Losing friends

Just a few days ago, a friend of mine passed away in his sleep. He’d been poorly for some time, but had fought it well, long after the initial suggestions from the original diagnosis. I’d not seen him face-to-face for a few years but had kept track via friends and social media. While it was no surprise to learn of his passing, it still left me a little saddened.

And as such, the loss of another friend puts ‘Life‘ into perspective, again. When I decided to relocate to the Borders, it was after I’d lost others in my life. Their deaths had spurred me on afterwards to look at what I had and what I wanted.

The loss of my father was one of the first, and that seemed to fittingly sever any interest in maintaining links I still had with London, where I was born. I lost a few more friends from the re-enactment scene and that made me consider taking up the medieval period as a ‘must-do‘ ambition I had not yet achieved. And then I lost a few work colleagues, tragically taken far too soon and leaving families behind, that made me realize my employer wasn’t an entity I wanted to remain with for the years to come.

So it is that I find myself not anticipating another change, as I’m living in amidst it right now. I have other new ambitions to look at after next week, when I finally leave my employer, and escape the Civil Circus. But it does provide me the nudge to still consider what else should I do. What else could I achieve? Is there something I would find that gives me a new horizon to strive for? I’m not sure yet, so I’ll list up some ideas, review them and see what’s practical and proper.

Rest in peace, old friend. Slainte.



Lazy day with no particular plans

The last four days have been taken up with work and family stuff, and the requisite travel southwards and northwards to engage with all of that. Work was fine, a bout of ‘knowledge transfer‘ to three new candidates who aren’t necessarily guaranteed a final spot in the work area I am/was involved in. I know – makes no sense to me either. But I delivered what I could for a quick introduction of eight or nine years condensed into five hours. Went remarkably well, all things considering.

Family stuff principally revolved around the Matriarch and her new hip. From an immediate post-op slump of lethargy she has improved (almost) in leaps and bounds. After doing the right physio as instructed, she has impressed the quacks enough to not need any further out-patient trips for a few months at least. That success is also a good tonic to motivate recovery efforts further, and to see that it was all worthwhile after all.

And while down south, it was great to meet up with some of the chaps and get a quick Thursday evening game of ‘Dragon Rampant‘ in as well. It was a simple 24 point affair, but with some deviously placed terrain that prevented the more usual ‘line-up-&-grind’ encounter. I was using someone else’s army of Goblins – spears as heavy foot, odds & sods as heavy missiles, with a lumbering giant as an elite ranger type and a wizardling rider as the main man in charge. One interesting tweak was that both the heavy missile units were marked ‘Fearful‘, giving them a vulnerability. The game went well, remembered the right turn sequence, and the right stats and dice to use, and found that we ended up with a battle that see-sawed a lot, with both sides losing a lot of figures. As both Leaders were spellcasters, they actually dealt each other a lot of damage, to the point that I retreated mine to support the troops for a while, before putting him back into the fray as I lost units while I was taking ground. It was inevitable that the ‘Fearful‘ trait would see one unit flee the field, and then the other soon after, but I still liked that expectation. After all, it gave it the sort of flavour I would have anticipated for a Goblin army. It was good fun,and again, motivational to get more done back at home for ‘DR‘. Good job done on hosting the gaming by the ‘Box‘ too.

The journey home took a while longer than usual, possibly due to weather and traffic. But we both reached a point where we were glad to escape the highways of the south-east, and get back up north. Driving conditions and habits were appalling. And I even include a fast-pursuit police car in that. (Guys, if you slalom onto a roundabout at high speed without having your blue lights flashing, and you nearly get rammed by a lorry and various other vehicles, you really have no-one else to blame but yourselves, no matter how much finger-pointing you do out your window, and regardless of switching on your blue lights after you slid to a halt. That was epic stoopid.)

Time to relax and be lazy. And anyway, it’s tipping down with rain!