Posted in Food, Musings

Who wants a Creme Egg in December?

Posted in Video Games

The Sims 4 PS4 Review

After three years, the Sims 4 finally arrived onto consoles mid-November this year. It has been a long-time coming for those who are strictly console but the release wasn’t quite as minimal as has been with previous releases in the past.

Although I waited a few weeks to purchase (as I wasn’t sure if I wanted/needed it given that I’ve bought almost the complete set on PC) I’ve decided to review the game for anyone who is still on the fence or just plain curious about this crossover.

First things first, I was surprised to see that the game is a straight copy of the PC version, like everything, down to the menu functions, the neighbourhoods and the characters available. Instantly I warmed to the game, not only was I already familiar and comfortable with the game play but it meant I could go back to old townies long since dead in my laptop version. The fact that you are playing on a console is never going to replace the speed of using a mouse and rapidly darting across the screen while pressing various buttons to fast forward time, move up and down between floors or even to view menus. However, it’s not the worst handling I’ve had on a sims console game so I won’t berate the programmers for what is the best version yet.

My biggest bug-bear with the controls is that I can’t keep the Needs panel visible while playing, it must be hidden in order to move around the screen otherwise. Again it’s not a major cause for concern, just a minor adjustment on my part to get used to playing like this.

The actual problems I’ve encountered are those which were issues in the Sims 3 on PC, game freezing, not saving, system crashing, and actions building up but not clearing. I played the game for most of the day yesterday and I had to restart my PlayStation about five times because of the game freezing and becoming unresponsive. HOWEVER! Despite being sickeningly annoyed at the prospect of having lost so much gameplay (the curse of TS3 but TS4 on PC has been a far more stable game) it turns out somehow I hadn’t lost any progress with my game. I’m not certain if there is an underlying autosave that I’m not aware of but I knew that my manual saves had been few and far between so it was a delightful surprise that my sims were safe and up to date.

I’ve played it for a few hours today and so far the only issues have been the action queues building and not clearing, but much like the PC version this will probably be fixed with travelling somewhere with the sim or just starting the game over again.

As I had mentioned earlier, as a new release we were treated to more than just the base game; there is the Vampire game pack and a few stuff packs available for purchase. I bought the triple gift set of Vampires, Luxury Party Stuff and City Living to boost the features of the game. In saying this I have purchased most of the additional packs for the PC version and while I was surprised that there were any packs available for the console, considering there has been a three year wait for this there really should have been more, if not all expansions readily available. A quote I read from another reviewer was that although this is probably the best PC to Console version of the Sims, no matter how you cut it, it’s still three years behind the PC version.

So for now I’ll probably give it 3.5 stars out of 5, not because it’s not fun, but simply that we’re lacking the extras of the PC version.

Posted in job hunting, Late Nights, life, work

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago…

I barely slept the night before Thursday 14th December as I knew I had an interview at 10am that morning. I had prepared, and had had ten days to prepare my presentation for it, but still I was unsettled about my impending performance and how it would be judged.

I dragged myself up, buzzed and nauseous at the same time and left early to get my bus. Despite the rumours of snow and bad weather I made it to my destination in plenty of time and without much hassle.

I cut my presentation into chunks stuck to large index cards to make it all look a bit more professional and after finding the right building and climbing a million stairs, I arrived about ten minutes ahead of time and was instructed to wait in the small dining area.

My interview started quite a bit after ten as they all seemed fairly casual about timing, then I stumbled into the small double-doored office but repeatedly informed that this wasn’t where interviews normally were conducted. I put any nerves aside and focused on the potential opportunity in front of me. I know things here in Glasgow are much different from what I was used to in Aberdeen, actually getting an interview is a much bigger deal here; the competition being infinitely more fierce.

It lasted all of fifty minutes with the two interviewers doing most of the talking. I believe I did do my best, but felt that their constant ‘sympathy’ of the horror of doing a presentation in front of two people kind of took my edge off. I’ve done hundreds of presentations like this, hundreds of times where I’ve put myself out of my comfort zone and had to think on my feet or speak while only pretending to feel confident, and yet… Something ultimately wasn’t enough, I didn’t get the job and received the rejection email six hours after the fact. I could over analyse and try to interpret where I went wrong, but without actual confirmation from them it really could have come down to an arbitrary point. However, the stats they sent me said 300 people applied for the job and I was one of 30 to be interviewed but only 12 were selected to be hired. There’s some consolation in that.

Anyway, the day was far from over.

I was starving and bolted to Wetherspoons straight after the interview and got the small breakfast and an avocado bagel… it was wonderful, considering I hadn’t eaten anything before it. The lack of sleep was wearing on me and I made for the bus to go home and sleep instead of a coffee refill. Thankfully, a bus appeared just as I got to the bus stop but suddenly my phone blasted the opening riff of ‘Sugar we’re goin’ down’ (my ringtone) and I awkwardly presented my bus ticket while trying to hear the person on the other end of the line.

Person: Hi, this is X from X at X, I was wondering if you’d be available for an interview today?

Me: Uh, sure. What time at?

Person: How about 2pm?

Me: Uh [checks watch to see suggested time is only an hour and a half from now] sure, I’ll see you then.

I came off the phone in shock and realised the ramifications of the spontaneity of the interview. I was in the middle of town, heading home and this place was the other end of the city, and I still had my job centre appointment at 4pm. So I did what had to be done and called in the support team.

The long and short of it is that by the time I got home there wasn’t much time to get a bus so I had to get a taxi to the shop and made it for a bit before two. I approached a staff member, was ushered into the back of the shop and met the boss. I didn’t even get to sit down when she asked to see ID, if I have full availability and can I start today. HA! Finally!

Of course I said yes, but would need to come back after the JC appointment. I headed straight there after my thirty second interview and my adviser and the person who questions people why they’re in the job centre were both thrilled for me and amazed that I had gotten something so quickly.

Then it was straight home to change and out to hunt for some food before getting to the place for half five to actually start… until 11:30pm.

So it’s been pretty much non stop since then, I’ve so far only had three days off but still have the next three days off to catch up on real-life stuff including uni work, this blog, and other writing stuff. I’m physically zonked from the constant standing around and bashing into things behind the counter, but I’m not emotionally drained which is the most important part for me. Still don’t miss the last job!

I hope everyone has had a really good holiday season and I’m sure we’re all looking to 2018 to be a much better year all round.

Hasta luego,

e x





Posted in Memories, Outings, Travel

Christmas Market – Glasgow 2017

Woo hoo!

So today was the first day that I’d properly had the chance to go around the Christmas market in Glasgow today. I took a few photos and videos of it this evening just after twilight. I only visited the George Square market, I’ll do the St Enoch’s one tomorrow.

I had a yummy bratwurst, a cinnamon and sugar crêpe, and a smashing cup of mulled wine which definitely warmed my upper half. My legs however, are still numb and probably will be for the foreseeable future. (Until April).

I’m definitely going back for the ninja face-mask-hood-thingy. £12 or two for £20. It covers your head like a hood and has a face panel, so I can be a member of the League of Shadows plus protect my sinuses. Especially since today started at -4 degrees (c) and is drawing to a close at -7 (c). Meep. I can’t do extreme weathers! Can I go back to that balmy 23 degrees in Granada in April 2015… or even the 20 degree St Patrick’s Day/Night the month before! But not the 40+ temperature in Madrid in June 2015. Heh. Weather mems.

Hasta luego!

e x