This weekend was MidAmericon II, this years WorldCon and I really wish I could have been there. Next year it comes closer to home, to Helsinki in fact, but I still can’t get there.

Since I feel ill and had the accident, well I haven’t been able to work beyond the occasional day demoing games, and that doesn’t really pay the bills. I am left dependent on ESA and PIP, I am in a pretty bad way, so I do get the maximum amount of money I am entitled to, and Lindsay is on a decent wage for the North East. But I am still left with very little at the end of it, and things like WorldCon are simply so far out of my budget, even when they are in Finland that it’s unreal.Despite a year of planning, I tearfully had to accept that I was never going to get to Helsinki, it was a hard decision to make, but even if I saved like a trooper, stopped buying books and models, I would struggle to afford to eat or get membership and enjoy myself after transport and lodgings were paid for

It lead me to a dark place, which was one reason I gave up blogging for a while. That coming on top of my Nana’s health deteriorating rapidly, Kings of the North collapsing and the resulting fallout, and my needing to take my diabetes a lot more seriously, left me so very low. I don’t think I let on to the world too much, but I spent a lot of time crying over what a disaster my life was.

Thankfully I have the love of two amazing women in my life and Lindsay and Megan pulled me out of the pit, they cleaned me up and got me through the darkness for my sisters wedding, which I was still not mentally prepared for how difficult it was going to be. When I left home my sister was barely 12 and I guess I have never really accepted that she grew up, despite her having a child, until her wedding day. She looked radiant and has become an amazing young woman, and that kinda knocked me back a bit, I just wasn’t ready for it, but she is all grown up and married now. I just wish we were closer, I love her and all, but we have lived a long way from each other for so many years, that our relationship is just not as close as I would like it to be.

After that I had the UK Games Expo, which I was only able to attend for 2 days this year, and I loved every minute of it. I worked one day and I was a plain punter the next, I wish I had been there for the whole time, but I had to transport my Nana back to Newcastle after my sisters wedding. Being there was amazing and I really wish I got to do more events like it, I saw people who I rarely get to see, and Lindsay always wonders why I somehow being the social butterfly with lots of friends at gaming events, when it’s usually her. I guess it comes from my time as an MiB where I did a lot of networking and volunteering at events, normally I am very shy and socially awkward but games people are my people.

Anyway when we returned from Birmingham, via Warhammer World of course, the three of us sat down and decided that we needed to get to conventions more, especially seeing how much I come alive at them. And we weren’t talking about the glorified market places that make up the majority of conventions in the UK, such as those ran by Showmasters or MCM, we wanted to do proper conventions. So we of course had to keep the UK Games Expo on the list, and we decided to add on EasterCon, the British SciFi convention, something I had not been to for 15 years now. There are others I would have like to have gone to such as Novacon, but my budget will only stretch so far.

It means putting £50 a month away into savings which will really stretch my budget a lot, but it will be worth it in the end, I know it’s not WorldCon, but it’s still the kind of event I love, discussing and enjoying the kind of literature that makes me so happy, it’s by no means a consolidation prize.

I guess things got dark for me because Helsinki was something I had my heart set on every since they launched their bid, I went to LonCon3 as a games demonstrator and it’s probably one of the great highlights of my life, so I was hoping to replicate that joy and fun in Finland. But I have to learn to live within my means more, I am no longer and MiB so those doors no longer open to me as they once did, so I have to be more domestic in my ambitions and desires. 

But that said there is the bid to bring WorldCon to Dublin, I am on the volunteer list, and I should really help make that happen by getting the word out in the north east more, we have plenty of Sci-Fi fans here after all!

But in general the past few months have been a bit of a wake up call for me, I need to essentially reboot my life, I need to get out more, despite my mobility issues (though Pokemon Go has helped with this a little), I need to read more, I used to devour 2 or 3 books a week, now it takes me 3 weeks to read a single novel. I need to create more, I am not a good writer but it does get the juices flowing and I enjoyed my initial steps in podcasting, I need to look after my body more and try and get a bit of the weight shifted. But most important of all I need to get my head properly in a place where I can handle life and the stuff it’s been throwing my way of late, I want to think my health situation will improve, but I have to stop getting so down and self-destructive when it doesn’t happen. 

So that’s me, signing off and that’s where I am at, I am better than I was, but still not 100%.