Well hello there. That’s right, I’m back.
I got stuck in China for a bit longer than anticipated, initially due to delays on equipment being delivered to the offices I was working in. Towards the end of my work there, I started to get ill. Woke up one morning running a fever, and decided that I had to push through it and get the job done. Unfortunately dosing myself up good and proper on ibuprofen and working through the weekend, I wasn’t doing any better, and the manager of the office I was in at the time decided I’d better see a doctor before flying home the next day.
Those of you who have read the guest update late last week will be aware of what happened next… turns out the reason I had a fever was that I’d managed to pick up some kind of bacterial respiratory tract infection. To cut a long story short, that meant I couldn’t fly home. I spent the next three days recuperating in my hotel room, until the fever was gone and I wasn’t coughing as much, then booked myself on the next flight back to Australia. When I got here I was still coughing, but I wasn’t sore and feverish, so I figured I was over the worst of it. Just in case, I went to the doctor this morning to get a check up. Seeing as I was in China when I got ill, I thought that was a prudent measure… turns out the infection is still hanging around, it’s just moved down into my chest. So I’m still off work for a few more days. Still, that’s not all bad, it at least gives me time to make some headway on the huge amount of laundry I have to do after the trip, and lets me make a start on writing for the blog again.
Anyway, that’s enough of that. The point of this update is to give a proper introduction and thank you to my friend Jim, otherwise known as Jimbles or Professor Jimbles (also Jimblet, Jiblet, Jibbles, and whatever other silly variations on his name I can think of at any given time). Jimbles agreed to do a guest post while I was indisposed in China, since I was unable to login myself. I was pretty happy with what he wrote, and asked if he would be interested in doing regular posts in order to try and spur me into writing more often. The answer was yes, so you can expect to see more updates from Professor Jimbles in the future. I know the next update or two are going to relate to the Shattered Star game I run that he’s playing in, but beyond that I’m not sure what he’ll be writing about. At some point soon I hope to do some collaborative writing with him, most likely starting with some opinion pieces where we discuss our personal viewpoints on various topics.
To give a bit of background on my friendship with Jimbles:
I consider him to be one of my closest friends (whether or not he’s aware of this is another matter), even though we’ve only known each other for around two years now. When I first met the group that I currently hang out with, I was a little over a year out of a three year relationship that was the first time I’d lived with a partner. I’d spent the year after that crashed and burned as a depressed hermit, only leaving the house to go to work or go shopping. The rest of my time was spent online, reading or playing video games. I think I literally only saw one of my friends once during that year. One of the guys I was working with at the time had invited me to go play some Magic: The Gathering at a game store, and it turned out to be just what I needed. By the end of the first night, I’d signed up for the pre-release for the Innistrad MtG set, and accepted an invitation to join a Serenity role playing group. Over the next few months I started to spend more and more time at the store (for any Canberra readers, I’m talking about Good Games down in Lanyon). At the pre-release I met Ian, who slowly introduced me to the rest of my current group of friends. Jim was part of this group, and as I said, along with Ian I consider him to be one of my closest friends. He’s always there to bounce ideas off of, and never minds when I drop by to just chill out for a while. When I’m feeling out of it and down, he listens without complaining, and tells me what I need to hear, rather than what I want to hear (there’s an important distinction between the two). He’s a brilliant gamer, an excellent writer of bizarre characters and stories, and a better friend than I think I deserve.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say, in a rather long and convoluted manner, is this: Thanks Jim. The Grassy Gnoll wouldn’t even really exist without your encouragement (and Nell, if you’re reading this, you deserve large amounts of credit as well for giving me the initial idea). I’m really happy that you’ve agreed to be part of it, and I look forward to getting this blog back on track and updated regularly with your help.
Anyway, that’s it from me for now. Take it easy, and I’ll try to have another update in the next day or so.
Written while listening to Noctura. Their singer, Mandy Suiter, has a beautiful voice. They did an excellent cover of The Offspring’s song Gone Away, which I actually prefer to the original as I feel the slower, more solemn pacing suits the theme better (though I still love the original). They also covered Smells Like Teen Spirit for the Nirvana tribute album Forevermind.