So Long 2015…

December 31, 2015

So, that’s it.

The fat lady is warming up her vocal chords, because it ain’t over until she sings. Or, in her absence, Jools Holland doing some sort of musical love-in with Katie Melua.

2015 is the fifth year of this blog. I think. Sounds about right. It hasn’t been its best – due to technical issues, enthusiasm levels or the fact that if I ever tried to write this blog lying down I’d fall asleep.

But 2016 starts tomorrow. Volume 6 (again, I think) starts afresh. I already know that next year’s blogs will include my annoyance that the money I spend on Amazon Prime is being used to keep Jeremy Clarkson in a position he can punch different producers, something about the rise of Trump – or President Trump as we will know him by this time next year – and my increasing love for DC Comics TV series. Legends of Tomorrow or whatever it’s called is going to be my new jan.

Seriously though, Arrow is my new ¬†obsession and I’m dangerously close to binge watching Season 1 of Flash…

But that’s later.

I haven’t been great in 2015.

Next year I’ll be amazing.

And so will you guys.

See you tomorrow!

Happy New Year!



Winner Takes It All

December 30, 2015

So I’m not as bad at games as I thought.

I mean, I just totally trounced a seven year old at both Operation and Game Of Life. And Game Of Life took so bloody long to play, it really did feel like a lifetime.

So I think I need to go back to boardgame basics. Buckaroo, Hungry Hippos, Mousetrap. All the classics. That’s where my skills lie. As tempting as I find the likes of Takenoko, Ticket To Ride and Qwirkle, I need to look at a game and think “Would I be able to beat a seven-year old?”

Although with those examples the answer should probably be yes. So there’s clearly some sort of exception to these rules, and my theory needs some refinement.

But I still have Operation and Gane Of Life under my belt. No-one can snatch those away from me.


December 29, 2015

I cannot remember the last time I overslept and, as a consequence of that, was late for work. I can barely remember the last time I overslept and moved through my morning routine so fast that I was able to arrive at work on my usual time despite being awake for significantly less time than normal. I mean, I know it has definitely happened, but I’ll be buggered if I know when.

Maybe it’s that not knowing that prompted my self-conscious to wake me at regular intervals so I wouldn’t miss my alarm. It’s that not knowing which had me staring at the ceiling at 5am.

I wonder if part of it was clearly that I didn’t trust myself. After all it had been days since I was last awoken mechanically. ¬†I obviously didn’t think I had it in me when it came to it.

And the best way to manifest that distrust is, obviously, with a very specific type of insomnia where I am allowed to sleep, but not allowed to enjoy it.


Floody Hell

December 28, 2015

The news this morning ran with a headline that David Cameron was to visit the flood-hit areas of “The North” to see the impact having most of your neighbour’s stuff wash through your house in a torrent of shitty water can have on a community. Have these people not already suffered enough, without having a visit from a man who looks like his own bobblehead doll?

I watched a video, yesterday, of the flooding in Leeds. Partly because everyone, whether they admit it or not, has a macabre interest in footage of weather gone mental and partly because our office building is next to the River Aire.

For the past few months, the council have been building flood walls along our stretch of the river. Something which has amused me greatly because the bank on other side of the river is higher than on our side, but has seemingly never been taken into account.

Judging from the video, most of the brickwork they’ve put in got a baptism on Boxing Day, so it’s good to see it worked. The video was interesting, but I would argue that the best time to film raging flood waters is not after dark using only the ambient lighting.

Anyway, as the video panned across our buiding I was struck by several thoughts – how lucky we were to be on the first floor, would the carpets of the entrance be squishy when we returned to work on Tuesday, would we have power…

… and, as the camera moved back to the river, who left on Thursday night without turning all the lights off?



December 27, 2015

Two days after Christmas

That point in the festive week

When you really have to think quite hard

What day it is before its name you speak.

The last day you used the name of

Just seems so long ago

What bloody day is it now?

Is there anyone that will know?

Wait a sec, let’s work it back

When was Christmas Day?

I know it was two days ago

Bur what day I can’t quite say.

Everything gets much easier

As the days go past

Their names are used again

But even that won’t last.

There’s New Year’s Day

And New Year’s Eve

They also have traditional names

So I am led to believe.

Not that it helps us now

To identify today

So let’s not worry about it

By tomorrow it’ll have gone away.



The Second Best Games Player In The House

December 26, 2015

So as the year draws to its conclusion, it’s time to take stock of the ongoing games competitions in the house.

On one side we have the three-way tussle between Carole, Daniel and myself and on the other it’s the bitter rivalry between myself and Carole.

I haven’t won either.

For anyone, anywhere, that will not be a shock. As someone who is reasonably intelligent, tactical and able to think a few moves into the future at most things I suck when it comes to boardgames.

Whether it’s handing Carole a location she’s right next to in The Walking Dead or shuffling a killer kitty card to the top of the deck and shafting myself in Exploding Kittens I am plagued by bad luck and poor decision making.

Which is why I am the second best games player in the house.

Our threesome ended with me firmly nestled between Daniel on top and Carole taking the bottom.

And our head-to-heads, although not technically over, have finished with Carole lording it over me.

But I beat her in the threeways. So how did I manage to lose against her on my own?

I couldn’t work it out. And then I realised….

The games with Daniel go on until midnight. Our games do not. I am foolishly playing Carole, solo, while her brain is still awake, whereas Daniel is taking advantage of the fact that, come ten o’clock, you’re essentially playing whatever it may be with a someone with diminished faculties as she’s already thinking more about being under a duvet and less about which routes she needs to complete in Ticket To Ride.

If I’m going to rise to number one, I need to start shuffling cards and handing out tokens at about half-past ten.

Roll on next year…

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2015

Why are you reading this? It’s Christmas Day, shouldn’t you be spending time with your family and/or loved ones, rather than reading this.

That’s what I’m doing. I wrote this days ago.

Go on, go. Have a great day. I’ll see you tomorrow.