Illustration | design

Tiny Tea Dispatch


“Everyone likes talking about himself. – Hercule Poirot”
–  Agatha Christie, Death in the Clouds

# Watching

A relevant quote for a newsletter that’s just someone talking into thin air about what they’ve been doing lately. But really, isn’t it equally so for all our online habits?

I’ve been watching the ‘Poirot’ series. Somewhat paradoxically, I started with  the later seasons (2001-2013) and looped back to the beginning (1989). I’m up to series 5 now.

For as good as this series is (and that’s mostly up to the performances of David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Pauline Moran, Philip Jackson and the costume department), I absolutely want everyone, except the small circle around the detective, to die in a horrible fire.
I understand that the characters are often played up for our amusement and in order to take them down a peg (lead by Poirot himself with his characteristic vanity) but it’s also all playing out against the backdrop of colonial England of the 1930’s, and looking at the stereotypical haughtiness and arrogance the upperclass are exuding, is exhausting.
There are some episodes where some practice of the time is opposed or criticized. For example, there is one in season 5 where women’s equality is a part of the plot. And Poirot himself is often the one to point out something is not as it should be, though not as strongly as I would’ve liked.

So yeah, it’s very much a series of its time on top of an often glamourizing fiction from an even earlier time. None the less, very entertaining if you can take it for what it is.
As the series moves on, we also get to see more character development for Poirot, who is ultimately a very sad and tormented man. He holds humanity to a (maybe impossibly) high standard, with these big ideals and striving for perfection (combined with possibly OCD), while constantly confronted with stupid people who throw it all away for short term gain. Here and there, his views also become challenged by muddier or seemingly impossible situations, where he is forced to make difficult choices.

One episode I highly recommend, is the classic ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ one. This version is much superior to the recent movie adaptation and really gets into the character’s world view and torment. It’s also the main reason why I absolutely do not like then final episode of the series, which goes completely against the grain of what the rest of the series has set up.

And if you want to solve one of those murders: it’s almost never the butler and  almost always about an inheritance.

# Retro corner

I made a couple of photo blog posts, on what I’ve been up to with the Gameboys this past month.
For starters, I now have a full collection of the Gameboy Camera color variants (except for limited editions). They look great paired with the various Gameboy models I’ve been building since December.
Then there’s another bit of tinkering, where I made a holder for a telelens.
I also tried my hand at some macro photography with the Gameboy Camera. I think they came out nice, expecially with the coloring.

# Making

For those of you wondering how the game is going: I finished just finished the thing! If you want, you can play it in avant-premiere on its own subdomain.
It’s a slow-paced story where you simply take a train trip and play some mini-games along the way.
I plan on doing an actual release with downloadable ROM (so you can play it on Gameboy or in an emulator) once I figure out what to do about music and sound effects. I have a very specific idea on what I want but no background in music making. On top of that, there are specific tools, formats and restrictions involved, so it’s a tricky thing to get right if you’re completely new to Gameboy music making and GB Studio.

I also intend to add some more mini-games later on, like a puzzle game for example. But that can go in version 2.

Let me know what you think of the game of if you come across any bugs!

# Final notes

A late edition of the dispatch this time. With time being a bit wonky these days, and stress surrounding our most recent house hunt, I got a bit side tracked.
I had some more interesting things to write about, like this video about the Simpsons and the death of parody or why Belgium is lagging behind on vaccines compared to countries that implemented worse policies last year. But I’m too stressed out about dealing with the house-buying situation of the past couple of months.
Call me crazy but I’m a person that needs to get some basic reassurances when it comes to signing up for paying several hundreds of thousands of euros for something and I’m getting a bit fed up with the real-estate industry making it a sport to obfuscate things as much as possible (eg. avoiding answering simple questions, coming back on previous stories, …) or agents being just plain rude and unpleasant. It is by far the most customer-unfriendly business I’ve had to endure in my life.
But, we’re trying to move ahead on a place at this very moment, so with any luck things will start to improve soon. Then it’ll be the stress of the administration and choosing materials that does me in but at least we’ll have something to show for it at the end of the line.

Wherever you are, I hope your housing situation is going okay and maybe there’s some easter candy around.

See you next month.

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