Next Game Planning

I suppose I should do some planning for tomorrow’s game, if only just some major plot beats to then skirt around. I sort of know the general direction, but I’ve a feeling there’s going to be some on-the-fly shenanigans in the mix.

That’s no bad thing, some of our most entertaining episodes have been unplanned and winged.

Coffeeless Day

The universe decided that I was not going to get any coffee down my throat today. My first cup of coffee went cold despite being in a travel mug. To be fair that was over the course of several hours while work kept me busy.

My second cup of coffee ended up all over the work counter in an accident involving a crate of books, a stack of routing slips, and a distracted colleague. No books were damaged but our cleaner may be cursing the stain on the carpet this evening.

My third attempt at having coffee was foiled by the kettle deciding not to cooperate.

Needless to say I was exhausted when I got home, and nearly fell asleep after I’d had a shower. Lady M took pity on me and made coffee after that so I could assume some level of consciousness in time for supper.

And Now… The Weekend

I was working today, and exhausted yesterday, but at last it’s the Easter Weekend and I have plans.

Tomorrow we have a special guest for our live stream for the DDC as it is Lady B’s birthday weekend. The stream is in support of Chrysalis, and I even have a plot lined up.

Then on Monday we’ll be catching up with the ex-Lady M and the Charleesi (plus boyfriend) for an open air catchup for the first time since before Christmas. I can’t wait, it feels like years rather than months since I’ve seen them.

So that’s the plan.

Happy Memory

I was having a brief online chat with my daughter this evening, where she was recounting a work drama with her usual dry wit – and she mentioned how her hope for the summer is to be able to drag her boyfriend to Thorpe Park.

Long-time readers and family friends will of course recall our many visits there over the years, supported by Merlin Passes and a love of being flung around complex rollercoasters. She then ruminate that now she’s earning full-time she has every intention of finishing the day loaded down with merchandise.

Pretty much simultaneously we then opined that a return to Alton Towers should happen again, and with that came memories of our staying there for the weekend of her 16th birthday – which still ranks as one of our favourite memories ever

We hadn’t told her we were going there, and it was late on a Friday when we got there, and I’ll never forget the look on her face as we arrived, or when we got to our room to find a cake and a Teddy bear waiting for her.

It was me, Lady M, and the Charleesi, staying on-site and just making the absolute most of absolutely everything. From food to early access on each day I think we hit nearly every ride several times and had glorious sunshine the whole weekend.

Even just writing these words has put a smile on my face – a wonderful antidote to the discomfort of the last 24 hours or so

Parking Oddness

I’ve been enjoying the surprisingly strong spring sunshine today, and met up with Lady G for a socially distanced lunchtime picnic while I was about it.

While grabbing some bites to eat, I was struck again by the bizarre approach to parking that various trades vehicles have when stopping at a local lights and electrics store.

The shop is right on the corner of an access road I follow to get to Tesco, last in a row of builders and plumbers suppliers at the end of the local industrial estate. The road is used by locals as a cut through, and there’s no pavement along the edge of the parking forecourt so people usually just walk along it.

For ages there was a safety issue where drivers would cut the corner across the forecourt, so after several near misses of pedestrians and parked vehicles the owners put down small rubberised obstacles along the edge – which regularly makes no difference to any number of vans or small lorries that pack into the space like confused sardines in a tin and overflow the road edges on each side.

Every time I pass I see a new configuration that seems to have no consideration for pedestrians, road markings, or indeed access to each other’s vehicles – and I wonder what it is that fosters this approach. Does it come as a consequence of working among and making the necessary mess of construction?

There’s probably reams of research, or at least a cultural machismo of appearing to not care about rules in front of each other – a badge of rugged assumed masculinity swimming in toxic adrenaline. Who knows, maybe its just a hurry to meet deadlines.

Whatever the reasons, its a constant source of bemusement.

Writing Nice Things

One of my colleagues has been working for the library for some 25 years now, and it’s always good to mark these things. My boss was nudged to write nice things to celebrate this and so this morning I received a plea for help in composing it. The email was titled: “R Citation”

The original call was for reminiscences but being the garrulous soul I am, I ended up with the following (slightly edited to preserve identities):

I must have been talking to too many Americans as the first thought on seeing ‘R Citation’ in the Subject was to wonder what she’d done now…

First impressions of R were of someone watchful and no nonsense – and then I got to know her and the sheer dryness of her humour was a joy. If we were busy we were given time and space to just get on with it – and if we weren’t then things could be found.

These days when asked to quickly describe R I use words and phrases like “bundle of energy”, “leaping into action”, and “don’t leave old paperwork around or it’ll go in the bin”. R is passionate about her work and about the library service. Watching her work is a lesson in managing to sprint along the tightrope between maintaining strict boundaries with the public, and going above and beyond the extra mile in pursuit of customer care. R’s distinctive voice and genuine interest in the people around her make her truly memorable to the people she meets and works with. Perhaps that’s the key to summing up R: she cares.

R has always been a kind and intuitive listener, even if – as she’ll be the first to tell you – she doesn’t always use the right words. I am now well used to phone-calls asking me to check over draft emails; asked to help turn direct and unvarnished language into considered and not-quite-so inflammatory directives. One of these days I’m sure she will produce some of the original drafts of her emails while writing her memoirs, and we can look forward to the series of explosions across the land.

R’s dedication to fitness is legendary, with swimming, running, and bottles of wine all being regular conquests in the race to keep ahead of the demands of work, family, and escape attempts by family pets. The sight of her bike propped up in Staines Library’s back rooms or corridors has often brought a smile when considering the pile of parcels delivered from Amazon that will then need to be carefully balanced on the return journey.

Perhaps the greatest testament to R is that when you mention her name, people’s faces light up. That’s a rare gift.

So, unsurprisingly my boss has said she’ll probably just use what I wrote. Perhaps I should send a mock invoice.

Odds and Sods

Another day done, reasonably productively, so that’s good. I’d been concerned for a colleague who seemed to have slipped through the cracks in the vaccination program but was pleased to hear that they’d been successful in securing an appointment.

Perhaps unsurprisingly I seem to have gained a reputation, at least with my manager, for being able to help distressed colleagues. I’m more frequently being asked to check in on various people so I’m having to remember to maintain my boundaries and not carry things home.

Proof myr s loves me

Still, I’m doodling and plotting things for the next few games, so that’s a positive thing. Shenanigans are afoot.

A Day of Consultation

Every now and then I’m called upon to be the fount of all knowledge, or at least the nodding insurance advert dog that people come to for permission to do what they’ve already decided to do – or for sounding board duties while they justify the decision their subconscious has already made.

Today has been that day. Thankfully I was only due to work a short shift as the hours were swapped with yesterday so that we could head off an issue with cover.

During the scant few hours, somehow every single conversation was about the same small pool of topics and individuals. I was therefore very relieved to get away for a coffee date after work with another colleague. An hour of gossip and putting the world to rights was just the right antidote to it all.

In other news, I’ve been confirmed as a Mental Health First Aider, and training booked in for early next month. Just in time for the big restructure. Just, generally, in time.

Quiet Day, New Tshirt

My body decided that today was going to be one of largely sleeping on the sofa – I suspect as a reaction to the stresses of last week and the adrenaline of the mostly ad-libbed game session last night.

The stresses were also largely alleviated by it being payday – so I may have treated myself to some new ultrafine pigment ink pens – but that’s very by-the-by.

Seems appropriate

One of the bright points though was a delivery of a new tshirt bought for me by myr s, so I’ve been very happily wearing that all afternoon. I’m a simple soul, doesn’t take much to keep me happy.

Creativity Flop

I’m tired, but I think the worst of the vaccine side effects have faded. Now I just have my perennially creaky knees and about a week’s sleep debt to worry about. No wonder my creative juices are barely ticking over.

I’m aware I’m being a little harsh on myself under the circumstances. I’ve just finished one of my journals and will be filing it away in the writing bureau some time soon. A previously started one has now picked up the baton and will travel most places with me.

I’d love to be writing but my brain says no. Not right now – so instead I’m setting up possible battle maps and locations for the game on Sunday before the yawning gets too much.