Archive for October, 2009

Happy Halloween

I’m not going to be here for Halloween (rather annoyingly, seeing as BARG are playing hard that weekend).  I’m going to be in Portugal, taking a summer holiday so late it is, in fact, winter sun.  But I did manage to get a taste of Halloween with Carl last Friday, when we spent an enjoyable evening carving pumpkins.

“It’s like shelling out brains,” said Carl rather worryingly.  But once we’d gotten past the mucky stage it was lots of fun.  Carl went for the logo of cult videogame Left4Dead, whilst I went for the more traditional scary face design.

Then we ate pizza and watched the Black Books boxset, making it a truly perfect evening.

Happy Halloween everyone.

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This used to be my playground

Because I’ve been so busy, I haven’t taken a full-on summer holiday this year, just had a few nice long weekends away.  One of them was spent with my Dad in Caerphilly, where I grew up.  Me and my older brother were pretty feral as children – we used to spend all our time playing outside in a big pack, coming home like cats when we were hungry.  Our favorite haunting ground was Twyn School Field, which has scrubland around the playing field that felt like a dense forest as a child.

Whilst I was back in Caerphilly I literally took a trip down memory lane (which is no longer littered with white dog poo) – past the railings I used to somersault over, down the path along The Brook into The Field.  It was great having my memory jolted by a tree where I once disturbed a wasps’ nest, a shed where we all found a stash of illicit porn mags and the bushes where I had a rather clumsy first kiss.

Even better was seeing that a new generation of players are using the space for much the same thing.  They weren’t there but telltale signs of them were – a tree used as a bridge over a ditch, graffiti tags on a garage door, an empty bottle of cheap white cider and the throne of the new King of the Castle – a sopping wet blue playchair on top of a tree stump.

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All work and no play….

Well, it’s been a good long, while, hasn’t it?  I’m not going to do the cliched apologising for the prolonged silence, most people know I’ve been a busy bee.  In early August I left my job with ACE dance and music to join Will Perrin’s talk about local team and spread the hyperlocal love.  And things have been a wonderful whirlwind since then.

But all work and no play makes me really rather dull.  So that’s probably what this blog will start to become – more of a personal place of play.

And I’m going to start off with a game played with Nikki Pugh on her birthday recently.  Nikki decided she wanted to play the game rather than make it for her special day, and who were we to argue?  So after Libby Heighway and Michael Grimes had finished with Nikki in the Nature Centre, they packed her off to me at the graveyard in St Mary’s Church, Moseley.

She found me there waiting with a piece of cake.  It was only after she’d eaten it I told her it wasn’t her cake, but that of the cake-loving ghosts.  So poor Nikki had to find said ghosts going by the clues below and play them a message from their mean Cake Angel.

Can you spot the gravestones of the ghosts in the slideshow?

  1. I rode into heaven on my trusty steed.
  2. Too young to lay anchor, I swam aweigh to sleep with the fishes.
  3. I survived my sister to die on Turkish soil, caught up in the Drama of Dardanelles
  4. John and Jane have flown into heaven, their family’s legacy is yellow and sweet.
  5. So many of us, we caught Bounder’s bus to heaven.

Luckily, Nikki managed to find them all in time to get to The Fighting Cocks and enjoy a cake that did belong to her, a grand Michael Grimes creation of chocolate, jelly babies and liquorish all-sorts.

I got all the gravestone-name gathering with Ben Whitehouse, when we were thinking about a possible Moseley Barcamp thing that didn’t happen.  But it was a great day, mulling over the encryptions and thinking about the stories behind them, and it gave me some inspiration eventually!

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