Thursday, October 12, 2023

Gaming Holiday 2023

Missing Wilbur

Back to Moreton in Marsh for our (Kingston Games Group) annual holiday. 

Beautiful place. Gently undulating landscape, Cotswold drystone walls and strongly built chocolate-box cottages, lovely pubs selling the local ales at under £4 a pint. I can understand why so many people want to move here. 

This is the first one where I’ve had to take public transport (no car to call my own anymore) from Bristol Temple Meads - 2 changes and 2 hours through the Gloucestershire and Worcestershire countryside - to get picked up by Trevor - the patriarch and sole-grown-up of the group. Trevor organises it each year, as well as the barbecue which he pretty much single-handedly cooks. He pays for it all himself and then waits patiently for the drip-drip of gamers’ money to fill his bank account up again.

This is also the first one where your pal and mine, Wilbur the cocker spaniel, hasn’t come. Last year the greedy bugger discovered the composting area at the farm here, ate his bodyweight in rotten food, then threw it up in the early hours in my bedroom. 

Wilbur in an historical environment

What fun!

He loved his holiday here on the farm and he fitted in very well with almost everyone. One of the lads really. Now I live in the West we don’t see each other so often but I’m looking forward to seeing him in a fortnight.

I still love him.

I’m still an Idiot, you know

So last night we went to the local pub for a few drinks and a hearty feed. We came back, and I came back to my room to drop some stuff off, then saw a text on my phone, which I started to read AS I walked in the pitch black on the farm, NOT LOOKING where I was going and FORGETTING the concrete steps which I promptly stumbled down, turning my ankle quite badly.

Having a relatively dainty frame and flat feet I’ve done this all my life - twists, sprains - but I knew this was a baddish one even with 3 pints in me.

So, foot up, 20mins with ice, 20 minutes without, repeat as necessary. Or until bored, as in this case.

I came back to bed and took an age to get comfortable. In the end a grippy, walking sock gave sufficient support as a Tubigrip so I was able to eventually fall asleep and thankfully get 8 hours. 

There’s an ankle in there somewhere…

I woke up and the rest had done it a lot of good, although coming down steps is considerably more problematic than walking up them.

It’s very annoying as I have dogs to walk and belongings to move. I hope it gets better soon or I will be a very curmudgeonly bollock indeed.

And no one wants that.

The Gaming itself

I’ve run a Dungeon Crawl Classics game and played in a Marvel RPG system where I was environmental health officer Colin Grub, who would turn into… ROACH BOY! Colin has an unending capacity for refined sugar and is as interesting as beige on a grey day. But my god he is difficult to catch.

In Traveller I played Simon Smee, antipodean fitness fanatic and wellness coach, with a secret….”but for the now I’ve mixed a lovely seaweed and lentil smoothy with your name on it!”

The only non-RPG or as they call them “Board games” I play is Marvel United. It is wonderfully clever in it’s concept and devised by mathematicians. It’s deceptively simple and utterly addictive.

Marvel United with 2 of my ‘groovy’ friends

I’ve learned I can’t game like I used to - 5 hours max. Some of the guys here can go for 10 hours plus. FTD has put paid to that. Too tired by half.

The Middle East

Oh gosh. The horror of recent events in Israel. That part of the world has always been on fire. They call it The Holy Land but it seems to have been the centre for the most unholy of acts for millennia. 

I had an Arabic girlfriend for years. Her best friend was Jewish. They wisely avoided talk of Middle-East politics.

I’ve always steered clear of Middle East politics as you hear so much conflicting information and I don’t feel qualified to take sides - it’s all so partisan. Unless I was deeply involved in the politics at the ground level it’s difficult to make head nor tail of what’s going on, let alone who started what. So like a lot of people I shake my head and try to ignore the simplistic good/bad arguments.

Terrible things happen on both sides, but reading about Hamas and the mind-bendingly evil things Hamas did at the Kabbutz and at the pop festival, how anyone can take pleasure at the butchery of innocent civilians under the flag of freedom or any political colour is beyond me.

And now Israel retaliates by carpet-bombing Gaza. Just hell on earth.

Coming back to the UK/Europe/US, the amount of flagrant anti-semitism you hear or see these days is at an all-time high. I can’t remember any period in my lifetime when Jews have been talked about in this way, their graves desecrated, verbally abused quite openly in the streets and their businesses vandalised.

I always come back to my view that the internet IS Pandora’s Box. We gave a green light to everything good and bad, but it seems at the moment most of it is just hatred.

It really is extremely depressing.

And finally…

I want to walk Tomos when I get back but it may have to wait a few days due to ankle-related dumbness. Annoying. I need dogs in my life. 

They’re better than humans. 

They don’t judge you for a start.


  1. We don't judge you either, Geraint! Well, we try not to!!!!
    Take care of that ankle, it may need more TLC if you want to walk Tomos soon.
    And yes, let's keep the Israelists and Hamas off the plate... just too gruesome and unthinkable on all sides for me.
    Thanks for the update.

    1. Thanks Alison. I've rested the ankle since the injury (all to easy when you have FTD) and it's getting better. Hope all's well in Singapore!

  2. Sir Wilbur Chunder looking very much the 18thC distinguished country gent- I remember when dear old long gone Finn ate a large Nestle Gold bunny which fortunately went straight thru him.Those bloody steps -won't leave me alone neither.

    1. Yes. Dogs' propensity to eat as much crap as they can that's really harmful to them knows no bounds! Are you thinking of getting a puppy by any chance?