Apparently, I don't understand APR, so Barclays has helpfully introduced a new system to help me calculate what my overdraft will cost me. By some incredible coincidence, this also results in me paying three times as much for my overdraft.
Maybe those of us who do understand APR can stay with the old system? No? Okay, then, but even people who can't understand APR can figure out that they're now paying far more. If Barclays were honest and just said they wanted more money from us, that would be more acceptable than the polite falsehoods they're putting forth about why they've made these changes.
Nothing I do can about it, most likely, except maybe consider moving to myother account at a different bank. And never buying any sort of financial services from Barlcays, ever again.
I wonder what this latest piece of rapacious gouging is going to cost Barclays in the long run?
This summer's fencing activities started with SWASH, which was smaller than in previous years due to timing changes forced by the Royal Armouries' refurbishment programme.
Despite (or perhaps because of) lower attendance, SWASH 2014 was a really excellent event. With smaller classes and a less crowded freeplay area, there was more time to play and more contact with instructors when learning.
I was a marshal for much of the event. You could tell when I was a marshal because I had a marshal's hat (well, a vaguely Western looking hat with a sherrif's badge on it). I was a marshal for the rapier, backsword and sabre/smallsword tourneys and at various times in between. The rest of the time I was... well... there.
The new tournament format resulted in a high standard of entries, and numerous bouts for those involved. What we saw was some excellent fencing (or fighting, in some cases) and hotly contested bouts that remained gentlemanly. Competitors were in my opinion exemplary in their fair play and courtesy... notably in the area of acknowledging or refusing to accept hits.
The backsword event in particular involved the marshals having to run around a lot, which certain people seemed to find amusing. The competitors got a rest between running marathons with swords; the marshals had to do it constantly. This more than anything else explains why I was sober yet comatose by 10PM on Sunday night...
I was able to attend some classes during SWASH, notably a gutter-fighting class based around Sykes-Fairbairn armed and unarmed combat and a horrifically exhausting smallsword class courtesy of Phil Crawley.
Yes. Smallsword, exhausting. Same sentence.
Damn you, Phil...!
Couple of weeks later and I'm in Edinburgh assessing IL1 candidates along with Ian MacIntyre and Phil again. Interestingly, the two we'd failed in Lincoln were exceptionally good this time around, which proves the importance of a high bar. Overall standard was pretty decent to very good, and we established that Ian should indeed be installed as Regional Assessor for Scotland.
Sunday saw Ian horribly discommoded (or maybe just commoded, if that's a real word) by some kind of wholemeal-derived poison masquerading as beer, leaving me and Phil to play in the park while he nursed his misery away from civilised folk.
Despite this, the overwhelming conclusion to be drawn from the weekend, if perhaps one influenced by a certain amount of whisky, is that those involved in running the assessment weekend do indeed deserve the respect of the fencing community. I seem to recall the phrase 'eminent as fuck' was used at one point, summing it all up in suitably Scottish style.
Suddenly it's July 2014. Not sure how or when that happened...
In the past few weeks I've finally finished the Celts books for Amber and the Liftoff! project for 13Mann. So now I can get to work on 'The Swordie Book' for Amberley and some more Call of Cthulhu material for Cubicle 7.
I've repeatedly decided to leave the games industry behind, but almost inevitably someone then offers me money to do some work for them. I like money, even if it's game-industry rates, so it's one more project then I'm out.
These days I'm more selective than previously about who I work for - largely due to the number of clients who have decided not to give me money after all. There's also the fact that in the past I've given good ideas to a client, so to speak, for little or no gain. I'm reluctant to waste good creativity these days, so I'm asking a bit more from the client. We'll start with paying on time - if you can manage that then you'll have my full attention.
On a related note, I had hoped (due to information from a third party) that there might be some resolution of the QLI issue. Turns out not to be the case. The short version is that I was never paid for most of the work I did for QLI, and I have records of an agreement with FFE, the overall license holder, that this work was first-rights-only. However, with the collapse of QLI, rights have reverted to FFE... only QLI never owned those rights because they didn't pay me.
No resolution seems possible at this stage.
The moral of this sad tale is that no matter how enthusiastic you are, no matter if you're working with a friend, get a contract. I worked on a handshake with someone I had reason to trust, and I lost out badly. Truthfully, I did know better but I allowed myself to be over-enthusiastic and put aside common sense.