Saturday, March 25, 2023

Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

 Of course I was at The Premier darling!

Everyone was there! Where were you?

So the wife of someone Jacqui works with was told I liked D&D and happens to do PR for the film industry and very kindly sent us a pair of tickets for the premier. Unfortunately J couldn't go due to work commitments so I contacted Tim who is an old friend and fellow D&Der (from my Monday group) and we met in Leicester Sq to pick up the tickets in a gold envelope.

J deemed it necessary for me to have a 'handler' in her absence. I don't see it myself. I think she's just worried in case I end up on the news or something. 

So Tim and I went to a bar. An interesting melange of people to watch - some goth/cosplayers, some sharp-suited players, some tough East End geysers and their glamorous wives. We then asked security guards how we got to the cinema and we had to do the red carpet walk! Lol. We were dressed like trainspotters, and just put our heads down and kept walking. All the time Z-list identikit 'celebs' posed for photos. 

I guess they earn their livings via their Instagram accounts.

It was a proper media-circus with the actors dutifully answering inane questions for the umpteenth time, while an unsmiling gorilla (not literally) held an umbrella over them in the March rain.

We found it hilarious.

We got into the cinema and were the first there. There was a bar. How much for the beer? Oh they're free. 

We fitted in really well.

"The reason I'm asking is we're normal so we have to pay for stuff."

The stars (Chris Pine, Miriam Gonzales, Regé-Jean Page and Hugh Grant) came in and introduced the film and then it started.


I'd give this film maybe 9/10. We absolutely loved it Tim and I. What's so good about it? It has pace, you care about the characters, it's funny, there are jump-scares, and it has some pathos too. 

Being nerds we were feeling very pleased with ourselves for knowing all the spells - Dimension Door, Eldritch blast etc, but also the beasts - Owlbear, Displacer Beast, poor old Jonathan the Aarakocra and all the other creatures. 

Some spells I didn't know. Ahem...

Anyway, it's a really good romp in a pulp-fantasy setting (Lord of the Rings being a high-fantasy world) that will hopefully spawn a new franchise.

Go and see it - you don't need to be acquainted with Dungeons and Dragons to enjoy it.

The After-party

We then went to the after-party and as there was nothing decent to drink so we ended up drinking the free champagne.

We just people-watched the whole time, We assumed the stars would have buggered off back to their hotels but they turned up too.

It was quite glamorous, so I'm glad I wore my finest wellies. We just hung out by a pillar, like the cool kids do. 

Very important people barged through the crowds - the more important you are the harder you barge, it would seem.

Really nice canapés too. I must have eaten about a score of them. I was quite hungry.

When I was younger and very sexy I attended a few of these types of events and got wasted. In my thirties and forties I ended up photographing them. It was interesting seeing the lighting units the photographers now use instead of traditional flashes.

I was really good at events photography but I didn't really enjoy them. It wasn't where I wanted to go.

It was quite the industry event. The older you are and further up the food chain the more 'creatively' you dress. Crazy spectacles, weird clothes.

We left around 10.30.

I wonder how much cocaine was consumed that night?

Friday, March 17, 2023

Waiting room


 I can't think of anything.

 Just sitting here. Drizzle outside. Dogs don't seem interested in walking, That's a let off.

Nothing springs to mind. No more Youtube clips. Done all of the only podcast I like. 

Cars go by. Too fast for this road.

Can't concentrate on reading for long enough. Have to make myself.

Head is numb. A light head cold with no other symptoms confines me here. It's the wafer-thin mint that tips me in to total atrophy.

Apart from this of course.

Sip some expensive herbal tea. Drinking too much caffeine these days.

The others are working upstairs.

At breakfast J talked about when she was married. I don't think she counts this as one. Or certainly not anymore anyway.

I don't have much in the way of empathy but that was pretty telling.

It must feel like that to her though. That's valid.

Nothing like feeling a spare part. Reminds me that it's a recurring theme of my dreams - abandonment, isolation, pointlessness; purposelessness. 

Continue waiting.

Driving Fail

I cancelled a hire car this week. A slight cold was enough to dent my confidence in my concentration levels for a 3 hour drive on motorways. 

Expensive waste of money. 

The others need a break from me. I don't know how they experience me. The shouting is pretty horrible I gather. I'm trying to keep a lid on that.

More difficult than ever to be self-aware - nigh on impossible. Self-analytical is different of course.

Would have been nice to see everyone. I'm only going to take trains from now on, to Castle cary and back again.

It would be good to see other people but they all work hard and need their weekends.

My parents are properly old now. That part of middle-age where your parents' generation topple like dominoes.

I have to get out and go places for everyone's sake. Their mental health as much as my own.


This is what I live for now. Meeting up with people. The joy, the energy of the shared experience.

I even watched some of the rugby. I don't like it so much these days - all that kicking drives me nuts. Finding rugby league more fun. More tries.

When I can't run D&D games anymore it will be something. Maybe not as profound as I expect. A gradual decline to nothing and then total apathy. I think that's how it goes.

Sorry for being depressing. I promise I'll make it up to you.

Stop this self-pitying bollocks!! 

Right - Pick myself up out of this fug and get on with it. Get into my walking trousers (for there are such things) and get the dogs walked. 

READ READ READ!! Force myself to do so and take notes. Prepare for Sunday and Monday - 2 - possibly 3 sessions of Dungeons and Dragons! Madness I know. 

I will be very knackered.

I move back and forward like Arthur Fowler "Shut up, Pauline!" in an effort to galvanise myself out of this seat.

I can only control myself in all this. Get up and do stuff.

It's the only way forward! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Am I a fraud?

No news isn't necessarily good news...

I was going to write about Bruce Willis's recent diagnosis of FTD, but I won't because we had a meeting with the Neurology team as a follow-up to my lumbar puncture in late November and I know more about us than him.

The neurology team had sent a letter we hadn't received as a follow up from the lumbar puncture. They told us in its absence, that the tests had shown up no signifiers. This is more than likely, good news.

They did a quick neuropsychology test which as usual I performed with flying colours.

They said the MRI from 2 years ago and the most recent one showed no obvious increased atrophy in the frontal or temporal lobes, but did in the Hippocampus. They are going to use an AI program to 3d model one image over the other to get a more accurate picture of my brain.

They said they didn't know for sure what my dementia was - Behavioural or Semantic variant or other, and that in time it will show itself, but for now my dementia symptoms (searched long and hard for that word!) are atypical with any one dementia and are mild.

I'm due an MRI scan in July again.

As for the replaying of events over and over in my head and me shouting out for them to fuck off, that could well be a psychiatric problem.

When we got home I checked my email and paperwork. 

Despite my illness I'm still very organised compared with most people.

I put all my medical correspondence in the green box file. The letter isn't there, nor do I ever recall seeing it. They said they'd emailed it too. Nope. Been waiting months for it too. I would have known if it had arrived.

Who cares for the carers?

J has taken yesterday really badly with another sleepless night. 

No definites - no tangibles - from the best neurology department in the country.

She no longer has a husband. Just this child. What is the future? How can she plan? This isn't what she signed up for. And am I making it up? 

She's not so sure it seems. 

Geraint earlier today

That old adage of walking a mile in someone else's shoes. Very difficult to do of course. The nearest thing I can do to communicate where I am is write this blog.

What with work, family and the house, and the lack of sleep that induces, J doesn't have time to write a blog.

This aspect of the disease and how it affects others is horrible.

I don't want to put words in J's mouth, but it's clear to see how awful this is for her.

So do I have dementia?

Well, I'm finding reading more difficult. It's more of a mechanical process and I don't always ingest the message of the writing. I will sometimes start at the last paragraph then impatiently dart to a previous paragraph, then to others, not completing the article, and then move to a different article entirely which will hopefully garner my undivided attention.

I can't cope with work. Haven't really been able to for years. Fyfe was doing everything by the end.

I leave lights and the oven hob on. I discover unfinished tasks, and search for things I never used to lose.

I need to make notes about a D&D session so I know it really well. I open my notepad and the notes are already there. A vague recollection of doing it; the names and contents are familiar, but I don't know it well enough to run it, but I end up doing it anyway because I can't knuckle down to study for the reasons above. 

More mistakes but the players don't know and are  - hopefully - still enjoying it.

I'm just being rude when I think I'm being funny. I can't do light and noise like I used to. I just want to get out of party-situations, which I used to love.

I don't want to go out or do anything, apart from games and TV. I obsess about something for a while then another thing after that. 

I'm more absent-minded and my short-term memory is going. I lose words, take ages to find them straining my brain, then forget them again in seconds.

I flap at anything unfamiliar. I can't deal with stress at all. I feel the physical effects - brain-stalls, headache and blood-pressure sky-rocketing almost instantly. I can't take this in. Got to get out. So I walk away.

Is it part-Alzheimers, part FTD, part Semantic Variant? I think a bit of all of them. 

But even putting one name to it - does that even really help? As we know dementia can have a name but it brings out very different behaviours in the sufferer. 

Floating in the void.