December 26, 2005

It's Christmas!

Well, that went with minimal hassles. Family were pleased with the new computer I bought them. I was pleased with some extra RAM for my computer.

Church was good in the morning. We played the cool harmonies in the last verses of O come all ye faithful and Hark the herald, which was fun. The sermon was fairly standard for one about the Christmas message, but not too patronising, which was a bonus.

Regretted not being able to ring for midnight mass yesterday, but it would have required super speed to get from the church where I ring to the church where I was going for the service. Oh well. Ringing will resume in the new year.

Seems odd saying new year relating to January. It's normally September.

September 29, 2005

I'm not dead!

I know I've not updated for ages. It's been hectic.

This is just a note to say I'm back at uni OK (Hurst, woohoo!) and I'm still alive and well. I'll try and get a few more interesting things up here soonish.

August 04, 2005

My sister

Follow-up to Hospital from Tom's blog

Update: She's out of hospital, and seems non too worse for wear, apart from being a bit dejected (she couldn't go back to guide camp). Apparently it was something along the lines of a panic attack, but they're not quite sure what.


My little sister's in hospital. We got a phone call earlier – she was at guide camp at the time. Apparently it's something along the lines of an asthma attack – but I wasn't aware she was asthmatic (and unless I am misinformed, neither was she!)

Here's hoping she gets out soon.

July 16, 2005

Harry Potter

Well, I'm half way through book 6, and taking a break from reading for a bit. I won't put any spoilers up here (yet!), but so far this book appears to be a solidly written novel that fits in well with the series. I'm glad to see Harry seems to have pulled his head in a bit since Book 5!

So did I go out and buy it at midnight last night? Nope – I waited until this morning. However, I can empathise with those who did – I imagine it's not so much about a "can't live without Harry Potter" type addiction, but more a way of socialising with people with similar interests, and just a chance to have a good time.

I was present at the release of the latest version of the MacOS, which was also the opening of the Birmingham Apple store. That, to some, would rank way up there in the geek hall of fame, and possibly even greater than buying Harry Potter at midnight. But for me, queuing for two hours surrounded by Apple fans was more a social thing than anything. A common interest helps in social relations – I'm sure there's something in my Social Psychology notes to explain that.

What I'm trying to say is the subject of interest is not necessarily the motive in itself, but a means of facilitating interaction. While it's unlikely you'd have a good time queuing for something that did not interest you, the thing you're queuing for is merely one part of the enjoyment which such an event can bring.

So to sum up, it's not that sad, waiting until midnight for the release of a book!

July 07, 2005


Maelstrom is a LARP event. LARP stands for Live Action Role Playing. Now, before you get excited, it doesn't involve any form of kinky bondage gear (that I'm aware of!) – instead, it involves hundreds of people running about in a field full of tents, wearing ridiculous costumes and carrying latex swords.

But why would anyone do such a thing?

Well, Maelstrom is a fantasy LARP, and it is player driven. This means that there's no staff members sitting in offices deciding on the plot – it happens based on what players do at the events. There's 4 events a year, and you can do almost what you like. Players are (usually) allied to one of a series of different nations, and all of them are in different levels of good or bad standing with the others. So when you're there, you can interact with anyone, but if things get a bit nasty and someone 'forgets' about an alliance you may end up with a knife in your back!

"What do you actually do at Maelstrom?" I hear you cry. Each character starts off with a few skills – I'm an architect, so I have skills at building – and you can use your skills in different ways. Putting up a building obviously takes longer than one event, so I do that between events by logging onto their website. So when I'm actually there, I can go round trying to sell buildings to people, or spending the cash I made doing that. There are also various tournaments to enter, and a casino and a well-stocked tavern.

Other people may have skills that are more useful at the events. Surgeons can treat people who came off worse in a fight, for example. Sorcerers have a variety of spells that can be used; alas, I know little about what they do. Alchemists can make potions that do anything from improving the flavour of food to making you horny. You might think an architect, whose buildings don't appear to affect the event, would be a poor choice. However, buildings can bring in money (guildhouses), resources (mines), or food (farms). These are all useful in the game. Also, smithys and workshops can help train up new craftsmen and allow them to work faster in the future. There is also a whole range of military buildings, which would be helpful if our colony ever goes to war.

So, to sum up: Maelstrom is appealing to me because it's like a blank slate. Roleplaying a totally new character allows you to try out a persona which you would never dare do in real life. You can be reckless, and if you die then you just create a new character and start again. It has the same sort of appeal as games like The Sims, or reality TV - the appeal of a series of interlinked 'lives' which are not real, and yet the player is totally immersed in them.

A little about me

To those who don't know me, why on earth are you reading my blog? ;)

Anyhow, I'm a psychology student at Warwick, and just about to go into my third year. Eeek, scary! I'm also a bell-ringer, which is just as scary. When at home I live in Whaley Bridge, which makes me a northerner!

I am also a Christian, and am on the exec (publicity officer) for Christian Focus here at Warwick. (I'm also handbell master for the bell ringing society.) I attend the Chaplaincy service on Sundays, and am a recently confirmed Anglican.

More will unfold over time. For now, that's your lot!

Merry Christmas!

Well, here I am trying to create a blog once more. Previous attempts were all doomed to failure but this one may well work. Fingers crossed anyway :)

It's the middle of summer now, so of course I chose the Christmas theme. Hey, if you're going to offer it all year round then somebody's got to take it!

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