It is very unusual receiving a letter from Santa,
I'll try to help you as best I can :-)
My gaming training was in Stoke on Trent
with Nick from Shire Games. http://www.shiregames.com
Twice a week in a game shop - No wonder my collection grew quickly.
Nick knows my taste in games as well as anyone
I have now moved away to Chesterfield
and play back in Stoke but once a year.
My current gaming is with a group in Sheffield when I can (Every fortnightish)
and with a few friends who live locally here.
One of my new friends is into sci-fi and fantasy which is why I have begun to play more things like battlelore and Starfarers with him
My wife is also a happy gamer (although she doesn't appear on BGG).
Together we play stuff ranging from SOS Titanic, San Juan and Pandemic to Ora et Labora and Roads and boats (Occasionally)
Thank you for your thoroughness - I ho ho hope this helps
***Thanks Santa - I've already played the first solo game and I think I'm getting the hang of it***