I've just come back from a very enjoyable weekend away with my friends on the Workshop Team. We stayed at Jordans Youth Hostel which is one of those simple shacks in the woods that the YHA loves to buy. It was all very cosy and well heated, with radiators in the bedrooms and shower block, and a nice wood-stove to sit around in the lounge. We went for a long walk on Saturday in the Chiltern Hundreds (whatever they might be) and visited the Friends Meeting House next door on Sunday morning. This is a beautiful, historic building linked with William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. Entering the austere, panelled meeting room was like stepping into a time machine. Sitting quiet and still for an hour was a huge challenge for me, difficult and demanding but also peaceful and reassuring, and I have tremendous respect for these people for whom this is a weekly spiritual discipline year in year out, for a lifetime.
I took a collection of accessible games with me, and was pleasantly surprised by the uptake. Debs and Viv learned Lost Cities, Zendo went down well with Trish, Matt, Viv and Debs, and we had an epic game of Lord of the Rings on Saturday night, with me overseeing proceedings and about 8 people actually playing (Merry was inhabited by a weird triple personality comprising Sue, Trish and Linda). This is a great game for non-gamers and always succeeds in drawing people into the drama of the story. The last hour was a really intense struggle to get across Mordor with everyone concentrating hard and discussing every single card play! Sadly they succumbed at space 56 but it was a great effort.
I have uploaded a few photos of the weekend here.