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What I’ve been up to lately

What I’ve been up to lately!

August is a fuckin’ mad month for me usually and this year has been probably the busiest. Like I’ve said before, I’ve also got a day job which ramps up in August, and then I’ve had a friend’s wedding, a few birthdays, and the nursery shuts for a few weeks so Tiny Orangutan needs a bit more looking after. Very busy indeed.

Anyway, here’s pretty much a roundup of what’s been cracking:

Product Earth happened

So I sent a whole load of my spores up with Chris from Mycopunks to Product Earth, which seem to have gone down well. Because of my partner’s birthday and my friend’s wedding I wasn’t able to attend Product Earth personally (well, I could’ve done, but I’d have been in the shit majorly at home haha). Apparently it was excellent, a whole load of decent people just doing their own thing, and a lot of knowledge floating about. Next year, I’m gonna give it my best shot and try to show up, seems like a laugh.

Amazing Mycopunks Stall
Proper cool stall!

Got loads of spore prints

Man, you dudes cannot get enough of the ol’ spore prints, which is fortunate because at the moment I’ve got fucking tonnes of them. I’m adding a few new variants to the store and removing a few of the older ones, so if you’re into something new, check ’em out. Got some McKennaii up, Red Boy, loads of Golden Teacher, Amazonian, and B+, all ready to go in handy super-flat form. Very useful if you’re worried about getting spore syringes delivered because your customs agents are twats, or just if you wanna get maximum value for money and don’t mind putting a bit of the work in yourself (assuming you’ve got a flow hood or some other way of keeping the area clean). All guaranteed to be clean as a whistle!

Got lots and lots of these bad boys now!

Strike Strike Strike

If you’ve been paying any kind of attention to the news you’ll notice that the country is absolutely screwed for a number of reasons, but let’s face it, it’s mostly the bastard Tories refusing to properly tax large businesses. Anyway, there’s going to be postal disruptions in the coming weeks, with Royal Mail strike action planned for the 26th and 31st August, and then the 8th and 9th of September. It’s a pain in the ass, yes, but the anger should be directed at the top of the company, not the striking workers. There’s a lot of money in this country, but it’s being hoarded – plenty of companies are posting record profits at the moment while people starve and can’t pay their bills, even when they’re in full-time work. People might complain about the strikes, but asking politely for enough money to live on hasn’t been working so far, meaning that it’s time for strikes and then probably time for riots. Interestingly, it looks like most industries are going to be striking in the coming months, from Lawyers to Binmen. There was a great bit of writing by Terry Pratchett that was “there is a curse. They say: ‘may you live in interesting times'” and blimey, we’re living in interesting times.

Bloody Hell!
Satire is absolutely dead these days because reality’s fucked

Like always, stay safe, take care of each other, and don’t vote Tory. We’ll get through this.

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End of July update

What’s going on in Orangutan Manor?

Glad you asked! All sorts, really. Still producing and selling heaps of amazing spores, and I’ve had, once again, my busiest month ever. Things are great. Thank you for your continuing support, I’m really stoked that people like what I’m putting out there and how I do things! There are a few cool things going down, so here they are, in handy blog format!

I have now sponsored an athlete!

I’ve decided to sponsor another athlete. Last year I sponsored a Rugby player, and that was cool (it didn’t really result in any sales but he was a nice chap and I was glad to help), and now I’m sponsoring a dude called Lewis Dutch who does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For anyone who doesn’t know, BJJ is best described as this: You know the way your arms, legs, and neck like to bend? Your opponent is trying to make them go the opposite way for you. It’s pretty cool, and it’s basically the only exercise that I don’t find boring (I need someone trying to hurt me to keep me motivated, it seems)! Lewis loves competing, which is something I used to do but always found too nerve-wracking, so hopefully he’ll get a load of decent podium shots at various competitions!

Me and Lewis posing for a photo
He’s about nine feet tall

Food bank donations

Food banks, nationally, are in the shit. More people than ever need them (and fuck me am I tired of writing that), but due to the cost-of-living crisis, fewer people are able to contribute to them. I’m not sure how much worse this country can get but hey, we’re gonna find out, right?

I’ve had a few lovely customers send me a bit of money specifically earmarked for the food bank, and I’d just like to take the time to say: You are incredible.

This is what hell is
Absolute fucking ghouls

Cool art stuff

I got sent a lovely piece of Liberty Cap art by a customer, it’s like a 3-D painting, and it’s hand-made by KJ Creations! She does a lot of other cool stuff, and is open for commissions, so if you like what you see maybe hit her up and ask her to make you one!

I also had another amazing person do a portrait of one of my cats, and again, they’re open for commissions, so if you want an amazing pet portrait, have a look at Captain Bayley on Instagram.

I’m blown away by how talented people are, I guess mycology is probably quite an arty scene (lots of crossover with the art world at the very least). Thanks to everyone who’s helped me to make my house better decorated!

Midnight Cat!
Cool and awesome!

Anyway, take care of yourselves (and others if you’re able), and remember: don’t vote Tory.

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Stuff that’s occurring

Red Hot Blog Action

How’s it going? Hope everyone’s enjoying this brief preview of the future of the planet (spoilers: we’re fucked), it’s pretty warm, I hate sleeping in the heat and my missus doesn’t like the noise of a fan so I am currently running on “about to go fucking mental” 24/7. I called the kettle a “noisy bastard” earlier. Good times all round!

A few people have messaged and asked “will the heat cause any problems with the spores when they’re being posted?” – but don’t worry, it’s not a problem at all. Spores are essentially a suit of armour around the fragile living part inside, and they’re designed to protect against extremes in temperature. Being posted on a hot day won’t make a single bit of difference to the quality, so relax and have an ice lolly whilst you wait for your rad spores!

Feast Icecream - these are the best
These are the best ice-creams going and I will brook no discussion about it

Podcast when?

Still trying to find time to fit this in, and I went and took the microphone up to Chris Mycopunk’s house when I visited him at the start of July and left it there, so I’m waiting for him to post it all back to me.

However, if you want to have a look at what it might be like, me and Chris did an Instagram Live over on his page, so you can check out just how entertaining (or not) it would be to listen to us answer questions and chat shit to each other. If that sounds cool to you, click on this sentence and all of your dreams will come true. It was a hell of a laugh to produce, and it’s something we’re both keen to repeat, so I will endeavour to make it a regular thing.

Handsome gents doing handsome stuff
Handsome couple of devils right here

Price increase!

The financially astute amongst you will notice that prices have gone up a touch, to £13 a spore syringe, and £17 a print. I don’t particularly like raising prices, but every single part of my supply chain is now more expensive, from electricity, syringes, needles, luer lock caps, postage, packaging, fuck, even the parcel tape I use to seal the boxes is now more expensive. It’s just one of those things, I guess. There are a lot of separate expenses that come together to make an awesome spore syringe and get it into your hands!

Fucking Tories

It’s been entertaining watching the vultures peck at each other, but sadly no matter how it all shakes out, we’re still gonna end up with another shithouse Prime Minister. Might even end up with the billionaire who cut the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit, because we’re living in the most bizarre timeline.

I’m glad Boris Johnson is fucking off, because he adheres to the Trump Playbook of “I’ll do what I want” and that’s probably wrecked the country for a decade to come, but none of the rest of them are much better. All of them seem to be running on a platform of “cut taxes” and what we actually need is “more taxes on big business” because places like Tesco are reporting record profits well into the billions whilst paying their staff so little that their wages get subsidised by taxpayer’s money.

I don’t have a lot of faith in the Labour party in it’s current form to capitalise on the Conservatives failures, and ain’t that a shame? A half-competent opposition should be wiping the floor with this bunch of fucking failsons but nope.

Boris wants to hide in a fridge
If he was hiding in my fridge I would throw it in the sea

Anyway, have a nice weekend, don’t get heatstroke, and don’t vote Tory.

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Being a small business owner in the magic spores industry

Supporting small businesses is cool and good!

So before I started this up, I had no real idea how things would progress. It was a bit of a leap into the unknown, in terms of how busy it would be, and now look at me! I’m a small business owner in a very weird niche!

That comes with it’s own set of complications – having to do most things yourself does get a bit knackering. You get to be an accountant, website designer, social media manager, SEO optimiser, customer service provider, tea boy and about a million other things before you even finish a day’s work – unless you’re starting off with loads of cash (and I certainly wasn’t) then these are jobs you’ve gotta do yourself! Most of the time I really enjoy it – it gives me an outlet for my bizarre creative side, and also means I can throw money to charity on a regular basis and that’s something I find pretty fulfilling. Plus I’m helping people to get their hands on good quality microscopy supplies, and that is also something that’s important to me.

Anyway, I was sat down last night, doing some administrative busywork, and every order that came in left me smiling. None of them were massive orders or anything, but each one was nice. I remembered all those posts I’d seen on social media about how “when you buy from a small business, you’re making a real person smile” – I’d always thought that was probably a load of waffle, but it’s true! It absolutely balances out the hard parts (you wanna try putting labels on thousands of bags when you’ve got the attention span of a Jack Russell), and every order is genuinely really appreciated. I’m not a big faceless company, I’m one dude working as hard as he can to provide for his family, and you’re a part of that. You’re putting food in my kid’s bellies, and helping out the foodbank, so cheers, dudes! Stay awesome.

Keepin’ the baby Orangutans in Tequila

Dall-E Mini

There’s this new cool bit of AI I’ve been playing about with, called Dall-E Mini – basically, you just give the AI over at this website a prompt and it’ll draw you nine pictures of whatever you’ve asked for. Sometimes it’s amazing, sometimes it’s a bit off, but guaranteed, every single time, it’s utter nightmare fuel. It’s the kind of thing you remember after a particularly unsettling dream. I absolutely love it! Have a go on it and see what you can knock up – here’s some of my favourites, the captions are the prompts I used.

Bruce WIllis Smiling and Eating a Sausage
“Bruce Willis smiling and eating a sausage”
Boris Johnson staring out from the inside of a tent with blood around his mouth
“Boris Johnson staring out from the inside of a tent with blood around his mouth”
Adam Sandler juggling with human skulls
“Adam Sandler juggling with human skulls”

Is it art? Fuck yeah it’s art! Anyway, have a lovely week, all the best, don’t vote Tory!

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God Shave The Queen

It’s the goddamn Jubilee

Bonjour! It’s the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Literally the only real meaningful thing for me in all of this is that the Post Office is shut for a couple of days, so anything ordered from Tuesday the 31st of May after 5pm won’t be posted on Thursday or Friday as everything is closed, and all orders will be going out on Saturday the 4th of June. I’ll still be packing up all the orders, obviously, and probably using some of the time off the day job to fire out a load more spore syringes (likely Mazapatecs as I’m a bit low on those).

I’m not really a fan of the Royal Family to be honest, as I’m sure you would probably have guessed from my general vibe. I don’t really get what they’re for. They supposedly bring in a decent number of tourists who spend money (although even that is debatable), but then so does Alton Towers.

Personally, I just don’t fuckin’ get it, I guess. The country’s struggling, poor people are more fucked than ever, kids are going hungry, and you get wonderful moments like the picture below where some insanely rich product of inbreeding tells everyone that times are hard whilst parading the obscene levels of opulence that are utterly normalised to him.

Prince Charles, being rich
How many school dinners does just one of those goofy golden lions on the wall buy, Charles?

Mystic Meg time

I reckon that once the Queen finally sheds her human form and goes back to her home planet, the whole thing will come crashing down anyway mainly due to general apathy. People seem to quite like the Queen, but Charles? Fuckin’ Andrew?! I don’t know many people who give the first fuck about these chaps. William seemingly has all the personality and charisma of the half-empty, cigarette-butt-filled can of Carling you find the day after a teenager’s party, as opposed to his much cooler half-brother, Harry, who has had the good sense to distance himself from his nonce-enabling family and fuck off to America with his kids and wife. Even he was spotted back in the day wearing a Nazi uniform to a party though so he’s probably still not quite right in the head.

It’d be kinda cool if they’d actually, ya know, do something about the fact so many of “their subjects” have it so breathtakingly hard right now, but I suppose it’s probably funnier for them to watch it all from afar. If it turned out David Icke was right and they were all actually Lizard People, I wouldn’t actually be that surprised.

The Queen looking pretty gammy
The most challenging wank

The bit I find really weird

They could help. It’s “their” country. They’ve got the money, they’ve got influence. Instead they sit there and watch. Get in the bin.

Anyway, I’m going to have a BBQ and some cold ciders in the next few days, and hope that whatever you’re doing it’s nice and you enjoy it. All the best, don’t vote Tory.

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Bank Holiday Blogposting

Bank Holiday Posting stuff

So obviously I’m writing this a little late. Mostly these days I use my Instagram page to put any important info up, so if you haven’t already, pop over there and give me a follow!

Post Office was shut on the 15th April for Good Friday, and again today (Monday 18th). What this means is all the spore orders that came in on Friday got posted Saturday, and everything from 5ish on Friday is being packed up in a bit and posted first thing Tuesday 19th. Not much of a delay, and not one I have any control over, but there we are!

Ladies getting a bit drunk
Standard bank holiday carnage. I am too old for this shit now haha

Spore Syringe availability

Whatever is on the site is what I’ve currently got, and it does change sometimes! I recently had a customer asking me when the APE Reverts were coming back, and I was happy to be able to tell him it’d be a few days. After making the syringes, they have to go through a bit of a microscopic testing process to make sure that there have been no errors on my behalf. I’ve got a lot of different varieties, so sometimes life gets in the way and I get a bit backed up on this. Recently I’ve been a bit poorly (all the fun symptoms of Covid, none of the positive tests that would get me any time off work), so some evenings I’ve just been having to lie on the couch, moan, and drink Lemsips (they’re vile but my brain thinks it’s decent medicine). If there’s ever anything that is out of stock it’s always worth dropping me a message, as I should be able to let you know a rough ETA for restock. These are only rough estimates, as sometimes things beyond my control happen, but I’m happy to let you know when I think the items you want will be back in. Spore Prints are a perfect example of this – I’ve got fucking loads of them, but not much time to cut them down into individual prints, so I sometimes wait until people ask and then cut a whole batch up at once.

Orangutan sawing a branch
Workin’ hard for a living

Cool stuff that’s coming up

Well it’s cool for me anyway! Going away for a few days at the start of May to watch Tool in Manchester, so I’ve recruited a glamorous assistant who’s gonna handle the packing up and posting for me when I’m not here (they’re a mate who’s just happy to lend a hand). I’m still a very small business, so most of the time it’ll still only be me, but I’ve now got the option of a bit of help if the shit hits the fan. This means that from this point on, there won’t need to be any times when I can’t post due to having a little holiday or anything, and also means if for whatever reason I get sick the business can still roll on regardless! Got some bigger plans for the next few years too which are quite exciting but I’m not gonna bang on about them yet just in case they don’t come off.

Tool tour listing
Never thought I’d have the chance to see these dudes, can’t wait!

Bloody Peacemaker innit bruv

Have you seen Peacemaker yet? It’s all about what John Cena’s character does after the events of Suicide Squad 2, and fuck me it’s good. Really funny, has a decent bit of heart to it, great action sequences, and John Cena is amazingly watchable. I was able to watch it via Now TV, and it gets the completely made-up Orangutan Seal of Approval. I’m not the biggest DC film fan, I mean, yeah, I watch them but I’m pretty ambivalent about them (although I thought Suicide Squad 2 was great), so I think it’s probably more that I like James Gunn’s writing and directorial influence. The man knows how to make films about weird superheroes in a funny way, that feels genuine. Anyway, watch Peacemaker, don’t vote Tory.

Peacemaker pulling a weird face
Me when I’m foraging in October
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Where are Magic Mushroom spores legal?

It’s pretty simple!

So those of you that follow my social media will have seen that I am now able to post to Ireland again! Yay! Now, spores have always been legal in Ireland (like most places in the world), but for some bizarre reason (most likely Brexit related), their local postal carrier, An Post, decided just before Christmas 2021 that Royal Mail’s electronic customs information was incorrect. I got in contact with Royal Mail who told me that no, it was all fine, and it was a problem on An Post’s side. This meant that pretty much all of my packages to Ireland got sent back (and not just mine, most eBay sellers too), which obviously cost me a whole lot of money in refunds, and I had to stop sending to Ireland. I am now giving it another shot following some discussions with customers who assure me all the eBay packages are coming through fine now, so yeah, it’s a good day!

But: legality! Currently, as far as I am aware, the only places you can’t have magic mushroom spores are three states in America (California, Georgia, and Idaho), and, bizarrely, Norway. This has always struck me as kinda weird in California’s case, because they seem to be quite relaxed and left-leaning on a lot of issues (or as much as America can be, anyway). As a fun side-effect of those three American states not liking spores, the banks class spore vending as super high risk, which is why spore vendors can’t take card payments.

The spores are completely legal everywhere else though, because in most countries it’s the Psilocybin that’s illegal, and it’s only when someone attempts cultivation and tries to germinate the spores that Psilocybin begins to be produced. Basically, this means that you can collect all the magic mushroom spores you like, and it’s not gonna cause you any problems at all!

Team America: World Police
Fuck Yeah

Customs Shenanigans

In my experience so far, (and to be fair, I send a lot of packages abroad every week) your local customs agents really don’t give a shit, in a good way. They’re on the lookout for anything illegal or incorrectly declared, that’s their job. Thankfully for you (unless you live in Norway, California, Idaho or Georgia), Psilocybe Cubensis spores are legal, so there’s nothing there that they care about. I personally import a large amount of spores from various countries, these are inspected at different stages of the customs process, and no-one cares. I suspect unless they’re into mycology themselves (and it’s still quite a niche hobby after all), they likely don’t know what the product actually is – they’re only human, and it’s not like they would have an encyclopedic knowledge of every single item everyone in their country imports.

Officer Doofy
How I picture customs officers

The Future

What do I reckon will happen in the future? I think my best guess would be this: it’s a great time to collect all these spores and keep them in your library. Can’t do anything else with them now, obviously. However, I’m confident that in the future there may well be a relaxation on the laws surrounding the cultivation of magic mushrooms. There’s a reasonable amount evidence out there supporting the therapeutic benefits of a bit of Psilocybin, and there’s a growing surge of popularity around mushrooms to the point where even fanny-candle vendor Gwyneth Paltrow is banging on about them.

Seems plausible then that it’ll probably end up like the Cannabis market, with most places relaxing prohibition, and very possibly the industry getting co-opted by rich old Tory fucks. That would still be cooler than it is now – I’ve said multiple times that I think the cultivation of magic mushrooms should be legal, especially for personal use. Sadly that isn’t the case at the moment, so that’s why we just collect them and wait for a better future!

Zero zero zero zero zero zero one
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It’s time for a bit of Q and A!

I get a lot of questions sent to me via my Insta, which is probably the best way to get hold of me. My phone’s often in my hand (I am a filthy millenial), and although I do check emails quite frequently my inbox moves pretty quickly. This is mainly due to the amount of “your order is being processed/sent” – basically, the people using Insta to get in touch are doing the right thing if they want a speedier answer. With that said, there are loads of questions I just can’t (and won’t) answer, so I’ll try and explain why here, as well!

“Can I talk to you about growing magic mushrooms?”

Fuck no! Nope. Big ol’ nope! Magic mushroom spores (like the ones I sell) currently occupy a nice little grey area, much like cannabis seeds, where they’re totally legal to own and legal to do whatever you like with as long as you don’t grow the fuckers. And when I say grow, I mean any kind of cultivation attempt, so this includes Agar work too. Do not ask me about any of this kind of stuff or send me any pictures of anything like this.

Do I think this is a morally correct law? No. It’s a dumb law, made by some old-fashioned dudes, and it flies in the face of all available research. However, being morally correct doesn’t mean you can just do whatever you like. I can do some good in the world by providing spore syringes for people to have a look at under the microscope, and that’s what I want to do, so I’ve gotta play by the rules no matter how dumb I think those rules are.

There’s a definite distinction here – yes, personally I think growing magic mushrooms is cool and good, but I won’t sell anyone spores to break the law with or I’d be part of your evil nature crimes. I do genuinely have to block people when they talk about illegal shit, because I’m running a legal business, and I don’t want to jeopardise that in any way.

It's the Hamburglar doing crimes
Goddamn criminals

“Can I buy your spore syringes to sell in my shop?”

Yes, you can. I am more than happy to talk about wholesale pricing depending on how you want to do it. The amount of discount depends on a few things! Obviously you’d have to buy quite a few at once (100+), and I can either supply them like I do for my customers, all stickered up and in the bag with a needle and an alcohol wipe, or I can supply them completely unlabeled just as the syringe, and you can add your own branding to it all. For bigger orders, I’ll need a bit of lead time which will usually be around a month (I’m pretty busy just keeping my own stuff in stock).

Like I’ve said in a previous blog post, I think there’s loads of room left in the UK market for people to make a few quid, so if you wanna have a crack at it yourself, you should!

“Can I pay you with PayPal/Western Union Transfer?”

Nope! If you check out the Payment Methods page, you’ll see the available ways to pay! PayPal are a bunch of fucks for about a million reasons, so fuck that, and I don’t live in a city, so it’s just not manageable to regularly be heading out to receive money via Western Union. You really should try Wise, as it’s a fast and cheap way to send money, or if you’re in the UK/USA then Cash App is pretty cool. I’ve got a referral code for Cash App over on the Payment Methods page, so we’ll both get a free fiver if you sign up. It’s like having a free beer!

“Surely you grow magic mushrooms yourself to get the spores?”

No, of course not, like I’ve said that would be illegal. A little-known phenomenon is that due to the vastly reduced growth rates of one of Britain’s endangered species, Woods Porn (killed off by the Internet, sadly), something else has filled that evolutionary niche, and that’s spore prints! If you go down to your local nature zone, have a good look in the holes in the trees and under the bushes. Instead of finding curiously stiff pages of Razzle featuring ladies with all their bits on display (like you would’ve done in the eighties), you’ll find top quality dense spore prints. Nature works in such wonderful ways.

Basically the trees eat benches and then lay spore prints. It’s the circle of life.

“How long will my order take to arrive?”

This varies, loads. Sadly Royal Mail will not change their descriptions on their website of the delivery aims – they’re still claiming First Class is 24 hours, and yeah, sometimes it is, but just as often as not it’ll take a couple a days.

This is more of an issue with International orders – again, Royal Mail claim delivery in around five days, but it can take a lot longer due to items having to go through customs. Basically Covid has made things a lot slower, as there are a lot of stages where staff sickness can have a significant knock-on effect. Your item has to go to my local post office, to a sorting office, to the airport, to UK customs, then it gets a ride on the airplane, then customs on your end, then to a sorting office, then to your local sorting office, then to your post worker – and at any stage of this, a few people being ill or having to socially distance can create a backlog. In terms of the product, it’s still fine, as it can be stored at ambient temperatures for six months or so quite happily.

As always, I’d recommend tracked shipping on anything international – it costs a little more, but it’s insured in the case of loss, and you’ll be able to see what stage of the shipping process your package is at!

“When is the podcast coming?”

Just as soon as we work out if we can say anything interesting enough to take up your time! We’ve got all the gear now, so hopefully this weekend we’re gonna have a little test run and see if it’s worth half a damn. If we’re not both cringing massively at the sounds of our own voices, then we’ll upload it somewhere!

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What about that good ol’ Elden Ring, huh?

So yeah, I like to play some video games when the chance arises. Time was, I could happily manage a huge session lost to the latest release, but since starting my own business and becoming a dad, the “me time” ratio has dropped off quite sharply. Most of the time once I’m done with the spores and I’ve had some dinner, I’m fucking done for the day.

But! I’ve always been a sucker for anything with that unmistakable Dark Souls flavour (I missed out on Demon’s Souls due to not owning a PS3 at the time and I didn’t fancy trying to get a PS5 just to play the remake), so Elden Ring was something I was looking forward to. Previously to this, my favourite Souls game was Bloodborne, because it was this weird Lovecraftian nightmare that got progressively more weird as you went through it. Very existential. It affected me that much that I actually had genuine nightmares about it, which is my mark of something great – “fucked me up? Yeah man I’ll have some of that”. Apparently George RR Martin who pretends he’s still writing Game of Thrones did some of the writing on this, but I’ll be honest, you wouldn’t be able to tell. It’s just normal Souls stuff. Bad things have happened, they’re still happening, you are a different kind of human to all the others around, and you have to go and kill things, a lot, until everything still goes to shit. That’s not a spoiler incidentally, that’s what all of the games are about.

Starscourge Radahn, massive bastard
This guy is giving me a massive headache right now

Elden Ring is fucking amazing. It’s got all the other From Software stuff that I like (if anyone else is a fan, there’s even an enemy that’s just like Sif), with an open-world setting, and get this: the open-world stuff somehow isn’t shit. Mind blown. I’m sick to the tits of Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed and all the other tedious busywork simulators, because my life already involves me trying to source millions of tiny little collectibles for my spore prints, so there’s no way I want to be doing that in my precious off-time.

I guess what I like about this sort of game (much like a decent psychedelic trip, if I’m honest), is that for the most part of it, I simply do not have a fucking clue what’s going on. I’m just trying to get by. And then at some point all becomes clearer, I start to understand some of the mechanics, my character is a bit more powerful, and I can start enjoying it rather than being all tense. I’d never thought about it in any meaningful sense before this, but I guess these things live in a similar position in my brain. I like being confused, and then I like figuring things out. Makes me feel smart, I guess. Early game, I opened a random treasure chest, which then teleported me to a horrible cave full of weird bastard crustacean dudes that fucked me up, and when I escaped that, I was in some super dangerous mushroom landscape, which made me laugh because now I’m in this industry, I just seem to find mushroom related stuff everywhere. You can even get mushroom armour! The mycelium is calling…

Mushroom armour in Elden Ring
Sick grow, bro

I think on the whole, I preferred Bloodborne’s aesthetic, because rolling through a horrible Victorian-style hellworld with a massive cleaver and a shotgun was a fuckin’ laugh, but on the whole Elden Ring is a better game. I’m some kind of magic using dude with a set of Freddy Krueger claws and it’s cool. Also there’s a horse and you feed the horse raisins. What’s not to like about that?

The Souls games get a lot of shit for being too hard (they’re not that hard, honestly) but Elden Ring isn’t anywhere near as hard as any of the other games of it’s ilk (I’m lookin’ at you, Sekiro), because if you find a particular bit too tough and you’ve started trying to bite through your controller, you can just go somewhere else until you’re either more skilled (not me) or have levelled up far more than you need to (probably me). Or you can just cheese the fuck out of things (100% me, if I can snipe them with arrows from a room that’s too small for them to get into then I am fucking gonna). There’s no judgement here buddy, you play the Souls games how you need to. What I’m saying is that You Should Buy Elden Ring. Buy it. Also don’t vote Tory.

Cheers for now, have a good one! OTC

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Trying to stay calm in a world that’s quite frankly fucking mental

Crikey. Things have gone a bit weird lately, eh? I’ve not had the best of mental health throughout the whole Covid thing. I am a bit of a worrier sometimes, and also I could probably take slightly better care of myself, so Covid had me shitting it a bit. Whatever your take on it is, great, more power to ya, but I banged those vaccines in my arm the second I could. Fill me full of it. If someone had come up to me in a nightclub back in the day with some free stuff in a syringe I’d have had one in each arm so it seemed like a no-brainer to me. I know some of the psychedelic crowd aren’t into this and hey! Whatever. You do you. We can all get along.

And then just as it seems like that might be getting a bit more manageable, Putin decides to add to my brainworm collection, start killing loads of innocent civilians, and moves us a little bit closer to the kind of war that the Fallout games begin with. Now, I quite like the Fallout games, but that’s because it’s got a nice mix of 1950’s Americana in there; that might sound fun, but picture where we’d be: a mash-up of all the worse bits of that crossed with Tory Britain. Gigantic radioactive dickheads sanctioning everyone. I’m alright, thanks.

Steve Brule calling someone a dingus
Goddamn dingus

I am now Not Young, I was born in the early 80’s, and I used to read shitloads when I was a kid. So obviously I had the vague vibe of “oh man maybe one day some dickhead is gonna push a button and I am going to melt” as a constant bit of background information in my little brain. I too have seen When the Wind Blows as a child (it was a bit unsettling). In the past 20 years, I haven’t really thought about it, but here we are again, except this time I’ve got a couple of youngsters to look after now, and I’d quite like it if they got to be old people one day.

I’d genuinely thought that the world had moved past the idea of Nuclear bombs being an option, and it’s kinda shit that all of that stuff seems to be back on the table. Like my dad used to say to me when I was young, “Putin you fucking stupid bastard, leave your sister alone and stop being a twat” (strange coincidence that he used to call me Putin I suppose).

I’m not a dude that gets particularly anxious on the regular, but yeah, it’s been a long couple of years, if I’m honest, and I’m certainly drinking and smoking too much as a bit of a crappy coping strategy. I’m checking the fuckin’ news way too many times a day too, and I’m not finding it very helpful, I’m just fucking compelled to. Doomscroll till the break of dawn, baby.

Man toots like it’s going out of fashion

But! Here’s what I’m doing, anyway. I’m trying to remind myself that this is yet another situation that I have no control over, and very little real information on. There’s so much about this situation that I will never know, so I’m trying to worry less about it. I’ve also got zero input on whether things escalate or not (obviously me and the current Government aren’t really on speaking terms anymore, haha), so there’s little point me worrying about it. Everything could get better, who knows. I hope so anyway.

Bit of heavy one really, eh? I hope you and yours are safe, warm, and fed, and continue to be.

Anyway, next time it’s back to irreverent bullshit hopefully. Been playing a lot of Elden Ring, that’s got mushrooms and magic in, so it’s probably on-topic enough! Seriously Elden Ring is really good.