Winding Down

I’ve done so much covering for other people with my leave that I basically have to take all of the rest of the year off after this week.

Oh no, however will I cope.

We were already planning to see my parents for Christmas, but as I have an extra week on top of what Lady M can take, I’m going to spend a few days down with lady s. As she is heavily engaged in creating a dress, much of my time is likely to be spent providing beverages, reminding her to pause for rests, and providing supportive cuddles when things don’t go to plan. It’s not unlike my routine when Lady M is making a dress to be honest.

I plan to take sketchpads, notebooks and a plethora of pens. Writing may even be perpetrated…

St Alban’s Comiccon

I had a very long day on Sunday, but I’m glad I stuck to my guns and guested with Squad UK at St Alban’s Arena. We had a table to display props, so I grabbed as many as I could and loaded up the car. Lady M has unfortunately got the summer cold thing that flattened me last week, so I left her sleeping and pootled around the M25, not entirely sure what I was going to do for parking – but determined to wing it.

Once I’d parked in the Maltings and ferried boxes and cases to the venue I eventually managed to find the others in the pre-opening set up confusions and we set about sorting out the table.

Now, I enjoyed the event immensely, but there were issues with the venue. It’s a theatre, not exactly designed for bustling stalls and tables. There was no air conditioning, though we were lucky enough to grab a window location so could get a breeze or two. Far worse though was that the venue was totally unsuited for people with mobility issues. Access routes were narrow, we were on the first floor with no lift access, and I only saw one disabled toilet in the building.

The staff were friendly, even if some of the organisation was a bit…vague… but most importantly we had a good turnout, and I rarely stopped talking all day with families about our props – and how simple techniques and tools could make outstanding items.

We had masks and headdresses, bodices and pieces of Halo-style armour. Cigars and cigarettes, wands and guns, hearts and sunglasses – and people were amazed at how light but sturdy most of these items are. All day long we talked about layering fabrics or working with foam and card – and encouraged people to take photos of friends (or selfies) with the props.

By the time we packed up and hit the pub afterwards my voice was croaky, but it has resparked my enjoyment of cosplay and events far more than I thought it would.

And I have a new challenge. I’ve agreed to make a new gender-bent cosplay: Poison Ivy. Watch this space…

Out And About

I’m coming to the conclusion that train journeys are a great way to get around – as long as you’re travelling off-peak and don’t particularly care what time you get there. 

Those who commute regularly will have already rolled their eyes. All I can say is: I know the pain, it’s why I don’t commute if I can possibly help it. For travelling to see friends, loved ones, and partners however it’s proving to be a good option this week.
Yes, I am only using the train because my car is out of action. Hush, I’m making the most of it, and it’s working out relatively cost-neutral once you factor in parking on top of petrol.

Today’s my second trip to Brighton this week. Monday was a lunch date with Mre B and a dry run to test the route and timings for today’s journey down with Lady M. We’ll be staying overnight at the Malmaison as a treat for our anniversary (five years already!?) so we can have a proper explore and catch Mre B after work too.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I’m fully intending to drag Lady M to the amazing library at some point. I mention this to provide a smirk for those who know us, and to cement the notion that our bookish geekery really does know no bounds.

So. Busy couple of days of letting the train take the strain, as they say. Saturday also looks set to be busy. Didn’t someone say holidays were meant for relaxing?

Pausing A Moment

It’s been a busy week, a busy month, and nowhere is that more evident than when I look at the journaling app I’m using on my phone to log the short stories/pieces that I’ve been posting here. 

I haven’t put everything I’ve written online but not through any fear of quality or effort, because I’m largely slamming out first draft pieces or concepts. The whole point of the exercise is to rediscover the joy of writing for its own sake in a variety of styles and topics. As a consequence of that, overthinking the editorial process beyond simple spellchecks and the occasional grammar correction seems counterproductive.

The pieces I haven’t put up have tended to be more personal ones, or dabbling in erotica. Some of them may end up in the eBook I’m planning at the end of the year, but I haven’t fully decided whether to do a bulk collection of stories or a curated and slightly polished set of developments of the pieces here.

Comments, preferences and suggestions on that front are always welcome.

In any case, that’s thirty three pieces and counting. I can’t quite believe it.

New Year’s Shenanigans

We don’t normally go out on New Year’s Eve, but that’s usually down to a lack of planning rather than desire. This year though, we had a message from the Charleesi, inviting us out with the ex-Lady M down The Plough.

We headed out, suddenly realising that this would be our first ever New Year’s Eve out anywhere. It felt somewhat daunting, but I’m not exactly sure why. It can’t have been the company or the place, but nevertheless it felt decidedly odd. Perhaps it was just the change in routine.

As it was, it was a lovely evening. The Charleesi covered her mother in lemonade, fireworks were detonated, and loud people were loud without being too obnoxious.

I also chatted a lot with various people online between conversations – and so laid plans to see various people, plotted story ideas, arranged to see films, and generally set up the next few weeks of shenanigans.

I also renewed contact with a friend I’ve not heard from for a while, and we discussed in passing some of the oddities of my life. He contended that this change in routine was a good target for the year to come, and should be an aspiration for continuing to shake things up. It took only a small while to convince him that plans were already afoot to keep shaking things up – and that was before we got on to domestic arrangements.

A good start to the year, and a reminder to embrace changes in routine and live as awesome a life as possible. I may have lost track of that until recently.

A Record Broken

We officially doubled down on last year’s traffic as of yesterday, with the number of visitors equalling last year’s total page views. I’d better get thinking about how to get more useful things posted here for next year – even if its only to put up more of the Dungeons and Dragon posts and more fiction.

Ah, there are worse ambitions to have really. For next year I want to get back to posting something every day, even if its just a short bit of whimsical fiction fragment or something. If I can force my lazy backside into doing that and actually publishing some of my short stories via Kindle or something, I’ll be a happy lad.

Mid-Week Grumpiness

The short sleeps and long days of the last week or so have definitely caught up with me today – not with an exhausted crash, but in a low-grade grumpiness that has dogged my efforts today. It’s not been helped by the heat and humidity, especially when that humidity turned into rain when I went for a walk to clear my head.

It’s fine, I can take a hint, no – really – don’t worry about it. Today is not to be a productive day, and that’s okay. Plenty of time for awesomeness tomorrow when I head out with Charleesi and Lady P to try and get some photos for the 150th Anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.

I shall endeavour to keep a lid on my grumpiness today – and shall be apologising to Lady M when I get home for being less than effusive in my happiness at her triumphant return from a boozy business lunch up in town that sounds like she’s managed to conquer half the world’s woes and frighten a load of chauvinists at the same time. I may even write in shorter sentences.

Right – I suppose I’d better get on with writing up the week before last’s Monday game…

Plans and Plots

It must be something about the time of year, but I’m planning to do a bit of a redesign and shift about with the website so the professional side of things is a little easier to project/find too.

Basically, don’t worry too much if the site looks odd over the next week or so while I sort things out…