The Snow Game of Fox and Geese


This is a game of Fox and Geese, played by jungle animals, on holiday somewhere in Canada.  Montreal, maybe.  Or Sudbury.

The Rules:

1.  Tramp out a big wagon wheel shape in the snow.  This can be done with one person holding one end of a rope at the centre of the circle, and another person at the other end of the rope plodding through the deep snow while taking shouted instructions from the rest of the group waiting to play.  Or you can all just get out there and eyeball it until everyone agrees it could work.

2.  Using some random criteria, like who has the meanest looking face, choose a player to be the fox.  For this game, Zebra it is.

3.  The ostrich, monkey, giraffe, lion, hippo and elephant are all geese to start the game.

4.  The geese must run around and across the wagon wheel rim and spokes like mad things,  while the fox chases them.  All players must not take short cuts, but stay on the wheel at all times.  No face plants or snow angel breaks allowed if they can be avoided.

5.  The hub of the wheel is a safe zone where the geese may stop long enough to gasp for air, and then they have to get back to running around in a haphazard fashion.  Except always on the wheel.  Don’t forget that.

6.  If a goose (for example, the elephant) is tagged by the fox (in this case, the zebra), the elephant then becomes the new fox and the zebra is a goose.  Identity crises all around, accompanied by a lot of yelling to inform the other players, who may or may not hear you over the sound of their own laboured breathing.

7.  There are no winners or losers in this game, only enthusiastic participants who don’t mind looking like a bunch of shrieking maniacs cavorting and prancing around in a snow-covered field all afternoon.

The game ends when:

– the wagon wheel is trampled into oblivion

– the fox, unable to catch anyone, becomes frustrated and starts to cry (there is no crying in snow games – tears freeze)

– at least three faces or three sets of toes have turned blue, or some related colour to be determined by the group, because of exposure or frost bite

– the bar opens at the hotel (you’re on holiday, remember?)

– the lion gets hungry.  Time to go.

This bit of nonsense Is in response to

The Second Annual Contest of Whatever

at Evil Squirrels Nest

It’s not too late to submit a game related animal post for this contest;  deadline is Sunday morning.  And it’s never too late to get out in the snow and play a pointless snow game with your family and friends or some jungle animals on holiday.  Stupid snow should be good for something.

Art du Jour 31

Yes, I know Unicorn Appreciation Day was the 11th, but you cannot rush fat-bottom Unicorn Art.  Well, I cant, anyway.  And today could be Ukrainian Unicorn Appreciation Day because they like to celebrate things late.

Also, do you know how hard it is to find purple under not very bright artificial light at two o’clock in the morning? I hope for the sake of your sanity you never have to find that out.

I also hope this has brightened up your Monday and eased you down gently from all the intense excitement of yesterday.  And if somehow you missed it all, check out the above link and the rest of the links there, and then go make a pointy headed horse notation on your calendar for next year.



Scanned christmas letter
If my spirit animal was not a sloth (sorry if I just insulted all sloths, some of whom in comparison to me no doubt look down right ambitious) I would have published this hundred and two year old treasure in a more timely fashion, on Christmas eve two years ago, when it was exactly one hundred years old.

Maybe I did, but I’m too lazy to check that out.

It is a letter written to my grandmother, by her grandparents.  Think about that for a minute.  My grandmother would have been twenty five years old in 1912, making her grandparents freaking ancient.  I’m also too lazy to look up their exact ages but it doesn’t matter anyway.  They were grandparents giving a Christmas gift to their grandchildren.  Time goes by and some things hardly change.

The gladsome time of Xmas has again come round and we the undersigned were young once but now are old.  We recollect the wants of  young folks and that often they must go unserved, therefore we thought it our duty to try to do a little for our young people, so concluded to enclose a trifle to each.  Providence having favoured more than normal we thought it but right to divide up a little of that with those whom Providence had used as instruments for our welfare.

Now enclose a trifle for you as a token of our love and esteem trusting that you will benefit in the same spirit as that in which it is given.

We wish you all the compliments of the season and many happy returns and may the Good Lord ever be with you to bless and comfort you. 

The transcription may not be perfect, but the sentiments are certainly clear.  Let me put that into “2014-speak”.

It’s Christmas!  Time for us old geezers (who surprisingly enough still remember what it was like to be young like you) to give you some Christmas cheer in the form of cash.  We’re doing okay, with some extra to share.  It may not be much, but it makes us happy to be able to help you out whenever we can.  Do some little thing for yourself that brings you joy.  Merry Christmas.  We love you and wish you nothing but the best, today and forever.

It’s been a long week off from all things bloggish, but this morning I made a pre-new years resolution to blog every day from now until the end of the year, thinking that was three blog posts, and then realizing it is in fact four.  Still, I think I can handle it.  Even though I’m ridiculously old and lazy as hell.  At least I don’t have to dip a fountain pen in an inkwell and compose something readable without spell check.  Horrors.

All the best of the season to you and yours.

My Big Fat Greek Holiday (Crete)

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This is my last big fat Greek holiday post.  Probably for this lifetime, because I can’t imagine going back, or even flying across the ocean again.  With three days left in our HOE-liday (at one of the little shops someone had painted on the parking area ‘Enjoy your stay, Happy Hoeliday) I bought a hat.  It’s a white visor with ‘Santorini/Greece’ written all over it in silver, with a brim about ten times bigger than an old-fashioned little girls bonnet.  And there’s a ribbon tie at the back.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  So if you know anyone who needs a good hoeliday hat, I could be persuaded to part with it.

We arrived at the Albatross Spa and Resort Hotel in Heraklion, Crete, after nine o’clock at night following our last long ferry trip and about a thirty minute bus ride.  The rooms here lacked Greek-ness.  They could have been anywhere, really.  There was a shortage of hot water and loud live entertainment in the courtyard until well after eleven at night.  See how you can tell it’s all winding down by how whiney I’ve become?  If we had arrived in Crete first I probably would have loved it more.

On Saturday my nieces opted for a relaxing pool day and a walk to the beach, and the rest of us braved the public transport system and got ourselves to Knossos.  The first thing we did there was sit down at a street-side restaurant for lunch.  By now this will not come as a surprise to anyone since 80% of our trip appears to have been spent sitting down and eating.  Then we paid six euros entrance admission per person to this bronze age archeological site and once through the gates were strongly urged to pay another ten euros per person for a guided tour.  We decided to wander around on our own and learn as little as possible.  There were a lot of rocks and ruins.  We saw a peacock.  The sun was really hot.  We congratulated ourselves on six euros well spent and hit the gift shops.

This is where I bought a cute little chess set.  I don’t even play chess.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t admire the cuteness of Zeus and Athena and the Spartan warriors. There are some very persuasive shop owners in this country.

Sunday, the 25th of May we were up early to catch yet another bus, this one taking us to the Imbros Gorge.  Here’s what the brochure says.

This gentle walk lasts about 2 hours and takes you through the captivating countryside, passing mountain villages and the impressive White Mountains.  At the end of the Gorge is Komitades village, where you will have free time for lunch.  Afterwards, drive to Frangokastelo, an old Venetian castle, where your guide will tell you all about its interesting past before you go for a swim in the Libyan Sea. 

Here’s what actually happened.  Our guide told us the eight kilometre walk was not an easy one, down hill over very rocky terrain.  She made it sound sufficiently horrendous that when I was given the option to ride down the hill with two French-speaking ladies (one of them had a cane) I completely chickened out and got back on the bus.  The others all did it in a little over two hours while I sat around drinking water and lemonade.  I regret this not one little bit.  Because when the walk was over my family informed me that I would not have enjoyed that at all.  Which I took to mean I would have been a complaining pain in the ass all the way down and they had a much better time without me.

I don’t remember any castle.  Did we see a castle?  And I wasn’t out in the sun for eight km either.  I do remember some crazy Libyan Sea swimmers, but I wasn’t one of them either.  I was impressed by some interesting washroom doors though, so the trip certainly wasn’t wasted on me.

On the 26th we were homeward bound.  Bus at five a.m. to get to the airport, one hour flight from Crete to Athens.  About a three-hour wait to board the Transat flight from Athens to Toronto.  Nine or so hours in the air watching movies and tv shows and playing games on a touch television screen.  I never even thought about sleeping.  Our flight arrived 45 minutes early in Toronto.  That meant almost a six-hour wait for my next flight, but I was able to change it to an earlier one.  Thank you WestJet.  Then there was another three-hour flight home.  With nine hours mysteriously added to the day.  A cab ride home I barely remember.  And then sleep consumed me.

I had one day to deal with jet lag and then it was back to work for four days, one day off, and three more days of work.  And here I am, still alive and in relatively good humor.  Amazing.

I’m glad I went on this trip and I know I’m lucky and blessed and privileged to have been there and done that and gotten back home safe and sound.  Now can I just stay at home forever and never go anywhere again?  Except for our trip to Ontario this summer of course;  that doesn’t count.  I mean flying across oceans.  I think I’d like to be done with ocean crossing and messing around with time zones and figuring out other country’s plumbing.

Thank you for listening and commenting and looking at my photos.  I’m off now to reply to comments that are so old you’ve forgotten you made them.