Fun and fancy for free


They say the best things in life are free and I wholeheartedly agree (with the exception of buying dresses, of course). A person can’t live on dresses alone and nor should they try! Since wages aren’t what they should be and, anyway, Money Makes You Mean, here’s a list of shenanigans that won’t cost the earth (or even an island). Some of them cost nothing at all. Imagine that.


  • If you’ve got it, flaunt it: Use that gym membership that is totally neglected, delve deep into the recesses of Netflix, wiggle to your premium Spotify and enjoy your ad-free fantasy world (damn you). Read an entire book of poems that you haven’t picked up yet. Just an idea.
  • Stroke an ego: Maybe your own, but not necessarily. You could beat down a friend’s door with flowers and serenade them in a creepy Ginny Weasley’s cupid kind of way.
  • Deal with it: Crack out a pack of cards or a chessboard and make a move.
  • Booked up: Raid a library, whether a public one or a friend’s. Get stuck in. Reading can sometimes feel daunting if you’re out of the habit so start light – maybe don’t go straight for War & Peace… try one of the Very Short Introduction series by Oxford University Press, maybe. Or Mills and Boon.
  • Dirty Dancing: Learn an iconic dance routine. Become Kevin Bacon. Or leap into Jennifer Beals‘ dancing shoes.
  • Creative cooking: Dig out everything in your cupboards and create something from what’s in there. Things might get interesting…
  • Snuggle ‘n’ snacks: Is there anything better than a cosy cutch and some first-rate munchies. The correct response is no.
  • Water baby: Go for a muddy walk and splash in a puddle. Put a watering can out in the rain. Steam your face. Try watersports…
  • Found you: Grab some free magazines, chop them up and make found poems with the headlines (see main picture for ‘Here’s one I made earlier…).
  • Beauty queen: Go through your beauty supplies and spend some time experimenting. Try some basic nail art or play around with a shade of lipstick you never use. Try repurposing it as a blush stick. Try something a little different, or get ready for halloween… Youtube is your friend.






Bored games?

Hi, I’m Katherine and I’m a board game addict… This is my story:

I love board games in all shapes and sizes. I especially love them when I’m good at them, but most members of my family are irritating mines of information (the usefulness of said information depends on the question…). I love the connections we can build with board games and, through them, with our friends and family. We all have that one person who gets your obscure reference that wins the open round on Articulate. And that pair who has to get separated because their level of miming telepathy is just plain cheating. Maybe, like me, you have a parent that played chess with a 3-piece handicap and still won (we don’t play chess anymore…). When something gets broken, accusations usually take the form of, ‘it was you, in the kitchen, with your mother’s best jug’ or something along those lines. I love Cluedo, but not in real-life. Yeah, you just try and prove I did it… where’s the evidence?! Sign the ‘fession!

It was a sad day in our household when we had to get rid of the interactive Star Trek Klingon game because we didn’t have a VHS player anymore. And the dinosaur bones game that’s pieces got broken. Nostalgia overload… I remember games that I didn’t actually know the name of so I just renamed. (‘Mummy, can we play the Goose game?’) I still don’t know the actual name for some of them or, now that I think of it, where on earth Mouse-trap got to…

Then there’s the classic, home-wrecker, rage-inducing Monopoly which brings out the worst in most people. Myself most definitely included. I tend to buy anything and everything then refuse to do any deals just to piss the other players off. It usually just leads to a stalemate and a tantrum. And that’s just my brother. Personally, I can sulk for days.

But, there’s very little point in crying over spilt Scrabble tiles. Pick up an X, Y or Z and triple it! I’ve heard Trivial Pursuit is quite civilised, too, but I find it quite trivial for my tastes. If you’re feeling particularly loquacious, Boggle is a mind-boggler for sure, and Bananagrams teaches you a thing or two about how to invent words when you have 5 E’s and no consonants.

At the other end of the spectrum, Cards Against Humanity is pure filth and goes excellently with an accompaniment of alcohol, if you’re into that. Not necessarily for family occasions, but you never know what grandma might find disturbing yet oddly charming…

It doesn’t have to be a rainy winter day to play board games galore! Crack out a pack of cards after dinner, use food as bets in Pontoon, play Strip Poker with your lover, get your Ticket To Ride and bring Backgammon back. Alternatively, use counters, tiles, cards and dice to make greetings cards or jewellery or maracas. Whatever.


Remember, kids, a board game is for life, not just for Christmas.