What a lovely weekend that was – we finally got round to dropping in again on Lord and Lady P for the first time since we bought our flat from them. The thought had occurred to make mischief talking about how awful our last landlords had been, knowing they’ve known us long enough to join in the joke without hesitation – but we were all having such a good time that I think I only mentioned it in passing in the end.
We’d headed down after I’d finished work on Saturday and got there in time for supper and this led to a gentle evening of chat and admiration of Barney, their adopted retired greyhound – who sleeps for approximately twenty two hours a day and always looks on the verge of tears with his expressive eyebrows. At one point he was moving so little that they thought the GPS tracker on his collar was broken.
What we all enjoyed however was going in the morning in to Worthing and a children’s showing of Onward at The Dome – if you get the opportunity to go to a showing of anything there, do so – its a beautiful building and certainly for me a pleasant nostalgia-fest of old-school cinematic experience and surroundings.
A relaxed grazing session of lunch followed and then a winding journey home along the A-roads rather than motorways so I could get used to driving an automatic for the first time. Lady M has been given a Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid to replace the BMW 2 Series, so its a markedly different driving experience – but one that will be good practice for our trip to Florida later in the year.
Lovely weekend, lovely company, much needed.
These weekends, where I work on a Saturday, make my Sundays even more precious. I’m aware of how little time there is before going back to open the library and so there’s a battle between wanting to curl up and rest and getting the most out of the day.
This is particularly difficult at the moment with our weekends with Charleesi having swapped for a while. For the time being I work the weekends that she is here, with Lady M keeping her company, leaving a fragment of Sunday before I take her home. The weekends will swap back later in the year as Charleesi’s mum’s work shifts change again, so for now it’s just one of those things.
On the plus side, we have the Hooligan D&D group on Sundays as well, and Charleesi is a keen participant in the banter and chaos of the games. I’ll admit that this week it did feel a bit of a heavy load while waiting for everyone to arrive, but that was largely down to having made the mistake of reading until the early hours of the morning.
As everyone arrived, a mix of people’s high spirits and the frenetic ball of furry enthusiasm known as Chips made it a bit of a slow start but we did soon get some momentum going and the afternoon scurried past all too quickly.
Perhaps this heaviness and tiredness before game sessions is a form of pre-performance anxiety: stage fright, if you will. It certainly dissipates as we get in to the game properly. At least it’s doing something fun on a weekend, combining social contact, spontaneous problem solving and collaborative storytelling.
Now if only I had more geeks at work to share the stories with… Oh well…
A rather pleasant day all round really, if I do say so, and it’s been from relaxing into things for a change. We managed to get the Sunday D&D group back off the ground this week, but have changed venues to run it at Maidment Towers rather than the local coffee shop. It’s mostly down to not being limited by shop opening hours and not having people peer over our shoulders, but I’ll admit it’s stirred old memories of the fun we used to have gathered round the table at my parents’ place.
Games around the table have always been a powerfully sociable experience for me. The ebb and flow of conversation, the cut and thrust of jokes and jibes, and the lift that comes from misspoken words and laughter that grips everyone around the table: these are powerful draws. Whenever a group of gamers gets together, those stories and jokes come back out, as fresh as they ever were. The same thing is happening with this new group, and it’s a joy to see.
Another factor in shifting locations however has been to allow us to have Chips, Lady P’s dog, with us. Until now, one or the other of her or D have been having to stay home to dog-sit him, or they had to pay someone to look after him as he has separation anxiety. This bouncy, fluffy ball of chaotic energy soon learned to settle as we focused on the game and not him. We’re still looking after him as I write, to give his owners a chance to go see Avengers so that we can all geek out together later.
Not a bad way to spend a weekend…
T’other half was out last night seeing an old friend, so I had the place to myself for a change. As she was packing her overnight bag, we realised that it was the first evening apart we’d had since the wedding.
This sparked an interesting mix of emotions, but what surprised me the most was the small twinges of insecurity. Maybe it’s a buried artifact of divorce or something, but the sight of her packing clothing and hair tongs into the bag while I was sat on the bed packing nothing felt decidedly odd.
Don’t get me wrong, the minute she said she’d been invited out I was pleased for her, and planning a night of XBox, pizza and beer. It just surprised me when the moment came.
From a late night call, it sounds like she had a great night out, and I’ve no doubt she’ll have some stories to tell whenever she gets home. My own evening was a simple one of games, television and a couple of beers while chatting online and catching up with people. I’m a simple creature at heart, easily pleased.
Projects for today include beginning to rearrange my daughter’s bedroom, fitting a new battlecruiser in EVE properly (a Harbinger, for those keeping track), and finishing a short story for a competition.
See you later.