New Player Ready

So we’re spending this evening mostly helping Lady W set up a character to join in the DDC adventures. We’re having a quiet evening as people are just feeling a bit wiped out, and it came up in conversation that she had felt unable to join the group as she hadn’t been around for the first session.

We immediately disabused her of this idea. As Lady W has never played D&D before, we’ve been making use of the Roll20 Charactermancer and a copy of the Player’s Handbook to help her create a new persona.

There is much jollity, silliness, discussion, and explanation going on – and therefore a good wind-down to the week. It may not be the D&D session I’d planned, but I think its the one we collectively need today

Retail Support Therapy

We’ve all been looking in the DDC for ways to brighten each other up during the lockdown. I mean, we’ve been looking at ways of making life easier as much as possible for as many people as possible too, but in particular we’ve been rallying round to help each other. I think it was brewing anyway, but as Lady B had her birthday recently it prompted a move to send presents that has since expanded across the whole group.

For the most part its sporadic – little things like postcards or small gifts made on a whimsy – but it is a wonderful little spike of pleasure when there’s something unexpected in the mailbox. While this is a thing that could happen at any time, I think the enforced isolation has made the effort more appreciated and more meaningful for both sender and receiver. If so, then I take it as an example of people rising to support each other in adversity – through a series of acts that you could be forgiven for thinking had been a thing long in the past. Now all our various communications channels are sprinkled with little remarks like “Oh I showed x what I’ve made for you”, or “Oh, reminds me I must get to the post office” – and each time I get a little glow in my chest that is almost certainly not heartburn.

It doesn’t make us any better or worse than anyone else just because we’re choosing to reach out to support our friends and partners at this time rather than engaging in some grand gesture to help the world at large. Instead, I hope that it is a trend of rediscovering contact that has been denatured by the immediacy of social media. There is no immediate gratification of a notification on a phone or laptop – its merely something that appears at some point in the letterbox, and is all the more precious for it. I hope its something that catches on among friend and family circles as a rediscovery of a slower way of showing you care. Its less ephemeral that social media, and goes alongside the other ways of showing we care that we already use on a daily basis. I feel incredibly lucky.

Silver linings and all that

A Few Days Off

And…. Relax…

I’m visiting lady s for a few days as I had more leave to book this year than Lady M. After a long week, it’s been good to switch off. Lady M and I drove down on Sunday afternoon and dropped off presents for the household, then I stayed on – much to the cub’s bemusement.

The stress levels have been slowly dropping as we’ve watched films and YouTube clips. In between, we’ve been having a tidy up before Christmassing and generally taking it easy.

Tomorrow we’ll be seeing the cub at his school Christmas play, before Lady M returns and whisks me away so we can finish packing to go visit family next week.

Amusingly, Lady M had forgotten that I was going away at one point as she was hoping I might pick her up from drinking with colleagues this week – I mention this to forestall any visions you may have of Lady M somehow languishing like Rapunzel in her tower. One of our many strengths is that each of us are equally comfortable and in need of time alone as in being with each other (as wonderful as that is)

Heading home

I think there can be few things as comparable to a needle-drop sound effect as being in a local Greggs with the girlfriend after dropping little man to school and receiving a message on our group chat basically saying: don’t worry, I’ve been in a car accident, I’m okay, will probably be home when you get in.

That was this morning. Lady M was rear-ended on the M25 when she had to brake due to the person in front of her driving erratically and recklessly. She’s back from A&E now with a diagnosis of whiplash and shock and I’ve told her to not even consider logging in remotely to work. She’s otherwise okay – aside from the toe she broke the other day when she tried to walk through a wall into the kitchen.

Because there’s literally nothing I can do about it, or to help, I’ve not dropped everything; and have waited for my previously booked train to take me home. I’m now on the way for the next couple of hours – but at least it’s a mostly empty carriage.

No sense in making more drama than there already is. Lady M is shaken but generally intact. The car is damaged but driveable, and work are sorting out a replacement while it gets repaired.

Sigh. If I’m making it sound like lady s and I aren’t concerned, that’s very much not the case, but we’re all three of us pretty pragmatic souls. I’ve left lady s curled up with YouTube clips, and hopefully will soon find Lady M curled up with something trashy on Netflix.

Long Week

My rota pattern changed recently so I’m now adjusting to the new days, including the swapping of the weekends where I work. This wouldn’t normally be too complex, but I’ve also got various weekends and days swapped round to accommodate colleagues or allow for various holidays. The general effect therefore is one of having to consciously remind myself several times per day where I am, what hours I’m doing, and whether I need to make further course corrections to avoid having to be in two places at once.

Its all a bit exhausting. Fortunately this weekend we’re off to go see lady s as its her birthday tomorrow so that will be a nice escape from the grind. For at least a couple of days I’ll be able to forget buildings that are generally porous to the weather, or that have been shaken by nearby construction. I’ll instead be able to delight in giving presents and sharing a breakfast tomorrow before being a bit touristy in Portsmouth.

We’re all pretty run down, so it’s not going to be a grand explosion of frolics and silliness (well maybe a bit of silliness) – but just being in each others company will help I think.

Poly Wants To Play

There’s a stack of shelves in our spare room that is groaning under the weight of many, many games. Card games, board games, and dice games lie alongside rulebooks for various roleplay games and are frequently pawed over before visiting people, or when we have people over.

Here then is one of the secret reasons why polycules gather: it’s the only way you can guarantee having enough people for a decent game of anything without going down the pub and dragging random people to the table. Most games need at least three or four people to play with any degree of complexity.

It’s one of the highlights of gathering loves, metamours, and kids around; now if only we could pick just one to play…

Meeting The Family

This weekend was a celebration in my family of my parents’ Golden Wedding Anniversary – fifty years together and still teasing each other every day. The venue was a hotel near Box Hill in Surrey that we’ve used for various celebrations over the years.

The twist was that Lady S was also invited along, marking her introduction to my wider family in a somewhat wider scope than I’d ever anticipated.

I’d pushed for an invitation when they were first planning the event, partly to make the point that both Ladies M and S are important parts of my family and I wasn’t willing to sacrifice them. Given how my relatives are spread out around the place it made for an easier way to demonstrate that despite our unconventional relationship, no one involved in it had three heads.

I’m pleased to say that we had a wonderful evening celebrating my parents and catching up with each other. My family is generally one that gets more talkative and garrulous as the drink flows,and it’s safe to say that Lady S got a good look at where my storytelling comes from. We didn’t get to talk with everyone, but Lady S was happily welcomed right from the start, and our collective nerves rapidly settled.

Lovely food, good company, and a very late night as we opted to drive there and back rather than stay over – partly because of our nerves before hand in case things didn’t go well. And now… relax…

Last Day Off

We did a lot more adulting today to sort out the mortgage, solicitors, and so on – and then decided to go pay a flying visit to Lady S. We got there just on time to join her to go pick up the cub from school, and then spread some joy with some presents from MCM.

There was a particular Funko Pop that the cub had wanted, but as they were away on holiday we’d picked it up as a Con exclusive. I’ve never seen someone hug and kiss a Funko box before, so that was an experience.

We had badges and pins for everyone, and an extra Funko for Lady S whose health hasn’t been fantastic recently. Like Lady M she’s coping with fatigue and pain through her body – which has dampened her spirits considerably.

Even so, with Lady J joining us to chatter, we all had an afternoon that passed in animated conversation and that I don’t think any of us wanted to stop, even with meals, medications, and tiredness hitting us.

Still, a good end to our break.

New Year, New Colds

Or rather, the same cold I had before the New Year, which doesn’t seem to have ever quite gone away, but has instead decided this week to flare back up.

Yuck.

On the plus side it has meant I’ve done a lot of reading and drawing while drowning my symptoms in lemsip and whisky.

On the downside it has meant that my energy has been quite low, even while we marked the first anniversary of our polycule (admittedly by mostly lying on the sofa and groaning at each other about whose turn it was to make a cuppa).

Hopefully the cold is back on the wane – just as well as I’m heading down to Portsmouth for a weekend with Lady S. Maybe the sea air will blow some cobwebs away.

Decorations and Celebrations

A busy weekend this week. Lady M was at the first of what seems to be a string of office parties last night, and made her own skirt and top to wear to the occasion. As she was still working on final details late Thursday night, I was driven to observe that only she could have a con-crunch for a party.

Nevertheless she had a stunning outfit ready for the event, and I spent a quiet evening wrapping a mountain of Christmas presents, drinking wine, decorating the Christnas tree, and binging episodes of Luther on Netflix.

Today I’m off to see Lady S for a couple of days, so I had time for breakfast and pain au chocolate with Lady M before leaving her to tackle her own small hillock of presents and recover from the party.

I normally travel light, but I’m delivering birthday presents for the cub and a couple of early Christmas presents, so I have a suitcase nearly as big as I am. We may have gone a little overboard this year…