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My top chalet games

PigsThey’re as much a part of the skiing holiday as tartiflette, chalet staff night off and first lifts on the last day.

But what’s your favourite?

Here are mine.

Uno. Devised by an Ohio barber, is there a family in Europe who has not played Uno? Memories of endless games played in tents whilst holidaying in France, looking out at the pouring rain are a memory. A family member brought Uno when the family joined me last month. What could be nicer, I thought, than a simple game of Uno after supper? Wrong. So, so wrong. The BBC sent Katie Adie to report the resulting conflict and the UN, Ban Kee Moon to negotiate the settlement. The cause? Could you lay a pick up four on top of a pick up two? The rules (who reads those?) say you can’t, family custom and practice say you can.

Another crackling, sorry cracking, game is Pass the Pigs. Have ever two little bits of plastic brought so much pleasure to a group? (OK I forgot about the credit card) It’s also a gag fest! “What’s that I smell? Bacon? No victory!” But what’s your strategy? Do you accumulate points by passing when you have 30? Or go for broke each time? The accumulators often take the victory, but none are remembered. The dashers are the heroes, who people talked about excitedly at coffee the next day and all remember where they were sat “back in the day” when Uncle Dave scored 101 rolling the pigs.

Jenga must be on the list. Pulling bits of wood out of a stacked pile all sounds a bit dull. But nothing builds nervous tension like Jenga. And it’s a game where age has no advantage. Experience gives certainty but limits ambition. Youth eschews caution, but can recklessness carry the day? The blocks never lie and ain’t that the truth.

In a nod to modernity “Heads Up” makes the list. It’s a simple smart ‘phone app for pennies. Fire it up, select the category and place the screen on your forehead. Your neighbour says what they see. Tilt up for pass and down for a correct answer. After a minute you know your score. “It’s a bird. London is full of them. You feed them in Trafalgar Square” said my daughter. “Penguins” said my sister. I just love them both a little bit more after that. Priceless.

Monsieur Mogul


Monsieur Mogul – Our man in La Plagne

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author

alone and not those of Ice and Fire Ski and Snowboard Holidays

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