Sunday, 30 November 2008

Visit for my Mums sweet tooth.

It was my Mums birthday this week so I offered to take her out Saturday to sunny (I wish) Belper to visit the new chocolate shop Midland Midlife pointed out.

My mum is big chocolate fan, loves Thornton's whose factory is 1 or so miles from her house, loves Hotel chocolate and also has a monthly specialty chocolate order, so once I learned about the new shop I knew a visit would make good birthday gift for my Mum. So Saturday morning through the freezing fog I drove her to I should Cocoa, a small shop and cafe in Belper, where I treated her to one of everything, well nearly we didn't get any giant white chocolate rats with pink tails since they were far too scary. My mum thinks the chocolates are great.

The chilly day when straight through me with mid day temperature hovering at around -1 deg C to 0 deg C and damp air making it feel even colder, we did quick walk of the street of Belper since it not normally on my radar looking at the the Old Fashioned Sweet shop and bead shop. Belper for a small town as quite nice selection of unique shops.

After that we headed in Matlock direction before I took her home where I was fed Thornton's Birthday cake, my brother had delivered and offered fresh lime and cream cake my other brother had sent, and then looked at big box of chocolates my sisters had delivered and was in the process of eating.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Seeing Trouble

This week I have been out and about with work and next week will be the same, this time of year I like to spend my time in a nice warm office rather than get up at 5.30am to travel to the far flung corners of England though horrible traffic, still it gets you away from your desk and eye strain.

Talking of which I collected my new glasses, frame less super light ones, I must admit they are light and you hardly notice you are wearing them.
I can report no change to my eyes, which is good news I'm short sighted but I can still easily read with my glasses on at 6 inches from my face so don't have worry about bi-focals for few years yet .

I'm busy at home at the moment, not with the housework I should be doing but running a play by email game for for Ascendancy players in one group, the game is testing the water to see if the players enjoy it, and if its practical for me to run, when I say busy its probably taking about less than hour a night.
The game features a story or plot given to me by head ref of Ascendancy AndyL, he then leaves the rest to me so I can respond to players quickly without constantly having to contact him, he is then copied in all the communication so he's up to speed.
The game has no real rules or boundaries very free form and so far so good, I will ask the players at the next event how it went, if they will do one again and how it might be improved.
I have another group of Pirates, sorry Sea Robbery challenged, lined up wanting play after next event to keep me busy.

Tuesday saw me out with my friends Linda and AndyT, both coughing and spluttering their way out of colds, but other than that in a chipper mood, I got to see their, well Katie their daughters new Kitten she has called Bel (No Pictures I forgot my camera). Bel looks only a few months old is from the Cats protection league and is into teasing Andy and Linda's 2 Jack Russels and climbing up the chimney, sounds like trouble to me.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Sea Battle

This Saturday was the day of the Ascendancy table top sea battle.

I had spent the week putting together the ships and rules sheets for the sea battle, having about 15 ships rather than hundreds of figures made it far easier than previous battles.

Turning up at the shop at midday I set the battle up in about 5 minutes as opposed to the usual hour or so, even if I di peirce my thumb with drawing pin as the pin shot through the pin top into it, after a bit of bleeding over everything I continued my set up while the players arrived.

Kate Admiral Lizzie, Chris Captain Morgan, Alex Joseph Kisner Captain of the Charity, James Carden the Fomori warrior, Rob Jack Samuel ships surgeon and Kieron Marlow ships mage. v's Jock El Diablo of the Crimson brotherhood with Andy Captain X as creative input.

See photo below

The battle went great the players instantly got to grips with rules which are quite tactical and need players to think ahead, the only downside is a game which me and Jock would have played in 3 hours lasted 5 because 6 heads are not as fast as one and need time to discuss between each turn.
A couple of other factions controled by me arrived, to throw spanners in thier plans but did mean the players had to do some roleplay, some negotiation which all added to the fun, and also left the players with new things to investigate, new enemies since they fired first and a couple of problems to resolve.

Picture below of ships and the battle.

After the battle we went to the pub, it was freezing outside, and since I had not set foot out the door nearly all day I felt it. At the pub the players discussed many crazy ideas which I best not go into, hmm too much sugar perhaps but you never know with enough resources.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Busy Weekend

I've had busy weekend of shopping, visiting and game preparations.

Saturday started with a early morning looking for a present for Katie's 18th, her mother not being able to help with ideas left me to fend for myself, what do I know about suitable gifts for 18 year girls, well zip really. Having consulted a couple of people for advice which gave me a few avenues to pursue I went looking, but with no time I could not find stuff that fitted the bill and my sense of humour for presents. I had less than a hour to find the gift since the rest of the day was full, in the end I got a remote control realistic rat that jumps and giant jar of jelly beans, nowhere near my intended jewelry box or pink slippers.

Next the Optician where my prescription as not changed again, but since my glasses are 5 years old decided new glasses are in order, I went for rimless variety for a change.

Straight after that I picked up Jocks wife Bridgette and AndyH to go to TORM, Jock wasn't coming due to World of Warcraft addiction of a new upgrade, although he would claim otherwise. Setting off for Coventry we crawled through the centre of town to pick DaveP up and then headed off to TORM where everyone disappeared on their own little shopping spree's. I found myself looking at a grey/brown wig which suited me, got a second opinion, then went into to purchase, it was a little expensive so I asked if he would reduce the price, he did budge a inch, being so used to always getting a few pence off traders and it being a something I did not really need at that price made me step away from the purchase. I then purchased a cloak I did not need and some jewelry and saying would you do me a discount the trader gave a instant 25per cent off, a lot more than expected. After that I wondered the stalls with DaveP running into Colin and Lotti, Doug and Iszy, Kate and I can't remember her boyfriends name, Doug was very jovial, spending money on kit, while Iszy was at the Mulberry Dyers stall buying yarn. Me, Bridgette and AndyL left Dave for coffee and chatted to a few Medieval friends while Dave did a last minute dash before we headed home.

I then spent the evening after watching Merlin preparing for next weekend sea battle wargame, Jock's tall ships rules needed revising to suit the fantasy element, and simplifying for a non wargame audience, before I knew it, it was midnight, the house heating had switched off and I found myself wondering why I was feeling cold.

Sunday involved dashing over to see Katie to deliver her presents, somehow the remote control rat turn out to be a hit has she chased the families 2 dogs around with it; Jack Russels aren't they supposed to chase rats, not the other way around. AndyT and Linda where both there with bad colds as was Christopher home from University with a new girlfriend who is also into Larp, after feeding me rich chocolate birthday cake they then disappeared to the Cat Protection league looking for cat, they wanted one like my Jasmine, I think they will be very lucky if they do as was I when I found her.

I then visited AndyL (another cold victim) at his shop, discussed game stuff for next battle before going around to Jocks to play test the revised rules, 4 hours of play later a few minor tweaks we declared them OK, before I left for Sunday evening dinner at my Mums.

My mum had baked me a massive Christmas cake she was just feeding whisky to keep it moist, it smells wonderful I'm not sure it will keep until Christmas, but I will try. Whilst there she showed me a singing Christmas farting dog, well I had to video it, see below, totally tasteless but it made me laugh.

Definitely a busy and enjoyable weekend even though Jasmine probably did not appreciate me being out the house so much.

Only play when you can listen as well as watch.

You have to laugh :) even if I am shaking my head in disbelief at the same time.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Cold, it was and I had

I started the run up to Ascendancy event with a cold, Friday morning I woke up and decided I was too ill to be of any use and would catch pneumonia camping outside.

Having volunteered to provide the food for the weekend Julie still needed however to pop round to collect it and by the time she had arrived I felt well enough to risk the event and in a last minute decision motivated enough to pack my kit, and was nearly ready by time Dave and Julie arrived.

Travelling to event was no hassle apart from realising as the journey progressed all the different things my last minute cjoice and cold induced brain failure had caused me to forget, biggest of which was food for me and my glasses, since I was wearing contact lenses at the time.

I was playing a crippled character that evening which my cold actually helped with since my hearing was bunged up and I was not feeling sharp, my character was blind which was fun. It was a event about time travel full of time travel experts so my character took a back seat as I always do at time events since their is always too many cooks that come out the woodwork, so I usually take on different role. The crippled character was a one off which I enjoyed playing this once but won't again for while, it also gave me an excuse to take a few photographs.

Below: Blind me

My crippled character also had been badly burnt so with a tips from Julie I painted my face red with the odd black steak then covered it in PVA glue, this dried and started flake off just like dead skin and I found it a great pleasure to pick off, much to my doctors annoyance.

The nights in the dark age huts where not too bad wrapped in my sleeping with extra blankets, but the mornings in costume were bitter, Sunday was extremely cold with a wind that went straight through my thermal underwear and left me with cold feet, not something I suffer often, but the inactivity of being injured make it worse.

Below: Julie talking to Paddy.

The event overall hit the mark with everyone, AndyL was running around since he played nearly all the major npc and so was constantly changing costume, well done to him since he was very ill the week before.

Below: Andy as Sabrejaw, Stiltskin Ribbons, Indech, he also played many others including Levi Tempest and Capt.Dove.

After the event we drove back through the motorway spray went back to my house for Pizza and warm before Julie and Dave left just after eight to drive back home through the heavy rain.

Below: Dave wrapping up warm, I like this photo for the colours.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

A quick round up my weekend

This was a weekend of wind and rain.

After a day of light shopping Saturday, I found myself invited around to Ste and Debs for tea.

On the way to Ste and Debs my car was narrowly missed by a airborne umbrella which made me swerve as I caught sight of it in the corner of my eye.

I enjoyed a meal which Deb was convinced hadn't turned out right, I liked it even if it should have tasted different and had a empty plate almost licked clean to prove it. We then chatted the evening away before watching the Iron man DVD, a film I saw at the cinema and thoroughly enjoyed while the wind pelted the windows.

On Sunday I got up to go to the Living History Fair near Warwick, this started with me squirting a unpleasant jet of cod and haddock cat food into mouth as I opened the foil carton for Jasmine, requiring the gargling of mouth wash to remove the taste.

I went to the fayre with Julie and Dave who I picked up on the way, now its usually Julie job to convince me to buy at hat, she failed only to point out a black wig which I bought instead, Dave's job is usually to find me a bargain or shoot a cross bow bolt across the display stands, again Dave failed, he did manage to find his own bargains and loose his scarf, found eventually at the bottom of his bag the 1st place he originally looked. My Job is usually to convince Julie to spend money, well it was my turn to fail, she found Dave a Christmas present and spent away without my help, much more than me for a change.

Didn't see any of the usual suspects at the fayre, did see CatherineW who gave me a massive hug like she had not seen me years, possibly she hadn't. Poor Catherine had her stall of fabric water damaged by a leak in the fayre roof.

I also bought a few Christmas present, a hat, some slug skin cream made from slug slime from Annie the Pedlar that I'm sure will be a hit or a good humoured smack in the face, and then a Jabot for me from Magies Costume the same place I got the wig from.

After the Fayre we went for some pub grub, I took Julie and Dave to the Cocked Hat a place frequented a few time by me, Jock and Bridgette that served excellent homed mad pies, well in the 6 months since my last visit it had totally changed the building extended, entrance moved, grotty bar removed and new pub grub menu installed with a two for one offer. Food was fine, desert yummy, price good, I just missed the home made pies that weren't your typical corporate chain pub food.

By the time we had eaten it was 4 ish so it was far too late to go to mums for Sunday roast, so after I had dropped Julie and Dave off I had to make a call to my Mum to put my dinner aside and I would visit her Monday instead.

I then headed home hitting heavy rain and heavy traffic on the M1, but South bound looked a disaster as passed mile after mile of congested traffic.