We started with Dice Heist at around 7pm. Only a few of us have played it at GNN, but it's a fun game of luck-pushing where you're stealing stuff from art museums. My mum betrayed her oft-denied competitive streak by claiming a card after not announcing a targeted raid, then said it was my fault for "talking". Really mum! It's this kind of behaviour that will give the UK a bad name.
Stanley: won by loads
Sam: somewhere in the middle
Mum: lost by loads
The boys headed off to bed and we broke out the Scrabble. Mum and I have been playing this for years, and - thanks in no small part to fighting it out online with Chris - I think I win more often than not. But there are several house rules to be taken into account: changing the root meaning of a word is +5pts, blanks can be claimed back from the board by placing the tile of the letter they represent in their place, and points can be awarded for 'style' - an enigmatic quality at the best of times.
Last night we also introduced the final rack rule - you can play any combo of letters you like, as long as you can justify it with a fictional definition inside ten seconds. I managed to get out an acronym-based slang for ejector seats (airc) and the noise old men make getting out of a chair (hn). Mum gave a definition that was so long, I now can't remember what the word was.
And I won, but that was only because my mum found a 7-letter word for me. Another family convention is the freedom to insist on viewing your opponents' tiles and being told where to put them.
With Sally now back from her class, I insisted we play Knit Wit. We really must play this at GNN, it's great. Throw out a few loops with words (sometimes phrases) attached to them, place spools in the loops: you create a venn diagram where spools are caught in one or more loops. Then you have to write a word or series of words that defines the spool - so, for instance, my word for Historical, Purple and Small was Prince.
"Who invented this? It looks like an old man, who still lives with his mum"
"Yeah, and his cat has just died."
But when we got to the answer-giving stage they got into it a lot more. I was very impressed with Sally's answer for Out in the Open, Secret and Stinky: a stash of blue cheese in a hedge. My mum struggled with the pace of it - there's a racing element and it's possible you run out of time - but enjoyed the silliness, which the game actively encourages. It doesn't encourage smuttiness, but I blame the wine.
We played again; I'd won the first game by a point but Sally took the honours in the second.
It was around 11pm now so we bashed out a couple of games of Pairs. "I like this!" my mum exclaimed. Then she kept going bust, often on her second card. "I just want to win!" she said. Then she did win - a round - and immediately lost all interest: "I've done it now! I don't care about the rest"
So Sally and I fought it out and won a game each. And with that, we went to bed.