Games evening and Mr B is in his usual super-competitive mood. We are playing Yahtzee which, as everyone knows, is mainly a game of chance not skill. Try telling that to Mr B.
So excited is he that at one particularly tense moment he accidentally drops the dice into his glass of whisky instead of the plastic shaker. Well, I am presuming it was an accident. He does manage not to turn dice and whiskey
out onto the table. The grandkids are all agog awaiting Grandad's next diversionary tactic..
We play Guesstures which is a kind of charades game but with a ticking
machine which swallows up the clue cards if you don't guess the answers quickly enough. You get one point for every easy clue you solve and two points for every hard clue you solve. Jack takes the prize for acting first a dolphin, followed by a belly dancer.
We are laughing so much that the ticking machine swallows up all the cards while we are attempting to regain our composure. Jack is a trifle put out to see all his efforts go unrewarded.
What next? Sorry? Ah, yes, not an apology but yet another board game. Our version dates back to the early Sixties and we all agree has a rather beautiful playing board, with delicate coloured drawings of willow trees and cherry trees
in blossom. You wouldn't see a board like that these days, we reckon. I win the game. Sorry, kids!
Someone produces a pack of cards and suggests we play
"Cheat". It is the one game where you are positively encouraged to cheat - in fact, if you didn't there would be no game. You need a poker face so that nobody can tell that the four fives you are laying down are actually three fours, a King and an ace. The
only one of us who has perfected a poker face is Mr B so he has a bit of an advantage over the rest of us. He wins the game. Cheat!
Playing games around the table
has been one of the real pleasures of this festive season. Whether it's Go, Piggy, Go and Junior Monopoly with the Little Welsh Boys, Nomination Whist and Boggle with their Mum and Dad, Cheat and Chinese Chequers with Team Baldwin, you will find me there at
the table, reading the rules, setting out the pieces, keeping the score if required. The playing of games teaches valuable lessons - strategic thinking, numerical skills, acting ability, a way with words.
Though, to honest, I just play for the fun of it...