Saturday 21 March 2020

Life and Plague and Stuff

Oh dear, how did it get so long between posts?

Oh yeah, I have a baby... or more accurately now, a toddler.

I also went back to full time work, had a bit of a breakdown, and am now trying to job hunt in other, less mentally taxing career fields. Which, with the whole covid virus thing, isn't that easy - though I might be able to work part time in a nearby care home, which I think would suit me, and the hours are much better than where I was. Shame it's so badly paid.

Basically, I was a software developer for a big company, who sold my department overseas. Not fancying a commute to Jo'burg, I came back off maternity straight into redundancy. Managed to find a new job straightaway, but unfortunately using the languages I like the least and doing web development, which I just don't find very interesting. The company had a very set way of doing things, so every time I completed a task, it would be reviewed and I'd be told I'd done it wrong, with no support on how to do it right the first way ("oh, just look at what's already there. Yeah, don't look at that bit, it's legacy." "Well which bit should I look at?" "Oh, figure it out.") The hours meant I barely saw Ziggy, and he became so distressed every time I left him that my heart was breaking - and he doesn't sleep through the night, so with the high level thinking I was exhausted. I'd stand in the kitchen crying before I had to leave, but it wasn't until a few weeks after I'd finished that I realised how ill I'd become. I'm on anti-anxiety meds, and have a panic attack whenever I try and code, even for fun. It's frustrating, because I used to truly love coding, and I think if I'd been able to go back to my old job it would have been fine (flexi-time and I was confident in what I was doing).

Message from Ziggy:   \ \bjnbbbbbbxxzgh\\ nnnnnnnnnnnv       j. 

And resuming. The saddest news is that Kitty died. She reached a point where we knew she had to be put down, but it was still the hardest decision we've ever made and really shook us both up. The vet was fantastic, very gentle with her and with us. He'd nursed her through the end few months and was fighting back tears himself.

I have a huge, feline shaped hole in my life and really want another rescue cat, but Husbit's not quite ready, and we'll need to be patient to get the right cat (friendly, short haired, ideally one I'm not allergic to, and most importantly one who's happy with small children). Ziggy loves all the neighbourhood cats, so he'll be thrilled but we'll have to make sure he's respectful. He is usually good with cats, at least - desperate to pet them but fairly gentle and I've only once had to stop him chasing one who'd walked away.
This is Biscuit, who haunts the local park and loves to play with the children.

We're currently covid free here. There's a few confirmed and more suspected cases in my general area, but only one of my friends has even a suspected case. We've had to close circus for now, which made me really sad - but on the plus side, I've got some of the equipment in my hall waiting for the owner to come by and collect so we'll still be able to play on the new rig she's ordered. In small, symptom-free groups, and assuming the advice doesn't get even stricter... (And if it does, I might be able to borrow a rig for my own garden...)

Like most people I've spoken to, I'm less worried about actually catching the virus (despite my asthma) than the economic impact of it. I am concerned about a few older friends and family members, and I'd be terrified if it was having a big impact on small children, but as it stands I'm fairly calm. The panic buying is frustrating, though: rice is about the only thing Ziggy will consistently eat, so we get through a lot and currently can't replenish our stash. The most annoying bit is hearing from friends who work in depots that there are no actual shortages: the problems are logistic in that people are buying too fast. If everyone slowed down, it would be fine, but instead we're in this stupid spiral.

Pathfinder is on hiatus, though this is partly down to a house move on the part of one player. We're finishing up the 'interlude' section where I play Jvala, and I'm very exciting at the thought of getting back to my beloved Svetlana. We will shortly be attempting our first remote Mage game via Discord - a medium I never got my head round, so this should be interesting. Wish me luck!

Best wishes and stay safe everyone!


  1. Nice to hear an update. Sorry to hear about kitty, and stay safe and healthy!

  2. Yes, great to hear from you and I'm sorry for your frustrations. How is the mother in law scenario? Stay safe and best to your lovely family.

    1. We'd reached an uneasy peace, then this happened. She's on the super-vulnerable, ultra-high-lockdown list, and I knew how that would make me feel so made a point of video calling her the first day, and that seems to have really helped our relationship.

      How're you? Hope you're well