Firstly, Merry Christmas. I hope you've all had a jolly time over the festive season.
Secondly, apologies for the absence of blogage, but leaving work was actually the most stressful thing ever and the last 3 weeks really sucked the life out of me.
Thirdly, Risk...my arse!
And so to the board game Risk, which the title would trick you into thinking meant you had to make risks. There's no risk. There's no skill and whilst you might need a strategy, or even have a strategy, let's face it; it's the luck of the dice throw. (You've all done probability.) And man, some people really take it seriously.
It was my first time playing risk, in Italy with A's family and over there it's actually called Riskio. He he. Playing a board game for the first time in a language you don't speak is interesting at best. But what is funny is that the dynamics are pretty much the same. The men think they know everything and really get into it (not including A who gave less of a shit than I did). And the women don't really care but sort of pretend to. A's Auntie was trying to be ruthless, but the dice were against her. A's sister was out pretty quickly prompting many arguments with her husband (one of the know it all men who took it very seriously) and I just found it all hilarious. I mean, it's little plastic tanks and aspirations of world domination. It's hardly realisitic or something I would ever dream of, especially when my political notions go as far as: I wish everyone would just get along.
After a bit of watching and misunderstanding I eventually understood what the hell was going on, but with A as a partner (who couldn't give a crap) we had no strategy and kept stuffing it up. Our objective was to gain 24 (out of 48) countries and the most we managed was 14. Ha!
When they told me the game went on for hours, I didn't realise just how long. This was quickly bordering on Monopoly territory, in terms of length. (Of course, Monopoly is well better is all other ways! Especially the Wigan version which I incidentally left at my old flat and never got back. Urgh.) So after around 4 and a half/5 hours the rest of the family revolted to watch a 3D film and the game was left. Though the men couldn't help taking a sneaky peek when the lights were off to check for possible ways to change the inevitable outcome of the game.
And when the film finished they went straight back to the table, hoping to resume. (I bet they were just thinking about it all through the film. Ha ha.)
I basically said, "Let's just say you've won. You've got the most countries and the most tanks." Plus who really cares????
Eventually we persuaded him to admit he'd won (by compromise, he grumbled). Really he wanted to destroy everyone in order to win. Maybe we should be slightly worried that the Mathematician wants to take over the World. We'd all be subjected to useless, number related board games and complex theories and equations. Argh! The World would never be the same again.
He he. And let's face it, Risk was aimed at men: Armies, strategies and the desire to destroy everyone else. Not that I'm saying women can't have those aspirations, it's just that mostly they can't be bothered and those aspirations would probably be interrupted by a nice pair of shoes or a pretty bag or cocktail night with the girls. None of these things particularly conducive to taking over the World.
And so, I begin my freelance writer-dom in a matter of days (2nd Jan to be precise) and I already have a plan for the 2nd -4th Jan, which is several pages in my notebook. Whoop! Am very excited about it all. Just having the time to work through everything with a fresh mind instead of looking at things after hours and hours of poo and screaming and shouting and wee and frustration and annoying people. I'm hoping not having to filter out the stress of the day will give me much more constructive time to work through the re-edit of book 1, the beginnings of some picture books for smaller children and maybe even some non-fiction books around music and early years.
Still, It's all well and good having a plan, but I still have to stick to it, and avoid Netflix and the three box sets I got for Christmas. Ha ha. I will have to be strong! But I know I can be and a sneaky episode of something here and there could help, especially if I get stuck or need an incentive. You know? If you complete a chapter of the re-edit you can watch an episode of Friends (22 mins), but if you write 1500 words in one sitting then you earn a Buffy episode (45 mins). Ha ha.
Anyhoo, I think The Sarcy Traveller will be taking over in January, as I begin my very belated holiday blogs from each of our destinations. Expect pictures and suggestions on the best places to go, eat, shop, sleep etc. And a lot of them aren't even in guides. They are smaller places, some not even named in guides or on maps, but I feel I not only owe it to those places, but also to the people from those places that made our stays ridiculously good! So watch out for that.
And all that is left to say is: Have an amazing New Year full of interesting trips and adventures. Follow your own direction and don't let others sway you from it. If you're making a tough decision, make it for the right reasons and make the best decision for you! Sometimes you do actually have to be selfish in this life. I've realised that (it only took 29 years) and whilst it can be hard, it is also your life and you should be the one taking control of it!
Okay, enough of the New Year lecture. Enjoy your night, whatever you may be doing, or wherever you may be. I hope you're with loved ones and basically eating and drinking the night away. I think A's mum's lasagne is on the menu tonight, which makes me a very happy bunny! All the best for 2013 and keep reading! A blog ain't the same without an audience.