That Was Definitely A Week

I’m really drained today after a week that has seen a lot happen, just not necessarily in the order I’d planned. Most of it has been very positive or has brought great outcomes for people on the work side of things. The biggest relief has been that the boy s has been able to access some mental health support through his GP. Now all we’ve got to do is help him get his housing sorted. Meanwhile Lady M has been storming through all barriers and has multiple nominations for awards in diversity, being an excellent manager, and a host of other wonderful things.

There’s even sunshine – and with the door open I can hear families playing out on the estate. It feels an absolute age since I’ve heard that. I’ve even been able to get in touch with my parents and have a catch-up chat. Beyond a quick dive out first thing to get groceries for the weekend I’ve otherwise been curled up on the sofa – though that’s also because its the weekend before payday so budget constraints have reinforced the idea of staying home. I’m just very aware I need the rest.

In gaming news, I got a bit bored the other day and worked up a redesign of Lady M’s character token for the DDC Sunday game, so I’ve spent a bit of time today uploading that to the virtual tabletop (Roll20) so its ready to go tomorrow.

Who knows, maybe this week Kerne won’t be quite so caught up in life and death struggles. My magic eight-ball isn’t so sure…

Keeping Positive

At last, it’s the weekend. For some reason my sense of what day it is has been a bit out of whack the last few days, so it was nice to consider a lie in this morning. Grocery shopping and a trip into town with Lady M were a good alternative.

I took the opportunity to try the car’s fully electric mode today for the drive as well. I’ve mostly been driving in various configurations of hybrid modes, but this seemed as good an opportunity as any to try some new ones. I’m happy to report a smooth ride.

And then my mood crashed this afternoon for no greatly discernible reason – because of course it would. So I’m back to actively reminding myself of perspectives and keeping as level as possible. Yay.

Here’s to some sleep.

Resuming Normal Service

What a long and wonderful weekend, despite the worries and anxieties – and that was just the cub. We had a grand get-together to celebrate my parents’ birthdays. Food and drink were plentiful, hotels were comfortable, and the train strike was cancelled in time for the Charleesi to make an appearance too.

Various chat channels are now filled with a variety of candid and staged photographs, and the roads back yesterday were considerably better than they were on Friday evening. This meant there was actually some daylight when we got home – though tiredness meant that not a lot of it was seen or made use of. I took today off to recover anyway, just like the last time we wandered up there, and I’m glad I did. Next week is in theory shorter, given that Easter is happening, but I’m working the Saturday and will no doubt have a lot to fit in.

That’s not a doom and gloom prediction, just a knowledge of how much is going on – and appreciating I also have a number of catch-up meetings booked with my staff.

The author on the right, and the boy on the left - both cropped hair and in suits. The author is grinning, the boy is pulling a face

The boy and I even looked an approximation of human – it was his first time wearing a suit and going to an event and for all the face-pulling he enjoyed it.

Today has been quiet therefore – with grocery shopping, games on the xbox, map making, reading, and general chatting with people on the agenda. Here’s to a reasonable and productive week to come

Day on the Road

We’ve headed out for a celebration today – and that meant an afternoon on the road among roadworks and the usual Friday afternoon traffic shenanigans. We would have been off sooner, but the cub decided that he would rather play in the local park with his friends than come straight home and jump in a car. I can’t say I entirely blame him – he’s very nervous about meeting a lot of people in my family for the first time.

Still, we kept busy with the perennial favourite of ‘I Spy’ – with no more than the usual assortment of swear words, and with a game where we made up words from the letters in the registration of vehicles ahead of us. The latter game got quite tricky as we got into a traffic jam and the seemingly impossible task for people of knowing how to merge lanes.

All is well and good though – we’ve travelled and arrived, and are settled in our rooms. Tomorrow will bring jollity and probably some last-minute shopping as the cub has had a growth spurt.

And just as an end of day wind down, here’s a set of tokens and portrait for a charging minotaur done in Heroforge (of course):

Out on a Saturday

Lady M and I managed to forget that we’d booked some time ago to go see Frozen, the Musical, up in town – so despite it being nearly month-end we wandered up to Covent Garden. Drury Lane is only a few minutes’ walk away so we were able to take some time taking in the sights and people-watching. It feels like years since I’ve been in the area – maybe more like six to nine months in reality to be fair, but its certainly been a while. My having a headache and general body pains didn’t put me in the best mood initially, but being out in the open air helped.

The link, other than Lady M being very keen on all things Disney, is that the daughter of someone working with Lady M is coming to the end of her run as young Anna in the show. We’d been making noises about going to see it to support them so this was one of our last chances to do so. I can generally take or leave musicals but I’m glad I went because it was stunning. Time flew and the singing, stagecraft, and costuming was enthralling and amazing. And then we caught up with the little star and her mum and chaperones briefly afterwards, which absolutely made Lady M’s day.

And because we couldn’t not visit, we then had a wander to Forbidden Planet, and to Foyles, to have a browse and window shop. I was very restrained – I only bought the one book – and then we were home at a reasonable time.

Today was a lot quieter and was mostly taken up with preparing for the D&D session. I’ll write that up separately as it was full of action and drama.

Oh, and I didn’t get the acting up position, but I’m looking forward to the proper feedback as it sounds like tweaks needed rather than a wholesale oops which bodes well for future opportunities.

A Very Long Friday Night

We normally stream a game of Destiny for a couple of hours on Friday nights. It’s usually only a couple of hours and largely consists of us goofing around.

Every now and then, we have a crack at some of the harder content and this Friday we did a run at a Legendary mission. By and large these throw more opponents with tougher armour and health, as well as some other factors to make things more difficult. The in-game rewards are higher, sometimes it progresses the story, and then there’s some fairly niche bragging rights in limited circles.

The biggest pain last night was the two main boss battles, in which we had only one revive each. This led to a lot of swearing and repeat attempts at these choke points – but we won.

At gone 3am

Needless to say, I’ve been a bit tired today, but we did go out to a coffee place and browse some books. So an attempt was made at being part of civilised society too.

Needless to say, I’m having an early night ahead of tomorrow’s D&D game

Laser Tag Party

We had the excuse of a celebration and a special request from the cub – and that’s how we ended up driving round the M25 to out the back of Caterham to play some laser tag in the woods. The original plan would have had us just watching while kids battled it out, but with some last-minute cancellations we had enough slots for myself and Lady M to join in while boy s watched from the side-lines and huddled under all our coats.

The mechanics were fairly simple – a sensor on the gun and three types of gun: a sniper, an assault rifle, and a submachine gun – each with differing rates of fire, range, reload times, and damage done against a notional value of hit points. Two teams of roughly a dozen on each side, and referees keeping an eye on it all. We had one hundred hit points per life, and five lives in a non-contact game where minimum distance to the other team was five metres.

And you know what – I really enjoyed it. We all did. I favoured a sniper so I didn’t have to run around too much and could put years of pinpoint FPS gaming to good use. The games were quick with some variants and two different arenas – and footing by and large was good despite snow and frozen mud. One small disclaimer, I did manage to lose my footing and do a very impressive tumble where I broke my fall by landing with the point of my elbow in my rib. It’s a bit sore, but some painkillers and the occasional wince of discomfort are seeing me through.

I hadn’t heard of GO Laser Tag before – and not having to wear a load of sensors was a big bonus – staff were friendly, kept good control of the sessions, and all seemed to be focused on making sure everyone had a good time. Their website is and for something a bit different that caters to a wide age range its a good option. We all enjoyed ourselves and have been making noises about not being averse to doing it again. Let’s face it, for the British that’s a glowing endorsement.

It also gave me a good excuse to give the new car a bit of a stretch on the motorway rather than just the local trips I’ve been doing for work and while I’m not a petrol-head, it was a smooth transition and satisfying to get some different driving under the belt. The new car is a plug-in hybrid so while it runs quite happily ramping up battery power from the flywheel to augment general driving, it can also operate as a purely electric car. As soon as the charge card is all sorted out, I’m looking forward to using it on the local commute.

Dude, Where’s My Weekend?

Our DDC session lasted an epic six hours this afternoon and evening and has left everyone drained. Jubilant, but exhausted as they beat the bad guys. Next week will serve as an epilogue of sorts to this arc.

I’ll write up the session itself tomorrow once I’ve had a chance to sleep. My body is still in reset mode ahead of next week’s challenges so most of the weekend has been spent curled up on the sofa or in bed. I’m reminded that in part this is down to vitamin D deficiency.

To be honest, I am starting to feel a bit more comfortable. I’m still very drained, but the spinning headaches and bone aches have faded, and I don’t feel like I’ve fallen down the stairs so much – so progress.

Also, the new car is nice. Be even better when the chassis registration goes through so I can charge it..!

Busy Week

I’ve had a very quiet day today, recovering from a week of hard conversations and difficult decisions at work. It has also, in that same breath, been productive and I’ve cleared a lot of things off the deck that have felt like they’ve been hanging over me since and while I’ve been ill. I’ve actually ended the week with a reasonably clear ‘to do’ list and a clear idea for now of things to prioritise when I go back next week.

Of course, no plan survives contact with Monday, but I’m enjoying a brief respite from having knots in my stomach – or maybe that’s just the relief from getting through another bout of IBS in the middle of it all.

I have made some more maps and preparations for the game tomorrow, as well as sketched out some ideas for the Wednesday game. I’ve even been in touch with the people I used to play the pirate-themed D&D game with. The DM for that group says he’s thinking of doing a Spelljammer-based reboot. I can’t wait – good old Hesklik was fun. I’ll have to see what inspirations strike in the New Year.

Just a quick update then ahead of tomorrow’s shenanigans. I may have fallen down the rabbit hole of playing some Assassins Creed Odyssey…

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