Stepping off the edge.


I’m sure a lot of you will have heard me ramble on about this before, but I want to start my own business. For a long time it’s what I’ve wanted to do. When I was younger I looked up to , my wonderful, hardworking and dedicated mother. She took a huge risk and picked up a failing business (a Newsagent in a small, seaside village), dusted it off and turned it into her livelihood for several years. The shop has been closed for a while now, the recession biting at the heels of a stumbling business, already trying to deal with other problems, such as competition and people.

Now, I don’t want to follow directly in her footsteps. I don’t want to become the proprietor of a newsagent or sweetshop in a village. I want to run my own successful internet cafe. It would be more than just an internet cafe – it would specialize in LAN gaming and online gaming. Ideally there’d be the opportunity for me to run Friday Night Magic there, too. But I don’t want a small, dark, grotty basement. I want a shop where non-gamers would also feel comfortable coming and browsing the internet with a cup of coffee for an hour.

My idea came from visiting Swansea one day when I was in 6th form and missing a train home. I needed something to do for two hours to kill time before the next train home, and so I went into Crossfire. They have 56 computers there, 15 for web browsing and 41 for gaming. They are all networked together and they all have super-fast broadband.

I want to spread this wonderful idea. I want to bring it to Lancaster. I can almost see it – casual internet cafe/coffee shop in the day, hardcore gaming lair in the night.

There is already somewhere in Lancaster that offers this service, but I’ll give anyone who can name the place and the location 50 points. They operate in a small, slightly underground and very unappealing premises. I went there last year so I could play WoW alongside someone (damn campus rooms having only one internet connection) and they told me that their computers weren’t equipped to deal with WoW and their internet connection couldn’t deal with it either. Competition, of a sorts, but I’m convinced I could do it better.

The main hurdle I have is money. Of course it is – so many people would do so much if money wasn’t a worry. Premises, utilities, equipment – it’s all expensive. Also, technical knowledge – I don’t know the first thing about computer networks. The thing is, this idea has been plaguing me for four years now. I can’t make it go away. I can hide it in a cupboard for a while, but eventually it’ll find the handle on the inside and be out there again, nagging and niggling at me. So much so, in fact, that I’ve bought a ‘Start your own business’ book, and am writing this LJ post for people to comment on my idea.

I want, maybe more than anything, to be in Lancaster with the people that I care about and love. I’m having doubts about university – I’ve already made two goes at it, why should the third be any more successful? I want to do something that interests me, that makes me feel like I’m giving a service to satisfied customers. I want to get to know my regular customers and I want to be in control of something Big. Something Important (to me at least).

At the moment, just musings and ideas, but ones that won’t go and sit on the shelf like obedient ideas – ones that really want playing with and exploring and testing. Stay tuned to hear more in the future.

First of many…?


I have had something recently that I’ve not had for a very long time. I had a Good Weekend. Not all of it was good, some of it was in fact awful, but for the most part, it was Good. The Prozac has been making me feel woozy but the side effects are much less severe than with the citalopram.

Friday night saw Sam run a one-shot of All Flesh Must Be Eaten. He decided to do this at about half eight, so there was zombie related hilarity with Sam, Simon, Dan and Stu until about 2.30am. It wasn’t a great role-playing experience for me, I couldn’t get into character at all, but the OOC banter was fantastic.

Saturday was of course the LURPS Hog Roast. Brilliant stuff, delicious food and great company. I had some bad times there though, mostly because I made a joke in bad taste and managed to convince myself that it had made everyone who heard it hate me, so I wandered off and spent an hour sitting around on the floor on my own before anyone came to find me. But I did get to smear Jelly on Connor’s face, which was funny.

Saturday night was Rock It To The Lune, which was awesome. I’ve not been out dancing in such a long time that I’d forgotten how good it feels, especially in the company of people who don’t care that I look like I’m having a seizure on the dance floor. I danced and sung and had a brilliant time. I even won the raffle (kinda). Then Simon, Stu, John and I went on to Hustle, where we stayed for about eight minutes before coming back to my place to play Magic: The Gathering.

Today, I was supposed to be playing in the game Mr. Slee is running over Easter. However, I had a massive panic this morning that my current state of fail would ruin the game for all the other players and spoil all of the GM’s hard work. So, I bailed out and went to learn how to play Go in the Sun, which was great.

After Go, I hung out with Adam for a bit, played some MtG and lost some chess. Not known Adam for very long but had a great time, it’s nice to find more people who are easy to hang out with. After that, Justin hosted a MtG cube draft, which was fun. Justin, Simon, Stu, Girly Mike, Adam and myself played and it was ace fun.

And that brings us to now. I’m doing my utmost to keep happy, which is why I’ve written about the weekend, to remind myself of how good it was. It feels like I’m having a come-down, which I suppose in a way I am. But hopefully I’ll be ok.

Seems that recently something’s been happening to me that hasn’t happened since November 2008. I think I’m getting a crush on someone. It’s a very weird thing and I’m not sure what to do with it. Leave it alone for now, I think, and poke it more when I feel brave.

Anyway, I think I’m going to eat some chocolate raisins and play Civilization 4. And no, I won’t tell you who it is.