Morning All

It’s that quiet moment before the household properly wakes. I can hear very little from outside thanks to the new double glazing, but I’m sure life is quietly bustling.

Here indoors though, I think the cub is rousing and is probably playing Geometry Dash on his PC. Lady M is probably asleep on the sofa (it’s my turn there tonight), and I have boy s asleep on my chest, face softened in slumber.

I’ll have to wake him in a bit as he has a flat viewing to go to – the search for a place for him and the cub to call their own is on in earnest now.

It’s otherwise looking like a busy day. We have a new cooker being delivered this afternoon so I’ll start looking to make sure access is clear for that, and I’ve just had email confirmation of work approving a hybrid work car through a salary sacrifice scheme which is a bit exciting.

Right, the day beckons. I can see daylight.

New Tech Please

Lady M and I decided that Christmas would come early this year as the home IT setups were frankly ancient. My collection of ancient laptops are practically steam powered, while her desktop PC is a Frankenstein’s Monster of salvaged parts from my old kit and occasional extra bits bolted on over the last ten years. Want to talk about Theseus’ Boat? I have a modern-ish day example propping up a desk in the spare room.

It all rather got pushed to the fore by the cub monopolising the spare room with his PC, and my increasing frustrations with trying to run the gaming sessions through www.dndbeyond.com and www.roll20.net with a side order of www.syrinscape.com for good measure – there may have been regular swearing and frequent use of theatre of the mind to keep people occupied while waiting for things to load. By the same token, Lady M’s podcasts and blog work had been utterly derailed by the presence of our beloved goblin.

And so we went on to Lady M’s employee perks website to see what discounts we could find, set a budget, and smiled sweetly at the credit card. It is some measure of how far we’ve come in the ten years of our marriage that we have the budget to do this and not break down in sweaty tears at the cost and guilt of spending money on ourselves.

So, a little delayed from the initially promised delivery date, we’re busy setting up and engaging with various projects that we’ve had on hold for some time. The cub is serenading us from the other room as he plays Geometry Dash and makes up his own theme tunes, and its a pleasant backdrop as we sit in geeky, nay nerdy, bliss on the sofa.

It’s also a much needed distraction from today’s date and the many firework explosions outside. I’ll need to venture out later to retrieve boy s from his workplace as he’s on a late night covering an event at Thorpe Park – though Lady M has offered to do that as a kindness, depending on how rambunctious the cub is. I may take her up on it given how broken my sleep was last night.

Your friendly neighbourhood dodgy wizard, perhaps..?

Oh, one particular joy with this new piece of kit is that it’s a convertible HP Envy, which means I can fold the screen back and the machine turns into a tablet – it has even come with a stylus pen that I had to charge up earlier.

It felt rather rude not to test this and take advantage of the form factor, so I scribbled a little something earlier – the WIP version can be seen in the Instagram feed on this page, but the final version is here in all it’s dubious glory. Cheery old geezer with possibly a wand of some description, and the world’s bushiest eyebrows.

I’ve even updated Scrivener and transferred all my files over and it takes less than an ice age to open the app and documents now – so I’ll restart editing the short stories to get back into the swing of things – again, a good distraction.

I was tempted to have another crack at Nanowrimo this year but launching myself at the intensity of that straight from nothing would be setting myself up to fail – so short stories it is. I really need to get back into the habit of writing longer pieces than these blog posts on a regular basis. Trying that while also battling the black dog wouldn’t be a kindness, so while I don’t have a deadline I can move at a slower pace.

As the saying goes: what’s the worst that could happen?

Found Family

It’s something of a trope to call queer gatherings and especially polyamorous groupings as a Found Family and its a concept that appeals to me, even if I have no intention or desire to replace the perfectly wonderful and odd family I was born into. I’m lucky in that respect as I haven’t suffered the rejections so many other queer people have experienced, and so my Found Family is an addition to my life, not an alternative.

At the same time it still came as a surprise yesterday to be called Dad by the cub – not in a casual slip of the tongue way, but as a deliberate statement while we were discussing our Christmas plans for this year:

We will be going up to visit my parents and taking over the spare bungalow in the process. The thought of having five adults around was a bit daunting for the cub until we told him there were two houses side by side and it was while we explored that with him that he explicitly acknowledged that he saw Lady M and I as parents alongside his dad: that he sees Lady M as mum and myself as a dad.

And then he asked, with the perfect timing of a child, if he could have ice cream for dessert.

I’m still processing it, having dropped him off to school this morning. It’s one thing to have that warm affection for a child grow into a fierce, if sometimes exasperated, love – and still quite another to hear it returned, expressed, and said outright by that child. I think I lost sight that I wasn’t the only person recognising and building a found family in this new unit.

Feeling the Elements

There’s been some pretty changeable weather today. It started with sunshine as I walked the cub to school, despite his sulk at being required to do so. It then got greyer until it began to rain as the three of us went to pick him up in the afternoon.

Somehow I had neglected to put on anything with a hood, so I embraced the elements and strode into the sweeping wind and rain. I joked that at least I wouldn’t have to worry about my hair needing to dry before we headed out again.

This evening we were back to calmer climes as we headed to Shepperton for Lady M’s birthday, but the temperature had noticeably dropped. I had at least learned from my earlier mistake and worn more layers.

Must be winter or something

Quiet and Tidy Day

With cub back at school, and boy s visiting friends, Lady M and I have had a couple of quiet days tidying the flat, getting rid of rubbish, playing games and catching up on TV shows.

More significantly we’ve ordered a new cooker to replace the original fitting that gave up the ghost a couple of months ago. I’ve almost forgotten the luxury of cooking with an oven rather than just the grill and rings on the top (which is what we’ve had to cope with) I’m looking forward to having more options again when shopping for groceries.

We’ve also ordered some new laptops using Lady M’s work discount so better tech for creating things is coming… they’re early Christmas presents, and I can’t wait for their delivery.

Still, it has been lovely having boy s back home this evening, and the cub had friends from school round too, so not such a quiet end to the day but still a delight.

Polycule Assembled

It feels like it’s been a very long day – in no small part because I was sick again and with guts back in turmoil. Fortunately its been long enough that I was able to sort out the stool sample – and that’s an experience that little can prepare you for – and so was able to restart the medication to help settle it all back down.

Then we had everyone descend on the flat for our first tabletop game in ten weeks or so and that was a joy that filled the rest of the day with laughter and gossip. Everyone had downtime so we used that to catch up on what the adventurers had been up to.

Caeluma had been running their knitwear stall in the market and had been making a steady profit as winter nights rolled in and temperatures dropped.

Thorin had returned to his pitfighting career and been successful, but not without accusations of cheating that we worked into him adopting a heel persona for the ring.

Valenia commissioned an improvement for her bow and gathered some of the rarer ingredients in between babysitting Odif.

Coal disappeared for a few weeks and came back somewhat richer after a heist targeting a corrupt merchant.

Kerne buried themself in decoding the tomes retrieved from the coven of hags that detailed Kemsler’s travails and revealed that her sister Faye had been training under the hags before double crossing them at the behest of her Archfey patron: The Winter’s Knight.

And baby Odif? Well he’s growing fast and is no longer a toddler, being nearer in maturity to a human ten year old and showing a fascination in building traps and devices. Egged on by Tanglefinger the Boggle, there was hijinks and chaos for all.

Then we started the story, which led them to the Winter’s Fair at the University and the start of a number of small encounters – from Caeluma successfully arguing the interpretation of a mummers play with a professor of theology to Valenia duelling an Undying swordsman from the Elven Court of Aerenal and receiving a silvered scrimshaw knife as a gift.

We’ll see where we pick up in our next session. Hopefully we won’t have as long a break.

Oh, and it was of course Halloween so we threw sweets from the balcony for the organised kids walk on the estate – and hardly brained anyone in the process.

The Future Is Now

Back in day I played Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun tabletop games, among others, and among the regular fixtures of such games is the concept of the ripperdoc. This is a private surgeon, often in a commercial or backstreet context offering cybernetic implants and surgeries.

Why am I talking about this today? Well Lady M had the lenses in her eyes replaced in an opticians in a local shopping centre. This was a surgical procedure that technically – at least in the terms of such games – makes her a cyborg.

So, what was once the premise of sci-fi Cyberpunk games, is now a standard part of life in 2021. Couldn’t make it up really. Oh, Lady M’s eyes are fine by the way – she doesn’t need glasses any more.

And Now For A Break

As of this evening I’m on holiday, both to celebrate Lady M’s birthday next week, and for mental health self care. Admittedly this year its also to recover from last weekend’s shenanigans and anything else that decides to rear its head in the meantime.

We’ve got an early start in the morning so I can take Lady M for an eye appointment, while the cub is staying behind to look after boy s who is not enjoying his seasonal cold in the slightest.

In the meantime I’ve found an old sketchbook page that has tickled my creative itch, so I’m relaxing in mindfulness mode by adding to it

Probably not coming to a tshirt near you

Remembering to be ill

I’m forcing myself to take the day off and just be unwell. My brain is screaming at me to go to work but I can’t fix anything else while I’m still breathless and in pain.

Besides, the partners have very gently frowned every time I’ve talked of work today and even at my most oblivious I have occasional moments of clarity.

I’m exhausted, everything aches, I’m now chasing my GP for an appointment

Yuck and Ouch

I spent most of yesterday evening in A&E last night, and before that most of the day exploding at each end (not to be too delicate about these things). It’s the third time this month I’ve had this issue, but what necessitated a trip to the hospital was that this time I started vomiting blood – which even I considered an alarming development.

So, with the boy s still at work, Lady M bundled me and the cub in the car following a hurried conversation with the NHS 111 non-emergency number, and I began the long wait between triage and treatment.

So, by 2am we knew that it wasn’t my heart, liver, kidney, or pancreas because they were all working properly. My blood pressure was fine, and there was no blood ruptures into my body cavities showing on xrays, or blood elsewhere in my guts. Yay.

So, they patched me up. Various injections and fluids helped settle things, and I’m off to talk to my gp on monday to start the search as to whether this is stomach ulcers, ripping my throat with vomiting, or my gall bladder playing up.

So that’s a new adventure.