helbling: (vampire)
Done and dusted, currently sat in my hotel room - thankfully the colleague I caught a lift with is in full agreement of the 'get the hell out of dodge as early as possible' plan for tomorrow.

But my god, are my socialising spoons and then some all used up. To the point I'm actually probably going to get home and then lock myself away with a book and a safe spot for a good few hours, or there's a significant chance I won't make Vampire and the chance I've got to play Tempest over the weekend. Because I am just that flat out of people energy.

More detail when I have more brain. Which won't be any time soon, alas.


May. 15th, 2014 07:45 pm
helbling: (vampire)
Oh my fricking god, to my new naive eyes, this new journal layout looks hideous.

P.S: You know what's oddly liberating? Deleting all the 'need to check out' job search shots sat in my to-do folder, and sitting on the sofa after work to have a sensation of 'hunh. I don't immediately have to get on an do job hunting stuff now'.
helbling: (vampire)
There be ranting and expletives under here.
Read more... )


May. 1st, 2014 12:07 am
helbling: (vampire)
The window out of my toilet points north, by which I mean I can see houses facing south if I look out of it. It's a little too high to see out of comfortably, so I have to stand on tiptoe to peer out of it. I can just see the back of another crescent when I do so, which stands 4 stories tall, carved from the same golden limestone that Georgian buildings both here and in Bath are, and because it's the back of it, the walls are not uniformly flat, but rather full of dents and crevices, odd jutting sections where it's been built out, and sunken bits where it's been taken in. It's maybe a couple of hundred meters away.

Because it's behind our crescent, when the sun first rises in the morning, it doesn't hit that building straight on, but it rather filters over the top of my crescent, and in through gaps in other buildings. But the end result is when I first get up in the morning these days, and peek out of that window, what I see is the tops of the buildings a bathed in brilliant early light, with the occasional stripe streaking downward. It's like the entire thing has been picked up and dipped in paint that fluoresces, then put back in place while still wet, so it's dripping in spots.

It's very pretty.

Also, tonight I nearly had Steve on the ropes with Magic. Didn't quite get there, but it very much came down to who could do the most damage on the next turn, and turned out to be him. Drat it, but still better than my previous performances. Might get the hang of this damned game yet.
helbling: (vampire)
- I really love rape seed fields. Looks wise, I think they're even more stunning under a grey sky than they are under a clear blue one. It's like they're captured sunshine, shining back at the sky that's forgotten how. 'Smiley' fields, I used to dub them as a child, apparently. I think I was onto something, really. And smell wise, they're just awesome - the scent that rolls across from them, and in through your car window if you happen to be driving past, just embodies summer. I think it would be the thing I'd miss most, if I ever developed hay fever. Keep the roses and lilies (although geraniums might be a close second) if you must, but no, let me keep the rape seed.

I also did combat practise today, as I'd like a shot at legendary mastery before the summer's out. This was productive. Outcomes:

- Combat wise, turns out Warren and I can hold each other roughly at bay with paired daggers, but we will trade equal hits, and occasionally punch each other's hands. This is more of a problem for me, as Warren has harder hands than I do.
- I can just about manage Dave with a single 1h sword. I do get hit, but by targeting his sword arm, I can eventually take him out before I drop, especially if I can force him to spread his hits on me over different locations (doable, if I occasionally dangle a leg). I need to work on withdrawing my strike faster though, as that's when he manages to get most of his hits in. That, and if he's circling, I need to remember to step out and follow, not just revolve on the spot. Keeping my stance low works a good deal, as does the hidden-dagger technique Warren showed me.
- Staff and great sword: no problem provided I remember to be aggressive, and use the up/down guard stance.
- Someone ambi dexing 1H swords: Problem. Big problem. To be worked on.
- Someone wielding a mace: throws me off. Big time. Different parrying techniques needed, and it moves differently to a sword. I can eventually work my way around to handling it, but it takes me a while. I need to be faster. Especially if they're faster with using one.

Still to try:
- Axes.
- Hammers.
- Dual wielding maces. Because I forsee that one being hard.
- A shield user. No, a paired dagger user will never win a 1on1 fight with a shield, but I need to be comfortable enough fighting against one that I can hold them off for a while until someone else rocks up to distract them or finish them off.

Stuff to remember:
- I automatically lead with a left-forward stance, thanks to kick boxing. As I'm right handed, I can actually do a right forward reasonably well on top of this. Swapping stances mid fight is something that is apparently not so common and useful for throwing someone off balance.
- Fencing grip on the hilts means more reach. For a dagger user, and one that's probably going to be shorter than her opponent, this is important.
helbling: (vampire)
1) Ok, my attempt at Easter Weekend socialising:
Open house from 1pm until 11pmish (might go later) on Saturday. We'll be running silly (probably animated) films in one room, and have another set aside for playing games or chilling out, which will possibly extend to the balcony if the weather holds. Food of some sort will be provided at some point, but if you'd like something in particular or it runs out, take away will be the go-to. All welcome. If you need the address, message me. If anyone wants to bring food or booze, they will be enthusiastically greeted. Lifts from the station may be provided if you ask nicely. Crash space available on a first come first served basis. Please note: We've got an excess of space but not of seating, so if you aren't happy potentially being sprawled on the floor with a cushion, bring your own.

2) I'm very very seriously considering going for legendary mastery with Pro. This means I need OOC dagger skill. This means I need practise. Is there anyone local (by which, I mean either Bath or Cheltenham or somewhere in between) who either
a) thinks they have OOC dagger skill and could teach me or
b) has OOC skill with something else and would be willing to spar with me while I try to work out how to beat you with my tiny little bits of pointy metal?

Ideally, looking for semi-regular workout partners...
helbling: (vampire)
Ok, so let's try and get some good points down from the weekend. Because there were good points. I have to remember them, or it's all for naught, even if the overall sensation I got coming away from it was horrible.

- Thanks to Caled, being in a pretty much permanent blade sharp 3 and triple strength, all weekend. Which meant I had silly levels of damage from just daggers, and occasionally had the sharp intake of breath from someone when she hit them with them, and the number came out a lot higher when they were inevitably expecting.
Read more... )
Finally: Am trying not to draw in on myself and completely close off. Easter weekend, I'm considering doing/throwing something social. Who's free, on which days?


Mar. 30th, 2014 07:22 pm
helbling: (vampire)
EDIT: Original title: That was fun.

Should I count this as 12/100? Hrm, let's see how we go. But yes, that was fun. Old character, good character, fun outing, could actually do things with her. No one to massively kick off on within the party. Was useful. Showed character progression, by managing to use a Chaos miracle on a game.

Didn't show too much character progression, as it was a last resort when talking the guy out of it hadn't worked, and offering herself in exchange hadn't worked, and there was a hostage's life at stake. It was also done quietly, out of the way of the party so no one saw, and was promptly followed up by her desperately trying to do a mental washing-taste-out-of-mouth by throwing herself into a duel with a high ranked guard. Which she won by being far more aggressive than the situation needed, and I'm almost sad it didn't go to someone dropping unconscious because that would have given her such a high, that she'd managed to take down Katrin, who is generally far more combat capable, and not just taken her down, done it on her own.

And she only manipulated the circumstances around it very slightly. Lomax's effect, no doubt.

And then, when that didn't completely do it, was very quietly and very dignifiedly, in a way I still don't think anyone spotted, ill behind a tree. Certainly, it didn't impede her effectiveness, as I had one of our lovely newbies come up to me afterwards to ask about how Pro was such a nails character. Which is doubley lovely, because actually in terms of effectiveness, she's one of my least hardcore PCs, but I like I was able to give the impression of competence, as that is one of the key components of the character.

And managed to use Blink in an effective manner on game as well. First time for that too.

It was a nice hint of things to come, and what she'll be able to manage when she's come to terms with her new alignment. Totally self sufficient and deadly in the right circumstances, or when she really gets the bit between her teeth.

It was also nice because RP was been frustratingly unsatisfying recently, like trying to quench thirst with salt water. And this wasn't. And, ok, maybe I need to accept with my current energy levels I need to roll back to being a fair weather larper. Or I need to be pickier about the games I play, so I don't spend my time IC throwing myself at opponents I can't damage anyway (which I'm already doing to a degree, having put down to monster the Friday of the 24 hr, as Pro against undead results in sweet FA at best, or a dead scout at worst). But it's such a massive stress release and auto-relaxer to be able to RP in a way that is rewarding.

And the short game, lovely weather, socialising time, and wonderful people were awesome also. It just made everything come together beautifully.

*happy sigh* Good day. And I'm on lates again next week, contrary to what I thought, so now I have *squints at clock* 4 hours to myself. To unwind, do fun things, write emails, play games, all of it.

God, after such a shitty week, this weekend has been what I needed.


Mar. 24th, 2014 11:08 pm
helbling: (vampire)
When the wet wind hitting you full in the face feels, all at once, like a challenge and a 'welcome home'.


Mar. 21st, 2014 05:48 pm
helbling: (vampire)
I always forget the endorphine high I get from swimming. That I like the activity is something I can hang onto regardless; water just feels good. Yes, the chlorine smells, and the pool itself is loud, with the chatter of bored teenagers and shrieks of excited children. The water is turbulent and unpredictable from the wakes and flailing of other swimmers, and more often than not you have to twist to overtake those slower than you, or curl into a corner of a lane to let a more faster and powerful front crawler (they always do front crawl. Why, I know not, but always front crawl) go past. I don't care.

It was no different on Wednesday. The pool was over crowded, the teenagers in full force, stood in the middle of lanes in full make up, faces an oddly different colour to the rest of them and eyebrows that had been drawn on looking more artificial than normal under the lights. They picked the fast lane to hang out, bizarrely enough, occasionally deigning to do a single slow jerky length, heads held stiffly at odd angles, trying desperately not to get their hair wet. The most aggressive swimmer - a woman in her early 20s, expression dismayed, her goggles and swim cap no nonsense - cocked her head at them in thought for a few seconds before breaking into one of the most strategic uses of the butterfly stroke I've ever seen. Her form was freaking perfect, and the resultant waves, crashing unavoidably down the lane, caused the teens to pull faces, roll their eyes at us 'uncool old folk' and exit to go hang out in the hot tub with some tattooed young men cultivating beards that could be described more as 'hopeful' than 'present'. Mission accomplished and the rest of us shared small congratulatory smiles, hidden behind hands or hair.

And despite all that, despite the noise and the bickering and the smell that invariably gets worse when you breathe at the wrong moment during an unexpected wave and end up inhaling it, so it crawls up the inside of your nose and even once you're out, you still smell it with every breath, I still find peace in it. Being in the water just feel natural and homely and wonderful.

I expected soreness and tiredness the next day. It's how I feel after all other exercise, so it made sense. But I'd forgotten, when I sprang out of bed an hour before I should have been up, full of strange energy that won't let me sleep any longer, what swimming can do to me. Or the effect it has that I can feel while walking to work, like someone's taken my joints apart and oiled them thoroughly before putting them back together. I feel right. I feel better. I feel me.

*Happy sigh* I love swimming. I don't love the after effects quite as much. But I nearly do.


Mar. 17th, 2014 11:19 pm
helbling: (vampire)
Yesterday the moon was huge. Not quite full, like an orange with a segment removed; that slight lack of symmetry that indicates it isn't quite at its peak.

But it was beautiful, overseeing us as I drove back from Bath, hanging over the motorway, bright even with the streetlights and headlights of the oncoming traffic. That satisfied tiredness had suffused my limbs, but I wasn't sleepy, which meant I achieved a strange sort of peace as the miles ticked away, closer to home.

There was a vapor trail, left by an airplane, across the moon's face. It fell as time passed, so at first it barely touched the top of it, looking like an odd sort of hat.

But then is dropped lower and started breaking up, until it went right through the middle of it. It looked like cupid had gotten confused, and shot an arrow at the moon's face, instead of someone's heart. Then, finally, it dropped lower still, until it was hanging at the bottom, looking like it had been santa and the reindeer, their timing all wrong and three months off, had left that trail across the sky like the prettiest Christmas card you could ask for. Just a little bit late.

The only regret was once we were home, I couldn't see it from the lounge windows. Being able to curl up in the arm chair and watch though the windows would have made it perfect. Hopefully, later in the year.
helbling: (vampire)
I feel the need to cook something complicated. It's been one of those days. The two possible things I've got sat in my fridge are sausages (cumberland chiploatas, to be precise) or breaded cod.

Neither of these things require much by way of cooking, to my personal dismay.

So, under the cut are a list of other things I have kicking around the house, fridge or freezer*. If someone can suggest me something doable with them that will result in a dish that is reasonably cogent and at least reasonably heavy in terms of prep and cooking time, I will give you a hug. Fellow foodie types, consider yourselves challenged.

Read more... )

Anybody got any bright ideas?

* - I am also planning on going for a jog. My route will take me past Tesco, so I can pick up maybe one or two small items that would fit in a ruck sack and be carried back without impeding me, but only 1 or 2. And I'm not going to lie, depending how the next... *squints at clock* 1 hour and 7 minutes go, one of those slots might be irrevokably booked by a large chocolate bar.


Mar. 13th, 2014 09:28 pm
helbling: (vampire)
An easy evening in the company of good friends. Smiling so your cheeks hurt. Getting in the way but laughing about it. Joking. Giggles. Safety. Fun.

The dawning comprehension that comes from beginning to.understand a new card game. Vivid interest at something as minor the blurb of each card, shining brightly with novelty. Making mistakes..learning from them.

Beginner's luck. The potential for rematches.


Mar. 12th, 2014 11:00 pm
helbling: (vampire)
Arriving home to love. And a friend. And steak. And an animated film featuring a cute canine.

Little else needs to be said.


Mar. 12th, 2014 11:29 am
helbling: (vampire)
The small suspension bridge at night. It's not large - doesn't even cover a dual carriageway, and it's sandwiched between Waitrose and Tesco. Incredibly unglamourous.

But I love looking at cities and towns from above, at night. Something about the street lights and the patches of light and life in among the inky quiet dark. Restful and soothing and beautiful. The view from there was just enough to remind me of that. Fine when you're jogging, you don't get a lot of time to appreciate, but that would be why I went back and forth over the damned thing three times. Just to make sure I'd looked around as much as I could reasonably do so before pushing on.

30 mins on the nose to cover 2 miles. But I'm still having to walk for longer periods than I'd like on the uphill. I'd love to get to the point where I didn't have to walk at all. Goal set.


Mar. 10th, 2014 08:41 pm
helbling: (vampire)
The sight of a city you love bathed in bright light for the first time in far too long. Shadows stretching across well known knooks and crannies in finely carved limestone but nowhere else, people smiling as they down the street, rather than grimacing in the cold wet air. They walk differently too, heads up, looking around, taking in the sights, and those around them. Engaged with the world, no longer drawn in on themselves and hibernating their way through winter on the inside of their heads, even as their feet keep walking.

Spring is not yet here. But we appear to be waiting and poised to fling open the door once it is.
helbling: (vampire)
The inevitable rant is under a cut, because I'm trying to minimise negativity on this thing, but I need to vent a little.

Read more... )


Mar. 8th, 2014 09:57 pm
helbling: (vampire)
Waking to a loving cat, and driving in the sunshine, bright and warm on my face for the first time this year, to arrive with colour in my cheeks, and managing to only scare myself once on the drive home.

Home made chocolate cake, smothered in ganache, courtesy of Husband. ^_^

My own bed. My own damn slippers.


Mar. 7th, 2014 07:07 pm
helbling: (vampire)
The honest enthusiasm and genuine joy at being greeted by a family canine. Or two. Regardless of how smelly they might be....
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