|Françoise toasts her 84th!|
Françoise taught me a card game from her New Brunswick heritage, called Blockage. (I can find neither rules nor references anywhere.)
It's a fast, fairly uncomplicated partner game; what was truly challenging was her instruction: "Here's your cards."
No run-down of rules, just the claim, "It's fun!" from someone who would play, given a soft summer evening, till 3 am. with her brother-in-law.
As a newbie, I got advice. Or should I say, a hint: "Do you really want to use that card?" After three afternoons, I got good enough to spot her occasional lapses; at that moment my "coach" quit.
Hers was a generation of competence and no complaint. They canned, they cleaned, they pitched out ne'er do well husbands without a dollar of support. They made sure their children were clean, clothed, hugged– and then, if they had a few spare hours, they might play cards.
Françoise on her long-ago marriage: "I loved him, but he loved lots of other ones."
On her career, managing a popular Montreal pub: "You never argue with someone's politics or what they're drinking."
On an unpopular customer: "He'd head for the loo when the cheque came, wait for his friends to pay. I stood there in front of the Men's and said, 'GO BACK to your table.' "
On fashion today: "Why do women want to wear so much black?"
On surprises: "Justin Timberlake, thought he was a flash in the pan. Very talented actor."
A game of cards is good, retro fun. Not so fast-paced you can't comment on the events of the day or sip a sherry; unplugged and connected, competitive yet friendly.
All you need is a deck of cards, a couple of hours, a plate of cookies–and a friend.
What's your game?