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Back From The Gaming Wildlands

I’m not a person to look back at times gone by and insists they were better. I don’t do this because the truth is it’s often that they were just different. I also get tired of conversations with old relatives that paint the past as some grand, rosy, Enid Blyton inspired landscape. You know the stuff? The parties in the streets that seemed to happen every weekend because the whole street got on so well, and the amazing summers, because back in their day the summers were so long and the sun so hot the tarmac on the road used to melt. Yeah, right. Still, my weakness in this area is this: I’m sure the UK didn’t used to be as windy? It had its moments, but it now seems to be a regular thing. I live on the coast, and if I was to worry about anything it wouldn’t be rising sea levels but houses being blown down.

The lovely cottage we were in for CottageCon II was buffeted every night, causing the old windows to bang about in their frames. It was like Ming the Merciless himself was directing his weather rays over North Dalton.

Other than the poltergeist-scale,rattling, old windows, which did make it hard to get to sleep for long periods, the cottage was excellent. It had three big bedrooms with a total of six single beds. A good sized front room with a natural fire, which we never actually lit. A dining room with a table easily big enough for the seven of us, which was a big improvement on the cramped table last time. A very big kitchen. The only problem it did have is a lack of a DVD player, though it did have Sky, which meant between games, and while chatting, we watched such delights as American Chopper and Pimp My Ride.

It was also in a lovely location, one thing that did match up to something out of an Enid Blyton novel. It was a bit more remote than we initially appreciated, but I think it worked out well. The main problem wasn’t remoteness, but travelling their in the dark. At one point I was travelling on a B road that seemed to be designed to accommodate one vehicle in either direction and that wanted to twist and turn like a Formula One racetrack. You know you are in for fun when the road on the map is white. It was much further from the major arterial roads than it looked on the map. It was certainly worth it when the sun came up the following morning though.

As for CottageCon II itself? It was great. There was a great mixture of games in different styles, which just shows the diverse palette of the people involved. The only thing that fell off the schedule was another go at the board game Arkham Horror on the day of arrival. The long drive through the countryside seemed to put us off. We also gorged on food, snacks and particularly impressive bacon and sausage sandwiches for breakfast.

I am now knackered.

About Ian O'Rourke

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