We are supposed to be away in Klaus the Knaus in Cornwall but Hot Stuff is not very well. Not man ‘flu but something a bit more serious. He’s been signed off for the fifth week in a row, waiting for a priority NHS appointment to come through. We’re even trying to book a private one as a back up but so far that’s been in vain too. It appears the UK healthcare system may be poorly as well.

Some days are okay but others take an alarming turn for the worse. A little trip to nearly Totnes to buy gorgeous deli food to cheer Hot Stuff up was aborted on Saturday. His balance was badly affected and I was terrified that he was going to take a tumble. Calls to 111 and the GP haven’t escalated the situation. We’re a little unclear about how bad things need to get before we dial 999 or rock up at A&E. To give us some control back, we’ve bought all the kit to take physical observations. At least I’ll be able to provide hard data as evidence to back up the need for an emergency response. The uncertainty is taking its toll on me as well. I’m often sad, anxious or angry but it’s probably par for the course.

Yesterday was a better day though. We managed a stroll in the sunshine down to the harbour to buy fish, cooked cookies and fudge and played a new board game. I’d been meaning to buy Wingspan as my reward for losing an extra half stone but that goal went out of the window. Understandable when I’ve got other things on my plate. Instead I thought I’d buy it as a rare retail therapy indulgence. After all we needed something to cheer us up. After all we’d be playing games if we were away in the motorhome. I’m trying to replicate the holiday vibe at home.

So here’s my bargain purchase, a third off retail because the box was a little broken, but nothing that a bit of sellotape couldn’t fix. Wingspan is a game where you pretend to be ornithologists attracting birds to different habits over the course of four rounds. You score points for achieving goals at each stage, laying eggs, collecting food and placing birds on the board. It comes highly commended and has won awards.

We roped in the teenager and he was superb at taking control, building the game’s birdhouse, working out the instruction and bossing us all about. He’s good at all that. It took a while to work out the rules but, thanks to being shouted at by Louis, I think that we have it sussed now. It took about two hours in all and we all agreed that Wingspan was a jolly good game. A repeat match later in the week is planned. And Hot Stuff narrowly won. He’s competitive so victory has to be good medicine for him doesn’t it?

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