In Cyprus, it's not unusual for people to travel for their work; it's a useful place to live from that point of view. And so it came to pass that last Saturday evening, my friend Joan and I were both potentially home alone, with our husbands travelling. So she suggested an evening of game-playing. Since I'm not too good with late nights, I proposed an early start...
We began with a two-person Settlers of Catan game:
I have played this game many, many times while Joan is more of a novice, although she's pretty good. And there is undoubtedly a significant amount of luck. I bought six 'development' cards through the game... and FOUR of them were victory points:
So I won the first game, fairly quickly. Cleo was firmly ensconced in the box lid, as usual:
So we decided to play a second round...
.. which Joan won comfortably.
It had been raining lightly, off and on, since Joan's arrival, but as we ended the second game the skies cleared. It was 6.45pm by then and I was feeling hungry. We had already decided that we didn't want to waste time cooking or indeed clearing up after a meal, so Joan offered to treat me to Souvlaki Express which is Cypriot style fast food. And it was good to get a little fresh air and light exercise; not that it's very far away.
Since neither of us has a huge appetite, we decided to share a large halloumi/salad sandwich; a whole one is too big, but half was exactly right. Joan didn't want me to take a photo while she was eating, but I thought this came out very well:
We didn't stay long; there were too many people smoking nearby. So we returned to continue our games marathon, and decided on Rummikub.
I won the first game (with Joan having exactly one point against her)...
Cleo had moved out of the Settlers lid and into the Rummikub one:
So we played a second round of Rummikub:
Joan won this time, with about 50 points against me at the end.
We then decided to try something new, which we had not played with our husbands. We both like Scrabble and play it online, but Joan had never played Upwords, and I had not played it for many years and had forgotten all the details of the rules.
At first it seemed like an inferior version of Scrabble, with no bonus tiles, no high-scoring letters, and rather a small board. But as we progressed we realised what potential there was for strategic playing, as we built new words up rather than outwards. Here's the final board for the first game (which I won):
And here's the final board for the second game which, predictably by now, Joan won:
Yes, 'QUA' and 'GUP' are acceptable words.
Oh, and in the middle are 'EX' and 'SHIRE', whatever it might look like from this angle!
By now it was past 10.00pm and I was beginning to get tired, so we thought we would have a quick game of Bananagrams:
It's a bit of an odd game in that the 'winner' is whoever uses up their final set of tiles first, irrelevant of who does so right the way through. I don't even remember who did so - we were more interested in building up our tiles into crosswords than caring who actually did so first. It was probably a draw.
When we finished it was 10.20pm so we thought we'd try again. This time I cared even less about doing my crossword quickly, particularly when I realised that I had managed to build some words around a + shape in the top left corner of my board...
.. and Joan discovered that she had made a step pattern of A tiles in the top right of hers:
It was nearly 10.45 by the time we had finished, and I was yawning... so Joan departed. All in all, a very enjoyable evening playing:
- we had planned to play 'Ticket to Ride' too, but ran out of time.