Thoughts On The Weekend

I think the most vivid memory of Pride this year has been how many young families and indeed young people were visible and active in the Parade. The streets were lined with people of all ages as you might expect, but it was the youthful contingent that stood out for me – happy and vibrant no matter the waiting or the weather.

There was… a sense of opportunity to raise the roof. I’m glad I was there.

Well, That Was Amazing

Somehow we managed to get not only the polycule but some friends and acquaintances all together at Pride In Surrey in Godalming yesterday. What a day!

I made sure to find appropriate flags, a Pride gamers tshirt, and went to town on the beard with coloured hairspray to match the bi-flag. I got a lot of compliments, and I thanked my stars for the experience of creating my Obadiah Stane cosplay and the beard dyeing required for that.

We had to get there early as I was in the Parade, so we split and arranged a meetup point for later. I eventually found the way to the assembly area, chatting with various random people along the way. It wasn’t the most precise staging and organisation in the world but it felt appropriately anarchic for Pride’s origins – and soon enough we were winding our way up along Godalming’s High Street

It was my first Parade, and it felt good to be in good company and an atmosphere mixing joy, protest, and representation. Surrounded by work colleagues, associated organisations, and family groups, we brought colour and noise and cheering to a normally very sleepy small Surrey town.

What was heartwarming was the support along the high street from families and businesses alike. People of all ages and backgrounds wanting to see what was going on, and cheering along. It was all a very strange, as in unfamiliar, experience – and one that I want to be part of again – with extra performance next time.

Even slightly grey and misty weather didn’t dampen anyone’s mood, and in the polycule we spent a good few hours taking turns to venture out in small groups from our blankets and bags base to explore and meet people.

We may have bought more gin.

What was also wonderful was that there was a quiet section set away for young families which included stalls for support services and advice on health. The library was well represented, as were a number of other areas of both the County and Local Government organisations, staffed by volunteers.

I’d love to see more participation by other areas and teams, so I plan to advocate for that for next time – even off duty my brain keeps looking for improvements.

Long day short, a great day, especially coming out the other side of lockdown and pandemic, and especially with so many other Pride events cancelled. As I said to one of our Councillors: its a good start.

Pride Prep

I’ve been banned from putting glitter in my beard for Saturday. I’m in the Parade on Saturday so I was heard to opine at work that I needed to decide on an outfit.

Glitter was mentioned. I teased boy s with that when I got home and saw a look of horror on his face that would have made Munch reach for a new canvas. And so, with a joke about glitter being the herpes of the craft world, that idea was nixed.

I may wander to Partica in my lunchbreak and see what they have in the way of hair spray colours instead.

Mission Successful

It’s official, boy s and the goblin are both installed at home with us now. All we need to do now is get the unpacking and decluttering coordinated with the blending and shifting. I’ve just settled the goblin with a bedside story from The Graveyard Book and promised to do some sketches of him.

My price for doing so will be for him to do some of the homework set by his school to do while we get him registered with one of the local schools.

We’re going for calm and steady rather than dramatic and panicky. This isn’t exactly difficult – they’re both already so much more relaxed now the move has happened, and that alone is a joy.

Moving Day

Today’s the day that boy s and the goblin move in, and once I’ve finished this cuppa and Lady M has finished her cereal, we’ll be up and out the door to support and transport them while a man with a van carries a selection of odds and ends (like clothing) from there to here.

Busy day, lots of nerves as you might expect, especially for boy s who is leaving home for the first time. All will be well.

Meetings and Inspirations

It’s always nice to get away from the daily details of work and do some more strategic planning and preparation. There’s a lot of day to day detail that my team have taken on and excelled at under difficult conditions.

Today that freed me to meet with colleagues from other organisations and to praise everyone’s hard work to senior management.

In only a few short months since the restructure we’ve managed to deliver events and innovative partnership pilots in ways that have drawn praise and notice. That was how I ended up brought in to start discussions on how we can deliver against strategic targets and develop best practice and mentorship on how we’ve been operating.

No pressure…

Fair to say I’m a bit fired up from the day. I may have got on my soapbox a couple of times.

Plotting and Scheming

I had a new Kickstarter reward arrive today while I was out, and I’ve just spent an entertaining hour or so flicking through it and scribbling notes that may come to confuse my players – or delight them, always hard to tell.

The concept of this is that in Dungeons and Dragons a wizard may choose to release their familiar with an empowering spell. This book provides options then to play or place these creatures alongside regular characters or act as foils.

I’m considering running a short series of games to test these rules out as a break from the main story, simply because its such a fun concept.

So far the critters and the rules seem balanced and compatible with mainstream 5th Edition D&D, and there’s a nice feel to the book and pages that’s a tactile reward. The layouts and charts aren’t confusing, and there’s some lovely dry humour running through the whole thing in both the favour text and illustrations.

It definitely feels like something that started as a joke, and then inspired some inventiveness and it has made me smile after an intense couple of days.

Preparations and Nattering

We’re aiming at boy s and the cub moving in this weekend, albeit probably on Sunday as I’ll be working on the Saturday which puts a crimp in things. So that’s gearing up as a set of things that need to happen.

In the meantime I’ve enjoyed my last day off on a coffee date with a friend. There was much nattering and talking of friends, family, plans, and laying of plans for them to join us at Pride in Godalming in a fortnight.

Nice way to spend an afternoon, kept me out of the rain.

I’ve even been very disciplined and not looked at any notifications from work – I shall see what awaits me in the morning.

Tidying and Writing

It’s a rare day off, so of course I’m not able to sleep in as my back decided it was time to get moving. As a result I’ve been tidying up and cleaning the kitchen to reclaim some workspace real estate

Those who know my kitchen will now be wondering what sorcery this is. Those who know me will be wondering what is out of view either side of the picture. Those who are observant will be chuckling at the deliberately placed mug.

We ended up not having a game yesterday due to general health of various people, so I’ve taken the time to start writing threads and ideas for this next stage of adventures for the DDC. In the real world we’ve been going at this a little over a year – but we haven’t quite caught up to that in the game as I wanted to reflect roughly where we are in the seasons. It’s allowed me to introduce seasonal festivals as a marker of time in the game, and harvest and autumn are upon us.

It also allows me to start dropping in some Winter Is Coming jokes, as well as references to the Unseelie Winter’s Knight that they encountered at the end of the last (unstreamed) session that we had. It was one of those encounters where there was initial giggles at the name, and then the magic users started getting very serious and respectful as they made their arcana checks.

Kerne’s sister, it appears, is a Warlock pledged to the Archfey. That Archfey is the Winter’s Knight. There are dangling plothooks to write.

I was talking around this and related points while we were celebrating boy s’ birthday – about how we’re at a point where I can use character back stories to start introducing more mythic story elements among the day to day missions and calamities that the group involves themselves in. The most intense sessions have come where the players buy in on an emotional level to the storyline and its been wonderful to DM those and see my sparse notes brought to life and embellished upon.

So, that’s got me trying out plot hooks and elements in my little black book