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.