Many a fun hour has been had playing with children during this coronavirus time. Let’s be honest, not all the time, but parents must have had moments of being grateful that they’ve had a little extra time with their children; something we probably would never have got if the world hadn’t turned upside down. Virtual connections, too, have brought together family and friends, especially from far away. Yes, Uncle Joe definitely needs his wacky-Einstein hair cut, and it’s been confirmed that Auntie Jean doesn’t stop talking on zoom as well as on the phone.

Speaking of electronic connections, Disney has supplemented its income rather well by offering Disney Plus. Just as good for adults as well as kids! We had a ‘Mulan marathon’ over the bank holiday weekend. The yin and yang symbol got me thinking about how nothing is completely perfect. There is a little bit of yin in yang and vice versa. Maybe this little bit of extra time with our children is the small amount of happy yin in the unknown yang.

It also got me thinking about all the people out there who don’t have family for whatever reason. Maybe they have just a few friends seeing them through this time. My train of thought reminded me of a discussion I had had recently about how the phrase ‘blood is thicker than water’ implies family strength. However, it actually means the opposite. The whole phrase is ‘the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb’ – the blood shed in battle bonds soldiers more strongly than simple genetics. Could this be an era where both blood and water bond the same?

Anyway, enough seriousness, I end this week with a story that demonstrates intelligence, quick learning, lateral thinking and an unwittingly hilarious disregard for the rules of the game.

I was playing cards with my family in the garden. We played a number of games. My daughter was good at matching pairs (memory vs age thing meant I was never going to win). We then played a bit of Uno. During the game, my daughter dropped the cards which we saw. She asked if she could swap them round since we obviously knew what they were. Sure, that’s fair. Incidentally, she won that game as well.

Moving on to Old Maid. It came down to her and me. One pair of threes left and one joker. It was me to try and pick the three to win. In trying to confuse me by quickly shuffling, the cards hit the deck again (pun intended). Oh no, I knew which one was which! Another lot of shuffling. She raised the cards. My hand hovered. Left? Right? I hesitated. My eyes narrowed. Her face stayed poker straight (pun intended – again). I picked the left . . . and got the queen! Wait. Queen?? I declared that can’t be right. I thought she had a joker and a three in her hand. Yes, she told me, she did have a three in her hand, but when she dropped them, I saw the cards, so she quickly swapped the three out for a queen.

I didn’t see it happen, and never saw it coming.

We had to explain why we were laughing so hard. Innocent intelligence can be the best form of entertainment. The quickest hand in the west. Maybe she’s destined to work in magic?

PS Where’s the budgie? Well, he’s been a nosy, naughty bird this week. We had to move our game out into the garden in the first place to stop him trying to join in by eating the cards!