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Every Man Needs A Shed

Life and games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Independent UK games designer, self-confessed Agricola-holic and Carl Chudyk fan-boy. www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk What was that beardy bloke going on about?

Archive for Miscellany

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The Box of Delights

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Arthur 'unboxes' our minty new copy of Yokohama:


(and Dad gets a nasty burn!)
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Fri May 19, 2017 6:07 am
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The Barnsley Nightingale

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Ever since I earned my first wages working on Saturdays in a Monmouth butchers, I have been a voracious consumer of all manner of music. With crisp pound notes in hand, I would scurry up the high street to Woolworths to get something round and made of vinyl in the last 20 mins before closing; from The Eagles to Motorhead to the Eurythmics to, well, anything-and-everything! When me and the current Mrs Boydell started courting, we would spend long afternoons delicately handling my stylus and sheathing my 12 inches; I regarded myself as a guru of eclectic tastes, an expert guide in to the world of aural treasures BUT it’s Mrs B that has had the highest hit rate in getting the other one hooked: most notably her pre-“Us” love of Neil Finn, Split Enz and Crowded House but, also, the angelic, crystalline folky beauty of Ms Kate Rusby:



Last night, in an unprecedented two-weeks-in-a-row ‘date night’ scenario (last week it was, if you recall, the comedy of Richard Herring), the two of us left the boys to themselves and nipped out the Cheltenham to see Ms Rusby in concert. We arrived, with about an hour to spare, intending to find a bite of something to eat and ended up in the Pizza Express opposite the Town Hall venue; a large glass of Merlot for her and a fizzy water for me, we scoffed down two very delicious discs of cheese and ‘ting before taking our seats in the palatial performance space:


So bright!


Gloriously warm, heart-tingling, life-affirming and soul-lifting; witty ballads, jaunty jigs, oodles of banter with the audience and a surprisingly young but virtuoso band (mandolin, acoustic guitars, double Bass, accordion and Moog organ(!)) made for two wonderful hours.

Very highly recommended; go here for more Tour (and background) info:

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Thu May 18, 2017 9:34 am
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Better with Beef!

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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Board Game boxes made better with beef?





Now you..?

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Wed May 17, 2017 6:05 am
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He's unitary perfect and highly composite

Anthony Boydell
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Today 'Congratulations' are in order to Mr Alan Paull because his corporeal self is
60 (sixty)
years old!



Well done, that man!

It's been 20 years since we first met up at the Pub in Cheltenham to play Magic: The Gathering and I found out that you were a bona fide "game designer" (Siege, Thunderin' Guns, Starship Tycoons, City of Sorcerers, Tara, Seat of Kings and Confucius)!
How time has flown and how much we've all achieved with Surprised Stare Games Ltd; chapeau, monsieur!

Love from Tony.
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Tue May 16, 2017 6:30 am
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Number Twos!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Today 'Congratulations' are in order to Mr Stuart Burnham because his blog

It Beats Watching The TV



(https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blog/4563/it-beats-watching-tv)

is 2 (two) years old!

Well done, that man!

You've nurtured your fragile blogsprog through the delicate stages of it's new life; you've kept it nourished with your insight, stimulated with your session reports and kept safe by your vigilant routine!

Of course, you now enter those trickier blogging waters and we should expect more screaming, temper tantrums, kicking and biting, fighting with other blogs, total meltdowns and the subjugation of the Earth through the final triumph of Hell!



Just keep telling yourself that "its just a phase" and you'll probably get through it all okay.

Love from Tony.
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Tue May 16, 2017 6:20 am
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Tunnel Vision

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Once again, the end of the working week beckons and - with the car in for a proper Service - Friday will be joyously, comfortably work-from-home! This means that departing Cardiff on the Thursday afternoon is infused with a special demob-happy fizz, so - seeing as the weather had looked gorgeous - I took the long route home and diverted for 'an explore'!

There was a temporary climatic blip, as I beetled through Newport and along the motorway to Chepstow, when the skies opened and the mother of all thunderstorms flooded the three lanes of speeding commuters with a couple of inches of water! It had all gone by the time I crossed the Wye in to England and followed my Google Maps up the lanes to Netherton Halt.

Why Netherton Halt? Well, the Wye Valley railway broke off from the main line at Chepstow and ran up through the village of Tidenham - and the halt - to enter a 1200 yard-long tunnel and emerge at Tintern on the other side of the hill. I'd managed to source some co-ordinates off of the web and decided I wanted to go tunnel hunting!

The lane ran over an innocuous stone bridge with a convenient lay-by on one side; I parked, grabbed my coat and set off in to the trees:


Only a few paces in and I couldn't miss it! My heart leapt...there were still rails!!!



It was a steep climb down to the track bed.



Once down, the whole channel was crunching underfoot - 50 years of cracked stones and fallen branches.



There was no way to walk or climb inside the tunnel PLUS all the metalwork was painted with black grease!



I could sneak the phone in to the gaps to take some snaps, though.



The cool air exhaled out of the long dark...



Simply my favourite picture: peaceful, eerily-still...



The grand entrance, mortared in to the rough natural stone.







Farewell; it's time to go.


In the grand scheme of Snowdonian things, all of the above overgrown splendor is summarised in this bit of my prototype Wye Valley Tourer scenario:



At least there's no grease on the cards!
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Fri May 12, 2017 6:30 am
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Toilet Humour

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Last night, Mrs B and I took a friend (Pip) with us to see some live comedy (cue traditional commentary posts about "not finding any of that at home" etc). The tiny Savoy Theatre in Monmouth - where I saw the first release (1980?) of The Empire Strikes Back with my friend Jonathan on a rainy Saturday afternoon - now plays host to movie showings, tribute acts and - occasionally - stand up comedians; tonight it was (for the second time in three years) Mr Richard Herring:



I have long been an admirer of his coarse (but witty and satirical) act, particularly from his podcasting (The Collings and Herrin Podcast, Richard Herrings Leicester Square Theatre Podcast and As It Occurs To Me). Earlier this year I saw his former comedy duo partner, Mr Stewart Lee, so last night completed the set (for 2017, at least).

The tour is called 'The Best' and is (as you'd expect) a concatenation of his favourite bits from shows from the last 15 years; it was utterly hilarious and prescient and thoughtful and rib-tickling and there were several moments where Mrs B was laughing harder than I was! One segment, from his Talking Cock show, involved answers to an online questionnaire filled out by over 15,000 gentlemen...and one question in particular:

"What's the most unusual place you have put your penis?"

Answers included a variety of orifices and utensils, "a fat ginger lass who had a Brazilian that looked like a fish finger" and "a toilet roll with jelly spooned in to it"; our pal, Pip, thought it would be great to present the following to Richard for autographing:



Naturally, it was signed "To Tony..."!
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Thu May 11, 2017 6:21 am
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All Kinds of Awesome!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Ben Parkinson, who frequents a mutual UK Facebook gaming group, posted some inspiring and awesome pictures from Africa today. He says: "I am training up young social entrepreneurs...from slum districts and remote rural villages in Uganda, through training and developing life skills at the Chrysalis Centre, a drop-in centre for children living in a Kampala slum. I am based at the Acholi Quarter, a dangerous and chaotic area, where there is terrible deprivation, but it has beautiful views of Kampala and is a place where every day you can create some change in another person's life, should you choose to. I want to see children valued in Africa, so they can create a better future for their peers and themselves.

And the post?

"Some prep work the kids have done on their own for the Uganda Village Boardgame Convention - anyone recognise it?"





This is amazing and brilliant and all-kinds-of wonderful! I am hoping Ben will send more pictures of the event next week!

More information can be found here:
- https://www.changemakers.com/empathy/entries/butterfly-proje...
- https://chrysalisuganda.wordpress.com/

And if you'd like to donate something toward this incredible work? Then please go here: https://www.justgiving.com/cyen

Fan-bloody-tastic!
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Tue May 9, 2017 6:20 am
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Man and boy

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Arthur and I went on a diverted shopping expedition, yesterday, and ended up 30 miles away in Chepstow. When he was a tiny, Nursery-attending bean, he and I would nip off - on a WFH Friday - for lunch in a nearby Town; over the space of 18 months (way back then), we visited every major settlement in Monmouthshire and Herefordshire - even taking the train further to Worcester on occasion!

Well, yesterday, it was Chepstow and we walked up the hill from the Castle's car park to find some din-dins; on the way, I dragged the poor fellow in to every Charity shop. I had few expectations of finding any Euro goodness but was pleased to find something 'game like' liberally sprinkled with sarcastic wit:



As we waited for our steak pies to arrive, Arthur flicked through the deck and began chortling to himself; he was particularly taken by the daft pictures and the mental stats:



As a find, it's hardly anything to crow about - unlike the earlier joys of Air Traffic Control, for instance, but its given my lad and me a few minutes of shared hilarity and that's certainly worth a £1 of anyone's money!

Happy Sunday!
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Sun May 7, 2017 6:30 am
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Toppermost of the Poppermost?!

Anthony Boydell
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Newent. Glos
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Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:38 am
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