It’s something I never imagined would happen but I am really happy with how everything has turned out.

One of my main aims this year was to completely redesign RedRocketPanda to create a fresher look, offer additional content and services, and make the site easier to navigate. I’ve spent the past month working hard to achieve that and I hope you all really like the new look! I’ve still got a few more things in the pipeline which I’ll be adding over the coming months, but for now, let’s talk about what’s new around here.

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Birthday Books & THUG Winner

Two pieces of awesome news all wrapped up into one little parcel for you all today!
For those of you who didn’t know, Sunday April 15th was my 26th birthday and I got some really lovely presents including lots of books which I obviously have to share with you all. But first, something even more exciting – announcing the winner of my signed copy of THUG!

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Job Rejections & Mental Health

AMentalHealthInterludeFor any of you who read my first installment on Mailbox Monday earlier in the week, you might remember me mentioning that I had a job interview coming up this week. As I currently work part-time, I have been taking a lot of time to think about moving into full-time work within my current organization. For someone with any kind of disability, such a transition can be a big step and it was definitely something that I had spent a lot of time thinking about. Would I be able to cope with working full-time due to fibromyalgia? Would we be able to make alternate arrangements for Achilles as I’m currently his primary carer? Would full-time work actually help improve my health rather than negatively affect it? Would both me and my partner work full-time or would he have to leave his job?

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A Personal Interlude | Pet Death

AMentalHealthInterlude (1)

Content Notice for discussion of pet’s death, sudden death, cancer, grief.

As some of you might have known, either from following me on Twitter or reading my previous article, our hamster was getting on in life. Very sadly, in his last few months, he developed a lump on his chest. We took him to the vets as soon as possible to have it looked at but due to his age, the vet (and us) decided it wouldn’t be in his best interest to put him under the stress of surgery. We chose to carry out palliative care through the use of medication and keep him as comfortable as possible.

A few weeks after we made this decision, a friend of mine who I’ve known for a long time now came to me saying she needed to sell her hamster as she was moving and couldn’t take the hamster with her. I offered to take her in. She was the first dwarf hamster I ever owned, as I have only had Syrian’s my whole life, and my partner thought it would be good for us to rescue a hamster in need when we knew that Faolan probably didn’t have long left. When I lost my dog very suddenly a few years ago, I really struggled with the emptiness in the house and not having anything to positively focus my attention on. Obviously, we have Achilles but the thought of an empty cage lingering in our house made me feel so sad and the thought of being able to help another hamster in need (whilst not replacing Faolan) felt really good. We shared pictures of her on Twitter, held a naming poll and started buying materials to build her a DIY cage with lots more space.

Very sadly, we had to make the decision to put Faolan to sleep on Monday 5th March. The lump on his chest was clearly causing him a lot of difficulties as he was unable to properly groom himself, his interest in food and drink was dwindling, and he was sleeping 95% of the time. After speaking to the vet, we felt it would be the kindest thing to do to put him to sleep. I elected to stay with him while he was put to sleep as I didn’t want him to be alone and, needless to say, we were absolutely devastated.

Then, almost out of nowhere, our new hamster also passed away on Saturday night. I went to change her water, give her some food and check on her as, despite the time, she hadn’t gotten up yet which was very uncharacteristic of her. When I checked her bed she had passed away in her sleep. The grief of losing two pets in such quick succession, one of which was a complete shock as she was only 5 months old, really affected me.

Thankfully, I had made a very wise decision in the previous week to queue up some reviews which relieved a lot of pressure from having to worry about falling behind with blogging. I had to take the weekend off of work and have been spending most of my time sleeping, reading, hugging Achilles, playing video games and just trying to take some time to myself. I’m starting to feel a bit better so will be resuming blogging in the next few days, but felt it would be good to explain what’s been going on and dedicate some space to talking about it ❤

I know there’s no pressure for me to keep up with posting content or blogging but it’s something that has really helped me over the past year, along with all the great people I’ve met through doing so.

EST. 2015 (1)


A Mental Health Interlude


All day I have felt terrible – and by terrible I mean so depressed that I have been unable to get out of bed, feeling like I’m stuck in an endless void which assaults my brain with invasive thoughts – and haven’t known what to do with myself. I haven’t felt this bad in quite a long time. Since I started taking Citalopram to help with my depression and anxiety it’s really leveled me out. On days when I have felt depressed, the Citalopram cushions the blow and keeps me falling below sea level. But today, today has been really bad and I think part of it is that I’ve felt completely trapped – by my mind, by my life, by feeling like I have no one to talk to.

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