Posts Tagged ‘game’

Ten years ago

December 27, 2015

Since digital photography came in (for me that was 1998) I have found it so easy to look up what happened on specific days in the past. When writing for the 27th December 2015, I looked back ten years and came up with this photo taken on 27th December 2005.


Signs of Christmas are evident in this shot taken in our sitting room, mostly because of that little pile of books under the settee.

The group of people, who include my daughter and wife, are playing a game called Perudo. This is an international match. Two of the girls on the settee are Brazilian. One of them is now married to the chap with his back to the camera who was a school friend of my son. Do you know, I can’t place the chap on the right but that’s not so unusual at Christmas. I am delighted to say my son still feels able to treat our home as his own and when he stays we can expect friends of his – or friends of friends to turn up. That is always one of the pleasures of the Christmas period.

I am shocked to discover this was ten years ago. It feels like only yesterday to me yet for others, many changes have taken place since then. My daughter is married and her eldest child is now 5. My son, missing in that photo is also married with a two year old. Visitor Steve and his Brazilian wife are married with a couple of children. Visitor Pete who I know was there that day is also married now with two children. My wife and I have both joined the ranks of the retired but seem to remain busy on all sorts of things.

But even so, that day, ten years ago does seem very recent.

I’m Sorry

April 1, 2015

As a child, I played a game called ‘Sorry’ with my grandparents. I could say it is loosely based on Ludo, but whilst the luck element looms large, there is a significant amount of thought and strategy needed.

When my children were young we had a modern (albeit acquired second hand) version for them to play with us. The game play was identical but it lacked the elegant loveliness of the old version. A couple of years ago I was delighted to find an old and complete set at one of those Lion’s Club sales in Devizes. I snapped it up.

A few weeks ago we took the game to play with adult friends who actually had never come across the game. They quickly picked up on the vindictive nastiness of the game and soon mastered the art of saying, ‘I’m sorry’, making it quite clear that the real meaning of these words were, ‘I’m absolutely delighted to have scuppered your chances of winning!’

Let’s have a look at the game.


The game has a nice fold over board and a box with bits in – and here are those bits.

The box contains the book of rules. I played this game often as a child and  I know just what the rules are for each card, but you’ll certainly need rules when you start. There’s a pack of cards and those wonderful wooden ‘men’, four of each colour.


Most of the cards display a number and different numbers allow different options. For example, a seven can move one man seven spaces forward or it can be split between two men. An 11 allows you to move one man 11 spaces forward or you can choose to swap places with an opponent’s man out on the open board. And here’s a game in play.


Red has just turned his card and has turned up a Sorry card. He may take a man he has still in his start zone and place it where any opponent’s  man stands on the outer circuit and he sends that man back to its own start. A thoughtful player will use the card wisely and here red has an obvious choice. If he places his man where the yellow man is in the bottom right corner, that red man is nearly home. And at the same time the yellow man will go back to its start. And as red does this, tradition demands that he declares how sorry he is. But of course he really doesn’t mean it. The game goes on until one player gets all four men home.

By the way, I’m sorry if this sounds very male. The game is for all, once old enough to master the rules.

I’m not sure what became of my grandparent’s version of the game, but I am delighted to have an identical one. And the game remains a good party game.

So no wonder it still exists after almost 90 years. Recent versions have had the rules tinkered with just a bit. I’m a traditionalist, but I daresay it is still a good fun game.

Trains in a Tent

January 28, 2015

OK folks. There are no real trains in this one – just a board game which is actually called ‘Ticket to Ride (Europe)’.

The game was bought for me by my daughter who no doubt thought that a game which might have a train theme would suit me. And it did although, in truth it hardly mattered that it was about building rail routes in competition with others. It just proved to be a really good game – simple to play and with a definite mix of luck, planning and a tad of skill.

My wife and I were soon addicted and had taken the game on a camping holiday with us. We had basically been up in Scotland, but on the way home we found our way to a site in Derbyshire where son and future daughter in law were staying. Now future daughter in law was also addicted to the game – more so than us – and for their camping holiday the two of them had actually taken two different versions of the game with them. We always called this game ‘trains’. It seemed snappier and shorter than Ticket to Ride but nobody else would have a clue what we meant if we suggested a game of trains.

Well of course, we had a glorious get together in our nice spacious tent and had a four person game of trains. And here’s wife and daughter in law with the corner of the board just visible.


As you can see we’ve had a brew up. Mugs of tea are ready.

That was a memorable stop for many reasons – really lovely to meet up with the family in remote Derbyshire.

Shove ha’penny again

January 12, 2015

This game for a third time? Surely it can’t be worth so many posts. Well clearly I think it is.

My wife and I had a couple of games after most of the Christmas hullaballoo had died down. It reminded me of the lovely old ha’pennies I use for the game.

When bought, the game came with some of the old coins but to my way of thinking they weren’t quite fit for purpose.


These coins date from the 1950s and 1960s and they are lovely, with the sailing boat tails side which those of us ‘of an age’ will well remember. But they are a bit new looking.

You don’t want coins in new condition. You want ones  which have been worn smooth with the passage of time. Actually, in pubs they tend to use discs, cut to the required one inch diameter. These have never had heads or tails sides embossed on them.

Anyway, I searched through my collection of old coins and came up with a set of five half pennies which were pretty well smoothed down and these are what we use.


These coins all carry the image of the elderly Queen Victoria. They all show Britannia on the reverse and all are 19th century.

In use we keep them heads up so it is the tails side which gets worn very smooth.

The old Ha’penny ceased to be legal tender in 1969.

Shove ha’penny

December 21, 2014

Yesterday I wrote about our bagatelle board and I always associate the two games of bagatelle and shove ha’penny. This is because back in my childhood we had a shove ha’penny board and at some stage my dad made a bagatelle board on the other side of it. Well, as we saw, we have a Bakelite bagatelle board which would be impossible to make into a shove ha’penny game. So quite a few years ago I was bought a shove ha’penny game. The photo shows it in use at Christmas 2001. I am giving my son a game.


I could comment on our dining room which still looks much the same today. To be fair, curtains and carpet have changed and so has wallpaper. I can see half a coal scuttle on the left and back then we had a coal fired heating system. That failed some years ago and we replaced it with an oil boiler. But we still have the same table, chairs and other furniture. We even still have the same television and it still remains the only one we have. I see a Christmas reindeer next to the TV and that still comes out each Christmas. The window sills have my son’s cactus collection in his GCSE project watering trays. They have been consigned to the past!

And I’m sitting at the table about to palm a half penny (old money of course) across the board, hoping to get it to stop precisely between the grooves which go across the board. As we play it (others may have different rules), in each turn you get 5 coins and the idea is that you can use the ones already on the board to help manage the one you are palming. A skilful player will get quite a few of their five coins to be scorers – sitting between the grooves.

It’s still a game I love, but normally one plays it in a standing position.

I must get the board out this Christmas!

Bakelite bagatelle

December 20, 2014

Christmas is nearly upon us. It’s the season for games to appear and in our household we are not short of them. One of them is the game bagatelle – the sort of basic pinball where you push a ball up a slot onto a sloping table which is well equipped with pots to catch the ball (to score points) and nails for it to bounce off. The aim, of course, is to get a high score.

Our bagatelle board would once have been equipped with a spring loaded pusher, but we bought it at a jumble sale and so we just use a stick to push the balls (which are ball bearings. The board is made of a green coloured Bakelite.


Some of the printed score labels have worn away so we have had to use stick on paper labels. This is what a one ball sized pot should look like.


That little cup scores you 60 points.

This board was made by a company called Napro Productions


The best date I can find for these games is mid-20th century. Does anybody know better?


September 2, 2014

This little game has had a brief mention before on this blog but today I’ll feature it fully.

It’s a small and neat little game of total chance.

Here’s the tin against a ruler so you can see just how small it is.


Inside are the two playing pieces – the bat …


… and the ball.


There is also a page of rules.


It’s hardly like real cricket for there is no element of skill at all, but even so a little tension can build. I had reached a score of 99 on one occasion and the great cry of ‘Owzthat’ went up. What a relief that ‘no ball’ was called.

This game had belonged to father in law it could date from the 20s or 30s although I believe it can still be purchased. I even found an on-line version of it which lacked the tactile experience of handling dice but it did the score keeping for you.

I can see that I might introduce grandson to the game soon. He’s only four but he has good adding/counting skills. It could make good practice for him. But beware of the tin itself. That has quite sharp edges.