Building The Team

I had the great pleasure right at the end of the working day to be able to confirm positions for another two managers who will be part of my team as of next month. Its been a long day so it was a nice capstone on it all to finish that way.

The rest of the day was filled with stock management, directing cabling works, and a variety of the more colourful customers who frequent our doors, so it has been somewhat varied, as days in the library go.

Lady M, in the meantime, is going to go back to her offices tomorrow – for the first time in about 15 months – so it’s an early start for her in the morning. Hopefully that will go smoothly.

And in polycule news: myr s became the last of us to get their first vaccination jab. My second will be on Saturday morning, and Lady B has already had hers so it’s good to see progress back towards life regaining some form of equilibrium.

Oh, and I saw this the other day, and couldn’t resist snapping it up:

Happy Pride Month

The sun is shining, and the flags are flying – both at home and at work – welcome to Pride Month. I’ve been busy working at the nearest library to me as we change how we manage stock, but we also broke out the flags and bunting that I got back in February so we could brighten everything up.

And then when I got home I found some extra flags I’d ordered had been delivered, so Lady M and I decided to decorate our balcony as well:

And then we enjoyed the warm summer air and listened to small children excitedly shouting about flags while we chatted with neighbours.

It’s been a good day.

Representation Matters

As we head into Pride Month, I’ve been musing on conversations about representation – particularly in the context of Equalities and Diversity at work. This has played a prominent role in recent interviews in our restructure and in conversations arising from them.

It is very often the little things that have the most unexpected effects. I was reminded of this when someone remarked this week that they were wearing a bisexual pride pin on their lanyard because they had been inspired by my wearing one.

They had found it a relief to be able to make this statement, and hoped that in turn they would be able to help someone else be able to accept and be their proper selves too.

I was profoundly moved by this. Its one thing to have previously noted the addition of the pin to their daily appearance; another to have someone say in a public forum why, and their hope for further supporting others in a similar way.

I’m proud to work in a diverse community, and be part of ensuring that my workforce reflects that too. Representation matters. Being visible matters. Showing people they’re not alone matters.

Maps and Chattering

We didn’t have a game this evening as myr s isn’t feeling well. Instead we sat in our Discord server and nattered away while doing our own things. In essence a quiet polycule evening being both together and in our own spaces.

Being a fiendish DM I spent a good portion of time downloading and editing map elements for the next few weeks most likely set piece battles, and making up a few random maps that I can turn to multiple uses “just in case”.

It’s one of the key behaviours I’ve adopted while running sessions in a virtual space – to have things relatively generic set aside that can be pressed into service. Contingency planning is a large part of running a more ad hoc series of adventures – with skills gleaned from years of project management, copy writing, and managing staff in general. Transferable skills work in all directions.

Oh, we may also have spent some considerable time looking up properties that we could buy up between us as well. Many interesting decorating decisions in many properties on estate agent websites have been critiqued this evening.

Together Again

At long last we’ve been able to get all together. I took advantage of the good weather and a gap in my rota to call out for us to gather. Christmas presents needed exchanging for one thing

And I’m so glad we did all get together. We met in one of the local parks and the relief and happiness all round has been just what we all needed.

It’s a shame we couldn’t stay down there, but we do at least have the game tomorrow to look forward to.

Oh, The DDC…

For those who haven’t caught up with Sunday’s streamed game, well where have you been? I knew it was probably going to be a bit random but I wasn’t expecting them to end up in a BDSM club.

On the one hand it was perfectly plot driven and was kept on the tasteful side, but it’s a stark reminder to DMs that any throwaway line can and will be used as a plot hook against you.

In this case it came from some abandoned and near ruined diaries found while investigating a deserted and haunted house. I was establishing the back story linking the owner of the house with another character that had previously been mentioned. A previous throwaway line of that character being a fugitive chemist and drugs being involved segued into the two mentioned characters being lovers.

This then led to a throwaway line of the DDC finding some erotic poetry between the two while searching through rubbish, and mention of some clubs that they’d frequented together. Having had a glass of whisky at the time I then made up some risqué sounding names.

This week, having rescued Coal, the DDC decided to go searching after the missing alchemist, and went looking for his previous haunts. This was where everyone produced their notes and said the name of the club they wanted to visit.

So instead of hunting after Warforged terrorists as I’d expected, they went clubbing, leaving Coal and Kerne behind to protect innocent eyes. Caeluma compared knitting and knotting techniques with a semi pro rope rigger, Thorin found his burgeoning pit fighter career made him a bit of a celebrity, and Valenia shmoozed for clues.

I have a vague plot now writing itself, but who knows where it’ll all end up…

Three Years

It’s been a strange journey of ups and downs in health and oddities, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Its been three years since myr s accepted a collar from me, and cemented a place in our collective lives.

Despite the best efforts of covid-19, lockdown, and the general vagaries of life we’ve kept a strong if sometimes frustrated bond – the joys of living in separate cities and all that.

The collar is a mark of trust and partnership, not unlike a wedding band, but a little less subtle in its symbolism. Since the first chain mail one, I’ve since bought a more masculine one for them as their gender identity has evolved. There have so been some more casual ones for comfort or blending in.

I was vaccinated yesterday, another sign that we seem collectively to be moving towards all being able to see each other again. I love myr s deeply, and cannot wait.

How’s Lady M?

This is how pretty much how most of the conversations with colleagues have started this week. It’s lovely to hear the concern both from those who know her from our conversations and from those who know her from our debauched pub meet-ups.

It has been my great pleasure to be able to say that she is doing very well, and healing quickly. More importantly her grin and laugh are back. I’ve missed those, and it’s wonderful to have the old Lady M back.

The DDC Game Design Theme

We had a great session today, bringing to a head the mystery of where Coal had disappeared to and what had happened to his former compatriots. Last week had brought the group to a war damaged slum, and the zombified remnants of the gang, and a wight that controlled them.

And then this week, as they thinned the waves of zombies out, the wall next to them came down revealing a roughly rebuilt Warforged Titan – a towering engine of destruction from the Last War – which had Coal patched and embedded in it as a jury-rigged power source.

And they fought among the ruins, fighting their fears for Coal, and were triumphant. The wight escaped, but they were able to rescue their companion. A huge victory, all the better for the emotional investment for everyone.

And it’s those connections I’ve been watching build, and encouraging as we go that rises to the queer experience of this set of adventures. There’s an underlying theme of the consciously built family in place of their various fractured backgrounds.

All the characters are outsiders and have bonded together in mutual support and love, but they are adventurers first and foremost. The characters original backgrounds are now being developed with new connections, and I’m enjoying weaving those into the story and hearing my players reactions.

Hearing my description of Coal being literally forcibly enfolded and assimilated into this relic of the military and wars he had fought so hard to reinvent himself away from, there were gasps around the table. There may also have been joking threats from myr s of what might happen if Coal died.

Music to my ears. Passion and determination fought fear and desperation this evening for stakes that felt important to everyone around the table. The discovered family fought the clutches of the abusive past, and won.

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.