Out And About

The grand outing to Alton Towers has had, if you’ll pardon the pun, its share of ups and down with amazing rides, humour, silliness, and some mealtime stresses

The weather has been kind, with only minor showers once or twice, and comfortable temperatures and breezes. The banter and cheer has been great for recharging batteries and passing time in queues.

My anxiety however has been through the roof on occasion, mostly around mealtimes and things connected to that not going to plan. We’re also crammed a little sardine-like into two hotel rooms: four adults and three children. With no aircon it’s all a bit close-quarters.

Still, I’m choosing to be positive and reminding myself of all the positives despite by brain doing its best to sabotage me.

On Holiday

We’re off on out for a couple of days – myself, Lady M and the boy s with assembled kids. I’m not saying he’s excited, but the cub has not stopped exclaiming in his stream-of-consciousness babble all day, and it’s only the first morning.

We definitely need the time together. The last few months have been remorseless in their grind and we’ve really not had much quality time together.  Rollercoasters and silliness seems a good excuse.

There might even be some opportunities for some sleep at some point – a commodity that has been in scarce supply of late. I have driven the first half of our journey, and now Lady M is completing it. A snooze may be in order.

Half Term, oh and that Pride thing too

Being utterly awful people we all forgot it was half term this week until the cub reminded us. Fortunately Lady M and I had already booked some time off to take advantage of the bank holidays so we’ve taken him in while boy s continues to work.

Being myself I immediately booked tickets for myself and the cub to visit boy s at his work place and caused all kinds of merry havoc while we were there. The rest of the week has seen us take the cub to Go Ape, and a variety of other activities away from his usual computer screen.

We’re having a quiet day today – I can hear YouTube videos from the other room, I’ve gone shopping for groceries, and I may even have a nap to make up for a broken night for a while.

Meanwhile, its June. Happy Pride Month alongside all the other things taking place. Its as important as ever, because its impossible to understate how much of a difference it makes for people to be able to live as themselves.

I’ve been asked to put my name forward at work for a position with the LGBTQ+ Staff Network which will be hard work alongside the day job but well worth it if I can help facilitate positive changes. The AGM isn’t for a few weeks so I’ll talk more about that when the dust settles.

And yes, the autism referral stuff continues in the background. I’m not expecting to hear anything on that front for quite some time as it doesn’t seem to be something that BUPA covers and the NHS is overwhelmed. Patience, and all that.

Time For A Break

It’s nearly a weekend, I think. To be fair it’s been another slightly hectic week between boy s falling ill and a variety of surveyors and engineers needing access at strange times to various buildings – all while covid continued to rampage through my staff.

So tomorrow/today is Good Friday, which at least as far as myself and Lady M are concerned is a Bank Holiday. If the gym is open, we shall take the cub with us so he can swim and frolic – and we will unwind on a variety of exercise machines and possibly dip into the spa. Rude not to use all the facilities available.

On the games front, I’m still mostly playing Destiny2 with boy s and Lady B a few evenings a week. I have also managed to recover my old GOG account so I have most of the old Bioware D&D games to rediscover on my laptop. I even dipped into playing Alpha Centauri for nostalgia this evening. I do have a soft spot for turn based games.

Oh, and an added bonus: Lady M has twisted my arm into taking some leave next week, so that’s going to do wonders for my blood pressure.

Christmas and Beyond

As someone recently noted on social media, I live a strange life, and I embrace that and aim to keep it that way so it doesn’t lapse into being boring and dull. I am proud to include a diverse and vibrant bunch of people in my life and celebrate their individual journeys as well as our commonalities.

This Christmas has allowed us to reconnect and bond with friends, partners, family, and those who might wander between. I caught back up with my brothers, and the Charleesi, with friends who have built their own forge, my parents, my partners, and a variety of children attached to various of the above.

So the plan today has been to sit quietly with Lady M, give our presents to each other, watch TV, play games, and not stray too far from the sofa.

It’s not the family gathering we had planned, but it’s a good substitute and rest ahead of the excitement and busy weeks ahead.

Christmas Eve

Well, here we are again – well done everyone for getting through another chaotic time. I’ve been purely focused today on chilling out with the xbox after a busy few days – escorting Lady M and boy s in turn to get their booster jabs and running the gauntlet of last minute christmas shopping with them each for starters. Tomorrow is planned to be mostly round with boy s and the cub in the new flat to welcome in their first Christmas. I’m sure the cub will play up as far as he can push things – but then he’s eleven and I would expect nothing less.

So, I’m off back to watch some Masterchef and share some wine and curry with Lady M – see you on the other side

And Now For A Break

Christmas is now going to be perpetrated – that’s about the best way I can describe it – across our various households and I have just finished wrapping a hefty chunk of the gifts I’m passing around this year. Our planned trip up north has fallen foul of – well I’d like to just wave my hands vaguely here at world events to encompass the chaos – so a smaller and more intimate gathering is planned round with boy s and the cub to welcome in their first Christmas in the new flat.

To facilitate that, I’ve spent most of this week running around patching and fixing as many little things at work as I can, and now I’ve stepped away and trust the people I manage to carry on being amazing. As is traditional at this time of trying to get away for a holiday, a massive piece of work landed in my lap around lunchtime. Fortunately, being the organised and professionally paranoid person that I am, I had everything I needed documented so was able to complete it with a minimum of growling – which was just as well as I then had a call from the school.

There had been an incident.

Fortunately nobody was hurt beyond some feelings, and the cub’s lesson has been to pay more attention to his verbal filters and to perhaps not make hand gestures when arguing with people. He’d already done all the self-flagellation by the time I got there so beyond some light teasing and a reassurance that he wasn’t in trouble, that was the end of that.

So. Hello my first holiday in a while – if we can just hold off on any seasonal colds, that would be lovely.

Brunch and Shopping

It’s been wonderful to just stop today and let the day happen. Admittedly that took a while to start as my day started before 7am with a text from one of my branch managers informing me they were waiting for an ambulance. That was a good start to get the adrenaline pumping.

They are, I hasten to add, okay now though won’t be working at least until next week. Then there were another flurry of calls and texts that had to happen to sort out cover and some other things, but after that I could enjoy the day. I consciously closed down all work-related tech, which helped.

And so we wandered into Staines, did shopping of both the window and real variety, and had brunch in a Costa before seeking books and some nice things before retiring back to the flat – where the cub and I played several games of chess and Chinese checkers and myr s and Lady M collapsed to recover their spoon levels.

All in all, it’s been lovely. Other highlights included the cub realising we’d set up the old xbox in the room he was sleeping in; the look on Lady M’s face when the cub called her ‘mum’, and acknowledging a burgeoning friendship with someone I’ve been chatting to on a Discord server.

Tomorrow? Well that depends on the weather, so who knows?

On Holiday

Admittedly it is for a given value of “holiday” where that value equals making sure that Lady M rests, takes her medication, and has plenty of drinks but it’s still the start of a three week staycation that would only be better if we could arrange for myr s and co to be nearby as well.

Oh well, can’t have everything. Yet.

I’ve done the groceries, which should cover most things this week, and spent most of the day pottering around and throwing things out into the recycling. Payday is next week, so I’m being particularly minded to note some purchases to help bring some more order and utility to how some things are stored. In other words I’ve been spring cleaning and nesting. It’s not even a slight stretch to infer that I’m reclaiming some control over my surroundings given recent stresses.

We didn’t even have gaming night yesterday. That will return next weekend. I may even do some preparation for it rather than winging it…

Okay, Holiday Time

That’s it, I’m on holiday now. I normally take time between Christmas and New Year, but this time I’ve opted to take the run-up instead. In part it’s to give my peer managers a turn at that stretch of time, and in part to just stop and enjoy the amble towards the celebrations.

I may have spent time today at work joking with my staff about whether it was time to go home yet, but now I’m home, feet up, fed by Lady M, and most of a bottle of rioja downed while we watch the Masterchef final. All in all I’m happy to call this a good start.

The next few days should be quiet. I have planning to do for a D&D one-shot featuring Christmas goblins vs elves, and we’ll have some visitors from Christmas evening for a couple of days – but that’s all that is lined up. Just as well with the new restrictions.