The theme for the second week of Blaugust is Introduce yourself, I’ve always tried to maintain an About Me page on more recent interactions of my blog, not much changes on there, I think the biggest change was when I updated it to say I wasn’t 30 something anymore 😛
Now looking at the page I see there is an least one glaring change needed, but I’ll take this time to expand and revise that content via a blog post.
I am Kris (yes named after that one, he was popular in the 70’s OK) and I have been going by the name Welshtroll since about 1998, which was when I permanently got access to the internet at home. Before then it was at other peoples houses and at college. As for the origin of the name it was likely sourced from a good foundation in mythical creatures and AD&D.
I am based in the UK, South Wales to be exact, where I live with my wife (FlyinPinkMunki) and our two sons, upgraded from one as part of the 2021 Surprise DLC Bundle.
I am a programmer by trade, my first job was as “new blood” brought into work on a aging CICS/COBOL financial mainframe system.
I was a lot of fun and working within the confines of an older system required you to be far more creative and cleaver with how you approached development. Once I moved onto working in C# the scope of my work was a lot broader and varied and soon widened to include Visual Basic to support on premises applications.
Now I still work in the financial sector and still technically focused, despite my title change, a lot what I do is still the same as when I started out in the industry, but then I’m much better at it.
When I’m not working, I can be found playing some form of game, whether it be a Video game, Table top or Role Playing.
I thought that Blaugust was going to be more straight forward this year but alas life throws whole bags of spanners into the mix once more.
On the weekend we did a little shopping then headed to Wagamama as a treat, for those not familiar Wagamama is a British restaurant chain that serve Asian food based on Japanese cuisine.
Pictured is the cherry blossom lemonade I had that was bloody delicious.
We discovered on Monday that at some point during the weekend adventure, Munki (my other half), ended her 2 year 5 month streak of being COVID free.
We live in a small house so there isn’t any real meaningful isolation that can happen, however Munki tried to keep away from the kids, I have only recently gotten over having COVID 4 weeks ago, thankfully it was while the family were away, it meant I wasn’t too concerned about getting it again myself.
The problem is that our 16 month old Tiny Troll is of course still needing a lot of attention so I was picking up all those duties to let Munki stay out of close proximity, add into the mix doing my day job, a dash of gaming and mustering some blog posts too, it’s been a juggling act to say the least.
Well today TinyTroll woke with a high temperature which after a test turned out to be positive too. He has only displayed the fever so we are hopeful that will be the extent of it.
Naturally Munki feels awful that he has caught it, but thankful that she is now able to help out with some baby related tasks since they are both in the same boat.
LittleTroll (our eldest) remains negative on tests and to be honest is making himself as useful as a 12 year old can.
So fingers crossed that everyone in the house starts to get better in the coming days and we can return to our usual family chaos instead of is COVID branded one.
Yesterday I attended a virtual memorial for a ex co-worker from my first job, the event was lovely and emotional, it was also hard as the person in question had chance to record their own eulogy, it was difficult to hear but had some laugh out loud moments too, which was very typical of the person.
I spent some time thinking of when I was working alongside them, the day to day laughs that made the days go faster and smoother, their always cheeky grin that instantly make you think they were up to something. Reading some of the comments from friends and co-workers there is a strong pattern of how much joy flowed from the person, no matter the setting.
I entered the corporate world of shirts and ties at 19, fresh from college and stepped into an environment that was filled with some of the most wonderfully unique people and personalities.
I was taken on as a trainee programmer, given hemps of training, on COBOL/CICS/DB2 (Mainframes in banks) but the practicalities of actually using it in a real environment was a completely different matter.
Those co-workers, all my senior, mentored and guided me as I learned the ropes and continued to support me through-out my 9 year career.
Many of them already had kids and it was so different to move from a learning environment in college to a workplace filled with conversations about “grown up” stuff, other would tell use how good we had it as they regaled us with details of their experiences of working with punch cards and messing up the ordering.
I know that some of those lessons are still with me today, and despite the technology moving on by 23 years they resonate strongly with my values and my approach to work.
For myself lockdown seemed relatively straight-forward, I have my “Office” setup facing a window so that family members walking by won’t distract me too much.
Munki has been homeschooling Little Troll since September so there has only been some small tweaks needs to handle my being home all the time.
I bought Animal Crossing New Horizon for Munki so there was something new to her distract from events and the fact we will at some point get on each others nerves, this hasn’t really happened but I’m not sure if it’s just luck or down to ACNH.
We are arranging for shopping once every 7 to 9 days to keep the fresh foods topped up, this seems to be working well so-far and we are noting down dates of foods so we don’t forget to use anything. This has actually seen our weekly food waste amount diminish quite a bit.
The first Monday after the UK entered lockdown (23rd) mid morning we got the sad news that a family friend of ours had passed away (unrelated to CoVID), this came out of the blue even though they had been in Hospital recently they had been discharged and were at home.
Later that same day we learnt that one of my grandmothers had also passed away (again unrelated to CoVID), she had been unwell for a little while but it was still another shock that hit us for six.
This week both of the funerals have taken place and in both cases the number of attendees is heavily restricted, one to under 5 persons (excluding officials and pallbearers) the other 10 persons (including officials).
I couldn’t attend either of the events due to the limitations, there are plans afoot to hold events in celebration of people’s lives in the future once the world returns to normality.
However not having the release/closure that comes from the attendance of a service is something that is very difficult to get to grips with and I found this very overwhelming at certain points this week.
Like me you are probably spending your days staring at the interior walls of your home and most likely at a number of differently sized screens throughout the day.
While trips to get shopping get me away from the house they leave me feeling both physically and emotionally exhausted, those essential works who still have to commute and do their job in such an environment continue to have my utmost respect.
When I saw Belghast was preparing a blogging event for April (Blapril), I was very tempted to to embark on the experience once more, however I wanted to ensure that I was better placed to achieve completion this time before signing up, My last few attempts had to end early due to health and being overloaded at work reasons.
I’m happy to say that I shall be taking part in this great idea giving “a dose of internet togetherness to combat the negative effects of social distancing”. Not having to commute gives me back a solid 75 minutes a day and I want to ensure I ring-fence that time into some constructive and creative like Blapril.
Even if you aren’t inclined to fire up your blog and flex those writing skills, please follow some of the participants, I can’t wait to read the blogs of some of those who have signed up (The reading list is wonderful BTW).
Happy (Thank-Goodness-Neverending-March-Is-Finally-Over) April everyone I hope you and your family all keep safe.