I thought I’d write a little post to share a few things about myself. Obviously this is a blog dedicated to tabletop games and I sometimes lapse into personal territory but it’s mostly always related to board games. I started another blog late last year but I haven’t really felt like posting on it. Shiny Happy Meeples is definitely my preferred choice.
I’ve been feeling pretty low this week, definitely one of those ‘notch it up to a bad one and move on’ weeks. When you have bouts of depression and anxiety you start to lose sight of simple things that make you happy. So I wrote this today to remind myself of those things that make me happy and try to end the week right. Let me begin with…
I’ll start with the obvious. I basically live and breathe board games, if I’m not playing them I’m talking about them, researching them, talking with other gamers about games, photographing them, writing about them, making videos and now contributing to a podcast. Board games honestly make me so happy it’s ridiculous. But since I always talk games I’ll leave it there.
If I fancy some downtime from games I do love a bit of telly. I occasionally give new shows a try but I’m not someone who will watch something for the sake of it. If I stop enjoying a show I won’t see it through until the end just because. I’ve watched some really good ones in the past couple of years, a few faves being True Detective, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Humans, Stranger Things & most recently, Westworld. I like stuff that’s a bit freaky or gets me thinking. I love documentaries on pretty much anything, and I really enjoyed Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie the other week. I’m really into my comedy but I prefer older stuff that I liked when I was a kid, mostly British cult classics; Red Dwarf, Bottom, Phoenix Nights, Brittas Empire, Alan Partridge & The Office. I love Ricky Gervais and through him I became a huge fan of Karl Pilkington who I think it’s a secret genius & sometimes think may be the male version of me (aside from the genius part). I still listen to their podcast from years ago, it will never not be funny. I’ve actually laughed out loud like a nutcase on public transport listening to it and tried to style it out like I was coughing. I have a penchant for weird comedy too, like Snuff Box, Man to Man with Dean Learner, That Mitchell & Webb Look, Mighty Boosh & IT Crowd. Most recently I devoured Inside No 9, a very odd dark comedy which I thought was brilliant and clever.
I guess this goes hand in hand with telly but I’m such a movie geek. Mainly horrors, sci-if and thrillers, but I do like a good comedy. I love 80s & 90s cult classics. I’m a movie quoting machine.
I like eating. A lot. I’m massively into naughty food, and I typically love anything bad for me. I try to be good most days because I have bad metabolism but the days when I can eat burgers, chips, pizza and Chinese make my life. If I’m eating out I adore Mexican, Indian & Italian. Which doesn’t happen often. It’s kind of like £40 for a meal or a board game? Board game wins. Did I mention I love sweets? The days I can’t have sweets or chocolate I’m convinced a piece of my soul dies.
I have a love/hate relationship with workouts. I don’t really enjoy it, but I like the way it makes me feel. It almost always perks me up if I’m feeling a bit low and I love putting my headphones on and banging out some tunes whilst going hard with the work out. I do high intensity 20 minute workouts and then whatever I can fit in that focuses on specific areas. I’ve found this works pretty well around my daughter. I don’t have time or money to go to the gym, but I used to and actually always enjoyed it. Aside from the other humans there.
I absolutely love to read. I don’t do it all the time, I’ll go through stages where I’ll read whenever I get the chance then not so much for a while. When I do I must consume the book in one hit. I never got into ebooks, I much prefer regular old fashioned book books. I read in the bath, it’s an absolute must. I don’t really have a favourite genre, I just pick and choose different titles from each. I do enjoy a bit of King though but I also read anything by Daphne Du Maurier. She was really ahead of her time, especially with sci-if novels like ‘House on The Strand’ and short horror stories like ‘The Birds’ and ‘The Doll’. She’s amazing.
I’m perhaps not so much ‘into’ music as I was when I was a teenager and in my early 20s. I was obsessed with alternative rock/post hardcore/metal/punk for years, and used to go to a lot of gigs. Nowadays I’m a bit more open to listening to anything but I will always lean more toward alt rock and metal. My all time favourite bands are The Misfits & Alkaline Trio. I used to play guitar and sing in a band, I still like singing (mainly in the shower) but I’ve really let my guitar practice slide over the years which is a shame.
I studied photography, I actually have two qualifications and worked as a portrait photographer for a few years. I’m not into it so much these days as in I don’t have an amazing camera or equipment, but I still have an eye for a good photograph and can’t go anywhere without spotting a potential photograph. I still love doing it.
I have a Degree in this subject and for three years I gave endless Powerpoint presentations, did ethnographic studies, conducted interviews, and asked people the strangest questions. I spent countless hours researching in the library and online. I did a dissertation on the wearable technology and the female form. Looking back now I like to see some of the predictions I made come to pass! The most fun thing I did was go around a few cities in the UK doing research for Channel Four and interviewing random people on the streets. The other memorable one for work experience was sitting in for a couple of days of ‘mind-mapping’ with top-dogs from Absolute Vodka. Fascinating! I also liked the free lunches. I haven’t done this for a long time since I left uni, but i’m very much hoping to start again. I think i’ve got good antennas for trend forecasting, and now I have a topic- tabletop games!
Clothes & Shoes
I’ve always loved dressing up and styling cool outfits, I’ve toned it down quite a bit with age, but I still love dressing up when I can. I can’t really afford lots of new clothes or shoes anymore, again I’d rather buy board games if I have the money. I don’t think you have to spend a lot to have a bit of style though so I mainly shop at cheapie online stores, but I do have a few favourite brands: Killstar, Disturbia, Sugar Baby & Current Mood. I also love slogan t shirts! I hate going shopping though. I’d much rather buy online, I don’t like other people getting in my way or making rushed decisions.
Bit of a weird one but nothing makes me happier than laughing and being silly. I am very silly, love strange and wrong humour and can often be found cracking up at the most stupid things and often my own ridiculous jokes.
Going new places, Urbex & Adventures
I don’t actually do this too much anymore but I hope to again. I really love visiting new places, seeing new things and doing anything adventurous. I used to rather like daredevil-ish activities (e.g. paragliding, quad biking, terrifying theme park rides) but now I have my daughter I don’t think I’ll be doing anything voluntarily potentially life threatening. The thing with the rollercoaster at Alton Towers a few years ago gave me chills. I used to like urban exploring (or Urbex) and ghost hunting. Really! Yes I believe in the paranormal and I also believe in bad things that can attach to you & bring negative s**t into your life. So I don’t want to fall down any cavernous holes or bring a demonic presence home. I know, I’m strange. But even though I doubt I’ll be doing these things again I would love to travel more, meet tabletop friends in other countries, do some safe adventurous activities and visit some more landmarks. I hope I can do this with my daughter.
And I think that sums up my happy things. I know I haven’t mentioned friends, family, partner & daughter, they have their place in there too but that kind of goes without saying y’know? Also i’m careful not to talk too much about people who might not want to be discussed online.
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into my happy places, and now regular board game service will be resumed as normal. Thank you for reading!