An Important Service Announcement From Uncle Bob

“Only after weeks had passed did I begin to think that I had, rather absent-mindedly, passed through what mystics call “the dark night of the soul” or “crossing the abyss.”

Whatever one calls it, I reached a depth of despair and deliberately decided to love the world instead of pitying myself; and, afterwards, I was no longer afraid of anything.”

  • Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger.

October 2016

October and the weather is beginning to really go down hill, but we still have the odd surprising really sunny day.

Highlights this month:

  • Work sends me on a training course for a content management system we don’t even have access to
  • Crypts and Things finally gets released to the general public yay!
  • Having fun at Furnace 2016 despite the whole con being ill.
  • I start staring 50 in the face (thanks Carl Greatbach for that horrible metaphor that is stuck in my head!) as I hide from the world celebrating my 45 birthday!
  • An efficiently run Halloween 🙂
H and his conkers!
H and his conkers!
Rach is cross at Christmas being in the shops this early!
Rach is cross at Christmas being in the shops this early!
Off to Furnace on the train, something I've not done in about 10 years
Off to Furnace on the train, something I’ve not done in about 10 years
First cuppa of the Con
First cuppa of the Con (oh how old I’m getting, this used to be beer!)
Cueing for games sign up
Cueing for games sign up (me out of shot laughing, because as a GM I don’t have to do this)
The Magic Stall!
The Magic Stall!
MItch my secret Hendos advisor
MItch my secret Hendos advisor
River of Heaven in full flow!
River of Heaven in full flow!
Our pair dressed up for School Book Day
Our pair dressed up for School Book Day
Help I'm in Computer Nerd Central
Help I’m in Computer Nerd Central
Cats in Catnip debauchary shocker
Cats in Catnip debauchery shocker
Monkey!
Monkey!
Best Birthday Present Ever!!  Tony the Tea makin sloth :)
Best Birthday Present Ever!! Tony the Tea makin sloth 🙂
Grrr! I be Capt Breadhook, where be my enemy Peter Flan!
Grrr! I be Capt Breadhook, where be my enemy Peter Flan!
This year's pumpkin effort
This year’s pumpkin effort
Halloween at the Newport's
Halloween at the Newport’s

September 2016

The main thing I remember was me thinking “Dang I was just getting into Summer!” and feeling a succession of jolts as the ambient energy dropped (that’s seasonal downturn to all you people in normalsville).

Life progressed as normal. Kids where settled back in School. Work continued to be vaguely annoying and indecisive, but I kept my cool and played along.

Henry had an ace small boy birthday, full of toys, meals out with family, a party at a local play place, and the realisation is that he’s now beyond his littlely years and growing up fast!

Big personal news for me was that the final proofs of Crypts and Things landed, and I had it my hands after spending a good two years developing it. That was a feeling you can’t beat! 🙂

Cats have the right idea
Cats have the right idea
H with his birthday MInecraft Lego
H with his birthday MInecraft Lego
Its grim op norf
Its grim op norf
I finally have it my hands! (Lunch to provide idea of scale)
I finally have it my hands! (Lunch to provide idea of scale)
The Sun hadn't vanished entirely - still time to be hunted by cats!
The Sun hadn’t vanished entirely – still time to be hunted by cats!
Off to school you pair!
Off to school you pair!
Arrgh! Stalked by Ninja + Vader!
Arrgh! Stalked by Ninja + Vader!

August 2016

Although most of August was dominated by the holiday, the weeks before and after it was fun. I vaguely remember the weather being much better than usual. Although nowhere near the high summer days of my youth, at least it wasn’t grimmly overcast and raining all the time (yes 2011-2013 I’m looking at you).

Henry playing PIrates of the Carribean
Henry playing Pirates of the Caribbean
Crypts & Things progresses in the proofing stage
Crypts & Things progresses in the proofing stage
Ow me eye!
Ow me eye!
Our duo swinging at the park
Our duo swinging at the park, in front of a petrified Alien from the last invasion.
Lego!
Lego!
On your marks! Get set!
On your marks! Get set!
A sunny day at Hollingworth Lake
A sunny day at Hollingworth Lake
Hollingworth Lake: That Green Man gets everywhere!
Hollingworth Lake: That Green Man gets everywhere!
Hollingworth Lake: Of course there was Ice Cream!
Hollingworth Lake: Of course there was Ice Cream!
Back to work, Bowie tells me to behave
Back to work, Bowie tells me to behave
More Manchester Murals
More Manchester Murals

Vikings always make me feel better

I know its all fashionable to get all blue about the state of the world at this time of year and to give into some sort of perma-whinge. Me I just invoke my inner-Viking and think…..

What would a Viking do about about Brexit? Doesn’t care too busy raiding your coast and extorting tribute from your weak government!!!

American Presidential Election? Don’t care colonised America first and the long ships are sailing up the river to burn the Whitehouse down unless you pay us ALL YOUR GOLD! Donald Trump OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!! As for Hillary, we’ve got an axe for her too. We’ll put Burnie Saunders in charge because he’s popular with the peasants….sorry people, and he’s a weak…opps sorry slip of the tongue again ..reasonable ruler WHO WILL OBEDIENTLY BE PAYING THE TRIBUTE WE WILL BE DEMANDING FROM NOW ON!!!

Ask a Viking what he thinks of “Writer’s Imposter Syndrome” and he’ll go “What is this weak writing business where we pass around illuminated manuscripts via the internets. Its for girly monks with their long rubbish sackcloth dresses and hairy shirts stuck in their shitty little cold monestrys. Don’t worry we will be coming soon and raising the temperature with hot fire and illustrating the manuscripts with their blood!”

See Vikings make everything better 🙂

Or else….

Tribute or head bashing in?
Tribute or head bashing in?

Glastonbury Tales 2016

This was our big two week holiday in the Glastonbury area of Sommerset.  It was slightly delayed due to a bit of drama on Evie’s part. Two weeks before she had broken her front tooth in two, and our dentist very kindly stuck it back together. A miracle of modern science! However we had to have a breif check up (something to do with roots possibly dying) on the Monday afternoon of what would have been our first week. So we delayed driving down until mid monday afternoon, which was a good thing because our Rach wasn’t well (she’s been having problems with her gall blader) and I did all the packing of the tent + clothes + kitchen sink over the weekend.  Drive down was cool. Rach got used to our new trailer (verdict great on the motorway, less so on small countrylands). Bristol was a bit bumpy! Just as folk were tired and tempers were flaring we reached our stop off point, a trusty and chilled out Premier Inn.

Leaving the Land of the Pies aka North West of Englad
Leaving the Land of the Pies aka North West of Englad
Chilling out at a Premier Inn just outside Gloucester, abotu 2/3 way there.
Chilling out at a Premier Inn just outside Gloucester, about 2/3 way there.
Outside the Premier inn, my new trailer just in view at bottom
Outside the Premier inn, my new trailer just in view at bottom

Next day after breakfast we did the last third of the drive and after me and Rach put up the tent, she took the kids to the local supermarket while I did the pegging and moved all the ‘stuff’ into the tent. Which was a good way off doing it 🙂

The first glance of the Tor as we arrived
The first glance of the Tor as we arrived
The big green beast
The big green beast
Its not glamping its "comfatable family camping"
Its not glamping its “comfatable family camping”
Smores!
Smores!
Rach cooking smores!
Rach cooking smores!
Smores too!
Smores too!

This time out we did alot of loafing around the campsite, because after last years holiday we realised we were spending too much time on a mission to visit places every day. There were complaints from the kids who wanted to spend more time playing with their new frieds. Also Rach was taking it easy due to not feeling well. But that be said we did Longleat Sarari Park as a big day out, Glastonbury muliple times, and we had a couple of trips to Wells. We also got to go to an outdoor swiming pool a couple of times and visit Rach’s friend Hema (some of you might remember as one of Rach’s bridesmaids at our wedding) and her big BIG Bull Mastiff dogs. So overall we had a good venture out.

Longleat Safari park, as you do :)
Longleat Safari park, as you do 🙂
Sleeping penguins
Sleeping penguins
Cheeky Eve and a stingray
Cheeky Eve and a stingray
The Temple of Doom
At the Temple of Doom
dav
Laziest beasts in the Zoo
Hema & John's Biscuit and Fudge, our Henry.
Hema & John’s Biscuit and Fudge, our Henry.
Evie and Fudge
Evie and Fudge
Greenbank Outdoor swiming pool at Street
Greenbank Outdoor swiming pool at Street
Sign at the counter at Bluenote cafe in Glastonbury
Sign at the counter at Bluenote cafe in Glastonbury
There be dragons!
There be dragons!
Way up to Glastonbury Abbey
Way up to Glastonbury Abbey
Witness the epic ruins of the Abbey...
Witness the epic ruins of the Abbey…
..oh hang about we are too busy playing on our tablets...
..oh hang about we are too busy playing on our tablets…
...or photobombing in the crypt! :)
…or photobombing in the crypt! 🙂

I loved this holiday. From the moment we got to the campsite the whole experience was magical. People joked about “feeling the ley lines” , but I felt a rise in energy the whole time I was there, which hasn’t really gone away since I’ve come back.  I would quite happily come again, but the family now have their sights set even futher south ( after realising we can break the journey quite happily by stoping at a hotel ) and at this point Eurocamp in the South of France is on the cards. Rach is even learning French! But I hope to return the Isle of Avalon at some point – if only to finally walk up the Tor which I missed out on doing this time out.

Glastonbury Tor from our campsite
Glastonbury Tor from our campsite
The enternace to our campsite
The enterance to our campsite
Another beautiful night at our campsite
Another beautiful night at our campsite
Eve stargazing using the Ipad outside our tent
Eve stargazing using the Ipad outside our tent
Evie siting pretty at the playcenture in Wells
Evie siting pretty at the playcenture in Wells
Wells Cathedral
Wells Cathedral
H and the kite at the campsite
H and the kite at the campsite

 

July 2016 in Photos

Most of July was us just kicking back enjoying the summer and gettnig ready for the camping trip to Glastonbury that was coming up in August.  Weather was pretty meh, occasional sun, a bit of rain (but not very much for our neck of the woods) but mainly overcast. Lots of quality home time though including games and a new barbeque.

Our teeny weeny barbque!
Our teeny weeny barbque!
Nom, Nom, Nom
Nom, Nom, Nom
July was the month that Pokemon Go hit Newports
July was the month that Pokemon Go hit Newports
Henry's first Taekwondo belt
Henry’s first Taekwondo belt
Playing Crypts & Things with the home group
Playing Crypts & Things with the home group
Pirates of the Carribean, rescued from the attic, with our H.
Pirates of the Carribean, rescued from the attic, with our H.
Html 5 Training course with work, find out you've been doing it right all these years without knowing it
Html 5 Training course with work, find out you’ve been doing it right all these years without knowing it

June 2016

After Disneyland Paris and Games Expo it was time to take it easy and just well have a family summer. Which is what according to my photographic record is what we did 🙂

Garden a bit of jungle :)
Garden a bit of jungle 🙂
I am your father!
I am your father!
Going the scenic route home from school pt1
Going the scenic route home from school pt1
Going the scenic route home from school pt2
Going the scenic route home from school pt2
Going the scenic route home from school pt3
Going the scenic route home from school pt3 You can see our house from here
Henry and the Stormtrooper
Henry and the Stormtrooper
Boing! Boing! Boing!
Boing! Boing! Boing!
Have at you!
Have at you!
Games afternoon with Grandma
Games afternoon with Grandma
Due to recent failures Project Manager Cthulhu is put under glass
Due to recent failures Project Manager Cthulhu is put under glass
Henry and his dragona
Henry and his dragon
Its not holidays yet Evie
Its not holidays yet Evie
Hurrah!
Hurrah!
H growing up, but still a happy lad
H growing up, but still a happy lad

Games Expo 2016

This was the second time that I’ve been to Games Expo, hiring a stand to trade as D101 Games with my trusty wingman Guy Milner. It was Expo’s 10th Anniversary and they celebrated by breaking out the trade hall of the nearby NEC Hilton Hotel and into the NEC Exhibition centre proper. There were minor teething problems but on the whole it was impeccably run 🙂  I was less than organised, to be honest I won’t have been there if various folk hadn’t reminded me, poked me and generally helped me over a serious feeling of doubt. Despite having no big release, I made enough money to cover costs and make a couple of hundred. Oh and fun I had lots of fun at this show talking to folk who have just discovered what I do as well as existing customers 🙂 Its at events like this that D101 really comes to life. I’m booked in to do Dragonmeet 2016 in London on Saturday Dec 3rd as a result 🙂

So onto the photos…

Boxes waiting to emigrate
Boxes waiting to emigrate
First pint of the show upon arrival at the Premier Inn
First pint of the show upon arrival at the Premier Inn
Guy ready for work
Guy ready for work
Me in my snazzy d101 redshirt
Me in my snazzy d101 redshirt
The rather subdued stall - forgot the stands, quite a boon though due to space
The rather subdued stall – forgot the stands, quite a boon though due to space
Sights of the show - this awesome capital ship!
Sights of the show – this awesome capital ship!
Gaming table, WANT!
Gaming table, WANT!
We had to work hard, we had monkey on our back!
We had to work hard, we had monkey on our back!
The starport like doors of NEC1
The starport like doors of NEC1
Trade floor before opening
Trade floor before opening
Beware the cultists of the King in Yellow!
Beware the cultists of the King in Yellow!
My cosplay is bigger than yours!
My cosplay is bigger than yours!

 

BeCauSE I haTe yER Ears :P

So as the day gently comes to an end with Tea and Cake for Newts, I give you the gift of music. Shall I perhaps give you some Led Zepplin, with lion like Percy the Lion roaring gently pure nonsense while Grand Wizzard Sir James Pageofabook fiddles with his double necked penis guitar and Mr Big Beard of Bozo hits his beer bongos, all of them ignoring the bass player MR Dull? No I shall give you a band that has made me piss myself with laughter ever since I heard their classic “Let’s Eat The Baby (Like My Gerbils Did) ” on the late (and much missed) John Peel’s Late Night Show. So here we go on Day 23 of my Noise no one else likes….The Happy Flowers with “My I Gave The Cat Some Acid“.

Teh Virtual Home of Mr Newt Wiz A & W