Not to tempt fate into saying, ‘Hold my beer’, but I can only imagine, and hope, that 2024 will be a better year. Or at least a less complicated one. Perhaps that’s the more accurate sentiment.

My mother passed in June, but as difficult as that was for my siblings and myself, for her it was the only good outcome remaining. Further adding to the complexity of the emotions, it marked an end to ever-increasing care demands. Something my siblings and I, in the thick of it, could never imagine ending nor see any light at the end of that tunnel. To then so abruptly have it come to an end was a shock, and a rather odd blend of sorrow, relief, and guilt.

This Christmas, to remember her, we went to one of Mum’s favourite holiday spots from when she was still in good (well, better) health. Year after year, we would go to the Bay of Islands, staying generally in or near Paihia. From there, doing anything from taking the ferry across to Russell for a spot of lunch to hanging off the back of a boat, high in the air in a parachute being dragged along behind.

But the one constant was the ‘Hole in the Rock’ cruise, a half-day boat ride out to the titular rock, and, generally, to see dolphins somewhere along the way. (This year, it was on the return trip.)

We took a small amount of her ashes to scatter here in the area, and perhaps by coincidence, perhaps not, shortly after we did so, a small eagle ray came to investigate.

But the complications of the year didn’t end there.


Keen for 2024 to be a bit… simpler.

Although moving is never simple. Let alone, I imagine, when it’s to a different city on a different island!

But that aside, let’s get back to the regularly scheduled look at how December went… For goals and games!

Gaming Goals

Goals for December 2023

  • Alan Wake 2 — Finish the Game
    I did this one! Well… At least insofar as I intended it when originally written. Of course, then over the month of December, ‘The Final Draft’ New Game+ mode was added, which does add new story elements — including a different ending.

    I’m engaged enough with the story, I think, that I do want to see this ending for myself — so I’ll have to loop (or should I say, ‘spiral’) this goal back around for January.

  • Lies of P — Play for at least a further 10 hours over December.
    This one, on the other hand, I did not do.


    I don’t think will give up on this one just yet.

So you know what?

Let’s just consider these two goals to be the same for January — except this time Alan Wake 2’s goal is to finish ‘The Final Draft’ mode. *dusts off hands* That’s easy at least.

Games Played in December 2023

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
1Remnant 216.738.8%
2Alan Wake 27.216.7%
3Monster Hunter World5.512.8%
4Power Wash Simulator4.610.7%
5The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe Edition3.37.7%
8Final Fantasy XVI1.84.2%
Links are to posts about the game in question which were made this month — where multiple posts were made this month about a game; may link to the category or tag instead.

Surprisingly few hours played this month. Although perhaps not when I consider that essentially as soon as the holiday from work began — I (and the family) took off for a week to the Bay of Islands as mentioned at the top of the post.

I’ll be curious to see how January goes in comparison, but if I was to place a bet on it… I would suggest probably a few more hours than December. :)

Books Read December 2023

I completed Wheel of Osheim, marking the end (once more) of Mark Lawrence’s dual trilogy series set in his Broken Empire world.

I credit going through this series again for getting my reading groove back, although I am now ready to move on to another author for a bit, rather than revisit his second world so soon.

Which brings me to Master of Furies! The final book in Raymond E. Feist’s Firemane Saga trilogy. I reviewed the first two books, King of Ashes and Queen of Storms, right before this first entry was due to release — but then just never quite followed through.

Hopefully I remember enough of the past two books, hah!


Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.


MagiWasTaken · January 1, 2024 at 2:25 am

Nait, I truly wish you the best for 2024 and I hope that it definitely becomes simpler if not easier with high highs and few lows. You’re a passionate and kind soul who definitely would deserve a simpler and less turbulent year. I hope that any goals and wishes you have the for the next year come to fruition. Also good luck with the move! Mine was rough and that was a move into a flat in the same city, so I can’t imagine moving to a different island!

Aside from that, didn’t get to read more of your posts these past few months, so it’s neat to see you play MHW again and to read about your reading and gaming goals. One of my goals for the next year will be to read more of your blog… and to somehow make it work that we play a game together, haha.

Again, I wish you an amazing start into the new year, a much simpler year, and all the best overall. Much love, success, good health, and great RNG!

Cheers from “the past”! (It’s still 2 PM – and 2023 – over here, heh)

    Naithin · January 1, 2024 at 9:05 am

    Thanks Magi, wishing you all the best for the year ahead as well!

    Ditto on for me on reading more of your stuff, too, although… To be fair, my goal is really to read more in general. The last couple of years I’ve definitely slipped back into the wallpaper a fair bit more, hah.

    As I reply, you’ll still not have made the jump to 2024 yet. Wild! But hope you’re having a good time and getting to welcome the New Year in with style, with the ones you love most. :)

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