Saturday, December 23, 2023

Holiday Dementia Special!!!!!


Not the title of my difficult third album, but of a little group of some Blue Schoolers from a long time ago,  who gathered together in The Crown last night.

It was a smaller gathering than I expected and as usual with these things some people who said they were coming didn't, and others who said they might didn't. So there.

I had good chats with Ali, Pat, Sarah, Richard, Clare and Anna. It was amazing to all be in the same room. 

(Anna's dog wants to have sex with me. It's difficult. Tbf I probably led him on.)

Get yer coat luv: you've scored.

And today I met Shelley for coffee and took her to see Tanith on her last day at work ever. They hadn't seen each other in years. So that was good.

So many old school friends in 24 hours. It's really nice. And last night I phoned the wrong Claire, but it was really nice to speak to her again so I'm going to call her later for a catch up!

Slightly too much to drink last night but I think I got away with it, apart from the masturbation joke which Ali and Nerys recoiled from. 

Blame it on the FTD. I always do.

Body Dysmorphia

However, the photos of the event were a surprise to me. Instead of the Apollonian figure who looks back at me from the mirror every morning, was the body of a 12 stone weakling with a pot belly. I looked like I have spina bifida - Ian Dury Legs with Purple Ronnie's torso.

Couldn't be bothered to Photoshop my face onto it...

Bloody 'ell. I HAVE got Spina Bifida. Oh, there's always something...

"Gurt big head on 'ee!" "What an Elmer." I can hear you all saying. 

And you'd be right. 

I need to have a full head and body transplant. Maybe for next Xmas. 

Or I'll just have the money instead.

Words were no good anymore!

I've been going round saying odd words. Bungleflumps is at the top of the list. I don't know what it means. I say it a lot.

It just comes out now and again. I have yet to get to the stage of going up to random people and asking: "Do you know Bungleflumps?" "Can you direct me to Bungleflumps?" Or even to the stage of "Are you Bungleflumps? Are you? ARE YOU????"

So for the now, we will keep Bungleflumps at arm's length. I'm sure it will all become clear later.


Do you remember old Bungleflumps? 

Remember what he did to Dicky Price? 


Eric Andre

My latest obsession is Eric Andre. He's a comedian - on the very fringes of theatre. He's a natural successor to Andy Kaufman, Chris Morris, Sacha Baron Coen and Johnny Knoxville. Watching lots of Eric Andre and being hungover has led to this crass bollocks that I am typing now but you are already  reading due to TIME.

His humour is gross-out, hits on the public, making his chat show guests feel very uncomfortable, and inexplicable, surreal stunts.

At the moment I'm trying to watch everything I can. It's a miracle the way he winds people up that he hasn't been seriously hurt by someone.

This is not for the faint-hearted and may truly offend: 

Well, I warned you.


Great gaming week. It got off to a bad start as Monday's was cancelled, but Larry has got the Temple of Elemental Evil up and running (it's a GAME, OK?!) having done a ton of work on it. We're playing it on Roll20 which is an incredible (and complicated) platform to use. But the maps and everything look fantastic. 

Wednesday afternoons are sorted for the foreseeable: thanks for all your hard work Larry!

And then on Thursday I ran Tomb of Annihilation for my Wells group. I really enjoyed it and so did they, which is the main thing.

Also, Patch 5 finally became available for Baldur's Gate 3 on Macs and the difference is awesome - you can now play it again instead of judder-judder-judder; give up.

Also my 20 mini 10-sided dice arrived. 

Xmas has arrived!!!


There you go. Have a nice one.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Existential angst while unconscious

That empty feeling you have when waking up

 My conscious life is fine. Ambling along, my day consists of few real topics of concern or responsibilities:

  • D&D this and that...
  • Is the Baldur's Gate 3 patch ready for Macs yet? 
  • Haven't heard from Mark for a while. 
  • Oh good, someone I don't like is nearly dead.
  • Oh my god - some dice I've ordered have gone to my old address. (Crisis situation.)
But in my dreams all manner of things are playing out. My true underlying anxieties in other words.

Back in an old job given an impossibly boring and incomprehensible task to do. Sacked but still coming in and deeply unpopular, I feign work whilst feeling the ire of those colleagues who I equally resent.

Or I'm retaking my A-levels and haven't been to a single lesson.

Blanked by neighbours I knew for 8 years of my life.

(These are all dreams by the way.)

"Geraint Davies - A Life Wasted."

The huge duvet is often nearly on the floor when I awake, pillows have rearranged themselves, teeth ground and groggy semi-consciousness. 

Had I not been the angst-filled kid I was, I may have climbed higher, had more ambition, more...greed?

As a result I am here writing this aged 54 in my parents' house.

At least I have wonderful handwriting and know the correct use of the apostrophe. 

That'll set you up for life, they said. 


I then found my Sertraline pills from yesterday which I'd put out but neglected to take. 

Perhaps that is the reason for this post's existence?

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Arfur Tinkle


Saturday 2nd December. Woke up at 6.30 to freezing fog. It was so cold. As I was up my 82 year old Dad was up too.

"What are you doing up?" I asked, knowing full well what he was up to.

"I'm giving you a lift to the bus station." 

"Don't be daft; I'm going to walk."

"No. You're my son and I'm giving you a lift. It's too cold to walk."

So he gave me a lift.

We sat in the car for 10 minutes and then the coach pulled up. In the queue I met Tanith and Robin, who were going up to see a gig with Tanith's son. 

We were assigned seats but managed to send each other messages on Whatsapp. It's amazing how much 4G signal there is in the world when you leave Wells.

It was a beautiful journey. I wear my noise-cancelling headphones and don't talk to people on the coach. You're quite squished in so I guess I just don't want any more aural or visual information than that as it would overwhelm me and I'd need to get out.

So we arrived at Hammersmith and went for a brunchy-breakfast and had a good old catch-up. It was great fun. Lots of gossip - I do love gossip. 

(Can't tell you what as you'll think I'm bad...)

I then went to the Novotel Hotel 400 meters from the bus station, where the Dragonmeet was and met Tim and his boy Finn, who was clearly not enjoying it. HE's only 10 so he was probably expecting more figures and games going on. Most of what's being sold are books and accessories - big weighty tomes for upwards of £50. Lots of complex rules to digest. A bit much for a 10 year old.

Some 'Great Stuff'

I met Larry, Adrian and Jono and a couple of others too. I bought some great stuff, and spent just over £100. The others spent considerably more. Then we went to The Swan  - a handsome Victorian pub on the corner, and had a couple of beers, then I got the coach home, which despite stopping 4 times managed to get back to Wells within 3 hours. 

It was such a good day. You must come next year.

Baldur's Gate 3

Since Patch 4 Act 3 has become unplayable. I know, right? Us Mac users are still awaiting patch 5 - which the Windows users already have.  

I mean it really is unplayable. 279 hours in and they've messed up the greatest CRPG of all time. 

The characters don't move, there's a 30 second lag every time you make them do something, and the party of 4 characters which is supposed to move as one, don't.

Come on! Fix it!!

So what will I do with all this spare time?  I'll just have to do things like cleaning the house, putting up shelves, walking the dog, having a shave...

I could be using my time properly to save the world.


I meet lots of dog walkers when I'm out with Tomos, and we chat and things. One woman to whom I told I have FTD, now walks the other way. 

Or maybe she was just going the other way anyway...See? 

As I walk Tomos I wonder if they know I'm weird. Am I coming across as a demented when I'm trying to act normal. Maybe I shouldn't have said to that woman,

"...and I should charge 20 guineas a time, my good woman!" (for Tomos's personal training services to other dogs.} 

I think charging in guineas is hilarious. She probably just thinks I'm a looney.

I mean I am a bit anyway. Always was to a lesser extent. Now I'm a demented I don't know how much of it comes across. 

I seem to be able to chat with anyone about dogs. Some owners in Wells are quite snooty. The middle classes never fail to entertain. The entitled/aspirational ones in SW London /Surrey with the electric 4x4s and the bottle-blonde wives, the ones in Wells with the Liberty's scarves and Harris tweeds with their noses up in the air. 

The aspirational middle-classes, providing comedic value since the time of Chaucer.

Makes me laugh.

But they know. They know I'm demented. 


The musical what I wrote

So today I walked around composing a musical in the style of those 60s chirpy cockney types, with Tommy Steele, Rita Tushingham and of course Anthony Newley

So it's called 'Arfur Tinkle', the tale of an unfortunately surnamed chirpy cockney who's endured a lifetime of piss-taking.

That's as far as I've got, apart from a few Tommy Steele and Antony Newley impressions I did while walking through the market this morning. 

Luckily no one suspects I'm demented...

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

It's Gopher Day all over again!

"Asda; call Viscount Rothermere!"

Disclaimer: there's a lot of product placement in this edition!

The other day my sister came to set up an Alexa unit. Is that what they're called? Apparently its official title is 'Amazon Echo Dot Smart Speaker.'

Alexa will do. 

(Dad is shouting "Alexa!!" as I type this!)

I couldn't remember her name. Wanted to call her 'Asda'. I knew it was wrong. Alex? I can remember Siri (Apple) and Cortana (Microsoft and Halo) but for some reason 'Alexa' eluded me. I can see the first 2 or 3 letters in my mind, know how it should feel as I mouth the syllables. I know it's a short, 2 syllable word starting with 'A'- it's obviously a name. 

I just couldn't grasp it.

(I’ve realised since typing this it’s a 3-syllable word, so that should be a good aide-mémoire should I forget it again!)

As regards my illness, I was waiting for a quantum step downwards (it's never upwards) and this appears to be it. Or maybe it's excessive beerage. Heavy drinking is essentially brain damage-inducing anyway, but I do think this is part of the dementia.

I haven't drunk THAT heavily for a while.

So I was trying to tell an old friend of the last thing I saw at the theatre which was 'Groundhog Day: The Musical', at The Old Vic. All I could see in my mind was Punxsutawney Phil being held up and his cute but gormless face, Bill Murray and the letters G-O-...hence 'Gopher'. 

Had to back track and sidle-off to the left and right in my brain, then managed to seize on the elusive 'Groundhog'. 

Know your rodents from your marmots, young lion.

Some of these words are just becoming more elusive, but I consoled myself that it took me ages to remember Frontotemporal Dementia, and that was 3 years ago.

Did I tell you I'd cleaned the driveway?

I cleaned the driveway. 

Dad was excessive in his praise of my prowess with the pressure washer.

I said 'Don't thank me, thank KARCHER!"

Took me an hour and a bit. 

How to impress girls.

Repetition, Deviation, er, er...

In fact, I am forgetting things, as I told J the above story 3 times before she told me I'd repeated myself. 

I was up in London for a meeting with the neurology bods. 

It was a bit pointless really as they'd got the photometry scans (3d scans of my brain) 2 years apart, but had yet to measure the differences. That would happen in 2 weeks. 

They could have postponed the meeting till then. I mean, they may have post-doctoral theses coming out of their bums but common sense seems to have been the price to pay.

Anyway, as usual I had to undergo a neuropsych test which I blitzed. I also pointed out a typo on the card I had to read out which had eluded everyone previously, wrote a sentence and was complimented on my handwriting, and also knew the date when asked which the neurologist had to check.

When the Prof came in he said you've probably (WTAF??) got dementia but we don't know what type.

Well, we all know I've got a dementia but it has been previously described as atypical of atypical. And as we know the brain is so complex the variables are unique to that individual.

I definitely have Pillockitis.

Udder tings...

I have been walking Tomos every weekday. He's a splendid fellow. Today I sang him 10cc songs in the style of Nico

You should try it at home yourselves, once you've done a professional risk-assessment of course.

I have met lots of very nice dog-walkers, and Tomos is highly sociable and wishes only to run and run with other dogs and then fall asleep at his home. 

He is a very lovely dog, and very popular.

I know other people's dogs' names, but not the owners'.

(That was an apostrophe workout!)

At the weekend at J's I met up with J, Stanley, Chippy and Wilbur. Wilbur sadly, like many of us today, also has dementia. He has tranquilisers in the evening to stop him barking at nothing at all. I looked in his eyes and he's not the same dog anymore, which is sad. His barking used to set off the other 2, but even they don't fall for it anymore. 

They know he's a demented.


Sir Michael Take

My new favourite spoof person on social media is the above mentioned fellow, and former MP for Dorset West. 

When Trump was elected Armando Iannucci declared 'satire is dead.' Well certainly the lines are more blurred than ever before. 

He has been quoted by The Daily Mail and GB News a few times. 

He has a wife, Bunty, who he tries to shield from coarse language, Ant and Dec, socialism and immigrants.

Did I tell you I'd cleaned the driveway?

Oh. Okay.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Oh god: it's you!

"One of our friendly counsellors gave him a donut..."

(A day trip to Ikea.)

Yes, Ikea. I went there with Dad. It's a terrible place, painted all blue and yellow. 

I've never had a problem with that colour combination until now. 

We went to look at 3 pieces of furniture, only one of which was actually on display. 

It wasn't very impressive. 

The one compensation was the packet of mini cinnamon buns that I bought at the end, and which they have traditionally for breakfast in Nordic countries. 

Ikea is a vision of hell. Endless furniture and things you don't need but perhaps amongst them there are things you do need, so you keep looking. 

I couldn't bear it any longer. I was actually getting very stressed - this is an FTD thing too. Panic is coming.

I asked an assistant up a ladder "How do I escape?" Then I ended back in the same place, and asked multiple more assistants. One assistant and a guy doing maintenance were very helpful and agreed about the awful dystopian nature of the place, even though they didn't use those precise words.

It's like some terrible French play about being in hell but you're not meant to realise until the end, except you sussed it out early on and just had to put up with it.

Maybe that's why they have all those sweets at the end of the store, to make up for the trauma.

We ended up ordering everything online. I had a day of constructing a Billy Bookcase - fastened to a stud wall with leftover fixings from the Billy bookcase in my man-cave; 2 large filing cabinets and a small magazine rack/table.

Wiped me out for 2 days it did. And I used to do stuff like that in my sleep.


Yes I know. You're not interested and don't really understand and don't want to. 

Well tough. This is a big part of my life and so I will talk about it.

230 hours of Baldur's Gate 3. Yes, two hundred and thirty hours spent playing this game since October 1st. If it wasn't so brilliant I wouldn't play it. Truth be told my iMac struggles with the graphics a lot and in certain parts judders. I have the graphics turned down low too. 

Nephew Ben has bought it for his PS5. He's loving it too. It is a next level of gaming and brilliantly written and performed, with Jason Isaacs and JK Simmonds amongst the voice acting talent.

I'm doing a new run-through and have Lae'zel as my girlfriend. She's a Githyanki you know. 

I like strong women you see. 
Just don't make her angry...

One of the biggest hits in the game is Astarion, who is a gay vampiric elf. He is incredibly funny and cutting in as camp a way as can be. 

In fact, there is lots of naughty stuff to do if you're inclined that way from designing their genitalia (6 options so far to choose from) to partnering up with other characters.

It is a next-level game, and how you act and what you do, who you befriend, who you kill, will alter the ending in myriad ways.

Aside from CRPGs (Computer Role-Playing Games) the Thursday group of D&Ders in Wells are now in the humid jungles of Chult. From communications with 3' high frog people who only speak their language, to rescuing eagle folk from pterodactyl folk, man-eating plants and dancing monkey fruit...there's been plenty to occupy us. 

And we are playing again tonight.


Most lessons to me were utterly boring and I didn't want to be there: English lit (apart from Chaucer for its historical value), chemistry, biology, German, geography, maths and PE when it was cricket season. No interest in any of them whatsoever.

My friend Rupert who very kindly came up to see me on Monday from Hampshire, has a son who sounds very similar to me at that age. Only interested in a few things, doesn't pay attention - looks out of the window, day-dreaming. Story of my life.

Art college and school - while I didn't mind either they both achieved the opposite of what they intended - and squeezed the imagination out of the pupils in order to make them viable economic units.

But I kept some stored in secret, and I funnel it now and again for gaming purposes!

It's not what it was but it gives me hope.

Just don't tell the authorities.

Aging #24

Went out with 2 of my D&D buddies on Tuesday night. It was good fun. Lots of good beer, getting to know each other a bit better and having a laugh. 

Jeez-  did I have a hangover the next day. But it was worth it.

I'm also meeting an old schoolfriend I haven't spoken to since school. She did look slightly horrified as I spoke her name in the middle of town and she couldn't quite work out who I was with this sporran on my face.

But we are going for a coffee this Saturday, I must say she looked exactly as she did at school which is remarkable seeing as we are 54/55. 

Some people age better and/ or just live healthier lifestyles. I'm not sure about either with me.

It's hereditary, whatever it is.

I still dream about lost friends as though they're still alive. That haze in dreams where reason and fact is obfuscated (see 'social media') and you're back to almost where you left off with the person. And you wake up and you come to terms (in a lesser way) with the void they have left.

Oh well, maudlin as this has become, I should end on one of those 'And finally...' moments.

 No. Can't think of one.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Moving On

 Autumn is here with a vengeance

It was absurdly hot for way too long, and all of a sudden I can wear clothes again. For months all I could wear was a baggy t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Every day the same things. Anything else and I was a sweaty mess.

Then it just rained and dropped a few degrees, and all of a sudden it was Autumn. I find it to be reassuring in a way, that despite climate change we are at least in receipt of actual seasonal weather. 

We escaped the worst of the Storm Ciaran, as did most of the country...

Anyway, enough of the weather.

Actual Moving

So a couple of weeks ago I finally moved all my shit here. I was in London at J's (no longer 'home' which is peculiar as I spent 9 years calling it that) and hired a van in London as it's £50 a day as opposed to nearly £80 a day in Somerset. I packed my stuff, having worked out the volume (see picture).

Only a cubic metre out!

So I packed everything up , drove to Somerset, and unpacked it and set it all up, with some stuff in storage which I'm gradually forgetting about, which is not good. The thing is I had so much get up and go that week that I couldn't stop, so I achieved lots, DMing in Wells, then driving the van back the next day to off-hire it and play on the Sunday for the last time with Larry, Adrian and the crew. 

That's the end of an era, then.


Still, looking ahead at least we have Zoom and various other platforms to meet up on and play RPGs on. We're looking to move the Sunday session of Temple of Elemental Evil to a Wednesday afternoon/ evening online, which would be great.

I DM'd last weekend in Wells for an unprecedented  Saturday session in addition to the Thursday session. I DM'd for 5 hours. It was great -  it was a kitchen sink session with a dragon, going up a level, meeting a long lost sibling and in doing so fulfilling a personal quest, a trip to the astral plane and then off to the terribly hot land of Chult to battle zombies and dinosaurs in the jungle.

All in a day's work.

I've also lost days (97 hours so far) to Baldur's Gate 3, which is the most ambitious RPG computer game made to date. My iMac is struggling to cope with processing the data when in the setting of the city where there are scores of NPCs walking about talking, arguing and everyone has a name and a story. It is vast. An incredible achievement by Larian Studios.  

I have a girlfriend called Shadowheart who worships an evil god, but we don't talk about that. My other friends are Will who is a Sorlock , and Lae'zel, who is a mighty Githyanki warrior.

2023 Githyanki

1981 Githyanki

I should really be doing something more than gaming but it is so addictive because it's exciting and you are in the middle - at the heart - of the adventure.

At least I'm writing a blogpost at long last. I haven't even been writing diary entries (I have kept them going for over 35 years) as my life is so uneventful right now!

Man Cave

So yes, I have made a man-cave and am still constructing it. I'm taking Dad to Ikea on Thursday to look at options for his music room.  Dad is all about music, and can't visualise things, so I've shown him some options online and done a scale drawing of the room with possible variations for new furniture, but we'll need to see it physically to make the decisions.

I took the net curtains down in the room. Funny looking out of this huge 1960s window onto the road - the all-too familiar but changed houses opposite. My parents are among the last original owners of these houses when they were built in 1963/4. The people who've come and gone, remembering them , the cars, how things were back in the 1970s and 80s. It's kind of nice and sad at the same time.

Last week I made a desk extension. I'd looked into buying keyboard drawers but they were expensive and I didn't like the designs of them, using bulky clamps and things to attach, so I decided all I needed was some MDF which I would cut, paint and then place everything on top of. 

It's sturdy and impossible to tip due to physics. 

© Geraint Davies Desktop Solutions 

Just got to clear the arch of hideous clutter (Dad's) around it and I'm done. 

What now then?

Funny being here. People I haven't been in contact with and new people I need to befriend and make a social life with. I will go back to London more and more I think. Things with J are good and long may that continue. I walk Tomos every weekday morning, I play online with friends on a Monday, I'm in touch still with people. More online gaming with people would be good. And meeting more people in Wells with similar interests/outlook would be great.

I do, however, need to do more round the house and not get sucked into gaming all day.

And not forget about selling all that stuff in the lockup!

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Gaming Holiday 2023

Missing Wilbur

Back to Moreton in Marsh for our (Kingston Games Group) annual holiday. 

Beautiful place. Gently undulating landscape, Cotswold drystone walls and strongly built chocolate-box cottages, lovely pubs selling the local ales at under £4 a pint. I can understand why so many people want to move here. 

This is the first one where I’ve had to take public transport (no car to call my own anymore) from Bristol Temple Meads - 2 changes and 2 hours through the Gloucestershire and Worcestershire countryside - to get picked up by Trevor - the patriarch and sole-grown-up of the group. Trevor organises it each year, as well as the barbecue which he pretty much single-handedly cooks. He pays for it all himself and then waits patiently for the drip-drip of gamers’ money to fill his bank account up again.

This is also the first one where your pal and mine, Wilbur the cocker spaniel, hasn’t come. Last year the greedy bugger discovered the composting area at the farm here, ate his bodyweight in rotten food, then threw it up in the early hours in my bedroom. 

Wilbur in an historical environment

What fun!

He loved his holiday here on the farm and he fitted in very well with almost everyone. One of the lads really. Now I live in the West we don’t see each other so often but I’m looking forward to seeing him in a fortnight.

I still love him.

I’m still an Idiot, you know

So last night we went to the local pub for a few drinks and a hearty feed. We came back, and I came back to my room to drop some stuff off, then saw a text on my phone, which I started to read AS I walked in the pitch black on the farm, NOT LOOKING where I was going and FORGETTING the concrete steps which I promptly stumbled down, turning my ankle quite badly.

Having a relatively dainty frame and flat feet I’ve done this all my life - twists, sprains - but I knew this was a baddish one even with 3 pints in me.

So, foot up, 20mins with ice, 20 minutes without, repeat as necessary. Or until bored, as in this case.

I came back to bed and took an age to get comfortable. In the end a grippy, walking sock gave sufficient support as a Tubigrip so I was able to eventually fall asleep and thankfully get 8 hours. 

There’s an ankle in there somewhere…

I woke up and the rest had done it a lot of good, although coming down steps is considerably more problematic than walking up them.

It’s very annoying as I have dogs to walk and belongings to move. I hope it gets better soon or I will be a very curmudgeonly bollock indeed.

And no one wants that.

The Gaming itself

I’ve run a Dungeon Crawl Classics game and played in a Marvel RPG system where I was environmental health officer Colin Grub, who would turn into… ROACH BOY! Colin has an unending capacity for refined sugar and is as interesting as beige on a grey day. But my god he is difficult to catch.

In Traveller I played Simon Smee, antipodean fitness fanatic and wellness coach, with a secret….”but for the now I’ve mixed a lovely seaweed and lentil smoothy with your name on it!”

The only non-RPG or as they call them “Board games” I play is Marvel United. It is wonderfully clever in it’s concept and devised by mathematicians. It’s deceptively simple and utterly addictive.

Marvel United with 2 of my ‘groovy’ friends

I’ve learned I can’t game like I used to - 5 hours max. Some of the guys here can go for 10 hours plus. FTD has put paid to that. Too tired by half.

The Middle East

Oh gosh. The horror of recent events in Israel. That part of the world has always been on fire. They call it The Holy Land but it seems to have been the centre for the most unholy of acts for millennia. 

I had an Arabic girlfriend for years. Her best friend was Jewish. They wisely avoided talk of Middle-East politics.

I’ve always steered clear of Middle East politics as you hear so much conflicting information and I don’t feel qualified to take sides - it’s all so partisan. Unless I was deeply involved in the politics at the ground level it’s difficult to make head nor tail of what’s going on, let alone who started what. So like a lot of people I shake my head and try to ignore the simplistic good/bad arguments.

Terrible things happen on both sides, but reading about Hamas and the mind-bendingly evil things Hamas did at the Kabbutz and at the pop festival, how anyone can take pleasure at the butchery of innocent civilians under the flag of freedom or any political colour is beyond me.

And now Israel retaliates by carpet-bombing Gaza. Just hell on earth.

Coming back to the UK/Europe/US, the amount of flagrant anti-semitism you hear or see these days is at an all-time high. I can’t remember any period in my lifetime when Jews have been talked about in this way, their graves desecrated, verbally abused quite openly in the streets and their businesses vandalised.

I always come back to my view that the internet IS Pandora’s Box. We gave a green light to everything good and bad, but it seems at the moment most of it is just hatred.

It really is extremely depressing.

And finally…

I want to walk Tomos when I get back but it may have to wait a few days due to ankle-related dumbness. Annoying. I need dogs in my life. 

They’re better than humans. 

They don’t judge you for a start.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Sinister Cardigans


What a vile and ungodly vestment it is. Dangling Buitoni from lank wool. Draping and infecting table tops and brushing the vile fastening objects against other humans as the wearer reaches over them. Ghastly.

Yes. The Cardigan. The passion-killer excel.

I know why I hate them so. A slovenly dangling item of clothing with those bits of which-I-cannot-speak dangling. Dangling!! 

I gagged on a large button when I was a little kid. Since then I've hated buttons and cardigans.

And there's an advert for Muller Lite on at the moment and the woman playing the teacher is wearing the MOST EGREGIOUS example of this vile garment.

No. You can't see it. It's just too awful.

How dare they!

I'm a proud button-phobic. Out and proud. So there.

Harvey Keitel

Divorce. Don't know if you've seen Marriage Story - why would I? I don't even know you. But it's great. It stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson and it portrays the divorce between 2 lovely people whose relationship has just run out of steam. Both are going different places and they need to split in order to fulfil their needs.

The characters are beautiful - the way they are written and portrayed, you love them both. They are lovely people. But then one of them under advice from a friend enlists a hotshot lawyer, and things get both expensive and ugly. You care so much about the couple and their little boy too. It's a heart-rending watch, but worth it.

 What am I telling you this for? And what's with Harvey Keitel? Well, he was interviewed once and was asked why he always plays violent characters. He disagreed with the assertion - in fact, he explained that these are ordinary people in extremely violent situations. To me, that was a revelation. But it seems obvious now. As the viewer, you don't care about a 2D character going round being violent, but if that character has people he or she loves, a job, a home, has lost, is under extreme pressure and is trying to survive, then we have more chance of caring about them and what happens to them. 

In a divorce, 2 decent, kind, caring people go through a situation which is potentially highly adversarial, where past misdemeanours are dragged up and misspeaking and misunderstanding just lead to hurt and anger.

We are not using lawyers, have an agreement and are both trying to be kind. FTD doesn't help, but I am feeling optimistic about the future J and I will have as friends and family.


My old friend Sertaline certainly seems to have suppressed much conscious stress recently. However I have had a breakout of hives. Initially I feared they may be bed bugs or fleas, but there are no incision marks and they are not linear like bed bug bites, and they followed no great pattern of eating new food or different laundry detergent.

Still, they itched like hell and I was popping Piritons like Smarties. I also had a very concerned pharmacist prescribe me a hydrocortisone cream.

They came and they went. Almost like a cartoon bump -push it down and it comes up again or appears somewhere else on the body.

Eventually I realised with a few sleepless nights that it wasn't a creature or creatures, nor any allergic reaction, but stress. 

And now thankfully, they are retreating.


Never been into interior design. I must have order though, so adequate filing and storage is a must.

So I've been in the process of transforming my old childhood bedroom into an office/lounge space.

Now to deal with the other half of the room...

Things have been taken to the dump, charity shops and the attic. More stuff to follow when I move the rest of my stuff back in late October. Luckily I have very little to pack as I've mainly lived in boxes all these years.

Lots of stuff will go on Ebay, other stuff to charity and the rest either in storage or the dump. But I love the catharsis that comes with down-sizing. De-cluttering rocks. I feel lighter when I've done it. It cleanses the spirit.

I'm one of those people who can't relax unless I've completed the tasks in front of me.

D&D Update

So I'm still going back to London at the weekend to continue our quest against the rise of Elemental Evil...

God it's good. It's sooooo good. We've gone from a thriving village of Homlett with its goodly folk, where we did smote evil at its roots, and did so with great zeal and panache. 

But now we are in the trickier and downright antithesis of Homlett - Nulb. Populated by thieves, cutthroats, harlots and copious other ne'er do-wells. We have to watch our backs the whole time.

It's brilliant.

The Monday online campaign was great, and I'm looking forward to Thursday evening where I'm running the wilderness section of my campaign for the Wells players. I'm loving it.

I also have Baldur's Gate 3 which I've started, and also a solo 5E adventure which looks terrific.

And I'm on our annual gaming holiday on Friday for a week in the Cotswolds.

Life has its compensations.

Monday, September 18, 2023

What's a demented to do?

Driving me nuts

Last week I drove with Dad to Ystradgynlais for a friend's funeral. It was the daughter of his violin teacher. We shared the driving as Dad is old but still drives well. I was very pleased with my driving although I was very tired by the end of it as it required a lot of concentrating, I'm not used to driving long distances, and I have FTD of course.

It was quite warm, but being in an air-conditioned car was blissful. I didn't go to the cremation itself but did go to the wake. Lots of people. I got stuck with 2 women who talked at length about how well their respective daughters were doing - a musician and a chemist I think. People always like to show off about their kids. Thing is, if you don't know them you don't care, unless they sound really, really interesting. You just nod politely feigning interest, or you might think it's your turn to talk about yours. 

I guess it's a child-off situation.

It was fine though - just an observation. People like to live vicariously through their child's achievements. I guess at best it's pride.

Reminds me of those Oxbridge types who within 10 minutes of meeting them drop "when I was at Balliol...."into the conversation. Quite an achievement to get to Oxbridge, until you meet some of the numbnuts who went there at the BBC in London.

And of course there are those who say Oxford when they mean the polytechnic, and are quite happy for you to think the grander option.

And for the record I don't give a toss where you went.


So J and I are going to do this amicably. I'm obviously not going to go into details but we are still good friends. 

Everyone thinks I must be upset but I'm not. It just brings to an end an unhappy last few years of marriage. We've agreed terms too. 

Of course you start a marriage with the best of intentions - wanting the other person to feel fulfilled and as content as possible. I wanted J to feel fulfilled and when she left teaching and went back to being a management consultant it was like watching a dormant V8 roar into life. It was amazing. 

But we got married too soon.

I guess it's just 'get it done' now. 

I slept really well last night, so I'm thinking it must be the right thing.

So what of the future? I certainly don't want or crave another relationship. It's not fair on the other person to burden them with my illness, plus I don't think I can accommodate anyone with my current neurological issues, particularly my total tack of empathy and emotional numbness, the latter probably exacerbated by the Setraline. 

I've never been very good at relationships because I didn't particularly like myself for large parts of my adulthood, and you of course have to like yourself in order to like someone else. Or even love them.

But for now I'm quite content just being me on my lonesome.

I just had a chat with J. It's funny that the pressure seems to be off and now we seem much more vulnerable with each other. Which is nice.
(Insert daft comment)

'We do for cash'

I always remember that phrase in a heavily Greek accent from my time working in the office of a day spa in Kensington. 

Fact is I need some pocket money. Ideas:

  1. Assembling flat-packed furniture for the Eloi
  2. Mineral-based construction solutions (handyman who doesn't touch plumbing or electrics).
  3. Er...
Any ideas please leave in the comments section.

Must get on with writing

I have to keep this blog going. You see I can waste days looking at YouTube - what has Donald Trump said now, ditto Marjory Taylor-Green (MTG), and the trashy Lauren Boebert getting thrown out of a Denver Theatre. Rugby League, Rugby Union, Mark Chopper Read, boxing, MMA...

Good just to listen to music and write. Perhaps this is the way forward.

Fat bollock

I am a fat bollock. I am. And it's all to do with beer - the only drug that tastes nice. Drinking way too much beer and every night. It's not good and I have the belly to prove it. It doesn't augur well for my 60s (should I get there, less some Soviet satellite fall on my head while gardening one day) so I should, nay MUST, cut down drastically. Just drink at pubs when in the company of others - not buy any and bring it home. 

I have a very indulgent personality...

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

I've suffered for my art - now it's your turn

The trouble with sofa-surfing

They say once your back goes it's never the same afterwards. Evolution has not completed its task in other words.

A few years ago I was working at a squillion-pound mansion in Wimbledonia and the muscles in my back became inflamed and I had to take a couple of weeks off work.

Staying at a friend's on his sofa on Sunday night then coming back and sleeping on a soft bed, the mattress of which is probably in need of replacement, and I had to roll out of the bed onto the floor this morning. I can feel knotted muscle under my shoulder-blades and need to stretch out and do some yoga poses. 

I'm feeling a bit dim today tbh. Even by my standards. Typing is rubbish. I guess I've had a tiring couple of days with travel, gaming and poor sleep. 

Oh poor me! Lol

But it's just that you get doubly tired with dementia. And you don't realise.

I was in my FTD group this morning and after an hour I rudely said I was bored. I didn't actually mean bored - but I was tired and couldn't concentrate. Listless would probably have been a better description, and less offensive to Gill who was telling us something important to her.

FTD strikes again.

My Dad's better than your Dad

Dad picked me up at the station on Monday. It's lovely. He's such a kind fellow.

We walked to the car and I was surprised as he had a courtesy car so we got into a sleek black Mercedes instead of the older silver model I was expecting.

We drove over to the Mercedes garage where his car was ready after being serviced. We walked in there, my 82 year old dad with brown socks, shoes, khaki shorts and a shirt tucked in, and me in shorts, shades, black trainers and a Buff on me 'ead.

I announced to the woman serving us - "We are the best dressed men in Somerset." 

I'm great, me.

A customer in her (this is relevant) 50s had been waiting longer than us and was rather unhappy. She interrupted the woman serving us to tell her how long she's been waiting. 

Dad said "She was a teenager when she arrived." 

So bloody rude but bloody funny. I guess that's where I get my faux pas from.

Air conditioning rocks by the way. (All transport over the past 36 hours.)

Living in Somerset is a good prescription

I'm living in Wells. It's pretty chilled. Some people have come back to live here and I need to make a diary appointment to have a coffee with them. 

I have a lovely D&D group of strangers who seem to have all gelled immediately. I should probably do the same with them.

But rather like dating - when is the right time to contact them? Should you wait for them to make the first play? Ostensibly, you want to position yourself somewhere between being a stalker and Jonny-no-mates. Not too creepy and not too aloof.

I guess just reach out as maybe everyone thinks like this?

Nevertheless, I am really relaxed.

I no longer enjoy shopping so I have things delivered. Like my Buffs from Germany, or flip-flops from The Netherlands. Hurrah for the 21st Century.

I like a Buff, me.

But it's too bloody hot. Feel sorry for the kids going back to school on the hottest week since June. Buffs and flip-flops are the way to go. And shorts. I can't wear anything else in this damned heat. And a t-shirt of course.

OF course.

Here I am modelling a Buff. And a t-shirt. And glasses.

You wanna get wiv this? You wanna get wiv this??

Sorry - I'm boring myself now.

Mark Hardyman is down today which is great, and we shall see Nerys and Tomos this evening.

I love you and goodbye.


The title of this post is a quote from the one and only Neil Innes.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

New World Order Update

Return to Castle Cary please.

Back in Wells after the week away in London and its environs. It was nice being so chilled.

By contrast the train journey was horrible. I had my headphones on but there were people, kids, young people everywhere.


It was loud and overcrowded and the train was running late. I had a bloke's arse in my face as he fumbled about with his luggage, phone charger and his dog for what seemed like ages.

Having had a good week where I felt almost normal again, this put the cat amongst the pigeons. I took gulps of air and fidgeted, rocking back and forth like Arthur Fowler.

It was great to finally get out of the train with Dad waiting for me on the platform.


Looks like I'll be here in Somerset for the next few months, all the while travelling back to London on the weekends to take part in Larry's Dungeons and Dragons campaign. We had a 6 hour session last Sunday - it was great. We are kicking ass, as our gods intended. All the while the atmosphere ramps up as the intrigue increases. 

Can't wait for Sunday.

I also can't wait for Thursdays (which are the new Tuesdays...) where my Wells D&D team will undertake their second instalment of The Sunless Citadel. What a nice bunch of people they are too. Great to get a friendly team together so quickly. It's not always easy getting such a group together...

The online 'community'

...and we have 2 parts women to 4 parts men. Which is great. Mixed is always best.


Everywhere I go there are dogs. Bisto the brown lab, Tomos the cocker spaniel, Sealyham Stan, 'My Main Man' Chippy the dachshund,  and Greedy Wilbur the walking gob and stomach.

I love dogs. In fact I love animals. Which is why I feel such a hypocrite when it comes to food. We must be the only animals who feel guilt about our natural omnivorousness. 

Apart from Pandas maybe. They're apparently omnivorous but have chosen to eat only bamboo, which they have to eat non-stop to get their required nutrition.

Maybe they're just dumb. Which would account for why they're dying out.

Anyway, having a dog means you always meet people, especially when he's a friendly, cute 5 month old spaniel. So I'm making lots of new acquaintances in Wells through Tomos. 

Which is nice as most of the old acquaintances aren't up to much. Luckily I've grown a sporran on my face to disguise me.

Tomos et moi

Do I still have dementia?

I feel really good. I'm doing a word puzzle on my phone which is crazy-addictive, and I'm pretty fast at it too. I'm reading the news, reading D&D books, listening to podcasts, music - fusion and prog (which aren't easy listens), my typing is getting better, my speech is more fluent with strangers, although I guess only because the subject matter is restricted to dogs or the weather. 

Could I be recovering from FTD? Did I have another ailment over the top of it that I have recovered from?

To put things in perspective, it would be interesting to see what my behaviour is like without 100mgs of Sertraline every day. Also I still stare out of the window when the subject matter isn't something I'm interested in. And the subject matter I am interested in is world politics, D&D and other TTRPGs (tabletop role-playing games), rugby, US politics, animals, er...I'm struggling now. 

Music, as long as it's difficult as all hell and had its heyday in the early 70s.

I guess I'm really chilled at the moment. The train ride was nearly problematic for me, but I've learned to deal with stressful situations by taking deep breaths, closing my eyes and telling myself it won't last forever.

The long and the short of it is my initial pessimism was misplaced: I think I'm going to be around a lot longer than I thought.

Well, I may get hit by a bus tomorrow but you get the idea.


There's stuff I can't tell you on here which is a major factor on my current situation, but this is out of my control. Sorry to be cryptic; I'm as honest as I can be but I have to be economical with the truth for the sake of others.