Aug 16, 2019: Waterdeep

What with one thing any another – work, holidays, other Thursday night commitments – we haven’t been to games night for a good few weeks. And even next week, when we should be able to get most of the band back together looks a bit ropey. So we might be fully assembled by September.

They’ll be getting too used to it being quiet again. They need the group in the corner who shouts and laughs and has a raucous time. They need us.

So Carole and I have had an impromptu board game session this afternoon. Thanks to the wonders of a cancelled camping trip and her horrible phlegm filled lungs, she’s a captive player for anything. And she chose Lords Of Waterdeep.

Lords of Waterdeep is a funny one. It’s one of those games that some people look at as though you have to have played it otherwise do you even game, bro. I have seen, via Geek and Sundry, the game being played twice. Once by Wil Wheaton on Tabletop and once by Becca Scott on Game The Game. The same game, but played entirely differently. By which I mean, people had fun when they played with Becca. It painted the game in a different light to Wil’s “look at me, no don’t look at me I’m sad” approach to things. And it looked like good fun.

So I ordered it.

And we played it.

And I lost.

And I knew what I was doing.

And I think that’s where I went wrong. Because I knew what I was doing – we still did a few bits wrong as we played but that’s what a first playthrough is for – I was overthinking my strategy. I was trying to focus too much on what my Lord wanted and not what other things I could achieve along the way.

Carole, meanwhile, just fired a shotgun of gameplay pellets everywhere, and did everything. And beat me by a decent chuck of points. It’s one of those games which is good with two, but I can see being so much better with more players – a few of the cards for sneaky underhand tactics don’t seem that impressive, or even useful, when you’re looking at only one other player but with more blood to go at…

I can’t wait to take it to the table one Thursday night, and play it with three more people who haven’t a clue, one who has some idea and me.

And lose.

Again.

Aug 15, 2019: Phlegm

I’m not sure how my beloved could have gone camping, even if the weather had not conspired against all plans previously held.

Carole is really bad at being ill. She spent most of today attached to a duvet, either upstairs in bed or downstairs on the couch. One wonders how she would have coped being pathetic and ill in a sleeping bag. It doesn’t even sound antwhere near as cosy.

And when you’re coughing up human-sized chunks of phlegm, lying in a tent doesn’t seem to be the best place to do it. She makes enough fuss about running to the bathroom to eject such material, and she’s only across the hallway. I can only imagine the faff of her sprinting to a toilet block, leaping guy ropes with gay abandon

So despite her ruining all my plans for nude play and cheeky pizzas, I begrudgingly think its for the best she’s here.

I mean, as long as she stays away from me because I don’t bloomin’ want it!

Aug 14, 2019: Nope

Does anyone know how easy it is to cancel an orgy? Or any number of the fun things I had planned for the next few days?

Carole is no longer camping.

And it’s not because of her voice, or the germs she carries around in her disease-ridden frame. It’s not because she’s too tired, or not tired enough. It’s not because she doesn’t want some alone time where she can just enjoy her own company.

The weather has conspired against her, or at least it had at the point when all the plans were cancelled. After that, everything appears to be alright after all and the weather doesn’t look that bad. So she could go. But her going camping is dependent on her dad already having the tent up there for her, which he now won’t do because they won’t be there either.

Basically, and there’s no easy way to say this.

It’s entirely buggered up my plans to sit on the couch, game in my pants, eat pizzas and watch Killjoys.

Ruined.

Now I’ll have to play boardgames with her and hang out and chat and watch TV not in my pants. I might get to eat pizza, but I bet we don’t. It’ll be frowned upon. And she’s right. It is a bad thing to do.

But equally… that’s part of the fun of being home alone. He even gets pizza in the film Home Alone. It’s the whole point of the movie. You’re at home, alone, you order pizza.

That whole Wet Bandits plot is incidental to the fact that you can chill out and eat shit when there’s no-one around to supervise you.

Aug 13, 2019: Quiet

Carole’s lost her voice. Completely.

Whatever has been ailing her for the past couple of days – some sort of Fringe flu, presumably – has consumed her very reason for being. She can’t talk. But she’s doing her best to still carry on.

And it couldn’t have come at a worse time – today she was supposed to be going to Leicester to do spacey things with Milly, but that didn’t happen. I had to take Milly to work with my instead, to give Caz an opportunity to rest her throat.

Tomorrow she’s off to a Tudor-style house near Liverpool with Milly, again, because Tudor-style houses are the absolute dogs bollocks as far as modern youth are concerned. And my mother. She’s going with my mother. So she has no voice, my mum is half blind and Milly will be bored by the exposed timbers within five or ten minutes. So that’ll be fun.

And then Thursday she’s off to the lakes, camping for the rest of the week. Because if there’s one thing which completely cures a sore throat, flu, lost voice style illness it’s sleeping in a tent in a damp field.

The thing is, though, since her voice went it’s almost as if she’s never had so much shit to talk about. She just can’t help herself. I keep telling her to shut up, but she’ll carry on squeaking through her day. Which is all well and good, but her lost voice is operating on a much higher frequency than her normal voice and it’s freaking Peppa out. Everytime Carole says – or tries to say something – Peppa’s ears fold back onto her head because she’s scared.

Carole – right now – is basically a human version of the cat scarer that my parents used to have on a stick in the garden.

Aug 12, 2019: Manc

Three more rooms today, all of them successful escapes. I think eight rooms will do for this month now, but who’s to say?

We went to Breakout Manchester to escape from a few of their rooms as part of my tiny work colleague’s birthday. She’s picked three rooms – a team race in a secret agent room, a trip to a demon-worshipping cabin in the woods and a visit to a cursed carnival.

We ended up in randomly assigned teams for the racing room – boys versus girls – which meant we had one extra player. And we smashed it. It was a fun little run through a variety of activities and puzzles, but the boys finished it in just over half an hour and the girls came in a little bit later than that.

Forsaken, a demon-themed cabin in the woods was next, and it’s the hardest room they have with a quite low success rate. It’s mainly the hardest because some of the puzzles are ridiculous in very much a “why would you even do that?” kind of way. We still got out, but I’m not sure our whelm was too troubled in the process.

The Cursed Carnival, though, was a fun romp through a circus themed hunt for a freaky doll. It incorporated all the favourites – clowns, silly circus games, halls of mirrors and balloons. It wasn’t too taxing, either, as we sped through with twenty minutes left on the clock. I’ll be honest, I was sad when it ended as I quite enjoyed the different rooms we went through but the puzzles, again, weren’t very tricky.

I think we’d probably have a go at a few other rooms there though. There are a good few more to go at – but I don’t think they’re going to push us to our limits, particularly…