Saturday, 16 March 2013

An Evening with the Powells!

Just when we thought it was over winter gave us quick reminder that he’s not quite done this week.  We had a day of the craziest weather yet. One moment you couldn't see the end of the garden due to heavy snowfall the next glorious sunshine and the garden looks like Narnia again. I did say I would blog more often so I thought I’d put something down about leisure time here. As I've said before we’re not connected to TV aerial or satellite which has prompted some people to ask “What do you do in the evenings?”  So, I thought I’d answer the question.

We do have a TV and a good sound system (Both second hand) so we do watch it. What we don’t do now is simply have the TV on watching whatever is the least worst thing on at the time. When we watch we actually watch something we want to. Xmas list was full of TV series’ and films so that we have something new to watch and very kindly some people got some for us. Favourites here are Spaced, Black Books, Sharpe (Sean Bean doesn’t die!), Game of Thrones (He does!) and Band of Brothers.
We’ve been reading a lot more and most days we sit down for at least 30min reading. Little Powell as well, his current favourite being “le Rugbymen” a comic book about a local French rugby team. Mrs Powell has enjoyed the latest Trudi Canavan trilogy, the Fifty Shades trilogy (I will have to watch her carefully in Bricomarche now!) and has just finished Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris. I’ve reread some of my favourite graphic novels, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, The Boys and Fables. Books wise I enjoyed Bernard Cornwell’s Azincourt (Although it was sort of just medieval Sharpe). Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Prisoner of Heaven is great, as are his other two in the series (Shadow of the Wind is one of my all time favourites) I am now ploughing through the A Song of Ice and Fire saga and am currently halfway through the first book (A Game of Thrones). Very impressed so far and I’m enjoying it despite the fact I know the story (Sean Bean dies!) and I’m looking forward to overtaking the TV series. Damm those blasted Lannisters!!
I have successfully turned my normal wife into a sad gaming geek and most evenings we play something. She doesn’t quite get as excited about the different shaped dice, stories or pieces as I do but we’re doing well with the geek conversion! There is no monopoly or scrabble here, we’re talking hardcore gaming.  So, what do we play? There are a few old Games Workshop classics and Magic the Gathering  gets an airing from time to time but it’s mostly Eurogames and the like. So if you’ll indulge me here’s a quick rundown of the favourites. In no particular order.
  • Agricola-The world’s most stressful game about subsistence farming, that is a lot more fun than it sounds.
  • Smallworld-Think faster, more fun Risk. Lots of replay value because the designers have made it so it’s different every time you play.
  • Carcassone-The classic tile laying game. Build cities, roads, farms, make them bigger than everyone else’s and if theirs is bigger than yours-steal it!
  • Settlers of Catan-Building and trading game that makes monopoly look like a toddler’s plaything.
  • Memoir ’44-Wargame based on WWII Great fun light wargame that even Mrs Powell loves.
  • Blood Bowl Team Manager- Great version of the old GW classic. Number one rule-Cheating is mandatory!
  • Sheer Panic-Bought for novelty value (Little comedy sheep pieces are great) but is now a firm favourite. Move them around and can you get to Roger the Ram?

Just a couple! We deliberately got some in that have good replay value or lots of expansions so they don’t get boring. This year’s big addition is War of the Ring (A birthday present from my dad) not played it yet as the rulebook is nearly as long as The Lord of the Rings itself. But looking forward to crushing all before me as Sauron. When summer comes around we’ll play less or probably just the card based ones as we will be able to play outside but this winter they’ve been a godsend (Which one I don’t know, but I like to think Thor would love Blood Bowl)
So an evening with the Powells is a veritable geekfest at the moment, especially given that we’ve found Big Bang Theory on the internet, but we like it.  I caught some BBC after the rugby and quite frankly we’re not missing out! The only thing I miss TV wise is River Cottage but there is always youtube, just don’t tell HWF, but we’re sort of doing it for real now.