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Day 33 – Goodness, Gardening and Games

We all had a good sleep and a long lie, and then got busy for the rest of the day. Some of the morning was spent tidying and then we went into the garden, with a brief break for lunch.

Later in the afternoon I hosted an online Dungeons and Dragons session for Alexander and his friends while Lucy and Tracy made dinner and pampered themselves.

Caught Being Good

Lucy hit a treat level with her caught being good marks (she asked us to copy what they do at school). So she got a reward of some chalk pens, and we drew on the windows together.

Gardening

We were out the front today. Amongst other things I re-fitted the head to a hoe. It had snapped off, and I needed to taper the end of the handle to fit the old head back on. It went on well, although I almost stabbed myself in the palm of my hand with a screwdriver trying to fix it in place!

Tracy and Lucy built the second wicket planter. This is the twin of the one we did a couple of days ago. It’s on the other side of the steps. Like the other one I took a wheelbarrow full of clay soil for the bottom of it and then dug into the rich topsoil in front of the hut for the next layer. What I discovered a couple of inches down was more concrete path. So there’s probably more to move there before we try to repave it.

Alexander and I took turns with a pickaxe, and at one point a saw, to dig out some roots from the border at the back of the drive. It was hard work, and raised a sweat. We didn’t quite make it clear, but we made progress.

While we were out in the garden I spotted a bird swooping about a lot. There was also a lot of chirping coming from the eaves of the house. During a short break I realised that there is a nest in the edge of my roof. A fascia has come off the end of the roof and some birds (Starlings I think) have taken advantage of it.

Games

Ever since they watched Stranger Things Alexander and his friends have wanted to play DnD. So I’ve been running sessions every couple of months or so. You can read some of the write ups on https://www.cold-steel.org/.

Today’s session was shorter than usual. Mostly this was down to the scenario and the usual friction of getting a session going. Our online setup was Roll20 for character sheets and discord for voice and video. Not everyone was able to make these work all the time. So we had some pauses. We also only used video to share my tabletop with the map and figures on it.

I’m not entirely convinced that this is the best/easiest way to play. There’s a tactical element available in Roll20 that lets players interact with the map. However it takes a bit more preparation than I’ve managed. It also means that when the players want to divert from the plan you need to pause until the next session. Usually I just extemporise at that point and hand draw a map as we go along.

For the next session I’m going to try and adopt an approach we used for the Full Moon games. I’ll use the asynchronous chat to progress from where we’ve left off until the next conflict point and then prepare the map for a session on that.

Getting Ready for School

After dinner and a short walk for some exercise it was time to put away the Lego that has covered the living room floor. It all went back in the boxes and returned to the shelves. I did leave the bungalow as built, and I’m sure it will be back out tomorrow, but it’s sort of symbolic.

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