Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Meaty, Beaty

And so to the theatre. I have been to see Bouncers, the John Godber play that is revived so often that I am at a loss to explain why I had never seen it before.

“We four will try to illustrate
the sort of things that happen late
at night in every town
when the pubs are shut
and the beer’s been downed”

In fact, at least according to the publicity blurb for the Reform Theatre production now on tour, and which I caught at Harrogate, it's one of the most performed plays of all time. However, be that as it may, I found it bawdy, sometimes poignant and very funny. Let's face it, none of us has ever really outgrown a good fart joke.

The setting - discos of the 1980s - is actually after my time, although as Godber is an exact contemporary of mine perhaps it wasn't surprising that there were many elements that I recognised. The creepy disk jockey is of course both reminiscent of the sixties/seventies/eighties and spookily current. Anyway, highly recommended.

Not highly recommended

Friday, 26 September 2014


And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.  

Isaiah 42:16

Friday, 12 September 2014


My Luxembourg correspondent has been complaining that my other, serious, work-related blog has not been updated for - and I'm paraphrasing - a yonk. This non-work-related and not at all serious blog is in danger of going the same way. I'm not sure why; perhaps having a wargames room negates the point of a blog which after all was originally specifically about not actually wargaming. Anyway, while I reflect on that existential point let's give a small nod to what's happening in the world.

The death of the Reverend Ian Paisley might seem a logical point at which to relate in detail the episode involving him, me and the giraffe, but perhaps the world is not yet ready. Others have commented on his character and the part he played in the history of the Troubles. For me the main memory I am left with from our infrequent and brief interactions is just how big he was physically - he was absolutely bloody enormous.

There has been more wargaming in the annexe, which followed a similar pattern to the previous week. James has the knack of just whittling away at enemy units just one stand at a time; before you know it they've disappeared and the game is over. Of course he did bring his own dice this week - just saying.

Which just leaves me time to post a photo of Ritchie Blackmore in a stupid hat.

Saturday, 6 September 2014


I have been on a walk through the Washburn Valley in the rain. It was all very nice, but I only mention it because it gives me a chance to add another to the blog's irregular series "Great Bridges of the Yorkshire Dales". This time it's Dob Park Packhorse Bridge.

And I wouldn't like to disappoint you stock fanciers. This set are from Leathley.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The coolerator was crammed

Last night was the official opening of the wargaming annexe, celebrated with some C&C Napoleonics and lashings of ginger beer.

James admires his hand

James and Peter fought the Pultusk scenario and the former's Russians won quite straightforwardly due to some very handy dice rolling and card drawing. By James that is; Peter couldn't roll or draw anything he wanted all night.

Peter sees no point in even looking at his

A couple of Cavalry Charge cards in a row at the beginning took out Peter's artillery and that was more or less that. He did manage to progress on his right flank, but ran out of cards and had to sit tantalisingly close to the town sectors that would have given him a crucial couple of Victory Points. "C'est la vie" as the old folks say. Anyway, a good time was had by all - except for Peter obviously.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Oh, when the sun beats down

There has been a summer hiatus in all sorts of things, but two of them - walking and boardgaming - have kicked off again.

And your shoes get so hot, you wish your tired feet were fireproof

Following my ascent of Haw Pike (which is actually no height at all, although it was very windy up there) I have been on the fells above Burnsall. For those among you who are colonials and therefore susceptible to a bit of twee, I include a picture of the stocks at Appletreewick.

On the gaming front a new venue has been discovered and thus I have played six games - including four new to me - and impressively come last in every single one. It was the first time that I had played Citadels with only three people and while the special rules are, I think, better because one can plan more efficiently I, er didn't. Ticket to Ride was as good as ever, but I was far too unambitious in my choice of which routes to aim for. Seasons was full of interesting mechanisms, but I'm not keen on games where players acquire special powers throughout the game because I can never keep track of what is going on. I also didn't like the theme, which was far too "Mystic Warlords of Ka'a" for my taste. The Enchanted Bunny didn't actually put in an appearance, but it was lurking in the background somewhere. Greed is a card drafting game where gangsters and property developers are conflated - which seems reasonable. Keyflower is a much-hyped game with a huge number of things to do, but not many ways to score that somehow doesn't tie up very convincingly. And Among the Stars is an intergalactic version of patience as far as I could see.

So from that lot, while Keyflower is the obvious hit, I would choose to play Ticket to Ride any time.