I have played card games over the years but, like jokes, I usually forget how they go and never play them again.
I'm determined it will be different this time ... It turns out I love playing cards with friends.
Cathy, James and Alex have, patiently, spent these long summer evenings teaching me how to play different card games. Doggy Whist, let's not mention Irish Snap, and then Hearts. Hearts ... probably because it was the game that seemed to click best with me and, while I trail behind, the deficit isn't too shocking.
It occurs to me as I stop here, look up and around me, that I should go get my camera and photograph the place where I come to read and write on these Surrey mornings. I'm out in their beautiful English garden - a fish pond chuckling, birds singing and usually Jenny, their King Cavalier, is here next to me.
But the card games ... I didn't realise how much psychology there is. Analysis and tactics. Plain dumb luck, and instinct. Who bluffs best, and let's not forget ... who cheats most outrageously. But best of all, the laughter.
Yesterday I posted a 'card game story' over on Facebook:
Much hilarity ... once we all stopped screaming/roaring!!! Playing cards, outside in the garden in Surrey tonight. Cathy warned me not to put my wine glass on the ground ... SLUGS, you see. I thought she was kidding. Worse still, she thought she was kidding.
I picked up my glass about 5 minutes later and SCREAMED which made the others wonder but then they joined in the screaming too - in the most hilarious way.
We were all making the most incredible noise as they realised I had picked up my wine glass, by its narrow stem, and my fingers had closed round a SLUG. A big fat slimy slug!!! I'm still giggling ... I think the ongoing laughter is about James roar which was not unlike that moment, in the movie Home Alone, when the main character came face-to-face with the TarantuIa and roared.
I probably won't sleep tonight, for laughter. We're lucky that the neighbours didn't call the police.
Then last night, our game was threatened by Flying Ants. Apparently they're set to kick off, again, and you don't want to be involved. Not all all.
I have packed my suitcase and realised it was way over the limit. So I left it open on my bedroom floor ... hoping things would magically change. I repacked yesterday. It's lighter but I might have to leave the tripod behind. Mmmm, and so today is the day of suitcase reckoning. Let's see how it goes.