Board games by the fire

Taking a few days off over the holiday season meant some quality time plonked in front of the woodburner with some old board games. I introduced Joe to a childhood favourite,  'Coppit'. My 'vintage' version is, as you can see, a bit the worse for wear, but it is still a great game, even cut-throat - if a board game can said to be such a thing.

Once he got the hang of it (after one game), he won every game after. But I got repeated revenge with Scrabble and didn't gloat too much.

Another old favourite of mine is 'Tell Me' - I've had this game in various versions almost all my life. The two I have now are from the 50's and 60's. The same game, but with slight differences and not just in the box design.

It's a very basic concept; general knowledge questions are read out, the disc is spun and lands on a letter of the alphabet and the first person to call out a correct answer (or one which isn't disputed) wins the card. Winner is the person with the most cards. Although simple, the spinning disc brings in the element of randomness, so the answers are different every time.

The 1960s version is almost like the one I knew in the 70's, with fairly straightforward questions -    
'something in this room'  'name of a member of parliament' 'an advertising  slogan' (this one is not included in the 50's version; maybe a sign of the times?)
also 'a word used in radio' (very broad and up for debate) 'a means of communication' and a reflection of the growing prevalence of the one-eyed monster in the room, 'a television personality'.

The 50's version has many of the same questions, but also some odd, almost philosophical ones. We played both games, and this one threw up by far the most interesting discussions and verbal tussles. Here are some choice ones - 

'What would you  like to become?' - which could be anything from 'a better person', to 'a proper grown up' to 'a postman'.

'What or who annoys you most?' - again, a debatable subject, and dependent on the alphabet letter thrown up. And should the answer be silly or truthful? Should you say any answer so long as it fits the letter, or not answer because you honestly can't think of anything which annoys you beginning with 'X'?

'What or who do you love very much?' - same situation really, and we tended towards the silly and soppy.

'What frightens you?'  Do we really want to go here? If the letter was the right one for one's honest answer, it could throw up all kinds of deep confessions, but we decided to stick with anything monster-ish or spooky. 

'How do you feel at this moment?' Again, this one can lead onto quite interesting discussions and it's then that you realise how something as simple as a board game can be great conversation makers as well as entertainment.

'Something seen on a country ramble' didn't appear in the 1960's version - maybe it was deemed too old fashioned for the time. A bit 'Enid Blyton'.

'A word reading the same forwards or backwards' is very straightforward, but surprisingly tricky to think of at the time and led to a few drawn out silences as we racked our 21st century brains, more used to Google for the answer to anything.


An original owner of the 50's game had obviously decided  to put in their own questions - I have a feeling this may have been 'Dad' as the block lettering is very much like my father's and other men's writing of that time.  So we have something a little more modern

'A term used in inter-planetary space travel' - this was an ambiguous beast and some confusion reigned as to what kind of thing precisely fitted the question. I swung it with 'asteroid' but it didn't really feel right.

'Name of your favourite TV programme'  - again, a more updated question, so maybe this family had a TV of their own. If so, they may have been quite financially comfortable as not many households at that time had them.

The last two seem to have their own little back story. There is -

'A county cricketer, past or present'

 and then

'Not a cricketer but a famous sports person'  

I wonder if there was a cricket expert in the family, and the last altered question was put in to give the others a chance? We will never know, but I'm sure we had as much fun playing these old-fashioned games as previous generations have.  


Berrington, the 'Teddy Bear of Doom' went up for sale in my Etsy shop and someone loved him enough to buy him. I know he's gone to a fabulous home, though I had to help him with the packing. So it's been a good start to the new year for both of us and I send everyone best wishes for 2016. 


BumbleVee said...

Now, I'm back tracking to tell you that it's really all your fault that I just signed up for some watercolour classes with Danielle Donaldson Gretel.

I noticed some blog on your sidebar....went there ...noticed the Jeannie Oliver site on her sidebar and went there and then...well, you know how these things go. Round and round ....acckkkk! and, before you know it I am taking art classes ..in March.....well, not really art classes ..but some classes in using some colours...

I took one of her classes a couple years ago and did enjoy playing with my colours... wonder where they are at the moment. Must dig them out and see if they are still okay to use... she talks about different ones than she was using..not that it matters a toot really... just put some pretty colours on some lovely water colour paper and have some fun. Alright...!!

YUP.. definitely blaming you... and... the conversion is the lowest of the low..the stupid Canadian dollar is horrible!! It is only worth 68cents on the U.S. dollar right now at Paypal conversion! Yikes! Oh, well.......maybe I can see my masterpieces...hahahhahhaha yeh...as if.......

Caroline B said...

Wow, I haven't seen or played Coppit since I was a kid!

Soozcat said...

Never seen Coppit before, nor even heard of it. The board looks like a cross between Parcheesi and Trivial Pursuit!

Board games are more fun than most people give them credit for, although when I was growing up my sibs and I rarely played them quietly! There were taunts and rejoinders and squabbles about the rules, but it was still a ball. One of our favorites was called Bonkers!, and we played it so often and with such ferocity that the game and the box were eventually worn to bits.

Vintage Jane said...

I love board games and often play with my son. His favourite is always Frustration, followed by Boggle. I love Scrabble!
Happy New Year to you!
M x

Frances said...

Board games by a warming fire, in good company, seems a perfect way to spend some restful time.

Of course, I know Scrabble and Monopoly, but those other vintage games are totally new to me. I like the designs of the old board games, don't you?

Great to learn that little Teddy with his felted vest has gone to a very good home.

May 2016 treat you and yours very well. xo

Kari from Meadowview Farm said...

Such fun! We played the "Game of Life" over the holidays. Hadn't played it in years....discovered that somewhere in my son's 28 years we had rewritten the game rules - I had forgotten that. The notion of the game is that whoever has the most money at the end wins. Yea, we had changed that a bit....did not need that to be the lesson of this game called life! Happy New Year!

rossichka said...

It seems you've enjoyed yourselves to the full! Great idea to play board games! We played Scrabble during the holidays, too, and my son even intended to take some of his favourite games to England, but gave up in the last moment. Among them is our equivalent of COPPIT(called "A HAT UPON A HAT").:) How exciting to find out that we have the same board games! I remember that when I was a child, we played a lot LUDO. And I hated to lose...
It was so interesting to learn about the other games and to realize that they haven't stopped entertaining their owners throughout the years!
Happy, Smiling and Inspiring New Year, dear Gretel!xx

Darla said...

Why do all your posts always look so cozy ? It's been awhile my friend across the pond. I hope all is well with you and yours. Still following you on FB. Let me know if youre interested in any more heirloom seeds this spring !