2021-08-21 | 7:56 a.m.

And just like that I'm back at my mum's, with Rachel in tow staying for a couple of days just like almost every year since about 2002 I think! We missed a couple, last year due to the pandemic and year before due to the Bear being too small to either leave at home or bring with me and for him to have any meaningful understanding that yes, sometimes playing Mario Kart needs to come first in my life!

Anyway, this time Ollie's in Oxford for the weekend with friends and Bear is here with us. My mum WhatsApped me his itinerary the other day, which involved yesterday meeting a friend she made whilst visiting a park, who has a little girl Bear's age, and this afternoon he has been invited to a bouncy castle birthday party round at their new next-door-neighbour's. Talk about living the high life!

No Mario Kart for me and Rach as the Super Nintendo, which has been an utter champ for the past 28 years and only required a new power pack in all that time, is on its very very very last legs. Almost none of the cartridges will play (sob!). We managed to get Mario World working so played that until midnight last night - a real late night for me now! - but it's glitchy, the levels play okay but the worlds are scrambled. And the berries Yoshi eats have morphed into Mario heads. Still love it though.

Realistically I don't expect it to survive another year, so after frantically ringing Cash Converters yesterday afternoon and being told SNES consoles are basically like hen's teeth, I bid on one on eBay: console only, no wires or nothing but I have those so that's fine. I got it for £30 total which is great if it actually works (did say it did in the description)! We'll see.

I loved the wedding last month. My great aunt's funeral went well too. I respectfully wore a mask to the service only for everyone to pile into the wake at my mum's cousin's house and cram indoors as it was raining! Pleasingly I did not catch Covid from either event. As mentioned prior, my brother was allowed over for the funeral from Germany but strictly told by the quarantine people or whoever that he must not sing at the service (shouldn't that just apply as a matter of etiquette to all guests?!). Great to see him too.

Today we'll do something with Bear in the morning then I think this afternoon Rach is dragging me work-shoe shopping before pizza and more Mario World tonight. Suspension of reality is so god damn good for the soul.

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