There are two cups of tea.

The first is a caffeinated drink made of, in some form or other, tea leaves and boiling water. It’s there because it’s a cup of tea, partly a symbol, though not of anything. This tea is the tea of drinking, the point being to sit and have a cup of tea, possibly while doing something else. Writing a journal entry, for example. It’s tea. It’s quick, and it’s easy, and it’s brown, hot and wet.

The second is the ritual. Ten minutes or so to draw and boil water; assemble teapot – remember to warm it (or use paper filters or something else); spoon out the correct amount of tea leaves; pour and steep to get the best flavour. Drop in, or over, some milk and – if you wish – sugar; and go back to what you were doing before. It’s a ritual, a natural break from your task and time for your brain to process what you’re doing while your hands perform a ritual you could do in your sleep (not recommended, scalding not fun). Return to the task refreshed and with a nice cup of tea.

Computer Games RPG

The point I stopped playing Dragon Age

This post contains spoilers for Dragon Age. Do not read on if you do not want to read them. Specifically, it talks in some detail about the city of dwaves and some party members.


Misquotes from a D&D Session

“You’re supposed to use Vicious Mockery on the enemy”

“I run up to the guy and I hit him with a big sword”

“Suit of chainsaws. Vulnerable to… the on switch”.


New Flat Adventures, Season Three Episode Four Part One – The Phantom Swipecard

There is a black screen, which resolves into a patch of tarmac. A red london bus drives over it, and the camera pans to follow it, as the opening of Dire Straits’ “Telegraph Road” starts to play.

Fading in over the top, as the red london bus speeds though the rain of a black and white city – London, obviously – the lead titles fade in and out.

“The New Flat Adventures”

by Nicholas Avenell

Episode 4.

Swiped Cards.

As the song ends, we are at the large tower block “Landmark Heights”, where our story is contained. We pan up the building in a helicoptor shot until we get to the 17th floor, going around the flat so we can see the classic London skyline far behind the tower, The Dome, Canary Wharf, the Girkin and the London Eye as we get to the crecendo.

Then there is slience, and we pan back down the building with the slowly rising soundtrack of the rain replacing Knopfler’s guitar. We’re at ground level. There is a big black GATE in front of you.

It’s raining.

> Examine gate.

The GATES are large and black and in three parts. Directly in front of you is a cast iron SIDE GATE, suitable for a person to walk though. Beyond it you can see wet wooden decking, lights and a palm tree silloetted against them. To the right is a DRIVERS GATE which will swing wide open for a car to get though, and between them is a PILLER containing some kind of button matrix.

It’s raining.

> open SIDE GATE.

The side gate is locked. What kind of adventure game do you think this is?

It’s raining.


The drivers gate is locked.

It’s raining.

> UP

Your horoscope for today mentioned freezing your tounge to the back of a speeding bus. Being impaled upon a spike was strictly for Virgos. However, you decide not to push your luck.

> examine pillar

The pillar contains a MATRIX of buttons 0 to 9, hash and star. It also contains an Engraving. The Engraving states that the gods of PORTERdom can be summoned by the incarnation “000#”, or that you can dial the number of the flat you request access to and they can let you in. It all seems so optimistic for so early in the puzzle.

> Dial 1704.

As if by magic, nothing happens.

> Wait.

Time passes, and yet nothing happens.

> Dial 000#

Nothing happens.

> Wait.

Worlds collide, stars are born and die, the poetry of the universe continues its rhyme and meter with or without your observation, in a delecate ballet that has been playing for eons and will continue long after your bones are crumbled into dust and even Mousetrap’s stopped running. Yet, outside one black gate in Hackney, absolutely nothing at all happens.

Thorin sits and sings about gold.

> examine Thorin

Kids today have no respect for the classics.

I cannot see THORIN here.

It’s still raining.

> Look

You are standing outside a big black gate which prevents your entry into the warm and welcoming giant pink tower of flats beyond. You can see though the window into the reception area, there is a PORTER looking at a security system.

> Wave at PORTER

You do not have a Wave invite.

> Gesture at PORTER

The porter has noticed you. You picked the correct gesture, apparently, as he is opening the gate.


> In

You are standing on decking which leads to the front of Landmark Heights. There is more decking here. Ahead is a small bridge over a river of rocks that serves no apparent purpose other than to frustrate pushchair users, cyclists and the disabled.

It is raining.

You can go South.

> Cross bridge.

You have not come to it yet.

> S

Your way is blocked by a pointless bridge.

> Cross Bridge.

Looks perfectly civil to me.

> S

Your way is blocked by a pointless bridge.

> Up

You are atop the bridge.

> Down

You are not atop the bridge.

> S

Your way is blocked by a pointless bridge.

It is raining.

> Up

You are atop the bridge.

> S

You are in front of some double doors.

> Open doors

They are locked.

It is raining.

> Examine doors

They are locked. There is a swipe-card access system here.

> I

You have no swipe card, some tea, a repaired mobile phone and a cold.

> Wave at Porter

You have no wa… no, done that joke. The porter lets you in.

It is no longer raining.

> Ask Porter about Swipe Cards

The porter explains that swipe cards are available to buy, and that you should have got some when you moved in, but your landlord hasn’t paid for them.

> Phone landlord

The landlord promises to buy the swipecards.

> Wait

You wait.

Time passes.

The adventure will be continued.




I’m at my desk.

Desk is the work place.

Desk is the plastic coated MDF that brings eventual wage slip.

I will face my desk.

I will permit the work to pass over me and though me.

When the deadlines have gone pass I will turn my review sheet to see its path,

and where the work has gone there will be bugfixes,

and I will remain.



media MLP

Kinetic Typography

Kinetic typography is the name given to an animation of the text of some kind of speech or performance. I quite like them, so here are some.

Remember, Remember it’s the 5th of November, and so we start with V’s introduction from V for Vendetta:

Pretty much the most famous example is the “What?” scene from Pulp Fiction:

The funniest – assuming you like quickfire wordplay, and you may be in the wrong place if you don’t – is the classic Who’s On First?

and the least comfortable is the Chemical Burn from Fight Club

but there are loads more.


Musical Interlude: David Ford – Cheer Up, You Miserable Fuck



Hello November.

November is a time of the leaves drifting from the trees; of the colours of autumn washing out to the starkness of winter; of cold, rainy winds and bright, brittle sunshine.

It’s also the traditional months of National Novel Writing month (NaNoWriMo, write a novel in a month), the less-demanding National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo, write a blog post every day for a month), the even less demanding – on the presumption it’s possible for you – Movember (Grow a ‘tashe in a month) and a few others. It’s a time to regain your position on the tracks after the washout that was October. It has greatness, stuff will happen. It will be a Glorious November, One To Remember!

Even Guy Fawkes wanted to start the new world order in November.

Obviously, I’m participating in none of this stuff. I’m going to continue with my minor resolution to update this a bit more. I’m on the sniffly, sore throat ramp up to being horribly ill somewhere in the near future unless my immune system kicks in to overdrive, which I’ve managed to time well, since I was off work last week on holiday. If I can successfully get up every morning this month, I shall be happy with my level of success. NaGeUpMo, then. This doesn’t look like it will be particularly hard, since my brain is doing the “You will wake up now” thing at 6am.

It is, like many other things, out to get me.

So I shall sip my white tea (tea I put milk in is bad for sore throats) and watch the sun rise over east London.

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