Father gone. Anna still here.

May 28th 2002 -

Dad went home on Sunday arvo. It was a couple of good days – for one thing, dad is always keen to play any of the games that I have lying around the place, so we tried out James Earnest’s new “Diceland” game, and played a couple of games of pool and a few more of billiards, and had a “game” of squash. Characteristic of these games is an unsettling tendency of Dad to be very good at them (he’s an A-Grade squash player, for example). He excelled in diceland, despite having never played before, and despite my superior potting skills, made good use of snookering to beat me in pool (and in billiards too, but he was always good at that). I was fairly happy though, happier than I usually am when dad pummels me in a game. It was just nice having him around.

A neat game, though doesn’t really fit into the cheapass mould at $35. You assemble twenty cardboard eight-sided dice, which each represent a character. Form your teams of characters, then take it in turns throwing and moving the dice on a cleared-out table – it’s kind of like a miniatures combat game but with dice. Cleverly done, I’d like to play more but Anna hasn’t exhibited any interest yet, and Chris, Amanda and Andrea just want to roleplay whenever we get together. Sigh…

Real Tennis
Real tennis is an actual game, quite different from tennis (or, Lawn Tennis as the Real Tennis affectionados call it) and squash, but kind of a mix of the two. Actually, it’s more like the other way around. Real Tennis came first, then tennis and squash evolved from that. There’s only about fifty courts in the world, but one of them is at MacQuarie University, so John Dalton and I decided we’d try it out. Yesterday, it was my turn to show up and John’s to make an excuse – just as well, really, it takes a full hour to explain the rules and traditions. Fascinating. I’m thinking of writing a Monastery story around it – it was invented in 1100 or so in an Italian Monastery, so it would have been quite new when the Monastery was founded.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to playing again next Monday, hopefully this time to have a proper game…

On the way back from the Uni, I remembered that there was a golf driving range quite close by, so I went up there, rented a club, and bashed a hundred balls into the air with varying degrees of success. I started rather well, and it felt good – the ball was flying hundreds of metres and there were gratifyingly few balls beyond it (there were perhaps a dozen or so people at the range). Then I got the yips, which behaved very similarly to Kevin Costner’s yips from “Tin Cup”. I had no idea what the problem was, but after whacking the ball for a while, I was starting to hit them higher and higher into the air, until they were simply being duffed straight up, and sometimes alarmingly so – I came quite close to hitting the person next to me, twice. I think I was hitting too far underneath the ball, but buggered if I could work out how to fix it… I hit the remainder of the balls in a kind of embarrased frenzy, watching the ball fly high into the sky again and again, then gave the club back and noticed that I had a *huge* blister on my left hand.

I wonder if that had anything to do with it?

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