Bowing Out

As regular readers of my blog (Hi Mum!) may have noticed, I haven’t made any posts in over a week due to illness. My condition is one that isn’t so bad if it’s treated quickly, but thanks to my new doctor being a little bit useless and taking my medication off repeat prescription despite me making sure they wouldn’t every time I went in, I was left without it for 4 days, making the whole thing much worse. I’d like to give special thanks to the receptionist who hung up on me while I was practically begging to speak to a doctor after telling me the building was full of them but they only saw patients in the morning and I was 20 minutes too late, thereby consigning me to 4 days of agony with no pain relief. I hope one day someone does the same thing to her.

This meant that by the time I did get my medication the pain was well and truly set in and so I’ve spent the last week sleeping about 18 hours a day, waking only to take more painkillers and marvel at the pretty shapes and colours. Thankfully it’s starting to abate now, and I’ve been thinking about my commitment to the One a Day project and how it’s pretty much all gone out of the window. I know I’m not the only person to miss some time and I could carry on from now, but there’ll be this little voice in the back of my head all year saying “Yeah, but you didn’t do it properly, did you?”. Also with my upcoming wedding (81 days and counting!) a lot of my time is now being devoted to planning and preparation, and I’m sure if I tried to carry on I’d end up missing more entries anyway as things are already starting to get slightly manic.

I have really enjoyed writing this blog though, and I will keep it going in a non One a Day capacity, probably with 1-2 entries a week. For now I’ll give you an update on the things I’ve already blogged about this month:

Obviously with being unwell my exercise plan went out the window, if I’d tried playing EA Sports or Just Dance I’d have probably ended up with my head stuck in the fireplace and my foot through the TV. The silver lining, though, is that I’ve hardly been eating and so have already lost 8 pounds of my stone target. Good thing my dress laces up at the back, hopefully I’ll be pulling it a bit tighter by the time the wedding comes!

I am well on my way to completing my two games for the month, though they aren’t the two I set out to complete. I’ve been playing Enslaved on the 360, which I got at launch and only spent an hour or so with. It’s such a refreshing change to play a post apocalyptic game that isn’t painted in shades of brown and grey, the environments in this game are just stunning. You really get the feel of a city that has been reclaimed by nature, and the lush, vibrant pallete makes the levels a joy to explore. The controls are simple yet tight, meaning the acrobatic sections of the game are easy to navigate while still making you feel like you’re truly interacting with the obstacles in your way, and the combat is easy to pick up but deep enough to offer a lot of strategic options during battle. In case you haven’t noticed I really like this one! Had I played it last year when it actually came out I think it would definitely have been one of my top games of the year.

I’m also playing through Ghost Trick on the DS. It only came out recently and seems to have been largely overlooked which is a damn shame. I wrote about it in my last, vaguely coherent post and the more I play of it the more I love it. It’s a great blend of puzzle game and graphic novel, with a (so far) great story that really gets it hooks into you and gives you that “just one more chapter” feeling as you try to uncover a bit more of the mystery.

And, at last I finished the embroidery I’ve been working on for the last 8 months, it’s a gift for my Mum that was originally meant to be for her birthday last July! Still, better late than never, and last week I finally got to give it to her. Since she’s now seen it I can show other people, so here’s a pic-

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I’m now working on a little one for myself, after that I’ve got a huge design of an AT-AT and AT-ST that might help up my geek quota after spending all that time on flowers!

Think that’s everything up to date, so I’ll not be seeing you tomorrow but I definitely will be soon! (If you come back, that is…)

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Doped up gaming

Still not well and still on a lot of pain killers so once again don’t expect a masterpiece! I have managed to spend a good portion of today awake though, which made a change from yesterday and meant while my head wasn’t too bad I got some gaming in. Not my nominated games of the month though, I put Assassin’s Creed 2 on and quickly realised that it was all a bit beyond me in my reduced mental state, so instead I stuck in Lego Star Wars. I’ve owned it pretty much forever but have never actually sat down and really played it properly. Had it on for a couple of hours this afternoon and loved it. Think I’ll probably be finishing that before I go back to AC2.

And for the last hour or so I’ve been laid in bed waiting for the tablets to kick in enough for me to get some sleep while playing Ghost Trick. I’m not very far in yet, I’ve finished the tutorial mission and the next one but it’s shaping up to be a really interesting game, love the art style and the gameplay and concept are really original, which is a total rarity these days. It was also developed by the creators of the Ace Attorney series, who can obviously do no wrong. Apart from Ace Attorney Investigations, but we don’t talk about that. Anyone who has a DS should definitely at least look into it. Oh, and it’s got the best dog that’s ever been in a game on any system, ever. And I include Amaterasu and the inside out dobermans from Resi in this, so you know it’s a truly awesome dog.

Right, I’m starting to ramble so it’s clearly time for me to stop writing and get some sleep. Maybe just one more mission of Ghost Trick first though…


Posting for the sake of it

Apologies for today’s entry, I’m really ill and it’s just sheer stubbornness and obsession with finishing things I start that’s made me write a post today, there’s no way I can fail this early!

I suffer from migranous neuralgia, also known as cluster headaches (although headache isn’t really accurate as it affects the whole right side of my head and face). It has been said by doctors that they are most extreme pain known to medical science, which has led to them being known by the cheery term suicide headaches, I’m sure you can work out why.

Luckily I’m not that bad, it’s been almost a year since my last attack. I woke up fine this morning but about half ten starting feeling the “shadows” that come just before an attack, which is a really strange sensation that I really couldn’t explain to someone who hasn’t felt it. An hour later my boss was driving me home because they wouldn’t let me leave work and get on the train by myself. Once I got home I did the only thing I can do, took a dose of painkillers, not my usual ones as I couldn’t get a prescription thanks to the doctor’s closing at lunchtime, and went to bed.

I’m up now to eat and then I’m going back to bed with more tablets, hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to come up with something a bit more coherent! Thanks for sticking with me through the worst blog post ever!


Just choose a sodding font!

Planning my wedding has been, without a doubt, the most draining experience of my life. When we first decided to get married I had lovely visions in my head of swanning round with a smart little organiser stuffed with lists, place card samples and fabric swatches, picking out beautiful things that all perfectly matched with no effort before popping off for coffee and muffins or lunch and wine with my Mum and bridesmaid.

What it has been is an endless parade of decisions so vast in their scope of possibilites that just thinking about them makes me tired and sad. Venue, dress, suits and food, the big stuff, was a joy. These are huge parts of the wedding and I got genuinely excited about picking them. Everything that has come since has numbed my mind to the extent that just the mention of the word “wedding” has me slipping into a self-preservation induced coma. Which favours do we want? What flavour? What boxes? What ribbons? What table settings? What place cards? Which one of the endless permutations of wedding vows would we like to seal our union with? Even the invitations have thrown up a list of choices so vast that the mind cannot fail to boggle. Which invitations? What colour card? What colour type? What colour insert? What wording? Which paper style, envelope colour, ribbon colour, ribbon style? It’s enough to make you want a nap. And now having finally decided all of the above I find myself paralyzed with indecision because we can’t choose which of 2 fonts to use on the inserts.

None of it really matters, I know, and yet at the moment it all seems like the most important stuff in the world and I’m terrified of getting something wrong when there isn’t even a wrong answer! And worst of all is the knowledge that according to everyone I talk to I’m supposed to be enjoying this! Apparently I should be revelling in planning every microsecond of the day in excruciating detail, not sticking my fingers in my ears and going “lalalalalalalalala” every time the subject comes up.

From the conversations I’ve had with people it would seem that I fail at wedding planning. The big day is 3 months this Sunday, and when people say “Ooh, are you all ready then?” and I reel off a list of the things I still have to do it’s both alarming and amusing in equal measure to watch their faces drop and a look of horror come over them. More annoying is people (specifically women) asking me about my “theme” and “motif”. Since when did weddings have themes?! The only themed weddings I’ve heard of have been Star Wars ones, and since when I put the idea to Oli I was met with gales of laughter I assumed we weren’t having a theme. Now I’m losing sleep over it. Should I have a theme? Pirates, maybe? Come as your favourite dead celebrity? Too late now, anyway. And as for motifs, I’m told the idea is to choose a symbol that you love and place it around you on your day. Like butterflies. Or fairies. Again, I am lost. Unless we have bottles of Cab Sav hanging from the pews and Marlboro Light centrepieces, I think the motif’s out too.

I can’t wait to get married, but I’m dreading the next 3 months of organising I have to do to get to it! But there’s one good thing to come out of it all, Oli need never fear about me leaving him for someone else. There’s not a chance in hell I’d put myself through the misery that is planning a wedding again as long as I live.

 


The neverending story

Firstly, an apology. I know my posts of the last few days have been a bit short and crap, I’m putting in some really long days and my inspiration doesn’t flow after I’ve managed to drag myself home and cook dinner. It’s something I fully intend to rectify over the weekend, so just bear with me for a few days and normal (as normal as I get anyway) service will be resumed.

Tonight I got home from work and decided to tackle a job I’ve been putting off for months, organizing our games shelves. This may sound like a small job, but it ended up taking me two and a half hours. This is partly due to the fact that we have a lot of games. Me and Oli have both been gaming for many years, so when we moved in together and amalgamated our consoles and games it made for quite the collection. The other reason, and the one that made it really time consuming is the fact that I, in the words of Oli, don’t look after my things properly and shouldn’t have nice stuff.

When I finish playing something, instead of putting it away I generally leave it in the console. And so, next time I play something there’s already a disc in the tray. I need to get rid of it, there’s an empty box in my hand, ok, it’s not the right box, but so what? I don’t wanna go box hunting, I wanna play. I’ll sort it out when I’m finished. Except I don’t. And so, next time I play something there’s already a disc in the tray. And so on.

I’d estimate that of the 150 or so boxes I’ve just been through about 20% had the right discs/UMDs/carts in them. And I do this about once a year like clockwork. In a way it’s quite an interesting breadcrumb trail through what I’ve been playing over the last twelve months, sitting on the living room floor surrounded by boxes thinking “Hmmm, what did I play after Uncharted 2? Cause whatever it was, that box is where I’ll find the Uncharted disc”. It’s also a reminder of all those games I’ve picked up cheap to play when I’ve got time and stuck to the back of the shelves. My mental pile of shame is now twice as long, and twice as interesting thanks to some titles I’d completely forgotten we owned!

For the next month or so I’ll be really good about putting everything back properly, even keeping all the formats, genres and series together neatly. But even as I sit surrounded by empty boxes and piles of discs I know that someday soon, as sure as the sun rises and sets, the day will come when I want to play something and there will already be a disc in the tray…


On books, and a plug

Ever since the day I learned to read, I’ve constantly had a book on the go. Every day I read for at least an hour or two, and this is the way it’s always been since I was a child. Books have been an absolutely huge part of my life, and will continue to be for the rest of it. Which is why when I ask someone what they’re reading and am met with a blank stare or “I don’t read”, I despair inside. I just don’t understand.

I’ve read books that have made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe (if you like a laugh and haven’t read A Confederacy of Dunces, go and do it now), books that have made me cry until I couldn’t see the pages, and books that will stay with me forever. That people would, through choice, deprive themselves of the, knowledge, insight and sheer pleasure that comes of reading I something I will never get as long as I live.

Which brings me to the second part of my post, the plug. One of those lovely Twitter types, @strybe (aka Daniel Lipscombe) has today launched Libri Populus (Book People for those of us whose schools taught German and not Latin), an exceedingly pretty site devoted to the printed word in all its forms. As well as a wealth of reviews and features they have started the Libri Populus Book Club, where every month the comments section of a page is devoted to discussion of that month’s pick. The first book is Room by Emma Donoghue, which I happened to pick up yesterday and will be getting stuck into once I’ve finished my current read, the sublime London Belongs To Me by Norman Collins.

It’s only day one and already there’s some great content on there, I’m really excited to see what they come up with in the future. So, if you’ve ever picked a book up in your life head over to libripopulus.co.uk and check it out. And if you haven’t, shame on you, get thee to a Waterstones!


Lazy Sunday, lazy post

Ok, I managed 9 days before I brought out  a lazy filler post, but after such a  lazy day I can’t kick my brain into gear enough to write anything else.

Highlights of my day include a lovely soak in the bath, although the day’s only grrr moment came from taking my PSP in with me to play FFVIII and it going flat about 3 minutes after I switched it on. Got some more work in on the embroidery that won’t die, then his afternoon we watched Salt, which I’ve been wanting to see for a while. I enjoyed it, but from what I’ve read since I watched it the extended cut is the one to watch as it fully concludes the story, the cut I saw left it open for a sequel and in retrospect you can tell the ending was changed afterwards to fit this new plan, there’s a couple of things that don’t quite fit with the rest of the story.

Tonight I made a nice easy dinner of smoked salmon risotto and watched Dancing on Ice (yes, I know it’s cheesy but I’m a sucker for crap telly), in between episodes of that we polished off the last of the Christmas cake and caught up with the excellent Come Fly With Me, in my opinion one of the funniest things on TV at the moment.

Now watching the Dancing on Ice skate off before heading to bed with my book, although I know I’ll only read about 3 pages before I wake myself up by dropping it on my face.

Sunday is without a doubt my favourite day of the week, especially the one in three or so that I get to spend with my fiancé, even the looming prospect of Monday can’t spoil it for me! That’s all I can think of, thanks for bearing with me and my total lack of inspiration today, hopefully I’ll come up with something a little more captivating tomorrow. Although it is Monday, and another long one so if I were you I wouldn’t hold my breath.