Stuff I liked in December

Finishing a re-read of all the Discworld books

I’ve had a slow-burn re-read of the Discworld books on the go for the last three years. That wrapped up after the collectors library release of Snuff and Raising Steam. It’s been a treat. As I wrote in March, the Witches books come out on top – Lancre and the Chalk are wonderful spaces to get lost in.

What I loved: character, adventure, magic. The world itself, which in one of upheaval and progress (not the entropy of a lot of fantasy/sci-fi). A central theme of the books is ‘the death of wonder’, and he’s great at showing the gentle, persistent struggle required to keep it alive.

What I didn’t love: the politics of the Disc doesn’t evolve much over thirty+ years of writing. Women are always being ‘remarkable’, wives usually dote and support as a priority, Ankh-Morpork is always ‘a melting pot’. In individual books, the references are small and throwaway. At the rate of one a month, it’s a much less flattering picture of the author.

These things gave Pratchett space to show a city full of folks who are one bad night away from being raging bigots. I get the sense that he had a lot of hope for people, but absolutely no faith in populations.

Warcry league at Bad Moon Cafe

It’s been great fun actually running a whole gaming campaign through to completion, and Bad Moon remains a terrific gaming venue. I’m excited to do another season in 2020.

Let It Snow

Of all the slightly-shit Christmas telly I watched this year, this was my favourite. Much better than it needed to be.

Maraoke

A great bit of video of Ann and I doing ‘Free from Desire’ by Gala sums up the night for me. Lots of fun, lots of dancing, stacks of singing. Start of a great Christmas.

Kermit doing ‘Once in a Lifetime’

Christmas

Christmas was great this year. We hosted two family events in the run-up and it was just the two of us on the day. Very chill, mostly pyjamas, no fuss (although I bumped into an old GDS colleague on a trip to the pub, because London). I cooked an incredible nut-roast, drank my body weight in prosecco, and that night we took a stroll through the unlocked park by the house. It was perfect.

A woodpecker on our bird feeders

Like spotting a celebrity in a corner shop. Not a Hollywood star, but definitely someone who’d won a BAFTA.

Leatherhead to Box Hill