Ups and Downs

Been a long, long week. As I mentioned in my alt.fiction update, I started to feel really poorly by Sunday afternoon. I went for a job interview on Monday feeling not unlike this.


Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get the job which was just what I needed when I was already at a low ebb. At this point, I was something like this.

I was a poorly bear.

However, being the Hero that I am, I went into work on Tuesday morning. I lasted until lunchtime before I was kicked out of the building and told to go home. I then spent the remainder of the week feeling very unwell and generally deflated. I rallied a little a couple of times, but then immediately felt the aches and general unwellness kick in. I did no writing, I largely stayed on the sofa feeling pathetically sorry for myself and wishing that I didn’t hate the taste of Lemsips so much. I can honestly say that’s the first time in years that I’ve felt like that and I hope it doesn’t happen again for a long, long time.

On Friday, I braved the outside world and took the train down to London, in preparation for Salute 2012, which was held at the ExCel Centre over in the Docklands. Much rage was experienced and contained on the train trip down, followed by meeting with my dad and brother at King’s Cross. We wandered to Soho and popped into the new Choccywoccydoodah shop on Foubert’s Place, where I dared to try a slab – and a slab was what it was – of their spectacular ginger cake. Oh my god.

Oh. My. God.

It was immense. It was delicious. And it complete beat me. Phenomenally delicious and served with raspberry coulis and a blob of ice cream. It was, as they say, just what the doctor ordered. Wish I’d had that on Tuesday when I was at my lowest ebb!

Once that was dealt with, we braved the horrors of the Tube and found our way to the Ibis Hotel, Docklands.

Instead of the Ibis Hotel, Docklands ExCel.

I’m sure you can see where this is going.

After making some embarrassed noises to my family, we continued down the Docklands Light Railway to the wrong station and walked the rest of the way. Finally, we located theright hotel, where a poor unfortunate couple were trying to check in, only to be told that they should have been at the Ibis Hotel, Docklands. I felt their pain.

My dad and brother departed and I chilled out for a while before meeting up with the BL and Forgeworld guys for dinner. I can honestly say that a night of that much laughter really did me good (although being made laugh so hard that you snort rum and coke out of your nose is not THAT good) and come Saturday morning, I was up bright and early for breakfast. I fought my way through the hotel-full of synchronised swimmers from assorted countries (no, really) and discovered that there were no bowls, cups, coffee, spoons or in fact anything useful. Eventually I managed to get a bowl of cornflakes and a croissant. Hooray!

Headed into the ExCel with the guys and ran around making myself useful. It’s an interesting personality quirk; if I’m with people who are being busy, I have to help, even if only to fetch gaffer tape, or do a coffee run. I’ve always been like that. When I was a kid, I’d go to birthday parties and spend a lot of the time helping the Mum tidy up or prepare things. I can’t help it. It’s like my pathologically early for everything character trait.

I was astounded by the size of the place. Seriously, it was huge. This was my first time at a Salute event and I was blown away by the number of stands. I took a wander around and went ‘oooh’ and ‘aaaah’ a lot at the various things and was really impressed at the range of figures. After it all kicked off and I signed a few books and spoke to a few people (sadly not copies of Valkia the Bloody: she didn’t make it to the event), I noticed the vast difference in the wargaming hobby as a whole to Warhammer in particular. I’ve been to several Games Days now and I can say that the male/female ratio is far less even at Salute. The appeal of Warhammer clearly involves women far more: I guess it’s the high street element of the hobby, or perhaps the books (which was what got me into it, after all).

I spent my money at Forgeworld; I now own a Contemptor Dreadnought who’s waiting patiently to be built and painted before taking his place alongside the Silver Skulls army. I also bought a Minotaurs Chapter Master/Chaplain for Dearly Beloved, because he wanted one and I’m justnice.

All too soon, it was time to depart and find my way back across London. I was quite glad, because by now I was starting to flag again. M’colleague and mentor Jim Swallow escorted me all the way back to the train like the true gent that he is. The train departed without a hitch and before I knew it, Durham was the next station. Came home. Collapsed in a little heap and slept.

Sunday, I slept some more.

Today, I went back to work although I’m still not at 100% fitness.

Project: ME, ME, ME is a bit behind as a result of being poorly, but my INCREDIBLY KIND AND HUGELY TALENTED EDITOR has given me an extension. Me being me, I’ll probably still hand it in on time, though. I can’t help myself. But it’s nice to have the safety net.

So it’s been a week of ups and downs, but now normality – or at least what passes for it – has been restored.

To end this entry, here is a picture that makes you REALLY THINK.



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