December 03, 2006

Topsy Turvy

Singapore came and went and now we're firmly ensconced in Perth, Western Australia.

Its interesting that when you chat to people from the UK, they seem to think Australia is this overgrown savannah where you might expect to see crocodiles prowling the local swamps waiting for the latest victim to trot past.

Alas, Australia is as built up as England, perhaps more so since they have less history to worry about and more space to account for future growth. Looking out the window, I see nice clean houses with less than 30 years of history. The roads are all clean and wide, and the paving stones have yet to appear weather-worn by acid rain.

The greatest benefit though is the blue sky. It stretches from the top straight down to the bottom. In London, you would have had clouds, smog and light pollution that would have given a dismal bright grey look the closer the sky got to the horizon. Here, nothing but blue. So blue in fact, that it actually hurts the eye and makes the green grass look very green. Not dark green, but bright green.

I feel like I'm in a painting - that's how bloody good it is.

I'll see about getting a photo uploaded so you can all get jealous.

November 18, 2006

In Motion

I'm now sitting in the same place that I used to work at 10 years ago, although that internet cafe has now gone and another is in its place. Still, I do have this queer sense of Deja Vu about the whole thing - as if I should suddenly get behind the counter and ask people to pay up.

Out of a flat, living in a Travel Lodge is taking its toll on us as we ready ourselves for the flight to Singapore for the 4 nights that we are there. At this point in time, we are less excited about the holiiday and more concerned about money situations and wondering what the hell we do if the UK suppliers we were with don't take note of our status and stop payments.

Oh why does it have to be so hard!

More to come, perhaps from humid, rainswept Singapore...

November 10, 2006


Memories are such odd bizarre things, aren't they?

You have lots of memories and the further they go back, the nicer the world felt.

My earliest memory is of the feel of the carpet when I was in Primary School, in Yeading. It has a clean feel to it with a very short pile - more functional than luxurious. The other memory I have of that period is getting on to the school coach at the beginning of the day, and being driven to my primary school. My brother is sticking me on and telling me I'll have a great time. I'm sick inside and almost crying.

Other memories are not so banal. When I was 7 my mother died in a housefire, and I was there at the time. I won't go into it as it's always painful to dwell upon but a lot of my memories concentrate around that period.

After that, I have memories of outings, school friends long since gone and the closer we get to the present the more banal - the more average the memory - they become.

I speak of memories now because for the last few days, Elsha and I have been down in Bath, in Somerset. It's a wonderful place with great architecture and history, and its far, far from being like London. The old aldage, that people are friendly outside of London, was proved right when on our first day we tried to find our Guest House, we had 2 old ladies asking if we needed directions. And there I was thinking we were about to be mugged...

Finally arriving at the Athole Guest House, we were shown into very nice accommodation; a large bedroom with onsuite facilities, a shower that I can only describe as being out of this world, and a digital tv for those nights where we couldn't afford or were too tired to go out. It's all run by a very nice man by the name of Wolfgang and his staff, where "all you have to do is ask" is the motto. And, boy, does he cook up a mean cooked breakfast!

The next few days we travelled around, saw the usual sights, window shopped, but for the most part our trip out to Bath was to see and say goodbye to Elsha's relatives there, on her mother's side - the O's.

A large dinner with 20 family members allowed us to chat and dine with them and for memories to begin pouring out. And of course that was the most interesting part for me, being from such a small family with little or no ties to our families abroad.

Memories of Elsha's mother when she was young and how she interacted with her siblings. Memories of our visits down to Bath 8 years ago. Questions from the youngsters on what Australia is like and how it compares to England. The talk was rich and varied and fun was had by all. It was a shame for it to end.

We came away wondering why we hadn't moved to Bath so long ago, in the first place.

October 29, 2006

A New Day Dawns...

So, I've finished work.

After my last post, I had a few cups of coffee (yes I know, but I needed the stimulants) and then went to work, all the time thinking - knowing - that it would be my last walk to work. I put the mp3 player on and listened to some old time tracks by INXS, Gwen Stefani, etc.

Got to work and had a quick meeting with my boss who proceeded to dump a load of work on my nearly clean desk. I had a quick sifter, realised I would get perhaps one job done and then started beavering away on it. Meanwhile, my replacement was getting the rest.

All through the day, people came up and congratulated me on my imminent departure and asked when I would finally fly out - even though I had emailed everyone in the company with that information (I did feel by the end of the evening that I should have had it stickered to my forehead).

The last lunch is normally a time for a departmental reflection - where the boss buys the leaving man/woman a last lunch. I am proud to say that he didn't.

In fact, it got to the point where everyone else had got to the restaurant (Nandos by the way) except all the people in IT and me. I was then grabbed the secretary of one of the Directors and dragged away to the restaurant for some much needed food and chat. My boss turned up 30 minutes late, stayed 30 minutes and then left with his cronies.

After lunch, one of my colleagues (a senior guy) grabbed me and took me off to the coffee room/chill out area and told me to stop working (after all, what would they do - fire me an hour before my leaving presentation?).

Presentation time came. My boss launched into a speech about how I was a gamer, how I was a geek, how I was going to be missed and finally, that I should stay off computer games because it was a pointless exercise.

Sort of like working for him, I thought ironically.

I really didn't mind the leaving speech - because everyone I knew at work was there to see me off. My workmates had got me a wonderfully large collection (which will soon be changed into Singaporean dollars) and the very friendly secretary had got me some goodies from the various clothing departments - 2 wallets, 2 caps, a bag, some boxers, a belt (which doesn't fit me) and a sort of keyring thingy (don't ask me, ask Elsha). All in all it was a wonderful surprise and I told everyone assembled the truth - I would miss everyone and I would definitely keep in touch.

Shortly thereafter, we headed down to the various pubs where people continued to ask me when I was flying out and, more importantly, bought me beers through the night. It was a very good night but, boy, I was drunk by 8.30pm.


Next day, Bufu (don't ask, it's a looong story) and I headed out to the Game On Exhibition at the Science Museum to check out some old, old games and some newer games.

After that, we headed out further to Temple Walkabout where we met up with Horse for his birthday bash and oh so didn't get involved in Kiwi drinking games!

It was actually a very nice day out where otherwise I would have spent hours on World of Warcraft getting more and more bored...


Today, we met up with another work colleague (now ex) and Scythe (whom I used to play AC2 and WoW with before his wife, who also played, got pregnant). A nice meal in a local restaurant with a glass or two of wine and we came back and slept our way into the evening.

...which leads finally into me building this Duron 650 that I am typing on at the moment as the other two computers we have, have been reserved for selling off this coming Thursday.

So no more WoW after that. Elsha smiles a lot at that thought but I haven't yet told her I have loads of computer games that will work on this pc.


October 27, 2006

Last day at work

It's my last day at work and I can't sleep.

I don't understand this. I've spent years dreaming of this moment, of escaping, of getting out of that hell hole and now that I'm finally doing it, I'm feeling miserable and I can't sleep.


Maybe it's because I don't have anywhere else to go so instead of a transitional period its become an ending.


I can't wait for it to be over and for me to be ensconced in a pub having a beer knowing that it's all over.

Australia, here I come.

October 24, 2006

Ringing in the changes

Back in August, I made a post about some upcoming news that I had been working on, but that I wasn't able to
reveal at the time.

Well, time to tell all...

Last year at Christmas, Elsha's folks announced that if we were interested in moving to Australia, they would help by paying 2 One way tickets to Perth, Western Australia.

Elsha and I had a loooong chat about it and we decided to go for it. A lot of things had to happen before we moved over - getting the visa sorted out, working out money issues, etc.

Back in July, we sent off for a Temporary Resident Visa and waited with baited breath as to the results, with
fingers crossed, hoping for good news.

Early September, the visa envelope finally arrived with some very good news. Not only had they agreed to a visa but they had authorized a Permanent Resident Visa. Basically this means no more arsing around with visas ever again.

2 weeks later, I resigned from work, giving 6 weeks notice. I could have given 4 but I decided to do it by the
book and this way at least I would get paid my holiday entitlement instead of being told to take it. The weeks
have whizzed by and now, finally I'm in my last few days at work - literally.

Work is odd. I feel like I should be enjoying my soon-to-be-had freedom, but in reality I feel moody as hell. I'll miss all the people at work, all the friends I've made and even all the arsholic managers who haven't got a clue as to how to run an IT Department. But most of all, I'll miss being an integral part of something. Of waking up on a monday morning and knowing that I have some place to go and something to do. I suppose I'll have all these things in Perth, but as I don't have a job yet, it's all a bit daunting.

3 more weeks or so and I will be leaving, cold, dreary London for the bright blue sky of Perth - via Singapore.
Not only are Elsha's folks paying for our tickets to Perth, they're also paying for a holiday of 4 nights in
Singapore first. Since we're a bit low on cash, I'm not entirely sure how we're going to survive this but its the last holiday we'll have for awhile...

As many people have found out when they've asked me I'm not at all daunted by leaving my family and friends and travelling to Perth. Back in '98, I did just that for 10 months when I went to see Elsha after meeting her in the flesh. She was on holiday in England and had to return home and of the two of us, I earnt more. Spending 10 months in Perth was a liberating experience, because I could come out of my shell and be more forthcoming with experiences and life in general. Here, I'm a bit more sheltered as to what I do or where I go - I use the excuse that I live in London and that I don't need to see sights to get out of seeing sights. Resulting in my not doing anything or seeing anything - now that I'm going I wish I had spent more time doing "stuff".

I AM looking forward to living in Australia but I'm also nervous - who wouldn't be. All that I know will be left
behind to be replaced with new things - clean cities, plastic money, oversized rodentia, beeer. Did I mention the Beer?

Roleplaying is going to be a major problem, World of Warcraft too. I'm not entirely sure I can survive roleplaying with people in Australia or playing 8 hours ahead of Europeans, but it's not enough to sway me from going

So, come the beginning of December my post code will be WA6027 and not W5. My new home town will not be Ealing but will be called Joondalup...

Is it forever, people have asked? Let's see, one day at a time, shall we?

August 13, 2006



So things didn't get back on track since the last post. But I have been floating around out there reading blog posts and keeping in touch occasionally with the community.

Alas, other things had diverted my attention.

Horse, a mate whom I play and work with, induced me back into World of Warcraft, but this time on a new server - Eonar, a PVE server where you can't be jumped by enemy forces.

3 months later, I have a level 60 Night Elf Druid (yes, this time I went Alliance to check out what I missed in the original beta oh so many months ago) and a new guild called Swords of Justice.

I've also been checking out Sacred, a crpg which resembles Diablo 2 - although it IS a bigger game throughout, it just isn't as intuitive as Diablo 2.

Other than that, I've read everything on my bookshelf again, including the new Robin Hobb book "Shaman's Crossing" - which although wasn't as good as her Assassin's series, was good as her Liveship trilogy.

Work is as labourious and dull as it always was. People have asked me what I'm still doing there after a year of my suggesting I was going to leave but I have plans afoot. That sadly require money. So I must stay put for now and, when the whip is cracked, get to it.

I'll write up a bigger and more fun packed post later.

April 02, 2006

Back on Track

Ok so I didn't to make another post later on "in the week" as I expected to. This was mainly because I have been spending all my time playing Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO for short).

It's a very interesting game and very unlike World of Warcraft.

Firstly, you don't get experience points for repeatedly killing monsters in the game. You only get experience points for finishing the quests. Which sounds counter-intuitive, because let's face it, killing things is fun. But the point of the game is to get your party members through the quest safe and sound, and if you can do that without fighting so much the better.

Next, no more ninja looting. Ninja Looting is where a group of party members get to some treasure and then a player, who is very quick, opens all the treasure chests and takes everything before anyone else has a chance. In DDO, treasure is reserved for party members by default. Which I have to admit is a very nice touch.

I could go on but probably the biggest point of DDO is the visceral thrill of entering a dungeon for the first time and hearing the narrator describe the crypt as being "dark and dank, and in the distance you can hear the dull scraping of bone on stone".

This, for me, is a massive selling point reminding me of the first years of my roleplaying experience as a dungeoneer in the Dungeons & Dragons Pen and Paper (PnP) game.

For those of you who have tried roleplaying, there is that instant rememberance of sitting around a table for the first time, wondering just what the heck is going on, and descending into a dungeon for the first time whilst your more experienced friends start to discuss party formation. That instant terror as a skeleton emerges from a room of cobwebs and attacks you whilst your DM (Dungeon Master, and no, not the red robed midget in the cartoons) requests you roll attack and damage dice to see if you hit and whether or not you have scored any damage.

And of course, that final warmth of triumph in your chest as you are told you were the one who smashed the skeletons ribcage to shards, stopping it in its tracks. Not to mention the coldness as you find out that a fellow party member has been killed.

Dungeons & Dragons Online is, perhaps, the closest game I have played on a computer to that ideal.


Other news...

I didn't get a chance to see V for Vendetta. I suppose I won't get a chance now until it comes out on DVD, which sadly for me, has become the norm.

ElshaUK bought me The Matrix Trilogy for a tenner the other day after I had spent ages whinging on about getting it. I sat down on saturday and watched Reloaded and Revolutions. Points out of ten? Hmm... around an 8, I'd say.

Ok so it wasn't as good as the first one but the Warchowski brothers did try and keep the theme of "control" going. I do remember reading an article about how the mass public had argued that those who had criticised the original Matrix film had "not understood the point the film was making". As a counterpoint, those who had criticised the second and third film came under equal fire for "not understanding the point those films was making".

Of course, mass opinion was on the side of the original matrix film as opposed to the second and third films, and the mass public do not take well to being told they're idiots.

Ian, the mate of mine who went to Japan for four years, has finally returned - with a wife! Now, I met Ian through Jamie (an Old Ealonian) as they were at university together. Ian is the consumate roleplayer, who has played Warhammer, D&D, Cyberpunk, and a myraid of lesser well known games.

Anyway, Ian introduced me to the board game Settlers of Catan, which comes across a bit like civilisation or any strategy games.

He's found a website where you can try the game out for yourself. It's very intuitive and fun, I might add. Give it a go!

Finally, I came across this piece of trivia - for those of you who like Transformers, check it out.

March 09, 2006


The following is an excerpt from the graphic novel, soon to be a movie. As it may not appear in the movie, I thought it would be of interest to those going - as perhaps a showcase of what the movie is all about...



from V for Vendetta

Written by Alan Moore. Art by David Lloyd.

I don't know who you are. Please believe. There is no way I can convince you that this is not one of their tricks. But I don't care. I am me, and I don't know who you are, but I love you.

I have a pencil. A little one they did not find. I am a woman. I hid it inside me. Perhaps I won't be able to write again, so this is a long letter about my life. It is the only autobiography I have ever written and oh God I'm writing it on toilet paper.

I was born in Nottingham in 1957, and it rained a lot. I passed my eleven plus and went to girl's Grammar. I wanted to be an actress.

I met my first girlfriend at school. Her name was Sara. She was fourteen and I was fifteen but we were both in Miss. Watson's class. Her wrists. Her wrists were beautiful. I sat in biology class, staring at the picket rabbit foetus in its jar, listening while Mr. Hird said it was an adolescent phase that people outgrew. Sara did. I didn't.

In 1976 I stopped pretending and took a girl called Christine home to meet my parents. A week later I enrolled at drama college. My mother said I broke her heart.

But it was my integrity that was important. Is that so selfish? It sells for so little, but it's all we have left in this place. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch we are free.

London. I was happy in London. In 1981 I played Dandini in Cinderella. My first rep work. The world was strange and rustling and busy, with invisible crowds behind the hot lights and all that breathless glamour. It was exciting and it was lonely. At nights I'd go to the Crew-Ins or one of the other clubs. But I was stand-offish and didn't mix easily. I saw a lot of the scene, but I never felt comfortable there. So many of them just wanted to be gay. It was their life, their ambition. And I wanted more than that.

Work improved. I got small film roles, then bigger ones. In 1986 I starred in "The Salt Flats." It pulled in the awards but not the crowds. I met Ruth while working on that. We loved each other. We lived together and on Valentine's Day she sent me roses and oh God, we had so much. Those were the best three years of my life.

In 1988 there was the war, and after that there were no more roses. Not for anybody.

In 1992 they started rounding up the gays. They took Ruth while she was out looking for food. Why are they so frightened of us? They burned her with cigarette ends and made her give them my name. She signed a statement saying I'd seduced her. I didn't blame her. God, I loved her. I didn't blame her.

But she did. She killed herself in her cell. She couldn't live with betraying me, with giving up that last inch. Oh Ruth. . . .

They came for me. They told me that all of my films would be burned. They shaved off my hair and held my head down a toilet bowl and told jokes about lesbians. They brought me here and gave me drugs. I can't feel my tongue anymore. I can't speak.

The other gay women here, Rita, died two weeks ago. I imagine I'll die quite soon. It's strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years I had roses and I apologized to nobody.

I shall die here. Every last inch of me shall perish. Except one.

An inch. It's small and it's fragile and it's the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

I don't know who you are. Or whether you're a man or a woman. I may never see you or cry with you or get drunk with you. But I love you. I hope that you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better, and that one day people have roses again. I wish I could kiss you.



March 06, 2006


Hmmm... Should I play DDO or WOW?

That's the latest dilemma I face. Sad, I know, but there you have it.

World of Warcraft has the larger population but it's getting more and more boring. Endless similar quests of "Kill this and return that" and "Take this there" are beginning to wear me down. I rarely see Horse, Scythe and Kitten on these days which just adds to the monotony of playing alone on a Massively Multiplayer Online game. I've even considered creating a new character and joining a brand new guild but the issue there is that I've done it all before. It's just getting BORING.

Dungeons and Dragons Online, on the other hand, is brand new. You HAVE to join up with other players to do quests and, because of this, people are encouraged to join up in guilds with complete strangers to begin with - which sounds like fun.

But I suppose in the end I'm just getting bored with the lack of interaction within games. Is it just me who has the time and the inclination to play these games? Surely not...

Other gaming news, Stargate the Alliance has been cancelled amid reports of the company making it going bankrupt. Guess I'll just have to wait for the MMO instead.

EDIT: Finally, decided and bought DDO, and now giving it a go. So far so good. It's as different from WoW as day is to night. The fact that you are encouraged to group up to begin with means you're working co-operatively with other people from the outset and not when you hit level 50.

EDIT2: Noticed that this is the first post I've made in a while. Sorry, but due to real life situations I've been a bit busy. I will another post this week.


February 15, 2006

Ill Again


Ill again. Actually that should read "ill again x 2" since I am dealing with two different

The first is a flare up of the same problem I had back in August last year whilst the second
is just a plain old fashioned cold/sore throat. You know, when you get a scratchy throat and
anything you eat or drink pains it except alcohol which helps - but only in the short term
and just makes it worse.

My doctor tells me it might be stress related, which actually makes a lot of sense. I have
been very stressed with family related stuff so it stands to reason I'd get ill.
It's still sucky though.

I'm still writing up Chapter Two of Pioneers and I am making some headway. I still have a
lot of writing to do though, because even though there's less to tell in terms of events,
there's much more to say about characters and description. I think I'm settling into writing
chunky chapters.

And finally, there's this!

This makes me want to weep with joy. I'm hoping that it will come out soon and when it does,
I'll buy a copy for myself AND for ElshaUK so she can come join me online - assuming of course that its something she likes (but its Stargate! Of course she'll like it! :])

Which reminds me, I'd be remiss in not mentioning that it's our 8th anniversary. 8 years ago
we met for the first time!

February 10, 2006

Normal Service Resuming

Ok, so you got me.

I haven't been updating my blog for awhile as lots of events have been going on.

Firstly, I took an impromptu holiday as I was getting fairly stressed out at work. 6 months without any kind of break will take its toll on you, and on me it was working flat out with no consideration of what was good for me.

ElshaUK also joined me in the week long holiday as she's been getting stressed out with her new job - Manager of Accounts (or Cash Office to us normal people). She gets paid loads more money and she finally becomes what she's always dreamt of being - a manager. It might not sound like much to some but being a manager in Retail means you get to have authority. Customers, when demanding to see the manager, get told "Well you're looking at her".

My father has also been using up my spare time. Mmm, "using" is the wrong word, I suppose but there it is. I've been running to and fro for him and even through my week long holiday I was going over there to see how he was and doing some shopping for him.

I've decided, with some prompting from ElshaUK, to take more of a stand against his "I want this or that" and have politely suggested that instead of my buying something for him and then returning it when he doesn't like the colour or the quality or something - why doesn't he mail order it?

Of course, the answer is he wants attention. And he was getting it, until I put my foot down and corralled my other brothers into helping out.

So far so good.

Then I returned to work and got inundated with queries and support projects, which ultimately resulted in 2 issues being resolved today:

1) Our retail stores got updated computers, which took me the better part of 5 hours to sort out.2) I managed to resolve the whole burdensome issue of how to convert a Quicktime .Mov file so that it can be played on a standalone DVD player.

I'm so pleased with myself that I'm going to play Wow now and let nothing disturb me :)

Oh, and I've finally finished with Pioneers; at least the first chapter. It's probably the longest piece of fiction I've written and I'm not entirely happy with it. I try and write short pieces that I'm immensely proud of but long pieces... I don't write these. I excel at the sprint rather than the marathon. Still, it's done, I've checked, edited, moved and cut, often times savagely, but it's time to post it.
Go check it out HERE.

January 20, 2006


A few people have been writing blog posts about sleep issues and, especially, dreaming.

I don't tend to dream that often but when I do, boy are they long. They say that dreams are meant to be your subconscious mind rationalizing your feelings and events of the day, and trying to work out some meaning to it all.

Below is a dream I had about a year ago, back in October 2004. I do know that George Rennie is someone who works for my current company so obviously that's where I heard the name. Beauport sounds to me like it might be a version of Kingsport, which is a fictional town taken from H.P.Lovecraft's novels about the Cthulhu mythos. The rest of it is ... well... foreign to me.

The ending was very shocking for me and I woke up in a sweat. Now, for a long time, I've realised that once I know I've been dreaming, when I go back to sleep I can try and push the dream or nightmare into a more satisfactory conclusion - something that I can deal with that won't have me trying to work out where it all came from. So I have added a little note where the original ending was and the second ending was.

Have a read and see what you think...


The dream starts with a man called George Renny, an American who walks into his home (in America) to find his wife ...erm... engaged in various lewd actions with another man. However, his wife and the stranger don't stop but continue with their passionate *cough* embrace. George feels his anger rising but just turns on his heels and leaves the house. Later, much later, his wife comes to look for him and tells him that she doesn't find him sexually arousing any more but that she has been trying to be a loving wife at home. George nods but tells her that he can't and won't put up with this and tells her he will be leaving soon. She replies that she can't stop thinking about the stranger that she has just been with and leaves.

Later - it has been a few weeks - and George finds himself in the French seaside town of Beauport. He is reading a paper and he sees the date is 1942 (this information is not apparent earlier). As he walks around the town he meets the various people, especially a young lady called Raquel who flirts with him. George reciprocates and they find themselves mutually attracted to each other.

Racquel tells George that he should'nt have come here though. The Germans have invaded France and have already "snatched" some people that have been outspoken to them. George replies that he isn't afraid, and as he's an American, they won't take him. I forget how but in the dream George agrees that he will go with her to a barn where she thinks the Germans have a few of the townsfolk.

As they travel to the barn, Raquel falls behind with a sprained ankle. She hobbles on but George tells her to wait here for him and he will go on and be back in an hour. However when he gets to the barn he gets captured by the Germans and one of them is a strangely Machiavellian-looking man with slick black hair and a finger-twirled mustache. For some reason this man brings dread to George. The man (I'll call him the Villain as he reappears later in the dream) tells George that he has been extraordinarily foolish and that he should not have come here. George looks around himself and then runs for the barn door.

He escapes and runs to Raquel, picking her up in his arms and runs to Beauport. There he tells her that the Germans are already on the outskirts of Beauport and that they must leave as soon as they are ready. Alas they are too late and German soldiers surround them. The Villain reappears and tells George that he will never leave Beauport...

Later George awakes and finds that he is in the barn again. He looks around but doesn't find anyone. As he walks back to the town, he notices some children playing by a water outlet and some of them bury themselves to hide from the others. As George rounds the corner, he meets the Villain waiting for him, who tells him he will never leave the town of Beauport.

George wakes again into another dream... and another... and another...

Years pass.

He's now an old man and a distinguished private detective who has just finished a recent case for some townsfolk of Beauport. As he reveals what has been happening in his case, the Villain reappears and congratulates him. George immediately feels dread at the sudden reappearance of this man after so long.

He suddenly whirls and jumps down the sandy dunes. As he runs he hears the Villain whistle for German guards to recapture him. George keeps running but suddenly he has a memory of the kids playing in the sand.

He stops and buries himself and the guards run past. George waits and waits and waits and falls asleep.
When he awakes he is still buried in the sand, so he waits a while longer and then gets up. Stumbling he walks along the beach before collapsing.

When he awakes, he's in a small fishing village where he's been found by a woman and looked after. Somehow, I am there but I'm from the British Embassy looking for missing people, etc. He tells me he is George Renny and when I check I find out he has been missing since 1942 - it's now 2004. He tells me his story so I immediately contact the authorities.

But then the villain reappears looking as he did in 1942. I realize then that somehow I'm dreaming George's dream as well. When I tell the Villain this, he replies that "You've always been at Beauport and you always will be".

---(this is the original ending and I was very shocked by it. But I decided to try and dream a different ending, and this is what happened when I fell asleep again)---

I faint at this shocking statement and awake to find myself in hospital. A friend is next to me and tells me I've been rambling some story about someone called George. I ask him a trivial question that I know no one else will know the answer to. He looks stumped. And I realize I have been dreaming...

I awake again to find myself in hospital. My friend is next to me and tells me I've been rambling some story about someone called George. I again ask him a trivial question that I know no one else will know the answer to. Again, he looks stumped. And once again, I realize I am dreaming.

When I awake next, I ask him a whole host of questions and he answers every one of them correctly. When I ask him about George, he says they found an old man dead next to me from natural causes and I've been in a coma for a few days.

When I ask him if they've identified him, my friends tells me no. They don't know who he is. Only I know.

January 19, 2006

Games, Games

It's been a slow few days and I've been sticking into writing my little ditty, entitleed Pioneers. So far, I have a rough idea of where I'm going with it but it's completely outside the domain of science fact. Which I suppose isn't much of a biggie since it's really a sci-fi story. I'm still writing the introduction to it and it sounds like this might be longer than just the short stories I end up writing. I just have no stamina.

In the meantime, I've been bouncing off playing World of Warcraft. The game is just getting too boring. It only shines when you play with friends - since it IS an MMO - and since no one is playing, the interactivity is just not there.

This has led me to other games.

Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction has a wonderful storyline with some great cinematics. It's a Blizzard game so it also has the quality of all their games. Blizzard games rock.

At the moment, I'm playing a Barbarian by the name of Nostarian. He's managed to get to Mephisto's Durance of Hate in Act 3 but hasn't yet killed the big guy yet. I've also got Istarian, a Paladin and Azure, an Assassin, who's really a fast combatant.

At the same time, I'm debating whether or not I should buy Starscape. It's a retro game that harks
back to the 80's so it doesn't have 3D realistic graphics but it does have immense playability.

Definitely worth checking out the demo.

Then there's this. A fan based computer game based on the Babylon 5 TV series. I haven't yet played it as I'm downloading it at the moment but so far it sounds good.

And last, but not least, we have the anticipated release of Stargate: Alliance. A computer game based on the current TV series of the same name. I am beside myself with excitement at the release of this game. Seriously.

I may have to actually buy this game when it gets released.

January 15, 2006

Keeping up appearances

Just a quickie.

As some of you may have noticed - probably not - I have added a series of blog links to the right under my archived posts. These are the blogs I check every day or thereabouts in an effort to better understand my fellow bloggers and the community I've suddenly found myself in.

ElshaUK and TheNumNum you need no introductions, nor Reader Meet Author. SwissToni and Lord Bargain, as far as I understand, are friends of TheNumNum and Alecya is one of their friends as well as being a partaker of Reader Meet Author.

There, done the introductions for the others. Now you can go and explore their blogs.

January 14, 2006

Collaborative Writing Part 2

Oh dear.

It says something when your readers post comments about items that you're going to talk about sometime last week but I haven't really had the time recently to browse blogs. My father has been ill and was at hospital for the past week, and this really brought the family back together. The upshot is that I've been very busy sorting out visits to my father, visits to my step-mum, phone calls to my eldest brother and receiving visits from my other brother who lives in Brighton.

During this time, work has also become busy - nay, chaotic. Customer Services at work have been revamped so that instead of three CS desks there is now one. This involved making four people redundant and then moving all the other's equipment upstairs, in a bid to make the new CS completely different from the old one.

Bizarrely enough, my manager decided to NOT write down all their phone numbers and data ports onto a single sheet of paper but decided to instead write them down willy nilly on post it notes. Now, I don't know about you but post it notes have a tendancy to fall off at any given moment so I told her I thought it was pretty slapdash. She replied that she thought she was perfectly organised - an opinion that absolutely no one else involved in the move shares.

Anyway, back to the topic of today's post.

As Alecya posted in last comments page, I have been involved in a collaborative writing blog entitled "Reader-meet-author" set up by SwissToni. So far I have penned two pieces - "Ravenous", a horror piece, and "Worrying about acceptance", a short piece of prose regarding Ravenous. Both of them were recieved well by the other authors. They in turn have posted a number of interesting pieces, and you should really have a read.

I am currently mulling over a number of ideas, two of which seem to be arriving at critical mass in my brain. The first one is a Starcraft story about a lone marine who escapes death from the talons of the Zerg long enought to run into the Protoss. Interesting but I'm not sure it will be that interesting to my fellow authors.

The second one is based loosely around Phantasy Star and is about a Hunter who begins his occupation learning all about the dangers of Ragol. A little bit more interesting and challenging for me as well.

All I have to do now is find the time to pen the words running through my head; not easy, when I have had such a demanding schedule recently.

All I want to do at the moment is sleep.

...well, and play Diablo 2. :)

January 06, 2006

Collaborative Writing Part 1

"And do write more, put up a story online on a blog, you'll be surprised at the comments (good and bad)."

If you read the comment to the last post, this was what TheNumNum suggested I do.
Since the only things I really care to write about is roleplaying and this blog, I've decided to start up a new project for myself, loosely entitled "Writing up Roleplaying".

As Roleplaying is a collaborative effort by all the players involved, what better way to write it all up than to create a Wiki dedicated to our own peculiar gaming sessions.

I'm actually very excited by this because having a Wikispace will not only allow me to upload any and all information that I've collected or authored over the past 14 years so that people can read up and work away from the personal sessions, but it also allows my fellow players - those both in this country and abroad - to add their bits as well.

Here you will find a whole collection of stories I've written up over these past years and just reading them, you can really see the improvements I've made with character viewpoints, emotions, conversations, etc. I'm actually impressed by all the mistakes I've made and how I've moved myself to correct them.

On other news, I've been hit by a particularly nasty piece of spyware/malware that keeps on messing up my google searches in Internet Explorer, and so I've decided to split with Micro$oft and go with Opera.

I'm especially taken with Opera's ability to continue from your last location, meaning that if you're a bit of a wanderer when it comes to surfing, you can actually go back to where you last were, rather than having to work out all over again just what it was you doing in that last session.

And finally, another co-worker has decided to try out World of Warcraft. I know, I haven't mentioned Wow of late. That's because Crucifer long ago hit level 60. Azaghul is now about level 36 and my current character, Istarian the Tauren Druid, is now about level 25.

But I've decided to try my hand at Starcraft again and this time I'm going to actually beat the Expansion - Broodwars. I've also decided to try my hand at the other expansion packs.

January 02, 2006


Last night ElshaUK and I saw "Catch Me If You Can" starring Leonard Di Capri and Tom Hanks. Despite my initial fear of it being a turkey, it was actually a good movie. It actually reminded me of the case where the notorious hacker, Phiber Optik, was captured by Federal authorities for hacking into computer systems and phone phreaking.

Just as in that situation, the main protaganist in the movie was able to do so much damage because the system allowed him to. It wasn't just a case of someone going out and committing these crimes - it was that the system wasn't designed to stop people.

There is a old saying, that if you put on a white coat and act like a scientist or a doctor, people believe you are a scientist or a doctor. After all, only scientists and doctors wear white coats.


It's a crazy state of affairs, but I wonder if I wore a white coat, just how much damage I could do in somewhere like Ealing Hospital where no one checks who you are and no one challenges you when you walk in to a ward.
Definitely food for thought.

On Saturday night (New Years Eve), a bunch of us went out to TheNumNum's new house to celebrate his birthday. We had wine, some fantastic food, a home made firework's display and some excellent conversation.

I really loved looking around his house and it made me green with envy. Not so much that he has the place but that he's putting down roots. It's something we still have to do. Hopefully, 2006 will be the year to do it.

Which leads me to...

New Year Resolutions:

1) Write more. I'm still doing a good job of writing but I need to do it more often. People do read this blog even though I'm sure it doesn't interest them in the slightest but it sure as hell interests me when I come to read it months later.

2) Save. We need to budget our income and expenditure and make the books balance.

3) Be happier. This also means less arguments at home and less all round miserness with ElshaUK.

4) New Job. 'nuff said.

5) Increase productivity. In an email conversation, I mentioned I was interested in Linux. Actually I've been interested for awhile but I've never had either the inclination or the ability to pursue this. This year, that changes. I can set up a 2 way switch and work off a second computer, which will be my scratch machine.
Things to look forward to:

In March, Greevesi finally moves back to the UK from Japan - with his bride to be. Blimey! Where did the last 3 years disparate to?

In December, hopefully we move to Perth, Australia. It's a big step but hopefully it will be in the right direction.

Plenty of family visits - Bath/Bristol for ElshauK's family and Brighton and Surrey for mine.

All in all, it looks like this year will be a big year for changes, improvements and an end to old habits.