A quiet Saturday wandering round Kingston with myr s and the cub, and we’ve stopped in Bushy Park to give the swings a good work out. We’ll, so the cub can give the swings a good work out while we’re between weather fronts.
We’ve left Lady M behind to regain some spoons and make some mousses for tonight, and this is part of the gentle wonder of us all being a household again. We can take turns being part of and taking space from the general chaos of our mingled space.
We didn’t have a game this evening as myr s isn’t feeling well. Instead we sat in our Discord server and nattered away while doing our own things. In essence a quiet polycule evening being both together and in our own spaces.
Being a fiendish DM I spent a good portion of time downloading and editing map elements for the next few weeks most likely set piece battles, and making up a few random maps that I can turn to multiple uses “just in case”.
It’s one of the key behaviours I’ve adopted while running sessions in a virtual space – to have things relatively generic set aside that can be pressed into service. Contingency planning is a large part of running a more ad hoc series of adventures – with skills gleaned from years of project management, copy writing, and managing staff in general. Transferable skills work in all directions.
Oh, we may also have spent some considerable time looking up properties that we could buy up between us as well. Many interesting decorating decisions in many properties on estate agent websites have been critiqued this evening.
There’s a certain joy at witnessing the very visible emotional roller coasters experienced by myr s, particularly at the positive end of things.
They’re a soppy thing – and I say that with love – who wears their heart firmly on their sleeve. This occasionally turns into sobbing floods of tears in response to emotional moments on screen or in text, or in little moments in our Dungeons and Dragons game when nice or beautiful moments of wonder occur.
I wasn’t at all surprised therefore at the response they got recently when they asked on social media what people mostly recalled about them. Almost universally people responded by saying: “your laugh” – and rightly so, because a laughing myr s includes giggle snorts, full on belly laughs, and breathless chuckling. Usually all at once like an explosion of surprised joy.
File this under partner appreciation things I think…
We had planned to have a very poly Christmas this year, having our first Christmas together in the almost three years we’ve been bumbling along. Oh well.
I was going to go pick up myr s, the cub, and Lady W as metamour in chief on the evening of Christmas Day. That way they could enjoy a family meal with myr s’ father and Lady M and I could have a quiet morning to ourselves. A quick dash down to Portsmouth and back in the evening and we could then have a few days cosily in our flat. In line with the then-restrictions we would also be able to welcome Lady B during that period and have a table-top dungeons and dragons extravaganza.
Because that’s how we roll.
Instead, I am now busily making up details for that one-shot game to convert for Roll20 and our usual Sunday Twitch slot. No pressure or anything, I had been planning to largely wing it for the table but now I need to at least draw some maps. I’ve even written a four part structure for the characters to completely derail.
So, there will be other Christmases, and certainly plenty of other opportunities to get us all together again, no matter what coronavirus throws at us. For now, we’ll stay safe and do our bits to keep others safe.
Its been a good day today, albeit one with a lot of driving. myr s invited me down for breakfast, and this coincided with Lady B having arranged to pick up a vanity table from a friend, so we thought we’d make a day out of it, kidnap Lady J too, and bustle over to Eastleigh for the morning.
My sat available decided that with all the local roadworks on the motorways that it would try and ratrun us cross country, so we had an enjoyable bought of trying to work out where it was trying to take us and then willfully ignoring it based on my passengers’ local knowledge.
If nothing else it made for cheery conversations as people recalled past jobs, workplaces, or relatives in places we passed. We duly picked up the vanity table, tetris’d it into the car with only one seat needing displacement, and went on search of food before myr s could turn into the hangry hulk.
The last time I was there was for Pride a couple of years ago, so bits of the street layout started to come back to me, enhanced by Lady Best memories of working at a now defunct club that seems to now be an empty space. We allowed the mental stretch of imagining reworking it as a split use site with an LGBTQ+ coffee/bookshop space during the day and club/bar space for the evening. Maybe when the best sellers and/or lottery wins roll in…
Oh, and we hit Poundland, partly for sugary drinks, and partly to raid the Halloween supplies. We’re all cosplayers, it’s what we do…
I also got told that the cub had explicitly demanded I not leave until we’d picked him up from school, so we did that and treated him to McDonald’s for his supper before I headed home. The grins and hugs were well worth it.
And so home, with a bag of goodies for Lady M from myr s, for a curry, mindless nonsense on the TV, and more tinkering with scenario details for the next game.
Just for the hell of it I went down to Portsmouth today to gather up myr s, the cub, Ladies J and B and go grab some food, drink, and relative normalcy out on the town. And it feels so good to have done so.
It says so much about the disruption that that has happened this year that it was, for some of us, the first time for eating out. There was a palpable sense of relief and accomplishment in just being around a table in public.
To round out the afternoon, we had a lazy afternoon where we enjoyed each others company. We did some shopping, and went back to Lady B’s flat to talk and pass some time – and it has been a tonic for the spirits for us all.
And then I came home to find that my order of one of my t-shirts had arrived from Amazon. Lady M immediately grabbed it to twirl and model and I very nearly lost it to her before ever wearing it myself.
We’ve been trying to arrange it for a while, but yesterday we managed to surprise Lady M with an unannounced visit by myr s and Lady B, and then consensually kidnapped Lord S to drag him away from his opera practice. In short order we then had most of the DDC in our flat, and never have we been so grateful for having so many sofas.
With advance knowledge of when they were arriving I was able to have the kettle going and suitably obfuscation their arrival so that myr s was able surprise Lady M with a massive bunch of flowers – and nearly launch her out of her skin. Saying Lady M can be startled easily is something of an understatement.
We exchanged various gifts, chattered away, and the afternoon sped into evening with barely a pause. Lady M, myr s, and I were also able to put on our rings for each other too – much delayed by lockdown.
It was just so good to finally get us all back together – some of us for the first time – and those of us who haven’t really been out much during lockdown I think at times found it overwhelming. Here’s to it fast becoming a more normal thing again.
Life continues to ebb and flow in its complexities, but the DDC continues to be a creative and entertaining source of comfort, support, and humour in all the oddness around us.
Our latest set of things has been creating quizzes and games to play through shared screens in Discord. Whoever is running the quiz sets up a PowerPoint document with questions and answers revealed in turn, while everyone works together to find the answers. Mre B created the template based on their running similar things with their friends, and myr s has taken up the baton to create rounds tailored to our various strengths and foibles.
Roughly once a week we gather of an evening to play. We start with general levity, and yet despite there not being any competition between players, there’s soon a very serious air as people try to identify TV theme tunes from sight reading music, interpret kinks by their formal clinical names, identify pop culture characters from pets dressed up as those characters, and puns based on shows where one character has been changed – and that was just for starters.
Lateral thinking, chat, and everyone trying to resist googling any answers – a fun combination that is proving as much a draw as the weekly Dungeons and Dragons session.
Oh, and then we used Roll20 to make a Trivial Pursuit board and grabbed four different sets to make a monstrous random hodgepodge of topics from Star Wars, Stranger Things, Harry Potter, and a general family edition. That got very silly, very fast. We’ll have to do that again…