We went to Bletchley Park today, despite the best efforts of the Bank Holiday traffic. We picked it partly our of interest in its history, and partly so we could return our niece to her aunt as it was a little over halfway there.
I’m not entirely sure where the afternoon went as five hours sped by and there was still a lot we didn’t see. What we did find was fascinating and heartbreaking in turn, especially when it came to the areas devoted to Alan Turing. Going from a case containing his Teddy bear Porgy to a recreation of his office was surprisingly affecting as it brought forward the human behind the stories.
We had conversations with the kids around LGBTQIA+ history and in particular around Alan Turing’s treatment – which in turn led to conversations over lunch about our relationships and the polycule. And now Lady H is friends on Facebook with myr s, and the kids want to meet the cub.
Not really what I foresaw for the day, but a positive turn amid the strangeness all the same.
Even before I opened my eyes, I could tell that it was a Bank Holiday – not because of a lack of traffic, but because there was a strong wind blowing and the temperature had dropped noticeably in the night. Bad weather on a Bank Holiday is something of a tradition, and I’ve even seen a scientific paper on why that is. I just can’t remember the details as it has been a few years, but its something to do with a disruption in warm air from factories being closed.
You may have noticed a small change in colour scheme, if not layout, over the last twenty four hours – and that’s because I’m making use of my time to update and alter a few things. One of those is the beginning of documentation of the game that we’ve started as the DDC, and therefore a bit of a shuffle of the Gaming menu structure so it doesn’t get lost. I’d love to say I had a grand design, but just as the strap line for the website says: I’m making it up as I go along.
How has my Bank Holiday been? Quiet for the most part. I’ve made more maps as contingencies for when the group goes off-script, and I’ve played a bit on the XBox, and then Lady M and I watched the remake of Aladdin while we had our supper and were pleasantly entertained. I’ve just been out for a brisk twenty minute walk, and now am trying to enthuse myself to write while Lady M plays some Assassin’s Creed. I think part of the low-grade irritation at the moment is that I’m missing myr s fiercely but there’s nothing any of us can do about it
Aaaand we’re back from the Welsh valleys, gently baked from the glorious sunshine. We’ve been to another wedding anniversary celebration – this time of my mother’s cousin – and so we’ve been meeting various relatives whose names I have no hope of remembering. (To be fair I am awful at remembering most people’s names).
Our journey had been long, mostly due to roadworks and tailbacks from accidents, but I suppose that’s normal for any travel on a bank holiday weekend. We’d all been booked rooms at a hotel in Llangamarch – which certainly broke the ice – so the first evening was spent generally catching up and welcoming people.
Saturday was quiet – we were exhausted – so we slept through breakfast and instead went down to Llanwrtyd Wells to the Caffi Sosban which we’d so enjoyed last time we’d visited. One hearty brunch later, we went back to the hotel to chill out. We knew hat a minivan had been booked to make several runs on Saturday evening to drive us down to the farm freehold itself.
And yes, there was much wine, food, and conversation through the evening. Dogs were herded, small children steered away from the alcohol (mostly), and geese avoided.
We’re generally an amiable bunch, and storytelling really plays at the heart of all our gatherings. Sometimes the stories are even true.
At the end of the evening, the minivan reappeared and made multiple runs back to the hotel. An amazing evening, and with such glorious weather we were a little reluctant to head straight back to London.
Nevertheless, we left early to try and get the worst of the travel done before the roads filled – so we meandered back without any extra drama and have spent the rest of the weekend relaxing. All in all, a great break in routine.
Oh it’s been a good weekend – between the trip to see friends on the South Coast and an afternoon and evening on Monday of good company, good entertainment and comfortable levels of refreshment. If I hadn’t thrown my back out, it would rank as a pretty much perfect start to the week.
The back injury – before anyone gets excited – is pretty minor and just across the base of the spine around hip level, rather than the major spasms I occasionally get that lock up my entire upper torso. In a landmark of heroic actions, I was merely bending down to pick up some clothing off the floor when the muscles went ‘twang’.
Fortunately I have a healthy supply of painkillers, muscle relaxants, gels and heat pads to hand, as well as the skull-topped cane which always fascinates onlookers. Handy hint, dear reader, if you are tired of people asking what you’ve done to yourself, use an ostentatious cane and let them get distracted by its appearance.
The Wessex Pistols – I may have mentioned a few times before – have a cowpunkabilly sensibility and the flyers for the event had suggested people dress up to join in. This may or may not have been prompted by conversations with the band at their last gig where our cosplay contingent got very excited about the thought of us all just turning up as a motley collection of characters. We considered the gauntlet thrown and so most of us went for some variant of cowboy/girl, pirate or punk in our dress. Well, most of us at our extended table anyway. The Ladies M and Lady A went cowgirl, Lady P went punk, Lord S went Skapunk, I went piratically Assassin’s Creed, Lady G declined to dress up, and my daughter (The Charleesi) went as a bored teenager.
The gig started in the pub garden and moved indoors at half time when the weather turned, and I have to admit I was flying somewhat with the combination of painkillers and beer which made me really not care about the bad back any more.
It was a grand afternoon of silliness, in-jokes, refreshments, and good company – especially when the band set up right next to us for their acoustic-ish second half of the session. There were a fair few people who hadn’t dressed for the occasion, so it was good to have several of the band come thank us for making the effort. We’ve all been there so frequently that it would seem that they were not even remotely surprised that we would.
Eventually people had to drift away as the evening drew on, but it felt too soon to let it end. So that’s why we went and saw Civil War afterwards. Good film, great fun, plenty to geek about and it has fuelled more than a little conversation at the subsequent #Tuesday.
Short update today, just home from seeing friends on the South Coast where we had a barbecue. Being a Bank Holiday Saturday, this of course meant that the heavens opened, and I ended up standing with an umbrella, sheltering the cook.
It was a small gathering: our friends and their young daughter, one of my brothers and his daughter, and of course Lady M and my daughter were there too. All very gentle, and not at all a disappointment as the conversations and company were good.
An early start in the morning, so going to wrap it up here for the night…