Interlude: What I’m Doing On My Holidays, Day, uh… (Turku, Part 1)

Day 52. 104,811 words. Finished the second story! One and a bit left to go!

So this got a bit weird. My next summer holiday overtook my report on the last one. It turned out that, while I still didn’t have a winter holiday for this year, I still had 5 days of vacation time left from my summer holiday, so I’m taking them this week.

So it’s sort of a second summer holiday, which isn’t really summer because it’s the middle of winter but then my last summer holiday was winter too, and later this year I’ll actually be getting a normal summer holiday, which means that although I haven’t had a holiday since 2015, in 2018 I will be getting three. Which only seems fair.

What probably isn’t fair, however, is that because I’m on holiday and otherwise writing up a storm, I’m not going to be doing any interesting blog posts for the next few days.

We’re off the Turku for a couple of nights now, just to spend a bit of time in a hotel and so Mrs. Hatboy and Wump can hit the theatre.

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Interlude: Laurie

Day 51. 102,650 words.

For as long as I can remember, Laurie and his family have been a part of my circle of friends. That’s because he was a lifelong mate of my dad’s, so when my dad had kids and Laurie and his wife had kids, we all became friends too.

I was even their brother, for a few weeks, back when my parents were vacationing and I lived with Laurie and his family so I could get to school. I still remember those weeks, and how much I enjoyed it. I remember I even went up a level in maths[1]. This probably wasn’t specifically because of the fact that I was staying with these friends, but I’ve always connected the two things in my mind. Silly.

Anyway, they’re a wonderful group of people and I’ll always cherish my memories of our times together. Laurie and my dad would go surfing or fishing, and we kids would play on the beach. When I was in high school, we were neighbours for a while. I’ll always remember Laurie as a cheerful, lovable, positive presence in our lives. He was just a really great guy.

For the past couple of years he’s been battling cancer, and on Saturday night his battle ended.

I was glad to have had a chance to see him and talk with him on our recent trip, and to see that he was more or less his old self – with occasional understandable drifting – right up to the end. It was good to see his smile one more time.

I’m going to miss him, miss knowing that he’s there for my dad. And I can’t imagine how he’s going to be missed by his family. Pete, Cy, Soph, Nat – I’m so sorry for your loss.

That’s all for today.

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BONUS POST: Birthday Specials

To celebrate Mrs. Hatboy’s birthday on the 18th of February, I’ve started a campaign to allow the first books of my two series – Eejit in sci-fi, Bad Cow in sci-fi / fantasy – to be available for just 99c.

Offer only available for buyers, and only for the e-book. Offer lasts until Sunday the 25th of February. Not applicable to paperbacks or other books in series. 99c is an expression of US dollar value and is not a legal guarantee of these books costing less than a dollar. Fine print not read aloud in an amusingly-fast lawyer voice is still considered factual but just isn’t as funny. Mrs. Hatboy’s actual age is not the issue here.
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Interlude: Deadpool 2, The Hype Train Welcomes Late Boarders

Day 50. 99,612 words. On holiday this week. Don’t expect much in the way of updates or word count changes. I may update them or I may not. Work will be happening on my phone.


So this was flung at me by several people over the past couple of weeks, and as my esteemed associate Mr. Thepatriot says, I really ought to have made a blog post about it.

So here it is.

I mean, obviously eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee covers it quite well, but let’s give it a little bit more attention. Yes, we’re getting a Deadpool sequel and yes, it looks like it will be just as safe and sequel-formulaic as the first movie was safe and franchise-starter formulaic.


Given that it was taking huge risks with the character, the rating, and everything else.

I don’t really know much about Cable, since I haven’t read many of the Deadpool comics that include him (I’m still working through the back-catalogue and I very rarely get comic-reading time). But it looks well-cast and well-treated. I can’t wait to see how a cybernetic killer from the future will play into the very carefully and vaguely extended universe, and how many Terminator jokes there will be.

I had a laugh at the creative use of film-making fourth-wallism with the green to-be-edited arm and the brief puppet show with the dolls. It’s good to see that although a lot of jokes will be re-used from the first movie, there’s still plenty of fresh water in that well too.

And this, of course, is lampshaded and exemplified with the comment “well, that’s just lazy writing”.

Bless you, Ryan Reynolds, for making these movies work.

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What I Did On My Holidays, 2017-2018, Day 14

Day 49. 99,612 words. On holiday this coming week. Don’t expect much in the way of updates or word count changes. I may update them or I may not. Work will be happening on my phone.

On Saturday the 6th of January, Mrs. Hatboy and I hit Fremantle while Wump and Toop took the chance to play with their cousins again, my sister and her kids having just come up from Margaret River.


You can’t see it here, but behind Mrs. Hatboy and her stylish lunch and stylish hat and the Abramsian lens flare there was a bar called “The Cocktails and Meatballs Bar”. Just inside the door, there was a flashing neon sign that read “THE COCK ‘N’ BALLS BAR”. Genius.

In the evening we met up with my sister and brother and nieces and Wump (Toop stayed behind with the grandparents), and we all went to the movies together to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.


Amusingly, this is not the first movie The Rock has been in called “Welcome to the Jungle”. Although I’m not sure why that’s amusing. But it is.

I’m not really going to review this, except to say it was a really enjoyable movie. Lots of laughs, not much thinking required, just the right blend of respect for the original and acknowledgement that it wasn’t exactly a franchise-cornerstoning cinematic masterwork, a couple of references and plenty of BSTs. Greatly enjoyed by impressionable-seven-year-old Wump and cynical-nearly-fifty-year-old Jim alike, and everyone in between.

Well worth a look. Easily one of the best and least-annoying movies I have ever seen Jack Black in. He actually did a pretty damn good job in this movie. And The Rock is, as always, just adorable.

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What I Did On My Holidays, 2017-2018, Day 13

Day 48. 99,612 words. On holiday this coming week. Don’t expect much in the way of updates or word count changes. I may update them or I may not. Work will be happening on my phone.

On Friday, the 5th of January, we went to the zoo because it’s one of the main things that Wump and Toop can pretty much be guaranteed to enjoy. We lost Grandad for a little while in there but he turned up again near the elephant exhibit having spent about half an hour wandering around like a lost dementia-sufferer and making friends with all the staff.

My dad and I[1] also paid a visit to Laurie, an old friend of the family who is severely poorly with cancer. That was pretty sad but it was good to see he was almost like his old self when he complained about how boring the hospital was and gave my dad a bit of shit. He’s a really lovely bloke. Cancer’s a bastard.

[1] Just to clarify, I’m messing around with terminology here but “Grandad” is my dad, I’m just calling him what Wump and Toop call him. In the same way, Uncle Jim is my brother. Perth isn’t that small a town.

After that, Mrs. Hatboy and Wump and Toop and I headed to my old pal Mick’s place for dinner. I’ve been friends with Mick since we were both about 4 years old and we went to pre-primary together. We parted ways in year 3 but continued to hang out through the console gaming years until he finally headed over to Sydney and I went to Finland. He came back to Perth to work, get married, and start a family, all of which he’s managed to carry off very successfully. It was great to catch up with him again and meet his family.

And holy shit, that mojito ice cream cheesecake was fucking amazing.

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What I Did On My Holidays, 2017-2018, Day 12

Day 47. 97,476 words.

Today we hit Rottnest[1] for the day, starting bright and early in the morning with a ferry ride over. Uncle Jim came along with us and acted as tour guide, since he was quite experienced with visiting the place. And the weather, according to Mrs. Hatboy, was not as rough as the last time we had been across to Rotto in 2000.

[1] I was pleased to see, on the promotional video on the way to the island, that they had added a bit of a spiel about how the island’s actual name is Wadjemup. I never actually learned this while I was living in Western Australia, and was surprised[2] to find it out about it during my research for Bad Cow where the island – or part of it – retains an aura of holy ground because of the Aboriginal people.

[2] Well, not surprised, as such, because I knew most places in Western Australia already had names before white people arrived … but I was surprised it wasn’t more widely-known or mentioned anywhere, and that there was so much we just hadn’t been taught. Again, not surprising, exactly … but an unpleasant confirmation.

A lot has changed in 17 years, let alone the additional 15 or so since I went to Rotto as a kid with my family on my dad’s yacht. It really was something of a wilderness back then, especially once you got away from the main settlement around the ferry landing.

Now, you could practically walk from Fremantle to Rotto just by stepping from boat to boat. The bay was packed with them, and the settlement was a massive, hideous crowd.

We didn’t have the time – or, with Wump and Toop in tow, the energy – to get far from the settlement, so we went and had breakfast at the bakery, then spent an hour at a fun park some dude had set up on the beach nearby. He’d basically thrown a bunch of bouncy castles into the water and Wump thought it looked like fun so insisted on going.

I should have learned my lesson after Excape, but Wump wasn’t ready for the cold water and extreme diving experience. She wanted to leave after five minutes, but I had to pull a Dad on her and say I’d just paid $70 for a family hour, so she was going to have to tough it out. She did have fun after a while, because there were trampolines and things, but there was a lot of sulking and whining about kids climbing and jumping on the bouncy castles she was trying to sunbathe on.

There were even a couple of big half-inflated pillow things that a kid could go to the end of (provided he or she was dextrous enough to not flop off into the water), and another kid could jump on the other end and catapult the kid through the air. Jim and I tried and failed to stay on it, and in the end Wump and I settled for swimming back and forth and watching other people attempting to get it to work. When it did, and when the catapultee was a kid and the catapultor was an adult, the results were hilarious. Especially when the kid just went straight up and down again.

From there we walked to another little beach which was almost as crowded but at least we could get in the water properly. I don’t remember there being so many shark nets when I was a kid. Jim and I went snorkelling, and as I mentioned on Day 6 Wump had a go but was put off by the salt water, the poor fit of the goggles, and the loose teeth she had. Fair enough, I guess. We said we’d try again sometime later, in a swimming pool.

We walked back to the settlement (I carried Wump and Toop in turns, getting my share of exercise for the day), had lunch at the pub / restaurant with half a billion close friends, then wandered around and took it easy while Wump and Toop enjoyed a playground. Mrs. Hatboy got an obligatory quokka selfie (do continue nagging Mrs. Hatboy for more pictures by the way), and then we got on the ferry home. The kids were absolutely wrecked.

All in all a nice day, and I won’t need to go back to Rotto for another 17 years.

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