Monday, 16 August 2010

Real Life (part 14)

Been a bit light on the blog front recently for a number of minor reasons. Partly because I haven't been doing a lot of wargaming. I realise the irony of this as that should mean I'm blogging a lot, given what I said I'd write about in my blurb.

There's been a few Real Life things to slow me down. We had to take young Master Trebian back to University as he needed to pick up the keys to his new student house. Unbelievable, - the place has a matching three piece suite in good condition, carpet that doesn't suck at your feet when you walk on it, a tumble drier, a dishwasher, burglar alarm and a pool table. I know it's cheaper living up North, but this was like a proper house which real people could live in.

Mrs Trebian and I made weekend of it and booked a hotel in the middle of Huddersfield. Pleasant enough - its unique selling point is that the cast of "Last of the Summer Wine" stay there during filming. Oh, and they serve a prodigious breakfast.

As we're going on holiday shortly we finished off pre-holiday shopping and I hit the "3 for 2" deals in Waterstones to fill the reading list. We're doing a Russian river cruise, so I guess there'll be some time to read. I've gone for mainly fiction as I've done a lot of non-fiction recently. I did two of the 3 for 2s and went for the Stieg Larssons, Audrey Nifenegger's recent book plus a couple I can't remember. Obviously made a deep impression on me at the time*.

I also picked up a copy of John Reed's classic book on the Russian Revolution "Ten Days That Shook the World". It's one of those books I've been meaning to read for ages so I finally took the plunge. It is a rather marvellous period piece, excellent reportage but definitely fixed in its moment in time. It's descriptions of the proletariat rising and the wordy speeches that seem to be the engine that drives the events forward almost read like a parody of themselves.

Some where in there we went to see "Inception" which I have to say I thought was excellent, - intelligent, well made and exciting. Can't say I thought it was as confusing as some people are claiming. Maybe I just pay attention more when I'm watching a movie than everyone else.

This past weekend we dodged the rainclouds on Saturday and I had my team over for a barbecue on Sunday. We ended up with about 30 or so turning up for the social event of the year at Trebian Towers (the family estate set in acres of rolling countryside). This was slightly more than I expected, but it went off really well. No young children were sick, no one got too drunk and as of now no one in the team contracted food poisoning. The only major failure of the event was the non-functioning of the external lights, which blew out the house electrics when I turned them on. (I discovered this morning that this was because one of the sockets had got infested with earwigs. They are now mostly dead).

As people drifted away we rounded off the evening with a couple of games of "Apples to Apples", which is one of the best games for playing socially there is. The rules are very simple, everyone plays at the same time (ie no one has to wait for their turn) and up to 10 can play easily. If you've not played it, thoroughly recommended. Pretty much everyone we play it with says "We must get a copy". John Kovalics owes me commission.

Having said that, on looking for the picture to illustrate this bit I note that the version I have, - the British Isles Edition - seems to be pretty much unobtainable. So best of luck to all my readers.

* Wolf Hall" & "Unseen Academicals" were the other two.

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