Secretlab OMEGA Chair – the Chair I’ve Been Looking for

It has been many a year now that I have been looking for a comfy chair to park my butt in over long hours of work and, of course, gaming. I haven’t been searching every day over those years, mind, but I have had bursts of enthusiasm when my lower back twinged every couple of months. However, nothing I saw seemed up to the job, or if it was, it was wildly expensive – more than I’d pay for a deluxe sofa kind of expensive.

Then, this last December, my back cried out to me once more, and I had a jolt of inspiration – why wasn’t I looking at gaming chairs? They are designed for comfort over long hours of button mashing. So I went on some gaming websites to look at their reviews of chairs, and I found that the Secretlab OMEGA series was consistently coming out on top, even above much more expensive chairs. Convinced, I went to the Secretlab website and found that their chairs were on sale – even better – and even better still, there was a waiting list for deliveries, which told me this was the chair that everyone wanted. So I immediately ordered one.

And this week, it finally arrived! And I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy with a return on investment as I am with this chair. Here she is in all her glory in my hideaway.

The model I got is in their SoftWeave fabric in Charcoal Blue. I’m not a fan of leather, real or fake, and their real and PU leather models require some long-term care. The SoftWeave, however, is a really lovely material that’s soft to touch but feels sturdy.

Firstly, I’ve never known a chair to adjust in quite so many directions as this one. You can recline all the way back such that throw on a blanket and you can call it a bed. The armrests adjust along three axes (that I’ve found so far!), and you can tilt back and forth as much as you like with a perfect amount of resistance. I don’t have to push against it, and it doesn’t push back against me. It just holds me with the support I need. I’d definitely call it responsive. It really has the individual in mind, and the designers have understood fully that every person has a unique shape and set of preferences for their seating experience.

Then there’s the comfort factor. It’s an odd thing, because the seat and backrest are firm but somehow really comfy. It might have something to do with even distribution of weight, but you can keep your squishy armchairs, as this is the future for me. It’s the feeling of being truly supported on every surface and in every direction. I was a bit worried that my somewhat chunky thighs might make me too wide for this model, but I was completely wrong. There’s plenty of room for someone at least a little bit into the overweight range of their BMI. I’ve also got quite broad shoulders, and they are not too broad for this chair either. Everything is just supportive, not overly hugging, and I can even cross my legs on it, which is important for a fidget bum like me. I’m 5’7″ and it fits me spot on, but my partner, who is 6’2″, also finds it comfy, despite the fact that the manufacturers only recommend the OMEGA for folks up to 5’9″. I’m not saying definitely get it if you’re over 5’9″, but if you’re slight of frame, it would probably be fine up to folks of 6′. If in doubt, just get the next series up, the TITAN.

You also get a nice head pillow that straps securely over the top of the backrest and a memory foam lumbar support cushion, which my lower back is very grateful for.

All in all, I know it’s just a chair, but when you’ve been struggling in rubbish, cheap chairs for so many years, and your back is getting progressively worse, a decent chair can have a huge impact on quality of life, especially considering how much time I spend on one. It’s not ridiculously expensive for what you get. In fact, I’d say it’s exceptional value for money. You could pay a lot more and get a lot less. And a happy back is priceless really. I’m actually happy to sit down to work every day now. When I sit in this chair, I can hear my back sighing in relief, and I know that I’ll be perfectly comfortable all day. I won’t ever look at another chair now. This is it for me for life. Thank you, Secretlab!

Merch Review: Harry Potter Bag and Bangles

Can I just say I love the word “bangle”. It’s probably one of my favourite words in English, so I may say it an excessive number of times in this review.

But enough of that! I treated myself to some new merch, as it was my birthday at the end of May. Any excuse! And besides, I needed a new bag for my cousin’s wedding. Again, any excuse! So where does the average girl go to buy a new bag for a black-tie do? One of her favourite merch sites, of course!

I found this frankly fabulous clutch bag on EMP. It is in the style of Harry Potter’s acceptance letter from Hogwarts. On the front is the Hogwarts crest and a faux wax seal. On the back is, of course, Harry’s address while he resided in the cupboard under the stairs. There is then a zip along the top and a small detachable wrist strap. Another addition, which I was quite excited about, is an owl post medallion. It’s solid metal and quite heavy, but once you’ve got all your crap in the bag, it doesn’t feel unbalanced. I love it as a piece of merch in its own right.

The bag is great quality faux leather, and, perhaps most importantly, the zip is good quality. There’s nothing worse on a bag than an argumentative zip! It’s a nice size to both hold in your hand and contain all your crap, and the medallion adds a nice bit of bling. I think the only thing I would do to improve it is to have the envelope flap as the opening point, so it acts just like an envelope. I have seen similar bags with this feature, but they are either more the size of a handbag or a smaller clutch, and this bag is bang on for size. Big enough to actually hold all the things you need, but small enough to still be a sensible clutch. Definitely a recommended buy!

Whilst I was looking for a new bag on EMP, I happened to stumble across another piece of Harry Potter merch that I instantly fell in love with. These are a set of three silver metal bangles made for a Ravenclaw. The widest bangle is set with dark blue “gems” to represent the house colour, the second widest bangle has the words “Learning; Wit; Wisdom; Learning” etched on it to represent the valued attributes of the house, and the thinnest bangle is etched with the house name, “Ravenclaw”.

They are, of course, available in all the houses. Hufflepuff and Gryffindor come in gold, but I’m glad that Ravenclaw is in silver, as gold hates my skin tone, and I, in turn, am not a fan of it. I’m also lucky that blue is my favourite colour, and works very well with my skin tone, so it’s the ideal house for me, even if my brain doesn’t live up to the ideals all the time!

I should say, however, that these bangles are quite small. Every other joint in my body has always been chunky, but fortunately, I have quite slender wrists, and these are about right for me. They are about 17cm in circumference. Overall, however, they are a nice quality and are quite a subtle and elegant piece of merch that only the keen of eye may notice. I wore these to my cousin’s wedding too, so they make a nice piece of jewellery for formal or informal occasions. Definitely a recommended buy for the slim-wristed.

Birthday Haul 2018

I’m not one for big birthday celebrations, but there is something about my birthday I do get excited about – books and games galore! I’m very lucky to have some very generous donors to my collection, so I thought I’d share my haul with you.

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I’m a huge fan of the TimeRiders series by Alex Scarrow. In fact, it’s probably my favourite YA time-travelling series, as there’s a lot of detail in the actual mechanics of the time-travelling. A lot of books just skip over the technicalities and the inherent difficulties and paradoxes, but Scarrow faces up to them, which makes the suspension of disbelief a total breeze. They are also quite gritty and have some challenging issues in them. Here you can see books 6, 7, 8 and 9 to complete my collection.

I came to Andrzej Sapkowski through the game The Witcher 3, which is definitely fighting for top spot on my list of all-time favourite games. Alas, The Witcher 3 picks up on Geralt’s story part way through, with two preceding games. However, I’m massively put off going backwards in a series of games because of crappier graphics and gameplay. I think the only game series I’ve done that for without too much regret is Assassin’s Creed, after starting on Black Flag. So I thought I’d catch up with Geralt’s story by reading the books that the game was based on. No regrets in doing that at all! They’re actually really brilliant books told in a lovely narrative style, so I’ve now completed my collection with these five.

I also got Ready Player One, which I want to read before I watch the film (most important!) and A Court of Frost and Starlight. I’m a big fan of Sarah J. Maas (although recently I’ve not been so wowed by here stories as I was with the earlier titles), but I’ve heard some quite bad reviews of this relatively short instalment. Apparently, it just follows the characters going shopping and eating dinner, but I shall reserve judgement until I’ve read it myself.

I also bagged a couple of gaming presents. I’ve been excited for God of War for a long time now, even though I haven’t played any previous titles in the franchise (again, I don’t look back in gaming). But I absolutely LOVE Norse mythology, and Kratos sounds a lot like me – permanently grumpy! I’m going to read the Neil Gaiman Norse Mythology book first so that I’ve had a refresher course and can understand as many references as possible. My other gaming present is a face mask as modelled by Aiden Pearce in the game Watch Dogs, another big favourite of mine. I know what I’m sporting this winter!

I’m very happy that my mum dug deep into my Amazon wishlist and found this little beauty that I’d added as a “would be nice but probably can never justify buying” item. It’s a beautiful illustrated edition of a complete collection of Winnie-the-Pooh. And it’s flipping gorgeous! I have very distinct memories of being read Winnie-the-Pooh when I was a child, so this has great sentimental value for me too. I shall enjoy this little jaunt down Memory Lane!

Potter Swag

I thought I’d just share some recently acquired Harry Potter goodies, which I’m dead chuffed with. The weather is getting colder in Blighty now, so I thought I’d invest in some new socks and a jumper.

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I identify with all the Hogwarts houses to some extent, but I aspire mostly to Ravenclaw’s ideals. Hence the Ravenclaw hoodie. Plus blue is my favourite colour. And naturally I would be the Quidditch team captain 😉

I’m currently wearing the socks based on my moods. For some reason, I seem to be wearing Slytherin more than any other. Read into that what you will! Personally, I think Slytherin gets some bad press. Being cunning and ambitious is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as you are mindful of the needs and wellbeing of others. I should think a lot of great wizarding entrepreneurs and leaders have come out of Slytherin.

One gripe with the socks, though. They have fallen into the trap of thinking that Ravenclaw’s heraldic animal is a raven. That bird looks very raveny to me. But as we all know, it’s actually an eagle. I’m very pleased to see they have it right on the hoodie!

MCM Comic Con Swag

Well, I was a very happy bunny to spend my recent birthday at the MCM Comic Con in London. Geek heaven! I had such a good time amongst my clan. It’s just about the only time I can mingle in a huge crowd of people and my social anxiety doesn’t flare up to ruin everything. That’s probably down to the fact that I go in costume, so I can be someone else for the day. This year I went as a female witcher, as The Witcher 3 is one of the best games I’ve played recently. Absolutely love it! I’ve also started reading the books by Andrzej Sapkowski, which I would definitely recommend, even if you have no interest in the games. So here I am in full costume:

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Those contact lenses were a nightmare! They kept rotating around, so the slits were at all angles during the day. It made me look slightly unhinged!

As it was my birthday, I got to bag some swag, which I wanted to share with you. It turned out to be Pokemon themed:

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Snorlax was begging me to bring him home, so he’s now supervising my desk. The bookmarks came from this fantastic stand offering all kinds of artistically rendered gaming characters. I love Eevee because of all the different kinds of evolutions (although I rarely actually have any on my team because their stats aren’t great) and I couldn’t decide which version of Eevee I wanted. So I bought them all! They are now proudly displayed on my bookshelves:

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I’m slightly scared to use them because I don’t want to damage or lose any of them, but I’ve braved it and have deployed Sylveon in A Court of Wings and Ruin, which I’m reading at the moment.

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It’s a book about faeries, so if there are any Pokemon fans out there, you’ll know why I chose Sylveon. You can’t beat a geeky bookmark!