I want to start this blog post by saying I’m sorry. It’s 4th May (May the Fourth be with you!) 2023 and my last post was on 14th July 2021, almost two full years since I last wrote anything here. I’m sorry that I’m a shit blogger. So what’s happened in these past two years. Quite a lot actually which means I hope you can forgive me for not having the time to blog.
In my last post I told you I was between jobs after being furloughed from my old theatre job due to the Covid restrictions. Since the world reopened I’ve had three jobs with varying success. The first job I landed in August 2021 was at a kids soft play area as a manager, I managed three months. My second job was as a Christmas temp at a discount clothing store (TK Maxx), I last three whole shifts! And finally a job I’ve now been in for seventeen months.
The soft play centre was awful, I hated every minute of it. One of the owners constantly micromanaged and wouldn’t let me do my job but I did make a new life bestie in Hollie.
TK Maxx was a disaster! The staff were great, the job itself wasn’t too bad but I had a major phobia. People. Still in the midst of a pandemic and in the lead up to Christmas (huge crowds!) meant I was fearful constantly. Within a week of starting I got ill and it put me out of action for three weeks. Not Covid, thankfully, but a bad case of the flu which I’ve no doubt I caught from a customer. This helped me make my mind up that I’m still not safe and I can’t be in crowded places yet.
In the week before Christmas 2021 I began volunteering and doing a few bar shifts at The Tower Theatre in Folkestone. With my previous experience in another Folkestone theatre I wanted to help out at this iconic community theatre that had not long reopened following the Covid-19 forced closure. A huge perspex screen separated me from the hordes at the bar, mask-wearing was still compulsory as was daily Covid tests and hand sanitiser stations were everywhere, so for the first time since before my cancer treatment I felt very safe. Fast forward a few months and in May 2022 I became officially employed there in a combined role of Front of House Manager and Bar Manager (official title ‘Duty Manager’). I’m now twelve months into this role (seventeen months at the venue in total) and I’m still loving every single day. My colleagues are amazing, as are all the volunteers, and wake up each morning eager to get to work. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I last felt like this.
Since we last spoke I’ve been busy with the production of Steve Davis’ ‘SOMME16’ movie. We’ve spent around 6 days in a WW1 trench in south east Kent and with further shoots planned we hope to have this incredible story shot, edited and released before the end of the year.
When I’m not working at the theatre or working on the movie I’m busy gaming using my alter-ego Captain Valve. Recently I’ve been concentrating on building my characters in a new GTAV roleplaying server. Notice I said characters – plural. I have Harry Windsor, Police Chief of Paleto Bay and EMS. I also have Bradley Hamster, the President of a Motorcycle Club. I am also Willie Stroker (yes, that’s his name!) who’s a rapper, and Arthur Sixpence, a Santa suit-wearing homeless guy. I occasionally also bring in other characters just for the day to liven up the RP. Names include Annie Rection, Major Wood, Hugh Jorgan, Mike Oxlong (he was a vicar!), Artie Tack, Tess Tickles and Buck S. Fizz.
The plan, if my PC can handle it, is to start streaming on Twitch very soon. I’ll do a couple of test runs in the next few weeks and put the PC through its paces. I will also stream other games such as Transport Fever 2, Cities:Skylines and 9Dragons. You can follow my progress via my new website www.captainvalve.net or by joining my Discord The Valve Club.
Hopefully my next blog post won’t be another two years away…