Wednesday, 28 September 2016

За Родину, честь и свободу!

My illness - from which I have largely recovered, but the after effects of which linger on; I currently have costochondritis - has made this a thin month for boardgaming. However I see no reason not to bore you with a list of games played anyway.

Boom: Runaway: An amusing filler card game about bombs trying to escape from the arsenal. This has possibly the largest ratio of difficulty of explanation and scoring to playing time of any game that I know.

Codenames: Pictures: Pleasant enough, but for me not as good as the original word version.

Dead Last: Pointless and random tontine based game, whose only virtue is that it can incorporate an awful lot of players.

Eminent Domain: A simple enough drafting and deck building game. Its weakness is that the military and research strategies aren't worth pursuing. Stick to colonising and trading and you'll win more often than not.

Five Tribes: I really like the mancala mechanism in this, but am less keen on some of the others, especially the purchase of djinns. Some of the iconography is pretty impenetrable and, of course, there are not five tribes at all. Good game though.

The Grizzled: At Your Orders!: I've always enjoyed The Grizzled and this expansion radically changes and improves the game. So it's a thumbs up from me. I've still never managed to get my character to survive the Great War though.

Oceanos: Inoffensive drafting game loosely themed around Jacques Cousteau type exploration. There is a push your luck element, but like many return on investment type games many possible strategies aren't worth a candle. There's also too large a random element somewhat similar to the flaw in Thebes.

Quartermaster General: Air Marshal: I love this game, but unbelievably it's the first time that I've played it this calendar year. I was the Soviet Union and, rather historically, resisted the blitzkrieg and then swept back and captured Germany. The allies won on the twentieth turn.

Shakespeare: A eurogame with a pasted on Shakespeare theme, but entertaining for all that. 

Skull: Never fails.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Time misspent in youth...

"The wine of youth does not always clear with advancing years; sometimes it grows turbid." 
- Carl Jung

“Some old men, continually praise the time of their youth. In fact, you would almost think that there were no fools in their days, but unluckily they themselves are left as an example.” 
- Alexander Pope

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Raw With Love

I will remember the kisses
our lips raw with love
and how you gave me
everything you had
and how I
offered you what was left of
and I will remember your small room
the feel of you
the light in the window
your records
your books
our morning coffee
our noons our nights
our bodies spilled together
the tiny flowing currents
immediate and forever
your leg my leg
your arm my arm
your smile and the warmth
of you
who made me laugh

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Isaiah Chapter 38 Verses 10-16

Firstly, many thanks to those who have wished me well. I am slowly recovering and very much hope to be at the Derby Worlds show next weekend. We apparently have the same table as last year, just inside the door; handy for the full English, but less so for the bogs. Feel free to stop by and say hello, preferably to James or Peter.

At any event I hope to be able to resume my métier as boulevadier and flâneur without too much further delay. It's been a drag.

“Illness reduces man to his basic state: a cloaca in which the chemical processes continue. The meaningless hegemony of the involuntary.” - Paul Bowles

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Medical update

I've had a bit of a relapse and have been back in A&E, although hopefully I'm back on the mend again. I'm certain that the nature of the problem has now been identified, which at least makes it easier to treat. In the meantime I am enjoying some bed rest.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

And everywhere there was song and celebration

It is the Otley Folk Festival this weekend. I became aware that it had started when, having retired not particularly early, I was awoken by someone singing 'Dirty Old Town' very loudly outside my house. I didn't mind that so much, but was somewhat less pleased when upon stepping out of my front door this morning I walked straight into three morris dancers. I was accompanied by the big bouncy woman who, to my astonishment, professed a liking for men prancing around with bells on their trousers and pigs bladders on sticks. Still as Jean-Paul Sartre said "We do not judge the people we love".

On the subject of quotations, it was Winston Churchill who first said "Never let a good crisis go to waste". I'm now feeling slightly better and so I have suspended my no nursing rule; the big bouncy woman was with me because she had been on first shift today.  Always careful of her reputation she is keen that I should point out to readers that the level of any perking up that may have taken place was specially tailored to my invalid status.

After lunch, when I'd also been visited by la seconda infermiera, I felt well enough to step outside to give the folk festival's street entertainment the once over. It was all very pleasant: the sun shone, the streets were busy, there was food and drink (not for Epictetus, who hasn't eaten anything but porridge for some days now), and the Ukulele Orchestra of Otley were just packing up as I arrived. In my brief visit I saw passable covers of songs from artists such as John Martyn and Joni Mitchell plus a Chuck Berry song that I'd never heard before. It wasn't one of his best, but any Chuck Berry song has got to be good right? Except for 'My Dingaling' obviously.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

All I need is my baby

Well, I'm still around. I've now eaten and slept for the first time in a few days, although not much of either. Together with the painkillers and the overuse of a bronchodilator this has resulted in a certain detachment from the real world. What better way to write a blog posting?

Epictetus has not been without offers of nursing care, but this obviously poses a bit of a scheduling nightmare; I am not in the mental state necessary to guarantee avoiding unfortunate meetings on the doorstep and thus I've declined most such suggestions so far. I did have a brief visit from the younger Miss Epictetus (who, by the way, is building up to running her first marathon on Sunday) and have otherwise managed by myself. Obviously not eating means no need to shop, so that's one problem solved. I could probably do with hanging out the washing that's been in the machine since Tuesday though.

For those who know Leeds, I was in Jimmys. I won't bore you with the details except to say that the CT scan was extremely peculiar. Not unpleasant - as for example MRI scans are - but most odd. Anyway, I've posted several versions of St James Infirmary Blues in the past so here's something else: