The Noble Art of Procrastination

The Noble Art of Procrastination

Hello! It’s me – the epic procrastinating blogger.
(Boy does she mean that)

Yesterday I left work in the best of moods; a light rain and a frosty wind had blown the clouds away, leaving the sun to shine down on me as I headed to the bus stop. The air smelled so clean and fresh. I thought, ‘Marie, you’re finally on the right track’. The last few months have been exciting, life changing and blessed; packed with good memories to replace the bad ones and personal fulfilment. It of course hasn’t been plain sailing (when could anyone say that about life?), but I feel stronger, more confident and more able to deal with the crap that life throws at me.

I’ve decided I no longer need to apologise for long gaps in between posting. It’s part of a whole new mindset for me. I’ve realised that my normal habit of apologising to everyone and about everything – from going through a doorway first to holding my bus pass the wrong way up – needs to stop. My friends would agree it’s possibly the most annoying characteristic I have, and the ironic thing is – it’s NOT part of me. It’s part of the ‘black dog’ which is, even as I type, being beaten into submission with the aid of Citalopram, job satisfaction and the company of the most amazing friends on the planet.

So – what have I been up to?

Read on…

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The Diary of a First Time LARPer II

The Diary of a First Time LARPer II

I’m back from another LARP adventure – bruised, mud-splattered, thorn-stung and still wiping various colours of face paint from my eyes; but guess what? I’m loving it.

This LARP business is fast becoming an obsession for me. When I first dipped my proverbial toe into the world of Durholme and its surrounding environs it was an incredibly strange experience. Though it was definitely entertaining I still felt overwhelmed by and separate from the action, like a cinema-goer who’s wandered through the invisible barrier of the screen. At first all I could do was gawp. Now I’m finding my feet and getting into it a little bit more, I can honestly say there’s nothing quite like LARP for filling your Saturdays.

Two weeks ago Sable returned to Durholme and went on an expedition into the surrounding area of Rovac, in which she met the True Elves of the Hidden Valley, helped to free them from the tyranny of invading dwarves and tried her best not to get killed. Climbing up and down the wooded hills surrounding Durham, I must admit I was impressed by the system; a huge crowd of extras playing NPCs or ‘non-player characters’, who did their bit and then quickly ran on ahead to the next designated encounter spot, then changed character completely. The thought and depth which is ploughed into the game behind the scenes is staggering. Thus I was overjoyed when I arrived this morning to be told that I was to be part of the ‘monster’ crew and playing an NPC.

Read on…


The Diary of a First Time LARPer

The Diary of a First Time LARPer

Last night was, well… interesting. Last week, I would never have imagined that I would spend the evening in a darkened tavern, playing a wooden board game with an orc, a warrior monk and a high priest of the Sordanite faith. We struggled to see the dice under the feeble light of a single candle. With our counters mostly captured the orc roared his approval at a game soon to be won; that is, until a cold breeze and shrill cackling on the air announced the presence of air demons! One swirled around our table and blew out our light, then disappeared into the darkness as the sound of chairs scraping backwards and swords being unsheathed left our game completely forgotten.

Oh, and did I mention? I was an elf.

Read on…


The Friendship Gene?

The Friendship Gene?

I’ve been reading with interest about new research which claims that our choice of friends may be unconsciously being decided by our genes.

This research from the University of California claims that the gene DRD2, normally associated with alcoholism, also makes you a more attractive friend to someone who also has DRD2. On the other hand, two people who have gene CYP2A6, said to make you better at absorbing substances such as nicotine, are driven apart.

Read on…


The Evergreen Trees of Hogswatch

The Evergreen Trees of Hogswatch

I have returned from the frosty south; from the glitter, homemade pork pies and unrestrained quacking which could only be Hogswatch in the Year of the Happy Goose. I wish I could go back and do it all again. Having spent a long weekend in the company of some* of the Roundworld’s most wonderfully kind and warm-hearted people, a family who welcomed me with open arms… could you blame me?

In his post-celebratory address to the masses, Bernard Pearson spoke about being a member of the Discworld family, saying, “when winter comes you know what trees are evergreen”. This distinguished gentleman is famous for his way with words, but this is perhaps the most inspired thing he’s ever said.

Read on…


The Most Beautiful Word

The Most Beautiful Word

Yesterday, I discovered the most beautiful word in the English language.
No, it’s not from Shakespeare.

I know I started all this out in gloom and seriousness, but yegads, that is so far from how I feel right now. Yesterday, I was in one of those moments which you remember for the rest of your life and look back on wistfully. I guess you could describe it as ‘unparalleled joy’.

The most beautiful word in the English language is ‘remission’.
Read on…