Dinner on the Lightning Rail

We had a good D&D session last night, returning after a couple of weeks where people were unwell. The mighty adventurers are facing possibly their toughest challenge yet: high society. Travelling long distances takes many forms, but by far the most comfortable available at this moment for them is the Lightning Rail run by House Orien – and so they have joined the train in first class, along with a new member of the group and have some time to kill.

Its been a good excuse to pull back from the action and adventure and spend some time with the players reintroducing themselves and doing some reflective roleplay as they get used to both the new surroundings and people. Sometimes railroading can be a useful tool, and this has been very popular with the players as I’ve checked in after the sessions. Their biggest worry has been to decide on what to choose from the menu. Their biggest dilemma has been wine versus cocktails. Their main concern has been how drunk the dwarf barbarian might be getting…

I’m really enjoying going to town with the world-building in this little travelling location, and the players (and the characters) are enjoying it all too – watching the little wonders of the world pass by while retired generals and robust noblemen drink brandy and smoke cigars in the lounge car, and an undead elf tells a dragonborn sage tales of the fall of the goblin empires in the saloon. A tiefling warlock knits scarves in their cabin while their familiar snoozes with a hoard of table scraps, and hangovers are something that won’t happen until the next session…

Time Taken

I’m lucky enough to have a reasonable amount of flexibility in the hours I work as well as the locations in which I work. When I work longer hours than planned it’s usually not too difficult to plan time off in lieu. After a hectic week I took yesterday off and somehow I think I’m even more tired now.

My GP was meant to call first thing so I’d arranged to take a friend to Kingston for a gentle pootle around. Life being what it is, the call didn’t come until late in the afternoon so our decision to head out anyway rather than wait for it panned out.

I’d promised to show Lady T the art gallery I’d found earlier in the month, and we ambled around coffee shops putting the world to rights in a gentle and sunlit afternoon.

By contrast, the GP conversation around referral was a bit of a slog, and as draining as I’d feared. I’ve been quietly worrying over the last few days about it all – and hearing a read back from my notes of my mental health treatment history was difficult. On the one hand it was a testament of stubbornness and progression. On the other a series of blows endured.

I’ve spent a significant portion of my counselling session this evening sorting through both aspects and their nuances.

Perhaps it’s not surprising therefore that today has been one of near shutdown. I shall hit the gym tomorrow.

Tangled Days

Work is complicated at present – well more so than usual – and I think between that and personal processing it has been more difficult to bring things to the blog in any coherent way. Sometimes, especially when it comes to work, there are things that I can’t talk about in a public form because of financial or confidential matters connected to them.

Likewise in the tangled pathways of my brain I have things I can’t coherently talk about because they’re still being mulled over. In some ways it’s like a jigsaw puzzle that I don’t want to display yet.

However I find the discipline of maintaining a blog schedule to be a useful one, if only so I’ve got somewhere to put things on display for later consideration or to entertain you. That’s why sometimes I have rambling posts like this that don’t go anywhere until I get a random flash of inspiration.

In this case its to muse that all things being well, the D&D group will be back on Sunday to continue their adventures. They are currently on a fantasy steampunk railway, mixing with reasonably high society. What’s the worst that could happen? What’s that, a murder? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

Stepping On

I was feeling a bit at a loose end earlier today. Everyone was off doing things and I think the end of a packed week just had me at a low ebb.

There’s a stereotype that being poly means being in each other’s pockets all the time but if I’ve learned anything it’s the importance of both making sure that I am comfortable being in my own space, and embracing how important for other people to have that too. Remembering that felt difficult today, but I knew that if I got on with something it would help.

So I went to the gym, because its something I’ve not been doing as much as I’d like. And that helped. I have a routine that takes about an hour and includes a lot of cardio. With headphones on and an audio book playing that hour went quickly.

Combined with some time for a coffee and people-watching in the bar area later it definitely helped lift my spirits. Sometimes just plodding on is all that’s needed.

Brief Update

I can’t think of anything witty to title today’s entry, but basically life ticks on, work is continuing, and I’m filling a new notebook with pictures and scraps of story as a simple outlet in between planning things for the D&D group and spinning metaphorical plates at work.

I’m booked to talk to a GP on Friday next week, my blood pressure readings are all submitted, I think I’m due a new set of diabetic blood tests soon, and I’m feeling reasonably good in and of myself.

The D&D scenario? Think murder on the orient express but with only vaguely housetrained adventurers. This is going to end up like the restaurant scene in the Blues Brothers, isn’t it?

Processing

I’ve always been largely one to work from the head when it comes to processing things. It has taken many years of work and therapy to acknowledge that my gut feelings are usually pretty accurate. Having said that, when there’s something that needs to be mulled over its usually the cogs in my head that start whirring.

I’ve had various things rattling around the last few days, prompted by conversations and some introspection. It led to me doing some research on adult autism and taking a test provided by the National Autistic Society. The results indicate significant signs of my being autistic – but I am at the same time very aware that these tests are just providing an indication. It feels like it fits.

On balance, I think I’m going to be making a call to my GP tomorrow to ask for a referral – if only to get some sort of clarity.

Knickers Everywhere

We’re starting to gear up for the Jubilee celebrations in the libraries, and I’ve just overheard two of my staff on the phone to each other assuring each other that they’re not copying each other and are doing quite different children’s events and crafts based around the book The Queen’s Knickers.

Independent invention is a wonderful thing, and in this case I know it’s been prompted by hardback deliveries this week of the same books to each library in the area.

At the library I’m currently basing myself from, the focus is on inviting people to decorate a template looking like a set of underwear with whatever colours, patterns, or cut out shapes and pictures they like. The resulting pieces are then being hung up on “washing lines” within the children’s library.

It’s all good fun, and I’ve only had to veto a couple of design choices suggested out of devilment by the staff as they make up some samples to start it all off. I look forward to seeing the collection grow…

And yes, I have contributed a design. Doesn’t seem to be up yet.

Back To Work

As is usually the case my first day back at work was largely spent filtering and triaging the hundreds of emails that had come in while I was away. The wonderful thing was that my steadfast crew of merry pirates had basically got on with being awesome and dealt with most things without any need to do more than just let me know the outcomes.

After filtering those out it left maybe a dozen or so things I needed to take a look at, and of those none required me to hit anyone with a rolled up newspaper. I may have raised an eyebrow at one or two people and asked for clarification, but that’s hardly unusual.

We’ve even managed to sort out some music licences for some planned events, so that’s a big win.

And yet people still look surprised when I tell them I love my job.

Ah Payday

I would say that I’m not sure why the last week has been a bit of a struggle with money but I can very firmly point to the two parking tickets I managed to earn this month as contributing to the pain. Never mind, lessons learned and all that.

It’s been a quiet couple of days, but I did go to Kingston yesterday to have a payday spend, looking at things for the flat. By far the best decision I made was to walk in to Not My Beautiful House, which is a pop up art gallery set up and run by students at Kingston University. They are focused on selling art by local people and I found a fair few things that caught my eye. In particular there were abstracts created by an ADHD support group, and I couldn’t resist

For £20 I had a new canvas piece for the hall, and I’ll definitely keep an eye on the place from now on.

Other than that it’s been quiet. Both the introverts have tucked themselves away so I may go out to the gym later – or spoil myself with a nice rioja – I haven’t decided yet.

Gym Thoughts

After a more hectic than expected beginning of the week, Lady M and I have taken a leisurely wander to the gym to work out some of the aches and pains with a mixture of exercise and spa pampering.

I usually start with a half hour brisk walk on a treadmill as it gives me time to let my mind wander and eases my sometimes creaking joints into acknowledging that there’s work to be done. I’m finding it gets me into a positive mindset, but also that it lets me switch off a bit.

Today’s thoughts came in general as my gaze occasionally passed over the other people using the space. There’s nothing earthshattering in the thoughts, but I felt it worth acknowledging and recording that:

A) everyone, even the most chiselled and glowing among us, had to start somewhere.

B) most people using the gym are in their own headspaces and couldn’t care less about what I look like

C) it’s easy to see how people can get obsessed with measuring themselves against other people and the weights they use or the machine settings they are on.

D) The only person I’m measuring against is myself and the difference from where I started