The sun was back out in glorious heat and light today: no grey clouds to separate us from a good ol' English globally-warmed Summer! I made use of a convenient break between meetings to drop off a stack of parcels and, as I drove through the town, it was like a regular, balmy Monday. Folks gathered in the shops, chatting outside the Library, kids huddled under the Market Place, an orderly - socially-distanced - queue for the Post Office and Mums returning from the Primary School drop-off; a queue for the bus and masked OAPs out for a stroll and a bottle of milk from the supermarket. To be completely honest, I'm not clear whether we're out of lockdown now or not - it's been over a week since I left the boundaries of Chez Boydell to do anything except take the dog for a walk in the empty fields.
Most children won't be going back to school until September but the zoos are open; the R-number is only just below 1 but the beaches are open. Tens of people are still dying each day - well, some number are because we don't get informed of the figures with any regularity anymore - but at least that statue of Winston Churchill is safe (feel free to piss over any Police memorials, though).
Black Lives Matter, unless you lived in Grenfell Towers or are part of the Windrush generation. If you're a farmer, or a fisherman, then you've got six months to retrain before the hammer comes down: chlorinated, hormone-soaked tariffs for everyone!
Every little bit of good that happens in the World is, almost immediately, obscured and/or belittled by the relentless imbecility of those who profess to serve us. Consider the United Kingdom: currently under the tutelage of a lolloping, tousle-haired whoopee cushion of liquid turds and his merry band of Beano horrors (all the clichés are here); it's like a sitcom but the laughter is canned because the audience is, in fact, dead. If I hear the phrase "doubling down on the lie" one more fucking time, I may scream and never stop.
For the Boydell household, the lockdown has seeded boredom, resentment, frustration, rage, emotional retreats and emotional outbursts; it's a bit like walking on eggshells...while they're still coming out of the chickens. There's nowhere for anyone to go, no-one to offer any help. Arthur barely holds interest in anything away from the XBox or YouTube and is just buffeted about in the wake of the older kids' outbursts; he has bags under his eyes, isn't eating or sleeping properly, misses his pals and is prone to sudden tears. I. fucking. hate. this. country.
I can't trust the news, so I retreat to gaming BUT a quick glance at boardgame Twitter and - Jesus in a tin-foil Mankini! - you're castigated for not believing enough in X or complicit in the persecution of Y or simply enabling the perpetuation of Z by your 'inaction': fucking hell, I've got quite enough to worry about within the curtilage of my property without being flamed-then-blocked for not being part of the foam-mouthed mob at every. fucking. sleight!
To distract myself, I watch videos of Magic: The Gathering booster packs being opened; of combo-decks being combotastic on MTG Arena; of ornate, wooden puzzles being solved by a man with heavily-tattooed hands; of movie trailers for films I can't go and see because the cinemas are closed; of theories behind HELLRAISER and the ALIEN franchise; of a bloke lathing tree-trunks in to marbles; of a fake BBC TV News presenter ranting at the ugliness of it all.
I designed a game where you're trying to successfully summon a Demon; why did I bother? There's plenty here already.
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Father, Grandfather, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.
- [+] Dice rolls