Links for Wednesday February 11th 2015

Absolutely Not Weeknotes

For a start, they’re so very 2013. For another thing, the last time I did them, I kept them up for about a fortnight. But in keep with my general resolution to document what I’ve been up to a bit better, just for the sake of remembering it all in years to come, a brief round of boring you all with What I Done Did This Week:

  • Went to see a weird theatre piece in the Waterloo tunnels, about the old Necropolis railway, and about our modern relationship with death. Combination of a guided walk and a theatre bit, it was hard to tell what was actual history, and what was made up because it made for good theatre. Annoyingly the bit I found most interesting/amusing – the source of a pub name – is one of things I haven’t been able to substantiate.
  • The Six Nations has started back up, and I had folk round to watch Saturday’s matches. Teenage me is spinning in his grave – I had fun watching sport. A few rounds of board games thereafter, including a few hands of my newly-purchased Skulls and Roses, which I am filing along with Perudo as a good game for a whisky and cigars type evening.
  • Went to Dishoom for the first time, for Stu and Andrea’s birthday meal. Really lovely night out, both for the company and the food. Had never thought to associate curry with being comfort food before, but the general tenor of several of the dishes is absolutely the sort of thing I would want a big bowl of when I’m unwell.

The week ahead holds fun with TfL APIs at work, which I’m quite looking forward to, a couple of lots of gaming, and I want to start some more “serious” research for a pseudo-historical game I want to start later in the year, sent in the wake of the Albigensian Crusades.

Passing Observations And Navel-Gazing

After realising that the archive of this blog contained quite a lot of duplicate posts (from back when I reconsolidated everything) I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading back over it – initially just because I wanted to clean things up, and then as a bit of a more-or-less pleasant nostalgia trip. I used to write a lot more on here, didn’t I? About things I’d done, people I’d seen etc. It was much more diaristic. I’m not sure it was better for it, but I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed the stroll down memory lane, and it’s notable that the last few years have been rather lacking in any sort of permanent record of Stuff. (Mind you, I appear to do less Stuff than I used to.) I should maybe try and do more of that, so that I can continue to look back on this when I’m old, and my memory is even more shot than it is now. At the moment, the bookmarks do sort of guide me back to what I was thinking about and roughly what was going on in my life around the time I bookmarked something, but they’re not exactly a perfect write up.

The other passing observation is that I’m about to be settling back into a rhythm I’ve had a year off from – running a game that requires me to generate something on the order of 5000 words of text every month. It’s hardly a vast amount of writing (some months, it might be as little as half of that, but that’s the average), but it’s there’s a regular discipline to it – sitting down to run off a batch of emails describing a world and characters, every month. And it’s made me very happy to do so, in an “I hadn’t realised I was missing this” kind of way.

I used to mention to people that I got a bit funny if I didn’t write something on a reasonably regular basis. I should probably make a bit of an effort to remember that.

So in the spirit of all the above, a bit of “What I did in January”, with the intent to try and do a bit more of this sort of thing, generally keeping up with my day-to-day life. (Yes, odds are I’ll be doing well if I do this once a month….)

  • Quite a lot of cooking. Goosemas (I buy a Victorian Stuffed Goose, and invite most of a dozen folk round to help me eat the beast), Burns night, a couple of experiments with sous-vide steak-cooking (the second markedly better than the first, and a serious contender for the best steak I have ever cooked).
  • Started the aforesaid game. Not a flawless beginning, but a start, nonetheless.
  • Continued playing in a very traditional D&D game that a group of us began late last year – the first time I’ve played D&D in 20 years. It has actually been kind of awesome, and not just in a retro-gaming way – it’s made me think a lot about randomness in narrative design.
  • Started to think about dusting last year’s zero-draft novel off and seeing how much is salvageable. Had a brief look, and shuddered.
  • Not actually very much else. Hmmm. Still February’s shaping up to be medium busy at least in the first half of the month.

Final idle thought in passing: I have the fortnight before Easter off work, and am considering a holiday to somewhere like Islay sort of roughly March 23rd to 29th, but it’s a bastard expensive thing to do solo. Is there anyone reading this (that I actually know in the real world) that might be interested in going for a week’s self-catering there, and splitting the costs of things like care hire and a cottage?