This week I was again in Portugal for work. I had intended to go to one of the weekly Wednesday meetings of the Lisbon Boardgamers, which was not far from my hotel, but in the end had to skip it. It was a shame, because from before 6pm to after midnight they certainly played tons of games, some quite long. Nevertheless, it was a successful work & play trip, the latter for two reasons.
On Thursday I met Tiago from MESAboardgames, which have edited a string of family games with Portuguese themes. He had come to Lisbon for a meeting with an organization for which they're developing a corporate game and he brought my pre-ordered copy of Caravelas, which Matt wasn't able to pick up in Essen because he had already his luggage full of games for himself. So, in the end I still managed to get the Essen deal (game + expansion for a reduced price) without paying postage. I only had to follow that old proverb: 'if the game will not come to Michel, Michel will go to the game'.
On Friday I packed my big suitcase with several kilos of my father's 30+ year old Fleischmann model train. It had taken him days to rummage the attic for it, and I had to leave back in Lisbon almost as much material as I brought. In particular, the beautiful steam locomotive had to go to the shop for repair. We should have a quote in two weeks, let's hope it's not dearer than buying a new one... The rest of the material also has some problems, e.g. the turnout points can get stuck, but considering its age, I certainly won't complain. I was only sad one coupler of the brown freight wagon on the photo broke during the trip, but considering the 'careful' way luggage is handled at airports, it could have been worse.
Yesterday, my youngest daughter and I put together a simple oval as a first test, followed by the track on the left, which showcases some of the tried and tested analogue electro-mechanical technology that has been in the Fleischmann catalogue for decades. My daughter put down the track and built the 'tunnel', I did the wiring. It was great fun, and a trip down memory lane to when I was about her age and played with my father. I guess history does repeat itself. Now we have to move onwards to more challenging layouts...