Manchester to Oxford and Everything In Between

I no longer live in Manchester. That’s sentence I never thought I’d hear myself say in 2014. 2014 started by moving to Manchester and falling in love with the city. The city hurt me and then healed me again. I found myself in that great northern city. I came to know it’s lights, bars and people. And trams. I’ll always miss the trams. In my short time in Manchester I learned to laugh again, I became friends with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. I loved and lost in Manchester.

Then shortly after GDC Europe (huh, I’m not yet done a post about that), Manchester got taken away from me. Or rather, I got taken away from Manchester. The “how” and “why” doesn’t matter any more, I don’t think it ever mattered. The only thing that matters is Manchester is just a memory now.

I moved to Oxford three, four weeks ago. It’s no Manchester, that’s for sure. It does have a certain old charm to it. I’m sure it’ll grow on me, but not in the way Manchester did.

My introduction to Oxford was interrupted by a trip to Nottingham, to GameCity9. Those four days there were like a dream. Everything was near perfect, everyone was near perfect. The location, the atmosphere, it was all beautiful. I’ve never experienced anything like it, and I doubt I will. Not until next year’s GameCity festival, at least.

GameCity was special for so many reasons. It gave me a reason to be excited again. It provided the wonderful release of stress after moving. I got the chance to reconnect with many old friends, and make some new ones. People from all over the world gathered in Nottingham for one simple goal; to celebrate games. And indeed we celebrated. We celebrated with each other, with an owl, with games. Games were played in caverns, games were created on the fly, in pubs, in streets. GameCity was exactly what I needed.

Now GameCity is over. Not in my heart. Not in my memories. But for now, until next year, at least in reality it’s over. I’ve not known a time where I have not been doing anything for such a long time. For now, I’ve found my escape in the form of NaNoWriMo. Having a word target is incredibly therapeutic, as is escaping into a world of my own creation and discovering what it has to show me. The title is The Curious Clock and Samantha’s Hedgehog. Please don’t ask why a clock is curious. I’m waiting for my characters to surprise me again.

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