One problem that we have been quietly reminded of on a regular basis during the past year is the dwindling number of bees. There have been many factors blamed (including people paving over their gardens) but there is another one that seems to get overlooked: a number of them manage to die in people's houses. During a genuine heatwave we opened windows to let in air (we've never owned a fan-except Nathan whose bedroom experiences temperature extremes) and pretty soon the hordes of trapped insects became noticeable. Normally we spotted flies flying in through the sunlounge door and futilely hoping to escape through sunlounge windows, either that or buzzing around the kitchen before escaping. But up in the bathroom, wasp corpses began littering the bathtub, the windowsill and the floor.
It wasn't until this morning while doing my business that I idly inspected the corpses decorating the windowsill (of all the piles to ignore, Mum chose that one) and noticed that not only are they too small to be wasps, but their patterns are different. I could then conclude that it was bees being trapped and dying in our house. I then thought about the amount of times this happens in many other houses. It's practically an accidental genocide! But at least there's a simple solution: we can easily buy artificial bee homes to attract them away from the windows.
I also found myself revisiting Assassin's Creed 2. When Nathan got home and Emma had left for Retford he naturally wanted to know what I thought. I was able to ask him if he thought the Assassin's Creed story was better than Metal Gear Solid's. He certainly thought so. He couldn't believe I didn't. The "heated debate" we had following the revelation boiled down to this: I felt story execution and presentation in the MGS franchise was perfect, while Ubisoft wasted a lot of opportunities for character development. He thought ACII did everything correctly while MGS went a bit overboard and made a number of characters grating. This was the point I learned that ACII was originally released incomplete and the missing chapters were later available for purchase from the Playstation Network. I believe they shouldn't have charged for them since they weren't that enjoyable and playing them after the original story completion really made them out of place. Unbelievably, it was in the previously unfinished 'Sequence 13' that Ezio had his emotional moment, making a speech to the crowd about how he had witnessed his family's murder and that people should not follow others, but find the truth themselves. Nathan and I both agreed that Ubisoft made the wrong decision: they should have had the game delayed in order to complete it, that way the experience would have been a lot more rounded.
I still think it wasn't quite there. The speech would have had a lot more impact if we knew what Ezio's beliefs were, we can only assume he was Catholic like everyone else but he never talks about them. Altaïr was firmly agnostic, refusing to practice a religion of any sort. It made his feelings regarding the discovery of the Piece of Eden a lot more elaborate.