Sunday 29th July 2018, 7.35pm (day 2,530)
On the wettest day for months, and trapped in the house, Joe initiates his parents into bizarre Dice Man-style games of chance, in which the family fortune teeters on the edge of a d20. The wine is Clare’s.
I’m still not particularly well, and despite a tolerable interlude yesterday the weather basically continues very crappy: ‘Outside’ at the moment is a euphemism for ‘Being sprayed with icy precipitation in a variety of forms’. So, more board games then. And a visit from Doug, who thereby makes — in part — his third appearance on the blog.
Evening entertainment at the end of a very cold day. Joe contemplates whether he should exchange three cucumbers for a pallet of fish in the costermongers’, or possibly whether he should felch his mortgage and cast down his pie to prevent his opponents accumulating so many nickels that he will no longer be able to buy any rabbits. At least, I think those were the rules. My haziness on these matters is probably why I finished third (out of three).
Seems an awful long time since Joe was at school, but he returns tomorrow, which therefore also marks the resumption of Clare’s school-related job duties. So today was the last day of anything resembling a ‘summer holiday’ for either of them. They mourned its passing by knocking hell out of each other at Warhammer. Clare won convincingly, so I heard.
It began in 1964. The prison camp in the Urals, when chess was their only distraction, and they could suck the damp off the pieces to stay alive. Igor (on the left in this shot) was a double agent; his opponent, still known only by the codename “King’s Pawn”, had been picked up trying to infiltrate Tomsk dressed as a Mongolian sheep herder. The Cold War thawed and half a century later they still meet once a week on this field of combat, speaking only rarely, but both with an inner shiver as they recall the white hell of February in the Petropavlavravmavstok encampment.