Jan 11, 2020: Ten

Ah Saturday night, post-Christmas in Huddersfield.

It’s only the dedicated drunks you really get at this time of year. The ones who have to go out on a Saturday night regardless of their financial situation, or the weather or whatever.

Town is pretty dead apart from these stalwarts of the pint glass.

Guess which bus they get home?

There’s currently an Irish guy offering people chocolate and regailing them with stories about spending Christmas working on a wind farm. And something about Mick Jagger. I don’t know if he was working on the wind farm as well, but he’s definitely been mentioned.

There’s also a fish and chip shop with ten year old fish in it. And something about the property market. It’s a lot to take in. And he’s not even talking to me. He’s siddling up to some woman who was in the bus shelter at a jaunty lean.

And now he’s missed his stop.

Too many wind farm stories, not enough paying attention to where he is.

That’s what you get, this early in the year. The dedicated drunks who, alongside Mick Jagger, keep our renewable wenergy infrastructure turning.

Still, there *must* be other buses they could get…

Jan 10, 2020: Oops

We had a plan, tonight, to have tea and crack on with playing a game – in this case Time Stories, which we lovingly set out in the Sexy Table Of Gaming last night.

That was the plan. There was every chance, it being a Friday, that I would be called into work and the plan would collapse. We knew that.

That didn’t happen. Instead Netflix happened. And then The Goes Wrong Show happened. And then Carole was in bed and nothing was being played.

We can’t even really account for what went wrong. Maybe we were late with tea or something but we watched TV a bit and then some more and… boom – time gone. Ironically, giving we planned to play a game about time travel.

We’ve not played much at all this year, in fact. Mainly just repeated Azuls. But I’ve won one now, so that never needs to be played again. Ever.

We must try harder. We’ve got off to a great start with the cookbooks, albeit with some not particularly nice recipes, but we’ve stalled on the games.

Time Stories is still in the table though – and we know there are expansions to play if we like it (and also ones to avoid if we like it too!). We just need to get time to play it.

Next week, hopefully. Unless we can harness the tech in the game, in which case… yesterday.

Jan 9, 2020: Thursday

Thursday Night is game night.

We’re two games nights into the year and, as yet, we have not been to a games night. We haven’t even played anything here, although we have set something up for tomorrow, which is nice – and also a pretty iron-clad guarantee I will be working.

We need to get better at this Thursday thing – we tend not to go if it’s just us because what’s the point when we can stay home and play quite happily (not that we did tonight). But we should go and mingle with the other players at the group.

But that’s the problem isn’t it? Because there’s the one in the group that no-one wants and we’ve already had a run in with him and I don’t want that again. I don’t want it at all, in the slightest, ever. I just want it not to happen.

And I know it will. Because it’s us. And I attract weirdos like other people attract non-weirdos. I once had a woman at a bus stop tell me tins were heavy. Weirdos. I get the people from the Church Of The Latter Day Saints or whatever ask me what I’m reading on the bus, and then talking to me about a book they’re reading, called the Bible, have I heard of it. I get those people.

So obviously, he’ll gravitate towards us. And just plonk. And suddenly be in the game.

And I don’t want that. I just want to play a game without some bloody nasal know-it-all telling me I’m doing it all wrong. I want to organically discover it’s all been for nought, rather than be told. I want a “ohhhhhh, we should have been doing….” rather than a “Well, actually, I think you’ll find rule 3 subsection b states…”. Someone who understands the first play of a game is a rehearsal, not a play.

So it’s easy for us to just stay at home as a two and play. Because there’s less chance of a loon appearing.

But we should go out and embrace the chance of a loon. We need to get braver. We need to chance it.

Hopefully, I guess, after I basically told him to fuck off the last time he joined us – and he was then removed by the host of the evening – he wouldn’t just plonk himself in again. But you never know. And I don’t want to find out.

But equally, we need to go more. There might be someone there I can beat.

 

Jan 8, 2020: School

Aaargh.

I can safely add a new bus to the hated buses of the day list. A list which previously had on it the 9.30 one where all the pensioners pile on like getting into town is the most important thing in the world and the 10pm bus home which has the drunk staggery man who is already staggery before he gets drunk and won’t sit in one fucking seat on the bus but has to move around while the bus is moving, flying down the aisles all the pissing time.

And now, the 3.15 school bus.

Because as we have established, kids don’t stay at school late enough anymore. And here they are bothering me and really putting a crimp on my plans to get to work in a timely fashion (which means, with enough time to buy milk beforehand).

I don’t want to spend nearly forty minutes on a bus listening to children eat crisps, and smelling children eating crisps. But here I am.

I need to factor this in, now. It’s not really come up before, I’ve avoided it with the time changes at work, but it hit this week. If I have a 4.30 game, the bus I go in to work on is the bus which ferries the crisp-eating bundles of annoyance home. In much the same way that a game in the morning means I am on the beige invaders bus.

I have to rethink my travel plans. I leave earlier than I need to in a morning. Now I’m going to have to adjust afternoons accordingly too. But it’s even harder because the earlier buses knock off to become, specifically, school buses. So I lose out on some buses because they’re off ferrying school children, exclusively. But then end up on a bus filled with the little sods eating crisps and not listening to anything their mothers/parents/whatever guardian tells them.

You know you’re on a good bus if you know the names of half of the children, in full, by the time they get off the bus – so many are the times the name has been said. My favourite, Malachi who is a shit at the bus stop and then a shit on the bus and told another child off for eating crisps and was then told off for telling off the other child.

I mean…

There’s me, in the middle of it. Wishing I could be anywhere else. Or wishing I was one of those people who gets a taxi everywhere for several times the cost, just so I don’t have to endure this bullshit…

Jan 7, 2020: Kids

I’ve seen off my disease, more or less.

I am, once again, a functioning member of society. Although my head is heavy, still, and I didn’t quite make it through a trip out today without wishing I’d dosed up on something just to see me right.

But I’m done.

Illness be gone. Out damn spot, and all that.

And this might be the remnants of my disease speaking, or just general old age but

WHAT FRICKING TIME TO CHILDREN FINISH SCHOOL THESE DAYS?!?

I went into town this morning to run a game for new starters at work, or a new starter or… ah who knows but new starters anyway. It went on a little bit longer than we thought as we kept adding on time to ensure that they played the game all the way through, but urgency was very much not the watchword this morning. In fact, in all the interviews we’ve done like this, I think only the once that Andy and myself got through – the very first one – has actually been a legitimate victory within the normal confines of the game.

Anyway, we did that. And then I came home.

I was on the twenty to three bus, and before the clock struck three there were swathes of school children walking along the pavements. Before three. What the frick, people?

When I was at school we didn’t used to get out until 3.45, and yet here are this lot swanning around from 3pm. Before 3pm even – enough before that they could be that distance from the school by 3pm.

It’s bloody disgraceful is what it is.

They don’t even have proper CBBC or CITV to try and get home in time for. Bloody hell, the number of times you’d finish school and pray to whatever overlord tickled your fancy that the buses were on time so that you could get home in time for Knightmare, or Children’s Ward or whatever.

Now they finish at 3pm, none of that good stuff’s on and even if it was they could just iPlayer it anyway.

I’m not saying kids today have it easy but… I mean, come on, there’s barely any risk of any of them being run over if they finish that early. That means none of them have the joys of high vis strips being sewn onto coats, hats or gloves.

Honestly…