HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Rest In Peace

Yesterday, the only monarch as a Brit I’ve known passed away at 96 years old. After 70 years as our monarch Queen Elizabeth breathed her last and for the first time I heard the words ‘The King’.

The public out pouring of grief has been beyond anything I’ve ever known. I think where she was the first really visible monarch who travelled the world extensively helped put her in many people’s hearts. I’m not historian, but I’ve not really heard of any other Royal, or head of state that did as much as she did in terms of engaging with the people of the Britain and the Commonwealth.

Something that I feel has really stood out about Elizabeth II was how she presented herself to the world. She had a dignity, a calmness, a sense of duty that I think many of us could learn from. For someone who was never meant to be monarch she took the role on seeming to view it not only as a duty but a privilege. I don’t think we’ll ever see a head of state with such determination and selflessness. Even if King Charles III carries on his mothers ways (which I’ve seen commentators mention that was how her father ruled as well) I don’t think he’s going to be able to. I think she was one of a kind and one we’re going to miss.

Queen Elizabeth wasn’t perfect, and she’s had her critics and many of them are spewing a lot of hatred online. I respect honest, constructive criticism, but some of what I’ve seen is just nasty and vicious for the sake of being nasty and vicious. Yes, she was the ruler of an empire built on rape, murder and theft. Colonisation was horrific and I don’t think it’s something we should be proud of.

I don’t know what her thoughts on that were, from what I’ve seen people say over the past day I doubt she ever shared them publicly. From what I can make out she never shared anything like that publicly. Even to the point of clapping for the same length of time at the Royal Variety Performance so’s not to upset anyone if she clapped less for them.

I think people wanted to hear from her regarding the recent allegations made against Prince Andrew. One person I saw online took particular issue with the fact that Prince Andrew walked by her side as she attended Prince Philip’s funeral. The shock of a mother wanting her son by her son as they laid to rest a husband and father.

There’s been so many controversies just in my life time alone, but I don’t think they will be what Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered for. I think it’ll be the woman who served during the Second World War. It’ll be the woman who lost her beloved father when he was still in his fifties and she was twenty-five, and then being crowed Queen while still grieving his loss. But her determination, her sense of duty, her dignity, and so much more made her a monarch that I think will go down in history as one of the greatest. I heard a few commentators referring to her as Elizabeth the Great yesterday, and I think that is fair. How many of us would have wanted to be in her shoes? Okay, she had wealth and power beyond the wildest dreams of many but would we want the worlds eyes on us every step we made? When I think about my family (mainly extended family) and what some members of it have done I’m not gonna be too hard of the late queen for not saying or doing this in regards to scandals. And don’t forget, we don’t know what she said behind closed doors.

I’m going to remember Queen Elizabeth II for the smile she had when she realised one of the royal guards was actually Prince Phillip dressed up to make her smile. I’m going to remember a woman who looked like she put her duty as Queen above anything she could have wished for herself.

On a side note, I hope I’m half as active as she was. Especially in those years when most people are settling into retirement.

Thank you for your service, you can rest now.

Good Evening, 15th February 2022

Hey folks, how are we all?

Today I’ve written 1061 words in total. Most of those were this evening during an online write-in, and I’m very weary down with the first draft of the story. There’s one character whose story needs wrapping up, and I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do that but I’m going to think on it for a couple of days.

Tomorrow I’m going to be starting a new short story, well it’s a second draft of one that I’ve already written for an anthology but I’m not overly happy with it.

I’ve now got two short stories that are hand written this year that I need to type up, but I’m going to sit on them for a month or two and then type them up. I want to let them settle before the next stage.

Not a bad day all in all.

Have a good one, folks!

“I’m always good, me,”

I work at a supermarket and when I’m not on the shop floor I’m on a till. When customers ask me how I am I more often than not I’ll reply with “I’m alright, I’m always good me,”

Even when I’m not okay I say it, and I’ve been thinking about this and the mindset I’ve got growing of seeing the best in life despite what I’m feeling. There are times when I’m feeling down and not as positive as I’d like to be but I still say it.

Some of that is the ‘faking it ’til I make it’ mentality. But what I’m not doing is ignoring what I’m feeling. I’m listening to my body, looking at why I’m feeling like that. This is what I’m doing for all my moods. The more I know and understand what’s going on inside of me; mind, body, soul, the lot. Then I’m going to be able to draw myself to the elements that give me the most positive experience of life.

The biggest element that I’ve noticed which affects my mental health is tiredness. So, that is one of the major parts I’m focussing on improving. I’ve started adjusting my sleep patterns a little, but I think there’s a lot I’ve got to suss out with it. At the moment I’m focussed on getting my head down earlier on nights where I have early shifts. I’m also watching my intake as the day progresses. Definitely no energy drinks after about 3pm, as little sugary snacks after about 7pm (this one I think might be a little harder). I’m trying to wind down my head a little bit as the evening progresses as well. A little less proactive mind, and a little more passive input. Movies, TV, books etc. Gaming does relax me, as does writing and blogging, but those are both pastimes that require proactive thought. Other things are more passive. I can let them enter my mind without them firing up my creative mind too much. Something proactive makes me alert, brains firing and it’s harder to let my mind rest.

Getting good sleep makes all the difficulties of life easier to manage. It makes the fog less thick.

Good Morning, 25th of October 2021

Howdy, folks! How are we all doing today?

I didn’t get much done yesterday. When I work on Sunday’s it’s normally a long shift which leaves little time before work to write and not a lot of time after as it’s quite a busy day working in a supermarket on a Sunday. Plus last night I was playing GTAV with my dear friend Stefan from Stefan’s Daily Gaming till 1am (we had far too much fun!).

Today I have a work shift which doesn’t leave much time either side to write but I have the next few days off. So I’m going to try and make the most of those days. Mainly because I want to work through the edits on Zombie before NaNo begins in SEVEN DAYS!!! and I want to have a clear plate before starting on NaNo.

I also want to do a little more prep for NaNo both as a writer and as an ML. My regions ML’s have had a natter and have a few ideas we’re playing with to build engagement for another year of not being able to meet in-person.

Right, I need to get off and get ready for my day.

Rock on, folks! Make life what you want it to be!

Third year ML ☺️

Gaming: Grand Theft Auto V Online

I’ve been playing a lot of GTAV online recently as part of working on my self-care. Gaming for me is an escape for me. It’s one the few things that turns my brain off from everything going on around me.

With GTAV I used to play it a lot but my anxieties would get to me. Mostly I’d just drive around robbing convenience stores, stealing and selling cars, and occasionally working for another player as bodyguard or associate. I had a Motorcycle Gang clubhouse but rarely did anything with it. When I would do the missions I’d get very frustrated when another player would thwart my efforts. And after a while it felt like it was becoming toxic to me. I was literally driving around doing nothing in the game. So I deleted it.

A few weeks ago Stefan from Stefan’s Daily Gaming mentioned playing it so I loaded it up again. Unfortunately we’ve not been able to make playing together happen, yet. But I’ve got a few plans for when it does happen.

The first few sessions I didn’t really do a lot, but then I had my day out at Broadstairs and that realisation that fear is ruining my life and I started doing more. I’ve bought a ID counterfeiting business via my motorcycle gang and have done a couple of the Survival challenges. I used to never do anything like that. The one time I did I got a little shit talking from the other players, and that put me off. Now I don’t think I’d be as delicate to it, but I also think I’m not going to be doing many of these missions with strangers. I think I just need to find my people on there. With Stefan I think it’ll be good. We’ve done a fair bit of gaming together and I think we’ll work well together.

I do love how beautiful this game is ☺️

I would like to have peeps I play with on there. You see others doing it and I think it would enhance the experience. It’ll make earning cash easier as well as some of the contacts for example need at least two people and even the ones that don’t an extra gun would be handy. You can recruit players in game to work for you, with a Motorcycle Gang they start as Prospects. I’ve had next to no luck with this, but I will persist as I want to expand that experience of the game.

At the moment I am building funds so I can expand my empire. I have something that’s beginning to look like a plan building. I’ve done a little reading online for tips etc. and I’m beginning to get an idea of where I want to put my money. I’ve just got to earn it first, and I’m not buying funds from Rockstar. I’m not necessarily against that, but its not for me. A) I don’t really have the budget to spend on games outside of my Xbox Game Pass each month and B) I want to earn my money. I don’t want shortcuts. I want to hustle and earn my wealth.

I did what’s called a ‘gang attack’ which is where you face off against twenty or so NPCs, and used my armoured car as a shield! 🤣

Now, other players do bother me. Some, I think they’r recalled Griefers, although I prefer trolls, are just out to ruin others enjoyment. I can understand trying to screw up someone as they’re trying to transport goods. You earn cash and RP (Respect Points) in doing that. It’s the ones who’ll do that, and then spend the next ten minutes just trying to kill you. These people normally have vehicles which are hard to destroy, like military grade fighters, when all I wanna do is get back onto another money earner. I even had one troll message me on Xbox (not even the in game messaging system) bragging about a gaming chair and calling me a noob. Firstly, I’m not sure what the chair has to do with it, secondly, I’m nearly level 100 on the game, so although I’m not a gifted gamer calling me a noob wasn’t accurate, and thirdly I’m not rising to that bait. I’m past that. I haven’t got time to get in a dick waving contest over a video game. If you’re someone that gets pleasure from ruining someone else’s enjoyment then you really need help. I’ll also not back down. I’m not quitting a session due to someone trolling me. Stuff that, I’ve given into too many bullies in my life, and I’m not going to do it anymore. Especially not on a video game.

I’ve made a few missteps cash wise but I’m on a decent road to recovery with it and am getting close to instigating my next major purchase.

I know I’m not the most gifted gamer, but some things in the game I do well. I’ve found I’m pretty damn good on a motorbike (which is shocking cause in real life I’ve never been on one), but I do feel exposed and would rather be driving my armoured sports car. Especially in a session where there’s a lot of hostility going around. I will admit that when I’m in those sessions I tend to be a little more passive and not as pro-active when running my MC (motorcycle gang), but I think I’ll change that. Loosing a payday or dying in game isn’t the end of the world. I’ve not found anything on this game that can be lost and not recovered one way or another.

I feel like I’ve made a commitment to build something in this game. To be successful in it. It’s not going to be easy and I’ve got to keep a strong nerve and not quit when it gets hard.

Since writing this post yesterday morning I have added a nightclub to my growing empire and I think this is gonna help me step up a level.

12th August 2021

Good evening folks! How are we all doing tonight?

I wrote 740 words this morning and managed to finish a first draft of a story which has been a little difficult at times. Homestead is one that’s had a couple of false starts but I’m pleased I’ve finally got something I can now go back and tidy up and then wrap it up. I like how the story has gone as well.

It was a bit of a struggle to get going this morning. I woke up late and had plans this afternoon, so not much time to write. So I’m glad I got that 740 words done.

I’ve enjoyed this week off, but I’m looking forward to being back at work next week. I’m not back in at my store till Wednesday, but have a short training course at another store tomorrow. Which is really alien to me as I’ve never had to do a course before, well not since college.

Right, I’m off to bed. Have an awesome one, folks!

Realising The Fear

Wednesday really did open my eyes up to a lot of myself. One of which was writing my thoughts down. This is something I’ve known I’ve wanted to do for a long time but I’ve never been able to do it. I’m not really sure why but I think it might be a combination of the new medication I’m on, I’m having a little therapy, and it feels like something broke or changed in me on Wednesday.

Realising just how much fear and anxiety have ruled my life has been devastating in one degree, but freeing in another.

Fear was something we touched on in therapy on Monday, and I’m glad we did. The therapist recommended a book about fear that I listened to a big chunk of on the journey to and from the coast on Wednesday. And I think where it was something that we’d spoken about on the Monday I had realised that I was scared of everything and the therapist talked to me about it. Then going down the coast on Wednesday pushed open the door that was unlocked on Monday.

I’m finding this book really helpful.

I think about the excuses I used to make. For not going to the beach it’ll be things like I don’t like getting my feet sandy, or wet, or both. Or getting sand in my car (I was a var cleaner for almost 20 years, sand is a nightmare to get out of a cars carpets), but that doesn’t matter. It’s just sand. It was fear defeating me.

Even simple things like sitting in my garden to write or read. I wouldn’t do it, it would rarely even enter my head. The last couple of mornings I’ve made a cuppa tea and then gone out and had my tea while writing my thoughts done as the dog is running around doing his business.

This morning I was sitting there in shorts, t shirt, a hoodie and my sandals. I had Max jump up on the seat next to me as I wrote. It was chilly this morning. We’re moving into autumn here in the UK (almost halloween season!!!!!), so the weather is cooling and after a while I did retreat into the house. I am going to keep going out there till the weather is too brisk for my taste.

One of the fears I’ve had the last few days is that I wouldn’t be able to sit and writer as freely inside as I have been outside, but I managed to do it okay today. I’m not sure I can write like that when I’ve got loved ones around me, simply because of the distraction but I’ll give it a go at some point.

My fear seems to be focused on failure or disaster. If I drive somewhere I could be in a crash. But that could happen driving to work. It doesn’t stop me doing that. Yes, I could crash but the odds are massive of that happening.

As for failure. Well, it’s a case ‘well what happens if my book doesn’t do well?’ that’s something I can’t control. The best thing I can do it write the next story. If I play online and join a group doing a team mission and I screw up, what’s it matter? It’s not the end of the world. Learn the lessons from it and try again.

I only fail when I don’t try. When fear stops me. I’ve lived in a state of fear my whole life.

I’m not doing it anymore.

My eyes are open, I’m realising what I can do to move forward and over come this fear.

I’m going to do what scares me. I’m not fearing the anxiety I used to.

I am moving forward.

29th of June 2021 – Stealing Words

Good morning folks, How are we all doing today?

I’ve got a busy day today so I’ve made sure I’ve sat down and got some words down before starting. I am hoping to get back into the writing work later on today, but it all depends on how I get along with other tasks.

I have written 456 words this morning on a story called Isolation (placeholder title). This short is now 1007 words long and it tied into a bigger story that I’m working on. More to come on that in the future once I’ve set some more foundations.

I am slowly getting back into the habit of what I think of as Stealing Words. This is where I will write a few words when I have just a few minutes. Like if I get to work a little early then I’ll type a sentence or two. Making sure I write on my breaks. Even if it’s a short shift with a short break, I can squeeze some words in during that time. Even if it’s not good, and I delete it later it’s still words written. Okay, I can’t edit like that. Brainstorming isn’t really doable for these snatches of time either. But writing a few words, for me that’s very doable.

Right, I’ve got to get cracking. I hope you all have a fantastic day! Please look me up on the social medias, the links are on the right hand side of the screen!

Rock on, Folks!