Buck Buck Games The Hunt for the Smoking Caterpillar
I was recently invited to attend a new immersive theatre game. The Hunt for the Smoking Caterpillar, by Buck Buck Games, held in their residency at The Owl and the Hitchhiker pub on Holloway Road, London.
I’ve never really attended anything immersive theatre, or escape room related before. I literally had no idea what I was walking into. The Buck Buck Games website describe it as ‘ Our event games and characters combine escape rooms, immersive theatre and murder mystery with fun fuelled challenges’.
So I thought I would take my husband along for unique evening out.
The pub itself is a complete hidden treasure in itself and it’s quirkiness is apparent as soon as you walk in. It has hairdryers all hanging from the ceiling above the bar. There’s a table tennis table around the back of the bar and there were a group of people playing card games at one of the tables. We even spotted couple playing monopoly. Not your typical pub in any sense.
They have a great menu. Our plan was to eat before we played but unfortunately the traffic was not on our side that evening and we didn’t have enough time. But it included an extensive vegan selection. Although we didn’t get the chance to eat, the food that was coming out of the kitchen looked very good.
Anyway, on to the games. As we arrived and got a drink we could see more groups turning up and congregating at the bottom of the stairs were the games were advertised.
Maybe that isn’t the right thing thing to teach your teenagers to play poker ( but my 2 are both dab hands at Texas Hold ’em *coughs*)
But this is a different style of poker, more like poker stakes with a difference- no money changes hands!
I’m totally sick and tired of my two whinging, whining, woe is me teens. Honestly I don’t know how on earth I got to the ripe old age of………43 without them. It’s a total miracle that I have made it in one piece with their infinite wisdom. C’mon all you with teens will know- THEY KNOW EVERYTHING!!
Well here’s my Teenage Poker game :
* I ‘see’ your 700 channel, 24 hour on demand TV ( in your own room) remotely controlled so minimum of movement is required- and I ‘raise’ you a one telly per household, with an amazing 4 channels to choose from, with kids shows only available on certain times AND you had to get off your arse to change channel, adjust the volume and switch it on and off!!
* I ‘see’ your health and safety gone mad child safety toes including padding for everywhere for anything used on the move, trampolines with total surround safety nets and barriers to stop you getting even remotely close to anything that could possibly damage you precious little bodies- and I *raise* you the Pogo stick, metal adjustable skates that went on your shoes and homemade go carts with no brakes and a rope to steer! ENOUGH SAID
* I ‘see’ your named brand clothes that are a ‘must have’ where literally NOTHING costs less than £60 even though the ones you are wearing are absolutely fine and still fit- and I ‘raise’ you the 80’s fashions!!!! We have been scarred for life and we have the picture evidence to prove it.
* I ‘see’ your games consoles, laptops, Ipads, tablets and Iphones with everything at an instant touch of a button teaching you nothing but lack of patience- and I ‘raise’ you……….The Atari with the exciting Pong game!!! Graphics at it’s best LOL
* I ‘see’ your door to door on call chauffeur service to all your extra curricular clubs so your precious little legs didn’t get worn out and so are kept safe from all the horrible nastiness that is on our streets today – and I ‘raise’ you the if you cant walk there your not going and the the journey to school in an easily recognisable protestant uniform across town on the bus through a predominantly catholic area starting when I was 11 years old going to secondary school. I looked danger in the eye on a daily basis and still made it to my ripe old age!
* I ‘see’ your on your person 24hrs a day phone in touch with your friends and family wherever you are at any given moment- and I ‘raise’ you the one telephone household. A phone normally situated in the hall that had an attached receiver that stretched all of a metre if you were lucky and no privacy to talk what so ever- with everyone listening in to your conversation!
Therefore, I win hands down and if anyone should have Childline on speed dial then it should be US- your old, know nothing, haven’t lived parents.
Having just had a week away at half term camping in Dorset, I started thinking why I love being away camping. Something that would have had me breaking out in a sweat a few years ago. So I thought I would share a few top tips for camping with families.
THE TRICK IS TO BE ORGANISED!
Print off a camping list…
Of any of the main camping equipment online. Or make your own using their list as a starting point. Check the list against your equipment several weeks before you go. Tick off the stuff you have and listing the stuff you need to get.
Make a shopping list..
Make a shopping list just for the time you are away. PLAN YOUR MEALS and take the basics with you. So, if your plan is to have a curry make sure you have the jar of sauce and then buy your meat fresh on the day.
Cool box and freezer blocks…
A good cool box and freezer blocks are essential for milks and butter to keep cold. I tend to freeze a pack of bacon and sausages to take for a cooked breakfast on our 1st morning there. They will also act as freezer blocks for the first day but will have defrosted well for the first mornings breakfast.
Go prepared for cold and warm weather this is the UK after all.. Woolly hats and hot water bottles for the colder evenings and possible shorts and sun cream for warmer days.
Take games suitable for your children and family to play. We take Uno cards and several decks of cards for Black Jack and Solitaire. Pens and writing pads for Hangman/ Battleship. These really don’t take up much space but can provide a few hours of entertainment on a rainy day. Don’t forget games for outsidetoo, such as, football/ bats and balls/ Frisbees. These will all help keep the kids entertained after dinner in the evening.
Get the kids involved…
Get the kids involved by giving them some responsibility. Let them pack a small bag of things they want to bring for their own amusement like books, head torches, trump cards etc. Also during the camp try giving older kids a chore, such as, filling the water bottles, washing up, or taking rubbish to the bins etc.
Take flasks because not only are these fab to take out with you during the day for a sneaky cuppa. But we fill them at dinner time to make teas and hot chocolates before bed. Instant hot water when the kids are tired and don’t want to wait for the kettle to boil.
Take a windbreaker…
Take a windbreaker to mark an area close to your tent space. These can help create a great cooking area if your tent does not have a porch. Also they are easy to uproot and take with you for a day at the beach, presuming you get sunshine.
Disposable BBQ’s can be picked up for a few quid in most places. They are great alternative to take to the beach for a lovely evening with a Hot Dog or Burger thrown in for a cheap and easy dinner. Sometimes we don’t even bother with the BBQ. We just use one of our single stoves and a frying pan for the same results. They are portable so make use of them.
Relax and enjoy…
Relax and enjoy the time. There doesn’t need to be a strict regime like at home. No one will be knocking at your door. The ironing and cleaning do not need doing. Have a break from social media. Take each day as it comes, late mornings/ late bedtimes/ extra snacks and treats. THIS IS YOUR HOLIDAY AFTER ALL!
Let me know if you go camping and have some tips I haven’t mentioned here.
Tell me, am I the only horrible mother in the world that has breathed a sigh of relief now the kids are back to school?
Surely I’m not on my own here. Yesterday was like heaven in the respect that I had no TV on, no radios or Ipods blaring, and most of all NO ARGUING! ( Well that was until they came home from school to get organised for Halloween. Which truly ended up as a ‘Benny Hill’ style fast forward video as I had friends round and needed to feed everyone, play games, take kids trick or treating and then have them ready and changed for Scouts by 7.20pm!!!
No easy feat I can tell you……………………….
Before we knew it we were off trick or treating and then the boys were whisked off to scouts for more mess and games!!
All we needed was some comedy music and it wouldn’t have been out of place on a Benny Hill episode.
But after a hectic week over half term I’m kind of glad it’s all calmed down a little………….well for this week anyway. I’m totally enjoying ( rightly or wrongly) the peace during the day. Now I may be able to catch up on all the stuff that’s been put on hold since the start of the holidays.