Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Wendy House Wednesday: Shredding

Shred any bank statements older than six years. And if you have any other paperwork hanging around, make a plan for processing it.

The instructions are:

  • Don't over-think. 
  • Spend no more than 15 minutes. 
  • It doesn't have to be perfect.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wendy House Wednesday: Virus check

The instructions are:

  • Don't over-think. 
  • Spend no more than 15 minutes. 
  • It doesn't have to be perfect.

Run a virus check on your computer.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Wendy House Wednesday: Spice


Well that was a mission and a half. Here is my spice and condiment department. It's spread over three shelves and I do use most of the spices at least once a month. I try to wipe each jar every time I use it so the rarely-used jars get a bit fluffy and of course the shelves themselves need cleaning and certain items that don't belong (can you see the postcard and the mac button) need to go to their proper homes. Because Bettany and Alec were only tenuously employed (him with a game on the tablet and her practising her rolling on the floor) I decided to set my timer and tackle just one shelf at a time.

It was a case of move a couple of jars, roll Bettany over on to her back. Wipe a jar, help Alec guide his fire engine through the maze. Wipe another jar, re-roll Bettany. Wipe a jar, ask Alec to turn the siren off. Wipe a jar, re-re-roll Bettany. The bottom shelf jars were spread across the worktop, half of them dusted, half of them not when Bettany started howling because she had wedged herself against the back door and Alec started howling because he, like me, had run out of time on his game.

Nick came to the rescue and finished the job for me while I was telling Alec firmly that he needed a nap.

This is one of those tasks that I don't do often enough -- but now I know a shelf takes just over 15 minutes I'll feel more confident about tackling it.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wendy House Wednesday: Spice up your life

The instructions are:
  • Don't over-think. 
  • Spend no more than 15 minutes. 
  • It doesn't have to be perfect.
Quarter of an hour straightening the spice cupboard. Sniff some favourites while you’re in there (and do let us know what you found).

Thursday, 10 October 2013

A Night Elf in Ironforge

This adventure was spent in and around the Dwarven(fish?) city of Ironforge. It had two strands: one was accumulating more information about the party I am following. Honrid and Tikka are now wanted for murdering their parents and there is a hefty reward offered, which I might try to get for myself. Ironforge is their home city so several people knew them -- I feel as if I'm definitely on the right track with my

The second strand found me hijacked by my colleagues in SI6 -- Sylvya was rather irritated by this, particularly because as a Night Elf she doesn't like doing favours for Dwarfs: being told to do something 'because it's your job' is just annoying. And I could feel her blood pressure rising as she once again had to remind a contact that she hadn't been paid recently.

Anyway -- a mysterious 'scroungy-looking' man on the tram told her to speak to a barman at a gnomish inn and say 'MK sent me'. I didn't write down my instructions and Bettany distracted me and then I found I had forgotten them when the time came. Luckily I remembered enough that the barman gave me a note (which I carefully copied into my spy diary).

The instructions told me to access a legendary undercity called Old Ironforge and check what the Dark Iron Dwarfs were up to down there. I was to get more information by handing over two oranges to a party called Huldur Blackbeard, who I would find in The Forlorn Cavern. I was to take my information over the mountains to Mikhal at Menethil Harbour. I spent some time enjoying Ironforge (you, too, can enjoy Ironforge on the WoW Wiki), chatting to people (mostly slightly unfriendly to a Night Elf tourist). I concocted a cover story -- I was the servant of a Night Elf scholar who was inexplicably interested in Dark Iron Dwarfs ('I know... scholars eh?')

Then I made my way to The Forlorn Cavern where I found a humourless Dwarf with a black beard:
Sylvya: Do you like fruit?
Dwarf: Depends what kind.
Sylvya: Oranges?
Dwarf: Go on...
Sylvya: I've got ONE orange for you.
Dwarf: ...
Sylvya: Just kidding, here's another.
Dwarf: That kind of thing is going to get you killed.

Blackbeard said that there was a magically concealled entrance outside Ironforge and sent me to a riding ram ranch. He also said that Tikka and Honrid had been framed by an organisation called the Twilight Cult. I waited until morning to set out -- it looked cold and dark outside. This proved to be a mistake in some ways as a black cloaked assassin tried to kill me in the night. I didn't have the advantage of stealth so I yelled for help before slashing away. I got a good stab in with my two daggers before the innkeeper arrived with his trusty frying pan. The human assassin was in a bad way, but he came round for long enough that I could ask him a few questions. He muttered something about a black dragonfly and said that she would have killed him anyway before expiring.

I found a family in mourning -- their daughter had run off with those two troublesome dwarf lads and got herself killed by the Dark Irons. I asked, as delicately as I could -- with NO JOKES this time and staying under my cover story -- if they could tell me about Dark Irons. I followed the farmer's information up into the hills and came across two DIs guarding some rocks. I waited to see how the gate worked -- I didn't want to get stuck inside. Then I nobbled the two guards, looted the bodies and took their ears as trophies before letting myself in.

I nobbled and looted another DI despite some atrocious roll-to-hits. Then I reached a large cavern where there were three more DIs and a lot of large eggs. I decided that I wasn't being paid enough to fight against three. I listened in, and discovered that they were waiting for a lady to visit the following day.

Sylvya could have taken this information off to Mikhal at Menethil Harbour -- but I decided that my superiors might want to know more about the lady so (stopping briefly to hand over my DI ears to the underwhelmingly grateful farmer and to buy a riding ram from him) I hurried back to Blackbeard and told him all. He also displayed underwhelming gratitude and asked me to stake out the concealed entrance and watch for the lady's arrival. Sylvya definitely felt a bit disgruntled about this and asked to be paid for her trouble. Anyway, she waited and was rewarded -- a cloaked lady arrived and turned her pale red-eyed face towards Sylvya's hiding place in a very sinister manner, almost as if she knew she was being watched...

(I need to decide which voice I'm writing in -- it switches between player and character throughout this piece).

Wendy House Wednesday: I see dead people

I set a timer for 15 minutes and went through the contacts book on my email client. I deleted:

  • several people who have died -- it was good to recall them for a moment particularly one writing mentor who passed on very recently
  • people related to jobs I no longer do -- I suspect in most cases the contact details relate to jobs they no longer do either
  • one person who I hope never to come across _ever_ again
  • people from clubs, classes and societies that I am no longer part of
  • travelling friends that I never kept up with.
I felt strange about clearing out the work-related addresses because it reminded me that I've been out of the world for a while now. Most of my mummy-networking is done by face-to-face or by text message so there aren't many parenting contacts in there. I should find a way of merging my phone and email contacts; and I should back them all up, too.

It also made me think about the easy come, easy go nature of a lot of my friendships. There are people that I got on really well with who I never communicate with any more; and people who I had less in common with but who pop up often on my Facebook or Twitter streams. Nick is a lot better at shepherding his friends in the real world than I am. I need face-to-face contact but I find it exhausting so I tend to avoid organising it unless I'm given a good hard shove. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Wendy House Wednesday: Stay in touch

The instructions are:

  • Don't over-think. 
  • Spend no more than 15 minutes. 
  • It doesn't have to be perfect.

Spend some time with your address book – update, cull, clean out. Transfer any details you have stashed on scruffy scraps of paper and new home cards. If it’s electronic do a back-up. Who have you not heard from recently? Who would welcome a postcard?

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sylvya sets out

On Thursday last week (not the Thursday that's just happened, the one before that) Meredith and I sent my new night elf rogue out on her first adventure. We've decided to make her a level 3 character so that she keeps up with the rest of the Tuesday Knights until I (and my character) can rejoin them.

Meredith took the time to teach me how to drive my rogue -- they are a little bit different to your warriors and magic users. They are lightly armoured; and they don't have cure light wounds. This makes them vulnerable in combat so ideally you want to avoid getting hit in the first place. World of Warcraft rogues have stealth which gives them the advantage of surprise, but it switches off if they do anything. This is particularly relevant in combat -- you can't biff an orc on the nose and then disappear again; you have to stand there and finish the fight. When the fighting is over you have to remember to switch stealth back on otherwise you could charge into a situation without the protection of your sneaky advantage. I wrote STEALTH in large letters on my jotter to make sure I remembered. I was thinking that next time I might use a visual aid to remind me: maybe draping a piece of cloth over my miniature (my miniature is presently a Champagne cork with a face drawn on it, borrowed from Alec's toybox).

Sylvya is a spy and her minder sends her on a mission to track a mysterious band consisting of two humans and two dwarfs (ie, the rest of the Tuesday Knights). I followed up a few leads in Darnassus, which led me to talk to a centaur who was willing to provide information in exchange for me doing some sabotage against the Hoard. I trashed some heavy lumberjacking machinery for him and had the time of my life -- it seems Sylvya has a bit of a hippie streak which I will be exploring further.

I got further information from a personable gnome -- I handed him rather a lot of gold and he handed me a rumpled wanted notice for the gang.

I discovered my quarry had set out for The Eastern Kingdoms. This was turning into a major mission with a huge amount of travelling -- luckily Sylvya has no parents so she's well up for it. I got myself a small side commission from the Chief Druid because I gave him news of his protege Galatea and handed over her stuff (the bits I couldn't sell, anyway).

I like information-gathering missions more than the fighty ones; and I like sneaking missions, too, so a rogue will suit me well. I'm a bit disappointed that I forgot about my pickpocketing skills and I failed to loot the body of the goblin that I killed while doing my sabotaging. I want to play Sylvya as a compulsive thief, so I will add a large note to my jotter next time.

Meanwhile, the Tuesday Knights team were continuing their own adventures...

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Wendy House Wednesday: Not stepping down, giving up

I don't have many commitments at the moment as I scaled everything back while I was pregnant. We go to toddler group and a class but that's it, really. I did have a think about whether we enjoy those things -- Alec and I both find it tough to get out of the house to them, but once we're there it's mostly fun and games, so I don't think we should drop either of them.

I looked at some of the things I do every day.
  1. I drink a cup of coffee in the morning and this has become a habit that is probably an addiction to caffeine. I'm OK with this, though -- right now with the broken nights it's what I need to get me through the morning. I've had phases in my life before when I've needed a coffee to get me going. I quit before and I'll quit again when the time is right.
  2. I religiously download the free app of the day on my tablet computer. I'm going to try not doing that as it's a time sink testing out the app to see if I want to keep it.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Eleven Things You Didn't Know About Me

Wynn Anne of Wynn Anne's Meanderings challenged me to write eleven facts about myself.
  1. I love stationery and have enough notebooks to last me until about 2017.
  2. I am a nervous traveller and die a thousand deaths before I've even left home.
  3. I'm done with flying -- not because I'm scared. It's just such a banal experience. It should be marvellous and glamorous and magical like it was in the old days, and it's just not. I hate the humiliating security checks; and being crammed into a too-small seat; and the horrible food; and the way the movie gets stopped suddenly before it's finished; and the way duty free pretends to be something more than shopping to alleviate boredom.
  4. My husband and children have died a thousand times apiece in my terrified imagination. When I wake in the night the first thing I do is check that everyone within reach is still breathing.
  5. Writing is better than prescription drugs.
  6. I have a terribly sweet tooth.
  7. I used to enjoy crafts like embroidery and paper cutting but now I don't.
  8. I miss my old single life from time to time -- particularly when other people talk about having hangovers.
  9. I am too impatient to watch videos or listen to audio -- just write it down and let me read it.
  10. Today is my 1010th day of breastfeeding.
  11. I can't always tell left from right.
I also have to nominate three other blogs -- but I don't really read any at the moment because it's early baby days; I skim Godfather Timothy's Heropress for reports from my gaming crew and I dip into Miriam's Daily Adventures

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Wendy House Wednesday: Step down

The instructions are:
  • Don't over-think. 
  • Spend no more than 15 minutes. 
  • It doesn't have to be perfect.
Identify a regular (or frequent) activity that no longer works for you. What you do with this information is up to you (but feel free to share your story in the comments).