Week 8: Ending in tiers

Week 7: Christmas lists

  • It’s that time of year! My daughter has actually hounded us for a copy of the Argos catalogue to look through, but pending the arrival of the Book of Dreams she’s had to make do with the Argos and Smyths websites and seems to be setting her ambitions pretty high. I’ve heard her muttering about “a 26 inch narwhal” in alarming tones.
  • My son is asking for a skateboard for Christmas. For a boy who broke his toe just by walking around the house, he is also setting his ambitions high.
  • Oh no. The Arecibo telescope is going to be dismantled. What would Ellie Arroway do?
  • I’m looking to buy a new coat for winter, and despite recommendations, I shan’t be buying anything from The North Face. Where possible I now buy berghaus.
  • I’m still making my way through Ivanhoe. A certain yeoman by the name of Locksley has made an appearance. Ivanhoe was was published in 1819, is set in 1194, and Wikipedia says that the first clear reference to Robin Hood was in 1370. It’s an education all-around.

Week 6: addiction

  • Dear neighbours: starting your DIY on our shared bedroom wall at 8am on Sunday morning is Just Not Right.
  • The Queen’s Gambit was bloody excellent. Wonderfully made, shot and styled throughout. A joy to watch.
  • Paper Mario and the Origami King is my new low-tension story-progression game.
  • I have started reading Ivanhoe, and am feeling pretty bad for the Saxons.
  • It is very muddy now autumn is here, yet very few cyclists I see have a rear mudguard and so they are all wearing a single-stripe uniform on their backs.
  • Africa has a land area of 30 million square miles. Probably once every two years I go to whichever site is still up to play with map projections but I do love Visualizing the True Size of Africa
  • In three weeks my eBay account will be 19 years old. 19! I have bought 44 items in that time, or an average of 2.3 items per year. I have never used it to sell anything.
  • I think I might crack in my need to play Wind Waker again but since my Wii U is in the loft, it may have to be the GameCube version on the Dolphin emulator (using the Hypatia texture pack to make it a bit closer to the Wind Waker HD graphics).

Week 5: wet windows

  • I hate condensation. Everything gets wet. You can’t see out of windows. It’s rubbish.
  • I finished Trine 4! I loved it, even though the very end was a little underwhelming.
  • My daughter made a cake! A Titanic cake! We are now half-way through eating it and it is looking like a slightly more lifelike representation than we originally intended.
  • As of writing this, I’ve not listened to it, and I have very mixed feelings about Paxman, but his first four interviewees on his new podcast seem strong.
  • I am thinking about playing King’s Quest VI
  • Orion is now visible late at night. In a month or so it will hang directly opposite my front door. It is a trusty friend in the winter.
  • I bought Townscaper when it came out, and I’ve been following its creator Oskar on Twitter for years, and it’s a brilliant stress reliever. I hadn’t played it for a few weeks and it’s awesome to see the new updates that have come out, and that unlike my real house, my town hasn’t got covered in dust and spiders when I haven’t touched it for a while.
  • My son’s Lego Mario expansion sets arrived and in fairness, they’re pretty cool, and the app that contains the instructions for each set also has some rebuild plans for merging sets, which is nice, in case you’re not good at improvising, which he’s not.

Week 4: thoroughly modern Mario

  • We now have the new Lego Mario in the house. It contains bluetooth, a gyro sensor, accelerometer, colour sensor, a speaker (for all the wa-hoo!s) and small LCD-ish screens in his eyes, mouth and chest. I thought it would be a total gimmick with about 5 minutes of fun before it got put in a box and under a bed, but my kids have genuinely loved playing with it every day and the boy has spent some of his accrued pocket money and a voucher he got for his birthday on two expansion sets which will arrive next week.
  • We went pumpkin picking for the first time! Except there wasn’t really much picking – they’d already all been picked and lined up in a field ready for punters to just choose and take. Not quite the farming experience I thought, but probably easier. It was torrential rain, so at least that bit was suitably outsidey.
  • We’ll hopefully be moving house soon and so my wife is eyeing up pianos, because she can play (I can’t). New pianos are really expensive.
  • We are going to have a second lockdown. It hardly seems a surprise, but people are surprised. And some people are upset. And others are surprised that people are upset. It’s one big wheelhouse of surprise and upset.
  • We’re watching The Queen’s Gambit. It’s pretty entertaining. My wife was a regional chess champion in her teens and had a lot of empathy for the first few episodes where the old men are resenting being beaten by a girl.