Clanning Together

The last few nights I’ve been playing Destiny with boy s and Lady B. We’re each one different platforms due to the wonders of cross play. I’m on an XBox, Lady B on a PC, and boy s on a PlayStation. We’re using Discord for voice comms and it’s turning into a nice semi regular end of an evening bit of fun.

We’re using a Clan I set up back in the first Destiny game to help organise our Roster, and it’s another good example of how tech can be tangled in new combinations to bring us all together – albeit this time united in the desire to shoot aliens in the face and dance in the middle of battlefields.

Admittedly it’s now one in the morning but as I had my Moderna booster shot this morning my arm is currently very stiff and sore so I can’t settle anyway. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I spent a fair chunk of this afternoon dozing on the sofa.

So, that’s why I’m blogging a little later today as I try to switch my brain off and curl up with Lady M. Here’s to a quiet day off and a body that continues to more or less behave for a bit

Don’t Keep Straight

I burned out a bit this week with a second week of recruitment interviews that frankly left me staggering around like a well-past-best-by-date zombie. Hence no updates for a few days, because I could barely function, let alone get creative, by the end of each day.

I’ve had a bit of sleep now.

Something amazing that did happen at the beginning of the week was that I ended up being the unexpected guest blogger on the work intranet. This put my face on the front page, talking about Surrey Pride. This will take place in September 25th in Godalming, and I’ll both be in the parade, and attending with the rest of the polycule.

The other half of the article was about what I ended up calling my Equalities Journey (mostly because that was the draft file name as we scrambled to meet the deadline). While most will have read it and passed on, there have also been a scattered few lovely remarks – and a request from the Surrey History Centre to add it to their LGBTQIA archive.

Not only did they ask that, but they said if I had anything else I’d like to write for it, then they’d be happy to take that too – so I said I’d have a look at things I’ve written here and would repackage some of the appropriate content for them, as well as add whimsy and thoughts along the way.

All of which leads me to this blog, where I’ve spent a morning driving my niece and Lady M to Chislehurst Caves for a visit. With a rainbow headscarf holding her fringe back while she talked about a girl in her class and their girlfriend, she was relaxed and happy.

Meanwhile, the satnav kept telling me to ‘keep straight’ on the road – and although the urge to call out ‘I can’t do that’ never passed, it kept happening and it felt more and more tiring and frustrating to keep saying it in my head. Although not the aim of it, it did start to feel a metaphor for bi-erasure: “Keep straight, keep straight. For another five miles, keep straight.”

It was exhausting, and I felt I couldn’t say anything. While it might have been funny the first time, by the third, fifth, eleventh, seventeenth time it was a mindless litany of call and mental response. Keep straight; can’t. Keep straight; not in your dreams. Keep straight; oh give over, I’m switching you off. Beep.

If only there was that option in real life – and yet, I get that I’m in a minority and that the default societal mores and expectations have nothing to do with a satnav device. And yes, it’s picky, but representation matters. Language matters, being able to say no matters.

Well, that all got a bit serious, didn’t it?

Polycule Weekend

We’re all together this weekend, filling the flat with laughter, food, quiet companionship, and snoring – sometimes in that order.

It’s been lovely. I picked myr s and Lady J up on Thursday evening after another day of interviewing and dragged them back up to sunny Sunbury for a few days.

Today we wandered in to Staines, visited the Talking Tree cafe, and pottered around bookshops and charities and its been good to have a break.

One of the real joys, if I’m being selfish, is to not have to do all the cooking – we’re taking turns at that, and of all the other household chores as they need doing. Many hands are indeed making light work amid the silliness and quiet.

Nephew Wrangling

We’ve got Lady M’s nephew staying over this weekend and he is, like many lads his age, absolutely obsessed with Tesla cars.

With that in mind, we arranged to take him to a nearby Tesla showroom where (following some calls) he was allowed to explore the vehicles and discuss all sorts of details about them with the slightly bemused staff.

Safe to say his mind was blown by the opportunity to literally get his hands on vehicles and tech he has been reading avidly about for so long.

So engrossed by all this was he that we had to bribe him with lunch to get him back away from the showroom..!

And then he and I spent a good portion of this afternoon playing games, including an epic session of N-Tropy which resulted in a terrifyingly large towering edifice of balanced pieces of wood straining the laws of physics.

It’s been lovely having him around and having some time to bond a bit. A quiet Sunday still awaits too.

Memory Lane

By fervent request of myr s, we trooped back to The Plough for a Sunday Roast today, and had a slow couple of hours soaking up the atmosphere, talking to other diners, and saying hello to various dogs roaming the public area. The cub was as restless as usual between bouts of fierce attention to detail, while myr s was disappointed that the landlord wasn’t present as they missed his broad Irish accent and humour and haven’t seen him since before the first lockdown!

Then,with the cub champing at the bit, I walked him over The Green to the playground that has served so many over the years. We used to take the Charleesi there regularly, so memory lane yawned wide, contrasting with the newer equipment currently installed but still latching on to the activity of watching a child chamber everywhere, and pushing them on the swings.

Just a quiet moment of reminiscing, and then just for good measure I tweaked my back a bit – so hello painkillers and deep heat this evening…

Almost Domesticated

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.

I’ve missed this

Quiet Day

We were going to run the usual DDC game this evening but illness struck among the players so I’ve instead been playing various games on the XBox and chatting with various people online, as you do.

I’d like to say I was productive on the creative front, but housework and prepping for myr s and cub’s visit next week was the priority of the day. The cub has specifically asked for Lady M’s fabled chocolate mousse as a treat when they’re here, so getting the ingredients was reason enough to do a semi-weekly shop.

So yes, nothing exciting today, but a gentle recharge of batteries in our respective ways.

A Day Out?

Lady M and I met up with the ex-Lady M, the Charleesi, and J today to visit the Richmond Gin and Food Festival – a last minute decision taken yesterday after the Charleesi spotted an advert.

Being a total extravert, I was champing at the bit to see some life, while Lady M was concerned about being out among people. Despite the nerves though we got to Richmond by bus and had our first real gathering of the clan in the open air setting of the Old Deer Park.

For me, the biggest excitement was that for the first time in over a decade I was able to afford to do more than just window shop. The reason for this is that my first wage from the new job came through this week. Between working full time and a significant uplift in pay grade it is a lot more than I’m used to seeing in my account.

So, rather than batting my eyelashes at Lady M, there was a lot more parity and confidence in being able to indulge in trying and buying the various wares on display. Money has been a major cause of worry over the years, so the knowledge that I had a budget that would give me room to breath was… unusual. As a result there was a lack of underlying tension to the day, at least as far as my brain and gut feelings were concerned.

And oh my, the food and drink were amazing. We have bought a number of new gins for the shelves, and I discovered that I love a good moonshine, or at least the wheat-based ones on sale today as opposed to the usual corn base. All in all, a really good haul, some nice memories, and I was well fed into the bargain.

Hello There Weekend

Nice weather on a Friday? Oh good, that made for a nice lunchbreak, and then as good an excuse as any to go check in on one if the other sites that was having a few problems with their heating.

All’s well that ends the second week of the new job. There’s been more of a sense of moving with purpose and a team starting to cohere – with only the usual number of roadbumps along the way.

I also had a chance to check in on how my parents are doing by way of a conveniently timed phonecall – even with Tuesday’s news they’re in good spirits, and I was able to cheer my mum up with some anecdotes about current challenges. That was a nice interlude.

And now to the weekend. I’m on call so can’t do anything particularly outrageous tomorrow, but at least I can enjoy the sun on my balcony.

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.