Jan. 29th, 2017

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My latest audiobook was A Study in Sable, Book 11 in Mercedes' Lackey's Elemental Masters series. This one was a slight departure in that it featured characters from another author's work - namely Sherlock Holmes and John and Mary Watson. The other main characters were Nan and Sarah, who have been in several of the other books in the series, so it was a lot of fun to revisit them and see them interacting with Holmes and Watson. The book cast Dr Watson as an elemental mage, who used his powers to solve the more esoteric cases that Holmes wouldn't take on, and the dynamic between them was amusing, since Holmes refused to believe that magic was real. The plot was rather fractured, and felt a bit episodic to begin with, but it came together towards the end, and there was a real team effort from the two girls, Holmes and both the Watsons. Overall, it was very entertaining, though pretty light and rather silly.

The best entertainment of last week, though, was our trip to the Crystal Maze. There were seven of us, and our team was called The Enemy's Gate is Down, an Ender's Game reference, which our maze master got and really appreciated. He was Aberdeen Angus, and he really threw himself into his role as our guide and time-keeper. He gave us a few hints here and there, kept our energy up, and proved an entertaining and friendly presence in the maze. We elected David as our team captain, and he did a very good job of selecting game types and team members to undertake them.

Our opening salvo in the Industrial Zone was a rather dismal failure, netting us no crystals. Luckily, Andy was the only one to get locked in (after an unfortunate encounter with some bells on a rope web) and he managed to puzzle his own way out, so we weren't forced to leave him behind. David also got locked in during our time in the Futuristic Zone, attempting to work his way through some quite impossible lasers, and we did relinquish a crystal to get him out.

However, every team member contributed to getting at least one crystal, and Simon was declared man of the match of getting three, one for every game he tried! So, we went into the dome with nine crystals and 45 seconds on the clock. The dome was a lot of fun, and I quickly discovered that the best way to get golden tickets was to stand near the fans and then collect them from my t-shirt.

The whole thing was tremendous fun, and I would urge everyone to go and play, if they get the opportunity.

September 2017

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