I just got back from Bungay 18. On the journey up, the A12 was closed for resurfacing. After a slow single lane stretch myself & the six cars between me & a very distinctive lorry all followed the diversion signs which led us in a neat circle back into the slow single lane stretch which was somewhat irritating. Then I arrived on site, stress immediately dissipated & it all went a bit Bungay.
In no particular order then…
We enjoyed glorious sunshine for the whole week aside from a brief ~20 minute rainy spell. 4 of us stood just inside the entrance of the main tent looking out at the rain. Then in silence & led by Avril we all just stepped outside to enjoy the cooling effect which was a lovely moment. Some people get wet, others feel the rain.
On my first night I broke into a bottle of Becherovka that I acquired over Christmas & enjoyed sharing it with others. It's an interesting drink; I describe it as a liquid mince pie. I think slightly more people enjoyed it than didn't. This may have been a contributing factor to Richard, Ewan, Sam & I rigorously debating the precise nature of Kelis' milkshake & her yard well into the next day.
I woke up the next morning almost as drunk as I was when I went to bed.
Bungay is all about the board games for me. This year I added a copy of Kingdomino to my games collection. A very simple domino themed deck building game that I heartily recommend to everyone.
I played several 3+ hour games over the week: Caverna with Kat, Susannah, Adam & Andy, Castles of Mad King Ludvig with Andy, Ron & Richard, Small Worlds with Dom, Ernest, Jude & Anna (which saw some poor decisions based on some very suspect counting I thought), & Say Goodbye to the Villains; a card game that simulates a battle in feudal Japan, after which I felt I had genuinely been in a physical fight. Shockingly the annual Power Grid session was not one of them which we managed to race through in an unprecedented 2 hours.
All this was nothing to the game of croquet featuring myself, Ewan, Mandy, Ash & Greg. I wisely kitted myself out with my tea-towel headgear to protect my neck from the relentless sun. I would not have been able to survive the game without it. This earned me the nickname Orinoco of Arabia from spectators. Earlier in the week Kat was chatting to a friend who plays croquet competitively. It turns out that at Bungay we play a mixture of American rules & English rules, & our posting rule that sends a player back to the beginning is something we have just made up & is not played anywhere else. Apparently the friend was horrified when they found out about our rule, "That would make a game last for hours!" Yes, yes it does. All 5 of the players were posted twice, Mandy was posted 3 times. I was agonisingly one hoop away from invincibility just before both of my postings. For the long range posting attempts we employed the 'post or buttercups' technique, which is where you line up the shot to send your opponent into the post, but take a golf swing so that if you miss the force of the shot sends them out of bounds & deep into the field. When I posted Greg I was momentarily worried that I cracked the post. Incidentally in non-Bungay croquet if your ball is sent out of bounds you are supposed to bring your ball back & drop it just inside the boundary. We circumvent this rule by not having any boundaries. This allowed Ewan to tie up Ash for 3 turns by sending his ball into someone's tiny popup tent. 5 hours into the game concentration, stamina & will to live were all waning severely. The only thing that held in all players was sheer bloody-mindedness. When Ash made it through the last gate it looked like it was going to be all over, but he missed a shot allowing Greg to get through the last gate too, then he pulled off a splendidly executed 8 shot sequence to clinch the game. Not bad for only his 2nd ever match.
I discovered one of the caterers, Greg, was Romanian which allowed me to try out some of my Romanian language skills. Unfortunately for him my Romanian is entirely focused on flirting with a beautiful lady friend who I go dancing with, but I think he handled it pretty well.
Heckmeck Barbecue is a game involving gambling on the rolls of 8 die. I was pretty good at quickly calculating the odds, but the thing about probabilities is even the unlikely outcomes happen occasionally. Kat rolling 4 1s when almost anything except a 1 would do was amusing, me rolling 4 worms, then 2 5s, then another 2 5s to bust less so. Void's yes/no game complete with the oh so satisfying reception bell turned very rowdy very quickly. Farmer Paul's attempt at the game was hilarious. Only he could ramble for 3 minutes on the simple question, "Do you have a favourite actress?"
Dominique particularly enjoyed Andy & I relentlessly spit roasting Richard during Robo Rally. This was another long gaming session that was interrupted for a brief argument involving everyone in the cafe over the correct pronunciation of 'scone'.
I had a look at Dee's notebook that included detailed analysis of the copious amount of gin flowing on site. I thought my notes were hard to follow but at least I don't jump my sentences back & forth over several lines. The joyously incoherent Chilli had quite clearly been involved in the tasting process.
I enjoyed talking to Dr Helen, I find the life of a working doctor incredible & fascinating.
On the far side of the camping area there was a minor campfire incident, fortunately I had a saucepan of washing up water in my hand when I heard the call. I don't think it would have turned into anything serious.
Eddy Bacon's contact juggling was superb in the show. I also very much enjoyed Karen's belly dance, Avril's song describing Bungay from the point of view of an alien & Duncan's juggling bird impressions.
I did a couple of short handstand sessions & about 5 minutes of club juggling over the course of the week. I think my transition to social juggler is complete.
" It turns out that at Bungay we play a mixture of American rules & English rules, & our posting rule that sends a player back to the beginning is something we have just made up & is not played anywhere else."
This explains a lot.
The Bungay rules of croquet are based on my hazy recollections of how I played at home as a kid. Since I first introduced the current set to Bungay (and large parts of it survive even though I've replaced quite a lot via eBay) I think it's perfectly fitting that we stick to them...even introduce them to others in an attempt to shake up the croquet world!
I thought they were based on how Simon taught me, and others, when we played at his house. Anyway, Bungay rules rock. And 4 hour games are just fine. (But 5+ is pushing it.)
OK. Maybe it's a combination....in any case, our rules is right and their rules is wrong.
Absolutely, I think I'd find anything other than Bungay rules croquet to be boring.
Funny thing is I've been having conversations about croquet with muggles for years about what a savage & vindictive game croquet is. Now I know that they've only played croquet lite.
I think the Bungay rules need to be written up for the Bungay website.
I think you might need to ask a Squirrel whether the correct spelling of "Greg" might, in some circumstances, be "Bogdan".
Oh, and it's definitely pronounced "scone".
It might indeed, I just took the first syllable from the first of his somewhat excessive amount of names from the full name on his FB profile!
& don't you go trying to provoke another pronunciation war. We are a tolerant & peaceful community here on the Edge where all 3 possible pronunciations are acceptable.
'Twas my first one for about six years, so I made up for it by attending twice ... and it would've been three times had I stopped over on Monday night as well.
Bungay tings :-
Anyhow, it'll probably be back again next year, but you really shouldn't come, you wouldn't like it.
8...for those of you who couldn't make it: There was an informal gathering in the tent on Sunday afternoon over tea & cake, where we shared memories of Gary (some were written down for posterity) and some people made woven paracord shapes, which was a favourite of his.
We will not forget. It is a testament to the strength of our community - and of some particular members of it - that after such a terrible shock last year we continue to come together and share such joy.
Arrived Saturday lunchtime with Sam, having caught the train from London Liverpool St together. Met by Void at Halesworth Station. Some confusion as to if we needed to wait for Sarah, but she was arriving into Bungay so no need. Stopped off in the co-op before making our way to site.
Erected tent just to the edge of the family camping area and then went for a wander. This didn't prove to be the potential disaster that it could have been. It turns out that while most noises wake me up at night, apparently I can sleep right through children crying!
Off site adventures during my stay included: 1 trip to Co-op with Andy; 1 trip to Southwold (Tuesday); 1 trip to river swimming (Thursday); 1 walk to the brewery and back (Sunday - but I was back onsite before the brewery opened).
Mostly I was very lazy, in particular on the second Saturday, when my silk sleeping bag liner saw some good use on the couch [I was completely done in by the heat and sinus medication]. I read lots of books, juggled some on Sunday morning, encouraged Ash more (well done on the progression from 10 to over 100 catches of three clubs in a week and hence winning £5) and generally took the chance to catch up with people. Watched the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte's van.
Some cunning plans formed for EJC2019, including introducing "Bungay rules" croquet to the masses and a mini-golf course. Of course only time, resources and space on the Newark site will see if these can actually come into fruition (so no holding breath on these).
Gin tasting notes to follow. Participants in this gin tasting session were me, LP, Ewan, Becky, Helen and later joined by Robbie. So, Orin, I'm afraid that your speculation about Chilli being involved were wide of the mark. My notes were hampered by my resolution to keep all the notes about each gin on a different page - one gin in particular had rather extensive comments.
Left site at midday on Monday, dropped by David to Halesworth Station to begin my rather epic public transport journey back to Bristol, the first stage (to Ipswich) accompanied by Greg and Karen.
Your sleeping bag liner made for a very effective camouflage against the sofa you were sleeping on. A couple of people took a detour to an alternative seat when they got close enough to realise.
Don't forget the Blankety blank theme tune for your playlist!
Wow, that was a wonderful 10 days.
Notwithstanding our house being demolished around us, so we have no idea where anything is, and our car needing replacement the day before the festival (I bought another car, which initially had no MOT, faster than I've ever bought one before), we weren't going to miss this year at any price.
Highlights included some of the warmest and sunniest weather for years, meaning we spent a lot of time at the seaside and the river. Smoked mackerel bought directly from the fisherman at Aldeburgh eaten on the beach with our fingers. Brave women swimming in the North Sea at Southwold while all the men except equally brave Russell looked on, followed by a hilarious group effort to preserve Anna's modesty with a tent of towels as she changed (Europeans you probably won't understand this bit). What seemed like endless lazy days in the buttercup field watching kites fly, children run about and croquet played. Later sat in a wood-fired hot tub at 2 in the morning watching the International Space Station cross the sky.
The Bungay show was well....the most Bungay ever. We had a novice and friendly compere, belly dancing, two songs, a group kids act (which my daughter punctuated with a sudden spectacular nosebleed), 3-ball bird impressions, that trick again, pole spinning and Eddy Bacon's flawless contact. It felt like a village talent show, in a good way. Afterwards a few people wanted to learn 'that trick' and I spent some time teaching ball spinning. We also played a lot of volleyclub with quite a few beginners learning the ropes (and the Bungay rules, which can best be described as 'don't be *too* evil'). We even had a Fight Night - I finished fourth after folding in the final stages, partly due to being intimidated by those who take it seriously.
Cafe Chameleon cooked tasty grub (seriously, if you're involved in a UK event you should book them, they're lovely) all week including a couple of Sunday roasts using meat from the farm itself. St Peters Brewery had its annual spike in sales of Badly Labelled Beer. In between jugglers' generosity manifested itself as crisps, chocolate, cake and beverages were shared. Lots of games were played apparently, including the ones which cover an entire table with cardboard bits and take far too long to complete. Endless conversations about subjects both serious and silly (I remember: Victorian rainwater collection systems, boat welding and 'beating the boundary').
There were some new additions to the family: first-timer adults declaring they were *definitely* coming back again next time and tiny kids discovering how to stay up late and run around in the buttercups. Our two raided Bungay's extensive charity shops for slightly battered toys & books and the youngest became slightly obsessed with origami (when he wasn't involved in the ongoing Nerf Ninja war fought valiantly between tents and from behind old sofas and chairs).
The world's shortest and most relaxed 'business meeting' concluded that a) wasn't it good b) let's do it again c) let's not change much at all. Bungay will be back next year.
Poker data updated: http://tlmb.net/misc/BBUPokerTournamentsBunagyBallsUp.txt
My pics are up (Some IG repetition) at http://tlmb.net/galleries/BBU18/ No re-uploads, please.
The epic splendour of BBU Fight Night can be seen here:
Completing my collection of The Catch.
Lost Cities, Chess, Chessss And Ladders, The Game, The Yes-No game, Spyfall, The Oxford Word game, Robots both ricochet and Micro, boiled head Kuub, Table Tennis. That 5-in-a-row tile game I don't know the name of.
The BBU backcross challenge, and other silliness at the top of the field.
Nut roasts and halloumi at Chameleon Cafe.
The horrible weather.
Charlie taking the quiz win, after 2nd place last year. Monte & Nat in the final too.
Being rubbish at the BBU trick in the show. I'm blaming borrowed equipment.
Undefeated at Scrabble, Croquet and Chessss And Ladders.
The sky full of stars, kites, satellites, and planets.
Filming kendama tricks.
Forgetting the grudge match and substitute poker trophies.
Finally getting to hold the poker trophy, a year after winning it... But only by making a new one.
Handing out ice creams, and getting the karma back a few days later.
Charging phone and ipod exclusively from solar all week.
Observing the progress of Monte's van.
Wood pigeons nesting above the sink.
Supercool people being nonetheless cancer-seeking stench-ridden junkies.
Getting Paul's missing 50th answer in his bird quiz.
Dave's plaintiff "But I've already come second!" a couple of hands before condemning Andy into his 4th runner-up spot.
Post-show diabolo session with Sean_ and Susannah.
Fight Night turning out to be quite fun, even though beforehand I was very unenthused about running it. Plus... points!
- "I've had enough of feeling stupid for tonight."
- "See you in the morning!"
Avril's BBU song.
No trebuchet! (It was a fallow year.)
Turning £2 into £25.50 over 4 cash games. (only 4! I was starting to think Bungay might be broken).
Building my new kitchen instead of repairing last years Trebuchet.....mixed feelings about this.
Being persecuted by Charlie in the 15 to 1 final because he saw me as the greatest threat.....
Having some great games of whiff waff with the riff raff (having a winning total against everyone except Mandy)
Actually spending some time juggling (well you have to do something while you wait for the ping pong table to become free)
New faces this year was a great thing.
Helping Clare and Chilli in the cafe with contributions such as venison pie, spinach and cream cheese crepes and pineapple upside down cake.
Winning the grudge match trophy off Ewan with a str8 on the flop.
All this and some great weather made for one of the best Bungays yet.
If you haven't been to BBU yet, why the hell not it's great.......
sorry to persecute but I had to win after last year's Mastermind second place. Would have preferred to face Void again this year but I suppose someone had to run the quiz...at least that was his excuse!
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