I’m typing this on my netbook, surrounded by piles of a teenage boy’s laundry. Next to me, someone is fighting off a combination of head-grabbing aliens and gas-mask wearing policemen (courtesy of Microsoft’s Xbox360) while, somewhere in the distance, a King Charles spaniel snuffles around looking for a free meal. I must be home for Easter.
There’s always something a little weird about arriving back at the parents’ house after being away all term. Simple things like dishwashers seem imbued with magical powers (“You mean, I don’t have to wash up?”) and having someone else cook makes you feel like royalty (especially when said person is my dad, a very good cook if somewhat “inventive”). Being reunited with a teenage brother (who is growing up too damn fast for my liking) also has its refreshing points. I’d forgotten just how long my brother can spend spinning out a yarn of dragons, unicorns, mysterious strangers and late buses, to explain exactly why he’s in trouble at college. Again.
And then, once you’ve got a good meal in your belly, a dog on your lap and have secured yourself the perfect position on the sofa, you remember. You’re supposed to be doing work.
“Work” in this case means catching up on notes, finishing one design report, and getting a running start at the software project. That last one is not being immensely helped by the fact that (thanks to a certain someone and their bright ideas) I’m now also attempting to write my own turn-based strategy game in C#. Do I get some sort of insanity award for giving myself more work? Oh well. When I’m filthy rich and working for Microsoft Games I won’t look nearly so stupid.
It’s all a matter of balance really. Not too much work. Not too much play. Not too much dog-petting. (Seriously, if I spend any more time fussing over him I’ll end up kidnapping him and smuggling him back to Southampton. I’m not sure my landlord would be that impressed, but I’m sure my housemates would love him.)