Having decided to “downsize” from The Old House in Feltwell, we opted to move to Worcestershire to be near four of our grown-up children. Between them, they have produced nine of our eighteen grandchildren. It is wonderful to see so much of them all and to be able to bond with the grandchildren when they come to stay while the parents go off for the night. I have spent most of today, the deadline day for this article, wondering what on earth I should write about this month. You really do not want to know about my ongoing problems such as realising that we have bought a house with solid, not elastic, walls. Management and I are both hoarders and could not bring ourselves to get rid of enough stuff before the move so the problem has moved with us. I stopped work at 8pm tonight and the problem of what to rite about was solved by our seven year old granddaughter, Lucy, who inveigled me into playing a game which she had bought earlier in the day. Called “Disney Memory”, it sounded harmless enough so I agreed. There are about 60 small cards, each with a picture of Minnie Mouse on the front. There are 30 different pictures with two copies of each. The backgrounds are different colours and Minnie is doing different things like walking the dog, walking the cat, talking to another Disney character, wearing earrings or a bow in her hair, and so on. The cards are only two inches square and my eyes are not what they used to be so the omens were not good. All the cards are placed on the table, face down and all mixed up, not in neat rows. The players take turns. You pick up a card and both players look at it. You then have to pick up the identical card from all the others on the table. As they are all face down, the skill of the game is to remember exactly where each card is, having seen it when the player turned it over during their turn and put it back face down, having discovered that it differed from the first card they had picked up.
Well, I soon discovered that Lucy has a phenomenal memory (she subsequently admitted playing a similar game for many years) and I was well and truly trounced. She even took pity on me and slipped me some help in my selections, such that I only lost by 26 to 4 pairs! Now, I had never considered myself a slouch. My memory for academic matters is good and my memory for medical matters was once described by a colleague as “encyclopaedic” so what went wrong this evening? I thought about it and remembered that Head Office and I had stopped playing Bridge shortly after we had started because I could never understand how she knew in detail which players held which cards, simply by observing what they did, how they bid, and so on. All this embarrassed me because I could not “get it” and we stopped playing. The charitable interpretation would be that the part of the brain which deals with such matters is duff, the other interpretation would be that I am dead thick when it comes to card games.
I much preferred the simple and inexpensive game I gave all the grandchildren at Christmas. It comprises a six inch model pig and some plastic discs. Someone presses the pig’s tummy and it starts to sing. The pig is then passed rapidly around the circle of players. After a variable number of lines in the song, the pig suddenly breaks wind quite spectacularly and stops singing. The person holding the pig at that time has to pick up a disc and start the process again. The winner is the person who ends up with the fewest discs at the end of all the pig circuits. This game causes endless hilarity and I must confess to really enjoying it. So, there I am, childish as well as thick!
A man and a woman who have never met before end up sharing s sleeping compartment in a train. They are embarrassed but they decide to make the best of it and he sleeps on the top bun. She sleeps on the bottom bunk. In the middle of the night, he feels cold and says “I am awfully cold and I wonder whether you could get me another blanket. Sleepily, the woman said “I have a better idea. Just for tonight, let’s pretend that we are married”. The man was really excited by this idea and said “Yes, that would be brilliant”. “Good” she said “Get your own blanket!”
An eighty year old lady was arrested for stealing a can of peaches. “How many peaches were in the can?” asked the judge. When she replied “Eight”, he sentenced her to 8 days in jail. The husband piped up “May I say something? She also stole a can of peas, your honour”
John works hard for a living and his wife wanted to give him a treat so she blindfolded him and took him to the local strip club. The doorman welcomed him “Hi John, how are you this week?” The waitress asked John if he would like his usual Budweiser and a stripper came over , threw her arms around John and said “Hello Johnny, would you like your table dance, big boy?” John managed to persuade his wife that the doorman and the waitress knew him from elsewhere but he could not persuade his wife about the stripper. He followed her into the taxi where she berated him mercilessly about about he had been up to. The taxi driver chipped in “Crumbs, John, you picked up a real piece of work this time!”
Best wishes to you all Ian Nisbet