Tag Archives: Christmas

Right Christmas

We had a very cut-down Christmas, with pretty much just us and the pets. Part of this was because we had our Lanzarote holiday a week before Christmas, coming home three days before.

Also, lots of the big rituals of Christmas past were broken. Rach’s church has changed (not for the better) during Covid, so there are no carol and Christmas Day services. The kids aren’t involved in the music at school, so there are no concerts there. Honestly, I don’t miss that side of things, feeling low on energy and obliged to attend these events.

On a less happy front, my mother-in-law’s death earlier this year. meant that we didn’t have any guests. But seeing that Evie, who put together the decorations this year with great gusto, used Elaine’s tree (a great relief since it’s smaller and in better condition than our Orphanage sized tree) and her decorations, it was like she was with us. Since Rachel and Evie bought a decoration that opens up, we could have put some of Elaine’s ashes in it and hung it on the tree! I quietly ignored requests to do this, feeling a bit funny about it.

So small and cosy would sum it up. With good food and some board games (Fireball island and Monopoly), pets and time for each other.

Christmas 2021 Decompress

My dog Callie, goes for two-kilometre long walks1 over local farmland. Afterwards, once the adrenalin fades, she lies down and has a big long deep sleep. During which she processes everything she’s seen/done on the walk. Sometimes you can see her dreaming. Her legs twitch and there are little barks – it’s very cute. This is how I feel about this year, completely shattered and in need to take some time off from writing/developing stuff for D101 Games, have Christmas with the family and have some fun. Also, have some space to take in everything that has gone on in 2021, and to a lesser extent 2020, and work out where I’m going in 2022.

So my dreaming (and twitching) is to get back into blogging here. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do all year. Instead, I’ve been distracted by Farcebook and to a lesser extent Twitter. Farcebook is almost at the stage where I’m going to sack it off. It’s dying a gruesome death, and its usefulness as a way of staying in touch with people is rapidly fading because the algorithms no longer show my friends. Just loads of adverts/sponsored content. Twitter working better for me. In that, I have a chat with a bunch of friendlies before starting work in the morning and people follow me to see what I’m working on for D101. But I can’t write more expansive pieces like this, which I miss. So I’m going back in time (I started blogging waaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1999 on Livejournal.com) and making this my main form of social media 🙂

Things to do in a determined (yet fun manner) over Xmas break:

  • Watch tons of Kung-Fu movies
  • Organise the RPG reading pile
  • Do a review of the Kickstarter RPGs that I’ve received this year
  • Get into mapping
  • Run some online RPGs (possibly test driving The Forge as I do it) and grok 4th Ed D&D
  • Start painting miniature figures.


  1. I hesitate to call them walks, runs would be more appropriate. Because she is a Spolie, a mixed breed of Border Collie and Springer Spaniel, with a quarter of whippet on the spaniel side. Here’s a pic of her, we’ve had her 3 years now – I’ll do a post on her “gotcha day” which is New Year’s Eve 🙂

Nearly there

Well I’ve officially destressed from the day job. Took four days, which is right given the level of nonsense going on at the moment (short version currently being restructured with a good 30% redundancies).

Now getting the family Christmas sorted, as well as chilling out to a bunch of Chinese Hong Kong Action movies after hours (aka Kung Fu Christmas). Oh and me and a very excited Henry are off to see the new Star Wars film this afternoon 🙂



On Christmas Day we went to Rachel’s Church as we usually do and a fine time was had by all (even though I’m not a Christian the energy is quite agreeable there and I always have a fine time even if the sermon is a bit dull or dodgy in my opinion).

The Christmas service is always short. The Kids get to bring one of their presents up to the front. Henry treated them to an enthusiastic  explanation of his new Bat Cave. The leader then swiftly goes through all the necessary prayers.  This year instead of a sermon they showed a quick clip of an old James Stewart playing an old man whose imagination brought him into the nativity scene he was putting together and face to face with the baby Jesus.  Here’s a  link on You Tube, its from Mr Kruger’s Christmas.

It’s a monologue wonderfully put together about his relationship with Jesus. I’m sure it resonates with a lot of Christians, but all I could think of while I was watching was of a younger Jimmy Stewart in a film that I watched once and had a huge powerful effect on me. I had no idea why at the age of 10 why the tale of a soft spoken bachelor who believed in a giant white rabbit called Harvey had such a powerful effect on me. Why I thought it would be great to grow up to like Elwood P. Dowd;

“Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

I must watch the whole thing again. For me it has a lovely whimsy, at worst heartwarming and uplifting, at best sincere and truthfully.

This scene I find especially touching and relevant at this point.