There is something up in the Kingdom of Scotland. A rebellion is afoot, but I don’t think it is going to spread very far. Thursday seemed a very ordinary day to me but as I look at my notebook it seemed actually quite full with stuff so maybe it was Friday where the rebellion took hold. However Thursday turned out, it was on Friday that I would write about it. Perhaps I just need to accept that I wrote nothing yesterday and so P.E. 1907 will not exist but now I write that, I have an idea about what it could be about. I think that yesterday was simply a day where I lacked confidence and hence imagination.

I guess that has been a theme for the last few days. The realisation of what I have taken on in order to compete at the UK Transplant Games caused me a lot of distress, the echo is still there although the barrier between sanity and meltdown is much stronger now. I think my physical fragility the next day was just as much about the mental difficulties of the day before than some random headache. Thursday was a bit more normalised but in the evening I received a call from a friend that is struggling with liver disease. She has an operation coming up which has a good chance of painful side-effects. The operation has been avoided until it was absolutely necessary because it is stop-gap method that may need to be repeated on a monthly basis. It is not unusual for the disease she has to lead to a liver transplant.

I think I did an okay job of supporting her but revealing my trials to her is hard when I am feeling so vulnerable. So perhaps when Friday came and I headed into work I might had realised that perhaps I wasn’t at my best. In general, I find myself asking for more support at work. Where once I make a decision myself, I am wanting to talk issues through with somebody to check my thinking particularly because I have a tendency to get hooked onto a simple thing and blow it out of proportion. I actually think it is good for team building to approach work in this manner but it also supports me to keep going on a project where I have lost momentum and interest. I do find there are some things that I have nearly lost all my confidence in. These are areas where I have make mistakes that have had a cost either financially or emotionally.

I find that every day I am in work, I need to reassure myself that I don’t need to do anything about the payroll. I no longer trust myself to get it right or to pay it at the right time. I lost confidence in my ability. The same is true for VAT. I made a mistake using our new accounting software which meant that I become so absorbed in sorting out the error that I forgot to make any payment to the Tax Office and thus got fined 10% of our quarterly bill. When I looked yesterday at the accounting software for the VAT quarters I noticed that there had been no recording of the last quarter’s payment. Now I am not the book-keeper so I am not comfortable entering in data for our accounts but since I wanted to avoid getting another fine, I tried recording a payment for the last quarter. Aside from not know if I had done it right, there was also the issue that the required VAT for the last quarter had gone up since I did the bank transfer. I had underpaid. I expected this underpayment to be carried over into this quarter but it didn’t appear on the report generated.

Had I recorded the payment correctly? Should I add the residue debt to this month’s VAT report? I found myself becoming overwhelmed by the issue and I could feel a meltdown in progress (is this similar to a core breach in Star Trek?). I reclaimed my control  by taking some deep breathes and working out what to write in an email to our accountant. I parked the issue but I hope I am better at getting a solution by the deadline of the filing. There were other demanding things going on too so that heading home at the end of the day, I decided on a longer bike ride that flattened the hills out.

My wife was going to be late home and since it was her turn to cook, she left me a ready-meal to put in the oven. This I did and turned on the TV to watch some reruns of Doctor Who through the games console whilst I waited for the food to heat through. It was whilst I was eating the pasta bake, that I noticed one of my American friends get online and was playing a game called Elite Dangerous. He sent me a message asking if I was busy and we endied up chatting. I came across the original Elite game when I was a kid and played it on my BBC Micro B, a popular microcomputer in the UK. It’s the kind of game where you have a spaceship and you travel around the galaxy trading, mining, or shooting. It was the first game on the BBC B to be truly 3D and have realistic (whatever that means) physics. I loved the game and became pretty proficient on it.

I had downloaded the updated version when it was on special offer recently and found the new version pretty daunting. Nowadays I prefer to play with other people online and so after a bit I dropped Elite because nobody else I knew was playing it. That changed yesterday. After I finished eating, my friend and I tried to meet up within the Elite world. It took quite a while. He reminded me of the controls and we were off. Elite is not a game where you can be all powerful from the start. It takes time and patience to build up enough credits to upgrade your ship with better capabilities. Elite Dangerous turn out to be as addictive as when I was younger. In fact I stayed up playing it all through the night, seeing my American friends go off to bed. I honestly don’t know where the time went.

The same could probably be said of the seventeen year old self that played the original. Video games have always offered a refuge for some people, which includes me. Life was tough when I was seventeen, I had no idea what I wanted to do or who to be. I suspect the game gave me a chance to leave that anxiety and worry behind. The same was true today. I have had a difficult week. I think I got to Friday evening and just needed to escape for a while. I knew I hadn’t written my post. I knew how late it was when the sky lightened outside. I knew that it was okay to let this all-nighter happen. Today is Saturday and I have nothing that I definitely need to do.

I also know that I have to be careful of this game. It is so absorbing that it would be easy to lose myself in it. I am going to try and not play it today. I don’t know how successful I will be.

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