Site Growth

Just an interesting bit of stat nonsense – since making a concerted effort to blog every day (even with this week being a bit spotty) – I’ve noticed the numbers of visitors climbing. Well, yes, I hear you say, why is this a surprise? Well it’s mostly because I still have a slightly amazed reaction to people having the slightest bit of interest in my ramblings so seeing how the numbers have changed still brings a smile to my face.

Today’s indication of growth comes from looking at the total number of viewers this year. As we really get going with March, we’ve reached a point where we currently equal about half the total number of viewers for the whole of 2013.

That’s… well I’m not sure what it means, but thank you all for dropping by – even the bots ;)

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World Book Day

Continuing in our onward journey to have an awesome year, I’ve made sure to leap into any opportunity to do something worth remembering with at least affection if not glee. Today was a perfect opportunity. I work in a library when I’m not writing, so it was a bit of a no-brainer to do something for World Book Day 2015.

Lady P

The lesser-spotted cosplaying assistant library manager

Lady P has already made waves with her Daenerys Targaryen cosplay, which she plans to bring to May’s MCM in London, so this was a perfect opportunity to give the costume a test run. Knowing that Demonic had some LARP gear available, I prevailed on him to lend me some armour, so that I could make a passable claim to be Ser Barristan Selmy, her trusted military adviser. (Oh, okay, I could have done with a wig perhaps, or dyed my hair, but I was having fun, not trying to infiltrate a convention.)

It was great fun – we had people give us all sorts of strange looks, mostly people who don’t have school-age kids and that was part of the joy of the day. There was something very British about the way people wanted to ask what the hell was going on but coped by not acknowledging our garb in any way. I particularly enjoyed greeting some people who were teetering on the edge with an innocent “What?” and pretending that they were the ones strangely dressed, not us.

We had a window display and arranged a fancy dress story time, and made a point of tweeting on the library’s account about it all, with a series of photos. The local paper got wind of it (oh okay, we called them a couple of days ago) and sent a photographer round, and then somehow our pictures got noticed by a national newspaper. Suddenly we were appearing alongside a round-up of teachers for World Book Day celebrations – which was odd, but rather gratifying.

A Khaleesi and her tribute

A Khaleesi and her tribute

To round it all off, we decided to treat ourselves to a quick drink at our favourite local coffee – and we’ve had an ongoing conversation with the corporate twitter account about Lady P’s cosplay, so when we mentioned our plans they offered a free coffee. When we got there, they had decorated one of the blackboards in her honour – so we just had to pose. Can’t wait to see the other pictures they took.

By the time Lady M joined us, we felt a little bit mobbed by staff and other customers (in a good way), and conversations have been had about Lady P’s availability to cosplay at future events at the coffee house – so a bit of a result for her there too!

So all in all, a good day!

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Happy Anniversary

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And now to play...

You know, as opposed to an unhappy one. Three years ago, as I write this, I think I was in a Starbucks with my father, getting drinks before cramming into his car to drive to Rowton Castle for my wedding to the redoubtable Lady M-to be. The nervousness was rising, but manifesting in my appearing more distant and reserved as the project manager in me picked off the possible problems and matched them to the contingencies we’d arranged.

In the end, there’s whole swathes of the day itself that I just don’t remember because it all went by so quickly. There are just some key moments: the panic on people’s faces when the doors stayed shut at the beginning of the bridal march; being piped to our first dance to the Halo theme; making the PA system virtually explode when I made my speech, and the sheer glorious expression of joy on Lady M’s face as we exchanged vows and rings.

I regret not seeing the Combat Morris Dance-off, which sounded awesome, but that’s about the only regret I have about the last few years.

We have an amazing, joyous life together. We face everything together, but give each other the space and freedom to be ourselves. We recognise that the flaws and oddities in each other are as part of who we fell in love with as beauty, humour and simple awesomeness.

That acceptance and wholehearted openness to explore life together and support and encourage each other through ups and downs only begins to scratch the surface of how rich and beautiful this marriage is.

We’ve a quiet night planned. I have steak and chips planned for a meal, and just sometimes that’s enough. Love you Lady M.

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Today’s Word: Thoughtful

A bit of a mixed bag day today, with a shortened game session due to Real Life getting in the way for several people. On the plus side we welcomed Danger from my Monday Miscreants to the Sunday Hooligans and had another volunteer to play. We may well have lost another along the way before we’ve properly started, but we’ll see how things roll out across the week.

We booked our Summer Holiday, and I’ve quietly arranged some dog-sitting for Lady P with the Charleesi so she can go on a course. Other than that it’s been quiet, so we’ve caught up on some shows, played some games and pottered around a bit. ‘Thoughtful’ seems to fit the day as a word as it draws to a close. Here’s hoping it looks up as the new week starts.

One thing I am enjoying is the Jawbone UP24. There’s a certain fascination with looking at my walking and sleep patterns when I sync it with my tablet, and there’s some motivational elements going on that don’t feel preachy. I know Lady M wasn’t sure about getting it for me, but I’m glad she did. I’ve configured it to nudge me to keep moving as well as act as a smart alarm, so my geek need to tinker under the hood is being serviced too. Yay!

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Summer Holiday Planning

We’ve just got ourselves sorted for our summer holiday – and surprise, surprise it’s a Disney location. This year we’re taking the Charleesi and her cousin to Disneyland Paris, somewhere I’ve not been in nearly ten years and that as far as I know neither Lady M or Charleesi’s cousin have ever been.

It’s the first time we’ve booked anything since we joined the Disney Vacation Club, so we needed a bit of a helping hand from the person down the phone, but with only a few hiccups due to transatlantic differences in idiom we’ve got the resort and tickets for the park all sorted. Tickets for the Eurostar journey to and from St Pancreas International have been sorted too, so we appear to have the basic components of a holiday all sorted.

This is both very cool and slightly terrifying – but the idea is to give both Charleesi and A a treat for finishing their exams and celebrate their sixteenth birthdays so it looks like this will be another summer of awesome. Excellent!

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Today’s Word: Meandering

Both Lady M and Charleesi have studies for exams in the near future, so after the riding lesson, they both buckled down to work while I played some if the new haul of games.

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The first mission of dragon Age Inquisition has me intrigued, but reminded me that I need to finish DA2 (and, technically DA:Origins too), and so I fired up Forza Horizons 2 after Lady M rage quit from it, and lost myself in its gorgeousness for a good portion of the afternoon. I’ve said before that I’m a sucker for sandbox games, and this Forza, combined with the import of drivatars from the previous game, has won me over.

This evening we had dinner at Demonic’s place as a birthday celebration, and came away with the awesome balloon pictured here. I also received a Good Book, sure to bring me relief in times of trial ;) We didn’t stay late, but endured the horrible weather on the M25 with no more than the usual semi-horrified “what on earth?!” exclamations.

Now we’re home, with a bottle of rose wine with which to unwind. Truly a meandering path through the day, and hence the word of the day for the new journal. Tomorrow brings the Hooligan tabletop D&D game. Can’t wait.

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Indulgent Birthday

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I have to say its been a lovely couple of days. I’ve had lovely comments and wishes from far and wide, and some truly awesome gifts. Being a massive geek – a confession that I’m sure will come as an awful shock to many of you – I was very pleased to receive a Funko Dancing Groot from Lady M. He now sits on top of the XBox 360, wishing us well in our console-hopping games extravaganzas. A veritable stack of new games is now waiting to be explored, with Lego Batman 3 currently the subject of my attentions.

From the Charleesi came the unusual journal in the picture. The idea is that you choose one word to describe your day. Lady M has challenged me to only use positive words, no matter what the day brings. I think I shall mirror the contents of that journal here too. I’ll either embed it in a longer piece like this, or make a standalone entry, depending on time and mood.

I also got a Jawbone UP24, which I’m getting to grips with, and so far I’m very impressed, now that I’ve finally got it paired with my phone and tablet.

We ate at The French Table in Surbiton last night. My meal was excellent: a terrine of rabbit and ham hock for starter, followed by venison and then a chocolate fondant dessert. Lady M encountered problems with her food, including shell in her crab cannelonni and alcohol still in the Madeira sauce with her beef. Her gingerbread bread and butter pudding with pear was amazing.

Unfortunately, the Madeira alcohol caused an allergic reaction (port and similar fortified wines do not react well with her stomach), so she has been rather unwell for much of today. On the plus side, we have finally replaced her green screened phone with a Samsung S5, so she is currently updating and configuring that.

We have the Charleesi with us this weekend, so it’s going to be fun. The words for the last two days have been ‘Indulgent’ and ‘Contented’. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s is.

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