9 Feb, 2020: Ciara

As storm Ciara batters the country, I found myself on a rare Sunday off work. Not booked off – that’s next week. Just off because no-one wants to come out in this weather. There were a few shifts in for today, but they went to my erstwhile colleague. So I was at home, with Caz, sheltered from the storms.

So we busted out a few games.

I even won some.

We tackled one of the Exit The Game escape room games first and foremost, because you take the boy out of escape rooms but you can’t take escape rooms out of the boy. Or something like that. We tackled the Sunken Treasure – a game rated as a 2 difficulty on their scale.

We were pootling along perfectly fine and dandy, solving puzzles like there was no tomorrow. And then we got to one which made us stop and have to get hints. I hate getting hints on these games because, if you’re playing to be anal about the scores on them (we’re not) getting hints is a score killer straight away. But not only that, you have to drill down a couple of hints before they become useful.

The first hint for every puzzle is always: You will need… and it lists of things from the game you should have or be using by this point. Unless you’ve slipped into a coma, you have those things. And yet that is clue one. So you’ve already used a clue to confirm your equipment. Clue two then vaguely hints at you using that equipment. Clue three gives you the answer. There’s no middle ground. They’re annoying.

Anyway, who knew that the paper in rock, paper, scissors could be considered to be the number five due to the number of fingers present. No-one. Exactly.

So we did that, we did it in a decent time. Not too shabby. Could have been better. Maybe tried to overthink it too much. Who knows?

Then Tsuro, the game of the path. You lay down tiles for your dragon stone to move along. Each tile has a path on it. The idea being you remain on your path but manipulate it in such a way that the path leads your opponent’s stone off the edge of the board.

I am good at this game. This is one of my games I am good at.

Best of three. And I took it home despite losing one game in dramatically quick fashion, and scoring a forced tie in the middle of it all. I am a strategic genius. None shall best me. Mwah haha.

So, buoyed by that success we took Sonar for a run. A game which is, essentially, battleships but just with the submarine, you can move and you have to earn the energy to fire torpedoes.

I thought I had this.

I did not have it.

Carole had a sophisticated way of plotting my course – you have to announce moves to the other team, and they have to work out where you are using a piece of acetate with your path drawn on (or your assumed path) and a map of the area. She knew where I was at all times. She was using dotted lines, circles, crosses. She knew where I was and she shot me out of existence.

There was an exciting time when she lost me and was raining fire down around me. That was good. I felt alive. I took a shot at her. I hit her. It was one all. She didn’t know where I was. And then I lost her.

And she did not in any way lose me.

She found me. And casually blew me out of the water.

And then showed off her swish map of possibilities and rejected routes.

And I hate her strategy-filled brain.

I still beat her at Tsuro though.

IN YOUR FACE, CAROLE.