Wow the heat, I've just come in from giving the garden a good, thorough watering, and when I started around 8:30 am it was already 29C. Phewf.
My tomatoes are ripening like anything, I'm picking cherry tomatoes every day, and they and the larger gold and orange ones, as well as the green zebras, and all delicious.
Lots of high cloud, hot and muggy.
The weekend prior to Christmas we met a lot of Rob's family at a memorial picnic for Rob's mum at Pinnaroo. It was a warm, very windy day. Emotionally it was also quite tiring. Not as bad as it could be, but still. On the plus side, Mum created some delicious sausage rolls which we demanded she make again the weekend Poss comes over for videos. They were really nice. It was supposed to be the Disc Golf wrap up, but we went to Poss's instead, given it started halfway through the memorial. It was nice to see Rob's nieces and nephew plus assorted offspring.
The next day we zonked out until the afternoon when we went down to Fremantle to visit a couple of Kingdom of Loathing DJ's - one of which was visiting from over East - Tortulini, and Jolsen42 who's local and a new dj. We played a game at Jolsen's place - The Agents and then decamped to The Mexican Kitchen and played a cute game called "This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us!" It's a cute little tile laying game with some good quirks and excellent game play, and we're getting ourselves a copy. We introduced them to 6 Nimmdt in revenge.
And then we wandered home, quite worn out.
Rob, Mum and I visited my grandmother at her care centre on Christmas Day and took a cold luncheon of ham and turkey and potato salad. And my lovely tomatoes etc. We played quite a few games of Treehouse - very nice with my non-gaming family, I'll treasure the moment when grandmother, like the most hardened tabletopper, demanded the purple playing pieces.
Then we retired back to Mum's and watched Divine Madness and, amazingly played Black Fleet which I had got for my birthday. Mum played with us which was lovely and a highlight! She sunk the first pirate too. We also had dinner.
The next day, Rob and I went out to my cousin's place to take them their gifts. This year I decided the kids were grown enough and launched a frontal assault on the non-gamingness of my family, something that's distressed me quite often. This section of it though, has been receptive, and my cousin does play with me on yucata.de. So I bought her a copy of Tally-Ho which she was delighted with as she regularly plays it with me on Yucata under the name Halali. Her husband is a film buff so we bought him Timeline film and music in which he then promptly wiped the floor with us. A big hit.
But the shining moment was with the little children. First up was with "Pop Up Pirate!" which is more of a toy than a game, but it gets people around the table learning about turns and the tension of a mix of primary colours and Russian Roulette. We played a few games of that and it was such fun watching not only the little children but the adults. (There's no skill in this. One dagger slot will activate the pirate and nothing you do will change that, but it's perfect for little children.) I've seen dedicated gamers sitting around playing this.
Next we played Snails Pace Race, which, while it's a roll and move sort of game, is a good toddler game with lovely pieces. I think it's the first time the youngest has rolled dice... he was keen to hang on to the dice mischievously but certainly had the hang of the game flow.
After that came Loopin' Louie and boy did that have a lot of plays and lots of adults taking turns playing. Hands down most popular I think. The sheer delight with which everyone was playing made this my favourite Christmas gathering in memory, the sheer joy of everybody in participation. This was the only battery operated game.
We also gave My First Carcassonne a try with its wonderfully chunky meeples and big friendly tiles- very interesting and a strong step into strategic gaming. We're actually keen to play it again!
All of that went down very well with my cousin and husband and their kids, they were delighted. And so were we.
Our gifts to Rob's family raffle were also games - Ticket to Ride: Europe and Takenoko sent over East. We'll see if they get played. I gave my sister UNO Stacko but I don't think she was that receptive. Ah well, the cousins make up for it.
On Saturday Poss visited an brought caaaaaaaaaaaaake and Mum made us sausage rolls as per our demands - delicious! -and we watched Dr Who, and Wonderland, and Sleepy Hollow etc.
Our plans for New Year's Eve haven't settled but I certainly don't want to sit in and feel sad about Rob's mum passing that night last year.
There will be extensive board gaming in the few days after New Years, as well as other activities. There's been a lot happening so a bit of a rest will go down well too.