Out of the Games Cupboard

A random assortment of reflections, musings and a running commentary on life.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My vestigial tail

I might have broken my vestigial tail! I have had a pain in my coccyx-region for a few months. Certain chairs seemed to aggravate this and the pain would worsen when I stood up. I was prescribed painkillers awhile ago and was told that I had probably bruised the area. All seemed manageable. Earlier this week I attended a training course and spent most of the day on a fairly uncomfortable chair. This brought the pain flooding back and nowe every chair is somewhere between uncomfortable and agonising.

On Friday I returned to the doctors to have my bottom felt! Whilst initially pleasurable when the doctor touched the painful bit I thought I was going to vomit...once I'd been prised off the ceiling. She concluded that I've probably broken something. She went on to say that its almost impossible to do that but I seem to have managed it. I have to go for an x-ray next week to confirm this. If it is broken then I will need steroidal shots 'into the area' (which sounds ominous) and physiotherapy...although there can't be that many exercises you can do with your bottom! If it isn't broken then I will probably need to continue with pain relief and bottom-exercises until it goes away.

The part of this I find really frustrating is that I don't know how I injured it in the first place! I haven't fallen on my bottom for years (honest!). I don't remember backing into anything pointy bottom-first or colliding with anything from the rear. I guess it will remain a mystery.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Victim Statement

Whilst having lunch today I heard a victim statement read out by the mother of a young woman killed in a car crash. It is worth reading. I admit it made me cry a little hearing her read it out loud. Apparently the Judge cried in court when he heard it. The young driver who crashed into her was banned from driving when the accident occurred and so had no license or insurance. At the time he was speeding as he was late for a court appearance! He received a four year prison sentence.

I am glad that people do have the chance to say in Court how crime has affected them. I remain uncomfortable with the extent to which this could influence sentencing. This lady is clearly articulate and was able to organise her thoughts and feelings emotively and rationally. I often work with people who are too distraught to do this or who lack the ability to write articulately. Should there voices have any less impact?

A Rant

I thought when I started this blog that it would not be a place for rants, whinging or general disgruntledness. However, something has happened to me several times in the past few days that has really annoyed me.

When driving and I pause and indicate for another road user to turn in front of me, or enter the same traffic queue, would it be too hard for them to acknowledge this? I know it only delays my journey by mere seconds but still...they could at least indicate some thanks...the ungrateful....whatevers! I always indicate my thanks when I am in that position. By not doing so it appears that they think it is only fair and normal that they have been given this opportunity; many drivers would not afford them this courtesy. If it carries on I may revise my approach!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Contentment at Work

I realised today that, despite all its problems and the huge amounts of reports I seem to be writing lately, I actually like my job. This may not sound earth-shattering but I have had jobs which I detested....so this feels like a marked improvement.

During brain-idling time today I came up with a way of monitoring one's contentment in the workplace:

If you are looking forward, hugely, to a distant bank holiday giving you a three-day weekend then you are probably happy at work.

If you are desperately looking forward to the one week of annual leave you have coming up in a month or so then you are probably not all together happy.

If you cannot wait for the upcoming weekend to give you a break from the stresses of work then you are not happy.

If you are eagre for the day to end so that you can escape from the hell that is paid employment then something is wrong.

If you are clock-watching for your lunchbreak to give you a chance to escape for an hour then you need to talk with your manager.

If you hope that you will be involved in a road traffic accident as you drive to work in the morning thus hospitalising you...then its time to find a new job!

(I actually endured the latter for ten months before making a change....it wasn't until I told Lisa about it that I realised just how unhappy I was!).


On the 19th September 2003 Lisa and I moved in to our current home from our one-bedroomed flat in Riccall. Eleanor was known as 'Peppercorn' at this time and I remember that we were really looking forwards to meeting her. Moving was virtually stress free on the day as we had paid Pickfords to come and pack for us...this is my Top Tip for anyone moving; it means you are not falling over packing boxes for weeks beforehand.

To be honest the anniversary has been tinged with sadness too. My father died of bowel cancer just a few weeks after we moved. He was only 48 and the injustice of it still hurts :(

Still, he did come and spend our first weekend in our new home with us and he told my mother that he felt more prepared to die knowing that I was okay and that Peppercorn was coming along nicely.

I am sad that Dad did not get to meet Eleanor and watch her grow up. But we are striving to ensure that he is still a presence in her life and this leads me to recall many good, happy memories, rather than the sadness of his passing.

Over the past three years I have also come to realise that he would have probably struggled with the aging process. He departed life at a time when most things in his life were positive. Whilst this seems tragic I know that he drew strength from seeing me married, having a career, expecting a child etc. He was also at the peak of his own career and was proud of his job. His biggest regret was leaving mum.

I miss him and always will. That he visited our new home has made it feel more like 'home' to me and I am glad of the precious memories I have of him being in this house.


Today, September 19th, is apparently International Talk Like A Pirate Day! I had read a passing comment about this on Boardgamegeek but I didn't realise that it is a recognised event, now in its fourth year. I have decided that next year I will take it more seriously and learn more appropriate piratical phrases. I will also arrange to play a pirate-related game with friends. If anyone is interested in finding out more then a good starting place appears to be http://www.yarr.org.uk/. This site features a Pirate's Dictionary.... and a link to the US site leads to Pirate Name Generators. According to one I am now 'Legless Harley Jones'...so ye be rememberin' this shipmates!

House of Plague

Since the Day of Disaster Eleanor has been struck down by chickenpox (or 'cocoa pops' as she originally called them!). Lisa has stayed at home with her and has been a star. Eleanor has not slept very well so neither have we (I say 'we' but really its been Lisa who has actually got up and tended to her...I've tended to roll over and make 'grumph' noises!). Our social life has thus been on hold. Monday night was not games night...we did not get to go and see Henry and Maisy... Ellie did not get to play with baby Emma.

The good news is that the mother-in-law, Valerie, has come over allowing Lisa to return to work today. So that is one thing less for Lisa to have to worry about. We also managed to get the trellis put up and the fence painted in the back garden on Sunday since we were tied to the house.

More evidence that Lisa is fab... despite her knackered, frazzled, sleep-deprived state she sent me off to Beyond Monopoly on Saturday where I had a great time. I played five new games and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The best news of all though is that Eleanor seems to be recovering; she has had no new spots for a couple of days, her appetite has returned and she seems much brighter and happier...she is still a bit itchy though!

Day of Disaster

I had taken last Tuesday as annual leave. My intention was to recuperate a little and have some 'me' time. I was going to do some reading, go to the gym, finish my two Carcassonne expansions (which I did manage) and maybe do some gardening before cooking toad in the hole for Lisa and Ellie.

The pavement around our cul-de-sac was being dug up by council contractors for resurfacing....the noise was a little waring but I was managing not to get a headache thanks to my i-pod. Then at about 11.40am there was a frantic pounding on the front door. A man in overalls and a gas mask was telling me I had to get out of the house. The workmen were arguing with another spaceage looking guy. A smell of gas hung heavy in the air.

It turned out the workmen had punctured the gas feed into our house. Once at a safe distance the guy took off his gasmask and explained that they could only turn the gas supply off at our gas monitor, located in the understairs cupboard. They would have to bypass this for several hours. This involved running a yellow pipe from the broken pipe to our cupboard...where it was hooked up somehow. As a result I stood twiddling my thumbs for an hour whilst the bypass work was done. I obseved the contractors arguing with the gas men. They were determined to carry on digging up the pavement with their inappropriate power tools. The gasman was trying to point out that one spark and the whole street could go up. This appeared to sway them...for ten minutes until his back was turned!

I decided to go and buy fish and chips at this point (well I couldn't cook anything!). I then spent until nearly five o'clock waiting for another gas man to turn up and switch something allowing for the yellow pipe, which trailed through the front door, to be removed. As a result I didn't get much done and didn't feel particularly rested by my day off!

On the other hand....it was quite exciting! I thought the workmen and gasmen were going to fight....my money would have been on the workmen as they had more power tools.

That evening I managed to reverse my car and get a front wheel stuck hanging over where the pavement used to be. The car could not be moved and would have to be physically lifted 8" and pushed at the same time. I called the AA. They didn't laugh too much when they came. It was most embarrassing and rounded off 'one of those days'.

On the other hand....it nearly counts as off-roading...and that sounds MANLY!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Last Weekend

We've had a hectic week mainly due to Ellie developing chicken pox (or 'cocoa pops' as she originally called them!). As a result I have not posted for awhile, although I have kept 'In the Games Cupboard' upto date.

Mal did come around last Friday and enjoyed tortillas with us. Ellie loved playing with him and he brought her a Balamory DVD which she curled up to watch with him. She was really excited to see him and was most sad when he wasn't there on Saturday morning.

We did get to play Diamant. Mal did enjoy this after he got his head around the rules. Lisa had a disastrous second game and then went off to bed (not in a grump though!). Mal and I then spent several hours playing Pitchcars. Mal loved this! We made several tracks and Mal has taken an early lead in our Lifetime Grand Prix World Championship type thing. I had a couple of beers which didn't improve my 'flicking' technique!

On Saturday evening Mal Ellie-minded whilst Lisa and I went to Spencer's birthday party. We had a great time. It was our first social engagement for quite sometime out of the house. We really enjoyed meeting up with friends and meeting a few new people. It was particularly pleasant to finally meet Steer's sister, Nichola. Steer made an appearance despite everyone thinking he was in London! Spencer's partner, Jessica, had prepared gorgeous and yummy food and looked radiantly pregnant! I made a fairly silly 'meeple' card for Spence and had to apologise as his birthday present has not yet arrived....

On Sunday we met the child we are hoping to be linked with through the Sharing Care scheme. This went really well and we can't wait to see him again. Afterwards Ellie asked if he could come and play with her again. Such a sweetie! We then went to Pizza Hut and gorged ourselves on the all you can eat buffet....I surprised myself with just how much I could eat...no wonder I'm overweight! Lisa and I realised how stressed we'd been about the Sharing Care thing and felt able to relax now that everything seems to be progressing....

On Monday I had the day off and I went to Ikea with Mal. We both enjoyed this. I think my tastes (or their's?) must be changing. I didn't like many of the room set-ups whereas I used to want to move in. Once again it was great to spend time with Mal..and we had a doughnut!

Friday, September 08, 2006

A fun evening ahead!

This evening Mal is coming around for the evening. We have not seen him for quite a few weeks...maybe even months! It will be lovely to see him again and Ellie is really excited. He is naturally intuitive with Ellie - he unashamedly 'gets down and plays on her level', something most 'grown ups' seem to find hard (its the knees!).

When Ellie has been bundled off to bed I am hoping to introduce Mal to the joys of Pitch Cars, Diamant and Guillotine, games I think he will enjoy. Plus they are not too taxing for a Friday evening. Above all though I am looking forward to catching up with a good friend who I feel I have neglected of late. I hope he has as good a time as I'm sure I will.

Where do teddies come from?

This morning Eleanor came into bed with Lisa and I. This is always pleasant as she is all warm and snuggly. She usually pretends to breast feed and either falls asleep or pulls the duvet over her head to hide from dragons (although its months since we last had one in the house!).

This morning she brought teddy with her. She rolled over and asked Lisa "Mummy, where did teddy come from?" After a moment of bleary-eyedness Lisa replied "When you were so tiny that you were still in Mummy's tummy, Aunty Sandra brought you teddy so that you could cuddle with him". A minutes silence ensued whilst her two year-old brain pondered this new information. She then rolled over (to snuggle me!) and said, with eyes closed "Thank you for taking me out of your tummy Mummy!" I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

My question is...is that it? Have we sufficiently dealt with the whole 'where do babies come from?' issue?

Brass Bands

I was upset to hear on the radio that Grimethorpe Colliery Band may soon cease to exist. The band, formed in 1917, is no longer being sponsored by UK Coal (they felt it was an unethical use of funds when they are facing large scale redundancies) and, if £50-60,000 a year in sponsorship is not found then...there will be more scrap metal in the area!

I'm not really sure why I felt sad about it. I am not particularly a fan of brass bands - the music is pleasant and inoffensive but often somewhat "amateurish". The band featured in the movie 'Brassed Off' which I enjoyed, but not that much. I have mixed feelings about the sort of post-Victorian philanthropy that led to the band's formation (lets send a bunch of men down underground to risk life and limb and to make them not worry so much about it we'll provide libraries, music lessons and art groups); it always seems patronising.

Maybe I'm upset because they seemed to always be there. I remember hearing them play on my dad's car radio when I was very young. Some of their members performed on a Kate Rusby song I quite like. I guess I didn't think they'd ever not be there (much like my father's generation thought coal-mining would always be a major UK industry!). It seems that within my lifetime it has become impossible to think that anything will last forever. maybe that has always been true, but the emphasis in our society now seems to be on disposability. Or, as Terry Wogan might say, "...is it just me?"

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Ok, due to popular demand (OK, one verbal comment...) anyone can now post a comment, not just registered bloggers.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What's on TV?

The answer is often...'nothing'. Every week we buy a TV guide. Every week I religiously go through it highlighting anything any of the three of us might like. For the last few weeks all I have highlighted is Noddy (Channel 5 every morning) and CSI Miami (Channel 5 Tuesday evenings). That has been it. We don't even watch Noddy - we tape it so Ellie can watch it when she wakes up horribly early! We do enjoy CSI but our world won't end if we miss it. There is the occasional film or documentary we toy with watching..but we usually don't bother.

On one hand I'm glad that we don't plan to watch more TV. We do other stuff -go to the gym, go swimming, go to salsa, go to archery, read, play games, socialise and of course, do stuff as a family (painting and baking being the current favourites!). But on the other hand we do supplement our meagre viewing with re-watching Life on Mars, Game On and Futurama (just me there though!), and occasionaly Buffy and Angel. Add in the occasional movie and suddenly our TV time seems greater than it is! What we are avoiding is entire evenings in front of the TV. This is a trap we've fallen into before and are keen to avoid, for Ellie's sake as much as ours.

Still, I wish there was more on that I want to watch... am I missing anything? Why can't I stop going through the TV guide every Saturday? I suspect it is almost a religious experience - I am searching for the answer in a book which can be interpreted countless ways (just see how TV Quick describe documentaries and tell me you're not tempted!).

Games Night

Monday night was games night! Spence, Jack, Andy and Greg (all refreshed from his hols) descended on our house. Vin was being a responsible parent and so could not make it. We managed two games this week; a quick jaunt through Guillotine and a longer visit to Caylus . See Jack's blog for full details of how the evening unfolded!

I really enjoyed Guillotine...its hard not to. Added bonus...its hard to take it too seriously! To be honest I found Caylus heavy going. It may have been the result of a frantic day at work (and the prospect of another frantic day on Tuesday) but I was struggling to concentrate. As a result my grasp of the rules was about an hour behind everyone elses! I do not have a quick, tactical mind. I now realise that it takes me several plays to thoroughly grasp the rules and a bit longer to have a tactical approach to the game. I sometimes feel a bit down about this, particularly as I game with people who pick up rules very quickly. Still, as Lisa pointed out...I'm relatively new to Eurogaming and I should be kinder to myself and allow time to learn etc. I know she's right...but its still frustrating!

Despite not 'getting' Caylus I thought it was a well-crafted, beautifully produced game...apart from the box cover! I think Jack has made reference to this in his blog and I completely agree with him...it is awful! The board and pieces are lovely though.

As usual I had a good evening. Playing games with friends, surrounded by cakes, pretzels and crushed ice is a good antidote to a stressful day! I can't wait until next week.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Today's news

Two news items caught my attention as I drove to work this morning.

The first concerned a lady who had her four CD players forcibly removed from her home following a series of complaints from disgruntled neighbours. Despite court injunctions, police cautions and probably sore ear drums she had resisted all efforts to curb her penchant for loud 'power ballads'. The reason it caught my attnetion was that the given example of a 'power ballad' was Europe's 'The Final Countdown'. Since when was that a ballad? Of any description!

The other item was the tragic (if somewhat apt) death of the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. Not only do I now have a healthier respect for all flatfish but I also felt genuine sadness that he is no longer amongst us. I am not a great fan of his work, although I have occasionally sat entranced as he performs a stunt involving a toothed/fanged/clawed/venomous/irritable animal, I do find it somwhat voyeuristic. However, I do think he's a modern day eccentric, akin to Victorian explorers who went over a mountain range simply because it was there. I was always impressed by the enormous respect he clearly had for nature in all its poisonous forms and he made this side of nature ("red in tooth and claw") accessible to many. I will miss him, although until today I didn't know it.

Anyway, Monday night is games night so there's probably a floor I should be vacuuming....

Sunday, September 03, 2006


You remember I said that Eleanor played 'Carcassonne' with Lisa and I? Well, here are the photos to prove it.....

Here she is randomly selecting a tile from the bag...

Eleanor thinking long and hard about where best to place the tile....

Stretching over the table to actually position the tile in the most advantageous location....

Eleanor now deciding whether to place a 'meeple' or not!

Annoyingly, with Lisa's help, Eleanor did actually beat me!

"Mummy is fab!"

This was almost the first phrase I taught Eleanor to say when her language skills arrived (with a vengeance!). Its not the most useful phrase but I had my reasons. Lisa is fab. I know this to be an immutable fact, just like the sun comes up every morning, there are 60 minutes in an hour and you will always take one sock less out of the drier than you put in. So what makes Lisa so fab? To be honest I've got so used to it being true that I often don't always realise why it is true. So... here are a few examples of why my wife is fab...

1 - she let me go to bed early last night (9.30pm) as I was feeling exhausted. She then left me to sleep in this morning until I awoke naturally (10.30am). She did this despite being awoken in the night by Ellie and actually getting up with her at 5.30am!

2 - she played two games of 'Carcassonne - The Castle' with me whilst Ellie had a nap this afternoon. She then also played Canasta. She could have had a nap herself or spent some time doing 'Lisa' things but instead she chose to spend her precious time with me.

3 - Lisa does all my ironing! I am quite capable of doing it myself but she is much quicker than me. (When I used to do it all I could see her watching and itching to do it herself).

4 - Lisa encourages me to go to the gym and eat more healthily. Actually 'encourages' is the wrong word...'compels' is better! I have no willpower of my own you see. SHe has instigated a rule that as far as possible we do not use our cars at weekends. Instead we walk everywhere. this is actually really good fun. We can race from lampost to post box to streetsign with Ellie, whilst making shapes with our shadows. Ellie now recognises the letter E on streetsigns and knows that it is "E for Ellie!".

5 - However tired or fed up she gets, Lisa is always a good, supportive, creative mum. She has ennabled me to be the father I am as I follow her lead most of the time. I am constantly impressed by the boundless energy she seems to have where Ellie is concerned.

That is why "mummy is fab!" and why I want Ellie to grow up knowing this to be true jsut as she needs air to breathe and puddles to splash in.

That was the week that was....part 2

To continue on the theme of good things about my week….

4 On Monday evenings I routinely host a Games Night. My friends Andy, Spencer, Greg and Vin (and a new friend Jack) descend on our house, and play games whilst munching tortilla chips and pretzels and drinking (some beer but mainly squash with crushed ice from our fabulous freezer…which I love in a genuine, warm sort of way!). This week only Andy and Jack could make it. I persuaded Lisa to join in rather than tackle the EU Ironing Mountain. We played three games; Diamant, Masons, and Guillotine. None of us had played the latter and only Lisa and I had played the other two. We had a great time (for more info see Jack’s blog: ‘Creation and Play’). To be honest I enjoy being the host as much as playing the games (and so I don’t get upset if I lose….which I frequently do). After years spent as a loner I am starting to realise that I am actually quite sociable. I enjoy interacting. I also do enjoy playing games. I also enjoy that Lisa enjoyed herself…and won Diamant. It was a great evening. And Andy brought some Fondant Fancies which I adore!

5 I work as a Forensic Social Worker in a medium-secure psychiatric hospital. On the whole I enjoy my job. However, a couple of weeks ago one of my patients absconded. Although he could potentially have posed a risk to certain people I have been more concerned about how he would cope in the big wide world, how he would fair without his anti-psychotic medication and what would happen if he encountered alcohol or cannabis. Upon returning to work on Tuesday after the Bank Holiday I discovered that the police had returned him on Saturday. He is fine and coped very well. My relief is tangible. Sadly, his view that he has demonstrated the ability to live independently is somewhat overshadowed by the fact that he absconded from a medium-secure unit whilst detained under the Mental Health Act. He doesn’t seem to have grasped this yet.

6 Lisa and I want to be Sharing Carers. What is this I hear you cry….well it is like offering respite foster care for very short periods such as an afternoon, a Saturday or the whole weekend. The children have medical or behavioural needs and their families need a break from caring for them. You are linked with a specific child who needs the service and the hope is that you then build a relationship with them whilst taking care of them. For Lisa and I it has seemed like a long journey. We registered our interest in doing it during August 2005. We then had to go through a thorough assessment process as if we were going to provide full foster care. We had to go on several training courses, including running all day Saturday, to prepare us. We’ve also had to attend courses covering paediatric first aid. We then had to be approved buy a panel of managers. This was all before we could be ‘matched’ with a child. The first two matches didn’t come to anything as the other parents were concerned about how their children may harm Ellie (she is such a delicate little thing!). We tried not to get huffy and maintain our perspective; if the parents were uncomfortable then they would not relax and enjoy the time they had without the caring role. But we did feel emotionally a bit raw. We really want to do this and it feels to have taken so long. Why do these parents not like us? However, last week we met the mum of a third child we are hoping to be successfully linked to. It went really well. We have arranged to meet up with her and her son in a few weeks. We’re so excited! Last Thursday evening we met with the nurse from the Sharing Care team who took us through the Health Care Plan and taught us how to administer emergency medication. It felt much more real and as if this part of our journey is nearing an end. I can’t wait to meet him.

So that’s a summary of the highlights of my week. Looking back it s certainly been busy!

Of course there have been less good things about the week….I have failed to be a good friend to Mal, I have only been to the gym once all week (slapped wrist!), I haven’t phoned my Mum (cardinal sin), I haven’t finished my two Carcassonne expansions and I have twice failed to ask Lisa if she wanted a drink when I was making one for myself. This latter has made me feel really selfish. (Lisa, I genuinely forgot to ask!)

Most importantly I don’t feel like I’ve spent much time with Ellie…I wonder when I can start teaching her chess?

Friday, September 01, 2006

That was the week that was....

Well, its been a mixed week, as most are. There have been some good memories and some difficult situations to negotiate. Here’s a summary of the good points.

1 My current favourite game is called Carcassonne.(http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/822). In essence this is a tile-laying game where you create landscape features and place your followers on them to score points. It’s fairly straight forward and uncomplicated. At the weekend Lisa (my wife) and I decided to introduce our nearly two and a half year old daughter, Eleanor, to the game. She quickly got to grips with randomly drawing tiles out of the bag. She also learnt to place followers on the landscape features. However she wanted to place one on every tile…which simply doesn’t work! She did learn, eventually, about matching up some tiles. She was particularly good at linking stretches of road. She also enjoyed moving the score marker around the scoring track. Above all of course she appeared to enjoy joining in a ‘grown up’ activity with Mummy and Daddy. We took some great photos and it kept us all occupied for half an hour on a wet Sunday afternoon. Now if we can just train her to think tactically….

2 The day before our board game fun the three of us went to visit my mum near Lincoln. We had a really nice time. Since my father died in 2003 my mother has had a tough time. She is currently trying to sell her house to move to York to be nearer to us (well, mainly Ellie I suspect!). At the moment she appears very positive about life and is genuinely good fun to be with. The nicest thing for me is watching her interact with Ellie. Not only is she fabulous at entertaining and occupying her (and teaching her things along the way) but it also brings back happy memories of she and I spending time together when I was little. As a police officer my father often worked shifts and I have very few memories of him from before when I was 5 or 6. But my mum was always there. I used to love snuggling up to her and reading a book. She was always warm and smelt nice. I sense watching them that Ellie is having the same wonderful experience I had. This has made me feel much closer to mum. As a parent I also now realise what a good job she did raising me, particularly at the time and in the social context.

As if the day couldn’t get any better…we all went to the park with Ellie who proceeded to have a fabulous time going up a climbing frame and down a slide unassisted (at her insistence). It was funny standing back and realising how nervous the three adults were about the risks she faced, and yet she managed admirably. She also loved the swings and is starting to understand ‘self-propulsion’!

Mum had also made fabulous coconut ice cream for us all. It was the best ice-cream I’ve ever tasted. This is particularly high praise as it did not contain any pistachios (my favourite ice cream flavour).

3 Whilst on holiday in Brittany earlier in the year Lisa and I managed to miss several episodes of Dr Who. Two of them were shown on BBC3 whilst we were out at the weekend! However, Lisa explained how to tape from the digibox and hey presto…we can now watch them! We watched one last night and it was a very enjoyable experience. For those who are interested…it was Part 2 of the episodes featuring the Ood. The Doctor is trapped in a cave leading down into a pit in which is imprisoned a beast thought to be the original Satan. Meanwhile Rose is trapped in a fairly crap research station where possessed Ood are closing in. It was all quite ridiculous but in a “I’m ten and its teatime on Saturday and school and homework are still more than a day away” type way. So little modern telly makes me feel like that. I had hoped the recent Star Wars trilogy would come close but they fell woefully short of my expectations. Or maybe I’ve changed (or grown up…debatably). The absolute best thing is that Dr Who is something Lisa and I enjoy in equal measure. The simple act of snuggling up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate…what can I say...to me that is marital bliss! (is it just me or do I sound really middle-aged? In my defence I did take my slippers off before snuggling commenced).