So, although I had planned on starting C# again this year, I may have gotten a little distracted with video games. Four came out all at the same time and I’ve been playing them all the hours that I have free. I started with the latest Metal Gear Solid. I’d got pretty far in with it but after one too many difficulty spikes I gave up on it. It just isn’t worth the hassle. Hobbies should be fun, not stressful. After this there was the new Tomb Raider. That was good, a few challenging segments but nothing too stressful. It was shorter than the last game but still enjoyable. The next one was Fallout 4 (which I’m still playing). I’ve thrown about 150 hours into it so far. I’m nearing the end though. I’d say I’m enjoying it but it seems some of the enemies are a bit hard. No where near as frustrating as Metal Gear was, so I’m going to finish, but I am dying lots. In between all these games I’ve been getting in the odd hour on the new Starcraft expansion. All the gaming.

book collection
Our book collection

I’ve not been totally lazy though (just mostly). One day I went a bit mad and decided to do a bit of unpacking. I’ve been living with Tom for over 6 months now and we still haven’t found homes for all of my things. It’s all those things that don’t get used every day like dvds and books, so there was no rush, but I think I just wanted to have some things out of their boxes. As some of Tom’s books were also hidden away in some wicker baskets, I decided that the books should have a nice home. I dragged all of the books out of their dusty boxes and took them all upstairs to the bedroom (the only long wall we have free at the moment). Then I spent a while organising everything into piles according to their authors. That was fun for me as I like organising things. Then I gave them all homes on the shelves. I did the best I could to keep series together, but because some of the books were taller than the shelves sometimes this wasn’t possible. I think I did quite well for one day’s work, plus it’s always nice to have a wall of books. I think so anyway. As a final task for that day I also put the DVDs and Blu-rays into the wicker baskets that previously contained Tom’s books so we have a bit more room in the dining room (where the rest of my belongings live until they too have homes).

christmas tree
The Lunken-Bennet-Janion Christmas tree

Early December it was tree time and although I didn’t plan on it, I ended up putting the Christmas tree up on my own.

christmas hamper
A Christmas gift hamper

For the rest of the month we’ve been planning Christmas presents. We’d already been planning on giving out some of the sloe gin we made earlier this year, so extending this to a full hamper seemed to be a good way to go. I made up 6 in the end, all with similar things in them. Some had extras if the recipients had pets, or we’d already found them something earlier in the month (we found some cool old maps in a charity shop). The hampers all had a bottle of red wine, some chocolates and either a tub of ground coffee or tea. I also made up some lemon curd (I used lactose-free ingredients too), put together a jar of dry cookie ingredients (with a recipe on the label), and added a small bottle of the sloe gin we’d made. To make the hampers look a little nicer, I shredded up some news paper for padding, and covered it in a nice piece of material.

hot chocolate mix
Hot chocolate mix in a jar

As well as the hampers, we also made up two boxes of chocolate-based goodies for two other recipients. One of which included a jar of hot chocolate ingredients. I layered everything up just like we’d put the cookie ingredients in the other jars. I think it looks so pretty with all the different layers.

As for progress on the job front, I’m still looking. I got all excited earlier this month because I went for an interview with Virgin Money and I felt that it went so very well. The guys who interviewed me were really nice (nice combo of friendly and techy – not too much of one or the other), I had a small practical to do so I could show my skills rather than explaining them, and the questions were about things other than the job which helped me relax a bit – nothing like being asked about providing voice over for a monkey goddess in a video game to make you grin. I was so excited afterwards that I was floating around and grinning like an idiot the rest of the day haha. I’ve not heard anything back yet, but I figure as it’s Christmas the progress will be slow anyway. Even if I don’t get the position I’m still chuffed that the interview went so well. Now I know what you’re supposed to feel like – happy, smiley and excited, not some nervous bag of shyness.

Anyway, I’ve got more presents to wrap and Fallout 4 to play. Have a lovely holiday and I’ll see you in the new year for some actual coding practice (I promise).