Tag: WorldCon

Last Day @ WorldCon and the Return to Blighty

Day 5 of WorldCon and by this point I was barely functioning!

We decided that we would use the Luas for the last day and it was only a 10 or so minute walk (with frequent eat stops) to the Smithfield station, and we only had a short trip to the CCD, but boy was it packed.

When we got to the CCD we headed straight up for the Library Bards concert and that was amazing, utterly loved it and it was a real highlight of the Con.

After this we had Games for Science with Steve Jackson and Tom Lehmann which was very good, although I was disturbed part was through it because there had been a small fire in our apartment and we were going to have to move room when we got back, thankfully none of our stuff was damaged.

Then I went to a panel on 2000AD the Irish Connection, which I hoped would touch on things like Murphyville, but it mostly just covered Irish artists and writers for 2000AD which was still pretty good.

Then me and Lindsay met up for Holy Forking Shirtballs – The Good Place Panel, and thanks goodness I had an access sticker, because it was a very popular panel, which doesn’t surprise me as the show is brilliant, but me and Lindsay were able to get in which was great.

The we did a two hour shift on the Glasgow 2024 fan table and had many a fan come and offer pre-support or become a friend of the bid, which was great, I have a lot of confidence that Glasgow will win. And I managed to with great difficulty get into the DeLorean for a photo.

And sadly at this point it was time for the closing ceremony, which was very very emotional, amazing speeches and performances and when James handed over the gavel to CoNZealand it put a lump in your throat.

And this we headed away from the CCD for the last time and it felt very sad to leave our home for the past five days and see our little village being dismantled.

We did want to do the Dead Dog Party, but figured we needed to get back and move room plus we couldn’t really afford the drinks.

So instead we headed to O’Connell Street and had a Supermacs for tea, followed by a trip to Dunnes to grab a few bits for people who wanted us to bring them home, specifically Rock Shandy for Paul, Jane and Rob.

Then we jumped back on the Luas and walked back up to Thomas Street, which was very hard and I had to stop a ton of times, but once we got there we saw that the Spar has disappeared during the day, and realised we forgot a present for George, so we walked down to Tesco and grabbed him a bottle of whiskey, before going back to the hotel and moving room, and then we settled down and read before sleeping.

Return to the North East

The next day we managed to sleep in and miss our taxi, but thankfully we were able to get one very quickly, and we getting through security was a breeze, so we had a Burger King for breakfast and then boarded our flight back to Newcastle, which was sadly very uncomfortable for Lindsay.

But we landed safely and were picked up by Paul and Megan, who literally had to be prised off me and Lindsay when she gave us a hug, so we headed home, to find out that there had been a small fire at the BT exchange which means we are without internet again.

I phoned Sky who have agreed to compensate us for a months worth of broadband, plus helped us cut our bill down and moved us onto Sky Q for free as compensation.

So exhausted I headed up and had a bit of a nap, after which we went to the Beefeater for tea before popping into see Megan’s mum who had just had a knee replacement operation.

So action packed few days!

What I am Modelling

Obviously I have been away and my painting had been a struggle before that, but on Wednesday whilst Lindsay was away at Megan’s parents working because we had no broadband at home, I picked up my paintbrushes to try and get myself back in the zone by painting some scenery, these are big chunky bits that’s don’t require detail.

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After over two weeks off painting due to a mixture of hand issues and being at WorldCon, I am doing some big chunky pieces of scenery because they are easy pieces where I don’t need to be hugely neat. So here are two of the bits from the Killzone Wall of Martyrs for Kill Team, an Imperial Bunker and a Defence Line. These were singed up using last years Warhammer TV painting guide so a bit different to my big box of this stuff. #PaintingWarhammer #PaintingGamesWorkshop #Warhammer40k #Warhammer30k #Warhammer40000 #Warhammer30000 #TheHorusHeresy #HorusHeresy #WallofMartyrs #ImperialBunker #WallofMartyrsImperialBunker #DefenceLine #WallofMartyrsDefenceLine #HardforHeresy #FullyPaintedIsForClosers

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After any long break from painting I find it difficult to get back in the groove because my hands really do get very bad, so stuff like this is helpful.

Anyway I painted a Wall of Martyrs Defence Line and a Wall of Martyrs Imperial Bunker.

What I am Reading

I have a lot of recommendations of books from WorldCon, but first I want to get through The Beast Arises, and have gotten half way through Shadow of Ullanor by Rob Sanders, which is really good so far.

What I am Playing

I haven’t played much at all this week apart from a play test of Cthulhu Dice 2nd Edition and a couple of games of Timeline Inventions, one of which I won and one of which I lost.

What I am Backing

At the moment I am backing Munchkin Parhfinder 3 – Odd Ventures, but I am having to do it in a way that sees the game shipped to a friend in the US for them to forward it on to me as Steve Jackson Games are stopping supporting international backers, which is sad.

We are taking a good look at backing Fiasco and I will be honest, it’s likely to happen.

What I am Cooking

Nowt since I got back from Dublin.

What I am Spending

Apart from a few presents in Dublin, nowt.

  • Current State of Projects: Rest of Killzone Wall of Martyrs on my desk

Penultimate Day At WorldCon

Sunday was a wonderful day, absolutely amazing!

We managed to get a bus to the CCD reasonably easily, and made it to our first panel which was How To Start A Podcast, which have me some interesting insights which will hopefully let me make improvements to Edge if Empire.

I then attended a panel on Social Media Marketing Tips And Tools, which I admit was a filler panel, but I did learn some stuff which I can apply to the podcast.

We then got into queue for Polyamory In Theory And Practice which was really good, but it was in a small room and they could have filled it three times over, few little bits I disagreed with, but mostly very good.

Then I went to Game Writing And The Story which was a bit meh, I mean it had some good stuff in it, but it wasn’t as good as I was hoping it would be.

We then had a wander round the hucksters room and saw the DeLorean kitted out as the one from Back To The Future and had lunch, Lindsay had salmon pho and I had a cheeseburger.

And then we headed up for other panels, I went to The Audio Acting Bug to try and pick up tips to improve CoL audio recordings, and I did learn a lot from it.

After that I went to The Evil of Gaming and got Tom Lehmanns autograph, and well it was obviously a very timely panel!

I then did an hours shift on the Glasgow in 2024 fan table and it was a bit slower than other days but still busy.

Then Lindsay convinced me to join her in a panel called Ships Ahoy, which well, I don’t need to go into in any great detail, but it was hilarious and I ended up very very red after it, and now Megan and Lindsay are threatening to write slash about Edge of Empire!!!

We then went to the France bid party and they had good food there, it was really nice, and the bus seems pretty good, there was however some unpleasantness and we ended up on a table with an extremely racist American lady, and my own microaggressions made the lovely non binary black person were we sad with very upset.

We did catch up with her, I apologised and we sat and chatted for nearly an hour and a half and she opened my eyes to a lot of stuff.

They were an amazing person and I hope to see them today at the con before they head off back to London.

We then went to see The Doubleclicks in concert which was absolutely amazing, I have wanted to see them for years, and I am so so glad that I have finally done so and crosses something off my bucket list.

The whole room loved the songs, and the sing along to Noting To Prove was very moving, and yeah it was a real highlight and on of my favourite concerts of all time ever. Lindsay had some tears over Sensitive Badass.

And then we were able to get a selfie with Laser, and I think I have managed to help convert Lindsay into a fan of theirs.

We then got a taxi home after spending a bit of time in the game room with our friend Clare from the Clockwork Tea Party and had super noodles for tea, before falling into a very deep sleep!

Saturday at WorldCon2019

Saturday at WorldCon was a lot less busy than Friday, but the place was a lot more crowded as weekend visitors were able to attend.

We missed yoga again to have a lie in again, but we started with a panel on the History of Tabletop Gaming with Steve Jackson and Tom Lehmann which was a lot of fun.

Then I attended a panel on Patreon: The Evolution if Supporting The Arts, which was moderated by one of my favourite authors Jaine Fenn, which was very helpful for Edge of Empires Patreon.

At this point it was my turn to do a shift on the fan table for Glasgow in 2024 which got us a few friends signing up, which was nice.

I then decided to skip the Inclusive Game Design panel because I just wasn’t feeling it as much of the participants seemed to be video games people.

So instead I wandered through the hucksters room and then took a walk across to Point Square for George RR Martins autograph, as a person requiring access I have no complaints as I was allowed to go to the front of the queue and didn’t have to wait long at all, I only had 30 seconds which him, but he seemed very nice.

I wandered back to the CCD and tried to get into a panel on Tabletop RPGs As Inspiration For Creative Writing, but sadly I couldn’t get in, so me and Lindsay hung out in the bar instead, before doing another shift on the Glasgow fan table.

I then did a panel on Audio Dramas and Radio plays, with Phil Foglio which has really got me interested in doing some short audio dramas, cause I have ideas, but just have always never thought I could do it, but to hear how people are saying that anyone can do it, well it has me inspired!

At this point me and Lindsay went to help out set up the Glasgow in 2024 party, where there were Tunnock’s Caramel Waffers and Teacakes, samples of various whiskys (a very limited supply) and Irn Bru.

The look on some people’s faces when they tried Irn Bru for the first time was priceless, some loved it and some hated it, was cool talking to lots of people and telling them all about Glasgow and how it would be a great place to hold WorldCon in 2024, and people were very very positive about it.

Lindsay started to get overwhelmed after an hour of the party, so we decided to make our way back to hotel, where we yet again had nesi goreng (what can I say, it’s cheap and has vegetable, carb and protein), before turning in to sleep.

Day 2 at Dublin 2019 WorldCon

Day two was better in many ways than day 1, primarily because Lindsay didn’t get a migraine, yay!

We started by getting a bit confused about buses, you see the Google Maps information for buses in Dublin is utterly useless when it comes to what stops they use, and we ends up walking to a stop a bit further away because we knew the bus left from there whereas the stop that Google Maps told us about had no information at it at all and said it was a put down stop only.

But we now know where the right stop is after asking the driver.

We missed Accessible Yoga sadly, but I arrived int one to get into line for signups to Kaffeklatchs, but I missed out on the one I really wanted to do by one space, because the git right in front of me signed up his friend despite it being only one signup per person, so was very annoyed by that, especially as the people manning the signup tables shrugged their shoulders when I made them aware.

But what can I do, anyway I made it to my first panel which was Making the Transition from Player to Games Master, and I got a lot of useful information from that, and I followed this up with The Impact of Kickstarter on the Gaming Industry which was really good, but sadly in the panel Steve Jackson said that it’s likely that SJG will stop offering their Kickstarter projects outside of North America, which would b devastating if they did that before Car Wars.

Then we walked off to Point Square for some seminars over there, and it’s not the easiest walk in the beating August sun, but we got there and found a great waiting area for people with access stickers, which was great, Lindsay did a panel on women in STEM and I did one on Webcomics with some amazing comic creators including Tamsyn Muir and Phil Foglio.

We then took a Luas back to the CCD to try and get into the interview of Parris McBride and George RR Martin, but we didn’t get in I am afraid, but that was alright, we just decided to go do our souvenir shopping where we got presents for Megan, Paul, Mary and Janes boys.

We did manage to get into the Steve Jackson interview, he is a guest of honour and the first from the gaming industry ever, so it’s a big deal, and it was great hearing him talk about how he got where he was, and the background to the Secret Service raid on his company over a GURPS supplement.

Then we got into a panel on the Representation of Marginalised People in Gaming with Laser Malena-Webber from the Doubleclicks, and Tanya DePass which was brilliant, I am very passionate about representation in games, because the same white European troops get very dull in games, and I am really desperate to see games with big influences from outside Europe.

Then I went to a panel on Modern Alternatives to Classic Boardgames, which was alright, but it was a bit simplistic for me, I was hoping for something that goes beyond 101, but it was very much a 101 to board gaming panel.

I managed at this point to have a seizure and had to be helped by first aid, it was very very very mild, I think it was because the panel room was facing the sun and it was quite low and in my eyes, but I was fine.

This was followed by a bit of a let down in Introduction to Grimdark, the discussion was good and interesting, but half the panel had no idea about what Grimdark was with one panelist’s having never heard of the term before, and the moderator had no voice, which meant that the panel was a bit unfocused, but still the discussion and book reccomend and the were good.

We then had a sandwich for our tea, and I had a good sit down after my seizure to kind of recover, so it was a bit of a worrying time because Lindsay was being very worried about me.

Then had my best event of the day, Romance Plot or Not, which was a blast, we were supplied with four ridiculous romance story plots and had to guess which one was a fake, and my team finished fifth which was cool, and as a result of that Lindsay wants to read a book featuring a bad boy biker, who just happens to be a werehedgehog!

After this Lindsay went into a panel on Sex Positivity and I went to some parties, the DC party’s was cool, the China party was very good, Frances party was kinda dead and the Japan party was also quite good, I may have eaten lots of snacks!

Then we had to rush off for the bus back to the hotel and we ordered in a spice box for tea, which was really good, and then at about 01:20 we went to sleep utterly exhausted!

Dublin and WorldCon

Me and Lindsay flew out to Dublin on Tuesday for WorldCon, which is the convention of the World Science Fiction Society, and is a pretty big deal, it’s also where the Hugo Awards are handed out.

So Paul kindly dropped us off for our flight on Tuesday morning and the first thing we do is grab a bottle of Rock Shandy each, which is a Dublin favourite of ours, it’s a combo of lemon and orange pop, the only issue is that lemon and me don’t get on, it causes a reaction in me that whilst not quite an allergy, raises my temperature, makes me feel sick and makes my temper fray, but damn that stuff tastes good!

We then went straight to Bewleys for lunch, which is an amazing tea house on Grafton Street, we had mushroom and tarragon soup, I had mine with an open sandwich and Lindsay had here with a scone and it was a most delicious lunch when paired with a cup of Irish Afternoon tea.

We then headed to our hotel, well it’s actually just some student accommodation but it’s nice enough, but warm and the bed isn’t quite a double, but comfortable.

We had a pizza for tea, a large one with sausage, egg, bacon and mushrooms on it, after popping into Lidl for some supplies to make sarnies with.

The next day we headed into Dublin in the later morning where we registered for the Con at the CCD, then we took a slow walk into the city, with lots of stops for me, and we called Megan to have a chat with her and take a photo of a DART for Paul.

When we reached O’Connell street we went to Supermacs for our lunch, we both had 5oz bacon and cheese burgers, Lindsay had hers with curry cheese fries, I had mine with garlic cheese fries, and it was really nice, much nicer than a McDonalds.

We then walked to Games Workshop via Forbidden Planet, because you know, we have to find a Games Workshop wherever we go!

The we walked down to Bewleys for an afternoon tea and then to Dunnes to pick up some Rock Shandy, Taytos and Cadbury’s Mint Crisp to take home to the UK, then back to the hotel where we chilled out, even popping up to the roof top terrace where Lindsay attempted to do some of her daily exercises and we had nesi goreng from Lidl for tea.

The next day we made our way to the CCD by bus and began the day with some Accessible Star Trek Yoga, which is a lot harder than it sounds. After that we attended a panel on Liking Problematic Tings and then a workshop on an Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, which I have yet to play properly.

Then we had a little break where Lindsay went to the quiet room because she had a developing migraine and I did an hour on the Glasgow 2024 Fan Table signing up people as pre-supporters and even a few friends too.

After that I went to the gaming room and talked with my Asmodee friends who are there doing some demoing and playing of games, and pretty much all of them I have worked with before, so that’s cool.

And I also got to playtest the next edition of Cthulhu Dice with Steve Jackson, who also signed my autograph book and copy of Munchkin Warhammer 40,000, so I squeed a bit at that!!!

At this point Lindsay is very unwell and she decided to remain in the quiet room, I then attended a Podcasting panel, at which one of the panellists recognised my voice from Edge of Empire and complimented our shows quality, and considering that he is a pro-podcaster, that made me blush a lot!

After that we headed back to the hotel, Lindsay was really unwell and needed to sleep, it’s a little trek for the bus stop back so I didn’t want her doing it alone.

She then zonked out, so I went and grabbed us some bits for lunch the next day, had Lidl nesi goreng again and then read for a bit.

She is feeling a lot better today as we sit on the bus on the way back to Con, so hopefully today she will last longer.

I am having a great time in Dublin!

Looking Forward to WorldCon

Next Tuesday me and Lindsay fly off to Dublin to attend the 77th World Science Fiction Convention, AKA WorldCon.

It’s my third WorldCon after I attended a day of the 53rd WorldCon in Glasgow when I was 13 to see Gerry Anderson’s Guest of Honour Interview, and my time working at LonCon 3 the 72nd WorldCon.

This time I am going for the full time as an full adult member for the first time, and I am really looking forward to it, I will be helping out with the Glasgow in 2024 bid as much as I can, spending time in the games area and doing as many cool panels and activities as I can, and I will do my best to keep people up to date.

We both wish Megan was coming, but she simply didn’t feel like she could handle it, so I will do all I can to help bring WorldCon to Glasgow in 2024 so she can attend, as can Paul, Mary and Willem.

What I am Modelling

Had more chance to do some painting and modelling this week, although it has been rather busy, so not as much done as I would have liked.

I started off by painting some scenery, I got finished the Killzone Sector Mechanicus by painting the Thermic Plasma Conduits form the set, along with the Galvanic Servohaulers that came with the Krogskullz’s Boyz expansion pack.

Then I finished up the last part of that Killzone which was a Ferratonic Incinerator, which was a great excuse to break out Lupercal Green and Sons of Horus Green.

And finally I finished off a T’au Empire Kill Team I have been working on for three years, and in that time we have changed edition of both 40k and Kill Team and the Tau gained an apostrophe!

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I started this squad when the last edition of Kill Team was released, nearly three years ago, and as part of my desk clearing exercise I have finished them off. So this is a T’au Strike Team from the T’au Sept, armed with Pulse Carbines and Pulse Rifles, among with two Gun Drones and a DS8 Tactical Support Turret. The Pulse Carbine guys and the drones were finished about 18 months ago, and the Pulse Rifle guys have only just been finished. Right next up more Death Korps of Krieg, but due to a busy weekend I won’t be able to prime them until at least Monday, but the next thing I am doing is the Lascannon Teams. #PaintingWarhammer #PaintingGamesWorkshop #Warhammer40k #Warhammer40000 #KillTeam #Tau #TauEmpire #TauFireWarriors #FireWarriors #TauStrikeTeam #StrikeTeam #TauSept #GunDrone #DS8TacticalSupportTurret

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I have done a bit of model building, yesterday I built four Space Marines bikes, five Space Marine Scouts with Bolters and today I built a Land Speeder Tornado, and a Broadside and Riptide for my T’au.

What I am Reading

I am bad I have mostly just been listening to audio dramas and reading Codexes, I really need to finish Last Son of Dorn!!!

What I am Playing

I have played a bit of Heresy this week, on Friday I played Graham at Battle Bunker, with my Death Guard, and he took his Solar Auxilia, and I lost, not by much, but I really struggled against his Leman Russ tanks, I just didn’t have enough anti-armour to deal with them, so that is absolutely something I need to add to my Death Guard, perhaps some Rapiers, not sure if I should go with Laser Destroyers or the more Death Guard like Quad Mortars.

On Sunday I and Graham went to Heaton Games Society for a Heresy Doubles events, we took 750pts each, Graham took Solar Auxilia, I took Ultramarines, and it’s my first time using Ultramarines in a long time, so was good to give them a run and it reminded me why I liked them so much.

We lost every single game, because we thought it would be lighthearted, fun and fluffy, and it really wasn’t!!!

Our first game was against two top blokes, Ed and his pal, who’s name I can’t recall, and they had White Scars with seven jetbikes, two Javelins and a Fire Raptor, a Custodes Caladius, Shield Captain and five Custodian Guard, that was brutal, my Invictarius Suzerain were good, but they just couldn’t do enough against the Custodes.

Although Graham did manage to shoot the Fire Raptor out of the sky with his Quad Mortars!

Our second game was against Will and Caesar with a Sons of Horus Justarian list and an Armoured Breakthrough, and that was horrific, we ended up with just one guy on the table, we just could not do anything against that list but kill two Predators and a Dreadclaw, and Graham may now be sold on the effectiveness of the Sicaran Punisher.

The last game was against Luke and Dans Alpha Legion and Salamanders and this game was the game for the wooden spoon, and we accordingly lost, I tried to deep strike my Invictarius Suzerain in with the Void Walker warlord trait, but they kept mishapping and ended up being displaced all the way on the other side of the board away from all the action.

Tough game, we did our best as Graham really didn’t want the wooden spoon, but now I have four of them, three of which were gained in the last twelve months!!!

What I am Backing

I am still only backing my old school friend Ken’s Kickstarter for Cognition Vol #1.

I have started seeing people get their rewards for Ogre Battlefields, but alas us Europeans have to wait a few months more.

What I am Cooking

Does a Pot Noodle count???

What I am Spending

Well you can tell it’s pay week!!!

I have bought myself a few bits for Warcry, I grabbed the Starter Set, cards for Stormcast Eternals and Ironjawz and the Ruler.

I also picked up two sets of bikes for my Blood Ravens, plus a Land Speeder and some Scouts, all of which I have already built!!!

I also got a paint restock, along with some new colours in both standard and contrast, the Loyalist Titans of Legends, Loyalist Dice and Loyalist Stratagems for Adeptus Titanicus.

Mood: Excited

Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: 2

In My Ears: Be Prepared from the Lion King

Game Last Played: The Horus Heresy

Book Last Read: The Last Son of Dorn by David Guymer

Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Current State of Projects: I have a clear desk!!!

Dublin in 2019 Whoop!

A brilliant thing happened this weekend at WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, the site for WorldCon 77 in 2019 was selected, and it is going to be in Dublin!

This is brilliant news and means I will be able to go to WorldCon, and Dublin is a brilliant city, so its going to be an amazing event. Myself, Lindsay and Megan are all planning on going, just looking at the costs at the moment and it does mean no Eastercon that year and the UK Games Expo will be reduced to a day trip, but it will be worth it.

WorldCon 77 will run from August 15th to 19th 2019 at the Convention Centre Dublin, a brilliant venue, and the Guests of Honour are Bill and Mary Burns, Diane Duane, Ginjer Buchanan, Ian McDonald, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Steve Jackson.

If you love sci-fi and fantasy I encourage you to attend, going to a WorldCon is something I think all fans should do at least once in their lives, and this one looks to be an amazing one.

Interestingly EuroCon is the very next weekend in Belfast, so I am looking at doing that as well, although Megan isn’t sure she can handle it, so I would likely be on my own for that one.

What I am Modelling

Had a slow week of painting, my hand tremors were quite bad, so I only managed to finish off a squad of Space Marine Primaris Intercessors for my Blood Ravens.

I am quite happy with the new technique I am using as it has cut out a few steps and looks just as good.

Anyway, right now my Primaris Marines have a Captain in Gravis Armour, a Lieutenant and this Intercessor Squad.

I did do some building this week, I built a Chaplain on foot, a Repulsor and a Redemptor Dreadnought for the Blood Ravens.

This evening I started painting some Inceptors for the Blood Ravens from the Dark Imperium set, I have painted on the main colour of the armour and given it a wash

What I am Reading

I finished Deathfire and am now listening to Sons of the Forge, and I am finding it easier to follow it as an audiobook as opposed to it being in text, and unlike when I read it, I am actually enjoying it.

What I am Playing

On Tuesday I played Arran in a game of 40k, he was playing his Salamanders, and he brought a very powerful list with a couple of Sicarans, a Typhon and a Fire Raptor, it was a ever so slightly illegal list but I am not bothered by that personally.

It was a very fun game, we used the Open War cards and pulled the Comet with the Dead of Night twist, and it was a rather fun game, the objective arriving in a random location in the middle of the game is quite interesting.

I lost, but I did a lot of damage to his army, my weakness was being too conservative with pushing my forces forward, also didn’t help that I took 9 wounds off my Deredeo myself by rolling 9 1s when firing the Ectoplasm Battery!

I also played a game of 7 Wonders Duel with Lindsay on Sunday and I actually won, she made a poor decision in the first age, which allowed me to pull ahead on reources which eventually translated into a crushing victory!

What I am Backing

Founders of Gloomhaven ended this week and hit all its stretch goals, I shall look forward to getting that early next year.

Ogrezine is still funding and it’s looking like it’s going to be a decent magazine. I really need to get Ogre our to play a bit more often.

This week the two expansion decks for Paranoia arrived, Mutant Explosion and More [Redacted] Societies, looking through the decks there are a lot more options for the game now and they will add a lot of fun to an already fun system.

Also this week Pretending to Grownup arrived, and that has some very nice artwork in it. It was a really cool project as the designer got a lot of well know web comic artists on board to design cards for it, all of which are really nice.

What I am Cooking

This week I cooked Sloppy Joes, an American classic, which is basically a mince dish served in bread buns.

The recipe I used for this was influenced by my love of BBQ flavour, so I added BBQ and Tabasco to the sauce.

It was something I could prepare in advance and then heat up and add the cheese to later on, although I should have picked a better cheese, perhaps Monterey Jack.

Anyway it was served with chips and the girls rather enjoyed it, they gave it an 8/10.

To celebrate Dublin winning the right to host WorldCon77, on Sunday I cooked a coodle!

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To celebrate Dublin winning the right to host WorldCon77, I today cooked a coodle! Been a long time since I made this and I lost my usual recipe so this one used one I got from the internet, on reflection there was too much bacon, not enough potatoes and it could have done with pearl barley, oh and I didn’t have parsley so I used mixed herbs. Also ham stock is delicious! So I will be making this again and making a few improvements, probably adding in a carrot so @lynzybee and @magickmogwai don’t complain about the veg content! Oh and of course I will have to make soda bread last time instead of sourdough. #WorldCon #WorldCon77 #Dublin #Dublin2019 #Dublin19 #Coodle #CordonNeckbeard #DublinCoodle #Ireland #Irish #IrishFood #IrishFoodPorn

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Been a long time since I made this and I lost my usual recipe so this one used one I got from the internet, on reflection there was too much bacon, not enough potatoes and it could have done with pearl barley, oh and I didn’t have parsley so I used mixed herbs. Also ham stock is delicious!

So I will be making this again and making a few improvements, probably adding in a carrot so Lindsay and Megan don’t complain about the veg content!

Next week I am doing a Tex-Mex chilli in the slow cooker.

What I am Spending

Trying not to spend any money, but I had a £10 voucher for eBay that was expiring so I used that to get a Deathwatch Chaplain as well, both are going to join my Blood Ravens.

I also had to pay the Royal Mail ransom money for Pretending to Grown Up, something I hate doing. I have no issues paying customs charges, but the £8 processing fee is exorbitant.

Mood: Happy
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: 4
In My Ears: Linger by the Cranberries
Game Last Played: 7 Wonders Duel
Book Last Read: Paranoia – Guide To Alpha Complex
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Rick and Morty
Current State of Projects: Inceptors base coats on and washed

WorldCon and My Dark Place

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%.

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