Posted on 14th January 2021
Keeping occupied during these strange times is a major challenge so I would like to take you back to the day I saw a wooden box of dominoes in the window of a charity shop and I bought it for the princely sum of £10. The dominoes came in a baize lined wooden box with a satisfactory brass catch and on the base it said ‘hand crafted by Tiverton craftsmen’. I gave the box a polish and put it up on a shelf in the sitting room. The following week I was passing the same charity shop and there in the window was another box of dominoes this time the wooden box and the wooden dominoes were inlaid with brass. Once again I handed over a tenner.
Several weeks later I passed a vintage shop and there in the window was a cribbage set which came complete with pegs. This needed a little TLC and a new pack of cards and up on the shelf it went to join the others.
Another charity shop beckoned as there in the window was a lovely little wooden Bagatelle board and for another £10 it was mine. This little board reminded me of long ago Bagatelle games played with my grandparents and I have now realised that my grandfather, a carpenter, would have made the board himself.
Next came an Italian leather dice shaker found in an antique shop which came with five dice. It is this shaker that has really come into its own at this time as we have been playing three rounds of Yahtzee most evenings. The game first appeared in America in the 1940s and five dice are required together with a Yahtzee score card which can be purchased or downloaded and printed on your home printer. The dice are rolled three times and a Yahtzee, consisting of all five dice showing the same number, gives a score of 50 points. During our many games I once threw all five ones with my very first throw and I looked up the odds of this happening and it is a 1 in 1,296 chance of rolling a single-throw Yahtzee.
Please send me your tips, including any photos, for keeping occupied and they will be posted in a future blog.
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