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Busy weekend

It took the best part of a week, but I recovered from my holiday. Summer has definitely arrived and I've been Doing Stuff this weekend.

Sat morning, up early to be picked up by Steve and Helen to go to the Fire And Earth Ceramics Fair at Rufford Abbey, near Worksop. I've been several times now with them, and usually come home with something. This year I decided in advance that I could only buy small things, as I don't really have much space for more ornamental stuff. Mind you, neither do Steve and Helen, but they just have crowded cabinets full of glass and ceramics, and paintings lining their walls. It's a look.

The fair has dozens of potters from Britain (mostly) and the continent, with stalls full of all kinds of wares. There's all kinds of dishes, bowls, mugs, plates etc. in all styles from highly decorative, to the chunkier kind of rustic earthenware. There's vases and pots of all shapes and colours, wall hangings, tiles, and figurative pieces. There's everything from earrings and cufflinks to three foot tall decorative pots for the garden.

I bought something at almost the first stall we passed. It was a little bird, very simple in shape; grey, paler at the head and with metallic streaks of gold, silver, bronze and copper to give a very stylized impression of feathers. Then Steve and Helen bought tickets for the tombola, and Steve promptly won two things. We wandered around, stopping for lunch in the excellent cafe, and had a good browse in the shop. There's also a lovely little rose garden with benches, where you can take a break. Altogether, we were there about 3 hours, including lunch. I bought a couple more things in the shop. A wooden apple with a little wooden mouse peering out of it, which is rather adorable. and a pair of coppery, ceramic earrings. We all got stuff we liked, and generally had a very satisfactory day.

Sunday, I was over to the Chivers for about half eleven, to play Dead Of Winter, which Ed wanted to try out. Four of us played, while the kids entertained themselves in the other rooms. We never did find out what the overheard comment, "Put that eyeball back," was all about. It seemed more appropriate for us, as we were fighting off zombies, and led to some speculation about why a zombie might be saying it. Dead of Winter is a very good game - co-operative, but with individual goals too, and the chance of someone wanting to betray the colony, fighting to stay alive following the zombie apocolypse. With the different characters, goals and scenarios available, there's a lot of replayability value. Sadly, and not too suprisingly, we lost. Too many people were killed and we run out of morale. So presumably the survivors just gave up and either shot one another or wandered out into the snow.

After this, it was home briefly, and then to Chris's for D&D. One car load arrived first, so we played a card game called Ranter Go Round, found from an old party book dating from the 30's that I have. When everyone had arrived, we actually roleplayed, in the Dieselpunk campaign. Last week, we'd finally succeeded in raising the McGuffin mysterious sphere, from the seabed, and fought off the kraken that then attacked our boat. We went to Jamaica to seek help in getting the sphere back to England, to discover that two member of the German "football team", who had appeared in the Dominican Republic where we were based, had shown up in Jamaica. My character, Donald, is upper-class, to the point of minor nobility, which is very handy when dealing with the Establishment. He managed to talk the local chief of police into taking the two Germans into custody to investigate 'passport problems', allowing us to go about our busines unwatched for a couple of hours. Donald then got an excellent roll on his diplomacy to pursude the head of the Navy in Jamaica to see him immediately, and convinced him to come and have a look at something we'd found which I thought could be important to the Britich Empire, and which certainly shouldn't be allowed to fall into the hands of foreigners. Thus the mysterious sphere - undoubtedly extra-terrestrial in origin -  was packed aboard a Navy vessel to be taken back to England. Having finished the scenario, we had our usual game of whist to finish, and I won :).I failed to make my call in the last hand, but had enough of a lead to scrape home by about 3 points, which was an improvement on last week, when I was leading going into the last hand, with Steve as my nearest rival, but we scuppered one another, and let Matt win.

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