Monday, September 26, 2022

Don't read this if you're having a bad week.

I'm so happy you could puke.

I've heard it said that creativity sometimes flourishes when times are bad. For example the punk movement burst onto a complacent youth/music scene when Britain's economy was in the 💩 and everyone was fed up. 

Ditto this blog. I write usually when something or someone's pissed me off (which actually may be most of the time) but actually I've just had a great week. It's been fantastic actually.

(I'm ignoring our new plutocratic scum elected by 0.3% of the population by the way.)

So I'm going to buck the trend and try and write something positive about my wonderful week.

I'm now going to tell you about it. The disclaimer is if you're having a bad week then I apologise in advance and recommend you DON'T read this, okay?

Last Wednesday I met up with some interested parties in London (it's very exciting commuting into London when you live outside it) to discuss being a part of team who will deliver talks and articles about rare dementias. It's at a fledgling state at present as we thrashed out what we would and wouldn't say, and I spent the whole day (10-4pm) in Queen's Square and whilst it was tiring  - I was doing jaw-dislocating yawns by the end - I felt so empowered. I can still produce good ideas, I can metaphor and analogise with the best of them, and I think my brief experience in the world of advertising has given me the tools to know the message the recipient should be taking away at the end. 

I made a valuable contribution and that really made me feel good.

I was so tired that the next day that it was a total write-off!

80th birthday party

On Saturday evening J and I went into town to a joint 40th birthday between a husband and wife  - hence the 80th. 

To be honest I wasn't looking forward to it. Rather, I was nervous. There were certain people there I wasn't looking forward to seeing particularly.

When I arrived the welcome was very warm. Over the evening I didn't speak to everybody but that was fine. Some of the people there I wasn't close to, but one person I'd fallen out with (she'd rather fallen out with me) was friendly and we chewed the cud over the weather I think. 

Another old friend took me outside and I thought I was going to get a talking to about something or other, but I couldn't think what he was going to say. He asked me to explain my FTD so he could understand it and he asked loads of questions about me and it and Jacqui and my family and how they'd been affected and then seemed genuinely sorry that he and I had become disacquainted and he wanted to make an effort. 

How nice is that?

Our history is long (I've known him for 16 years) and complicated. It was a real olive branch though and it was a very genuine and bold thing for him to do. I really appreciate it, Andy.

Most people I hadn't seen for a while - years in some cases. It was very loud and almost impossible to hear anything once the DJ started up, so many of us non-smokers went outside into the cold.

One woman I knew vaguely and to be honest we'd never particularly got on very well, came up and hugged me. She said:

"You probably don't remember me but I used to hang out at the house in Abbeville Road when you lived there." 

I thought, what's she on about? 

"I know who you are - you're Laura." 

She went on about something else  - it was fine, nice even. It was only later I realised that someone must have mentioned dementia and she thought 'Alzheimers!' That's why she assumed I would have forgotten her.

Fact: 37% of dementia is NOT Alzheimers.

At 10.30pm I'd had enough - too much noise and socialising is very tiring for me now, so J and I got a taxi to Waterloo and went home. 

Such a pleasant evening - they're often the ones you have low expectations of, so you can be pleasantly surprised,

Drakkenheim lives!

The following day I did a 5 hour Dungeon Mastering session. I had prepped for the players with the expectation they would be finishing off a dungeon they'd left last session. Of course, this being a sandbox D&D adventure (i.e. non-linear: here's a map - go where you want, do what you want) they didn't do what I expected at all. They went to another bit of the map instead! 

To describe the scenario, it's rather like John Carpenter's The Thing crossed with Game of Thrones. Not for the faint-hearted!

I say! What fun!

I started off tired from the previous evening but after a while got it together. They did really well, and I brought in rival factions to the adventure to disrupt/help/hinder the party. This made running the adventure quite a lot more complicated as yours truly had to play all the Non-Player Characters who populate the gaming world.

I made the knight clumsy and incompetent yet zealous for the cause. He ended up getting eaten by a living wall in the end (as you do), having accidentally killed one of his own men.

One player, Chris had to make 2 exceptional rolls in order to avoid confrontation with 9 bandits. He rolled 20 and 20 (on a 20-sided dice), the chances of which are er...

Anyway, the players did an excellent job. They are really thinking about the game and how to overcome situations where they may be overpowered and they seem to be enjoying it. 

By the way, if you've got this far rest assured things can only go downhill in terms of enjoyability for me. Hold that thought!

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