Sunday Night

I went out running with my eldest daughter again this evening – another ten sets of two minutes running, one minute walking. Our next run will be on Tuesday night at the running club in town – heading out onto the streets with the unlikely band of “Couch to 5K” runners. I still feel a bit like a fraud, given that I can probably run 5K now at quite a clip – I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not doing it for me.

I haven’t told my daughter that she ran considerably faster tonight. As predicted, being thirty years younger means she’s getting better remarkably quickly. It will be interesting to see how her will power is when the run lengths increase.

What else has been going on today?

I wasted a couple of hours playing Minecraft this afternoon. After getting the chores done around the house I vanished into the pretend world, and completely lost track of time. Falling into lava by accident and burning to death served as a wake-up call of sorts. I haven’t logged back in since.

(When you die in Minecraft, everything falls out of your pockets – so anything your character had about their person can be retrieved. Unfortunately if you fall in lava, everything burns. Ergo – I lost quite a number of imaginary things that are of no consequence to the real world, so I don’t know why I’m even telling you).

How on earth is it 10pm on Sunday night already ? Where did the weekend go ? I’m tempted to stay up all night playing retro games – I installed a number of emulators for long-forgotten systems on my old laptop the other night. I got them working, but didn’t get around to playing any games.

I think perhaps before I do that I’ll go make a coffee. Coffee always seems like the best way to start any damn fool activity late at night.

Seduced by Minecraft

If you’re wondering where I have been for the last several days – while not working, travelling, working some more, travelling some more, picking things up, filling the washing machine, or chasing my tail in the endless fashion I seem to from day-to-day, wonder no more.

I’ve been down an imaginary hole, chipping imaginary bits of stone out of rock faces with imaginary pickaxes, growing imaginary wheat, making imaginary bread, and feeding imaginary chickens. I’ve also been chased through dark forests by zombies, had arrows fired at me by who-knows-what, and had creepers creep up on me and explode in my face.

In short, I’ve been playing Minecraft.

The last time I played Minecraft was about four years ago – the children were young, and it was all the rage. They grew up and stopped playing it, and I forgot all about it – until this week. While noodling around with something earlier in the week our eldest daughter wandered in, and asked how to install Minecraft on her computer. A few minutes after that I installed it on my own computer. I’m not really sure why.

It was sort of a happy accident.

It turns out Minecraft is a perfect distraction from the endless stress of daily life. You can escape into the pretend world inside your computer and noodle around with things that don’t really matter – and the magic of it all is that while you’re busy noodling, you’re not really thinking about anything else – and given the stress I have been under for the last 18 months, it’s been an almost perfect escape.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some corn to go and harvest, some bread to bake, and some searching online to figure out how to make shields, helmets, and armour – I’m going to war with the night-time zombies.

16 Days

I’m officially on holiday. Two weeks off. Sixteen Fifteen days until I return to the office (I began writing this post late last night, but didn’t get around to publishing it). A couple of weeks to try and forget about work and relax. Of course before any relaxing happens I need to attack the garden, attempt to rid the house of fleas again (tip – NEVER get a cat), book somebody to fix the satellite television, and a hundred other things.

I cut the lawn this morning – no small feat when I’ve been flat out at work and home for the last couple of weeks, and when I have been around, the skies have dumped on us spectacularly. It appears – given perfect conditions and house owners that run themselves ragged to do everything for everybody else – that grass will grow about an inch every 24 hours. It’s probably worth mentioning that we have an old push-along lawn mower, so I’ll probably end up with triceps like Lou Ferrigno if this weather keeps up.

There is some method to the madness in the garden – our youngest is having several friends for a sleepover on Monday night – they are sleeping in a tent in the back garden (because we’re not stupid). The tent is already up – in preparation for Monday – our “family” tent from camping holidays when the children were young. It’s ENORMOUS. At least each girl (or group of girls) will get their own zipped off bedroom, should they all fall out with one-another.

In-between cutting the lawn, grocery shopping, and putting tents up, I’ve been helping myself to a bottle of wine – proving that if you drink on an empty stomach, it goes straight to your head without passing go.

Anyway. Time to go sit quietly and play video games. I’ve installed “RetroPie” on the Raspberry Pi – meaning we can play pretty much any game that came out in the last forty years – and I’ve downloaded most of them from archive.org (or at least, the ones for the NIntendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and Sega Master System – oh, and the Atari 2600, MSX, and a few other systems). I’ll be busy nerding out with Jet Set Willy, Mario Brothers, Q-Bert, Space Invaders, Galaga, and Asteroids if you want to find me.