End of Month, Start Anew

Last week, I had the fun of my first consultancy moment. Just me and a client wanting to know a bit about likely trade issues in a non-EU domain. I considered it went well, but I’ll only know more if I get any feedback with the payment. But it was certainly a pleasant alternative to the way I used to do my old workstuff.

I also now have new IT in the homestead, and it’s great using new powerful kit properly set up to how I had it back in my old office. And there’s a new A3 printer/copier sitting alongside the desk, ready to use for all the gaming and mapping ideas I’ve had.

And so hopefully, with all that set-up sorted, plus some building work completed on the house, and other issues resolved, I now have the clear-path ahead to do more of what I want. The re-enactment season is closed too, after a great year with a handful of events we really enjoyed, so it will be great to pack all that stuff away until spring.

First up, I want to get back to the Martians I plan to complete for the Space 1889 project with TMWWBK rules. As I said before, there’s plenty of Elves of various designs awaiting some conversion work.  It will be good practice for getting back into figure-painting. I have a few other units I want completed, but those I intend to entrust to one of the best painters I know. And then there’s that table-cloth idea for a pseudo-Martian surface, and some various terrain items to go on it.

Once that project gets back underway, I need to finish reading some recent book acquisitions that are all about the Italian Wars, Renaissance military aspects, and other era-related material. Hopefully then I’d have re-discovered my own painting techniques and abilities in order to do a decent job on some of the Renaissance 28mm I have also amassed from various purchases.

Meantime, to satiate actual gaming fixes, I now have plenty of fantasy 28mm to be able to put on a variety of encounters using the Dragon Rampant rules. DR remains for my personal choice as the best and quickest ‘go-to‘ set in order to have a game laid out and underway with the minimum amount of fuss and time spent. It might all have a pseudo-LotR flavour to it, but that just saves me time from generating background content and context.

So a new phase to move towards. Looking forward to it too.


New approaches for new work ideas

I’ve spent a few weeks defusing or debriefing myself from the old work ethics admittedly, but in that time, I’ve also set down some ideas on what I want to pick up on in the future.

I have an appreciation that I’m in a potentially interesting and even exciting situation at this moment in time. I have the opportunity to go it alone in setting up a company to cover any consultation work, especially in relation to international trade. And this is very timely when you consider the ‘Brexit‘ negotiations. No – I’m still adhering to my cardinal rule of ‘no politics‘, so the objective stance remains. What is important is that some UK entities will sink or fold without some assistance come the UK’s departure from the EU, and I may be in a good position to provide some help to them.

So it’s worthwhile sorting out what I would need to do to cater for this. Company name, company set-up and registration, tax obligations and proper accounting, using social media platforms to make a footprint, and whatever else is out there for a new singleton business start-up. I was always told my work was ‘pretty niche‘. So then, perhaps that permits me to know my limitations and boundaries early on, and will help target my attention properly to particular sectors. I know it’s unlikely that many others would know as much as I do, or have an appreciation of the impact Brexit will have, on those entities I know so that is an advantage in my favour.

And there’s no harm lost in trying this approach. I’m in a new situation (to me anyway) that I no longer have to have the singular career, the one profession I must follow as it’s my sole source of income. It’s quite a dynamic change to know that instead of that, I have simultaneous potential earning opportunities as a landlord, a games designer and publisher, a writer, an historical reenactor, and now potentially as a consultant too.

Scroll back to four years ago and I never thought I’d be in this situation. Interesting prospects indeed.


A Mish-Mash of Days

Work day was a tad peculiar. I did the handover training last week to three new young lads who actually really impressed me. They did well to get a decent grasp of the work I’ve done for the past ten years in the five hours we had. Then today I learnt that they aren’t my successors, some other staff will be instead. Whom obviously now need handover training. It sort of epitomizes in one incident the entire confused mess my workplace has become these past few years. So so glad I get to put it all behind me soon.

And if they want me to head down south, to do all that work again, they can pay for it.

This coming weekend will be spent at home. Initially I had planned a one-day jaunt to catch up with the guys to discuss the coming Pinkie event in September. But I have a bit too much on, things to sort, and I need a few days away from ‘politics’. I respect people’s opinions, but right now, I can do without the endless churn of emotive tosh and repeated tosh. I know I just won’t have the patience to prevent myself from over-reacting to some daft comment. To manage the risk, remove the opportunity.

So now I’m left with three days and a need to plan what to do with them. Or should I? I think I might keep it spontaneous, just ensure a few necessary tasks are sorted first, then see where the mood and preference takes me. Perhaps that’s actually what I need, less structure and predefined purpose – to get out of ‘work-mode’ when at home. Let’s see what happens then.

I’ll end on a reflective note. The atrocity in Manchester at the start of this week seems to have affected me more than I first realised. Specifically, to see the tragic outcome for the two young lasses from Barra. I don’t know why – I’ve dealt with death and destruction before – but this one situation has left a deep impression upon me. With one dead and the other seriously injured, truly innocent victims, I feel some sort of need to do something about it, something positive and long-lasting. I’m not sure what yet. I have ideas, but I need to see what’s actually achievable, and practical, and to get input from like-minded friends who will need to tell me if I’m right or wrong. We shall see what happens with this as well.

“Hold fast, young lassie, your dreams and music live on with your spirit for us all.”


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!