9 Years Ago

About this time nine years ago I finally arrived at a budget hotel and was greeted by my very drunk extended family. I had been driven up by a friend in a convoy of SMART cars that were loaded to the gunnels with cakes that Lady M-to-be had finished baking and decorating just that morning.

I was exhausted, not in a great mood because my sugars were low and I was nervous about the day to come.

And yet, here I am still, remembering it all with great fondness with Lady M, and comparing notes on how my daughter was at that very moment keeping her as de-stressed as possible while also sleeping in a pull-out bed that reminded her and the other bridesmaids of a cat bed.

It was, and still is, a weird world. Let’s keep it that way

Still Tidying

I’ve managed to get the general mess and piles of things to be recycled vs thrown out down to more manageable levels today: specifically near enough that its now needing me to set a pace to continue it rather than say “that’ll do”

Whenever I weaken I look at how much better the corner I started with is, and do some more. My reward has been to then let myself do some more drawing, or to do some prep for Sunday.

Not much more to do

Flat but Positive

I’m not quite sure where today went, but I’m not going to punish myself for having a quiet day with everything that’s been going on.

I’ve played some Destiny, drawn and coloured another couple of maps, done some grocery shopping, and taken out the recycling- along with some other minor odds and ends. So it’s not as if I’ve been in a daze on the sofa.

Lady M continues to recover from her operation, and now sports an amazing display of spreading bruises. That said, the biggest struggle is getting her to sit still and let herself recover. Well, aside from when she cosies up on the sofa and suddenly there are gentle snores.

It’s not dramatic or draining in any traditional sense, but I am aware that I’m always keeping half an eye out to keep her fed, watered, and comfortable, so I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m feeling a bit flat. This won’t last long. Normality will return.

An unexpected gift from myr s

Mental Health First Aider

This is an option for training that has just cropped up at work, and it dovetails so neatly in to how I and my colleagues work with our staff that I just had to rattle a few cages to make it happen.

And the argument was won, so in March at some point we’ll get accredited training to be able to act as a vital element of support for our staff among the stresses that just keep coming.

Hopefully that’ll be after I return to work from looking after Lady M as she recovers from surgery. I am fully expecting to be spending a lot of time over the next few weeks telling her to step away from the laptop. She’s the first to admit she’s a lousy patient, but she’ll still need to be loving taken back to the sofa and an xbox controller put back in her hands while I make another mug of black tea.

Well, Not Technically Wrong

I was rather pleased with being able to get a simple but effective display up in one of my libraries marking LGBT+ History Month. I was even more pleased at the positive feedback from staff and public. Even more so that it has inspired at least one more colleague to start their own.

Today I was informed by a member of staff that we had received congratulations and thanks from a member of the public for our support of the NHS.

With a waved hand towards the display.

Not pictured, any NHS logo

My colleague resorted to the tried and tested nod and smile technique. We do indeed support the NHS. The multiple LGBT+ History Month signs and logos might as well have been invisible.

Life’s too short to be anything other than amused, but I may have quietly rolled my eyes at the confirmation that people just don’t read signs.

Rollercoasters

There’s a certain joy at witnessing the very visible emotional roller coasters experienced by myr s, particularly at the positive end of things.

They’re a soppy thing – and I say that with love – who wears their heart firmly on their sleeve. This occasionally turns into sobbing floods of tears in response to emotional moments on screen or in text, or in little moments in our Dungeons and Dragons game when nice or beautiful moments of wonder occur.

I wasn’t at all surprised therefore at the response they got recently when they asked on social media what people mostly recalled about them. Almost universally people responded by saying: “your laugh” – and rightly so, because a laughing myr s includes giggle snorts, full on belly laughs, and breathless chuckling. Usually all at once like an explosion of surprised joy.

File this under partner appreciation things I think…

Games and Pictures

The last few days been a bit of a swirling mess brain wise, but it’s been productive too. Sunday’s D&D game was great fun and we’ve recorded the silliness on YouTube

I was asked earlier in the day on social media to sum up what was in store for them, and I’d said ‘missing persons’ so I think we delivered on that.

One of the things we’ve started talking about has been some degree of merchandise. I’ll do that through Amazon as I finalise the designs as I’ve got extra design slots now available. We’ve been bouncing ideas around, and I’ll be mocking some designs up over the next few weeks.

If nothing else it gives me an excuse to do some silly things and have people wear them.

Other than that, I’m mostly preoccupied with the upcoming restructure at work, and with an operation that Lady M will be having soon – oh, and the joys of living under pandemic lockdown conditions as a key worker – but at least I’m earning…

Villainy Ahoy

I had a distinct look today when I got ready to go to work today. I was working a short walk from home for a change, so I wrapped up in a few extra layers before checking in on Lady M.

There was chuckling and photos taken, which on review suggested that I had inadvertently been channelling a Victorian or Steampunk villain of some description.

I’m quietly proud of the look, I’ll admit, even if there’s no villainy to go with it. I certainly felt a bit badass while stomping around Tesco on the way home tonight.

Positive Watchfulness

I’ve been having the occasional comment wend it’s way to me about how positive I’m being at work, how untroubled by all the stresses around us.

Truth be told its mostly because being cheery and positive is less exhausting than brooding on everything. Yes, there’s a small amount of denial, but I choose to interpret that as actively picking my battles.

A few days ago, myr s confessed they weren’t happy that I had to go in to work and risk infection. My only answer is that I feel safe enough in my work environment, especially with the barriers, cleaning, masks, and distance enforced while there. If anything it feels safer than going to the shops, and that’s in no small part due to control of my environment that I can exercise while at work.

Semi-related to the above is the descriptive fragment that bounced around my imagination this morning: “he was so optimistic that he expected anyone coming from Woking to be woke”

Time for bed I think.

Unexpected Sale

I sold my first original yesterday – I was on a Discord server chatting to people and posted a recent sketch I’d done to illustrate to the channel the sort of things I do. This led to an enquiry about sales, so I linked to my RedBubble site, assuming they might find something they liked up there. Instead I got a direct message asking to buy the original sketch.

This was an absolute first. I’ve sold tshirts and some artboard prints through the shop, but a physical artifact? I had to make sure they understood that this was in an ordinary notebook, and posted a picture with my fingers and the rest of the page for scale. This was deemed acceptable, and a price was agreed.

Me, worried?

So I bought a card on the way home to protect the piece of paper, and this morning sent my first physical sale off to its new home by recorded delivery.

I’m somewhat blown away. It’s one thing to hear people admire the things I scribble, but for someone to put their hand in their pocket for something I’ve made – well that’s kicked my imposter syndrome between the legs and no mistake.

I may even have included a free mini addition on the card, mostly because getting me to stop drawing is the hard part…