Dominoes: a beautiful game



It’s been a little while since I’ve stumbled across any game-like bits and pieces I’ve wanted to include here. Until now that is. A new take on an old classic, for sure. Dominoes re-imagined. Created by Glasgow-based Derek Walsh of DWS and designers Graphical House, it’s just the kind of collaboration that warms my heart. It’s good to know people are paying attention to little things like this lovely, calm game so they are not entirely forgotten …

dominoes_2Carved from wafer thin layers of birch plywood, then hand cut and finished and named Semaphor. They come in a little drawstring bag. You can order them here.

What a fine thing to pop into a campervan compartment or simply to play while sheltering from harsh weather wherever you may be.



Coastal Camping


All that talk of seafood paella earlier got me thinking about the many joys of camping near the sea. Hailing from Sydney as I do, it’s hard for me to contemplate any holiday from London that doesn’t involve the coast in some way. A couple of weeks ago I took the boys to Aldeburgh in Suffolk to stay with a canny camper and master fun-time ringleader I know. Right on the coast, we got to enjoy things like the kids finding a starfish in the sea. And a divine lobster and prawn lunch bought directly from the fisherman. It’s about as close as I can get to giving my kids a taste of the kind of long, sunny weekends outside that I had as a Sydney kid.


One of the highlights was a late afternoon crabbing trip in Walberswick. I don’t know who had more fun, the kids or me! My friend had everything we needed: lines, hooks, bacon, crabbing nets and buckets. Even reward marshmallows. Here is where I would normally tell you the ins and outs of crabbing, but the far better thing to do would be to send you to my clever friend’s blog: Daisy & Finn’s Party Ideas. She’s got everything you need to know about planning a successful crab hunting expedition.

And to you brave UK campers who booked a coastal campsite months ago and got rewarded with a freaky heatwave, I say way to go! I’m planning a trip now, so save some space for us. Brave the coast campers. Brave the coast!




Camping Games: Bird Bingo

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI checked the weather a few minutes ago and it looks like we’re in for the odd heavy shower tomorrow. Now I know us Londoners aren’t really used to things like rain after the past few weeks, so I figured a great little suggestion to take up some tent time was in order.

An old friend of mine told me about Bird Bingo a while ago. It was her kids’ favourite game when they were smaller. I did a hunt around for it online and found a new and improved version of the classic. Don’t you just love that! Upgraded with delightfully detailed illustrations by RCA graduate Christine Berrie (my favourites are the Lilac-Breasted Roller, Gouldian Finch and the Common Kingfisher), Bird Bingo is brilliant for bird nerds. Instead of calling each bird by it’s name, you can call out birds by their descriptions which are in the rule book. So if you know which bird can recognise itself in the mirror or which bird’s feathers were used for the headdress of a Zimbabwean king, you’re a winner! Up to 12 people can play and it works exactly like bingo. A caller draws a bird token out of the bag. If you have that bird on your card, you mark it with a red counter. I love playing it with my kids, and my 3, 5 and 6 year old boys love it! I paid £19.95 and bought it online from Stanford’s in London. I’d love to hear what games you play on rainy camping weekends…