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I’ve loved being away despite my wobbles – but there’s still nothing quite like that first shower when you’re home, and the settle back into your own bed. The silence was briefly unexpected and then I remembered this was a good thing and all was well.

We of course hit the souvenir shop on our way out the door, and have some nice odds and ends snuck away for presents as well as for immediate gratification.

Fortunately the traffic and weather was good for the return trip, and I did have one of those quiet moments of sublime happiness at seeing my partners asleep in their seats as I drove for a while. Its no secret I’m a soppy soul.

As a bonus, I have tomorrow off as a planned recovery day. Sleep is very much on the agenda

Out And About

The grand outing to Alton Towers has had, if you’ll pardon the pun, its share of ups and down with amazing rides, humour, silliness, and some mealtime stresses

The weather has been kind, with only minor showers once or twice, and comfortable temperatures and breezes. The banter and cheer has been great for recharging batteries and passing time in queues.

My anxiety however has been through the roof on occasion, mostly around mealtimes and things connected to that not going to plan. We’re also crammed a little sardine-like into two hotel rooms: four adults and three children. With no aircon it’s all a bit close-quarters.

Still, I’m choosing to be positive and reminding myself of all the positives despite by brain doing its best to sabotage me.

On Holiday

We’re off on out for a couple of days – myself, Lady M and the boy s with assembled kids. I’m not saying he’s excited, but the cub has not stopped exclaiming in his stream-of-consciousness babble all day, and it’s only the first morning.

We definitely need the time together. The last few months have been remorseless in their grind and we’ve really not had much quality time together.  Rollercoasters and silliness seems a good excuse.

There might even be some opportunities for some sleep at some point – a commodity that has been in scarce supply of late. I have driven the first half of our journey, and now Lady M is completing it. A snooze may be in order.

Half Term, oh and that Pride thing too

Being utterly awful people we all forgot it was half term this week until the cub reminded us. Fortunately Lady M and I had already booked some time off to take advantage of the bank holidays so we’ve taken him in while boy s continues to work.

Being myself I immediately booked tickets for myself and the cub to visit boy s at his work place and caused all kinds of merry havoc while we were there. The rest of the week has seen us take the cub to Go Ape, and a variety of other activities away from his usual computer screen.

We’re having a quiet day today – I can hear YouTube videos from the other room, I’ve gone shopping for groceries, and I may even have a nap to make up for a broken night for a while.

Meanwhile, its June. Happy Pride Month alongside all the other things taking place. Its as important as ever, because its impossible to understate how much of a difference it makes for people to be able to live as themselves.

I’ve been asked to put my name forward at work for a position with the LGBTQ+ Staff Network which will be hard work alongside the day job but well worth it if I can help facilitate positive changes. The AGM isn’t for a few weeks so I’ll talk more about that when the dust settles.

And yes, the autism referral stuff continues in the background. I’m not expecting to hear anything on that front for quite some time as it doesn’t seem to be something that BUPA covers and the NHS is overwhelmed. Patience, and all that.

Time For A Break

It’s nearly a weekend, I think. To be fair it’s been another slightly hectic week between boy s falling ill and a variety of surveyors and engineers needing access at strange times to various buildings – all while covid continued to rampage through my staff.

So tomorrow/today is Good Friday, which at least as far as myself and Lady M are concerned is a Bank Holiday. If the gym is open, we shall take the cub with us so he can swim and frolic – and we will unwind on a variety of exercise machines and possibly dip into the spa. Rude not to use all the facilities available.

On the games front, I’m still mostly playing Destiny2 with boy s and Lady B a few evenings a week. I have also managed to recover my old GOG account so I have most of the old Bioware D&D games to rediscover on my laptop. I even dipped into playing Alpha Centauri for nostalgia this evening. I do have a soft spot for turn based games.

Oh, and an added bonus: Lady M has twisted my arm into taking some leave next week, so that’s going to do wonders for my blood pressure.

The Yearly Round-Up

I’m somewhat torn between “good grief, that was a long year” and “wait a minute, it was just March!” as I settle down to write this. The blog has continued to grow – as of the time of writing there are 7,943 views from 4,075 unique visitors, 874 likes were recorded and 7 comments. By far the biggest draw is the main page for the new blog entries, while the rest of the traffic is split between old gaming writeups, a click-baity item I once wrote about almost but not quite having a polyamory tattoo, and a short story called Identity Crisis that I wrote back in 2017.

I’m not aiming to make a financial empire out of the site – there’s links to merchandise, true, but even that’s just artistic odds and ends and nerdy support for my friends and family – so while I’m sure there are bots and even SEO experts champing at the bit to offer me advice on how to grow and monetise the blog there isn’t any interest in doing so. The statistical figures are of passing interest in a “huh, that’s cool” way rather than a driver of activity. If they were, I’d probably not enjoy writing the blog so much.

That’s not to say that it doesn’t sometimes feel like a job or a chore, but I see it as good practice to keep in the habit of writing, even if it isn’t the rolling production of fiction that in my mind’s eye I would prefer to be doing. The real world, alas, distracts me far too often with maintaining the household, working the day job, and looking out for my loved ones – but on reflection that’s a good thing. It means I’m present for people, am keeping relatively active, and am looking after myself. That last one still feels a bit of a radical concept.

A lot has happened this year – including three months of boy s and the cub moving in while they relocated more locally – but there was also a promotion, a more active engagement with LGBTQ+ issues at work, and marching in Surrey’s Pride Parade with colleagues and clients. I’ve built a team of managers who are passionate about outreach and engagement with local communities. I even sold a few tshirts and started an erratically scheduled podcast. Editing of short stories and sharing those with a wider circle of people for feedback has occurred.

And I’ve started to feel less guilty about not managing to achieve absolutely everything all at once, let alone the illusion of productivity born of being busy all the time. Hopefully that will help me manage my health better as the doctors continue to prod, poke, scan, and probe. Fingers crossed, and all that.

That’ll do for the year in review I think. If you want more details, the blog is literally here to dive into – I’m going to make a cuppa and have a light lunch now. See you soon.

Christmas and Beyond

As someone recently noted on social media, I live a strange life, and I embrace that and aim to keep it that way so it doesn’t lapse into being boring and dull. I am proud to include a diverse and vibrant bunch of people in my life and celebrate their individual journeys as well as our commonalities.

This Christmas has allowed us to reconnect and bond with friends, partners, family, and those who might wander between. I caught back up with my brothers, and the Charleesi, with friends who have built their own forge, my parents, my partners, and a variety of children attached to various of the above.

So the plan today has been to sit quietly with Lady M, give our presents to each other, watch TV, play games, and not stray too far from the sofa.

It’s not the family gathering we had planned, but it’s a good substitute and rest ahead of the excitement and busy weeks ahead.

Christmas Eve

Well, here we are again – well done everyone for getting through another chaotic time. I’ve been purely focused today on chilling out with the xbox after a busy few days – escorting Lady M and boy s in turn to get their booster jabs and running the gauntlet of last minute christmas shopping with them each for starters. Tomorrow is planned to be mostly round with boy s and the cub in the new flat to welcome in their first Christmas. I’m sure the cub will play up as far as he can push things – but then he’s eleven and I would expect nothing less.

So, I’m off back to watch some Masterchef and share some wine and curry with Lady M – see you on the other side

And Now For A Break

Christmas is now going to be perpetrated – that’s about the best way I can describe it – across our various households and I have just finished wrapping a hefty chunk of the gifts I’m passing around this year. Our planned trip up north has fallen foul of – well I’d like to just wave my hands vaguely here at world events to encompass the chaos – so a smaller and more intimate gathering is planned round with boy s and the cub to welcome in their first Christmas in the new flat.

To facilitate that, I’ve spent most of this week running around patching and fixing as many little things at work as I can, and now I’ve stepped away and trust the people I manage to carry on being amazing. As is traditional at this time of trying to get away for a holiday, a massive piece of work landed in my lap around lunchtime. Fortunately, being the organised and professionally paranoid person that I am, I had everything I needed documented so was able to complete it with a minimum of growling – which was just as well as I then had a call from the school.

There had been an incident.

Fortunately nobody was hurt beyond some feelings, and the cub’s lesson has been to pay more attention to his verbal filters and to perhaps not make hand gestures when arguing with people. He’d already done all the self-flagellation by the time I got there so beyond some light teasing and a reassurance that he wasn’t in trouble, that was the end of that.

So. Hello my first holiday in a while – if we can just hold off on any seasonal colds, that would be lovely.

Morning All

It’s that quiet moment before the household properly wakes. I can hear very little from outside thanks to the new double glazing, but I’m sure life is quietly bustling.

Here indoors though, I think the cub is rousing and is probably playing Geometry Dash on his PC. Lady M is probably asleep on the sofa (it’s my turn there tonight), and I have boy s asleep on my chest, face softened in slumber.

I’ll have to wake him in a bit as he has a flat viewing to go to – the search for a place for him and the cub to call their own is on in earnest now.

It’s otherwise looking like a busy day. We have a new cooker being delivered this afternoon so I’ll start looking to make sure access is clear for that, and I’ve just had email confirmation of work approving a hybrid work car through a salary sacrifice scheme which is a bit exciting.

Right, the day beckons. I can see daylight.