My time spent on Dragon Quest IX has jumped up to 58 hours of hard work – I cannot believe it’s been that long or indeed that much. Kid Icarus is sitting on my desk at home quietly mocking me, begging to be played. I would but there’s no time, not until I finish off this thrice-damned game. Though perhaps I tried to spread myself a bit too thin as I noticed Steam were selling Civilization III Complete for £3 and thought I’d take advantage. It certainly hasn’t aged well compared with its two successors but still worth a play, I guess. I never did finish all the Conquest scenarios so there’s always those minigames to work through.

I forgot that in order to win or at least get a good advantage going in Civ 3, you need to follow the strategy of ICS (Infinite City Sprawl), occupying every reasonable corner of the map. I started a game as Cleopatra of Egypt (Religious and Industrious traits are very useful) and carved a reasonable Empire out for myself on a map. The Koreans were brought to heel in the north and I plan in sending my army after either the Carthaginians in the north or the Indians in the South (probably India as they managed a couple of Wonders). But now that I’ve got Civ 3, I’m going to have to look for the scenarios I used to enjoy including the one which massively expands the game with a twice/three times the research options etc (not Rhye’s).

Also finished another game of Civ V after finding the patch workaround (though it hasn’t eliminated the lag time between turns) as Arabia with a diplomatic victory. Korean and myself split the Aztec Empire between us before I channelled my financial resources into sucking up to the various city states who carried me over the finish line.

For reasons that I’m going to keep to myself for now, I had to get out of the house on Sunday lest I drove myself insane with stress. I began a walk with the intention of perhaps doing a massive loop around Stratford or perhaps even as far as Mile End as that takes about an hour. But I kept going on and on and on until I reached the Vauxhall Griffin 2½ hours later. 10 miles covered (according to my 3DS) and I rewarded myself with a bottle of Crabbies. Unfortunately enough, once I returned home I stuffed my face with some leftover chilli con carne…and there’s more of that to come.

Between myself and Barry, we cleaned out the washing machine last night, not least as it’s been smearing brown gunk on clothes. I performed a maintenance wash and cleaned the filter whilst he took care of the drum and seal. It was utterly disgusting but I think we’ve gotten through the worst of it although I did notice that the tablecloth which was the last thing I sent through a cycle last night had a couple of stains this morning after relaying it. I think another scaldingly hot wash is in order.

Man, the above just reads as mundane as all hell. There’s just nothing interesting to report. I haven’t been out anywhere new, exciting or exotic. I haven’t tried anything different. There has been no social progress – indeed, I’m in something of a consolidatory phase at the moment. And I’m not in trouble beyond the angry debt collection letters still demanding I pay my final BT bill when I’m convinced that I’ve already paid it off.

I did have a rant the other day about the Olympics which is sorta worth repeating. The newspapers were reporting on the fact that bus drivers are going on strike this coming Friday over the fact they won’t be getting any Olympic “bonuses”. As a resident of Stratford, I was thinking of writing to the council and to that scruff-bag Mayor of London demanding an Olympic bonus in the form of a council tax rebate for having to put up with not only the construction of Westfield and the Olympic nonsense, but for the CTRL works (and an international station that doesn’t host any international services), the Central Line derailment fiasco about ten years ago and whatever falls out of the upcoming Crossrail works because it will just mess us all over completely.

What’s coming up this week then? The answer is “not much”. The quiz has been moved from Tuesday to Wednesday to accommodate the stinking football and also on that day I have lunch with Brian…wherever we can get in that uses Vouchercloud. That’s actually it, just the one activity in the diary. I should get something for Xian’s birthday which was last week (no party, much to my relief) and it’s German Daniel’s birthday this Wednesday which I could otherwise attend if it wasn’t for the wretched football. Quiz always comes first. Oh, there’s a one-hour strike this Friday afternoon as part of the new “awkward tactics” being employed which I might join, haven’t decided as yet. Even my work schedule is startlingly light. But that’s fine enough for me, counting down 38 days.

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