Saturday, 2 November 2013


Recently several members of my family came for a visit to the new house (cue frenzied cleaning and a trip to Ikea to buy a bed!)

Amongst other things what my family really likes to do when we gather en masse is to play games.

Many and varied games.

As children mum and dad used games as a way of successfully anchoring us to the table at mealtimes and keep us from chewing off our own hands during long car journeys.
As teenagers we created a game culture in our remote village most nights we had a living room crammed with loud and happy people.

These as you can imagine were some wonderful times. However reluctant as I am to say it, playful bonhomie is not our only family trait…

Rumour has it that aged nine my uncle Gid bit a wooden dice in half. Having failed him in his moment in need during a game of risk he decided to dole out his own form of vigilante justice.
As teens, after I decimated my brother at the very same game He went outside and took out his feelings on an old pile of bricks with a heavy mattock.

Some call it competitively; I prefer to think of it as commitment to winning.

As an adult I like to think I have got these competitive urges more reigned in (just don’t ask my husband why he refuses to play backgammon with me) I am able to successfully quash the vivid feelings of rage and despair associated with loosing. My brother too claims that his mattock wielding days are behind him.

So back to the familial visit:  grown up daughter shows her family round stylish and surprisingly clean married home, furnished with well appointed beds and plenty of loo roll for all! (Triumph)
Brother and sister in law are present (their first child due in February) Brother has allowed impending fatherhood to lend him an air of bearded understanding.

We all sit down to a civilised round of the game tellingly entitled ‘bang!’ (Nothing can go wrong here!!)

Unbelievably within the first round, before I had even a chance to lay a card brother fixed his gaze on me with what can only be described as some sort of madness glinting clearly in his eyes and his smile.
He shot me dead three times in quick succession. Thus ending my game.

I would like to say that I chuckled good-naturedly and settled back down with a fresh cup of tea to observe the rest of the game safe in the knowledge of my superior character.

I really really would.

As it happened the last thing I clearly remember is my husbands half amused half appalled face desperately telegraphing disapproval with his eyes as I clonked my brother in the head.
Needless to say any semblance of the calm and matronly hostess were forever lost in that extremely undignified moment.

My conclusion is that there is nothing like someone you shared a womb with to bring out the worst in you. On a side note we are blessedly good at forgiving and forgetting (through lots and lots of practice)

In the meantime I continue to attempt vanquish of the beast within, helped along by a warning foot squeeze from Matt when I’m loosing it!!

'hey isn't that my necklace?!