Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thinner and busier

This blog is becoming more of 6 monthly update than a regular diary.  It is true that the older one gets the less time there is in a day, and the less energy there is to do stuff in that shorter time. Bugger.

Since February, John & I have been doing intermittent fasting for 2 days a week, with the odd exception when I was away travelling or overseas.  It really works. We've both lost around 10 kg (John closer to 12). This has necessitated some previously unthinkable possibilities, like having to have extra holes bored into my favourite leather belt to hold my jeans up, being able to wear skinny jeans I had given up on and so on.  The fasting itself is manageable as long as I plan ahead what to eat on those days and don't get caught in a ravenous state next to tempting goodies.
Games work and some film scanning has been keeping me busy.  I've also taken on the unpaid job of chairing the NZ Games Association.

SchilMil is at a milestone, having just signed several artists to do the design work on boxes, cards and game boards for our two new projects: Granny Wars: the card game of Tit for Tat, and Manifest - a strategy game of shipping, cargo, pirates and other trouble at sea. We are aiming to get the first published and available before Xmas. Manifest won't be manufactured until the middle of next year. 

We'll be shortly launching a PledgeMe campaign to seek the funds upfront for Granny Wars. The rewards will include the right to have your own granny or granddad honoured by being caricatured on one the game cards. Watch this space.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fast track

Happy New year.
I don't know where the last three months went. Did anyone see them flying past?

For Xmas and new year, John & I enjoyed a 10 day break in Australia, staying with my niece in Somerville and also visiting friends in Melbourne.  It was great to catch up with fmaily including my brother Nigel and Jackie who had escaped from the wintry UK. The day we left to return to NZ temperatures soared to a very uncomfortable 42C with a strong wind that made standing near an open door feel like being in a blast furnace.
Little Mia gives her aunty a paint job

A surreptitious New Year moment saw me read a piece in the Guardian by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage fame. The gist of it was it can't be natural or healthy to eat well all the time. He went on to explain why he is experimenting with the 'Fast Diet'. No, its not a quick way to lose weight, but stop, yes it is, but that's not the point. The Fast Diet is about Intermittent Fasting, or 5:2 - five days of normal devil-may-care consumption and 2 days a week on a severely limited 500 calories. 
My curiosity piqued, I went on to watch the BBC Horizon documentary in which Dr Michael Mossley searches the western world for healthy ways to fast, concluding that 5:2 is both healthy and manageable. He cited benefits to include lower BP, cholesterol, blood glucose, IGF-1 as well as weight loss. After just 2 weeks on it (4 fasting days under my belt), my belt is a lot looser having lost 6kg. I also feel a lot more energetic.  Just as well cos there's a lot happening here.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Hugh poncders whether to fast today
Our FilmScan business has taken off with wind in its sails. After several years of ticking along slowly the new web site seems to have jolted it to a new level. Some days we have both been scanning flat out to keep up with the demand.  It all helps put food on the table now that I am a self-employed game designer with no day job to go to....

Julia and I (aka SchilMil Games) are busy making preparations for our first Trade Show as well as prototyping some new games ready for testing. We have a stand at the Australian Toy & Hobby Fair March 3-6th in Melbourne. Our aim is to expose the games to retailers and hopefully get a deal with one or more distribution companies. Wish us luck. If all goes well we could be adding exporting goods onto our new skills learning curve.

In the meantime John & I venturing down to the deep southernmost part of New Zealand for a few days to visit Tamsin who lives on the edge of Fiordland - a birthday treat for me - she has promised to make me a special cake!

I am now on Twitter @nzmeerkat