It was a day of three parts, after the console gaming bonanza of the last several days.
Morning: Do not switch on the Playstation. Use the daylight to do some creative activities involving a collection of coloured pencils that I rarely have the chance to use. That was nice, it was satisfying. I did that until about 2pm.
Afternoon: Starting to get dark. Time for some Far Cry Primal on the Playstation.
Evening: I am starting to think that I should be more worried about the fact that I still have to do 78 items of World’s Worst Company paperwork – the items take up to 15 minutes each. So I do some work. I reduce the paper mountain from 78 items down to 60 items. I shall attempt to complete these 60 items over the next 3 days, then I will be ahead of schedule, where I like to be.
While I was organising my work, I looked at my diary for the weeks immediately preceding Xmas and I was both disturbed and amazed by the schedule I was managing to keep up. I’m really surprised I wasn’t more unhealthy.
I sent 1 work-related email.
I am having such a good time. My console gaming skills have improved massively. Today I have been in the frozen mountains of Far Cry Primal, playing a mammoth that is trying to overcome some rhinos. The rhinos may look innocent but they are fast and they have sharp tusks.
My plan for today was to make progress in Far Cry and then probably return to Dark Souls this evening but I’ve done so much console gaming over the last few days that I am really starting to feel it in my shoulders. I think I need to do something else now to give my body a rest. I don’t know what, as I have long since forgotten that I ever had any other interests. I think I will go for a shower and a change of pyjamas and see what’s what. Maybe put some lights on.
Dinner. I cooked Xmas dinner again and got it right this time. I have definitely gained weight over Xmas, like everyone does, and feel like the size of a house. Fortunately, I’m not too bloated as I’ve been eating a lot of vegetables and have not yet done any damage to the Xmas cake or Xmas pudding.
Movie. I watched Where To Invade Next by Michael Moore (2016), a typically lovely, sensitive and compassionate Moore film in which he goes to various countries to see what ideas he can take home to rescue the United States. He goes to Iceland to learn how women pulled the country out of the financial crisis. All the Icelandic banks collapsed in the crisis except for one which was started by two women, where the founding principle of the bank is ‘if we don’t understand it, we don’t sell it’. Common sense aboundeth. He meets female Icelandic business leaders and politicians and they are utterly glowing with common sense and community spirit. He goes to a tiny, unremarkable school in France where little children of six and seven years old are being served gourmet four-course meals for lunch and where lunchtime is regarded as a teaching opportunity. He goes to Slovenia to visit a university and is surprised to meet American students who are there because university education is free. In Italy he meets employers who give their staff 8 weeks of paid holiday every year and say things like ‘what’s the point of being richer, the important thing is human relationships’. In Norway he visits maximum security prisons where the philosophy is that being away from your family is quite enough punishment and the emphasis is on teaching the inmates to be good neighbours to each other, which you do by creating a civilised prison community and showing each other compassion. I became quite moist around the eyes. Britain did not feature on the list of Moore’s exemplary nations. By far the best film I’ve seen so far this Xmas, highly recommended.
Dating. We haven’t struck gold yet. Yesterday’s candidate was nice but Santa seems to be sending me a lot of maths and physics geeks this Xmas who are all super-intelligent but short on social skills. If I think about it, I miss the Person who I wasn’t supposed to be in love with, so I don’t think about it. I will meet more people over the next few days.
Gaming. I didn’t really do any yesterday because my date lasted for quite a long time but I dare say I will get started again today. I am sampling everything while I figure out which game I want to make a commitment to for the next few weeks or months.
Happy ongoing Xmas, everybody. I like this period between Xmas and New Year. Everything happens at a slow pace. Once New Year arrives it is time to start thinking about getting back to work. I’m back on the 4th, which isn’t too bad.
Right, I must do a quick burst of housework. See you later.
Dinner. I cooked. I totally screwed up the gravy by making it with vegetable water that had too much salt in it but no matter. I am going to regard the whole thing as a practice run and cook the same meal again probably tomorrow or the next day.
Movie. I’ve never seen any of the Harry Potter movies (or read the books) because it seemed a bit twee but also seemed like something I should know about, so I watched Harry Potter 1. It was okay and I liked the star-studded cast and the Quidditch scenes were quite fun but then I lost interest in the problems of these stupid children about 40 minutes before the end and became distracted by gaming. First movie of this Xmas holiday where I haven’t made it to the end. Kids, just what you don’t want at Xmas:
Gaming. I made a start on Dark Souls. Man, I need more practise using the console, there was a lot of button mashing and not much skilled fighting.
Dating. Dating is going great! I have a third first date lined up for today and a fourth one for the 28th. A lot of very switched-on Millennials out there who all want to tell me what games I should be playing.
Other. After I grew tired of being constantly killed in Dark Souls I went into the kitchen and iced a cake. The supermarket sent me one without icing on it, so I iced it myself at about 1am.
Happy Boxing Day, everyone! I need to clean up the kitchen, then clean up myself. Busy, busy.
Social Life. I had another first date, the second one in two days. He was an economist with an interest in science. He stopped writing a paper about China so he could spend time with me. He wasn’t as glamorous as yesterday’s date but he was still interesting. We had a nice chat for about 3 hours, then I sent him away because I needed to attend an important dinner date with myself.
Dinner. Tomato soup. Date and ginger sourdough bread. Wensleydale cheese with cranberries. I photographed the meal but the image file is corrupt so here are the supermarket shots instead.
Movie. Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World by acclaimed documentary film-maker Werner Herzog (2016). I am watching it right now, it’s fascinating. It’s divided into numerous chapters in which Herzog meets a variety of people who experience digital culture in different ways. He visits a rehabilitation centre for internet ‘addicts’ and talks to young patients as well as the owner. He talks to a family who received brutal and inexplicable hate mail when their daughter died in a car accident. They seem to be religious and Mum has decided that the internet is sent direct from hell to channel human evil. Their surviving teenage kids look defeated. He visits scientists to learn about solar flares and their potential to shut down all our communication systems, with resulting earthly calamities. When we connect things to the internet, observes one wise boffin, we also make them reliant on the internet. Do we still have systems for living if the internet shuts down? How is this going to affect food supply? How about medicine? Without connectivity, you can’t get to the supermarket and the supermarket can’t get supplies or staff. Now what? Recommended.
Gaming. I finally got around to playing Dead Rising on the PC, a mere 10 years after its release. In 2017 we will game a lot more and make a priority of it so as to catch up.
Dinner. Ocean pie with salad. Xmas groceries arriving tomorrow!
Movie. I watched Independence Day (1996) and then Independence Day: Resurgence (2016). That’s 4.5 hours of alien invasions altogether. The original film is typical 90s sci-fi, in the sense that it is all about spectacular visual effects, with no deep, underlying message or complex character development. Resurgence is much the same. it was critically panned and people complained that it was silly and had no story but what do you expect? It has massive aliens in it, and space ships, so there is plenty to look at. It is certainly silly but that’s allowed. Some of it was set in London and that always scores points with me.
Actual Date. I had my date with the American boy, wow, he was great. He is very smart and Serious, while being built like an American football player. He is very big and sturdy, solid, strong and muscular. Would probably survive an alien invasion without much difficulty. Survived a date with me without much difficulty. I hope he comes back, I would like to see him again. We played with the Playstation. That’s not a metaphor, we actually played with the Playstation.
Gaming. Today’s game was Firewatch (2016). I am too tired to write much about it just now but the critics liked it and said it was a more intelligent game than most. You play a guy whose wife has died so he goes to a national park in Colorado and takes a job as a firewatchman. Once he’s there all by himself, mysterious things start to happen.
Right, I must go to bed. More Xmas tomorrow. Yay!!
I have taken action on my mortgage and pension today, even though it is Xmas. It is obviously very important stuff so that I can afford to have nice Xmasses when I am old(er) and thus is an act of self-care. So I tried to convince myself that it was a Xmas treat, having time to deal with the kind of paperwork that generates more economic stability. It has taken until 5.30pm. In any case, it wouldn’t have been a peaceful day as my neighbours downstairs are having their bathroom ripped out and rebuilt from scratch, with accompanying racket. And they had the gall to mention that I was a bit loud having sex on ONE occasion, when their builder has been hammering and drilling for days and days, right at Xmas.
Anyway. Things I have now dealt with:
- Most of the mortgage and pensions paperwork. Not much to go.
- Xmas and birthday cards have been sent.
- Xmas presents organised for nieces and nephews (Amazon gift cards, Amazon to the rescue once again) .
- Commercial client generously said I didn’t need to do any more work on the project, even though I generously offered to. Yay for being professional!
- Beauty clinic, GP, post office.
I am now done for the day and it is time to begin the evening’s festivities, which means dinner and a movie and probably more gaming. I will report back later.