My weird life – Routines, Germs and touching….

Ok, so you have suffered what I don’t look cool in, the continuing saga of my radio journey and some interesting posts about games and voice servers. After suffering all of those, I thought it was time for you to have a treat – a well done reward for enduring those aspects of my life. What is the reward? Well the next amazing installment of my weird life series! No, please don’t applaud, no whistling please, just keep reading – it is all part of my giving nature. What is this next installment covering, well it sounds a bit strange, but it is all about germs, routines and touching. No connection between those? well… just you wait and see.

I never know what to actually share with you in these posts – are there certain things that I should not put out there on the internet because of how personal they are to me? I often wonder whether writing these posts actually causes some people to be very judgmental about my life and the weirdness which abounds there. So far we have covered sleeping and drinking and, although you might have been expecting eating, I have deviated onto my almost OCD nature to give you some insight into that. I completely recognise that I do not have OCD to a great extend, but it is just easier to describe some of my quirks like that in order to put them into context. You might find it hard to believe, I was once very much agoraphobic – an part of my life which I rarely engage with and, to be honest, hardly remember, apart from some rather traumatic events which I would rather forget. I strongly believe that everything which we encounter and endure makes us the person we are today and as a result of those ‘dark’ years – I did learn to love coffee shops – why? well its too long to explain it in this post, however I did write a post about it.. Anyway – back to germs, routines and touching – what do they have in common? – well, they all give me a huge amount of anxiety!

  • Routines – Being a geeky mathematician/computer/science person, you can quite believe that I enjoy order and logic in my life. For me it seems very sensible that things should be done at a certain time and, if this time is appropriate for this action, then it should stay in that place. This way of thinking leads me to create routines which have been developed over months to be well established within my life. Most people have morning routines – when to go to the bathroom, when to drink your coffee, when to brush your teeth and growing up in a house with five other people, the schedule for the bathroom in the morning was quite strict and if you did not adhere to this and you missed your slot, then that was it, you would be hanging on for ages! My routines extend beyond the normal routine for getting ready for work. They include routines for days off, bank holidays and even the evenings. Work is a section within my day but in any time after work, I fall into my reassuring routines. I say reassuring because if anything happens to alter them then I do quite seriously get very very stressed out about it. The changes that can set this stress levels off can be as small as someone parking in the space where I usually park my car to someone needing to be picked up at a time that I would usually be writing this blog post. Work can change a lot, but generally I am in work doing something from about 8:30 until 18:00. If these change then anxiety creeps in and stress levels start to rise. I get an awful feeling of dread the night before I have to do something different – this might be a simple change like going into a school rather than going to university. There are probably many things everyone would like to change about their lives but I really would like to become more impulsive – but I’m not sure that this is ever going to happen. Even if I plan to be impulsive – if that makes sense – it still causes the anxiety. The only difference is that it lasts for longer before the event! Now, I know that my family don’t actually tell me things so that I can’t get worked up about it – its funny how they know me so well – good title for a song that šŸ™‚

  • Germs – The world is such a dirty place – have you noticed that? Illness is everywhere and it often appears that we are spending more time recovering from something than actually being free of illness. And what is the cause of most of these illnesses – germs…and they are everywhere!!! I don’t like the idea of germs being everywhere and will actively try to avoid people who are ill. Hospitals are the worse place to visit! Yes they can cure you but in my mind there are just a concentrated area where all the people with ‘germs’ are brought and put together! My stress levels when I have to go into a hospital are off the scale! Most people might suspect that I am some sort of compulsive cleaner and that everywhere I go is kept super clean and tidy. Interestingly enough this is not how my issue with germs manifests itself. In my mind I have safe areas where the only germs are my own which I am happy with. Where I live is one of those areas, so I will, as soon as I arrive home, wash my hands so that I don’t bring any germs in with me. The same as my office at work and places like my car. The rest of the places I visit are germ havens! Of course, I always carry antibacterial hand-wash around with me. If someone touches my pen or my ipad or even my presentation clicker, then this needs to be cleaned – before I will touch it again. Do you remember the saying you used to say if you dropped something on the floor which you were going to eat? We always used to say ‘God kissed it, devil missed it’ and then pop it into our mouths. Well to me, not even god has the power to kill the germs and if I am in any doubt about the cleanliness of food or items, it goes straight into the bin. And if a dog comes near me and there is a chance of licking occurring then I am out of there!

  • People – Oh dear – this is a strange one. As you might expect from reading the previous section I am not keen on shaking people’s hands at all. One thing I really dread is when I meet someone new and they out stretch their hand to shake mine. The actual shaking doesn’t worry me, its what is then on my hand and what should I do with it – not the germs, my hand. I have learned, or someone told me, that it is not very polite to wash my hand with the aforementioned hand-wash straight after someone has shook it so I am presented with a dilemma. I know it sounds strange or maybe weird, but I can’t actually do much with that hand until I have washed it. Often I just let it hang by my side in a weird gesture. I’ve actually caught people who know about the stress it is causing me, smiling as they see the dilemma I have been faced with. But my stress with people goes much deeper than just hand shaking. I don’t like people getting too close. When I say close, I mean it what I define as my personal space. I feel like they are towering over me threateningly or that they are going to touch me if they get too close. I like to sit on the end of rows or on single tables – public transport is a nightmare for me. And then there is the actual touching. Would you believe that I am getting shivers and stressed just thinking about it and typing it. There are certain things that are….quite frankly…off the list to do. People often show affection by touching or hugging. I once set myself a new year’s resolution, and this is going to sound awful, to actually hug my mum whenever I departed from her presence. I did manage it for some time but now it only occurs, on special occasions, like Christmas when I have prepared myself for it and do it. Now we probably enjoy a virtual hug. Please believe me, its nothing today with my mum, it is just the physical aspect of hugging. And as for touching. I sometimes wonder if I have super sensitive skin or something, but the thought of someone actually touching my skin is very stressful – especially my neck! Luckily I have a very understanding hairdresser who has mastered that art of putting the cover round me when she cuts my hair to avoid touching my neck at all – although sometimes she does say -“if you keep trying to move you will make it worse!”. The actual clippers touching my neck causes me no issues – its just human contact. I can sense some of you smiling reading this thinking that you might be considering approaching me and touching my neck when I am least expecting it. Someone once did that and she suddenly enjoyed the pint of cola I was holding at the time.
  • I really have no idea what you are thinking about me at the present moment in time – you might not have actually reached this part of the post due to the weirdness of it. With work I am sure that I could probably overcome most of these issues – but at the moment, they do appear to be there for ever. I am reminded of a saying that I once heard and which I like to remind myself of everytime I engage with any aspect of my ‘weirdness’. Be who you are and say what you think, because the people who mind don’t matter and the people who matter don’t mind. After reading this I hope you are still in that second group of people who actually don’t mind and still accept me despite my weirdness. And, if you are and I do have to ever shake your hand, please give me permission to wash it immediately since it will make me more relaxed for the rest of the meeting.

    Right I’m off to see if I can park my car in my usual parking place but if you have any comments about this post – apart from OMG!, then please feel free to add your comments below or send them to me via Twitter, Facebook or any of my social media accounts.

    You can keep up to date with my content by following me on Twitch, Twitter and Facebook. If you are interested in joining or playing Minecraft, then you can join the server and website here. Of course any subscribers to my YouTube channel are always appreciated.

    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 Ā£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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