September 22, 2005

Back from our holidays in "fairytale" Cornwall - St. Ives, to be precise.

We (ElshaUk, the Father and Stepmother-In-Law) spent a glorious seven days pottering around Cornwall, seeing sights and drinking copious amounts of Tribute Ale whilst enjoying ourselves immensely. We've been there before, once again with them, a couple of years ago so this holiday was a more sedantry affair. Neither rushed to see all the sights nor many a shopping trip in the local towns, this time we spent the holiday as it should be - slowly unwinding.

Illness-wise, I am feeling much better. No longer on antibiotics or creams [touch wood] I am up for work tomorrow, well actually today in about 8 hours. I dread to think what my workmates and manager have been up to whilst I have been away, but I'm sure I won't be surprised by their stupidity when I get to work.

I am still looking for a new job. This has been a cause for concern to me as I am coming up to the 5th anniversary of my current position. This means that instead of the usual 4 weeks of notice, I must now give 5 - meaning extricating myself from work will be that much harder. Still, I am insistant that I remove myself from my work place. No more shall I be made to suffer the indignity of working for sheer incompetant managers that pay themselves about £15k more than me whilst making me do all the hard work.

Unfortunately, 3 days into my holiday in Cornwall and mainly caused by severe bouts of insomnia, I read straight through the two books I mentioned in my previous post and ElshaUK made me buy another book I had taken an interest to in a local bookshop - Johnathan strange & Mr. Norrell. This is one of those books that turns you into a compulsive obsessive; every day you will force yourself to read more of it and to ponder on the meaning of every chapter.

The story is set in a fictional alternate world of the 1800's where Magic actually exists. Not the magic of Dungeons & Dragons nor that of Paul Daniels but the other-worldly magic long since forgotten by adults - the Fairy-tale magic of old. The plot revolves around two gentlemen magicians - Johnathan Strange and, of course, his one-time tutor, Mr. Norrell and their attempts to revive English Magic from centuries old neglect.

One quote from the book is:

‘“Can a magician kill a man by magic?” Lord Wellington asked Strange. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. “I suppose a magician might,” he admitted, “but a gentleman never could”’ (p.304).

This book is up there with Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien but is more similar to the writings of E.R. Eddison's "The Worm Ouroborous" - a long-since forgotten contemporary of Tolkiens. Apparently it took the author, Susanna Clarke 10 years to pen it.

If you read one book this year, read this one!

September 10, 2005


Off to Cornwall now for 10 days or so.

Feeling a little better but still far from ok, illness-wise. Had a terrible night's sleep last night (nothing new there) so will probably sleep in the car on the way down from Bristol (train from Reading there).

Otherwise, I'll see you all soon.

September 09, 2005

Bad Elves vs Good Elves: Discuss...

I am still ill.

This hugely frustrating state of affairs has not only stopped me from continuing to look for work elsewhere but has made me more and more morose regarding my health.

Why does this always happen to me when I go on holidays? This time at least I wasn't stressed. At least, I don't think I was stressed. Alright, so Scythe and Assassin-UK left me holding together the company's infrastructure like it was my guts spilling out all over the floor but I don't think I was that stressed.

On the other hand, of course, I will get better. Eventually. Hopefully before my holiday finishes.

On other news, I've been playing World of Warcraft some more and have decided that before the Expansion pack comes out (it's rumoured to be coming out for Christmas) I will get Crucifer up to level 60. At the moment, he's level 52 and in a very nice tourist site known as The Searing Gorge. It's not that bad to be honest, but the necessity to team up to complete quests are becoming more and more irritating.

Unlike a lot of people, I don't have a lot of time to spend on computer games. When I'm not playing Wow, I'm reading (and soon to be reading Terry Pratchett's "The Last Continent" & Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time Prequel: New Spring"). When I'm doing either of those things, I'm on the internet looking up info on roleplaying material for our game or spending time with Elsha.

Following on from the last post, we decided to sit down and finally build ourselves a game world, asking very serious questions like "why are elves good?". Tolkien made them good of course, that's why. And everyone else followed suit for a long, long time until TSR finally brought in evil elves called Drow. And again, everyone followed suit.

We've decided to use some of the ideology from the Stargate Universe - Elves were ancient beings that eventually transcended their material forms and left for distant parts unknown. Those few that remained behind kept to themselves. Some other elves, the Drow, decided to return to the Material World and work with the humans.

And so, we have our first real issue. Good Elves with a non-interference policy trying to stop the Drow (bad Elves) from helping the Humans, who don't realise what's going on (nor would care even if it was explained to them).

But the main point that we're looking at in terms of the above is why are the elves there? Not just because they have a passing resemblance to Legolas but the actual reason for their existance. Now it's something very interesting that we can work into the game's storyline maybe.

And bizarrely enough, my browser was having problems with Blogger's composer bar. After reinstalling IE6 SP1, eveything is working again. Yay.