Laser Tag Party

We had the excuse of a celebration and a special request from the cub – and that’s how we ended up driving round the M25 to out the back of Caterham to play some laser tag in the woods. The original plan would have had us just watching while kids battled it out, but with some last-minute cancellations we had enough slots for myself and Lady M to join in while boy s watched from the side-lines and huddled under all our coats.

The mechanics were fairly simple – a sensor on the gun and three types of gun: a sniper, an assault rifle, and a submachine gun – each with differing rates of fire, range, reload times, and damage done against a notional value of hit points. Two teams of roughly a dozen on each side, and referees keeping an eye on it all. We had one hundred hit points per life, and five lives in a non-contact game where minimum distance to the other team was five metres.

And you know what – I really enjoyed it. We all did. I favoured a sniper so I didn’t have to run around too much and could put years of pinpoint FPS gaming to good use. The games were quick with some variants and two different arenas – and footing by and large was good despite snow and frozen mud. One small disclaimer, I did manage to lose my footing and do a very impressive tumble where I broke my fall by landing with the point of my elbow in my rib. It’s a bit sore, but some painkillers and the occasional wince of discomfort are seeing me through.

I hadn’t heard of GO Laser Tag before – and not having to wear a load of sensors was a big bonus – staff were friendly, kept good control of the sessions, and all seemed to be focused on making sure everyone had a good time. Their website is https://www.golasertaglondon.co.uk/ and for something a bit different that caters to a wide age range its a good option. We all enjoyed ourselves and have been making noises about not being averse to doing it again. Let’s face it, for the British that’s a glowing endorsement.

It also gave me a good excuse to give the new car a bit of a stretch on the motorway rather than just the local trips I’ve been doing for work and while I’m not a petrol-head, it was a smooth transition and satisfying to get some different driving under the belt. The new car is a plug-in hybrid so while it runs quite happily ramping up battery power from the flywheel to augment general driving, it can also operate as a purely electric car. As soon as the charge card is all sorted out, I’m looking forward to using it on the local commute.

Dude, Where’s My Weekend?

Our DDC session lasted an epic six hours this afternoon and evening and has left everyone drained. Jubilant, but exhausted as they beat the bad guys. Next week will serve as an epilogue of sorts to this arc.

I’ll write up the session itself tomorrow once I’ve had a chance to sleep. My body is still in reset mode ahead of next week’s challenges so most of the weekend has been spent curled up on the sofa or in bed. I’m reminded that in part this is down to vitamin D deficiency.

To be honest, I am starting to feel a bit more comfortable. I’m still very drained, but the spinning headaches and bone aches have faded, and I don’t feel like I’ve fallen down the stairs so much – so progress.

Also, the new car is nice. Be even better when the chassis registration goes through so I can charge it..!

Busy Week

I’ve had a very quiet day today, recovering from a week of hard conversations and difficult decisions at work. It has also, in that same breath, been productive and I’ve cleared a lot of things off the deck that have felt like they’ve been hanging over me since and while I’ve been ill. I’ve actually ended the week with a reasonably clear ‘to do’ list and a clear idea for now of things to prioritise when I go back next week.

Of course, no plan survives contact with Monday, but I’m enjoying a brief respite from having knots in my stomach – or maybe that’s just the relief from getting through another bout of IBS in the middle of it all.

I have made some more maps and preparations for the game tomorrow, as well as sketched out some ideas for the Wednesday game. I’ve even been in touch with the people I used to play the pirate-themed D&D game with. The DM for that group says he’s thinking of doing a Spelljammer-based reboot. I can’t wait – good old Hesklik was fun. I’ll have to see what inspirations strike in the New Year.

Just a quick update then ahead of tomorrow’s shenanigans. I may have fallen down the rabbit hole of playing some Assassins Creed Odyssey…

Hello Weekend

It feels like it’s been a very long week, but at the same time has had some good things in it. I had a diagnosis on the tiredness and a hopefully simple and effective remedy that I’ve started now. I had my payday so that’s always helpful – and I took delivery of my new lease car.

That alone will make work immeasurably less stressful as we won’t be competing for use of Lady M’s work car. Like her my vehicle is provided as part of a fleet under a salary sacrifice scheme which covers tax and services and tire wear and tear and things like that. We’re both now driving hybrids, and mine can also be driven as a purely electric car once the VIM registration goes through and I can register with the BMW tariff for charging.

Sadly we haven’t any charging points on the estate, but various places around the area do so I’ll be learning the gentle art of planning journeys with an eye to charging points. Who says it’s too late to learn new skills?

So my plan for tomorrow is to properly read the manual, work out how to customise things and connect my phone, and then take Lady M for a drive somewhere. Its been a good ten years since I’ve had a vehicle to call my own.

Jubilee Weekend

I’m not particularly engaged with the jubilee, probably because I’ve been helping my staff arrange events around it over the last few months. While I appreciate the event for the historical thing it is, it doesn’t really set my world on fire.

It’s also, after a half term of looking after the cub, actually been nice to do very little today but play Two Point Gospital, some Destiny2, and watch some TV without a quizzical little voice in my ear.

As for the rest if the weekend, I’ll be catching up with the Charleesi tomorrow for a birthday meal, and then fingers crossed for Dungeons and Dragons in the evening.

I’m more excited for those two things, I have to say.

Quiet Day

We were going to run the usual DDC game this evening but illness struck among the players so I’ve instead been playing various games on the XBox and chatting with various people online, as you do.

I’d like to say I was productive on the creative front, but housework and prepping for myr s and cub’s visit next week was the priority of the day. The cub has specifically asked for Lady M’s fabled chocolate mousse as a treat when they’re here, so getting the ingredients was reason enough to do a semi-weekly shop.

So yes, nothing exciting today, but a gentle recharge of batteries in our respective ways.

A Day Out?

Lady M and I met up with the ex-Lady M, the Charleesi, and J today to visit the Richmond Gin and Food Festival – a last minute decision taken yesterday after the Charleesi spotted an advert.

Being a total extravert, I was champing at the bit to see some life, while Lady M was concerned about being out among people. Despite the nerves though we got to Richmond by bus and had our first real gathering of the clan in the open air setting of the Old Deer Park.

For me, the biggest excitement was that for the first time in over a decade I was able to afford to do more than just window shop. The reason for this is that my first wage from the new job came through this week. Between working full time and a significant uplift in pay grade it is a lot more than I’m used to seeing in my account.

So, rather than batting my eyelashes at Lady M, there was a lot more parity and confidence in being able to indulge in trying and buying the various wares on display. Money has been a major cause of worry over the years, so the knowledge that I had a budget that would give me room to breath was… unusual. As a result there was a lack of underlying tension to the day, at least as far as my brain and gut feelings were concerned.

And oh my, the food and drink were amazing. We have bought a number of new gins for the shelves, and I discovered that I love a good moonshine, or at least the wheat-based ones on sale today as opposed to the usual corn base. All in all, a really good haul, some nice memories, and I was well fed into the bargain.

Birthday Gathering

We managed to get most of the DDC together this afternoon in East Brighton Park to celebrate the birthdays of Mre B and myr s – despite the best efforts of my satnav to take us along every B road between us and there rather than using the motorways.

I chose to treat lightly its choice to direct us through the village of Faygate, or to keep telling us to “stay straight” along the road.

I managed to dissuade Lady M from buying the complete stock of our local Tesco too, as she went into mother hen “feed everybody” mode. I’m not saying that her anxiety was becoming infectious, but I swear I saw people hurrying to buy what we’d left on the shelves like it was toilet paper at the beginning of lockdown.

There was a play park for the cub, a tree to partially shelter from the elements under, and cupcakes and a cupcake cake that ended up being served into cups for distribution. All par for the course really.

We’re home now, tired and glad of having had a quiet time together, enjoying each other’s company without feeling a need to perform or fuss. Nice.

Quiet Sunday

One of the first things Lady M said to me this morning was how tired she was and how she wanted to go back to sleep. Seven hours later, she just did. I did quip about it being a day of rest, which made her blink and say she thought that was the first theological comment I’d made in our time together. I’m pretty sure that’s not true, but there you go.

So we’ve mostly pootled around, played games, and made cuppas today. This evening’s DDC game is just going to be a general natter while I stream doing some art or we play some games or something. Everyone is just a bit tired – but at least Lady M got her signed Liverpool ball inflated at last, so she’s a happy bunny.

In other good news, myr s has got a job offer, the Charleesi has a new project to work on, and her boyfriend is moving in with her at her mum’s house while they job hunt and save to rent somewhere together.

Oh, and my parents have apparently bought a Roomba-style cleaning bot.

Gentle Catch-Up

What a lovely weekend that was – we finally got round to dropping in again on Lord and Lady P for the first time since we bought our flat from them. The thought had occurred to make mischief talking about how awful our last landlords had been, knowing they’ve known us long enough to join in the joke without hesitation – but we were all having such a good time that I think I only mentioned it in passing in the end.

We’d headed down after I’d finished work on Saturday and got there in time for supper and this led to a gentle evening of chat and admiration of Barney, their adopted retired greyhound – who sleeps for approximately twenty two hours a day and always looks on the verge of tears with his expressive eyebrows. At one point he was moving so little that they thought the GPS tracker on his collar was broken.

What we all enjoyed however was going in the morning in to Worthing and a children’s showing of Onward at The Dome – if you get the opportunity to go to a showing of anything there, do so – its a beautiful building and certainly for me a pleasant nostalgia-fest of old-school cinematic experience and surroundings.

A relaxed grazing session of lunch followed and then a winding journey home along the A-roads rather than motorways so I could get used to driving an automatic for the first time. Lady M has been given a Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid to replace the BMW 2 Series, so its a markedly different driving experience – but one that will be good practice for our trip to Florida later in the year.

Lovely weekend, lovely company, much needed.