Codswallop in the form of a morning diary
Tea keeps me going. I always drink Yorkshire Gold tea (with some milk and a dash of honey) from a somewhat excessive 0,75 litre mug. Not exactly ye olde Albion style, but I doubt they care much due to Brexit. Yorkshire Gold is the breakfast of champions, without actually being breakfast. It’s just that good. The only problem is that I can only buy out of town. I’ve always been more of a tea drinker, since coffee doesn’t sit well with me; I think it tastes bad and just makes my stomach cry. That said, I can drink it if there’s nothing else available. My parents consume coffee religiously, so I have to suffer it whenever I visit. At least I can hide the taste with homemade buns and pie.
I had a few hours to spare before rehabilitative work started, so I figured I’d finally give the PS4 version of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown a try. I’d already finished it on the PC and Xbox One, but the PS4 copy came with a remastered version of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. Being an avid Ace Combat fan, I had to get that one. Now, I love planes. Specifically fighter aircraft. There’s just something beautiful about them, even the piglike A-10. I wanted to join the air force when I was younger, but that was a pipe dream. My eyesight’s always been shot and it just seems to get worse with age, which kinda put a damper on my ambitions.
But oh, those Russians and their planes. My favourite aircraft has always been the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker, that sexy little beast of the skies. I was introduced to it in the old 1995 PC flight simulator, cleverly titled ”Su-27 Flanker.” The plane’s old, it’s been expanded and improved upon with the likes of Su-30, Su-33, Su-34, Su-35 and the latest member of the family, the fifth generation Su-57 (in addition to prototypes or testbeds like Su-37 and Su-47, the one with the forward-swept wings), but it’s the Su-27 that started it all. It’s absolutely gorgeous. That’s why I always use Russian aircraft in video games and simulators. This time, however, I wanted to try something new. The choice was between the American side of things, or with the Project ACES-made superplanes. I went with the latter, so I spent an hour or so dropping enemy fighters with my trusty trio consisting of the Falken, the Morgan, and the Raven. The Raven seems somewhat overpowered due to the PLSL UAV. I didn’t even have to use the Raven’s actual weaponry against the bosses; a couple of UAV sweeps was all it took to make them go boom. Thought I’d leave Daredevil until later, so I stopped playing. I want to experience that particular setpiece again when I can have my speakers make some actual noise without worrying about waking any neighbors.
Another thing that’s always been close to my heart is reading. I started devouring books when I was around 10 years old, but there’s one book series that’s always been The Thing for me. Well, apart from the Lord of the Rings. That series is Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, that perfect blend of satirical fantasy and comedy. I was introduced to it back in 1995, when my dad bought the Discworld adventure game for the PC. We both found it hilarious, so he bought me my first Discworld book, Mort (actually the fourth book in the series). Death, the Grim Reaper himself, has adopted a daughter, Ysabel, and takes on an apprentice called Mortimer, or Mort. Later Death goes on holiday to learn what it means to be human, leaving Mort in charge of the Job. Mort cocks the whole thing up and Death has to sweep everything under the rug, but seeing that Ysabel and Mort have fallen in love, lets them leave. The two later produce a spawn, Susan Sto Helit, who is human. Well, mostly. Being Death’s granddaughter, she’s inherited some things. Like the ability to stop time, walk through walls and use The Voice. True, she’s not Death’s biological granddaughter, but some things are inherited through more than just genetics. She takes over whenever Death needs a holiday or has something else to do, whether she wants to or not. One such occasion was when Death had to pretend to be the Hogfather (Discworld’s Santa Claus) while the real one was incapacitated. Death also has a small sidekick in the Death of Rats, an absolutely adorable little critter who flies around on his own sidekick, Quoth the Raven. Quoth hates the ”n-word”. You can probably guess what the word is if you’re at all familiar with Edgar Allan Poe.
Death is the main protagonist (and one of the more popular ones) in five of the 41 (!) Discworld novels. The other main characters are the likes of the witches of Lancre (The Maiden, The Mother and… The Other One) , the wizards of the Unseen University, the roguish Moist von Lipwig, Susan sto Helit, and Havelock Vetinari, the Patrician of the city-state of Ankh-Morpork. My personal favourite is His Grace, the Duke of Ankh, Commander of the City Watch Sir Samuel ”Sam” Vimes, probably the most cynical and misanthropic bastard in the entire series. He’s also 100% on the side of the angels. Vimes has an anti-authoritarian streak a mile wide, despite being authority. That’s practically zen.
I own every single Discworld novel, with some duplicates, plus maps and calendars. My father’s also a fan. All in all, I probably have a couple hundred books cluttering my apartment.