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:

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.

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.

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…

Three Years

Three years ago, our triad actually got together for the first time. There was laughter and silliness, pub visits, and shopping. Its a pattern that has continued and evolved ever since.

We’ve had ups and downs, good times and not so good times, but no more so than anyone else. Above all there’s love and support, understanding and honesty, and no small amount of teasing.

Even with the lockdown, these amazing people have stuck around, challenged, and cherished me. I’m a very lucky man.

Changing Tack

We had planned to have a very poly Christmas this year, having our first Christmas together in the almost three years we’ve been bumbling along. Oh well.

I was going to go pick up myr s, the cub, and Lady W as metamour in chief on the evening of Christmas Day. That way they could enjoy a family meal with myr s’ father and Lady M and I could have a quiet morning to ourselves. A quick dash down to Portsmouth and back in the evening and we could then have a few days cosily in our flat. In line with the then-restrictions we would also be able to welcome Lady B during that period and have a table-top dungeons and dragons extravaganza.

Because that’s how we roll.

Instead, I am now busily making up details for that one-shot game to convert for Roll20 and our usual Sunday Twitch slot. No pressure or anything, I had been planning to largely wing it for the table but now I need to at least draw some maps. I’ve even written a four part structure for the characters to completely derail.

So, there will be other Christmases, and certainly plenty of other opportunities to get us all together again, no matter what coronavirus throws at us. For now, we’ll stay safe and do our bits to keep others safe.

Hello Winter

So, the clocks went back last night (or this morning, depending on your sleep patterns). As a result, anyone listing their activities in terms of GMT is now accurate for the next six months. So there’s that. I definitely needed that extra hour as our Pirates D&D game went on a bit later than planned – with a Halloween Beetlejuice-inspired caper.

Spooky is as spooky does

Oh, how we laughed. Well, more like screamed imprecations at the players who summoned him before finishing the containment bindings, but it did make for a fun and chaotic battle through a dollhouse.

The players learned that there was a reason I’d been grabbing and scrimshawing so many bones (healing potions reskinned as bones to break to activate). They also learned that my cleric’s version of turning undead was to shake bones and tell the zombies to f*** off back to their graves in fluent Draconic. And that said zombies tended to then explode when he did so. So that was colourful.

All of which was a good contrast to the week or so of prepping and undertaking interviewing of prospective saturday staff for the library I’ve just had. A night of mayhem was a good antidote.

Oh, and I did have time during the day to go see myr s for a few hours as well, which was also much needed by us both.

South Coast Sauntering

Its been a good day today, albeit one with a lot of driving. myr s invited me down for breakfast, and this coincided with Lady B having arranged to pick up a vanity table from a friend, so we thought we’d make a day out of it, kidnap Lady J too, and bustle over to Eastleigh for the morning.

My sat available decided that with all the local roadworks on the motorways that it would try and ratrun us cross country, so we had an enjoyable bought of trying to work out where it was trying to take us and then willfully ignoring it based on my passengers’ local knowledge.

If nothing else it made for cheery conversations as people recalled past jobs, workplaces, or relatives in places we passed. We duly picked up the vanity table, tetris’d it into the car with only one seat needing displacement, and went on search of food before myr s could turn into the hangry hulk.

The last time I was there was for Pride a couple of years ago, so bits of the street layout started to come back to me, enhanced by Lady Best memories of working at a now defunct club that seems to now be an empty space. We allowed the mental stretch of imagining reworking it as a split use site with an LGBTQ+ coffee/bookshop space during the day and club/bar space for the evening. Maybe when the best sellers and/or lottery wins roll in…

Oh, and we hit Poundland, partly for sugary drinks, and partly to raid the Halloween supplies. We’re all cosplayers, it’s what we do…

I also got told that the cub had explicitly demanded I not leave until we’d picked him up from school, so we did that and treated him to McDonald’s for his supper before I headed home. The grins and hugs were well worth it.

And so home, with a bag of goodies for Lady M from myr s, for a curry, mindless nonsense on the TV, and more tinkering with scenario details for the next game.

Can’t complain really…