Category Archives: Uncategorized

A New Year Dawns! Jan/Feb 2017

Despite the grand title, truth be told the first two months of this year have quietly whizzed by. ย Saying that I’ve had more fun than I normally do at this time of year, not had any horrendous colds or feel down in the dumps. In fact I’ve been full of beans ๐Ÿ™‚

Never mind the Lady in the Lake, here’s the Boy in the Bath!
Toby discovers we have fish….five years after we first get them
Playing at Tandle Hills Park
New family sofa!!!
Henry gets an award for Persistence at his Taekwondo class’ Annual Awards Ceremony
We had a family out to Trafford Centre…and picked up this entertaining game.
Half term day out to Oldham Gallery: The Big Camera
Half term day out to Oldham Gallery:: Hats!
Half term day out to Oldham Gallery: Making Big Cameras
Toby with Rach’s new friend Charlie the Cheetah
D101 Games stockclearance sale, overseen by the Monkey King
Back at Gulliver’s World having fun despite the cold and wet
We stayed over at the Gulliver’s World hotel, the kids got their own bunk beds
My favourite bit, the Lost World
Their favorite bit, the Joker!

What I did in the Virtual World this Christmas

So I completed Fallout 4 Far Harbour last night. I played it over Christmas and it had been a good 9 months since I played the main game. I got caught up in the main plot and felt the desire to help build/maintain the peace between the island’s factions. Then I remembered that my character had 9 months previously joined the Brotherhood of Steel, killed his son and nuked the Institute and generally ended the game as a fascist in a set of power armour. Things did not go well for the Far Harbour Peace plan immediately after that ๐Ÿ™‚

January 2016 in photos

January was a roller coaster of a month. After an energetic start to the year, which we celebrated as a family with a breakfast at the John Milne after Rach’s Night shift, both me and Evie were off with obnoxious colds for a week.

Sorted out what I’m doing with D101 this year while the day job remained bizarrely broken, do to a Future of IT programme that sees senior management lay off a third of our department in the name outsourcing ( something that the rest of the world seems
to have given up on).The next working day after the last day of those taking “voluntary severance”, the Head of IT announces his resignation!

Rachel hit 40 … Opps sorry 28 ๐Ÿ˜‰ Amongst the Birthday celebrations we had a lovely family meal out at Manchester’s top Chinese Restaurant, Yan Sing and a rather strange trip to the Trafford Centre (which was still too busy after Christmas).

Here’s the month in photos.













All dressed up, with nowhere to go

Hmmn which pair of trousers shall I wear today? Those annoying blue jeans who keep on getting tighter? The red corduroys which were much more expensive than they made out to be? Those green combats which have been in my wardrobe since my student days, which I’m told are coming back in fashion? Certainly not those obnoxious purple polyester track suit bottoms, they say they are “Made in Britain” but I’m sure the pattern was made in Nazi Germany ๐Ÿ˜‰

Emerging from the clutter

Finally after a good year (or more) I can see 70% of the floor of my home office (formally the master bedroom before the extension). It took me a good three hours to clear a mountain of paper/cardboard and put things neatly in cupboards.ย  All that remains to be sorted is two big piles of my rpg books (going to an ebay sale in a global village near you soon).

Then I started on the children’s playroom. Again more paper (see a theme here) it was like an archeological dig back to 2011.

I’m going to take a deep breath now and sort the living room and kitchen out.ย  In a strange way the fact that I have the energy to do this at 10:30 at night, after a day of looking after the kids, is an immense victory ๐Ÿ™‚

We officially have too much stuff…victims of our own excess ๐Ÿ™‚

Unrelated here’s a couple of interesting music tracks I found today.

My mate Keef Baker (in his Nimon incarnation) teaming up with another electronic artist (Micheal Morton aka Displacer) from an album called “House of the Dying Son”

..and a song called “House of the Dying Son” for all you folk who like echoy slide guitar.

Karma catches up…

I always meant to do a post about some of the issues we had with the Building Companyย  during our house extension a couple of years ago.ย  Mainly as an exercise in self-exorcism and in as a minor act of revenge, since I fully intended on naming and shaming. This last part never really sat well with me, so I never did it.ย  Short version: builders who did the work were ace and did a high quality job, but the boss of the company who PMed the work was a dickhead and couldn’t Project Manage his way out of a paper bag which lead to problems with the work he subcontracted out.

Every couple of months I do a internet search to keep tags on what’s going on with them.ย  I just did one today and found out that they went into liquidation over the summer.ย  Shocked , because I hope the chaps who worked on the house are ok, but not surprised because of the way that the company was being run (very much gone from being a small one project at a time to multiple projects with the same resources).


This is where I and my immediate family especially are at the moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if you said you were too. You could argue that we are always in Transition but its especially acute at in this particular time frame.

Globally you can see it on the news as the Head Less Chicken Collective makes its final desperate play to exert Total Control over us all.ย  Truly amazing sad stuff, which if I had not seen the Gentle Infinite that is coming to us all I would be totally freaking out now.

Henry and Evie even had their own “Transition Day” at infant and junior school respectively a couple of weeks ago. Henry is loosing his baby talk and becoming quite a cheeky little lad. Evie is blossoming into quite a mirthful razor sharp girl. I’m going to have get my self in shape to keep up with this pair ๐Ÿ˜‰

Which is kinda where I’m at the moment. Too long have I neglected my body and its now limiting what I can achieve. Plus there’s a very real possibility of life threatening disease that could hit me any time in the next 10 years. I’ve a family history of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes type 2 and dofus here is half again his ideal body weight over or as my mate Keary says “How are the two of you” ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  So slowly and steadily I’m getting a grip, its early days and the changes are barely perceptible at moment. More a gathering of the forces with a increased amount of hydration ๐Ÿ™‚

The Day Job is about to change big time or small time since we are going thorough an organisational Transformation. Might be good, might be bad, but the team I’ve had the pleasure of working with for the last 5 years will slowly dissolve over the next year or so. Time to leave the glided cage that I’ve sat out the early days of both my children, the house extension and the death of my father.

D101 Games morphs as I come to the end of its initial waves of games. This has been worrying as some collaborators and allies have left the little collective and new dancers take the stage . I know overall its got longevity, aย  future and most importantly remains ball dropping fun. Currently bringing OpenQuest 2 to a glorious close and putting together River of Heaven a truly inspirational sci-fi rpg written by my mate John Ossoway, with a sound track by my old mate Keef Baker (which is basically the bright optimistic electronic album I always hoped he would pull out of his creative hat some day) and illustrated by rising star Peter Frain.ย  As far as my old muse Glorantha goes I’m finishing off a couple of unreleased books, but I’ve come to the reason I’m ok with the fact that I’m on hiatus on running in the setting even at conventions. I’m also working on a confusing amount of stuff which I’ll work on some sort of plan to bringing into being on my upcoming two weeks off work. Then I can at least mention it to the outside world to start getting interest up ๐Ÿ™‚ Had fun updating the website over the last couple of days, so its responsive and works on all these new fangled smart devices ๐Ÿ™‚

Perhaps we are all going into space.

In which case here’s the theme for River of Heaven by Slipdrive



Our own little Summer Meadow


Definitely fallen behind with the grand gardening plans of building up some cultivated flower beds in the back, so nature has taken its course with lots of flowers from last year’s summer meadow selection that went to seed suddenly appearing a couple of weeks ago.

In the far background is the potato sack which did us proud last year and two pots ready for tomato plants.

Who actually blogs these days?

I remember the halycon days of blogging, when all my mates had LiveJournal blogs and would pour out the happenings in their lives every couple of days with the occasional big post with images.

Now its all sound bites with the occasional image. Pictures of people’s tea, and selfies have replaced lovely photos of holidays and days out.

I’m just as guilty of Farcebooking/Twittering as the next man – so perhaps its time to make time for more considered blogging ๐Ÿ™‚