Update

Why hello there stranger…

So I’ve been told the blog is currently very frustrating. Sorry – I can finally reveal why we are so ridiculously busy and why we’ve not been blogging. Partly it’s because we are organising a wedding! We’ve also become part of the CCC (Clandestine Cake Club) and we actually managed to get into the local paper! There’s a theme – it was the Queen’s 90th birthday – and everyone had to make a cake to go with it. No cupcakes, brownies, scones… it has to be a full-blown cake. Now there were over 20 of us and that means a LOT of cake – everyone gets to try them all as well, so we had a blast. I made a trifle cheesecake and it was incredible. It’s a really fun way of seeing what people can make from a simple theme. There were toppings of strawberries and blueberries in the shape of the Union Jack, a cake with a crown on the top, a cake in the shape of a crown… absolutely awesome basically and so delicious. I can’t wait for the next one.

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Oh yeah, so back on topic… we are opening Liverpool’s First Board Game Café! It’s called Sugar and Dice and you can stalk us over there. Do like us on Facebook/ follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep in touch. We have gotten very obsessed with board games and we’ve both wanted to open a café. We met Rachel, who we’ve teamed up with and has the same vision as us to complete the team. We are currently in the middle of getting our venue sorted, which means solicitors, estate agents, surveyors etc etc etc. We are doing a StartUp business course at the Chamber of Commerce, making connections, contacts and generally finding people who love board games in Liverpool as much as us.

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It’s all super exciting, terrifying and wonderful! But yes, for now, that’s our news! Do check us out and keep in touch over there too – we are working on a blog on the Café website too, so feel free to have a read. Most importantly however, please do come to Liverpool and visit our shop when we are open – it’s going to be great :)

Is anyone still out there?

It’s been a long long time…

Hi. I know. I know. It’s been over two months without even a quick ‘hi’ from me. I’m sorry. I think I’m so overwhelmed with all the things I want to tell you all that I don’t know where to start. Do I tell you about us getting engaged? How about our new business which is actually moving forwards so quickly I’m a little terrified? Did you want to know why we were in Japan? Or Dublin? Or why we are off to Belfast soon? How about those constant visits to London recently? Or our attempts at growing veggies? Or did you want to see the Disney outfit we are going to wear this afternoon for a friend’s birthday? Plus I’ve been sewing! And baking! And I’ve still not even told you all why we left Berlin. Or that at this moment we are cat-sitting…

Well, as you can see, I don’t know what to write about. Too much choice…

All I can say for sure is that we will be telling you all about our new business this coming week – so do stay tuned! :0) And here’s my favourite pic from our crazy Japan trip!

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Hexagony – Board Game

Hexagony

 

I’ve always thought that Vanessa has a magical good luck bubble around her (because she managed to meet me, of course! haha) and I was proven right once again when she won a competition over on Instagram for the abstract strategy game, Hexagony!

Hexagony is a game for 2 to 3 players in which you place a tri-coloured hexagons on an ever-growing mass of tiles in order to make complete hexagons of your designated colour. The rules are super simple, just take one of your tiles, place it so that it touches another tile of the same colour and make sure that all other sides touch the matching colour of the adjacent hex. Once all tiles have run out, most solid colour hexes wins. That’s pretty much it. For something that is so simple, it is a real brain burner. You agonise (get it?) over where each of your hexes will be placed as you don’t want to set up your opponents for an easy point. The game won an award at the UK Games Expo for the Best Abstract Strategy Game of 2015 and I can clearly see why. Abstracts are my favourite genre of game with great games like Go, Kamisado, Othello, Backgammon, Quantum, Tash-Kalar, Quoridor – and I can say Hexagony is up there with the best of them.

We actually have a bit of history with Hexagony before actually winning a copy. We went over to Dice and Donuts board game cafe over in Preston a few weeks ago and this was one of the games we decided to play. We liked it so much that we ended up following them on Instagram (hence the competition) as well as making these beauties…
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That’s right… Home-made hexagony fairy cakes!! I got inspired while playing the game, probably thinking how delicious the hexes looked despite being made of plastic.

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I can confirm that these taste much better than actual Hexagony tiles.

Unfortunately, we ended up eating them all before I thought of trying to play a game with the cakes but I guess that’s for next time I get baking!

The competition seemed impossible for me, it was a photograph of lots of boxes filled with copies of Hexagony and you had to guess how many hex tiles in total were in the photograph. Almost like “Guess how many jelly beans are in the jar” competitions you get at fairs. As you already guessed, Vanessa nailed it with her supernatural calculations and was sent a copy straight away in first-class post.

So this is just a little THANK YOU to the good people over at Hexagony and its designer, Andy Allen, for bringing such a nice game into existence!

Find out more about Hexagony over at http://www.hexagony.co.uk or on Instagram/twitter: @HexagonyUK

Trip to the Cotswolds

It’s the most wonderful place…

England is so beautiful, it’s actually stunning. When people from abroad think of our country, they picture stone cottages, fields and fields of green, flowers everywhere and chatty people. Having being brought up in London, I didn’t really see any of that and still now whenever I come across sheep in the wild, I quickly text my brother ‘SHEEP‘, just because I still think they’re so funny.

And when you do go into the countryside there are sheep EVERYWHERE. I always joke that there are so many sheep in Wales, but OMG the minute you drive into the country, they are bleating all over the place.

At the moment there are little baby lambs too. It’s so cute. Anyway, back to our weekend away…

One of my best friend’s daughter was being Baptised in a tiny little town called Upton Wold, so Jason and I made a weekend of it and went to visit Stow on the Wold too. I’ve actually been here before, working as a tour guide when I took a whole group of Japanese people on a trip to the UK. Japanese people had always asked me if the Cotswolds really were as beautiful as the photos and I had to admit that I hadn’t been and didn’t even really know where the Cotswolds even were. I would say that in the UK, we think of the Lake District as the most stunning place here [you’re welcome to prove me wrong – having now visited both I now think these two places are so different that you can’t really compare them]. All I can say is that those Japanese people know what they are talking about, as the Cotswolds are just stunning. The tiny villages and ancient cottages with lovely little cared-for gardens… it’s just so picturesque.

Typical cottage house

Typical cottage house

The sunsets are just stunning

The sunsets are just stunning

The green rolling hills of the Cotswolds

The green rolling hills of the Cotswolds

Also, we got lucky with the accommodation, as we stayed at The Bodkin and even managed to stay in Jane Austen’s room! Yup – the place has seen many famous faces and we stayed in her old room! Crazy!

Jane Austen's old room! Maybe some of her genius rubbed off on me! ;)

Jane Austen’s old room! Maybe some of her genius rubbed off on me! ;)

You all need to visit the Cotswolds and just drive around and then walk around. So many lovely things to see, photograph and just experience. I bet it’s amazing in the winter when it’s covered in snow as well…

Life Update

Sorry…

Firstly I’d like to say sorry for not even posting last week. In fact it’s been so long without a peek from us, that we are left wondering if any of you are still there? Haha…

We moved to Liverpool at the beginning of December. We’ve actually been working on an exciting project that hopefully soon I can tell you about. We are going to be creating our own work, as one thing we realised in Berlin was that working 9-5 five days a week for someone else just doesn’t do it for us. I like to work. I like to be pushed and learn new things. I’ve had some awesome jobs in my life but also some horrendous ones.

I learnt that society makes us believe that we need to work a lot. In London, it’s normal, because you need the money for rent, travel and having fun. Plus working part-time in London is boring, because everyone else is working all the hours and there’s no one to hang out with. In Berlin, life is so incredibly cheap that we got by with us both working just two days a week. It feels like Liverpool is pretty cheap too, so we’re coping with some translation work and savings while we build our dream. It’s a huge challenge, as neither of us know what we are doing, but we are going to try and we are busy creating something you will hopefully all love.

More on that soon.

Healthy Breakfast :)

Healthy Breakfast :)

Other than that, we have been trying to get a bit healthier. My wrist tendinitis is still really bad, currently more than ever. I was told it may be due to bad posture and doing exercise would help with this, so we have joined a gym. It’s strange, as I’ve always been very anti-gyms. I don’t see the point in running on a treadmill when you have parks everywhere. Bike machines? Oh come on… get on your bike! Etc etc etc. However, swimming is one thing I’ve always enjoyed and our gym has a luscious pool. I have also been found more than once on the running machine, purely because since we have been back it has rained almost every single day. I have always said that people shouldn’t moan about the English weather so much, as it’s not that bad. I take all of those comments back. We have just had a week of sunshine. Other than that, we have had TWO DAYS of no rain since moving back here three months ago. No wonder everyone runs in the gym, as the parks are muddy and slippery. I’m still a bit scared of trying weights and all that, but one thing at a time. We run a couple of times a week and the same with swimming. Badminton is our new thing, but I can only play when my wrist isn’t too bad. We also take Jason’s family’s dog out for walks most days. We are eating more vegetables and fruit (more on that soon) and we are feeling good. I’m also baking cakes, cupcakes and biscuits most days, which I love – not really healthy but oh so nommy! And our spare room/ storage room has finally been turned into the craft and office room, so it’s time to get creative.

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We are really enjoying being back in England. I might even tell you why we really left Berlin if I’m feeling brave one day soon. For now, there’s your update. We have to go out now and walk the dog – but I promise to blog more and so does Jason :)