Why I boycott games with loot boxes

This is a stance that I felt I have needed to express for some time, because while a lot of it is shrugged off or defended in some manner, there is one simple point that I do not think gets talked about often enough alongside it.

You just need to look at my following list on Twitter to know I like video games.

I enjoy DLC expansions, and consider a number of micro-transactions to be a nuisance more than a help, but I do not condone loot boxes in the slightest. I can honestly say everything I can't stand about how the majority of businesses seek to almost weaponise the desire to obtain than what the lootbox offers, which says something when you look at my career history.

But I am also very lucky, the majority of games I enjoy to play do not work well with such a mechanic. For me, video games are so much more than blasting at or racing other people online, they're a powerful storytelling medium with arguably more to offer the consumer than any other medium. As the power of techn…

On job interviews and bad weather

Yesterday I had a job interview.

I won't give details about the company or what happened, but I want to share two big tips that I have never been given by an agent that did go down well.

Be practical about the circumstances

Dress smartly and win a good first impression, certainly, but don't put form over function. One agency I've worked with told me to wear a skirt if possible as I am a girl, but for personal reasons I do not do so.

But in bad weather, get a good balance between looking good and aiming to arrive.

I left for the interview in my Karrimoor hybrid walkers because my interview boots have a lousy tread for yesterday's snow/ice conditions. I wore a suit and a new coat which was padded and warm with thick gloves from the last time snow settled in the south of England. In a backpack I kept my essentials, some tissues and my interview boots to swap into, and fortunately there was a coffee shop below the office so I bought a drink so I could refresh myself before …

Recent Events

So I haven't really done a lot of work here, and there are a lot of reasons for this, some personal. But I've endured a lot and many lessons have been learned from that.

One of those things is that retail is definitely not a sector that suits my mindset as a workplace.

The biggest reason for this is, as someone who has been on the floor, I'm frustrated by the fact that the higher echelons see the floor as a series of automatons for the purpose of maximising the sales and money coming into the company. The problem is that this is not an age where people are spending beyond their means anymore. People are being advised left and right to treat their personal household budgets like a business in its own right, balance the books and save a little nest egg for a rainy day, that is something I had been doing myself throughout my last job.

Yeah, my last job.

I tendered my resignation in the first week of the year, and have been out of there for two weeks now.

I'm not going to …

Coconut and Lime cake

This cake is one that goes down well, even with people who don't even like coconut! The tangy icing lifts the moist sponge.

I put this up without photos because I found out that one colleague's niece is coeliac, and wanted him to be able to share it with his sister and her family.


150ml coconut milk50g desiccated coconut25ml milk (or dairy free alternative)250g butter or dairy free margarine, softened250g caster sugar3 eggs, beatenJuice and finely grated zest of two limes250g gluten free self-raising flour blend1tsp Xanthan gum For the icing:
15ml coconut milk250g icing sugar, siftedJuice 1 lime50g toasted coconut flakes (optional)
Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking parchment and pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius/Gas Mark 4
Put the coconut milk in a saucepan over a high heat, as soon as it starts to boil, take off the heat and add the desiccated coconut and milk, set aside to cool. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix the lime juice an…

On pets and passing

I doubt this entry will be of fantastic quality, but this is something that comes up now and then that I feel should be said while the notion is fresh in my mind.

Today is a doubly sad occasion for me, not only is it the last weekday of a two week break from work, but I got a text from Dad just after 2pm local time.

Hi, are you working at present

This was not Dad's usual style, and truthfully, my parents don't reach out to me that often.

No, what's up?

Confused, and despite a warning nearing three weeks prior, I get bad news.

We had the vet out to Oscar this morning. He could barely walk and couldn't stand up to eat or relieve himself so it was his time. Mum said to let u know.

Oscar was the family Dalmatian, who we adopted in the Spring of 2005, when I was nearing 17. He was far too splotched to be a pedigree, and his tail was white barring a couple of faint grey spots, but the girls in my family, myself included, loved him from the moment he came to our home. Back then,…

On Shadow of War

Xander is a fan of Jim Sterling, and watching his videos on this have summarised a lot of opinions I have, quite possibly way more eloquently than I could.

I'm opposed to micro-transactions in paid for games. It leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth and I cannot help but compare it to a foreigner's view of the USA's health system. Even in Assassin's Creed, a game franchise I was a big fan of after the introduction of Ezio, and despite the views of some I quite like the Fry twins, but then, I love the sarcastic banter between them. But the micro-transactions don't see a penny and the game is, by design, penalising you for that by making it harder to grab the standard currency.

But I digress.

The fact that Middle Earth: Shadow of War has micro-transactions is disappointing to say the least, because it suggests that Monolith's work is not a game worth playing, a notion that, if Shadow of Mordor is anything to go by, cannot possibly be true. The fact that orcs fo…

Coconut and Lemongrass Cake

Earlier this week I brought this cake, admittedly made with spelt flour, to work since I would be at a new branch on my birthday. I was subsequently asked for the recipe, so here it is!

The lemongrass provides a light, unique flavour that makes me say 'try this cake at least once'.

Recipe from Rachel Allen's book Cake


4 stalks of lemongrass, tops and bases trimmed and outer leaves removed250g caster sugar4 eggs200g butter, softened (I used sunflower spread)125g desiccated coconut125g plain flour2tsp baking powder For the syrup: 75g sugar75ml waterlemongrass trimmings Preheat the oven to 170 Celsius (325 Fahrenheit) or Gas mark 3. Line a deep 23cm diameter baking tin with baking paper Thinly slice the lemongrass stalks and put in a food processor with the caster sugar. Run the mixture until the lemongrass is pureed and fragrant Add the eggs, butter and coconut, mix until combined. Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the mixture, mix until just combined Tip…