Jul 2, 2020: One Hundred And Four

Thursday night is games night. And we were back on the Wingspan.

In fact, we’d been back on the Wingspan in the afternoon as well, having a cheeky practice/exploratory session as we were playing with an expansion set so there were new rules in play.

That’s our excuse anyway.

What’s that? Did I win?

You know, it’s not the winning that counts. It’s actually the taking part, the taking part is the biggest draw of any event. Anything. Olympic Gold? Pfft. Olympic taking part, for sure. They haven’t made a film about a winning bob sled team have they? No. Exactly my point.

Having said all that, I put so much effort into winning both of the games. In one, I was asked to get birds with body parts in their name, but apparently I’m not allowed to include the Dickcissel in that, or any of the vast array of tits on offer. I was also tasked with birds with colour in their name.

I failed miserably to hit even the low threshold on the points for either of them.

The second game we played, I played so many cards that awarded bonuses that I couldn’t possibly lose. I mean, obviously I lost. I have five or six bonus cards at the end of the game – all points my opponents didn’t have access to, or know I had. I failed several of those, too.

We had another annoyingly close scoring game as well. Carole won by three points. Nik and I drew. But then the rule for determining the winner of a draw kicked in and so I came third in the greater scheme of things.

I mean… why do I even bother? Why? I am going to reach into the computer and rip out any trace of Wingspan from the entire internet.

Bloody game.

We’ll probably play it again over the weekend.


Jul 1, 2020: One Hundred And Three

When we played Castle Panic the other day, I remember thinking that when we’d played it before I used to think it was almost impossible to lose. I mean, you could, theoretically, make really bad decisions and bugger it up, but more often than not, you could win. It’s not a hard game to win.

There’s an expansion for Castle Panic called The Wizard’s Tower. It is known, to us, as The Wizard’s Sleeve because it’s a funny term for a baggy foof and I called the expansion that when we got it and Carole called it that IN THE SHOP… TO AN ASSISTANT.

The Wizard’s Sleeve makes the game a lot harder.

I have revised my feelings to be that you cannot win if you are waving the Wizard’s Sleeve about.

We played it the other day and got absolutely destroyed. Everything was on fire, for starters, and then we just got entirely swamped in one portion of the board which led to all the towers being destroyed – including that of the Wizard which allowed us to use powerful magical cards – and us losing.

We were shockingly bad.

Worse still was that at the point of losing there were still over ten monster tokens left in the bag. We weren’t even close and we had a courtyard full of Orcs and nothing to beat them off with, as it were.

We need to have a rematch with it. You know, just to assess if it is the game that’s broken or just us.

It’s totally the game… totally… might be me… but totally the game….

Jun 30, 2020: One Hundred And Two

It was a bit weird going into town, and into work, after so long away.

It was also very weird going into two buildings which look radically different to how I last saw them one hundred and some days ago. The old Riddle building is stripped bare – well, almost bare, I’m shifting the last bits and bobs out of it. And the new Riddle building has rooms in it, which it didn’t have before.

And they look awesome. I think, potentially, more awesome than they might have looked if we’d been doing the building while we were still open because the potential to rush it finished could have ruined what is a fricking nice job on a lot of stuff.

There’s still a ton of stuff to do. We’ve got a potential opening window of a couple of weeks, but it’s still going to be tight.

It’s also great that I got to spend some time alone in the building and got to listen to all its little noises so that I know that it’s almost definitely as haunted as the other one and will be freaky as shit to work in for the last game of the night.

No, I’m sure it’s fine. You just need to move round it quickly so any of the ghosts lurking in the corners can’t get you.

There’s one room, that we’re using as a store room which was clearly some sort of smoking room at some point in the building’s history. Or, and this was my working theory the other day, a smoker definitely died in there. And now haunt it.

They don’t help you put up shelves though, smoker ghosts. They leave you to it, but do move little bits that you might need so that you can’t find them. Or that might just be me. But hey, let’s start with the building being haunted, that way we can’t be surprised further down the line.

Seriously, though. It’s really starting to look good over there. And going in took away a lot of the weird feelings about returning to work, going into town and the like. There’s still a few – like I really don’t fancy travelling on a peasant wagon for the foreseeable future – but we’ll cross those bridges when we get to them.


Jun 29, 2020: One Hundred And One

Looks like I’m going back to work, somewhere around the 15th of July.

Which is great.

But also the weirdest feeling.

I think, in part, that’s come from just the thing of going back to work. I remember when I’d taken those one or two (twelve) months after I was made redundant from RBS the concept of going back into anything was quite weird. And it’s also because I essentially found out about it via a group of entitled escape room fans/serial complainers on Facebook. You’d have thought, with the bandied around opening date of July the 4th, that we’d have discussed it prior to me happening to text my boss at something past 10 tonight.

But no. That is not the case.

But we’re not opening on the 4th – we’re doing a couple of weeks afterwards hopefully. Which is plenty of time for the fallout of all the pubs to take us back to where we were in March all over again because you’ve got to think if people will queue for hours for a fricking McDonalds and head to the beach in their droves when it’s a bit sunny that people are just going to lose their absolute shit when the pubs reopen.

It would have been nice to have discussed it prior to this, as well, so that I could manage my mum’s expectations around me going over on a Sunday – I won’t be able to do that for a while, but I will get into a system where I book a day off and go over and carry on with what we’ve been doing.

Not to mention the fact that I’m in a zero-hour contract job and, currently, destined to go back to work and make less money than I was getting from furlough payments for actually doing the work I should be doing, not just sitting at home wishing I was back at work.

Which I do. But I also don’t.

Because we have people turning up late, or early or just changing game times left, right and centre. And that doesn’t work in a Covid world. We’ll have to clean between games. We need to make sure teams aren’t coming into contact with other teams, be that crossing on the stairs, outside the doors or whatever. We need to keep teams and ourselves safe.

It’s going to be a challenge.

One I’m looking forward to.

But also really not looking forward to.

Because one thing the Covid lockdown, and the subsequent easing of it, has shown – above all else – is that a lot of people are bellends.


Jun 28, 2020: One Hundred

Woo one hundred days of lockdown and all that is associated with it.

As it’s Sunday I went to mum’s this morning to do more sorting out. And then a short while after getting there, ended up asking Carole to come and get me again because… well, I couldn’t really sort anything out.

My dad’s garage – and indeed, his office and the attic as well – are like those sliding puzzles with the one empty space that you have to move stuff into in order to move anything else.

Unfortunately, due to the fact that the weather has now turned to shit, I didn’t have that space anymore. Had it been glorious sun,. I could have rolled things out of the garage onto the drive, affording my access to the stuff at that back, but as it was I couldn’t. And there was no space because the council haven’t collected my mum’s recycling for about three weeks. Which is even worse when you consider most of what we have thrown away has been recycling. So it’s all still there. Filling up my empty space.

If anything, we’re in a worse state than we were before I started.

I’d also planned to wash down all of mum’s cladding, which is filthy, but again you can’t really do that in the pouring rain either.

The whole thing was a damp squib. Well, a really well-soaked squib really.

Even stuff in dad’s office was a nightmare. There’s a gazillion and then some photos of every trip to Scotland, ever. But there’s also the CDs containing a gazillion and then some photos of every trip to Scotland. We don’t need both. But to get rid of all the photos – they’re all landscapes and probably weasels – is a bin bag of its own. Which then becomes a problem if mum’s bins are becoming unreliable.

It’s a bloomin’ logistical nightmare.

And that’s before you factor in how arsey my mother got over the substitution of her katsu curry for a curry from a different country and the rant that followed.

Can’t wait for work to start back up again.

Whenever that may be.