I’ve had this post in draft since the turn of the month, although to be fair when I say ‘in draft’ — I should perhaps specify that it really only contained the title, the category selection, and the base tags marking its timing. And then the single line of, “It has been a pretty surreal month.”

Which it was.

I clearly wasn’t ready yet to jump back into this, not ready to… I guess connect with something I associate much more with the ‘normal’ time of my life. The before times. Even though I didn’t entirely stop and drop while Mum was extra unwell and needing a lot more support, shifting from 2-3 posts per week to 2-3 posts per month (on a good month, with the exception of last Blaugust) certainly felt like it.

My Mum passed on June 2nd, after a few days in hospital. Following on from that, there was certainly a period of detachment from the goings on of the world. My brother, sister, and I became something of a bubble, around which our partners and close family orbited but beyond sight of them, the world was a distant and foreign place.

I think a large piece of the reason for that being out of the ‘work life’ at odd hours, working through funeral plans, and going over photos and mementos at Mum’s place, placing all else utterly and absolutely on hold for a while. Surfacing out of that bubble once more was… odd. And not entirely welcome. I have a particularly vivid memory of the first day an element of normalcy intruded into this bubble, threatening to burst it, and it felt like taking a quick dip in the Arctic circle and was equally unwelcome.

In retrospect, I can see it as a necessary step back toward to the ‘real world’ and one that needed to happen. Intellectually of course, there was always the awareness that the world was moving on around me. I didn’t really have that movie-esque gnashing of teeth around demanding to know why the sun was still bothering to come up, or what the point of it all was — I was just much happier for that all to carry on over there, safely at arms reach for a while.

Even so, a little gaming did happen later in the month. And I never covered off my May activity prior to Mum’s passing either, so I suppose can take a quick look at that now!

Games Played June (and May) 2023

Computer time in general took a significant plummet over the month of June, perhaps not unexpectedly given time off work. When I did go back to work though, initially was entirely WFH (Working From Home), otherwise, I suspect that number would’ve been a lot lower still.

There was a good period of time there where I was just tired all time and even ‘fun’ and ‘light’ things like jumping on to play a game seemed like a bridge too far vs. the energy remaining.

Not to be too much of a downer though, I will add that the worst of that effect seems to have passed. But it certainly took some time.

June 2023

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
1Final Fantasy XVI (PS5)30.071.3%
2Diablo IV12.128.7%

Yep… That was all.

Diablo IV… I actually had booked a week off work to play that with friends and just try to take a small period of relaxation with it. But it was not meant to be.

Whether circumstance or the game itself has put me off — or more likely, a combination of both — it’s hard to say. But I hardly touched it, and haven’t completed the campaign yet. Something I’m told is necessary to play the Seasonal content that is coming our way soon. With that being the case, I may give it another try soon.

But it wasn’t until FFXVI came out later in the month that I really picked up and played anything much again!

May 2023

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
1Persona 5 Royal (PC)32.158.8%
2Age of Wonders 49.918.2%
3Nomad Survival4.48.0%
5Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II2.24.0%
6Star Wars Jedi Survivor1.83.3%

There we go, something a little more representative of my focus game + variety of others mix. Persona 5 I’d picked up initially PS4 way back in the day. I enjoyed the daytime/social game elements quite a lot but found myself bouncing off the RPG/battle elements at the time for whatever reason.

This time around, it stuck pretty well and I’d made it through at least a couple of the palaces (I don’t now recall if had finished the third as well or not, but possibly) and was really enjoying it.

It’s possible I’ll go back and finish it still. I want to. More so than I want to go back and finish Diablo IV in many respects. But… I know what I’m like when it comes to ‘going back and finishing’ games, so I guess we’ll have to see. ;)

Other Stuff

Other stuff happened too! I was reading a bit — managed to get out of the slump somewhat successfully by jumping back to a series I’ve already read and enjoyed in the past. Typically, I’m all about reading something new. I wouldn’t say rereads are ‘rare’ for me, but they’re not exactly common, either.

In this case, I jumped back to Mark Lawrence’s ‘Broken Empire‘ series. I ripped through the three mainline books of that series relatively quickly (relative, that is, to how I had been going) and I have since made a start on ‘Red Queen’s War‘ set in the same world. I wouldn’t say have hit another reading slump just yet, but certainly have slowed down again with everything else going on.

TV wise? The only thing that leaps out at me right now was watching Silo on AppleTV, which I enjoyed. I haven’t read the books the show is based on, so the ending was a surprise to me and I loved it. So rather pleased indeed to have heard already that it was renewed for a second season!

I’m sure there were other things that I’ll hit myself for forgetting later on, but I think that might be it for now. If you somehow missed it — Blaugust is coming fairly soon. My tentative thinking at this stage is that I will participate. I think I’ll even do a dedicated post to that effect sometime soon. But we’ll see!

For however slow life was for a moment there, it’s certainly making up for it now — with a potential move of city on the horizon, and working through what our next house may look like. This whole thing went from idle idea to implementation really quickly, which is equal parts scary and exciting. Perhaps more on that a little later!


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.


Nimgimli · July 16, 2023 at 2:00 am

It’s good to hear from you. Sorry, once again, for your loss and also for all the discomfort that comes with trying to get things back to ‘normal’.

But for selfish reasons, I do hope you start blogging regularly again. You were missed!

    Naithin · July 16, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Thanks Pete.

    Going back to somewhat regular posting is something at surface level I want to do. And there are some signs that underlying motivations agree with the surface this time around, but we’ll see. :)

    Signed up for Blaugust now, but no idea yet what I’ll aim for.


      Nimgimli · July 18, 2023 at 5:48 am

      No, I’m skipping Blaugust. I’ve more or less disengaged with social media and the blogging community (with some exceptions like you) and generally feel more mentally healthy as a result. I’ve been taking better care of myself, being more active and such, which feels good but tends to keep my days feeling rather full. Not sure I have the bandwidth for regular blogging.

      But I’ll be reading your posts!

        Naithin · July 20, 2023 at 9:20 am

        I’m sorry it took that extreme a cut to get the mental health benefits, but at the same time, very happy that you’re feeling better about things.

        Your voice in blogging has certainly been missed, although I have at least been happy you’ve continued on with the monthly updates. :)

William · July 17, 2023 at 7:50 am

So sorry to hear about your Mum. I’m sending positive thoughts your way. Good to hear about what you’ve been up to over the month – like you say, sometimes it just doesn’t feel right to be gaming. Glad you’re (hopefully) enjoying the new Final Fantasy!

    Naithin · July 17, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks William.

    re: FFXVI — for the most part, I think I have been! I don’t mind the change in combat feel and style, but I do think the near complete loss of RPG elements, of balancing accessories for particular bosses etc, the loss of that is a bit much.

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