1) Took a day trip to London at the start of the month to visit the British Museum to see an item that I had to write an assignment about for the OU. On our way to the right gallery (which was rather tricky to identify!) we went through a really interesting gallery about the history of currency and money. We also saw some Roman gaming pieces, including a d20 and what looked like they might be assignments in a hidden role game of some sort. It gave me a real visceral sense that those people were genuinely people like me - I wonder what it would have been like to be a geek in Roman times. Followed up with dinner out and a performance of John Finnemore's Souvenir Cabin, which was a lot of fun. I really like living close enough to London to make things like that realistic.
2) Decided to go ahead with the Nissan Leaf purchase - put down the deposit and decided on sonic blue colour.
3) Started my final OU course - A105: Voices, Texts and Material Culture. Lots of very interesting stuff in the first section about the afterlife of objects and the process of curation and museum selection. I'll be sad to finish this degree and still haven't figured out what I want to do about that next year. If the prices were what they were in the old days, I would start another undergrad, perhaps in economics, but these days, that's much more of a hefty decision.
4) Started a Pandemic Legacy campaign with Angharad and Tristam. Overall, this has to be the best board gaming experience I can remember - it was so well constructed and we got really into the story. I won't spoiler it for anyone but if you've played and enjoyed the original Pandemic then I can't recommend this enough.
5) Managed a half term visit to Norfolk and stopped off on the way home to see very tiny new nephew at only about 4 days old. It was lovely to see his brother being very sweet with him, as he's usually a bit manic so that was a side we hadn't really seen before.
1) I started this month with a horrible horrible cold, bad enough that I had to take a couple of days of work, lost my voice and that we annoyingly missed the Souvenir Programme recording we'd got tickets for. However, the gods of BBC ticketing smiled on us and we lucked into tickets for later recording, which was very funny indeed. As always, I vowed to try to see more live comedy and have failed to do anything about finding it.
2) Got the charging point for the new car installed on the outside of my house! Very exciting. Also, given a delivery date for the new car at the start of December, leading to me excitedly planning routes to visit the parents around charging points in Cambridge.
3) Took 46 children on residential in Wales. It rained pretty much all week, and I have to say that I was pretty impressed with how the children coped with the conditions - they were very up for everything, which was great. I took charge of P, the quite autistic child we'd taken with us who expressed all his anxiety by asking constantly if we were going to see any sheep, having seen a dead on on the residential trip they took 2 years ago. We did a waterfall walk, which was gorgeous and were able to go right down and stand behind it, which was quite an experience. I lagged a bit climbing back up the 107 step route back to the main path, and P called down to ask me if I was being slow because I was so round! Made me crack up fortunately, rather than anything else, but still, had to have a "things you don't ask" conversation when I made it to the top :)
4) Nearly died of stress one night at the trip when, on checking the dorms before bed, I discovered 2 empty beds. No sign of the kids in the loos, any of the other dorms, any other part of the building. I woke another member of staff up and was getting steadily more and more freaked out. We went back to their dorm for a final check to make sure they hadn't doubled back and one of the other girls sat up at the torch light. I asked if she'd seen the missing girls and she blithely said "Yes, they're doubling with us"! They'd got in to share the top bunks because they'd left the window open and were feeling chilly!
5) Hmmmm. I'm struggling to think of a 5th thing for November. I think the residential occupied a massive amount of mental and emotional energy this month and I certainly remember needing quite a bit of recovery time afterwards. It's the first time I'd been in charge of a trip like that and was therefore slightly terrifying. I wouldn't want to do it every year but I'd go again.
1) Having been promised my new car early in December, it then didn't arrive, with various mutterings about getting QA sign off at the factory (it's the first of a new model with a bigger battery so there were extra procedures). As I'd already arranged to dispose of my old Micra to cleanskies this was annoying to more than myself. I let things drag on rather and then sent a stern email as soon as term was over and I had some brain which resulted in everything suddenly getting sorted and my car being available immediately after all so all's well that ends well :)
2) So far, I have been really enjoying driving the new car! It's super quiet and very comfortable. Because I didn't end up collecting it until Christmas eve, I haven't taken any long journeys yet, but I'm planning to try out a trip to London tomorrow, which should be fun! I haven't managed to connect it up to my phone yet, but tech support are on the case for that I think, so hopefully it will be all gadgets go pretty soon!
3) This year has been a horror for colds. I guess this warm, damp weather is a great environment for them. I had another horrible one in early December with another couple of days off and then another one straight after Christmas so bad that Alex got it as well!
4) I played my first real money poker tournament online! Not one I actually paid for, obviously: an EPTlive freeroll. Ever since Victoria Coren Mitchell won San Remo, which I watched much of on the live stream, I've started following the EPT and getting interested in poker and I've actually been quite enjoying playing for play money on the online app - I'm not that great, but I definitely feel like I'm improving. I busted out of the freeroll pretty quick, but I'll be back for the PCA games.
5) It's been Christmas! We decided to host this year and it went reasonably well, I think, although I slightly worried that we didn't stuff people enough. I think that's unreasonable Christmas based expectations though - there was a good quantity of good food in the end. Also enjoyed Christmas fondue at cleanskies and having people over for games on New Years. I am slightly too addicted to Werewolf and also, 2 Rooms and a Boom brings out the Brownie leader in me :)