All downhill from here….

Well, I am guessing you have taken the decorations down and your fridge is almost empty, with all the left overs consumed and only a few half filled bottles of alcohol left. Christmas and New Year celebrations are over and most people are considering the dreadful prospective of returning to work – if they have not only ready returned! For me the best time of the year is over and it’s downhill from here on in! Why? well the reasons are simple!

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Unlike the majority of the population, I’m not really a summer sort of guy. I’m not that keen on light nights and hot weather is definitely not for me! Although many people are looking forward to the warmer weather and the summer vacations, for me the best time of the year has sadly come to an end. You might think I am weird, but my favourite months of the year are from September to December. Before you make a hasty judgment, let me explain.

  • The season of Autumn – Autumn brings with it my favourite type of weather. I’ve already mentioned that I am not a hot weather sort of guy. Although it is nice to wear short and tshirts, I don’t like being hot at all. Autumn weather is generally, wind and rain. For me, there is nothing better than being snuggled in a warm duvet while hearing wind and rain outside or even sat in the car listening to the rain hitting the roof of the car. I enjoy walking with my hood up in a warm coat in wet weather and although defrosting the car can be a pain, those first frosts can make the world suddenly crisp and white. As well as the weather autumn brings fantastic colours to the world – there is nothing better than trees providing a final flourish of colour before shedding their leaves for winter. The preparation for winter is mirrored with the hibernating animals and conkers and other seeds. You get an extra hour in bed when the clocks go back and although your heating bill might go up, there is nothing better than drinking soup in autumn.

  • Festivals – I’ve already mentioned Christmas and New Year in the introduction, but within the months, September to December, there are also all the best celebrations. Harvest, Halloween (and All Saints day), Bonfire Night and of course Christmas and New Year! What can you not like about these festivals! The dark nights have settled in and there is something quite special about shopping with the lights all a glow throughout town. I know many have become commercialised but putting this aside, there is plenty for the family and children to get involved in. Compared to the rest of the year these months seem to be packed – the rest of the year appears to be some devoid of festivals!

  • New Beginnings – Within these four months you actually get two new beginnings. The first being September when the new academic year starts and new people are starting new jobs and new students/children are returning to school/college/university after the long summer break with new targets and commitments. You might thing that the second new beginning is not actually in within my favourite months, but for me it is :). Starting a new year is a new beginning and, although the new year officially starts on the first January, for me the celebration and thoughts actually happen on new year eve. I’m going to have this one – sorry

  • I could probably go on and on about these months – but I think I have made my point. I wanted to present the case for these months rather than against the other months – I always want to stay positive. I’m actually feel that there is not much to look forward to now in the year – we will even lose an hour when the clocks jump forward! I frequently see on Facebook, shortly after Christmas, people posting images of the countdown to Christmas again. For me, I try and stay positive and thing that in eight months time, September will be back again.

    So what is your favourite time/months of the year? Do you agree with me or are you already longing for those summer months?

    If you have enjoyed reading this blog post then please feel free to either rate it or add a comment below. I publish to my blog about Teaching, Tech and Twaddle every week and follow me on Twitter to see when I post my next blog post. Hope you enjoy the last few days of the holidays and best wishes for the new year!

    2 comments for “Let Me In! – Simon’s Cat – YouTube

    1. February 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Would be cool to play an one off, one of the dungeon crawls you made! Maybe the 8 level one!!!

    2. March 21, 2017 at 12:05 am

      I miss those early days so much. The current state of rpg’s , the rpg xubculture if you like, doesn’t feel like it did back then. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

      I was introduced to Advanced D&D 1st Edition, by my sisters boyfriend (the BEST boyfriend of the many she had IMHO..), who showed me S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks module after discovering I enjoyed computer based adventure games, I was hooked immediately and it wasn’t too long before I was hanging around the local game shop, Games Gallery, from which I was invited to join in a game run by the assistant manager, who was to become my long and good friend Steve, who was coincidentally, the reason I got to work at the local branch of Games Workshop for a time. Working there, in those days, before it became a Warhammer only shop, was amazing. It was the proverbial kid in the sweet shop!. Staff discount made it even sweeter – 50% off GW’s own products, and 25% off everything else. We also ran a great rpg club, with about 60-80 members at its peak.
      I was always the GM for my main group as no one else had the time it took to prepare a game properly, though after a few changes to the group, and people from the club popping up, I eventually got to play. Games by a company called Fantasy Games Unlimited (FGU) were very popular in all of my groups. FGU sold games such as Bushido, Aftermath,Space Opera, Chivalry & Sorcery, Freedom Fighters, and Bunnies & Burrows, but there were many many more games, by many different companies, covering all sorts of genres – and I still have them all. Many were, as was the style back then, table and chart and rule HEAVY. We loved that. Comparing themto the current crop of “rules lite” systems, I would certainly go back to the old games instead. We played these games sometimes 5 days a week, as for a time we were all unemployed. It was all we did.
      I often spent days creating scenarios, making maps, creating player characters as well as npc’s. I found it quite therapeutic, as is miniature painting – thousands of the little buggers packed away testify to the time I spent doing it. My “toy soldiers” as my brother in law calls them…
      I used to get quite attached to my favourite characters, and whilst one or two died over the decades, most did not.
      For almost all of my characters I would go overboard by most people’s standards. I like to have an image for my characters, whether a photo or artwork. Sometimes I will see an image and that is the base for the whole character, built around the image.
      I always believed as a player, that giving the GM a detailed background, list of goals, motivations, friends, contacts and enemies, will help the GM bring my character into the game more, by using some of what I have given him in the game. As a GM I like to see what players come up with for their characters, and will often use it in the game. It involves the player more, makes the game more personal if part of the game is suddenly about them, and it can help the players become more invested in their characters.
      For myself, I would often map out the characters home, create a family tree, siblings, etc.
      For our Star Trek RPG (by FASA Corp), I created the whole crew of a 500+ personnel star ship… All as detailed player characters. Unnecessary and a bit OTT I know, but it helped bring every department on the ship alive, every member of the landing party was a person not simply a red shirt.

      I am often bemused whilst watching streams when I see the gm of a streamed game pull some “new” idea out of his box of tricks, and the players are like “wow!”, “that’s original”, “I would never have thought of doing it that way!”, knowing we did it 30-40 years ago.

      The games my most recent group and I played/ran, were very detailed games with a lot of depth. Quite dark games too, mature themed, and often very emotional and intense. Having played with the same people for nigh on 20 years, you create a bond, a closeness and familiarity that allows you to communicate in a way you couldn’t, with people you don’t know very well.
      I have been brought to tears several times in recent years during the last (decade long) game we played ,as some scenes were simply too emotional or powerful, overwhelming (GM was a bastard – but an EXCELLENT GM).

      Sadly the group folded, but the GM offered to keep the game going for just me, which he did for a few years, which to be honest I really needed, as it helped me through a bad depression at that time).
      Over the years I have experienced a lot of things because of rpg’s, and made some great friends, too. I have a lot to be grateful for, regarding rpg’s. I was discussing with my brother in law, my collection of rpg’s and miniatures. When he realised how much they are worth, (some regularly sell for £100’s!) he always tells me to sell sell sell. He doesn’t grasp what they mean to me .
      Yet I won’t. Part of me hopes and prays that I will get a local group together (even some of the old group!) and start using them again. But aside from that, as my memory fails, little by little each year, these boxes and books and miniatures on the shelves are my constant reminders of happy and sad and exciting moments, and great fun, and more importantly, great friends.

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