In this month’s very late issue of Keeping Up With the Erikssons: We celebrate a failed assassination attempt, I’m finally done growing a beard, play Fallout 4, go to a conference and a micropub and get ready for our fourth Christmas in the UK by celebrating Little Christmas.

Notable November, Issue 11/15

1430 words about life — 21:00 · 6th Dec 2015

Well, imagine that.

We’re already a week into December and you’ve now kept up with the Erikssons for a whole year.

In some ways it’s like your a part of the family now. But don’t get too excited because I’m still not getting you anything for Christmas.

Guy Fawkes Night

It used to be called Guy Fawkes Night. Then it was Bonfire Night. And now—to my disappointment at least––it’s just Firework Night.

But setting that aside, Guy Fawkes Night was the perfect opportunity to get more familiar with my camera’s shutter priority mode, commonly referred to as TV mode.

A hand holding a fireworks called Bizarre.
Getting the fireworks ready meant deciphering their sometimes cryptic instructions.

In preparation for Guy Fawkes Night—because that’s what we’re calling it—Rebecka and Lucien had built a little cardboard version of the House of Lords.

And unlike the failed Gunpowder Treason Plot back in 1605, we were going to blow this one up.

The Gunpowder Treason Plot was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.

Fireworks shooting out of and illuminating the cardboard replica of the House of Lords.
Hsss. Whoosh, Boom!

It’s often joked that Guy Fawkes the last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions. A joke that seems, at least to me, ring more true every day as we look at the political climate in the UK today.

Naturally we thought it would be appropriate to dress Lucien up as Guy Fawkes.

Lucien dressed as Guy Fawkes, with a top hat and a painted-on Van Dyke moustache.
What are children for, if not to dress up?

For Lucien though, this evening was only about blowing stuff up, because he had been waiting for it ever since we bought the fireworks.

Fireworks shooting out of and illuminating the cardboard replica of the House of Lords again. Little sparks becoming temporary sources of light as they hit the grass on which it stands.
Fizz, Whoosh, Boom, Bang!

Ten years younger

After letting my beard and hair grow for a year, the time had finally come to get my hair cut. And my beard shaved.

Wanting to go out in style I had spent the last 5 weeks building up to my shaving day by trimming my beard into funny shapes, like the Toothbrush moustache or my personal favourite—for its sheer ridiculousness—the Creeper.

Carlos sporting side-combed hair, his old glasses and a Creeper moustache and doing his best creepy face.
I keep reminding myself of Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 3 when I see these photos.

Today, I can look at my reflection and recognise the face staring back at me again. Just like it took a while to get used to my bearded face it took a while to get used to my non-bearded one.

To my slight frustration, I also have to show ID when I buy beer again.

If you’re impatient and don’t feel like reading a 25 minute long entry, you can just check out the final time lapse instead, where I’ve essentially condensed one year into one and a half minutes—set to cheesy music I love.

Fallout 4

One had been looking forward to the release of Fallout 4 ever since their teaser website back in June, later confirmed at the E3.

Dogmeat, the German Shepherd from Fallout 4, sitting by a T-45 power armor in an worn down garage.
War. War never changes.

One had already given in to the idea that one would finally have to give in, and get a Xbox One—something which has been on my to-buy list but one had been dragging it out as long as one had been able to.


One really didn’t want to get a TV—Yeah, one doesn’t have a TV.

Expressing one’s displeasure at the prospects of getting a TV to Benjamin one was informed of the recent developments from Microsoft. Specifically, the fact that if one was running Windows 10, one could stream games from one’s Xbox One to one’s PC.

One was intrigued to say the least.

Figuring that it would only work on wired network one asked Benjamin more about it but he had played on a standard wireless without any problems and one was assured that it had, “actually worked surprisingly well.”

A Windows 10 install, Xbox One purchase and pre-order later I had prepared everything for the November 10th launch of Fallout 4. I had even taken the day off work. Nothing was going to ruin this for me.

And in a surprise turn of events, nothing did.

I’m now about 30+ hours in, having explored a fraction of the Boston Wasteland and I’ve pretty much enjoyed every second of it.

I’m considering writing a more in-depth entry about Fallout 4.

My only disappointment right now is that some asshole—arsehole for my British readers—has stolen my Power Armor and wandered away with it. I don’t know where it is and I’m going to have to scavenge the Wasteland for a new one.

Ampersand Conf

Taking an early morning train down to Brighton I attended Ampersand Conf, an inspiring one-day event for web designers and type enthusiasts.

Listening to brilliant people like Jen Simmons, Bruno Maag and Sarah Hyndman was interesting and thought-provoking.

The thing that stuck with me the most thought, was something Sarah Hyndman mentioned in her talk Think Outside the Font, where she asks, “Is a lemon fast or slow?”

Apparently everyone says that they’re fast.

I had my camera with me and took a few photos but I’m not particularly pleased with any one them. Marc Thiele took a lot more and better photos and this way I’m also in some of them.

In fact, see if you can find me in one of Marc Thiele’s shots.

10:50 From Victoria

There’s currently 137 recognised micropubs in the UK.

I would like to visit all of them.

So, let’s start with one and take it from there.

A micropub, as defined by the Micropub Assocication, is;

A Micropub is a small freehouse which listens to its customers, mainly serves cask ales, promotes conversation, shuns all forms of electronic entertainment and dabbles in traditional pub snacks.

The ale selection at 10:50 From Victoria.
I tried all of their six different ales.

10:50 From Victoria, is built in a railway arch and the 1050 name is based on the actual dedicated number for that arch.

Run by an Englishman, an Irishman and a German, all three are supposed to be retired but have instead decided to not be. Wanting to create a watering hole where people can come for a drink and be free from music, television and lager beers they built themselves a little micropub.

Little Christmas

And finally, just before the end of November, we invited a couple of friends over and celebrated lillajul (Little Christmas) by having a nice pulled pork dinner, some beer and wine and doing some arts and crafts.

It’s been a while since I’ve done any crafting and I had forgotten how much I enjoy it.

I'm really pleased with how the Walking Dead bookmarks turned out.

In fact, I enjoyed making bookmarks so much that I’m going to have to take a moment to come up with some more crafts to do.

But that’s for another time.

And that’s it for this month.

You’ve just read Notable November, Issue 11/15.

In which, 8 years ago, I wrote 1430 words about life and I covered topics, such as: keeping up with the erikssons , xbox , fallout (series) , conferences , beards , micropubs , and christmas .