Witcher & Writing

I have recently been playing a bit of The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt and loving it!
Having a huge world to explore on horseback and kill monsters and harvest their bodies for alchemy ingredients to make potions with is just great!
Yeah sure I can take a wrong turn straight into a high level enemy and get obliterated but that is part of the fun! Mark it and move on.
I am a little naughty though as I couldn’t resist getting Witcher 3 even though I have not finished Witcher 1 or 2, which I understand follows on but I am familiar enough with the characters and basic plot to understand what is going on even so.
I have had to start Witcher 1 Enhanced Edition again due to my long term save becoming corrupted or something, meaning I could no longer carry on with the main quest which annoyed me no end as I was pretty far in.
I have also recently picked up Witcher 2 for the 360 as it is backwards compatible with the Xbox One and had to start that again too so all fresh starts all round!

I have also been getting back into my Udemy courses on accounting software and Python programming language which seems to be going well.
I had installed Python Anaconda where you get the core language plus a metric ton of additional libraries for use as well as an IDE and a few other tools which I have literally no idea what they are for.
Problem is, I had to uninstall the old versions of Anaconda, which also uninstalled the new one for some reason then had to reinstall everything! Oh well, it seems to work fine now albeit a little slow.
Once I have completed all the courses on Python, I will be moving onto C# which is another language I would like to use for making my own game eventually.

Writing has been a little slow recently due to my health and my penchant for getting distracted by games or the Internet, but I have been watching loads of writing videos on YouTube and feel quite inspired to write again now and also bought a couple of books recently which are proving to be a good read (Your First Novel and The Writer’s Idea Thesaurus) which were recommended by YouTuber and author Kristen Martin who I have been binge watching in recent weeks! Go check out her channel!

Well, I am off to do some more writing so I will end it here, thank you for reading and have a great week!

A Small Update

Well, it has been a while since my last update.
We visited relatives in Wales recently which was nice, though there were a lot of train and bus journeys in unfamiliar territory!
We went bowling, played air hockey and visited Caerphilly Castle which was good for a few pictures.
We also had a lovely fried breakfast in a cafe in Merthyr after doing the charity shops and markets.
I even found an unopened copy of Star Munchkin for £3 in a charity shop which I snagged very quickly seeing as it is nearly £20 online!
When we got home, we opened the box after reading it was for 3-6 players and that had previously put me off buying any of the munchkin games but it turns out to be a whole lot of fun with just 2 players and we rapidly bought the expansions for it and now it has been added to our lounge/gaming room collection!
I can recommend it if you like killing monsters, taking their stuff and screwing over your friends! (as it says on the box!).

One nice thing about Aberdare is the views from the top of the garden were fantastic and more pictures were taken, though there is the small matter of the steep road/cliff face that you need to traverse to get to the house which tired us both out! But we enjoyed the sun and sat out in the garden enjoying the quiet before venturing indoors to play Red November and Mille Bornes, two other games I can highly recommend.

One good thing about using the bus every day was we got to see a lot of the Welsh countryside.

We did miss our little furbaby Milo terribly though and we asked our friend who was kittysitting for us to send us daily pictures and updates to help, though he was glad to see us when we got home and it was cuddles all round (from Milo that is!).

Recently, I have been toying with Dwarf Fortress again, more specifically the Mod Dwarf Fortress Masterwork, which is not for the faint hearted! I usually use the Lazy Newb Pack as it has all the mods and utiities you will ever need to run your fort, though Masterwork has all these tools and then some, I am hoping to learn enough of MW DF to post AAR’s on here for anyone who may be interested in reading how quickly my fort falls!

I have also been enjoying Fallout 4 and Alien:Isolation on the Xbox, which are both great games in their own right, though on Fallout, I tend to just drift around in survival mode and try not to get killed rather than doing any of the missions! I strongly recommend playing on survival once you have some experience with the game on normal difficulty first (it is a whole different beast of a game that way!) so far, I am only a few levels in on my survival character though enjoying every minute of it! Though I do need to go back to my main character and finish the game (which won’t be anytime soon).

Well, I will finish off here, I hope you enjoyed this small update and I have given you a few games to go and try!

Now im off to Scrivener to try and get some writing done!

Volunteering and Gaming

Hi all! it’s been a long time since my last post, but here i am with a fresh new one to thrill and amaze!
Volunteer work has kept me busy over the intervening period as well as my long suffering wife Tracey.
Sadly, our time with the council run local library came to an end as the library closed, though we did walk away with a friend and reference in our boss.

We then started volunteering for the Maritime Archaeology Trust identifying and recording lost wrecks from World War One, which goes right down my alley, being able to use my Google-Fu to tease any extra data from the Interweb!

I started volunteering at a local cafe which went really well and I discovered that maybe i could go back into a fast paced dynamic kitchen environment again after so many years away, there i gained valuable experience both in the back and out the front and remember my time there fondly (even one day when the freezers needed to be scraped out and cleaned which was fun! 😉

Recently, I started volunteering at a charity shop with Tracey and a friend to gain valuable retail experience and also with the Council again with the Museum Collections Service, digitising old records, which suits me fine being up to my neck in old records and entering them into a spreadsheet, which is probably as boring as it sounds to most, but to me it gives me a chance to brush up on my Excel skills! though some of that writing can be tricky to read!

I have been slowly coming around to my games again after a long time being unable to do so for health reasons and have been particularly enjoying Microsoft Flight Simulator X:Steam Edition and Euro Truck Simulator 2 with the amazing Promods, Rusmaps, and Jazzycat Trailer & AI Traffic mods amongst others (which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone who has ever fancied taking a truck across Europe!).

I love Simulators, 4X games and RPG’s and I am hoping to take this blog in a slightly different direction in the future.

I will be keeping to these small ‘updates’ about my life, but will also be talking about what games i have been enjoying recently and what mods I can recommend based on my personal preference.

I have also been enjoying Mass Effect Andromeda and Fallout 4 on Xbox way more than i probably should but Tracey and I have an understanding so I get games during the day, then we veg out and watch our series and maybe a film or two afterwards in the evening with dinner.  It works really well for us.

Being a huge, huge fan of the Mass Effect franchise, the release of Andromeda was greatly anticipated by me but due to being unable to run it on my PC and not owning an Xbox One, I couldn’t play it, but careful saving and a liberal splash of trading in old games and hardware in our local CEX, i managed to finally join the current-gen club!
I have not tested the mods feature of Fallout 4 yet, but when i get around to it, there are definitely a couple i would like to try out (though part of me is saying wait for a PC upgrade and get it on PC too for more modding fun and mod managers!).

Well, on top of all this, I have been trying to write where and when i can.  I have the software, the hardware and no excuses yet still struggle at times.

I have a collaborative fiction piece with my brother in law which is going really well and we are both enjoying it (yes, i will get back to it i promise! 😉

I have my blog, which as you have all realised has been somewhat abandoned of late (okay longer than that!) and i am working on my novel of which i hope to be able to post updates on here very soon.

And then there is my reading… thanks to Amazon and Bookbub, i have been able to expand my Kindle library to probably over a hundred books nearly all of which were free (book 1’s of a series or really old) or were heavily discounted, which is all great on paper, but with everything going on, I tend to just want to chill out with YouTube videos at bedtime (yes i know videos are probably not the best thing to be doing in bed!) though my Watch Later list grows by the day and the amount of series I have started watching of various game Let’s Plays also never seems to shrink!

I think that is all i have for you today, sorry about the long wait to those of you who read this blog, but i hope to get back in the saddle again quickly so please bear with me!

Smart Meter, Rummy and Books!

Well we have just had our new Southern Electric Smart Meter installed and said goodbye to the Engineer after a brief demo of our new system.
We can now monitor our electric and gas usage in real time which is really cool and has had me switching things on and running back to the hand held monitor to see the difference!.
The only weird thing is when i plugged the monitor into a free plug socket and switched it on to save the batteries, our usage dropped, not sure why.
Over the next seven weeks, it will learn our usage habits and adapt itself accordingly, so it will be interesting  to see what happens!.
While the Engineer was busy downstairs, we had no power for a brief time, so with no Internet, PCs or TV, we were forced to rely on other ways of amusing ourselves for the duration.

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Football Manager Addiction!

Football Manager was named in 35 divorce cases in the UK.

Having played a fair few hours of it over the last couple of weeks I can see why.

I am not a huge follower of football and will be the first to put my hand up and admit I know next to nothing about football strategy and tactics (though I have printed out a few guides and read a lot of articles to increase my knowledge somewhat).  I understand they have streamlined  the game and improved vastly upon it since my last foray into Football Manager (2012) and I have found this version (2014) to be a lot simpler and more intuitive than the last one I played (I know it’s all a matter of opinion but I am getting on with this version better than 2010 or 2012 somehow).  Even though I am not a huge football fanatic, I still find this game highly addictive and think about it even when i’m not playing it and planning for my next session!.

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Games, Glorious Games!

Well, it has been a long time since my last post.

I think it is for a variety of reasons, chiefly being the fact that I am now well and truly back into my games and spend time on them when I should be writing.

I have definitely turned into a steam addict and my game collection grows by the week (though now Tracey has given me an allowance each fortnight!).

Lately, I have been mainly playing Crusader Kings II (where I am trying my hardest to become the King of Ireland [unsuccessfully] as YouTube recommends to new players), X2:The Threat (I am making my annual attempt at an X:Marathon where I start with X:Beyond the Frontier and progress through X:Tension, X2:The Threat, X3:Reunion and X3:Terran Conflict building my empire before finally getting my hands on X3: Albion Prelude and finally X:Rebirth if my PC can handle it).

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A Relaxing Weekend?

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just got in from a rather hot walk up to the big Tesco’s up the road.

Tracey made the whole trip there and back without stopping which is a huge achievement at this stage of her recovery.

Now we are both sat down with a cold drink and I thought it would be a good time to write.

Yesterday, we had to make another trip to Southampton, firstly to return a cheap pair of speakers we bought for Tracey’s computer, and secondly to return a game (Stardrive) that we bought from CEX and turned out to be a Steam game that had already been activated.

CEX were great, they refunded me straight away and the voucher went towards… (and I am almost ashamed to say this)  LEGO Star Wars The Original Trilogy.

In my defence, I am trying to get more games that both Tracey and I can play together and we are both Star Wars and Lego fans and the games came recommended so thought it was worth a try!.

Continue reading “A Relaxing Weekend?”