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It’s my birthday, it’s my birthday, go me, go me!
I’m up in Milton Keynes, with the Balls. Last night was enjoyable spent slaying a bottle of homemade sloe gin and today we go forth to snowboard and tonight we feast!
Presents so far include: Derren Brown’s ‘Tricks of the Mind’, ‘Blackadder’ DVD collection, ‘A Scanner Darkly’ and ‘The Black Dahlia’ DVDs, a bottle of sloe gin of my very own and the complete works of Mozart on CD. And in March I get to pick up my mum’s main present, a snowboard, including binding, bag and edge sharpening kit. So, phat lewt indeed!
And only four days until Conception!
But first, the weather…
Then panic, chaos, delayed and canceled trains, people bundled up like Nanuk of the North (minus the yellow snow) and advice to “stay at home unless absolutely necessary”.
Closely followed by melting of said snow, and knock on effects on the transport connections caused by said few flakes.
Same as every year.
Last weekend was the birthday celebration of Ibis and there were gamers amundo! The festivities began, from my perspective, on Friday evening when Penny and I went to eat curry in Reading with those of Alison’s guests who had arrived a day early at the hotel. Oh, and Alison was there too, which was a relief. This did mean that Penny and Alison have finally managed to meet after all this time.
The curry was good, the company was good and it was nice to meet at least some of the people before actually engaging in freeform roleplay with them and their 25 or so friends.
What is freeform roleplay? Well, it’s like LARP but without the rubber swords. Hmm.. Not quite doing it justice. Tabletop roleplaying without the table. Or the dice. Or a great many rules. And with more GMs. And costumes. How about improvisational acting but with a prose character sheet and objectives? I think you get the idea.
The freeform in question was held at the excellently appropriate venue of Highfield Park and was excellently organised by Mystery in Mind. This being my very first freeform roleplay I was fairly nervous to begin with, especially as I didn’t know the vast majority of the guests. But all were friendly and I was eased in gently, playing the Lord Sandberg, a cunning manipulator of the political scene. Or at least he would have been if I hadn’t been about half a plotline behind everyone else. I’m afraid I didn’t do Lord Sandberg sufficient justice, but I certainly had fun trying to influence the leadership contest of the Conservative party. And thereby miss an entirely different plotline (or three) of occult goings on.
A lot of people had put a spectacular amount of effort into their costumes and really looked great. I wussed out and stuck with the tuxedo rather than hiring/buying a whole outfit.
The dinner and speeches after the gaming event were great, particularly Alison’s half hour speech in which she spoke about everyone present, which was a nice touch. And then some very nice people gave me a lift home at the end of the night.
Happy Birthday Ibis and thanks, I enjoyed celebrating with you and your friends.
These bi-monthly updates are getting quite tiresome, especially as they seem to be becoming a habit. It’s difficult to blog at work and I tend to get distracted blogging at home. Must try harder!
So, Bryce already covered Kev’s 30th birthday and the return to Lalibela. It’s a shame the service wasn’t great at the end as I know it’ll put people off the restaurant. There’ll always tend to be a tendency of “Well, the food was good, but the service wasn’t so hot. Let’s try somewhere else…”
Incidentally, according to Wikipedia, Lalibela is “Lalibela is one of modern Ethiopia’s holiest cities”.
Work is going okay. I’ve decided to stick to the job I was hired for rather than moving to more ‘exciting’ areas. I almost shocked myself how easy the decision was in the end. How things change…
Last week, of course was Halloween and Penny and I carved pumpkins. Much fun indeed and photos in the link.
Last night was the Woking Fireworks, which wasn’t bad. However, and I do hate to say this, the firework display in Aldershot was better…
I took some pictures and some video footage, allowing me to mess about with YouTube.
Next weekend? The Woking Beer Festival.
And in the meantime, this month is National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo to it’s friends, and I am taking part this year. The goal? Fifty thousand words in one month. And I’m already behind…
It’s not every day that your ancient past comes back to revisit you. My best friend, while I still lived in
However very recently I got a phone call, completely out of the blue, from his girlfriend who, in an elaborate quest of cyber-sleuthing had managed to track me down and get my landline number from directory enquiries. (Aside: No matter how glad I am that I was contacted, it does show me that I need to be more careful with my private details). It turns out it as recently been Thorsten’s 30th birthday. His present was to be a trip to
And it all worked out. I was nervous beforehand of course. We hadn’t been in contact for so very long and people change. Would this be doomed meet-up where we wouldn’t know what to say to each other after half an hour of reminiscing?
As it turns out, my fears were groundless. We had a good evening, and not just spent reminiscing. I’m sure I probably came over as some kind of cynical lush, but they appear to have been the forgiving type.
So there you go. Sometimes the past comes a-knocking and now and then it’s not at all bad.
What a weekend! First off, for the impatient, the photos are here.
I’ll have to summarise this in bullet points as far to much happened for extensive prose!
- The actual day of my birthday and a day off work for me. Hurrah!
- Presents! An antique-style wall clock from my mum and, rather excellently, the Anansi Boys audiobook, as read by Lenny Henry. Result!
- Into Guildford for some exploring
- Off to Craggy Island again for some climbing (once the test had been passed). Some traversing, some top-rope graded climbs and some bouldering. I had to borrow a harness because, oh horror of horrors, I’m not the svelte 25-year old I once was and my harness no longer fits! It seems I ate all the pies.
- Dinner at Matahari, an oriental restaurant. A miso soup for starter and an excellent Mongolian chicken dish for the main course, all in view of Guildford Castle
- Snow! I win!
- A gentle start to the day
- Saw Keira Knightley on the train to London! Who knew how far Penny’s organisational skills ran! Certainly much better than my ‘appear suave and cool while talking to celebrities’ skill as all I managed was a “Hi” and a bit of a smirk, which was rewarded by a fairly dismissive smile. But at least there was an element of communication there, or so I’d like to kid myself
- Got to Waxy O’Connors at 14:30. Somewhat late as I was expecting to meet Mark at 14:00. No Mark though, who phones at 15:00 to cancel, pleading ill health
- Due to a combination of accidents, incidents, misunderstandings and other reasons, nobody arrives for the next two hours! Numerous conspiracy theories, fueled by the Budvar I’m drinking, begin to develop. Do I have the wrong time? The wrong pub? The wrong day? Thankfully, eventually, everyone makes it.
- The first presents! One never knows when one might need an album of 70’s music or a talking Captain Hook action figure!
- Eventually we head off to Kentish Town to the restaurant. We go to the Ethiopian restaurant, Lalibela and a most excellent meal it is!
- Major present time… And it’s a PSP! Much desired and not-very-secretly coted by yours truly since release and now it’s mine, all mine! Muahahaha!
- At the end of the night it was off to a hotel for Penny and me, much better than trying to negotiate the engineering works on the trains home.
- Chinese New Year! And what that seemed to mean was an ocean of people, 200,000 reportedly, gathering in Trafalgar Square waiting for the dragon procession.
- Rather than wait around, Penny and I went into the Nationall Gallery, just long enough to view the Sunflowers, The Ambassadors and the Virgin on the Rocks.
- Back to Trafalgar Square for a bit of the dragon procession, at least those glimpses stolen in between even more people. Time to move on.
- To go forth and purchase PSP paraphernalia. Hurrah!
- Met Karen, Lynsey and Kev in All Bar One for a glass (or two) of wine before heading into China Town to observe the cabbage eating dragons and to buy ourselves some food poisoning
- The London Eye was perfectly timed. Just at sunset, the sky literally changing colour as we moved around, all the building lights coming on and the Chinese New Year fireworks viewable just as we reached the peak. Most excellent.
And that was it. A highly memorable and very enjoyable 30th birthday. Thanks to all who were involved in any way at all.
“One more day to go, one more day to go,
Hey ho, hey ho,
One more day to go!”
Catchy song, no? Needless to say, by now I’m more excited than a baby in a strip club about the events of the next three days.
One day shy of being 30 years old. Three decades. It does make me think about the myriad of events has occurred to me in that time, excepting maybe the first decade, which was singularly uneventful. Don’t worry, I’ll spare you a tedious listing of greater and lesser bouts of nostalgia. Although I do look back fondly at the the arrogant teenager who thought he knew everything; Who learnt a lot and became the arrogant young man in his twenties who was fairly sure he knew everything. I’ve learnt a lot since then, so I look forward to being the arrogant man in his thirties who is absolutely certain he knows everything.
But I’m more prone to looking forward to looking backwards. I’ll start by looking forward to the events of tomorrow, the events of the weekend and seeing my friends, to moving in with Penny in the next couple of months, to road-tripping around Germany later in the year and to everything else that can and will happen.
Anyway enough of that rubbish, where are my drinks! Avast!
Update: Grrr…. Everyone here on site has signed and presented me with a birthday card today. Which means they all know that it’s my birthday tomorrow and that I have the day off. Which means it’s going to be impossible to sneak off early today! How inconsiderate is that? I’ve been in a celebrating mood since waking this morning and I’m supposed to sit and be productive all day? Don’t they know how this is supposed to work? Sheesh!