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‘Gaming’ Category

  1. A new adventure?

    September 9, 2019 by rachy

    It’s been a very long time since I last wrong on here and a lot of things have changed since then. Last week all the kids went back to school at the end of the Summer holidays. LT did not. We came to the decision that we were going to home school LT from this year to see if we can help him. Over the last couple of years we’ve realised that as good or bad as his mainstream school is, they aren’t able to give him the care that we know he needs. So we have taken it upon ourselves to give him that care. It’s a big undertaking and it’s very scary, but we have no doubt that it’s the right thing to do.

    So we gave LT an extra few days off once the other kids went back to school so that we could make the distinction between in school and home school and this morning LT and I have started out and are taking things one step at a time. I do intend to keep a record of things that we do on a daily basis for our personal records. But I also intend to try and keep a record on here too. I am hoping that I can share with you guys the ups and downs of what we’re doing. I am positive it’s going to be a roller-coaster, but roller-coasters can be fun!

    We are starting with some basics today, checking what sort of things he needs to have extra help with and then this afternoon we’re going to do some creative activities.

    This morning was so different to how school mornings have been for the last few years. I am so used to LT waking up and saying “mummmmmy…. do I have to go to school today?” and then having the battle to get him there, then worrying all day about whether he’s had a good day or not. Whether he’s been productive and happy. LT coped with school, which isn’t something I ever wanted. I wanted him to enjoy school and to thrive there. But it just wasn’t to be. This morning as I lay in bed just before 7am reading through emails and things on my phone I am greeted with a cheery “Good morning mummy!” as he climbs into my bed and asks “What English work are we doing?” “You’ll find out when we go downstairs, don’t worry love.” “Oh I’m not worried, just interested.” And off he went to have half an hour playing on his tablet before he got up and got dressed and was ready to start our day. Taking that pressure off, removing the uniform and the “we need to leave at X time” and so many other things has already made a massive difference to him and us. This has been such a lovely relaxed summer holidays for us because LT hasn’t been half as stressed about the prospect of returning to school.

    On Friday last week we went for a day trip to Tenby. Just a day out us three. And it was bloody lovely. We had cockles on a bench, sat and watched the sea. Walked down onto the beach and in to the cave before we threw rocks in the sea and collected treasure to bring home (shells and rocks!) It was so quiet there compared to when we visit during the school holidays which was wonderful. LT does not cope well with school trips, busy days out etc. So if we’re able to go places when there are fewer people there then that is awesome. We visited a Tudor Merchant’s house owned by the National Trust whilst in Tenby and it was lovely. It was busy but not overwhelming. And was a good example of the types of day trips we will enjoy doing with LT in the future. It’s the same for going on holiday. Every year we go to Bluestone over in Pembrokeshire at least once. It’s our fave place. LT can be at home away from home, he is content there in the wide open spaces and sometimes takes his ear defenders off, which if you know him, you will know is a very rare thing out of the house. This year we have been lucky enough to go twice and, thanks to my parents, we will be going again in the not too distant future. We will be going when it’s much quieter than usual, when he can do activities and have fun and not be concerned about the noise or how many other children there are. And, as ever it will be wonderful. And we honestly can’t wait.

    So this is week one, and although it may not all be smooth sailing, I am excited for what is to come and I think LT is too. He is happier in himself, his mental health is so much better and therefore mine is too! Watch this space for new posts…. I hope!

  2. Busy days.

    August 14, 2016 by rachy

    So instead of having a weekend away or making exciting summer holiday plans we decided to do….DIY! That’s what people do for fun right? And actually for the first time in a long time we didn’t end up trying to kill each other during the process. Flat pack is evil and makes up want to do harm to each other and the world! So we got some bits done that we keep intending to do and never do. Curtain poles and curtains and nets are up. Monitors are mounted on the walls and our room and landing has a huge smell of gloss overwhelming our house. This week LT and I will get on with decorating my room. Then a million other little bits hopefully.

    Am still trying get used to streaming and will start streaming the crafty things too soon. Feeling like I’m talking to myself is a bit odd, though having a 6 year old you’d think I’d be used to it by now! Our friend DD has just bought ESO, so today we have started playing that through with her. We have had it since it was in Beta and have throughly enjoyed the game. I wasn’t and still am not really happy about the changes that were put into the game. I spent a long time building my main character and getting her skills and points spent how I wanted them only have to go back and re-do  it. However, today were fresh brand new character, I have an Orc call Lorki Spudweiser who is a mean, lean hitting machine. Well that’s the theory. She’s not doing badly so far. We’re currently taking a break but will carry on tonight when LT is in bed and we’re all fed. (Pulled pork wraps here. The pork smells divine and you can find the recipe for it over on my food page linked at the top.) 

    I was super proud of BT this week as he’s been trying his best to stick to a healthy diet and more exercise, and it has without doubt paid off with a 6lb loss in a week, mine was rather smaller with just half a pound. Next week will be better! And it’s all going in the right direction. I think I am finally back on the SW wagon with a couple of syn related wobbles here and there and its quite a refreshing place to be!

    Now its time for hot tea, dinner and relaxation. LT is watching Zootropolis, BT is blogging and watching streams and I am contemplating deep and meaningful matters. (Whether I can be bothered to get up to make more tea.) Think we’re going to watch a film in a bit but not sure which, any suggestions of good ones folks? Old or new!

    Take care and have a nice evening!


  3. It’s a bit early!

    August 10, 2016 by rachy

    Morning folks. For some reason it felt right to get up early today, not a habit I want to get into during the summer holidays! 

    This week we have had a lot less home drama thankfully. Though Big Troll’s (BT) brother is now in hospital and is super poorly, so we’re sending all our love to him at the moment. I don’t think we’ve got any big plans for this week, the couple of plans I had made have fallen through so I’m trying to see if I can switch things around so we can do something fun at the weekend. But right now, I’m in dire need of tea! (Which I have but is too hot! I know, first world problems huh?)

    Little Troll (LT) is sitting behind me watching “Hobby Kids” on his tablet while he eats his breakfast. I have to say it’s one of the few shows he watches that I don’t mind at all (until he’s watched them 12 times and still wants me to react like I’ve not seen/heard it!) They’re a nice family, who do a different surprise egg each video. Like a giant Kinder egg but not made of chocolate. If you’ve got little ones, maybe point them that way. We use the Youtube Kids app on his tablet so what he watches in limited and so far nothing has come up that isn’t suitable. Which makes life a lot easier. It means that LT has some independence and I’m not hovering over him making sure he’s not seeing something he shouldn’t be. He also likes the Ted-ed videos, which are wonderfully full of information! There isn’t anything about black holes that LT doesn’t know, to the point his end of year school report mentioned his knowledge of them. Though that video got a bit tiring after the 98765431230 time of watching!

    Yesterday we set up some more of my streaming stuff and I streamed gaming on and off in the day and the evening. Had a couple of new followers which was more exciting than it ought to have been. I think I may always bounce when someone new follows me on there, especially when it’s not someone I already know. BT has sorted out an improved background for my stream and some other bits which are all lovely, so I shall start putting them to good use soon. Getting used to talking to myself and describing why or what I’m doing in game is taking a bit of getting used to, but I’m determined that if I’m going to stream it’s going to be nice and chatty and not silent. We’ll see how it goes, I’ve not got big aspirations for streaming but I do intend to have the cameras set up when I’m doing beady things a lot more (When I find the lampshade for my day light lamp!! It’s somewhere safe!) which I’m quite excited about.

    Today isn’t going to be a busy day I don’t think. I think LT and myself will watch some Dr Who, drink tea and just potter about. He doesn’t cope too well with being off of school for extended periods and there’s only so much structure I can give him in the holidays. So we shall do a few pages in one of his work books to keep his mind sharp and keep him in the habit of doing bits of work. He’s really rather clever, and I’m sure you will rarely find a child who’s parents don’t think he or she is clever. It’s not very often someone says “Oh yes little Penelope is thick as soup!” But! I am not that academic, I love to read (though would rather read something with a happy ending!) but I’m not great with numbers or common sense! Whereas LT is super clever with numbers and his reading skills have come a long way over the last few months. It’s been an odd year for and with LT. He had so many struggles in school, which they got on top of as well as they could, he had his ASD diagnosis which as much as it wasn’t a surprise was still a bit shocking, we knew it was coming etc but having it down on paper is another thing entirely. Then his school moved into their new building for the last term. Which is great, it’s a smashing snazzy building. And of course my son hates it, which I totally get. The worst part was, his new classroom looked out upon his old building, so he had a constant reminder of where he was and where he was comfy. However, come September that building will be gone so I’m hoping that will be one less thing for him to struggle with. He’s done very well this year and we’re super proud of him, and my goodness as much as I love spending time with him I am very much looking forward to the new term starting. There’s only so many things I can take him out to, and he tends to lose interest half way through things and not necessarily understand why we can’t just leave. It’s a learning curve for us all. We have certainly learned a lot more this year about him, ourselves and our parenting style than I expected.

    Tonight in theory I’m off to aqua aerobics. Which is far more fun than it should be! Exercise has never been something fun for me. But I have always loved being in the water. So now twice a week I go to the pool and splash about and do my best to copy what the teacher says, and every week I am exhausted afterwards and very happy! I recently took part in “Race for Life” as part of my Slimming World group. I hasten to add that I walked it, there was never going to be any running! But it was nice and I ended up walking with two lovely ladies from my SW group. It was a rather nice if tiring day!

    Have a good day folks, until my next ramblings!

  4. Gameblast16.

    January 13, 2016 by rachy


    Thanks for coming for a look. We’ve been talking about taking part in something like this for a long time, and this is the first time it will work out well for us doing it. So, have a read please, be generous where you can and have a great night! Thanks folks.

    This is my teams page

    Next month Myself, Kris and some other friends will be taking part in Gameblast16, which is the UK’s largest charity gaming event. For it I will be gaming for 24 hours on varying games and platforms. I will stream some of it so you can watch the excitement yourself wink emoticon I will be gaming solo and as a member of an awesome team on all manner of games.

    The charity behind this is SpecialEffect they are awesome folks who raise money to adapt technology to allow people with physical disabilities to enjoy video games. They have done some truly amazing things, please check them out and spare what cash you can to sponsor my team mates and I.

    You can learn more about the event in this video:

    Please sponsor us if you can, this is a charity that I really care about and would like to help them as much as possible. We met them a few years ago and got to see first hand some of the things they get up to and it honestly was amazing.


  5. The End is Nigh.

    September 2, 2012 by rachy

    end is nigh1

    There are some things in life we hope for. Be it love, happiness, family, money, jobs, whatever, we all hope for many things. I hope for all the usual things and I’ve been so lucky in many respects, I always wanted to marry have babies and when they were older work in child care. I’m well on my way to having that and so much more. These are the big things in life, the goals at the end of long journeys I suppose. For me what makes life more fun and interesting are the smaller goals. The more personal ones, the little things we hope and aim for no matter how big or small they are. For example hoping to do well on a test at school, hoping to be able to solve a Sudoku without having to ask your husband, not that I have to do that of course. *looks shifty* There is a never ending list of things that we want, aren’t we a greedy breed?

    Many of you already know that I’m a gamer, console and PC and more recently because of Big Troll’s new addiction board games too. I tend to like any types of games big or small, action or arcade, MMO or desktop. However I fell in love with one game many years ago and it became a big part of my life, more of an addiction for a long time I suppose, which isn’t something I regret at all. The game in question is “City of Heroes/Villains.”


    Because of this game I have become a different person, which I’m sure will seem like a strange thing to say, especially to none gamers. City of has a lot to answer for! For instance, my living room has 2 great big canvas prints on its walls depicting some of the main characters from the games as well as a statuette of the main villain and a cape hanging from my kitchen door. My son has a god mother who, without City of, I would never have met and loved and become such good friends with. I have a tattoo on the back of my neck (some may think this crazy but I adore this one of my tattoos!) showing a symbol from the game.

    arachnos tattoo

    I have met (in real life and in the gaming community) so many lovely and often odd people. I have made some bloody amazing friends. We have been to a gaming convention and had our main characters drawn by the game’s amazing artists and we have even been immortalised (HA!) in the game itself!

    (Click here and here to see us!)

    So as you can see it has taken a big chunk of my life. And that’s just awesome! I love all the people I’ve met, and all the fun I’ve had  in the game! There is quite literally always something new for me to do, whether it’s the amazeballs character customisation or the ever increasing and improving content or simply the new people coming into the game.

    I’m sure you’re wondering how I got from hopes and goals to a rambling about an MMO. For me it was rather a simple step. I want to play this game with my son. Nothing too exciting about that I know. I want him to grow up and have a million interests and to do as many different things as he likes. But I really want to play this game with him.

    I met the partner of Little Troll’s God mum in City of, I got on with him like a house on fire, and then I met his son in game, and he was the sweetest boy! I can still remember the conversations and the fun I had with them both. Then on occasion he and I would go on mic to talk to each other with words rather than text, and always there was this voice in the background telling him off or taking the mick out of him. Very soon I had added the mystery voice to my MSN list and we were talking daily for long periods. She is just wonderful. She is now part of my family in my opinion. She was at my wedding, she was one of the first people to know when I was pregnant, she was one of the first to know about Little Troll being born, and she has been there (from a distance unfortunately) for every step of his life. Our friendship has become something I could never do without. So because of the lovely friendship I’ve got with her and seeing her partner and son playing and how close it keeps them and how much fun they have I want to do that with Little Troll. I want him to have the same sort of bond with me or his dad that gaming has brought to those two.

    However this is one hope that is not going to come to life. It was announced on the 31st August that City of will be closing its doors (so to speak) on the 30th November 2012 for good.

    I can understand if what I say next is questionable or stupid to you, again especially if you’re not a gamer or don’t have a big passion for something, but, I am quite literally heart broken. So much time (and money) invested into a game for it to be taken away without a moments notice, or so it feels. I’m sure in the Company’s opinion they’re doing the right thing, but not in mine. I want to go and get every second out of this game now that the end is nigh, but at the same time I have a feeling of resentment and therefore feel like I don’t want to go on at all. It feels so personal, how could they do this to me? And yet, of course it’s not personal, it’s just business.

    What a waste.

    The community of players and developers (who had no idea it was going to be closed either) are all rallying round, all showing support for the workers who are either being redeployed in other areas or are being put out of work. They are thanking and showing love for all the people who have put work into the game that has brought so much joy to all of us Heroes and Villains, I of course was a Villain more than I was ever a hero.

    I am lucky in a way, I talk to a lot of people I met in game either via msn, Facebook, twitter or email. I won’t loose them which is smashing, but what we all will loose is undefinable.

    Really after all my ramblings and ranting’s all I have to say is this:

    Thank you to all those who worked on the game, thank you to all the community members/ players who made playing it so much fun and such a joy, thank you to the friends I’ve made during my years in the game and lastly, to the Big Business People (I imagine them in very dark suits and black sun glasses, sort of like Agent Smith in The Matrix.) you are rubbish, I don’t like you and you’re not on my Christmas card list.


    Thank you for reading.


  6. Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4

    July 4, 2010 by rachy

    I played the demo of this, and was hooked. I really enjoy all the Lego type games (though not so much on the Wii as on the 360), so when I saw there was going to be a collection of them and that they we’re going to be Harry Potter, well I just about popped from nergasming! 

    This game seems to offer a lot for people, and in my opinion is well worth it’s money. It has puzzles, and secrets, wonderfully funny animations relating rather well to the storyline of the books. Some die-hard potter fans may find issue with how close they manage to be to the stories, but let’s face it, if you could cope with the huge changes they made from book to film, you can cope with the changes they’ve made for the game… plus its Lego! What’s not to love eh?

    So as soon as I could, I had this game in my mucky little grasp, and as soon as I got chance (booting Welshtroll off the Xbob and putting Baby Troll in his wheelie-ma-jig), I got to playing it. I had enjoyed the demo so much that I wanted… no needed to see if the entire game would live up to it’s potential. And so far, for me at least, it has. 

    There are so many thing’s to do on there, that I easily find myself playing for hours without noticing, which to me is the sign of a good game. Like in the books, you learn the spells from the relevant teachers, you go through the motions of making sure you’ve got the hang of them before the game gives you the spell to use out of the classroom. You get to explore all of Hogwarts and it’s grounds, as well as going through Gringotts, where extra levels are kept when you’ve earned them, and of course you get to go down Diagon Alley and Nocturn Alley and explore the shops, and spend the points that you’ve earned throughout the game in them. And then you’ve got the cast list, you not only have the main human/ giant/ arachnid/ animal characters but you also have the beasties and people with lesser roles. On top of that, as if it needed anything more, you can play as those characters! So if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a Lego Scabbers, fang or Crookshanks, you’ve got your wish. And then! You get to play as baddie’s as well as the goodies! *takes a breath*

    I have not yet completed all 4 years, but I’ve only had it a week and with hubby and baby at home with me, I don’t think I’m doing badly to have finished the first two years. I am looking forward to doing the next two stories very much! If they are as good as the one’s I’ve completed, I shall be a happy girly! Plus, when I have finished the entire lot of stories, I’ve unlocked free play, meaning that I can go back and do lots of playing about with Quidditch, and flying, and characters etc, and complete the secrets that I may have missed. 

    Now, I’m trying not to be all fan-boy-girl about this, but I feel I may be failing. I am struggling to find anything about this game that I don’t like. But I’ve another two years to find out… so to speak.