Things Lady M Says: If you’ve got a minute

Here’s one that I think everyone has experienced at some point or another. It might be with a partner, or a child, or a parent, or a co-worker but whoever it is they ask you to do something just as you’ve finished something and are sitting down for a moment’s rest. Most of us bite back a comment, maybe groan, and get back up. It’s part of the social contract that binds us to generally be polite.

Lady M has perfected this to an artform, and somehow manages to call out from the next room, often just after the point of no return where gravity has overtaken your muscles in the maneuver of sitting down. I’m pretty sure there’s a subconscious part of her brain that hears me clattering around and lets me get on with it, but then kicks a request out as soon as the noise stops.

I’m too polite to tell her to take a running jump, and it’s usually something minor, so I occasionally deploy a turn of phrase from my Welsh background. I call back “I’ll do it now, in a minute” – especially if I’m actually in the middle of something like replying to an email or something. It acknowledges the request and says there will be a short delay.

Sometimes that short delay overlaps with Lady M finishing what she was doing, so she comes in to do it herself, and swears it’s not a problem even as she bustles and huffs at high speed to do it. Sometimes I let her. Sometimes I tell her to bugger off and go sit down.

On special occasions there will come a flow of requests in a row as a stream of consciousness checklist forms in her mind. On those instances I tell her to hold up because I haven’t finished the first one yet, and this is taken in good grace, though it does occasionally turn into a timeloop back to the beginning of this writing piece.

This may sound like a gripe, or that I’m constantly being nagged but that’s not the case – partly because we throw requests at each other quite happily, but also because it’s alongside each of us getting on with things and occasionally asking for a helping hand rather than trying to farm jobs off at each other

Wizards Unite

I’ve been playing the new Niantic game based on Harry Potter in its first week, and after a few teething troubles I’ve tweaked a few settings to make it a lot more enjoyable.

It’s a beast of a game in terms of battery drain and wanting to download assets, which means that it can seem to be really glitchy out of the gate. That said it’s based on the same bones as previous Niantic games so the first thing I did was switch off the AR camera. Overlaying things on the real world is a lovely look, but it doesn’t suit my casual play style.

Then I went into the settings and switched off the sound and vibration settings and activated the battery saving option. So far, so normal. Then down the bottom of the settings I spotted an option to download all the assets over wi-fi.

Suddenly the freezing behaviour of my initial games made sense – it wasn’t taking ages to load art or animations, it was downloading them as required. Now I have a big data allowance so this doesn’t necessarily annoy me on its own, but given how data connections around me can bounce from 4G to Edge and everywhere in between it seems an unnecessary bottleneck.

One very large download later, I had all the assets stored locally – and hey presto all the freezing and stuttering suddenly stopped happening.

That’s the point at which I started enjoying the game.

Empty Bed

It’s my second night of having no one in my bed with me. Lady S is at home on the coast, and Lady M is up in town at the Women in Tech conference at the ExCel. She’s apparently a little bemused to be there without being surrounded by cosplayers.

There’s always mildly mixed emotions at times like this. On the one hand there’s the calming reassurance of snuggling up with one or more partners , drifting off while joking about the day or being soppy. On the other hand I have the whole bed to myself and have spent two evenings playing games, watching trashy films, reading and doodling in my own little world.

Being able to enjoy time on my own without my loved ones is healthy and important. I’m comfortable with silence. It gives me time to emotionally recharge for when I see them again.

I did consider going out to the pub, like we regularly used to for #Tuesday, but I honestly didn’t have the mental reserves to deal with noise, heat, and people – and so I opted for self care.

This is huge, not something I necessarily would have allowed myself a few years back. I miss my partners, but I’m enjoying the physical and emotional space too.

Some more Site Updates

Its been a busy week, but somehow not as hectic as some, so I’m taking some time today to throw some more cosplay updates onto the page so I can then update the galleries later. Today I’ve put up two of the lesser-known or obvious characters – the Azkaban Escapee, and a Steampunk King Triton – paradoxically in many ways they’re some of the more complex designs in terms of props and gear.

I’m still not totally sold on the new interface for WordPress, especially in dealing with the more complex page structures that I currently have. I may revisit the Fiction and Roleplay sections to see if they’d benefit from a less complicated arrangement.

Things Lady S Says: Mum Jokes

So we all know that Dad Jokes are a thing: they’re bad, usually quite laboured and pun based – often deemed to be far more funny by the teller than those who hear it. There’s no escaping them.

Lady S takes that ideal and runs with it to make Mum Jokes that make us groan and her cub shake his head in despair. For Lady S, a good indicator of how awful and therefore successful her Mum Joke has been is if she can elicit a muttered “For Fuck’s Sake” from me.

When that happens, her whole face lights up, as a grin widens and her eyes twinkle. She knows that either Unit Lady M will try and retaliate with something even worse.

There is always a logic to it. She has a methodology that her spectrum-brain has adopted where she starts with the punchline in her head and constructs it backwards before releasing it into the wild. Sometimes the torturous logic prompts us to challenge her and ask if the punchline came first – and there’s always a slightly goofy chuckle as confirmation.

Things Lady M Says: Now You Know

There’s a meme doing the rounds with a picture of Thor from Endgame in it, and the caption: “to all the larger guys over the moon about seeing Thor in the movie: now you know how important representation in the media is and how good it feels.”

I was chatting about it with Lady M this morning and she chuckled and asked if I’d seen a recent picture of her and some colleagues in a meeting at work on her social media. In it there’s one man and several women, and she’d taken the picture to capture a rare moment in her workplace where there were more women managers than men.

Apparently during this lively and productive meeting, the guy had said he felt a bit scared being outnumbered, and Lady M told him: “now you know how we feel all the time.”

As he appeared to mull this, she invited him to contemplate how many women were managers in their department. And then to look out across the cubicles and see how many non-white faces he could see.

This apparently gave rise to some degree of introspection and understanding as to why Lady M felt it so important to capture the moment in a photo to share with others.

Representation is important. It gives people someone successful to identify with, to give them hope or inspiration. We all have people who inspire us, and sometimes we’re even an inspiration to other people without ever knowing it.

Lady M always gets embarrassed and a bit coy when people reveal that they admire what she does and how she does it – but the glow when it happens, and the renewed sense of purpose and achievement is a wonder to behold.

So if she inspires you, or provides a role model or representation for you, tell her. Hells, tell anyone that does that for you because it may be exactly what they need to hear in a moment of doubt.

Yes, it is the weekend

I’m not sad to see the back of this week – it does seem to have been unnecessarily arduous: one of those Murphy’s Law weeks where anything that could go wrong seemed determined to do so.

This even extended to a member of my staff on his last week who seemed determined to push as many buttons as possible. Because why not?

Still, it’s all past now. I had a good long conversation about it all at counselling and have been enjoying a quiet day of mostly collapsing on the sofa with Lady M. Games have been played, doodles have been drawn, films have been watched – and there’s even been some grocery shopping and things thrown in the recycling bin.

I’ve also been writing. I’m trying something different to try and reenergise the storytelling by shifting to third person away from first person. If nothing else it’s giving me a chance to revisit characters and flesh them out a bit.

Is it the Weekend yet?

Ah rats, there’s still Friday to get through, but at least I’m not working the weekend. At least today there were no building shenanigans – well, not where I was anyway. For the most part it was a remarkably smooth-running Thursday, which was a relief.

Yes, there were notable customers and one or two moments where staff needed guidance, support, and in one memorable instance to be ordered not to distribute sweets to children. (It’s a long and tedious story involving someone trying to get different answers from different managers and not understanding that we actually talk to each other.)

Oh well. At least I had coffee today

Water Day

No I’m not sorry even in the slightest for that pun. Between one library having streams of water pouring through the roof, and the one I was at today having no water because of a burst water main at the local pumping station it’s been an odd one.

The pumping station problem took out the water supply for most of West London and it’s still only just really getting back to normal. As you might imagine, loads of people immediately panic-bought all the bottled water they could find.

We set a watch on Twitter feeds and news aggregates so that we could answer locals’ questions about what was going on. We’re a library. Knowing things is what we do.

It did mean though that I’ve gone most of the day without coffee and am now in caffeine withdrawal. Yay.

I suppose the detox will do me good.

Musings on a weekend

It’s been a busy couple of days. Work on Saturday was steady, with few problems bar some ongoing issues with the building that prompted me to leave irritated emails for Property Services to find when they got back after the weekend. We were short on staff, but kept our spirits up, managed to get a Pride display sorted, and generally had a good day.

Layered mask over rubber wolfsface mask

Sunday saw me travelling down to Portsmouth to attend a masquerade event with Lady S. As I was meeting her from her work to head straight there, this meant that I walked the sunny streets of Cosham and Drayton suited and booted with a walking cane and wolfshead brooch on my lapel.

Compared to the people half-falling in arguments out of pubs, newsagents, and off-licences I was therefore a little overdressed and conspicuous. It led to some bemused frowns of concentration on some faces. If they could have seen inside my bag, with its masks, paddles, and assorted elements, those frowns would no doubt have been even more confused.

The event itself, on its second anniversary of running, was a lovely celebration of humour, friendships and general debauchery as you might expect, and we were both glad we’d pushed through nerves and tiredness to attend. It was a late night, all in all, but I knew I could catnap on the way home.

The one thing I hadn’t planned in was the torrential rain that hit while I was on the train home. It’s my own dumb fault for not reading weather warnings. All I can say is that walking from the station in a suit was a refreshing experience..!

And so back to work – a short but eventful day, and a body that I’m not sure if it’s aching from being in the rain, or from exertions!